RSA-227 - Annual Client Assistance Program (CAP) Report

Colorado (Center for Legal Advocacy) - H161A120005 - FY2012

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameCenter for Legal Advocacy
Address455 Sherman Streeet
Address Line 2Suite 130
CityDenver
StateColorado
Zip Code80203
E-mail Addresstlcmail@thelegalcenter.org
Website Addresshttp://www.thelegalcenter.org
Phone303-722-0300
TTY 303-722-3619
Toll-free Phone800-288-1376
Toll-free TTY800-288-1376
Fax303-722-0720

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameCenter for Legal Advocacy
Address455 Sherman Streeet
Address Line 2Suite 130
CityDenver
Zip Code80203
E-mail Addresstlcmail@thelegalcenter.org
Website Addresshttp://www.thelegalcenter.org
Phone303-722-0300
TTY303-722-3619
Toll-free Phone800-288-1376
Toll-free TTY800-288-1376
Fax303-722-0720

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorGeoffrey Peterson
Person to contact regarding reportGeoffrey Peterson
Contact Person Phone970.241.6371

Part I. Agency Workload Data

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the Rehabilitation Act6
2. Information regarding Title I of the ADA1
3. Other information provided1
4. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1+A2+A3)8
5. Individuals attending trainings by CAP staff (approximate)372

B. Individuals served

An individual is counted only once during a fiscal year. Multiple counts are not permitted for Lines B1-B3.

1. Individuals who are still being served as of October 1 (carryover from prior year)19
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year17
3. Total individuals served (Lines B1+B2)36
4. Individuals (from Line B3) who had multiple case files opened/closed this year. (In unusual situations, an individual may have more than one case file opened/closed during a fiscal year. This number is not added to the total in Line B3 above.)2

C. Individual still being served as of September 30

Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line I.B3. 12

D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files

Choose one primary reason for closing each case file. There may be more case files than the total number of individuals served to account for those unusual situations, referred to in Line I.B4, when an individual had multiple case files closed during the year.

1. All issues resolved in individual's favor11
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)4
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual3
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)3
5. Individual chose alternative representation1
6. Individual decided not to pursue resolution3
7. Appeals were unsuccessful0
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.1
9. Individual refused to cooperate with CAP0
10. CAP unable to take case due to lack of resources0
11. Other (please explain)

E. Results achieved for individuals

1. Controlling law/policy explained to individual9
2. Application for services completed.0
3. Eligibility determination expedited0
4. Individual participated in evaluation0
5. IPE developed/implemented3
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party5
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office6
8. Alternative resources identified for individual3
9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR/ complaint made0
10. Other0
11. Other (please explain)

Part II. Program Data

A. Age

As of the beginning of the fiscal year. Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. 21 and under0
2. 22 - 407
3. 41 - 6427
4. 65 and over2
5. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A4. Total must equal Line I.B3.)36

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Female18
2. Male18
3. Total (Sum of Lines B1 and B2. Total must equal Line I.B3.)36

C. Race/ethnicity

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race4
For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian1
4. Black or African American7
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White24
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown0

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Blindness (both eyes)0
2. Other visual impairments0
3. Deafness2
4. Hard of hearing3
5. Deaf-blind0
6. Orthopedic impairments12
7. Absense of extremities0
8. Mental illness10
9. Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)0
10. Mental retardation0
11. Specific learning disabilities (SLD)3
12. Neurological disorders1
13. Respiratory disorders0
14. Heart and other circulatory conditions0
15. Digestive disorders0
16. Genitourinary conditions0
17. Speech Impairments0
18. AIDS/HIV positive0
19. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)5
20. All other disabilities0
21. Disabilities not known0
22. Total (Sum of Lines D1 through D21. Total must equal Line I. B3.)36

E. Types of individuals served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicants of VR Program3
2. Clients of VR Program32
3. Applicants or clients of IL Program1
4. Applicants or clients of other programs and projects funded under the Act0

F. Source of individual's concern

Multiple responses permitted.

1. VR agency only34
2. Other Rehabilitation Act sources only1
3. Both VR agency and other Rehabilitation Act sources1
4. Employer0

G. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information0
2. Communication problems between individual and counselor9
3. Conflict about services to be provided17
4. Related to application/eligibility process2
5. Related to IPE development/implementation8
6. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems2
7. Non-Rehabilitation Act related0
8. Related to Title I of the ADA0

H. Types of CAP services provided

Choose one primary CAP service provided for each case file/service record.

1. Information/referral2
2. Advisory/interpretational6
3. Negotiation15
4. Administrative/informal review3
5. Alternative dispute resolution0
6. Formal appeal/fair hearing0
7. Legal remedy0
8. Transportation0

Part III. Narrative

Narrative

Part III a. Type of agency used to administer CAP: External - Non-Profit organization: Colorado Protection and Advocacy Agency

PartIII b. Source of funds expended:

Federal Funds FY 2011 CAP P&A Grant funds: 38,922. Federal Funds FY 2012 CAP P&A Grant funds: 129,349. Sub-TOTAL CAP P&A Grant funds: 168,271.

Other funds: Reimbursement of expenses: 575.

TOTAL FUNDS from all sources: 168,846.

Part III c. Expenses for fiscal year:

Human Resources Salaries 98,443. Temporary Employees 367. Contract Employees 531. Insurances 13,354. Worker’s Compensation 240. Unemployement Tax 92. FICA Expense 7,351. TSA Expense 5,885. Other Personnel exp 224.

Total Human Resources 126,488.

Accounting Services 556. Auditing Fees 853. Legal Fees 860. Consultant Fees 180. Travel 2,137. Staff & Board Development 1,259. NDRN Conference Exp. 1,408. Meeting Expenses 855. Outreach 254. Office & General Supplies 996. Equipment Purchased 2,234. Leased Equipment 711. Equipment Maintenance 419 Computer System Expense 669. Rent 19,209. Utilities 427. Repairs & mtc. building 430. Telephone 1,891. Postage 322. Printing/Copying 1,493. Subscriptions/Reference 2,079. Dues & Memberships 883. Malpractice Insurance 733. Business Insurance 145. Depreciation 814. File storage expense 508.

Total Operating Expenses 42,358.

TOTAL EXPENSES 168,846

Part III d. NUMBER OF PERSON-YEARS:

TOTAL FTEs: 1.96

CAP Coordinator 40.4% Rights Advocate 68.4% Rights Advocate 5.1% Attorney 15.5% Director Legal Services 8.9% Rights Advocate 1.2% Attorney 0.3% Executive Director 5.7%

Dir. Admin Services 9.6% Office Manager 8.5% Financial Manager 8.8% Administrative Assistant 8.9% Administrative Assistant 9.8% Administrative Assistant 4.4% Director of Development 0.3%

TOTAL FTEs 1.96

E. Summary of Presentations Made: On October 1, 2011 the Director of Legal Services presented to the International Dyslexia Association on special education services including IDEA, IEPs, 504 and Transition services in Denver. There were 60 parents in attendance. On October 26, 2011 the CAP Advocate did a training session for new DVR counseling staff on CAP and the Appeals process. There were 30 DVR counselors in attendance. On February 17, 2012 the Grand Junction advocate gave a presentation to a Low Vision Conference held at the Center for Independence in Grand Junction. The topic was The Legal Center generally, including all programs, services and priorities. There were 96 participants and 10 professional staff in attendance. On May 14, 2012 a CAP Advocate gave a presentation to a group of transition students who are part of Project Search with the Children’s Hospital in Aurora. She discussed CAP services and DVR. There were 6 students in attendance. On September 3, 2012 the Director of Legal Services gave a talk, in Colorado Springs, to Parents Encouraging Parents (PEP) on special education services. There were 120 parents and teachers in attendance. On September 27, 2012 the CAP Coordinator and both CAP Advocates did a training session for new DVR counselors and administrative staff on CAP and the Appeals process. There were 50 DVR staff in attendance. f. Involvement with Advisory Boards The CAP Advocate has just been reappointed to a new term on the State Independent Living Council and now chairs the Public Policy Committee. She has recently been elected as Chair-elect and will assume the duties of the Chair upon the expiration of the current Chair’s term of office. The CAP Coordinator continues his participation on the State Rehabilitation Committee. He was reappointed to a new term in February 2012. g. Outreach to Unserved/Underserved Populations The Low Vision conference attracted consumers from Mesa Co. and surrounding counties. Other presentations are attended by people from more rural parts of Colorado, especially those dealing with special education. h. Alternative Dispute Resolution The Legal Center continues to use more informal means to resolve disputes prior to requesting an Administrative Review or Impartial Hearing. Sometimes, we are able to assist a client who wishes to resolve an issue on his/her own with technical assistance in self-advocacy. We use negotiation with the counselor which is often successful and maintains the relationship between our client and his/her VR counselor. Additionally, using informal procedures assists us in gaining information to prepare a case for a formal appeal, if necessary. We find the Administrative Review process to be the most effective way to resolve disputes if we cannot resolve the dispute through negotiation. Our use of mediation remains infrequent, in part due to the success of negotiation and the Administrative Review process in resolving disputes and in part because in order for a consumer to request mediation they must first request a formal hearing. We did make a suggestion to the DVR Policy Advisory Committee that they delete the requirement that the individual must request a hearing in order to ask for mediation. The new policies have not yet been finalized so we don’t know if that suggestion made it through the review process or not. There is confusion because RSA regulations state that mediation must be available “at a minimum” when the individual requests an impartial hearing.

i. Systemic Advocacy

The final draft of the DVR Policy Manual was completed in February 2012. The revised policies are still in the review process. The CAP Coordinator was a part of the committee that developed the draft, but has had no contact with this group since February. The SRC has been assured that it will see the final policies and have an opportunity to give input, but, to date, nothing has been presented to the SRC.

The Department of Health Care Policy and Finance received a Medicaid Infrastructure Grant in 2011. The CAP Coordinator was part of the Employment Subcommittee from the onset of this grant. The Coordinator later took over for The Legal Center’s Executive Director as a member of the Steering Committee. There have been several very positive initiatives that have been developed through this process. These are just beginning to be implemented.

j. Interesting Cases

Case 1

The client is an African American woman with a hearing impairment. DVR had supported her training toward an employment goal of licensed mental health counselor. The client contacted CAP with a complaint that DVR had not reimbursed her for gas or paid for certain dental and medical services. CAP investigated and met with the client and counselor. A review of the DVR record revealed a variety of issues. The medical services were found to be part of pre-surgery diagnostics that were covered by the IPE. Prior dental services on the IPE had expired; at a later point the client received other dental services and assumed that DVR would pay after-the-fact; DVR was not obligated to do so. Some of the client’s claims for gas reimbursement were upheld, while others were not. In addition, the counselor had authorized reimbursement for gas in one period but had failed to submit the authorization for payment. In the end, the client received more than $700.00 in reimbursement. Case 2

The client is an 18 year old with Asperger’s Syndrome and Executive Functioning Disorder who had been in special education and wanted to continue his education so he could have a professional career as a Chemical Engineer. He became a client of DVR, who first sent him to the School to Work Alliance Program (SWAP), which was not compatible with his aspiration. Then DVR sent him to the local independent living center for services. However, the client was unable to navigate appointments, timeliness, dealing with the surprise of strangers or crowds, or expressing his needs. The client became aware of College Living Experience, a service that provides integrated independent living, academic and counseling services, as well as supervised housing near the college campus. His counselor and her supervisor would not support College Living Experience due to the high cost of this program. However, in view of the failure of services DVR had until then provided, College Living Experience appeared to be most appropriate. After it became obvious that the counselor and supervisor would not alter their opinion, an appeal was filed. The client was suddenly shifted to a new counselor in the office; and not long after, the supervisor was replaced. During that period, the client also began to receive SSI. The new counselor evaluated the client’s needs, investigated College Living Experience and expressed support for trying to get a placement authorized. The CAP advocate was able to work with the client and counselor to formulate an IPE that provided for college through a Bachelors degree and included College Living Experience. This plan was approved by the new supervisor. He has been doing exceptionally well in school thanks to this program. Case 3

Client has been with VR for about two years. Her goal is to become a "Transpersonal psychotherapist" and work in the mental health field. A transpersonal psychotherapist treats both the spiritual and psychological aspects of the individual.

Client says she needs to go to the Naropa Institute, a private university, for her Master’s degree. She says that Naropa is the only school in Colorado that offers this program and that the approach to learning that Naropa uses, Experiential, is better suited to her disability, which is Traumatic Brain Injury. The University of Colorado (CU) uses a more academic/research approach which is more difficult for her. Her counselor is willing to pay state tuition rate and said the client could make up the difference in cost.

The advocate and client researched what the program at Naropa offered versus what the program at CU and other state schools offered. The advocate and client researched to see if Mental Health Centers actually employed someone called a "Transpersonal Psychotherapist" or did they just consider this just as they would a general Psychologist. The client and advocate got the necessary information. The experiential learning is better for an individual with a Traumatic Brain Injury and some Mental Health Centers and clinics do employ Transpersonal psychotherapists. The individual gained access to Naropa University, fully supported by DVR. k. On-line Information & Outreach

We continue to make improvements to our web site and have recently added links to Facebook and Twitter to increase our communication with the public. Our website had 66,373 hits in FY2012. In addition, our Director of Legal Services has a blog on special education in which he often addresses transition issues. This blog received 17,400 hits.

Certification

Approved

This Report is Complete and Correct.Yes
Date Signed:20-Dec-12
Name of Designated Agency Official:Mary Anne Harvey
Title of Designated Agency Official:Executive Director