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

Connecticut (Connecticut Office of Protection and Advocacy) - H161A120006 - FY2012

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameProtection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilit
Address60B Weston Street
Address Line 2
CityHartford
StateConnecticut
Zip Code06120
E-mail Addressgretchen.knauff@ct.gov
Website Addresshttp://www.ct.gov/opapd
Phone(860) 297-4300
TTY (860) 297-4380
Toll-free Phone(800) 842-7303
Toll-free TTY(800) 842-7303
Fax(860) 566-8714

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameProtection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilit
Address60B Weston Street
Address Line 2
CityHartford
Zip Code06120
E-mail Addressgretchen.knauff@ct.gov
Website Addresshttp://www.ct.gov/opapd
Phone(860) 297-4300
TTY(860) 297-4380
Toll-free Phone(800) 842-7303
Toll-free TTY(800) 842-7303
Fax(860) 566-8714

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/Coordinator
Person to contact regarding reportGretchen Knauff
Contact Person Phone860.297.4342

Part I. Agency Workload Data

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the Rehabilitation Act33
2. Information regarding Title I of the ADA3
3. Other information provided3
4. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1+A2+A3)39
5. Individuals attending trainings by CAP staff (approximate)131

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)6
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year20
3. Total individuals served (Lines B1+B2)26
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.)0

C. Individual still being served as of September 30

Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line I.B3. 16

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 favor5
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)0
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual1
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)0
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual decided not to pursue resolution0
7. Appeals were unsuccessful1
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.0
9. Individual refused to cooperate with CAP3
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 individual1
2. Application for services completed.0
3. Eligibility determination expedited1
4. Individual participated in evaluation1
5. IPE developed/implemented2
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party0
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office2
8. Alternative resources identified for individual0
9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR/ complaint made3
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 under4
2. 22 - 408
3. 41 - 6414
4. 65 and over0
5. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A4. Total must equal Line I.B3.)26

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Female9
2. Male17
3. Total (Sum of Lines B1 and B2. Total must equal Line I.B3.)26

C. Race/ethnicity

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race1
For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian1
4. Black or African American4
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White20
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. Deafness1
4. Hard of hearing1
5. Deaf-blind0
6. Orthopedic impairments4
7. Absense of extremities0
8. Mental illness5
9. Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)1
10. Mental retardation0
11. Specific learning disabilities (SLD)6
12. Neurological disorders3
13. Respiratory disorders0
14. Heart and other circulatory conditions0
15. Digestive disorders0
16. Genitourinary conditions0
17. Speech Impairments1
18. AIDS/HIV positive0
19. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)4
20. All other disabilities0
21. Disabilities not known0
22. Total (Sum of Lines D1 through D21. Total must equal Line I. B3.)26

E. Types of individuals served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicants of VR Program8
2. Clients of VR Program18
3. Applicants or clients of IL Program0
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 only24
2. Other Rehabilitation Act sources only1
3. Both VR agency and other Rehabilitation Act sources0
4. Employer1

G. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information1
2. Communication problems between individual and counselor6
3. Conflict about services to be provided16
4. Related to application/eligibility process2
5. Related to IPE development/implementation0
6. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems0
7. Non-Rehabilitation Act related0
8. Related to Title I of the ADA1

H. Types of CAP services provided

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

1. Information/referral1
2. Advisory/interpretational0
3. Negotiation3
4. Administrative/informal review5
5. Alternative dispute resolution1
6. Formal appeal/fair hearing0
7. Legal remedy0
8. Transportation0

Part III. Narrative

Narrative

A. Agency Identification The State of Connecticut, Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, administers the Connecticut Client Assistance Program (CAP), located at 60B Weston Street, Hartford, CT 06120. The Office of Protection and Advocacy (OPA) is an independent state agency external to the vocational rehabilitation system.

B. Source of Funds

During the 2012 fiscal year, the Connecticut Client Assistance Program received the minimum federal allotment for CAP. As indicated below, the CAP funds were not exhausted due to changes in CAP staffing and funding for other programs. Commensurate with the beginning of the 2012 fiscal year, the CAP advocate retired. The request to refill the position, required the state to administer an examination for Human Services Advocates. By the time the state administered and scored the exam, it was early in 2012. Candidates were interviewed but prior to the selection, it became evident that Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) program funding for the 2013 fiscal year was questionable and all reports continued to indicate that the program, unfortunately, would not be refunded. OPA did not want to offer the position to a candidate and have to lay him or her off in several months when a more senior advocate would bump him or her from the position.

OPA determined that the PABSS advocate and supervisor would also handle CAP cases until there was clarity about the PABSS funding. The PABSS advocate kept contemporaneous time records for each of her funding sources. State funds have been used to supplement CAP expenses in order to continue to provide legal representation and support the general operations of the CAP program including the salary of the CAP Advocate’s supervisor.

Source of funding Total expenditures spent on individuals Federal funds $24,942.04 State funds $0.00 All other funds $0.00 Total from all sources $24,942.04

C. CAP Budget Category FY 2012 FY 2013 Wages & Salaries $13,053.31 $69,991.56 Fringe Benefits (FICA, unemployment, etc.) $11,044.30 $41,595.50 Materials/Supplies $300.00 Postage $5.05 $100.00 Telephone $0.00 $0.00 Rent $0.00 $0.00 Travel/Mileage Reimbursement $43.86 $3,000.00 Copying $0.00 $0.00 Bonding/Insurance $0.00 $0.00 Equipment Rental/Purchase $0.00 $1,500.00 Legal Services $0.00 $0.00 Indirect Costs $0.00 $5,579.35 Miscellaneous (Dues and Interpreter) $795.02 $2,372.59 Total Budget 24,942.04 124,439.00

D. Number of Persons-Years CAP Program Director At the end of the 2010 fiscal year, OPA made organizational changes including reassignment of the CAP Advocate to a supervisor whose salary is paid by a different Non-CAP source of funding. The funding changes benefit P&A by allowing the agency to better handle the budgetary limitations of the program. During the fiscal year, the CAP supervisor continued to improve her knowledge of the vocational rehabilitation system. She attended various training opportunities related to vocational rehabilitation and employment. She also participated on the State Rehabilitation Advisory Council (SRC) to ensure consistent OPA/CAP representation while the agency transitioned to a new CAP advocate. Participation on the SRC was beneficial for the CAP supervisor, allowing her to network with providers, professionals and people served by the vocational rehabilitation system. She learn about vocational rehabilitation issues and keep OPA updated on the many changes occurring at Connecticut’s vocational rehabilitation agency as it restructured during the 2012 fiscal year.

The CAP supervisor assisted with handling information and referral calls related to vocational rehabilitation, independent living centers, and employment barriers. She also assisted clients if the CAP advocate was absent or unavailable, and provided information about CAP at presentation and training events.

CAP Advocate

On the first day of the 2012 fiscal year, the CAP advocate retired from state service and the position was vacant. In addition to other duties and until the CAP advocate position could be filled, an OPA staff member was assigned to handle CAP cases. The CAP supervisor also filled in with handling calls and addressing issues when the CAP advocate was absent. As indicated above, the request to refill the position required the state to administer an examination for Human Services Advocates. By the time the state administered and scored the exam, it was early in 2012. Candidates were interviewed but prior to the selection, it became evident that Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) program funding for the 2013 fiscal year was questionable and all reports continued to indicate that the program, unfortunately, would not be funded. OPA did not want to offer the position to a candidate and have to lay him or her off in several months when a more senior advocate would bump him or her from the position. OPA determined that the PABSS advocate and CAP supervisor would continue to handle CAP cases until there was clarity about the PABSS funding. The PABSS advocate kept contemporaneous time records for each of her funding sources.

The CAP advocate and supervisor continued to provide technical assistance and representation to CAP clients, handled all information and referral (I&R) contacts and intakes related to vocational rehabilitation, and addressed complaints specifically about federally-funded independent living centers. She maintained her time in a computer-based time management system. During the fiscal year, the CAP advocate spent 13% of her time or an average of 5.2 hours per week providing advocacy representation to CAP eligible individuals. This is an average over time but records reflect that as time passed, the advocate devoted greater percentages of her time to CAP and less to her other responsibilities.

The CAP advocate also participated in outreach activities and on the Advisory Board of the Board of Education and Services for the Blind, the Connecticut state agency that provides vocational rehabilitation for people who are blind or visually impaired.

CAP Legal

During 2012 fiscal year, the Client Assistance Program received 2 requests for representation at hearings. The requests were reviewed and researched by OPA attorneys. The first case was reviewed by an attorney who was not funded by CAP funding for the review. The second case was reviewed by a CAP funded attorney. The total review including meetings with the CAP advocate and P&A’s Case Review Team totaled 4 hours and 20 minutes. This equals .19% of the attorney’s time for the 2012 fiscal year. The case was not accepted for representation.

CAP Secretary

The CAP secretary is also required to keep contemporaneous time records. Due to a severe shortage of CAP funding, the secretary has been instructed to minimize her support of CAP personnel. She continued to do this for the 2012 fiscal year averaging 1.6% or .64 hours per week working for the CAP program.

Type of position Full-time equivalent % of year position filled Person-years Professional Full-time .1316 100 .1316 Part-time -- -- -- Vacant -- -- -- Clerical Full-time .016 100 .016 Part-time -- -- -- Vacant -- -- --

E. Presentations/Outreach

DATE Presentation/Outreach ATTENDEES 10/22/2011 Town Hall meeting — Hartford (R) 100* 11/2/2011 CAP Training/Community Health Resources 15* 2/10/2012 CAP/Vocational Rehabilitation - Partners in Policymaking 35 2/15/2012 CAP Training — Community Health Resources-Manchester 25* 3/19/2012 NASW Conference Resource Table (R) 80 3/21/2012 CAP/Vocational Rehabilitation-Dept. of Labor 10* 4/10/2012 CAP Training-NAMI 14 4/26/2012 CAP/Vocational Rehabilitation—Independent Living Center 15 4/26/2012 OPA information including CAP 15 5/9/2012 OPA Information including CAP — ConnSACS 25 8/27/2012 CAP Training-Community Health Resources-Enfield 12* 7/23/2012 Abilities Expo-New Britain (R) 200* 4/28/2012 Community Expo(R) 200* 5/16/2012 Faith Conference(R) 100 6/2/2012 Autism Walk(R) 100 6/16/2012 People First Conference (R) 160 7/15/2012 YMCA Community Block Festival (R) 200* 7/16/2012 Hartford Jazz Festival 150 8/7/2012 Charter Oak Health Fair (R) 300* 8/18/2012 Special Education Conference (R) 80* * Outreach to minority/underrepresented groups (R) Resource Event where OPA program information was disseminated

The chart above reflects training provided by the CAP advocate as well as events where OPA had a resource table. At resource events, OPA staff distributes information about OPA programs including the CAP program. The CAP advocate is bilingual and bicultural, focusing much of her training in Latino communities. During the 2012 fiscal year, the CAP advocate presented at 8 training events that were attended by a total of 131 people. CAP information was disseminated at 11 resource events that reached more than 1600 people with disabilities, family members, professionals and other interested parties. More than 3,500 callers to P&A received CAP information as part of a closure letter. Over 5,660 publications about CAP or include information about CAP were distributed to callers, clients and individuals attending resource events.

F. Advisory Boards

During the 2012 fiscal year, the CAP supervisor attended the State Rehabilitation Advisory Council (SRC) of the Bureau of Rehabilitation (BRS) because the CAP advocate retired and a new advocate had not been hired. CAP is a federally mandated member of the SRC and uses these meetings to network with BRS staff and clients, obtain data and information about BRS funding and activities; influence the delivery of services through suggestions for procedural and policy changes; and monitor service systems and budgetary obstacles.

During the year, the SRC’s subcommittees were very active: the Consumer Satisfaction subcommittee completed their consumer satisfaction survey for improving services at BRS offices and presented their findings to the Commissioner. The Business Partnership subcommittee explored ways to help working consumers who need emergency services for their durable medical equipment. The Nominations subcommittee continued to work hard to fill vacant SRC positions. The Legislation Policy Planning subcommittee distributed posters, recruiting new SRC members and delineating the rights and responsibilities of consumers.

The SRC had an opportunity to attend the BRS Annual Meeting. Each region shared success stories. The SRC commented and provide input for BRS’s 2013 State Plan. During the 2012 fiscal year, the advocate performing CAP duties attended the Advisory Committee for the Board of Education and Services for the Blind (BESB). Since she was new to the Council, she learned about the structure of BESB and had opportunities to network with BESB staff and providers. At each meeting, Advisory Council members heard case success stories and discussed issues of concern to the agency. The CAP advocate will continue on this committee during the 2013 fiscal year.

BRS continues to welcome CAP at its staff trainings for new Counselors and for new initiatives. BRS also invites CAP’s participation on internal committees to develop new policies and/or initiatives.

G. Outreach to unserved/underserved populations

The CAP program brochure is the primary written tool that CAP uses to educate potential clients about its services. It is available in English, Spanish and in large print. Information on CAP is also provided in the general agency brochure published by the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities. The agency also developed and distributes a fact sheet called “How Can P&A Help Me?” that describes the types of services provided by the agency. This is included with all closure letters sent to individuals requesting Information and Referral services from P&A. It is available in both English and Spanish. During the 2012 fiscal year, more than 3,500 information and referral callers received the publication in a closure letter.

During the 2012 fiscal year, CAP continued to collaborate with other federal programs housed at the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities on outreach to underserved populations. As the information on presentations (Section E, pg. 3) indicates, most of the CAP activities involved outreach to the Latino and African American communities. During the 2012 fiscal year, most of the outreach was through resource fairs and disability specific activities. A great deal of these outreach activities are conducted in collaboration with the P&A’s Community Advocacy Specialist who is bilingual and bicultural.

The Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities (P&A) continued to maintain the Spanish version of its website. Information about P&A programs is available on this site. The Spanish versions of P&A publications including the CAP brochure, are also ready to read or download. The content of the Spanish version of the P&A website was improved as P&A publications were updated and developed.

H. Alternative Dispute Resolution

Over the years, the CAP has developed a positive working relationship with the BRS staff at all levels of the agency from the counselors to the Commissioner. The advocate who took over the CAP responsibilities has also worked with BRS as a PABSS advocate, interacting with Counselors and Community Work Incentive Coordinators to advocate for some of her clients.

Mediation and other administrative remedies are available as a formal mechanism to resolve disputes between the vocational rehabilitation system and its consumers. CAP has been able to resolve disputes without representing clients in formal mediations or fair hearings, handling the majority of issues through negotiation or informal review. During the 2012 fiscal year, CAP closed 10 cases, 5 of them were resolved fully or partially in the client’s favor — a 50% success rate. Eight of the 10 closed cases were resolved through negotiation, mediation, informal review and alternative dispute resolution. (In three of the ten cases, the client stopped connecting with CAP or did not cooperate in some way.)

During the 2012 fiscal year, CAP received two requests for representation at a formal hearing. In both cases, the individual came to CAP after working with BRS rather than developing the case through the CAP program. In the first case, the individual was appealing denial of a hearing aid request. She lost the hearing aid several years earlier and admitted to BRS that it had not affected her ability to work. The CAP advocate and P&A attorney reviewed the case and vocational rehabilitation regulations, and consulted with staff at the disability rights network. The P&A case review team determined that P&A would not provide representation in this case.

The second case involved a caller who has been a vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselor in another state. She came to Connecticut and applied for two jobs as a counselor and decided that she wanted training for a different position. BRS denied the request. In Connecticut, BRS has many vacant VR counselor positions due to retirements and the agency felt that there were opportunities for her to become employed. Again the CAP advocate and a P&A attorney reviewed the file and vocational rehabilitation regulations. The case review team determined that the case was premature for a hearing and that the CAP advocate would offer to work with the client to urge BRS to assist her in getting a counselor job and then take it to a hearing when the issue was appealable.

I. Systemic Advocacy

Vocational rehabilitation in Connecticut continued to experience changes during the 2012 fiscal year. The Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), Connecticut’s vocational rehabilitation provider, was further combined and became part of a new agency, the Department of Rehabilitation Services. The Department houses BRS, the Board of Education and Services for the Blind, the former Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired and the former Handicapped Driver Training Unit from the Department of Motor Vehicles. The agency is still feeling the effects of the retirements from 2011 and many new counselors have been hired. Because they are new, CAP is working to establish relationships with them as they learn the vocational rehabilitation system. The counselors are inexperienced and unfamiliar with the system, creating delays in client services. The P&A advocate, cognizant of these issues worked to educate her clients about BRS rules and regulations, paid closer attention to time frames and continued to develop her relationships with district and central office staff in an effort to minimize the time lags.

• Policy Administration - During the past few years, BRS has also become more restrictive in the administration of its policies. The agency reports that the policies have not changed; they are just administering them as written. This has had an especially adverse effect on clients seeking home modifications, vehicle modifications, hearing aids, and small business assistance. These are areas where the costs are generally higher but important because individuals with the most severe disabilities often need them. CAP remains vigilant in addressing these issues as they arise and ensuring that BRS is not denying these services to those who are eligible and qualify for them.

The purchase of hearing aids another area where BRS has become more restrictive in administering its policies. The purchase of hearing aid for an individual can often be the difference between working and unemployment, especially for individuals earning a lower wage who do not have insurance to cover the cost. CAP has been handling hearing aid cases, successfully arguing for BRS’ purchase of the devices.

• Transition From School to Work — The Rehabilitation Act requires the vocational rehabilitation agencies to begin their relationship with children who have disabilities at age 14. In Connecticut, BRS considers itself to be an agency that serves adults and will wait until a child is ready to leave school or turns 18 years old. Unless a parent contacts BRS and works to get his or her child BRS eligible, vocational services are not an integral part of the transition from school to work. Some BRS Counselors are assigned to school systems, but still do not attend Planning and Placement Team meetings for high school aged children with disabilities. Parents have reported to CAP that they are not aware that their children have a right to BRS services at age 14. Since this trend is newly identified, CAP will be working during the upcoming fiscal year to more intensively educate parents and students about the right to vocational rehabilitation services.

• Vocational Systems — CAP actively monitors the timeliness of orientation, in-take, eligibility determination, evaluations, development of employment plans, and outcomes through consumer complaints and representation. During the 2012 fiscal year, the CAP advocate and supervisor noticed that more of their calls and cases involved lack of appropriate services such as cases being closed too quickly and inappropriate extended evaluations. The CAP advocate is handling many of these cases and will be advocating at the State Rehabilitation Advisory Council meetings for BRS to pay attention to these issues.

• Consumer Choice - CAP staff members advocate for the greatest amount of consumer involvement and choice in the development of an employment plan. They continue to encourage the vocational rehabilitation system to educate the consumer on available programs and providers and to be more flexible in the programs they will support for training and educating of consumers. CAP advocacy efforts for choice have extended to choice of counselors, community rehabilitation providers, offices, and outside consultants.

J. Interesting Cases

The following cases are examples of fiscal year 2012 advocacy representation provided by the Client Assistance Program (CAP) at the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities. Client names have been changed to protect confidentiality.

Interesting Case 1: Sam applied for and was denied vocational services from the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), Connecticut’s vocational rehabilitation agency. He met with a BRS supervisor to discuss the denial and at the meeting, the supervisor told Sam that he did not meet the eligibility requirements even though he has a learning disability, received vocational services in New York with a job coach and was on SSI six years prior.

Sam contacted the Client Assistance Program (CAP). The CAP advocate met with Sam to review his records and discuss the requirements for eligibility. When the advocate contacted BRS, the supervisor stated that BRS would like to work with Sam but his Social Security documentation was too outdated and they needed documentation from Sam’s doctor. The BRS supervisor also acknowledged that Sam might have an intellectual disability, and anxiety and mental health disorders that had not been diagnosed by a doctor. The CAP advocate worked with Sam to obtain a diagnosis from the doctor that would establish eligibility for BRS services. After Sam met with his doctor, he provided BRS with documentation of a previous back injury. At a meeting with BRS in early fall 2012, Sam learned that he was now eligible for BRS and he met his new BRS counselor. Sam is now working on developing his employment plan and pursuing his vocational goals.

Interesting Case 2: RC, had been working with the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) since 2008. Her counselor at the BRS referred her to the CAP program. When the CAP advocate got involved in RC’s case, she had just left her job because of issues that she was having with tremors and the difficulty they were causing with her computer work. RC’s employer provided some accommodations but the company was under new management and RC was not comfortable staying with her employer.

RC told the CAP advocate that she was upset with her BRS counselor who did not follow through with the accommodation and job coaching services that she needed to be successful at work. The CAP advocate reviewed RC’s case file and met with RC and her BRS counselor. The CAP advocate opened the lines of communication between RC and BRS and continued to meet and brainstorm on various jobs that might be suitable for RC. RC was having a difficult time with tremors, causing problems with performing simple tasks such as pouring coffee or tea. Her vendor was unsuccessful in finding RC a job and therefore, BRS decided to give another vendor an opportunity to help RC. The CAP advocate saw this opportunity and advocated for a vendor that has had more success with clients who have similar limitations. Finally, a new vendor was assigned by BRS to assist RC with employment alternatives and with assistive technology to reduce the effects of the tremors. After months of brainstorming with the CAP advocate and BRS, the new vendor was able to obtain an interview for RC at Wal-Mart. RC attended interviewing skills workshops and reviewed material she had at home to prepare for her interview. RC was eventually hired at Wal-Mart and continues to be successful in her work.

Interesting Case 3: Tim, a client of BRS, lives in New Haven. Tim’s BRS counselor arranged for a working interview in a maintenance/janitorial position even though Tim and his counselor agreed on a customer service position for Tim. Tim left the interview when he found out the company was looking to hire a janitor. Tim immediately called his counselor who was busy but promised to call him back. A month later, Tim received a call from his new BRS counselor who worked in the Bridgeport BRS office. The new counselor wanted to set up a meeting at her office. Tim did not understand why his case was transferred and he would have great difficulty getting to this new office location. Tim called the Client Assistance Program (CAP).

The CAP advocate met with Tim who did not want his case transferred to the Bridgeport office. Tim explained to the CAP advocate that he was concerned about going to the new counselor because his disability would make it very difficult for him to travel to unfamiliar places and it would not be fair to have his mother take time off work to transport him to his meetings. The CAP advocate requested a meeting with BRS and insisted that it be in the New Haven area. BRS stated they were protecting Tim’s rights by sending him to the Bridgeport office because his mother works at the New Haven office. BRS did, however, agree to hold the initial meeting in New Haven. BRS and the CAP advocate brainstormed a new location in New Haven for the meeting.

Tim and the CAP advocate met with BRS to discuss the change in counselor and office. The CAP advocate assisted Tim in requesting that his case stay in the New Haven office, citing many reasons for the request. BRS agreed to transfer Tim’s case back to the New Haven office. He is now working with a new counselor to set up evaluations aimed at reaching Tim’s vocational goals.

Interesting Case 4: Dave, a client of the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), needed assistance in obtaining a copy of his psychological evaluation from BRS and other work related paperwork from the Department of Social Services (DSS). After Dave’s evaluation was completed, BRS requested that he enter counseling. Dave refused, stating that he did not want BRS to speak with his therapist. He also decided that he did not want to work with BRS any longer and BRS closed his case.

Dave wanted to apply for Med-Connect, Connecticut’s sliding scale Medicaid program for people with disabilities who work but cannot otherwise get insurance. He needed the application and a copy of his psychological evaluation. His DSS social worker refused to give him the Med-Connect application and BRS refused to give him a copy of the evaluation. Dave called the Client Assistance Program.

The CAP advocate easily assisted Dave in getting the Med-Connect application but getting the evaluation was much more difficult. Because Dave’s case was closed with BRS, the agency would not give him a copy of his evaluation. The CAP advocate tried to get Dave a copy through the therapist who stated that she could not release it to him since BRS paid for it and it is up to them if they would like to share the evaluation with Dave. The CAP advocate talked with BRS who stated the information in the evaluation could be damaging and they will not release a copy to Dave. The CAP advocate kept trying new ideas to get the report released. She spoke with the psychologist who agreed to meet with Dave to review the evaluation but she would have to charge a fee and BRS would not pay for the services since the case was closed. Finally, after many calls and brainstorming sessions, the CAP advocate was able to have Dave’s doctor and the psychologist meet to provide Dave with the evaluation he needed. Dave is now able to apply for Med-Connect and other benefits.

K. Online Information/Outreach

CAP program information is part of the website maintained by the State of Connecticut, Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities (www.ct.gov/opapd). In addition to CAP’s self help booklets, the website provides links to other disability sites that are related to vocational rehabilitation, financial entitlements, and employment.

The Connecticut P&A maintains a Spanish version of its website, the first Connecticut state agency to have a Spanish website. The website includes Spanish versions of P&A programs and self—help brochures including the CAP brochure and information about P&A programs and services. During the 2012 fiscal year, the website was updated as more publications were developed and/or translated into Spanish.

During the 2012 fiscal year, the website hits for the P&A vocational rights booklet totaled 122. The CAP brochure was viewed more than 440 times. CAP information, from other publications, was downloaded more than 5,000 times. The website also discusses each P&A program and offers information through programmatic fact sheets about the agency. The P&A annual report includes work done by the CAP program. During the 2012 fiscal year, the total number of hits to the agency website was 132,135.

CAP information is also available online through the website for the Connecticut Department of Social Services/Bureau of Rehabilitation Services policy manual. CAP does not have access to the number of hits that are generated by accessing its information on other websites.

Certification

Approved

This Report is Complete and Correct.Yes
Date Signed:17-Dec-12
Name of Designated Agency Official:Gretchen Knauff
Title of Designated Agency Official:Assistant Director