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

Iowa (IOWA DEPT OF HUMAN RIGHTS - Office with Person with Disabilities) - H161A120016 - FY2012

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameIowa Client Assistance Program
AddressDHR, Office of Persons with Disabilities
Address Line 2Lucas State Office Bldg.
CityDes Moines
StateIowa
Zip Code50319
E-mail Addressjackie.wipperman@iowa.gov
Website Addresshttp://www.humanrights.iowa.gov/pd/client_assis_program/inde
Phone(800)652-4298
TTY (800)652-4298
Toll-free Phone(800)652-4298
Toll-free TTY(800)652-4298
Fax(515)242-6119

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameIowa Client Assistance Program
AddressDHR, Office of Persons with Disabilities
Address Line 2Lucas State Office Bldg.
CityDes Moines
Zip Code50319
E-mail Addressjackie.wipperman@iowa.gov
Website Addresshttp://www.humanrights.iowa.gov/pd/client_assis_program/inde
Phone(800)652-4298
TTY(800)652-4298
Toll-free Phone(800)652-4298
Toll-free TTY(800)652-4298
Fax(515)242-6119

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorJackie Wipperman
Person to contact regarding reportJackie Wipperman
Contact Person Phone(800) 652-4298

Part I. Agency Workload Data

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the Rehabilitation Act174
2. Information regarding Title I of the ADA22
3. Other information provided139
4. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1+A2+A3)335
5. Individuals attending trainings by CAP staff (approximate)325

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 year23
3. Total individuals served (Lines B1+B2)29
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. 5

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)5
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual9
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)0
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual decided not to pursue resolution3
7. Appeals were unsuccessful1
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.0
9. Individual refused to cooperate with CAP1
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 individual12
2. Application for services completed.1
3. Eligibility determination expedited2
4. Individual participated in evaluation1
5. IPE developed/implemented2
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party3
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office3
8. Alternative resources identified for individual0
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 under5
2. 22 - 404
3. 41 - 6420
4. 65 and over0
5. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A4. Total must equal Line I.B3.)29

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Female14
2. Male15
3. Total (Sum of Lines B1 and B2. Total must equal Line I.B3.)29

C. Race/ethnicity

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race0
For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native1
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American3
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White23
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown2

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 impairments3
7. Absense of extremities0
8. Mental illness11
9. Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)0
10. Mental retardation1
11. Specific learning disabilities (SLD)4
12. Neurological disorders1
13. Respiratory disorders1
14. Heart and other circulatory conditions0
15. Digestive disorders1
16. Genitourinary conditions0
17. Speech Impairments0
18. AIDS/HIV positive0
19. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)3
20. All other disabilities0
21. Disabilities not known2
22. Total (Sum of Lines D1 through D21. Total must equal Line I. B3.)29

E. Types of individuals served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicants of VR Program3
2. Clients of VR Program23
3. Applicants or clients of IL Program2
4. Applicants or clients of other programs and projects funded under the Act1

F. Source of individual's concern

Multiple responses permitted.

1. VR agency only25
2. Other Rehabilitation Act sources only2
3. Both VR agency and other Rehabilitation Act sources1
4. Employer1

G. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information29
2. Communication problems between individual and counselor28
3. Conflict about services to be provided20
4. Related to application/eligibility process5
5. Related to IPE development/implementation11
6. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems1
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/referral0
2. Advisory/interpretational13
3. Negotiation3
4. Administrative/informal review11
5. Alternative dispute resolution0
6. Formal appeal/fair hearing1
7. Legal remedy0
8. Transportation0

Part III. Narrative

Narrative

a. Type of agency used to administer CAP: Iowa’s Client Assistance Program is operated by an external public agency, the Office of Persons with Disabilities, Division of Community Advocacy and Services within the Iowa Department of Human Rights.

b. Sources of funds expended:

Source of funding Total expenditures spent on individuals Federal funds $124,204 State funds 0 All other funds 0 Total from all sources $124,204

c. Budget for current and following fiscal years:

Item Actual Expenditures FFY 2012 Projected Budget FFY 2013 Salaries and Benefits $96,448.72 $80,022.00 In State Travel 1,483.20 2,088.00 Supplies 2,258.70 2,400.00 Printing and Binding 0.00 15,000.00 Postage 276.27 350.00 Communication 716.57 725.00 Outside Services 329.04 375.00 Advertising & Publicity 4,683.00 8,000.00 Reimbursements to other agencies 71.34 100.00 ITD Reimbursement 89.79 100.00 Indirect 18,132.37 15,044.00 Total 124,489.00 124,201.00

d. Number of person-years:

Type Full-time equiv % of year position filled Person-years Professional Full-time 1 100% 1 Part-time 0 Vacant 0 Clerical Full-time 0 Part-time 0.4 100% 1 Vacant 0

e. Summary of presentations made: The CAP Director/Advocate presented to approximately 325 individuals in fiscal 2012.

A presentation was made to students at Drake University’s Rehabilitation Counseling and Administration master-level programs which included information on the Rehabilitation Act as amended, Title I of the ADA as amended, and all aspects of CAP. Second year graduate students also meet one-on-one with the CAP Director/Advocate as a requirement of their Advanced Placement course to focus more on the relationship between CAP and the two state rehabilitation agencies, including the appeals process.

A presentation regarding the services provided by CAP was also made to the state coordinators of Iowa’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program. All of the coordinators work with individuals and families with disability concerns and were anxious to learn of other available resources available.

The CAP Director/Advocate spoke at the Iowa Youth Leadership Forum’s opening session. The presentation focused on the history of disability advocacy, Americans with Disabilities Act as amended and delegate’s place in the continuing effort for equal rights for individuals with disabilities.

CAP also had a booth at the Vendor Expo held at the closing session of the Youth Leadership Forum, providing information and referral services along with information about the direct services provided by CAP to the delegates and their parents.

CAP also participated in the two training conferences sponsored by the Iowa Rehabilitation Association. Information regarding CAP services was provided to those attending the conferences along with copies of various publications.

f. Involvement with advisory boards: CAP continues to be extremely involved with the State Rehabilitation Counsel for Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS). The Director/Advocate serves on the SRC and was Vice-Chair this past fiscal year and was the Chair of the SRC Outreach Committee. This committee organizes and facilitates the Legislative reception and assists in keeping the members of the state’s legislature update on the activities and accomplishments of the general VR agency. The Director/Advocate also assisted with the Statewide Comprehensive Needs Assessment for the general agency’s State Plan. The SRC assists and approves the State Plan submitted each year by IVRS. The SRC continues to review and approve any policy changes for the general agency and does outreach and public education on behalf of the agency.

CAP reviewed and provided input on the State Plan and the Statewide Comprehensive Needs Assessment of the Iowa Department for the Blind along with all policies and minutes from their Commission meetings. The Director/Advocate attends all meetings of the three-member Commission of the Iowa Department for the Blind and has been invited to comment on issues that arise during the meetings regarding agency policy and procedures.

CAP also reviewed and commented on the Statewide Independent Living Plan and receives periodic updates from the Director of the Statewide Independent Living Council on their activities and priorities. This year the Director/Advocate was invited to begin attending the Independent Living Advisory Council for the Iowa Department of the Blind.

The Director/Advocate is a member of the Drake University Rehabilitation Counseling Program Advisory Board. This board meets quarterly to provide input on academic changes in the program and the CAP representative serves as a member of Admissions Interviewing Committee determining admission into the graduate level Rehabilitation Counseling and Administration programs.

CAP also served as a member of the Des Moines Area Community College Human Services Program Advisory Board providing information and input regarding the area of disability services and yearly reviewing all aspects of the program to assure graduates of the program are prepared to meet the needs of employers and clients of Iowa’s human services agencies. This was the last year for CAP to serve on this board.

g. Outreach to unserved/underserved populations: The CAP Director/Advocate was on the SRC team that conducted ongoing information review for the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment required every three years as part of the State Plan.

CAP continues to work closely with the disability consultants from the Office of Deaf Services, which is also housed within the Iowa Department of Human Rights. The CAP Director/Advocate works with the two Deaf Services consultants to increase awareness of CAP and the services available to the hard of hearing and deaf populations in Iowa. CAP services as a consultant to Deaf Services staff when questions arise regarding services from the general rehabilitation agency and employment related issues. CAP also uses the staff of Deaf Services as consultants when with working with CAP clients who are deaf or hard of hearing to ensure clear and appropriate communication is occurring. Requests for CAP assistance from this population remain low, but knowledge of the program has grown and the two programs continue to work together to increase services.

CAP continues to work closely with the other offices of the Department of Human Rights who provide advocacy and information and referral services to Latinos, African Americans, Native Americans, and Asian and Pacific Islanders to increase the awareness of CAP within these populations. The CAP Director/Advocate is available to consultant with the staff from these offices on disability services and employment related issues when requested. Also the staff from these offices is available to provide information to CAP on cultural competency issues.

h. Alternative dispute resolutions: CAP was not involved in any Alternative Dispute Resolutions this past fiscal year. CAP was involved in one fair hearing with the general agency. CAP assisted the client in presentation of information at the hearing and cited the Federal Regulations for the Rehabilitation Act as amended. The hearing officer upheld the decision of Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

Both the general agency and the blind agency have clear policy regarding alternative dispute resolutions and this information is provide any time a client appeals a decision made by staff members from either agency. CAP and the two state agencies work diligently to resolve any issues or concerns which arise at the lowest possible level and in a timely manner so the client can continue to work towards their vocational goal of employment.

i. Systemic advocacy: CAP worked with the blind agency regarding a new tour policy for all new VR clients. CAP wanted to make sure that the agency was not requiring new applicants to tour the blind agency’s Orientation Center as part of the “eligibility” requirements as the Commissioners had discussed. During the Commission meeting when this “idea” was brought up the CAP Director/Advocate noted that the Rehabilitation Act and federal regulations clearly outline the criteria for program eligibility and the Commission could not add to that criteria. I recommend that a tour of the Orientation Center and Department facilities can be recommended by staff for a new client as a way to provide information for the informed choice process, but that it cannot be required.

Consulted with Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services Administrator and legal staff member on a change in wording to the IEP-1 form, regarding who IVRS can share safe data with, such as groups with a Memorandum of Understanding. The administrator wanted CAP input to determine if this change constituted a change in policy or was more of a clarification of existing policy. Since the change in wording to the form did not add any new or different groups that could share the safe data, CAP recommended it be viewed as clarification of current policy and not policy change and would not require approval by the SRC.

The Director/Advocate worked with Bureau Chief, Kenda Jochimsen from the Rehabilitation Services Bureau of the general agency on policy development for a new project IVRS was developing with Manpower Temporary Services. Discussion was held regarding the provision of competitive employment outlined within the federal regulations. Once the policy was determined, it was presented to the State Rehabilitation Counsel for review and approval.

CAP worked with the Bureau Chief from the Rehabilitation Services Bureau of the general agency regarding change of procedure related to computer purchase. Previously the agency required all computer purchases to be approved by the agency’s IT department. The Bureau Chief recommended making changes to this procedure and no longer making this a requirement, but to let the decision be approved by the Manager. This is especially relevant as new tablet technology becomes available. CAP agreed with this change in procedure as long as it was outlined in the policy and procedure manual and it was implemented in all offices. Following this discussion the CAP Director/Advocate was asked to join the Coordinating Council for the general agency where policy and procedure changes are first discussed.

The CAP Director/Advocate spoke by phone with staff from the Rehabilitation Services Agency regarding an upcoming site visit of one of Iowa’s Independent Living Centers and concerns the program had with staffing and management of this Center.

CAP reviewed and approved the amendment to the State Independent Living Plan which was submitted to RSA following the closure of one of Iowa’s Independent Living Centers and the lack of an appropriate applicant to take over the Center.

Reviewed and provided input on the updated Independent Living Manual for the general agency. Work was continuing on this at the end of this fiscal year, but it was not completed.

j. Interesting cases: Again in fiscal year 2012 the Iowa Client Assistance Program faced some staffing challenges with the Director/Advocate being gone on medical leave for two months. The program continued to service clients during this time with the Supervisor from the Office of Persons with Disabilities filling in for the Advocate. This individual stayed in communication with the Director/Advocate via phone and e-mail during this absence and technical assistance and policy information was provided to the acting advocate. Information and referral calls were handled by other staff from the Division of Community Advocacy and Services of the Department of Human Rights, so the number of I & R calls is not accurate since they were not counted for the two months the Director/Advocate was out of the office.

All wait-list categories remained closed for the general agency. The numbers are reviewed weekly by IVRS staff and people are slowly coming off the MSD and SD waiting lists. No individuals from the Other Eligible category have been removed this past fiscal year. This weekly review process has basically eliminated the Most Significantly Disabled waiting list as of May 2012. The Significantly Disabled category and the Other Eligible category combined had 2,070 individuals at the end of this fiscal year.

CAP was contacted by the school counselor of a young man who had just graduated from high school. She was concerned after hearing from the young man’s mother who had contacted the local IVRS office and was told that there was not a case file open for her son, even though her son had met with the IVRS Counselor during the school year, the school counselor had referred the young man to the agency and the family had filled out an application previously. I spoke with the young man who was in the counselor’s office and he requested assistance from CAP. Release of information forms were obtained for IVRS, the school counselor and the young man’s mother since he was of legal age. I contacted the IVRS Counselor and the Supervisor of the local area office to find out what had happened to the application the family had completed. I learned that the IVRS Counselor had received an application from the young man, but since she had received the application from the family when the client was a sophomore in high school she sent it back to the family and told them to apply again during his junior year. For some reason the Counselor was under the impression that IVRS only accepted applications from high school juniors and seniors. I spoke with the new Supervisor at the area office and we discussed this situation specifically and also the incorrect interpretation of policy by the Counselor. She agreed that the file needed to be opened immediately and the eligibility expedited. The Supervisor also stated that she would make sure that all Counselors in the area office understood that they should be accepting applications from any high school student who wants to apply for services and there is no limit on when the individual can apply. This case was a good example of how poor communication and irregular policy enforcement can negatively impact a VR client.

Over the past fiscal year I have noticed that there are fewer occasions of misinterpretation of policy and procedure by IVRS Counselors and area offices. I believe this is due to the state-wide training regarding agency policy and procedures that was provided to all IVRS staff who have been with the agency 5 years of less. I have seen greater consistency of policy across the agency. I believe this training has helped to reduce the number of clients contacting the Client Assistance Program.

k. On-line information/outreach: Iowa CAP has a webpage which includes access to all CAP publications. The website is located within the Department of Human Rights, Office of Persons with Disabilities website and is maintained by an employee of that public agency. The State of Iowa is still attempting to develop governmental rules for the use of social media by state employees and agencies, so at this time CAP does not have a presence on Facebook. CAP provides publications electronically and in hard copy to agencies, organizations and individuals who request. CAP publishes and maintains the Iowa Disability Rights Guide, The Employee/Employer Right Responsibilities Guide for ADA Title I, and also Client Assistance Program informational brochures. CAP provides all brochures to both the general and blind agencies for their applicants and clients and to all of the Independent Living Centers serving Iowa. The past fiscal year CAP has provided 343 hard copy publications and 15,866 CAP brochures.

Certification

Approved

This Report is Complete and Correct.Yes
Date Signed:27-Dec-12
Name of Designated Agency Official:Jackie Wipperman
Title of Designated Agency Official:Director/Advocate