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

Indiana (INDIANA P and A SERVICES) - H161A120015 - FY2012

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameIndiana Protection and Advocacy Services
Address4701 N. Keystone Ave.
Address Line 2Suite 222
CityIndianapolis
StateIndiana
Zip Code46205
E-mail Address
Website Addresshttp://www.in.gov/ipas
Phone317-722-5555
TTY 317-722-5563
Toll-free Phone1-800-622-4845
Toll-free TTY1-800-838-1131
Fax317-722-5564

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameIndiana Protection and Advocacy Services
Address4701 N. Keystone Ave.
Address Line 2Suite 222
CityIndianapolis
Zip Code46205
E-mail Address
Website Addresshttp://www.in.gov/ipas
Phone317-722-5555
TTY317-722-5563
Toll-free Phone1-800-622-4845
Toll-free TTY1-800-838-1131
Fax317-722-5564

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorCatharine Wingard
Person to contact regarding reportCatharine Wingard
Contact Person Phone317-722-3469

Part I. Agency Workload Data

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the Rehabilitation Act108
2. Information regarding Title I of the ADA0
3. Other information provided58
4. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1+A2+A3)166
5. Individuals attending trainings by CAP staff (approximate)392

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)11
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year47
3. Total individuals served (Lines B1+B2)58
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.)1

C. Individual still being served as of September 30

Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line I.B3. 13

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 favor12
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 individual13
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)4
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual decided not to pursue resolution7
7. Appeals were unsuccessful2
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 individual34
2. Application for services completed.0
3. Eligibility determination expedited1
4. Individual participated in evaluation0
5. IPE developed/implemented6
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party3
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office1
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 under14
2. 22 - 4015
3. 41 - 6427
4. 65 and over2
5. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A4. Total must equal Line I.B3.)58

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Female26
2. Male32
3. Total (Sum of Lines B1 and B2. Total must equal Line I.B3.)58

C. Race/ethnicity

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race1
For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American13
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White44
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown0

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Blindness (both eyes)2
2. Other visual impairments4
3. Deafness1
4. Hard of hearing8
5. Deaf-blind0
6. Orthopedic impairments13
7. Absense of extremities0
8. Mental illness7
9. Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)0
10. Mental retardation1
11. Specific learning disabilities (SLD)9
12. Neurological disorders6
13. Respiratory disorders2
14. Heart and other circulatory conditions1
15. Digestive disorders0
16. Genitourinary conditions0
17. Speech Impairments0
18. AIDS/HIV positive0
19. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)1
20. All other disabilities3
21. Disabilities not known0
22. Total (Sum of Lines D1 through D21. Total must equal Line I. B3.)58

E. Types of individuals served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicants of VR Program17
2. Clients of VR Program39
3. Applicants or clients of IL Program2
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 only54
2. Other Rehabilitation Act sources only0
3. Both VR agency and other Rehabilitation Act sources4
4. Employer0

G. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information2
2. Communication problems between individual and counselor1
3. Conflict about services to be provided38
4. Related to application/eligibility process16
5. Related to IPE development/implementation1
6. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems0
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/interpretational38
3. Negotiation2
4. Administrative/informal review0
5. Alternative dispute resolution1
6. Formal appeal/fair hearing2
7. Legal remedy0
8. Transportation0

Part III. Narrative

Narrative

a.Type of agency used to administer CAP: Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services (IPAS) is an external protection and advocacy agency.

b. Sources of funds expended:

Source of funding Total expenditures spent on individuals:

Federal funds: $217,204 State Funds -0- All other funds-0- Total from all sources: $217,204

c. Budget for current and following fiscal years: The IPAS budget for the current and subsequent fiscal years. Category Current Fiscal Year Next Fiscal Year Wages & Salaries $117,651 $117,651 Fringe Benefits $50,202 $50,202 Materials/Supplies $2,975 $2,975 External Services $10,556 $10,556 Travel $5,215 $5,215 Equipment Rental/Purchase $2,583 $2,583 Other $28,006 $28,006 Total Budget $217,188 $217,188

d. Number of person-years:

Type of position Full-time equivalent % of year position filled Person-years Professional 2.53 100% 2.53 Full-time Part-time N/A Vacant N/A Clerical .24 100% .24 Full-time N/A Part-time N/A Vacant N/A

e. Summary of presentations made:

Twenty presentations and exhibits reaching 31,752 individuals were completed during fiscal year 2012. These presentations and exhibits were geared towards transitioning youth, underserved populations, voters, clients with traumatic brain injury, and service providers who serve people with disabilities. CAP staff completed the following presentations (attendee numbers are in parenthesis):

10/19/2011 SSA Work Incentive Seminar Event presentation- Dubois County (20) 10/25/2011 Jackson County Annual Transition Fair exhibit (50) 10/28/2011 Bartholomew County Annual Transition Fair exhibit (100) 11/21/2011 Greater Lafayette Special Services Annual Transition Fair exhibit (100) 12/8/2011 Indiana Supported Employment 21st Annual Conference exhibit (200) 1/4/2012 Bosma Enterprises presentation to students who are blind or visually impaired, Indianapolis (10) 3/1/2012 Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation Annual Transition Fair exhibit (25) 3/2/2102 Decatur County Annual Transition Fair exhibit (130) 3/16/2012 Hamilton/Boone/Madison Special Services Cooperative Annual Transition Fair exhibit (250) 3/26/2012 Lake County Annual Transition Fair exhibit (600) 3/29/2012 Janus Aktion Club presentation (35) 3/29/2012 Indiana Brain Injury Association (Bridging the Gap) Support Group presentation (35) 3/29/2012 Bosma Enterprises presentation to students (12) 4/4/2012 Monroe/Owen Annual transition Fair exhibit (60) 4/5/2012 Hopewell Center (Session One) presentation (20) 4/5/2012 Hopewell Center (Session Two) presentation (20) 4/20/2012 Morgan County Annual Transition Fair exhibit (65) 4/20/2012 Scott County Annual Transition Fair exhibit (100) 8/24/2012 Perry Township (Indianapolis) Transition Carnival exhibit (30,000) 9/27/2012 Easter Seals Crossroads presentation to employment specialist staff (20)

In addition to the listed presentations and exhibits, the following numbers of informational brochures and newsletters were distributed:

CAP brochures (English, Spanish, Braille) 407 Transition (generic) Planning Handbook-A Checklist for Parents of Children with Disabilities 2500 IMPACT (IPAS) Quarterly (4 distributed) Newsletter 160 Agency wide brochures 377 Segregated and Exploited NDRN reports 527 Toll free resource Directory 188

f. Involvement with advisory boards: Indiana’s Commission on Rehabilitation Services is the advisory board for Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services, which serves thousands of citizens with disabilities each year through vocational rehabilitation, employment, education and independent living in the community. The CAP Coordinator participates as a member of the Indiana Commission on Rehabilitation Services and serves as the Chairperson for the subcommittee known as the Policy, Oversight, Planning and Evaluation Committee. This subcommittee consults with VR on the development, implementation, and revision of State policies and procedures pertaining to the provision of vocational rehabilitation services; reviews appeals; advises VR on eligibility criteria, the scope and effectiveness of VR services and activities, and the functions that affect individual employment outcomes. The committee’s purpose relates to the implementation of policies and procedures rather than day-to-day management of the programs and involves researching issues brought before the Commission.

Throughout the year, the committee was kept apprised as to VR progress in addressing shortcomings in policy as identified by a Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) audit in late 2009. The audit was critical of Indiana VR policies that contained prohibitive language for services which are allowed under federal law. The subcommittee monitored and provided input as VR implemented changes that addressed this issue and others via a corrective action plan.

VR has proposed that eleven policies be revised this year. VR is providing for public comment on the revisions in December 2012. The revisions appear to be minor and were provided to the IPAS Legal Director for review and comment. CAP will offer comment at the public hearing which will include a reiteration of the fact that the rules are not promulgated in accordance with federal or state law.

Due to staffing changes, a new CAP advocate has recently applied for and been appointed to the Indiana Council on Independent Living (ICOIL). CAP has attended the 2012 ICOIL State Plan public hearing and provided comment in regards to CAP and ICOIL continued collaboration.

g. Outreach to unserved/underserved populations:

Transition guides were created specifically for two school districts in 2012: Joint Services for the Lebanon-area Schools and Harrison County Special Education Cooperative. Both school systems serve students who live in rural farming communities in Indiana. IPAS is revising some of the information in the booklets due to changes in some grant programs (Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security). Over 4300 copies of the guide have been requested and will be distributed once printed. Also in 2012, over 10,000 transition guides were provided to six previously identified school corporations. Many of these guides were distributed where the largest populations of individuals with disabilities from diverse ethnic communities reside. These publications provide students and their families with much needed transition information to assist them in making decisions regarding their future schooling and/or employment.

h. Alternative dispute resolutions:

Statistics for FY 2012 indicate that Indiana CAP engaged in three alternative dispute resolutions in 2012. Below is a narrative that best reflects our continuing efforts to mediate on behalf of our callers/clients:

Case 1 The client’s mother called alleging that VR had failed to provide her son with all needed services. Ronald was originally denied for VR eligibility but he appealed that decision. The appeal was upheld and he was determined to be eligible for VR. The VR Counselor then told Ronald that if he wasn’t willing to seek and accept part-time work for minimum wage without benefits then there was nothing else that VR could do for him. VR informed Ronald that if he did not agree with this outcome and sign the Individual Plan for Employment, then his case would be closed. Ronald’s mother requested that an advocate be present at the next VR meeting.

The assigned advocate determined that although VR had found the client eligible within sixty days as required by policy and law, VR failed to develop his individual plan of employment (IPE) within the 180 days as outlined in the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended and VR Policy and Procedure Manual (PPM) Chapter 450. Further although the client was provided with a different VR counselor shortly after IPAS opened a case on his behalf, the first VR counselor failed to provide appropriate guidance and counseling as required per VR PPM Chapter 500. The client was able to select not only a new VR counselor but also a provider of employment services that was able to provide him with the appropriate assessments and employment services. The advocate monitored this service request through the development of the client’s IPE to assure it contained all necessary services and supports needed to allow the client to achieve his chosen vocational goal.

In addition, there were eight cases involving consumer requests for administrative hearings that were later withdrawn by the consumer due to CAP involvement. Less formal methods of resolution occurred in cases regarding eligibility determination, service provision, and choice. CAP advocates are very successful at alternative dispute resolution because of the long term relationships that they have fostered with their local VR offices.

i. Systemic advocacy: Describe the systemic advocacy undertaken. Indicate the problems that have been identified in the delivery of VR and independent living services. To the extent possible, detail evidence/documentation that substantiates the problems. Summarize the activities CAP has undertaken to remedy the problems. Outline the State VR agency’s responses to those activities and explain the status of the problems at the close of the fiscal year. As appropriate, provide CAP’s plans for continuing to address the problems during the next fiscal year.

Problems that have been identified in Indiana in the delivery of VR services include the denial of hearing aids, eligibility determinations, VR staff working in “virtual offices”, staff turnover, lack of utilization of the independent living centers, lack of a good survey instrument to gauge consumer satisfaction, and the lack of VR’s presence at transitioning students case conferences. A VR Symposium for all VR Counselors has been scheduled for later in the year to address many of the above issues and training needs. VR Counselors were asked to provide ideas for topics for the break-out sessions planned at the all-day Symposium. VR has also revised the Commission brochure to include the invitation to consumers to become involved by attending meetings and sharing views. CAP was provided with these brochures and will distribute to callers and clients. VR is also creating a “Hotline” for consumers to call if they have questions or concerns about the surveys given to consumers to fill out after case closure. The VR Commission has committed to ongoing public outreach and presence at the Indiana Brain Injury Association Annual conference, the National IN Apse conference, the Indiana Vision Expo, and at the Annual Governor’s Council on Disability conference. CAP will continue to address the issues as a contributing member of the Commission. Problems that have been identified in the delivery of the core services by the Indiana Independent Living Centers include the lack of collaboration with VR. Focus groups are being organized to collect data as to how to support and empower the person with a disability as they enter or reenter the workforce and live independently. CAP has not traditionally received calls from consumers of independent living center services. CAP outreach to the State’s eight centers will be a priority for 2013.

CAP intake and advocates also provide each caller with a satisfaction survey at the time of case closure. These questionnaires provide the consumer with an opportunity to comment about CAP services. Thirteen individuals completed surveys. Responses indicated a 92% satisfaction rating for CAP services received. Also, of the individuals who contacted CAP for information and referral services, 20% were recontacted by phone in regards to their satisfaction with the information provided. 100% indicated that they were satisfied.

k. On-line information/outreach:

The IPAS website, www.in.gov/ipas, received 77,720 hits during the past fiscal year. This is an 18% increase over the last fiscal year. Page views totaled 75,512, an increase of 18% over last year. Webpage visits totaled 43, 538 which is 27% increase over last year and Web visitors totaled 40,343 which is 29% more than last year. IPAS has also launched a Facebook page and continues to develop further electronic outreach modalities.

j. Interesting cases:

CAP reviewed 32 Individual Plans for Employment in 2012. Of those, the following four cases provide a summary of the variety of ways that Indiana CAP assisted people in resolving issues as they sought employment.

Case 1 “Paul” was a thirty-one year old individual who had previously utilized VR services in 2004 to obtain employment. He had been down sized from his job in 2006 and spent many years attempting to obtain work. He applied for VR services to assist him in finding employment. VR stated he was not eligible because the agency had previously provided him with sufficient services to find work on his own. He contacted VR on multiple occasions to request an appeal of this decision but received no response. Paul contacted IPAS and requested assistance with an appeal of the VR decision to find him ineligible for services.

IPAS determined that VR had failed to determine Paul’s eligibility in keeping with those requirements contained in the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, (34 CFR ยง 361.42(a)(3)(i)(A)-(B) and VR Policy and Procedure Manual (PPM) Chapter 421. VRS had also failed to provide notification of the ineligibility decision and case closure to Paul as required per PPM Chapter 480. Paul was a beneficiary of Social Security and should have been considered automatically eligible for services. IPAS presented these rights violations to Paul’s VR counselor who reversed the original decision and found him eligible for services. Paul participated in the development of his individual plan of employment and is now receiving job placement services through a provider of his choice due to the efforts of IPAS.

Case 2 “Carrie” is a forty-seven year old individual receiving services through Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS). VRS notified her that her case was being closed as she had been provided all services contained within her individual plan of employment (IPE) and was now employed. However Carrie had requested that VRS build a ramp onto the front of her home to allow for easier access to and from her place of employment. IPAS determined that VRS needed specific medical information from Carrie’s doctor before the ramp could be approved as part of her IPE. IPAS encouraged Carrie to obtain the medical documentation for VRS who then provided her with the ramp. Carrie now has easier access to her employment and the community on a daily basis.

Case 3 “Sylvia” is a sixty-two year old individual who has been a client of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) since 2007. She contacted IPAS because a recommended home modification that would allow her to become employed had been delayed for over two years. Sylvia’s VRS counselor had taken a leave from work, preventing her from obtaining an updated status of the home modification despite contacting the VRS area supervisor.

IPAS determined through the review of Sylvia’s individual plan of employment that she had been evaluated and recommended for home modifications in 2009. An updated evaluation had been recommended in 2011 but not scheduled or completed. IPAS was able to reestablish communication between the client and VRS staff. Due to IPAS’s efforts, VRS completed an updated home modification evaluation for Sylvia and is in the process of completing the modifications so she can achieve her stated employment goal.

Case 4 “Sam” had to fight through an appeal to win his eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services. He did this on his own with his mother’s help. When he finally met with his VR counselor and a job placement specialist, they told him that all they could do for him was to help him find part-time work for minimum wage. In addition he was told that he would not be eligible to receive any employee benefits. Sam felt this was wrong and he did not agree to sign the plan for employment. The counselor told him that VR would close his case if he didn’t cooperate. He turned to CAP for help. A CAP advocate accompanied Sam and his mother to meet with VR. A change of counselor and a change of employment specialist was requested and granted. Later, Sam had a vocational evaluation and the CAP advocate followed up to make sure an appropriate plan for employment was developed, one with which Sam agreed. VR services were initiated and Sam was well on his way to preparing for a satisfying job.

Certification

Approved

This Report is Complete and Correct.Yes
Date Signed:14-Dec-12
Name of Designated Agency Official:Gary Richter
Title of Designated Agency Official:Interim Executive Director