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

Massachusetts (MASSACHUSETTS OFFICE OF DISABILITIES -- CLIENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM) - H161A120022 - FY2012

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameMassachusetts Office on Disability
AddressOne Ashburton Place 1305
Address Line 2
CityBoston
StateMassachusetts
Zip Code02108
E-mail Addressnaomi.goldberg@state.ma.us
Website Addresshttp://www.mass.gov/mod
Phone617-727-7440
TTY 617-727-7440
Toll-free Phone800-322-2020
Toll-free TTY800-322-2020
Fax617-727-0965

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameMassachusetts Office on Disability
AddressOne Ashburton Place 1305
Address Line 2
CityBoston
Zip Code02108
E-mail Addressnaomi.goldberg@state.ma.us
Website Addresshttp://www.mass.gov/mod
Phone617-727-7440
TTY617-727-7440
Toll-free Phone800-322-2020
Toll-free TTY800-322-2020
Fax617-727-0965

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorNaomi Goldberg
Person to contact regarding reportNaomi Goldberg
Contact Person Phone617-727-7440

Part I. Agency Workload Data

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the Rehabilitation Act2,437
2. Information regarding Title I of the ADA647
3. Other information provided2,276
4. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1+A2+A3)5,360
5. Individuals attending trainings by CAP staff (approximate)2,706

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)17
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year133
3. Total individuals served (Lines B1+B2)150
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.)3

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 favor103
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)10
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual1
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)3
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual decided not to pursue resolution23
7. Appeals were unsuccessful0
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.0
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 individual79
2. Application for services completed.0
3. Eligibility determination expedited2
4. Individual participated in evaluation0
5. IPE developed/implemented13
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party11
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office8
8. Alternative resources identified for individual27
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 - 4053
3. 41 - 6479
4. 65 and over4
5. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A4. Total must equal Line I.B3.)150

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Female74
2. Male76
3. Total (Sum of Lines B1 and B2. Total must equal Line I.B3.)150

C. Race/ethnicity

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race10
For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native1
3. Asian6
4. Black or African American27
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White99
7. Two or more races1
8. Race/ethnicity unknown6

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Blindness (both eyes)9
2. Other visual impairments1
3. Deafness7
4. Hard of hearing2
5. Deaf-blind0
6. Orthopedic impairments9
7. Absense of extremities0
8. Mental illness47
9. Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)5
10. Mental retardation3
11. Specific learning disabilities (SLD)35
12. Neurological disorders9
13. Respiratory disorders1
14. Heart and other circulatory conditions0
15. Digestive disorders0
16. Genitourinary conditions0
17. Speech Impairments0
18. AIDS/HIV positive1
19. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)7
20. All other disabilities3
21. Disabilities not known11
22. Total (Sum of Lines D1 through D21. Total must equal Line I. B3.)150

E. Types of individuals served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicants of VR Program17
2. Clients of VR Program132
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 only149
2. Other Rehabilitation Act sources only1
3. Both VR agency and other Rehabilitation Act sources0
4. Employer0

G. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information12
2. Communication problems between individual and counselor102
3. Conflict about services to be provided121
4. Related to application/eligibility process23
5. Related to IPE development/implementation46
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/referral0
2. Advisory/interpretational63
3. Negotiation68
4. Administrative/informal review9
5. Alternative dispute resolution0
6. Formal appeal/fair hearing0
7. Legal remedy0
8. Transportation0

Part III. Narrative

Narrative

Part III. Narrative a. Type of Agency Used to Administer CAP: The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) administers the Massachusetts Client Assistance Program (CAP). MOD, as an independent state agency statutorily accountable only to the Governor of the Commonwealth, is an external public agency for RSA purposes. The Governor designated MOD to administer the CAP at the program’s inception in Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 1985 and has retained that designation in each subsequent year. MOD is also separate from and external to the state vocational rehabilitation grantees and all other Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) grantees within the Commonwealth as well as the Commonwealth’s Protection and Advocacy Systems grantees. b. Sources of funds expended:

Source of funding Total Expenditures spent on individuals
Federal funds219,343
State funds11,991
All other funds0
Total from all sources231,334

c. Budget for current and following fiscal years:

Category Current Fiscal Year Next Fiscal Year
Wages & Salary132,275136,275
Fringe Benefits (FICA, unemployment, etc.)46,19037,162
Materials/Supplies2,8003,000
Postage4,9005,000
Telephone4,4004,500
Rent00
Travel1,0001,100
Copying2,2002,300
Bonding/Insurance00
Equipment Rental/Purchase4,5004,600
Legal Services00
Indirect Costs33,06934,069
Miscellaneous00
Total Budget231,334228,006

d. Number of person-years

Type of Position Full-time equivalent % of year position filled Person-year
Professional
Full-time21002
Part-time11001
Vacant
Clerical
Full-time
Part-time
Vacant

e. Summarize Presentations Made: Client Assistance Program (CAP) informational brochures are distributed by the VR agencies and the Independent Living Centers in Massachusetts to all new applicants for services. Mass Office on Disability (MOD)/CAP staff presents information about CAP and other rehabilitation programs and projects at all community meetings they attend and all trainings at which they present. In FFY12 there were 150 such meetings with 4,526 attendees that were either eligible for RSA services or associated with individuals that are eligible. Staff conducted 137 trainings across the state with 2706 individuals attending. Forty-five of the trainings were specifically focused on Title I of the ADA. CAP presented at the annual consumer conference for VR clients as well as the Statewide Independent Living Council conference for consumers of independent living centers. CAP performs outreach about its services and other rehabilitation programs and projects on an ongoing basis. CAP cast a wide net in its outreach efforts, contacting state VR agencies, independent living centers, multi-cultural organizations, municipal disability commissions, community centers, and various disability specific non-profit organizations to provide information on CAP services and to offer in-service presentations on CAP and how it assists clients/consumers that receive vocational rehabilitation/independent living services. Staff continues to follow up with these agencies on an ongoing basis. During FFY12 CAP performed focused outreach to the state’s public higher education system. CAP made contact with all of the community colleges and state universities offering both information and in-service presentations. CAP subsequently did presentations at four of these institutions. The presentations were directed to staff of the disability services departments, the diversity officers, and to students with disabilities. Additionally CAP conducted outreach at a One Stop Career Center and a vocational rehabilitation office. In FFY13 CAP will continue to follow up and schedule presentations with all of the entities that it contacted during FFY12. f. Involvement with Advisory Boards: CAP staff continues to be represented on both vocational rehabilitation agencies’ consumer councils and the Statewide Independent Living Council. CAP serves as a member of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission’s Regulations Subcommittee and a member of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind’s Education and Employment Subcommittee. MOD/CAP has been a major contributor to the Massachusetts Model Employer program, an initiative aimed at improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities inside state government. MOD/CAP also works with the Employment Now Coalition, a cross-disability organization seeking to increase competitive employment of people with disabilities in Massachusetts. MOD/CAP plays a major role in ensuring that state government is compliant with Title I of the ADA. As a member Human Resource Division’s (HRD) Accessibility Advisory Committee and the Department of Revenue’s Accessibility Task force, MOD/CAP has made sure that information technology systems used by state employees are accessible to employees with disabilities. During FFY12 MOD/CAP was responsible for rewriting the medical inquiry form to be used by state employees with disabilities seeking reasonable accommodation so that it was compliant with Title I of the ADA. g. Outreach to Unserved/Underserved Populations: MOD/CAP has regular working relationships with, makes presentations to, and receives referrals from agencies throughout the state that work with various underserved populations. CAP has worked closely with the Commonwealth’s Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity as well as the Governor’s Diversity Council which specifically seeks to improve employment opportunities for underserved populations. In FFY12 CAP did an in-service CAP presentation for students and staff at a community college that serves a multi-cultural student population. During FFY12 CAP contacted 19 other organizations that identify as multi-cultural and offered information on CAP and requested the opportunity to provide in-service presentations to them. While no presentations were scheduled with those organizations during FFY12 several of the organizations have made subsequent contact with CAP, referred individuals, and requested to schedule in-service presentations at a future date. h. Alternative Dispute Resolution: It is MOD’s policy to encourage alternative dispute resolution in all possible situations. CAP consumers are routinely alerted to the possibility of various alternative dispute resolution methods. In FY2012 no cases were mediated. Even with the availability of mediation, negotiations are still the most often successful means of alternative dispute resolution for the consumer at all levels of CAP advocacy. Negotiation resulted in settlement in all but a handful of our cases prior to more formal appeals. Sharing a belief that VR dollars are better spent on services than on process CAP staff make every effort to resolve disputes informally therefore avoiding the more costly means of resolving disputes (mediation, informal/formal hearing). i. Systemic Advocacy: In FFY2012 CAP identified and resolved a systemic problem that was impacting clients of the vocational rehabilitation agency. CAP worked with two clients with developmental disabilities within a short period of time that had their supportive employment services suddenly stop. Both were told that the VR agency did not have funds available to pay the vendor, that funding would not be restored until the beginning of the state fiscal year, and that service could be restored at that time. In both instances CAP was able to get the services restored through informal advocacy. After being alerted to a third similar instance, CAP investigated further and discovered a systemic problem. More specifically, the VR agency had changed from an hourly based payment system to a component based system, which was more costly, and as a result they had placed a cap on the amount of money that any one vendor could receive in a year. In the cases of the clients that lost services, the vendor providing them had reached its billing cap. After resolving the issue for the third client through individual advocacy, CAP alerted the administrative office of the VR agency to the problem and requested a systemic resolution. As a result, the VR agency put a process in place for restoring funding in such cases and advised staff in all of their offices to look out for the issue, the process for resolving it, and who to contact when the issue arises. j. Interesting cases A VR client disagreed with the VR agency’s previous guidance regarding his vocational goal and subsequent refusal to provide him with the necessary funding to help him achieve it. The client’s original vocational goal was to become high school English teacher. Upon graduating from his educational program he worked as a tutor and then subsequently accepted a customer service representative position. In both instances he changed his vocational goal to match the positions in which he worked. He did this at the direction of his counselor even though he had never changed his mind about wanting to be a teacher. When he was finally prepared to take the teaching licensing examination the VR agency denied his request to fund the license and examination because it did not match his current vocational goal. CAP worked with the counselor and area director to resolve the issue and avoided the administrative review process. Ultimately the VR agency agreed to assist the client with the examination and license fees and to provide job placement services afterward. CAP assisted a VR client with a learning disability that was denied funding for her small business. The client’s goal was to open a hair salon. The VR agency denied funding because they had previously provided her with some funding for rent and supplies. CAP worked with the VR agency on the issue clarifying the details and explaining how the previous funds were used, how additional funds would be used, why the business had not been able to open before, and assured the VR agency that some of the prior funds that had been provided had been saved and would be used to get the business opened and running. As a result of this intervention and advocacy the VR agency provided the client with additional funds and agreed to assist her going forward with creating a PASS plan for the remainder of the funds she needed. A new VR client with a mental health disability contacted CAP after the VR agency informed him that they would not approve his desired goal of becoming a paralegal or his request for funding to attend a paralegal training program. Their position was that the client’s prior criminal record would prevent him from obtaining any employment in the legal field. After unsuccessful attempts to resolve the issue through advocacy with the counselor and the area director of the office, CAP represented the individual at an administrative review. The decision from the review was that the VR agency would reconsider their original decision to deny the request pending more information. More specifically, they agreed to perform the necessary research, including contacting legal professionals, to determine whether or not the client’s prior record would truly prevent him from working in the field. They further agreed that if they did not find his record to be a barrier that they would begin reviewing his educational diagnostic tests and if necessary administer others to determine if this was a suitable goal for him and would discuss funding options for paralegal training. The client is currently awaiting the results of the research and will contact CAP if he is denied. K. On-Line Information/Outreach MOD has a website at http://www.state.ma.us/mod. It includes information about disability related legal rights and services available in Massachusetts. The Client Assistance Program has a page within that site at http://www.state.ma.us/mod/ClientAssistance.html. The Massachusetts Client Assistance Program page contains information about services available from CAP and explains how to request those services. In FFY 2012 the website received 167,457 hits.

Certification

Approved

This Report is Complete and Correct.Yes
Date Signed:24-Dec-12
Name of Designated Agency Official:Naomi Goldberg
Title of Designated Agency Official:CAP Director