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

Colorado (Center for Legal Advocacy) - H161A130005 - FY2013

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

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

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

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

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorMary Anne Harvey
Person to contact regarding reportGeoffrey Peterson
Contact Person Phone970.241.6371 x406

Part I. Agency Workload Data

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the Rehabilitation Act26
2. Information regarding Title I of the ADA1
3. Other information provided7
4. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1+A2+A3)34
5. Individuals attending trainings by CAP staff (approximate)896

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)12
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year20
3. Total individuals served (Lines B1+B2)32
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.)4

C. Individual still being served as of September 30

Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line I.B3. 8

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)5
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual1
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)4
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual decided not to pursue resolution3
7. Appeals were unsuccessful0
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.0
9. Individual refused to cooperate with CAP2
10. CAP unable to take case due to lack of resources0
11. Other (please explain)

N/A

E. Results achieved for individuals

1. Controlling law/policy explained to individual5
2. Application for services completed.0
3. Eligibility determination expedited1
4. Individual participated in evaluation0
5. IPE developed/implemented4
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party9
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office8
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 under0
2. 22 - 403
3. 41 - 6428
4. 65 and over1
5. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A4. Total must equal Line I.B3.)32

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Female17
2. Male15
3. Total (Sum of Lines B1 and B2. Total must equal Line I.B3.)32

C. Race/ethnicity

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race5
For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American2
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White25
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 impairments1
3. Deafness2
4. Hard of hearing0
5. Deaf-blind0
6. Orthopedic impairments8
7. Absense of extremities1
8. Mental illness7
9. Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)0
10. Mental retardation0
11. Specific learning disabilities (SLD)2
12. Neurological disorders3
13. Respiratory disorders0
14. Heart and other circulatory conditions0
15. Digestive disorders0
16. Genitourinary conditions0
17. Speech Impairments0
18. AIDS/HIV positive0
19. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)6
20. All other disabilities0
21. Disabilities not known0
22. Total (Sum of Lines D1 through D21. Total must equal Line I. B3.)32

E. Types of individuals served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicants of VR Program2
2. Clients of VR Program28
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 only30
2. Other Rehabilitation Act sources only2
3. Both VR agency and other Rehabilitation Act sources1
4. Employer0

G. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information0
2. Communication problems between individual and counselor12
3. Conflict about services to be provided14
4. Related to application/eligibility process2
5. Related to IPE development/implementation4
6. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems2
7. Non-Rehabilitation Act related0
8. Related to Title I of the ADA0

H. Types of CAP services provided

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

1. Information/referral0
2. Advisory/interpretational6
3. Negotiation18
4. Administrative/informal review3
5. Alternative dispute resolution0
6. Formal appeal/fair hearing0
7. Legal remedy0
8. Transportation0

Part III. Narrative

Narrative

Part III

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

b. Source of funds expended: Federal Funds FY 2012 CAP P&A Grant funds: 39127. Federal Funds FY 2013 CAP P&A Grant funds: 142103. Sub-TOTAL CAP P&A Grant funds: 181230. Other funds: Reimbursement of expenses: 497. TOTAL FUNDS from all sources: 181727. c. Expenses for fiscal year 2013:

EXPENSES Human Resources Salaries 110117 Temporary Employees 521 Contract Employees 564 Insurances 14274 Worker’s Compensation 255 Unemployement Tax 114 FICA Expense 7939 TSA Expense 6402 Misc. personnel expenses 166 Sub-Total - Human Resources 140353 Operating Expenses Accounting Services 645 Auditing Fees 880 Legal Services 139 Consultant Fees 382 Travel 1401 Staff & Board Development 97 NDRN Conference Exp. 1532 Meeting Expenses 406 Public Relations 209 Recruiting costs 24 Office & General Supplies 1401 Equipment Purchased 59 Leased Equipment 451 Equipment Maintenance 708 Computer System Expense 334 Rent 22153 Utilities Expense 582 Repair & maint. - building 219 Interest Expense leased equip 391 Telephone 1918 Postage 231 Printing/Copying 762 Subscriptions/Reference 2,309 Dues & Memberships 1344 Malpractice Insurance 969 Business Insurance 156 Depreciation 1163 Publication Expense 54 File storage expense 456 SubTotal Operating Exp. 41374 TOTAL EXPENSES 181727

d. NUMBER of PERSON-YEARS

FY 2013 TOTAL FTEs: 2.07

CAP Coordinator - 54.4% Attorney 15.3% Advocate - Grand Junction 1.2% Dir. of Legal Services 7.3% Rights Advocate 74.7% Rights Advocates 1.7% Rights Advocates 1.6% Rights Advocates 1.0% Executive Director 6.5% Financial Assistant 10.2% Dir. Administrative Services 9.7% Office Manager 9.1% Administrative Assistant 8.8% Administrative Assistant 3.8% Administrative Assistant 1.7%

e. Summary of presentations made:

e. Presentations Made

On October 24, 2012 the Director of Legal Services and a Senior Attorney gave a Continuing Legal Education presentation on IDEA, Section 504 and transitioning students into adult services to 20 attorneys. On October 26, 2012 the Director of Legal Services gave a presentation on IDEA, Section 504 and transition services to a Parents Encouraging Parents meeting. There were 100 parents in attendance. On February 8, 2013 the Director of Legal Services gave a presentation on the Individual Education Planning process for the PEAK Parent Center. There were 60 parents and teachers in attendance. On March 1, 2013 the Director of Legal Services gave a presentation on IDEA, Section 504 and transition services for a Parents Encouraging Parents meeting. There were 130 parents in attendance. On March 4, 2013 the CAP Coordinator and the managing attorney for the Grand Junction office for The Legal Center presented to a Resource Fair sponsored by the Center for Independence in Grand Junction. There were 50 families and providers in attendance. On March 29, 2013 the Director of Legal Services gave a 30 minute radio interview discussing the history of the Americans with Disabilities Act and its application in higher education settings. There were approximately 500 listeners. On July 24, 2013 the Coordinator of the VOTE program and part-time CAP advocate gave a talk to 6 transitioning students with disabilities on voting and transitioning to adult services. This event was sponsored by the Atlantis Independent Living Center Life College and the Colorado Cross Disability Coalition. On July 27, 2013 the CAP attorney gave a presentation on Employment Law and Reasonable Accommodations in Higher Education to 30 entering college freshmen with hearing impairments. This talk was sponsored by the Marion Downs Hearing Center and was held at the University of Colorado at Boulder campus. f. Involvement with Advisory Boards: One of the CAP advocates has recently been elected Chair of the Statewide Independent Living Council. Her tenure will last through October 2014. Due to some changes in the leadership of the State Rehabilitation Council the CAP Coordinator was once again elected as a Co-Chair to complete the term of a Co-Chair who had resigned from the SRC. This temporary position lasted about six months and a new Chair was recently elected. The CAP Coordinator continues to participate on DVR’s Policy Advisory Committee and has been working to write new bylaws for the SRC. g. Outreach to unnerved/underserved populations: Some of the presentations that were done during this fiscal year were done in rural areas, such as Grand Junction, Vail, and Estes Park and the radio training was available to a wide audience.

h. Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Legal Center continues to use more informal means to resolve disputes prior to requesting an Administrative Review or Impartial Hearing. Sometimes, we are able to assist a client who wishes to resolve an issue on his/her own with technical assistance in self-advocacy. We use negotiation with the counselor which is often successful and maintains the relationship between our client and his/her VR counselor. Additionally, using informal procedures assists us in gaining information to prepare a case for a formal appeal, if necessary. We find the Administrative Review process to be the most effective way to resolve disputes if we cannot resolve the dispute through negotiation. Our use of mediation remains infrequent, in part due to the success of negotiation and the Administrative Review process in resolving disputes and in part because in order for a consumer to request mediation they must first request a formal hearing. We, once again, made a suggestion to the DVR Policy Advisory Committee that this language be deleted. Our suggestion was accepted and the policy was changed. This may increase our use of mediation in the future.

i. Systemic Advocacy: Our work on the Policy Advisory Committee impacted other policies, not just the policy on mediation. We had input on a number of policies and some of our suggestions were accepted, others were not. We renewed our efforts to meet with DVR’s Leadership Team this year. We try to meet on a quarterly basis but meetings often needed to be postponed due to other business of the Leadership Team. We anticipate the new DVR Director, Joelle Brouner, will make more of an effort to meet with CAP. Ms. Brouner started in October, the same week as the SRC Retreat. Still she spent two days with the SRC and expressed her interest in developing a much more positive relationship with both the SRC and CAP than had existed previously. She is very open in her management style and values input from a variety of sources. As the previous Director was leaving, the Director of the Department of Human Services requested that the State Auditor’s office conduct a financial audit and programmatic audit of DVR. Preliminary findings indicate a number of problems, but the report won’t be officially released until the second week in December. We anticipate that both CAP and the SRC will be involved in addressing the issues raised by the audit.

There is a significant problem with DVR’s ability to purchase goods. Several “big box” stores have refused to continue being a vendor because outstanding bills were not being paid. Apparently, each field office is responsible for paying the bills that were incurred for their clients and not all offices were paying bills in a timely manner. This has caused a significant problem with the client’s ability to get goods that have already been authorized, but could not be purchased from the vendor who is the “lowest possible cost” because the vendor was not accepting new orders. Clients were not receiving “necessary and appropriate” goods in a timely manner. Other clients were being charged for the additional costs incurred by using a vendor with a higher cost. When CAP became aware of this problem we contacted the Director of Field Services and demanded that clients receive services in a timely manner. If not from the lowest cost vendor then from a vendor who was still taking orders. However, any excess costs need to be paid for by DVR, not the client. In reality, if a good isn’t available at the lowest possible cost at the time it is necessary, then the next lowest cost vendor becomes the new lowest cost vendor. We have been assured that these recommendations were being implemented and we have not heard of any new occurrences of these problems.

j. Interesting Cases: Case 1 The client is a middle-aged woman with multiple disabilities, including a mental impairment, a hearing impairment, and an orthopedic disability. She called with a complaint that DVR was not helping her, was not listening to her idea for an employment goal, would not support an employment goal that required higher education, or provide services the client felt she needed. Several parts of her complaint suggested a significant communication problem with the counselor. In discussions with the counselor, the CAP advocate suggested that, perhaps, a contributing factor to the communication issue might be the fact that the client could not accurately hear what was being said. The advocate suggested a hearing exam and, if recommended by the vendor, hearing aids. A client could not be successful with assessments and services if the client was not hearing the information. The counselor agreed to the hearing exam; the client received proper hearing aids; and client behaviors that were, in fact, driven by her inability to hear subsided. Through negotiation, the client’s employment goal and several necessary services were acquired. The client had been putting herself through college and provided a transcript with very satisfactory grades. DVR had not been open to supporting the client with higher education due to very poor test scores acquired in assessments and evaluations. The advocate suggested that the significant discrepancy between test scores and factual performance suggested that (1) the client was capable of higher education, since she was already doing it; and (2) a learning disability evaluation was in order. That was accomplished. The DVR counselor agreed to the client’s employment goal and a new plan was completed. DVR is now supporting higher education for this client.

Case 2 Client has quadriplegia and needs a modified van for transportation. His counselor agrees with this. He has found a van, a Toyota Sienna that already has the adaptations he needs. He would like VR to pay the portion of the van cost that is for the modifications only ($21,000 approx.) The rest of the van will cost $27,000. He says dealers keep a list of vehicle costs that break out the cost for the vehicle only and the cost of the modifications only.

The client says VR will not pay and claims they can only pay for new modifications to a van. Doing these modifications as new will cost about $45,000 instead of the $21,000 for that portion of the van with the existing modifications. The CAP advocate contacted the Supervisor I who said they could not do the modifications because they were already installed and they were afraid they would pay for part of the vehicle, not just the modifications. The advocate said the seller has a record of the exact amounts for the vehicle and for the modification.

The advocate contacted the acting regional supervisor who said that the Division of Purchasing could not approve of the modifications because they were already installed. The advocate contacted the Director of the Division of Purchasing who said it was a programmatic decision. If VR was agreeable to purchasing the van with existing modifications, he didn’t care if they were already installed. The advocate called DVR back and said the Division of Purchasing was fine as long as VR was fine with purchasing the van and the modifications. VR agreed, the van was purchased and delivered to the client.

Case 3 The client is a middle-aged woman with a past career as an RN, and who had physical and learning disabilities. Her complaint was that although she had won her employment goal of Doctor of Nursing Practice in an Administrative Review, the new counselor she was assigned to seemed to be actively unsupportive of the employment goal and was ignoring the appeal decision. Further, the DVR counselor was requiring the client to undergo a neuropsychological evaluation, although there was no historical basis suggesting it was necessary. In a second Administrative Review the employment goal of Doctor of Nursing Practice was upheld, and the neuropsychological evaluation was set aside. The client was assigned to a new counselor who proceeded to authorize needed evaluations (assistive technology and functional limitations) and then an IPE was signed with the client’s desired employment goal and its necessary training, as well as the necessary supports, goods and services.

Certification

Approved

This Report is Complete and Correct.Yes
Date Signed:20-Dec-13
Name of Designated Agency Official:Mary Anne Harvey
Title of Designated Agency Official:Executive Director