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

Connecticut (Connecticut Office of Protection and Advocacy) - H161A130006 - FY2013

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/CoordinatorJames McGaughey
Person to contact regarding reportGretchen Knauff
Contact Person Phone(860) 297-4342

Part I. Agency Workload Data

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the Rehabilitation Act49
2. Information regarding Title I of the ADA5
3. Other information provided2
4. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1+A2+A3)56
5. Individuals attending trainings by CAP staff (approximate)90

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)16
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year25
3. Total individuals served (Lines B1+B2)41
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 favor18
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)2
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual0
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)1
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual decided not to pursue resolution4
7. Appeals were unsuccessful0
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.2
9. Individual refused to cooperate with CAP2
10. CAP unable to take case due to lack of resources0
11. Other (please explain)

0

E. Results achieved for individuals

1. Controlling law/policy explained to individual0
2. Application for services completed.2
3. Eligibility determination expedited2
4. Individual participated in evaluation0
5. IPE developed/implemented0
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party8
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office5
8. Alternative resources identified for individual7
9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR/ complaint made5
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 under7
2. 22 - 4013
3. 41 - 6419
4. 65 and over2
5. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A4. Total must equal Line I.B3.)41

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Female19
2. Male22
3. Total (Sum of Lines B1 and B2. Total must equal Line I.B3.)41

C. Race/ethnicity

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race4
For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian2
4. Black or African American3
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White32
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. Deafness2
4. Hard of hearing1
5. Deaf-blind0
6. Orthopedic impairments9
7. Absense of extremities0
8. Mental illness6
9. Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)0
10. Mental retardation1
11. Specific learning disabilities (SLD)8
12. Neurological disorders6
13. Respiratory disorders0
14. Heart and other circulatory conditions1
15. Digestive disorders0
16. Genitourinary conditions0
17. Speech Impairments1
18. AIDS/HIV positive0
19. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)5
20. All other disabilities0
21. Disabilities not known1
22. Total (Sum of Lines D1 through D21. Total must equal Line I. B3.)41

E. Types of individuals served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicants of VR Program11
2. Clients of VR Program30
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 only38
2. Other Rehabilitation Act sources only0
3. Both VR agency and other Rehabilitation Act sources2
4. Employer1

G. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information3
2. Communication problems between individual and counselor7
3. Conflict about services to be provided25
4. Related to application/eligibility process3
5. Related to IPE development/implementation0
6. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems0
7. Non-Rehabilitation Act related0
8. Related to Title I of the ADA3

H. Types of CAP services provided

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

1. Information/referral4
2. Advisory/interpretational0
3. Negotiation12
4. Administrative/informal review13
5. Alternative dispute resolution0
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 (P&A) is an independent state agency external to the vocational rehabilitation system.

B. Source of Funds

During the 2013 fiscal year, the Connecticut Client Assistance Program received the minimum federal allotment for Client Assistance Program funding. CAP funds were used to pay the partial salaries of a Human Services Advocate and a Secretary. The CAP Program also contracted with the National Disabilities Rights Network to develop and begin implementation of a monitoring project on Sheltered Employment.

Source of funding Total expenditures spent on individuals Federal funds $108,799.87 State funds $0.00 All other funds $0.00 Total from all sources $108,799.87

C. CAP Budget

The CAP program used its fiscal year 2013 funding to pay for the partial salary of a Human Services Advocate who was responsible for providing information, referral technical assistance and case representation to applicants or clients of Connecticut’s vocational rehabilitation system. She also provided outreach and training about the CAP program. In addition to the Advocate, the CAP monies funded the partial salary of a Secretary who supported the work of the Advocate. The Advocate’s supervisor was paid with non-CAP funding but handled information, referral and technical assistance calls related to the vocational rehabilitation system.

During the latter part of the fiscal year, P&A used CAP funds to contract with the National Disability Rights Network for assistance with developing and implementing a monitoring project. The contract requires the development of a monitoring protocol and toolkit as well as a database that will store the information gleaned from the monitoring visits and generate aggregate data for a more comprehensive assessment of subminimum wage employers in Connecticut. The contract also includes a training component including a hands monitoring visit to test the efficacy of the monitoring tool. P&A CAP staff and consultants, including a self advocate, will be working on the project. It is expected that some of the individuals interviewed in this process may become interested in applying for vocational rehabilitation services and pursuing competitive employment goals. Category FY 2013 FY 2014 Wages & Salaries $22,993.81 $66,100.00 Fringe Benefits (FICA, unemployment, etc.) $15,448.51 $51,959.00 Materials/Supplies $0.00 $.00 Postage $0.00 $0.00 Telephone $0.00 $0.00 Rent $0.00 $0.00 Travel/Mileage Reimbursement $83,34 $117.00 Copying $0.00 $0.00 Bonding/Insurance $0.00 $0.00 Equipment Rental/Purchase $0.00 $0.00 Legal Services $0.00 $0.00 Indirect Costs $0.00 $5,903.00 Miscellaneous (Dues) $70,274.21 $125.00 Total Budget 108,799.87 124,204.00

At the beginning of the 2014 fiscal year, the CAP program added the partial services of an additional Human Services Advocate who will also serve individuals requesting services from the program and participate in outreach and the Sheltered Employment monitoring visits.

D. Number of Persons-Years CAP Program Director The CAP director continues to be paid from a Non-CAP related source of funding, allowing P&A to better handle the budgetary limitations of the program. During the fiscal year, the CAP director continued to improve her knowledge of the vocational rehabilitation system. She attended various training opportunities related to vocational rehabilitation and employment and had the opportunity to network with employment and vocational professionals in Connecticut. 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 CAP continued to fund the partial salary of a Human Services Advocate. At the end of the 2012 fiscal year, Social Security had not restored funding for the Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) program but P&A was allowed to carryover PABSS funds to assist in the closing of PABSS cases that were open at the end of the fiscal year. The CAP advocate, therefore, continued to split her time between CAP and PABSS cases. In April 2013, the PABSS program funding was restored and P&A continued to have the advocate split her time while the agency determined its next steps.

The CAP advocate 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 39% of her time or an average of 15.6 hours per week providing advocacy representation to CAP eligible individuals and a small amount of outreach. 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 was also a member of both the State Rehabilitation Advisory Council for the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services and the Advisory Board of the Bureau 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 2013 fiscal year, the Client Assistance Program received 2 requests for representation at hearings. The requests were reviewed by Non-CAP funded P&A attorneys as part of P&A’s case review process. Both cases were determined to be not yet ripe for legal representation but the clients were offered advocacy representation by the CAP advocate in order to build a case file for lower level resolution or to move forward with a more formal process.

CAP Secretary

The Secretary who served CAP provided limited support to the CAP advocate and director using CAP funds. During the 2013 fiscal year, she devoted 5% or 2 hours per week to CAP activities.

Type of position Full-time equivalent % of year position filled Person-years Professional Full-time .39 100 .39 Part-time -- -- -- Vacant -- -- -- Clerical Full-time .05 100 .05 Part-time -- -- -- Vacant -- -- --

E. Presentations/Outreach

DATE Presentation/Outreach ATTENDEES 10/9/2012 Vocational Rehabilitation, Employment and CAP 10 10/21/2012 Brain Injury Walk for Thought (R) 200* 11/3/2012 Autism Spectrum Resource Center Conference (R) 100 1/12/2013 Community Fair — Hartford (R) 100* 2/14/2013 National HIV/Black Awareness (R) 100* 2/21/2013 Client Assistance Program — Homeless Shelter 8* 4/20/2013 Community Church Fair — Bridgeport (R) 100* 5/17/2013 Vocational Rehabilitation and CAP 30 5/17/2013 Vocational Rehabilitation — Advocate/Parent Perspective 30 6/1/2013 Autism Walk — Hartford (R) 1,000* 6/2/2013 Autism Walk — Waterbury (R) 300* 6/15/2012 People First Conference (R) 150* 7/2/2013 Parent Empowerment Graduation — Norwalk (R) 100* 7/30/2013 Hartford Behavioral Health Fair (R) 75* 7/31/2013 Hartford Behavioral Health Fair (R) 50* 8/14/2013 Charter Oak Health Fair — Hartford (R) 150* 8/15/2013 Charter Oak Health Fair — Hartford (R) 75* * Outreach to minority/underrepresented groups (R) Resource Event where P&A program information was disseminated

The chart above reflects training provided by the CAP advocate as well as events where P&A had a resource table. At resource events, P&A staff distributes information about P&A programs including the CAP program. The CAP advocate is bilingual and bicultural, focusing much of her training in Latino communities. P&A’s Community Advocacy Specialist is also bilingual and bicultural allowing P&A to focus much of its outreach in minority/underrepresented communities. During the 2013 fiscal year, the CAP advocate and supervisor presented at 4 training events that were attended by a total of 78 people. CAP information was disseminated at 13 resource events that reached more than 2,600 people with disabilities, family members, professionals and other interested parties. More than 3,400 callers to P&A received CAP information as part of a closure letter fact sheet that describes the P&A programs and what to expect when contacting the agency. More than 1,900 additional publications about CAP or include information about CAP were distributed to callers, clients and individuals attending resource events.

F. Advisory Boards

During the 2013 fiscal year, the CAP advocate was a member of both the State Rehabilitation Advisory Council (SRC) of the Bureau of Rehabilitation (BRS) and the Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind (BESB) Advisory Council.

CAP is a federally mandated member of the SRC. The CAP advocate who is new to the SRC, spent time becoming familiar with its responsibilities and attending orientation. She used the meetings as a means to provide input on policy and procedure changes and implementation, learn about BRS funding and activities, meet management staff and clients, and monitor the provision of services as affected by budgetary changes. During the fiscal year, the SRC reviewed the results of the Statewide Needs Assessment Summary and made comments and suggestions on the summary itself and the information gleaned from the assessment. The members attended public meetings/forums designed to inform the public about the state plan and gather input about services. Administrative issues were also presented by various staff, including the Commissioner who kept the SRC updated on federal budgetary issues including the sequestration and its effects on the BRS budget. The SRC reviewed and updated its mission statement and by-laws and received training on conducting more effective meetings.

The Cap advocate also attended the BESB Advisory Council meetings. 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 and is a primary handout at all resource events. It is available in both English and Spanish. During the 2013 fiscal year, more than 3,300 information and referral callers received the publication in a closure letter.

During the 2013 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 2013 fiscal year, most of the outreach continued to be 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 resource and informational events occurred in both rural and urban areas in geographically diverse areas of the state.

P&A staff spent time during the latter part of the 2013 fiscal year to develop a Speaker’s Bureau that will include speakers on P&A programs including CAP. CAP staff will also be available to speak about employment rights for people with disabilities and the vocational rehabilitation system. The Speaker’s Bureau will also allow P&A to gather information about areas where P&A is reaching the community and areas in Connecticut that need P&A outreach.

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 2013 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 JR called the Client Assistance Program because he needed help with getting a new counselor from the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services. JR explained to the CAP advocate that his current counselor was not interested in his employment goal and was much more focused on his disability and other issues. JR also had concerns that his counselor did not understanding the impact of his mental health issues. After reviewing the case with JR, the CAP advocate encouraged him to contact his counselor’s supervisor to request a new counselor. When the supervisor was insistent on a meeting between JR and the current counselor, the CAP advocate intervened, letting the supervisor know that JR was not comfortable meeting with counselor and in fact wanted a change to another local office. The supervisor indicated that JR could not switch to that office because they did not have a senior counselor at that office. JR agreed to one more meeting with his current counselor, the CAP advocate the BRS supervisor and his mom to see if the communication issues could be worked out with the counselor. The meeting was held and JR explained his disability, why it is important to for him to work and concerns with BRS and his counselor. After the meeting, however, JR called the CAP advocate and let her know that he was still uncomfortable and wanted a change to another local office that was bigger and had the possibility of a counselor for him. The CAP advocate worked with JR to argue for the change to the new office. The change was granted and now JR is working with a new counselor who understands his goals and is helping him move toward work! Interesting Case 2 PJ loves animals and wanted to be a veterinary assistance but there were several issues that stood in his way — his father, his need for therapy and the community rehabilitation provider. Communication had broken down with the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) and both PJ and BRS called the CAP advocate for help. PJ’s father had alienated BRS staff, creating havoc at meetings with his demands and accusations about the services being provided. He was no longer welcome at meetings but PJ still wanted him to attend and relied on his assistance. When PJ called CAP, his father was receiving therapy and had learned to modify his approach. The CAP advocate assisted PJ with convincing BRS to allow his father to attend meetings. A neuropsychological evaluation showed that PJ could also benefit from therapy. The CAP advocate reviewed the results of the evaluation with PJ and helped him to understand the value of the recommendations especially those related to therapy that would improve his ability to communicate his feelings without becoming explosive and sabotaging his ability to move forward with employment goals. JP was also experiencing issues with his Community Rehabilitation Provider (CRP), frustrated that they had not found him a job. They were also not responding to his calls. The CAP Advocate worked with JP to develop strategies about contacting the CRP and keeping notes about their transactions. She also got BRS to agree to a change in provider should JP want to switch. Ultimately, the strategies worked for JP and as a result of his continuing relationship, they found employment for him at a pet spa. He also completed his veterinary assistant certificate. He continues to work at the pet spa and is looking forward to caring for animals as a career.

Interesting Case 3 Someone from the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) visited EM at school and helped him complete paperwork to make him eligible for their services. He didn’t hear from them again but wanted to go to the local community college after high school so he called CAP for help. The CAP advocate got him connected with BRS services and worked with him until his employment plan was developed. When everything was all set, the CAP closed the case. Time to move on or was it? EM called again for help. He had a meeting with BRS and was offered an opportunity to work at the Walgreen’s Distribution Center in a program that would potentially lead to job making $15.00 per hour. He was very excited but there were transportation issues. The CAP advocate was helpful in brainstorming solutions such as travel training on the local bus system so EM would not have to rely on rides from his family or others. When it looked like a plan was in place, EM had unexpected surgery that left only a couple of days before the training would start. BRS said it was too late for travel training and EM’s mother kept reiterating that they could not drive him to the program. After discussing several possibilities, the CAP advocate encouraged EM’s Mom to contact his father about providing EM with travel training over the weekend. EM’s father readily agreed to help and BRS agreed to provide bus passes. EM completed the training program and is now in the second phase of training earning $10.00 per hour as he develops further skills and speed at this work. He is also learning to advocate for himself and should be moving onto that $15.00 per hour job any day!

K. Online Information/Outreach

CAP 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. Information on the P&A website is updated constantly, providing information about current events, legislation that affects people with disabilities, annual reports, links to various programs and P&A programs and services.

The Connecticut P&A maintains a Spanish version of its 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 2013 fiscal year, the website was updated as more publications were developed and/or translated into Spanish.

During the 2013 fiscal year, the website hits for the P&A vocational rights booklet totaled 120. The CAP brochure was viewed more than 380 times. CAP information, from other publications, was downloaded more than 2,000 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 2013 fiscal year, the total number of hits to the agency website was 75,128.

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:16-Dec-13
Name of Designated Agency Official:Gretchen Knauff
Title of Designated Agency Official:Assistant Director