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

Montana (Disability Rights Montana) - H161A140027 - FY2014

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameDisability Rights Montana
Address1022 Chestnut Street
Address Line 2
CityHelena
StateMontana
Zip Code59601
E-mail Addressbernie@disabiltiyrightsmt.org
Website Addresshttps://disabilityrightsmt.org
Phone406-449-2344
TTY 406-449-2344
Toll-free Phone800-245-4743
Toll-free TTY800-245-4743
Fax406-449-2418

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameDisability Rights Montana
Address1022 Chestnut Street
Address Line 2
CityHelena
Zip Code59601
E-mail Addressbernie@disabiltiyrightsmt.org
Website Addresshttps://disabilityrightsmt.org
Phone406-449-2344
TTY406-449-2344
Toll-free Phone800-245-4743
Toll-free TTY800-245-4743
Fax406-449-2418

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorBernadette Franks Ongoy
Person to contact regarding reportBernadette Franks Ongoy
Contact Person Phone406-449-2344

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 provided6
4. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1+A2+A3)33
5. Individuals attending trainings by CAP staff (approximate)763

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)31
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year80
3. Total individuals served (Lines B1+B2)111
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.)7

C. Individual still being served as of September 30

Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line I.B3. 34

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 favor50
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 individual8
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)1
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual decided not to pursue resolution21
7. Appeals were unsuccessful0
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.0
9. Individual refused to cooperate with CAP1
10. CAP unable to take case due to lack of resources0
11. Other (please explain)

N/A

E. Results achieved for individuals

1. Controlling law/policy explained to individual7
2. Application for services completed.1
3. Eligibility determination expedited6
4. Individual participated in evaluation0
5. IPE developed/implemented26
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party9
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office3
8. Alternative resources identified for individual4
9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR/ complaint made4
10. Other25
11. Other (please explain)

1- Information only, did not want services. 12- Did not returned signed ROI or maintain contact with CAP 2 - Needs to reapply for VR services when client is ready. 1- Client is moving forward without VR or IL services. 1- Client is currently active in seeking employment. 1- Client to reapply for services without having to go through orientation. 1- Client was able to secure employment on her own, she no longer requires VR services. 1- Does not want to complete assessment, wants to work from home. 1- Client is going to have his case closed so he can concentrate on his mental health. 1- Client’s case has been reopened and he’s working on getting things together to begin fall quarter. 1- Client’s VR case has been closed and she has relocated to another state. 1- Client’s VR case was closed at his request. He plans to reapply for services to get a new VRC. 1- Client requested VR case be closed.

Part II. Program Data

A. Age

As of the beginning of the fiscal year. Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. 21 and under8
2. 22 - 4034
3. 41 - 6467
4. 65 and over2
5. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A4. Total must equal Line I.B3.)111

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Female53
2. Male58
3. Total (Sum of Lines B1 and B2. Total must equal Line I.B3.)111

C. Race/ethnicity

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race5
For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native20
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American0
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White82
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown4

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Blindness (both eyes)1
2. Other visual impairments7
3. Deafness2
4. Hard of hearing2
5. Deaf-blind0
6. Orthopedic impairments20
7. Absense of extremities0
8. Mental illness47
9. Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)0
10. Mental retardation4
11. Specific learning disabilities (SLD)3
12. Neurological disorders4
13. Respiratory disorders1
14. Heart and other circulatory conditions2
15. Digestive disorders1
16. Genitourinary conditions0
17. Speech Impairments1
18. AIDS/HIV positive0
19. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)11
20. All other disabilities5
21. Disabilities not known0
22. Total (Sum of Lines D1 through D21. Total must equal Line I. B3.)111

E. Types of individuals served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicants of VR Program24
2. Clients of VR Program85
3. Applicants or clients of IL Program1
4. Applicants or clients of other programs and projects funded under the Act2

F. Source of individual's concern

Multiple responses permitted.

1. VR agency only105
2. Other Rehabilitation Act sources only1
3. Both VR agency and other Rehabilitation Act sources4
4. Employer1

G. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information0
2. Communication problems between individual and counselor36
3. Conflict about services to be provided37
4. Related to application/eligibility process17
5. Related to IPE development/implementation19
6. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems5
7. Non-Rehabilitation Act related0
8. Related to Title I of the ADA1

H. Types of CAP services provided

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

1. Information/referral0
2. Advisory/interpretational58
3. Negotiation26
4. Administrative/informal review1
5. Alternative dispute resolution0
6. Formal appeal/fair hearing0
7. Legal remedy0
8. Transportation0

Part III. Narrative

Narrative

a. Type of agency used to administer CAP: external - nonprofit agency

b. Sources of funds received and expended

Source of Funding Amount Received Amount Spent Federal (section 509) $84,889 $89,207 State $0 $0 Program income $0 $0 Private $0 $0 All other funds $0 $0 Total (from all sources) $84,889 $89,207

c. Budget for the fiscal year covered by this report

Category Current Fiscal Year Next Fiscal Year Wages/salaries $47,530 $52,808 Fringe benefits (FICA, unemployment, etc.) $16,082 $18,825 Materials/supplies $1,484 $1,624 Postage $252 $250 Telephone $952 $812 Occupancy $8,802 $6,710 Travel $4,189 $4,700 Copying $4,424 $5,400 Bonding/insurance $447 $562 Equipment (rental/purchase) $3,211 $3,124 Legal Services $0 $500 Indirect costs $1,737 $1,828 Miscellaneous $97 $700 Total Budget $89,207 $97,843

d. Description of CAP staff (duties and person-years)

Type of Position FTE % of year filled Person-years Professional Full-time 1 100 11 Part-time Vacant Clerical Full-time 0.07 100 1 Part-time Vacant

e. Summary of presentations made: Summarize the types of presentations made about CAP and other rehabilitation programs and projects. Include in the summary an estimate of the number of persons attending the presentations.

1st Quarter

Special Education, Kids, Families, School & The Law: Working Together for Success

Attendees - 97

Montana Dept. Of Transportation, Disability Employment Awareness Day Attendees - 400

2nd Quarter

PAK (Parents and Kids) Meeting - Butte Attendees - 9

PAK (Parents and Kids) Meeting - Great Falls Attendees - 12

PAK (Parents and Kids) Meeting - Butte Attendees - 10

Legislative Forum Attendees - 150

3rd Quarter

Montana School Counseling Association/Annual Convention/ Attendees - 50

Legislative Forum Attendees - 35

1st Quarter

A total 1729 CAP brochures were mailed to the Vocational Rehabilitation’s client list this quarter.

Approximately 750 small and large print CAP handbooks have been distributed to Vocational Rehabilitation Offices around the state to be offered to applicants of VR services.

Disability Rights Montana has an active Facebook page and Twitter feed that are updated on a near daily basis. As of the end of this quarter, DRM had 2259 followers on Twitter. On Facebook we have 459 people that Like our page.

To expand our social network audience we have begun playing trivia on Facebook and Twitter. The trivia questions invite our followers to become more interactive with us which allows our pages and posts to become viral. Additionally, asking trivia questions allows us to provide useful information in a fun way. For example, while posting trivia about The Americans with Disabilities Act in December we gained approximately 20 followers due to the interaction of our followers which allows others to be exposed to our page.

DRM is in the process of designing a Montana License Plate. The Montana Department of Transportation required changes to the design originally submitted so a new design is being created.

2nd Quarter

A total 1547 CAP brochures were mailed to the Vocational Rehabilitation’s client list this quarter.

Approximately 750 small and large print CAP handbooks have been distributed to Vocational Rehabilitation Offices around the state to be offered to applicants of VR services. Disability Rights Montana has an active Facebook page and Twitter feed that are updated on a daily basis. As of March 31, 2014, we have 2,539 followers on Twitter. On Facebook we have 486 people that like our page. These figures have more than doubled over the past year. Recently we have promoted some posts, paying a minimal fee, which provided a wider reach in capturing an audience. We promoted posts advertising our Panda Express fund raising event and the press release regarding the Montana State Prison case.

The DRM website is updated at least twice a week if not daily. We are in the process of designing a Special Education specific section which should be active in the third quarter. We are also bringing back the scrolling Twitter feed to our homepage.

We have expanded our e-mailing list for our electronic newsletter from 49 recipients in January to 312 by the end of this quarter. We received great feedback after the March e-newsletter and requests to continue to send them. A “subscribe” button has been added to our website for people to subscribe to the newsletter

3rd Quarter

A total of 1679 CAP brochures were mailed to the Vocational Rehabilitation’s client list this quarter.

Approximately 750 small and large print CAP handbooks have been distributed to Vocational Rehabilitation Offices around the state to be offered to applicants of VR services

Disability Rights Montana has an active Facebook page and Twitter feed that are updated on a daily basis. As of July 1, 2014, we have 2,707 followers on Twitter. On Facebook we have 505 people that like our page. These figures have more than doubled over the past year. Recently we have promoted some posts, paying a minimal fee, which provided a wider reach in capturing an audience.

Our e-mailing list for our electronic newsletter is 312. We received great feedback again after the May e-newsletter and requests to continue to send them. A “subscribe” button has been added to our website for people to subscribe to the e-newsletter. We have sent out an invitation on the PLUK listserv for people to subscribe to our e-newsletter.

4th Quarter

Our e-mailing list for our electronic newsletter is 399.

f. Involvement with advisory boards: The CAP advocate has maintained her appointment to the Vocational Rehabilitation Council, has served as the second vice president for the Montana Association for Rehabilitation board, worked as a staff member at the Montana Youth Leadership Forum, and serves on the Helena College of Technology Disability Services Advisory Committee.

g. Outreach to unserved/underserved populations: CAP continues to provide outreach to Native American Indian Tribes in Montana. This is done by visiting six (6) 121 Federally funded Vocational Rehabilitation programs in the state at least once on an annual basis. CAP provides its services to the clients of these programs.

Additionally, clients that are transition students, ages 14-24, have been identified as an undeserved population. CAP has served as a member on the Independent Living Center’s Youth Taskforce committee to have input on planning. In addition, CAP participated in the Montana Youth Leadership Forum and worked extensively with transition students from around the state on transitioning to adult services.

The CAP advocate also worked intensely with Blackfeet Community College, which is on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, to ensure Montana Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services (VRBS) clients were being served properly. Due to numerous complaints VRBS changed staffing duties that served the Blackfeet Reservation. The CAP advocate attended several meetings with clients and co-presented with VRBS to the tribal college staff to ensure a smooth transition. CAP continues to monitor cases closely on this reservation.

h. Alternative dispute resolutions: N/A

I. Systemic advocacy:

Montana CAP has worked intensely over the past few years to resolve a personnel issue within the management of one regional office of Montana Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services. In short, we received consistent complaints about a counselor since he was hired a couple of years ago. We made these complaints known to him and his supervisors and were assured that the issue had been addressed. However, these complaints kept coming and Montana Vocational Rehabilitation promoted him to manager of that office.

In the past year, these complaints have gotten even more pronounced and there were increasing complaints about his attitude towards female clients. We asked for a meeting with him and his direct supervisor and outlined all the issues and demanded that his attitude and performance change immediately. Shortly after the meeting CAP learned that the staff member had stepped down from his leadership role as a supervisor and transferred to a different office where he was demoted to a counselor position.

Additionally, the CAP advocate was invited to be a part of the hiring and interview committee for the Missoula Regional Administrator position. CAP was invited to be a part of this team due to the concerns we have had with offices in that region. The CAP advocate reviewed all applications, participated in the interview questioning, and provided feedback on hiring preference.

j. Interesting cases:

A. An individual and his mental health case manager contacted CAP after being denied assistance with housing from Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services (VRBS). This individual was on a clear path to success and becoming independent. He was successfully working in the field outlined in his employment plan and was meeting all of his VRBS responsibilities. He was homeless and the amount of time he could spend in the local shelter was up, he qualified for transitional housing but needed to pay the deposit and first month’s rent. VRBS denied this stating that they did not have to assist with this expense because it was not in excess of his normal expenses. Additionally, because he had been working for two months VRBS stated he should have planned ahead and been prepared for this expense. CAP provided VRBS with more information about the individual’s financial situation. He had used his first few paychecks to pay off fines and warrants to ensure he was employable, he had also paid storage unit fees to keep his possessions and he had to take time off of work due to some health issues which lead to being hospitalized for a week. CAP also provided more insight on the definition of Maintenance Services to VRBS and showed that housing in this case was necessitated by his individual circumstances and his ability to continue to reach toward successfully completing his employment plan. VRBS agreed to assist with half of the initial housing costs after negotiations and he was able to take a loan from his mental health provider to cover the remainder. The gentleman is now on his fifth month of successful employment and is living independently in transitional housing and his case with VRBS was closed as successful.

B. An individual contacted CAP due to a myriad of services that were denied by her Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. The individual is a single mother of six children who was attending college for the first time. Montana Vocational Rehabilitation (MVR) had denied car repairs insisting that she ride the bus to participate in activities related to her IPE. Additionally, MVR would only provide for daycare during the times she was scheduled to attend class. The denial of these services were problematic given her individual needs. Riding the bus was not realistic for the individual given the several locations her kids needed to be transported to every morning. Getting her children to the various drop offs would have been quite time consuming and also became problematic given her lack of coping skills that were related to her mental illness. After presenting these facts MVR agreed and her car was repaired so she could independently transport herself and her children, thus reducing her stress and increasing her ability to successfully participate in her IPE.

The denial of extended daycare services was also of concern because this gave her no time to study and complete her course work outside of her scheduled classes. The individual attempted to meet the requirements of her classes while at home with her children but was not able to concentrate and her grades were slipping quickly. CAP was able to explain the situation to the Counselor and it was agreed upon that they would provide daycare services as well.

k. On-line information/outreach: Describe efforts CAP may have put forth to create a web page or some other on-line means of providing information to the public. Include information about the number of "hits" your on-line site received.

Disability Rights Montana had 769,106 hits on the website for the FY 2014 year.

Certification

Approved

This Report is Complete and Correct.Yes
Date Signed:11-Dec-14
Name of Designated Agency Official:Bernadette Franks-Ongoy
Title of Designated Agency Official:Executive Director