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

Oregon (OREGON ADVOCACY CENTER) - H161A140038 - FY2014

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameDisability Rights Oregon formerly OAC
Address610 SW Broadway, Suite 200
Address Line 2
CityPortland
StateOregon
Zip Code97205
E-mail Addressaforbes@droregon.org
Website Addresshttp://www.droregon.org
Phone503-243-2081
TTY
Toll-free Phone800-452-1695
Toll-free TTY
Fax503-243-1738

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameDisability Rights Oregon formerly OAC
Address610 SW Broadway, Suite 200
Address Line 2
CityPortland
Zip Code97205
E-mail Addressaforbes@droregon.org
Website Addresshttp://www.droregon.org
Phone503-243-2081
TTY
Toll-free Phone800-452-1695
Toll-free TTY
Fax503-243-1738

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorTed Wenk
Person to contact regarding reportAlice Forbes
Contact Person Phone503-243-2081 x204

Part I. Agency Workload Data

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the Rehabilitation Act69
2. Information regarding Title I of the ADA0
3. Other information provided2
4. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1+A2+A3)71
5. Individuals attending trainings by CAP staff (approximate)75

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 year27
3. Total individuals served (Lines B1+B2)38
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. 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 favor16
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)3
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual0
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)8
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual decided not to pursue resolution0
7. Appeals were unsuccessful2
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 resources1
11. Other (please explain)

na

E. Results achieved for individuals

1. Controlling law/policy explained to individual5
2. Application for services completed.0
3. Eligibility determination expedited0
4. Individual participated in evaluation0
5. IPE developed/implemented5
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party11
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office1
8. Alternative resources identified for individual3
9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR/ complaint made2
10. Other4
11. Other (please explain)

Client does not want to work with OVRS Informed client DRO cannot represent him No legal issue/no open OVRS file VR file does not reflect cause of action/no contact from client

Part II. Program Data

A. Age

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

1. 21 and under1
2. 22 - 407
3. 41 - 6428
4. 65 and over2
5. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A4. Total must equal Line I.B3.)38

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Female14
2. Male24
3. Total (Sum of Lines B1 and B2. Total must equal Line I.B3.)38

C. Race/ethnicity

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race9
For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American0
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White6
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown29

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Blindness (both eyes)0
2. Other visual impairments1
3. Deafness2
4. Hard of hearing0
5. Deaf-blind0
6. Orthopedic impairments11
7. Absense of extremities0
8. Mental illness10
9. Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)1
10. Mental retardation0
11. Specific learning disabilities (SLD)4
12. Neurological disorders4
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)3
20. All other disabilities1
21. Disabilities not known1
22. Total (Sum of Lines D1 through D21. Total must equal Line I. B3.)38

E. Types of individuals served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicants of VR Program4
2. Clients of VR Program33
3. Applicants or clients of IL Program0
4. Applicants or clients of other programs and projects funded under the Act1

F. Source of individual's concern

Multiple responses permitted.

1. VR agency only35
2. Other Rehabilitation Act sources only1
3. Both VR agency and other Rehabilitation Act sources3
4. Employer0

G. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information1
2. Communication problems between individual and counselor14
3. Conflict about services to be provided16
4. Related to application/eligibility process2
5. Related to IPE development/implementation5
6. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems1
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/referral3
2. Advisory/interpretational9
3. Negotiation4
4. Administrative/informal review5
5. Alternative dispute resolution7
6. Formal appeal/fair hearing2
7. Legal remedy0
8. Transportation0

Part III. Narrative

Narrative

a. Type of agency used to administer CAP: Identify the type of agency used to administer the CAP and type of agency operating the CAP, if different.

Disability Rights Oregon, Oregon’s Protection and Advocacy organization and a private, non-profit corporation, is the designated agency as well as the operating agency of the CAP program. b. Sources of funds expended: Specify the total expenditure of funds used in providing services to CAP-eligible individuals according to the source of funding. Provide this information even if the agency’s only source of funding is the Federal formula grant. The following chart is recommended:

c. Budget for current and following fiscal years: Category Current Fiscal Year 2014 Next Fiscal Year 2015

2014 2015 FY 2014 Grant 125,917 FY 2015 125,917 FY 2013 Unspent Grant 1,016 FY 2014 unspent 10,015 Total resources 126,933 135,932 Expenses: Salary Expense 66,999 75,000 Employee Benefits 10,009 11,250 Payroll Taxes 6,426 7,200 Supplies 352 500 Travel Expenses 5,596 6,000 Rent Expense 3,881 4,500 Telecommunications 130 200 Staff Development & Training 275 500 Library Expense 140 150 Dues, Fees, & Insurance 2,500 2,750 Contract Services 38 100 Postage & Delivery 42 75 Subtotal Direct Expenses 96,388 108,225 Indirect Cost Allocation 20,531 rate .213 23,052 Total expenses 116,918 131,277 Unspent grant funds remaining 10,015 4,655

Involvement with Advisory Boards:

Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) Client Assistance Program (CAP) Attorneys Ted Wenk and Anne Marie King participated in a number of committees and workgroups, as did DRO Executive Director Bob Joondeph. This involvement brought expertise and perspective to the issues, but also allowed DRO to reach a broad range of partners and potential clients. Ted participated in: Independent Living Resources Community Advocacy Team, State Rehabilitation Council, Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program Effectiveness Committee Work Group, Oregon Disabilities Commission, Portland State University Rehabilitation Counseling Program Advisory Board, the Oregon State Independent Living Council. Anne Marie served as the DRO representative for the Oregon Commission for the Blind bimonthly meetings and was the incumbent Treasurer for the Oregon State Bar’s Disability Section Executive Committee.

The Oregon’s State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) works with Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services (OVRS) in planning service delivery to meet the employment potential of Oregonians with disabilities. They reviewed concerns about services and provided recommendations to OVRS to help improve service delivery and outcomes. Ted served as a client advocate and attorney on the SRC, and he helped to insure that there was compliance with federal regulations and that the client perspective was considered in recommendations to improve services.

The SRC worked on a number of issues, including: van modification regulations, uniform guidance on self-employment, WIOA implementation, and inclusion of students in transition services employment programs. A focus of the agency has been the Employment First and Supported Employment programs.

As part of the Protection and Advocacy organization in Oregon, the CAP program staff benefit from information shared through committee and workgroup participation from other staff members such as the Oregon Council Developmental Disabilities and the Advisory Committee of the Oregon Office of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

CAP staff also worked closely with the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program staff in sharing new information on changes in the law.

Trainings and Outreach, including to unserved/underserved populations: For the Portland Commission on Disabilities, Ted was a presenter, and also participated as a member the Employment and Accessibility in the Built Environment Subcommittees.

In addition, Ted: - Participated in the Diverse Practitioners Roundtable. - Presented at and participated in the Warm Springs Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Services annual conference. - Participated in Disability Awareness activities at the Oregon State Capitol, providing information and materials and increasing awareness of issues facing people with disabilities seeking employment to legislative and agency staff.

CAP worked with DRO’s Latina advocate in reaching out into the Latino community in Oregon where there are large populations of Latinos.

CAP worked with the Work Incentive Planning & Advocacy (WIPA) and other Disability Rights Oregon programs and partnered in doing outreach and training events. This included nine general outreach events and trainings and twenty with an employment focus. All together reaching approximately 1,200 people.

The following brochures, flyers and publications were disseminated throughout the year at these and other events: Client Assistance Program (CAP) brochures, Employment Handbook: Reasonable Accommodations — Third Edition. All publications were in Spanish and English, and the CAP brochure was also available in a large print version. All publications were available in print and on DRO’s website, along with an ASL video of the Employment Handbook: Reasonable Accommodations.

DRO also disseminated information via Twitter, Facebook, and a Blog on Disability Rights.

CAP took cases statewide to provide access to the underserved, rural areas of Oregon. The 800 number and the website provided access to information and services that CAP provides. Posters and brochures (in English and Spanish) about DRO services were in every OVRS Office and a large print version at the Oregon Commission for the Blind. Information about DRO services was also part of the right to appeal notice provided to clients by OVRS.

Alternative dispute resolution: CAP has been very successful in settling our clients’ complaints against Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and the Oregon Commission for the Blind (OCB). Most of CAP’s clients ask for services before they have filed for hearing and most cases are resolved through informal negotiations with the VR counselor or branch manager. Clients are provided information and explanations about the tools that are available to them, including informal negotiation, mediation and fair hearing. Even after a hearing request has been filed, the CAP attorney works with the client and the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) office to resolve the issue before the case goes to hearing.

Systemic advocacy:

1) CAP staff members continued to meet with OVRS administration and technical team to discuss systemic issues. The meetings developed a good relationship that facilitated prompt resolution of issues for clients and clarifying policies and procedures. Both CAP and OVRS have a continuing interest in being able to resolve issues quickly and efficiently with an emphasis on client service. a. Transition Services: Coordination of services among all the players assisting youth in transition from school into the workplace was challenging. The most significant issue was that many young people are not being properly considered for and given appropriate supported employment services. CAP will continue to monitor these issues and to work with other groups to improve these services.

b. Job Developers: The disability community complained about the inadequacy of job developers and problems with OVRS staff coordinating efforts with job developers. OVRS tried to remedy some of this problem by providing training to counselors and job developers. This has been an ongoing issue and CAP continued to monitor progress and recommend adjustment. In particular, DRO examined whether services meet the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities. CAP staff will continue to monitor the effectiveness and challenges with these systems.

c. Supported Employment: Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) worked with the State OVRS and other State Agencies making sure that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are not directed to sheltered workshops but are given a choice for supported employment. When there was no agreement, DRO, using non-CAP funds, filed a class action lawsuit against OVRS and the State of Oregon for not providing supported employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

2) The case referenced above is Lane v. Kitzhaber, filed in US District Court in Oregon on behalf of eight named plaintiffs, an organizational plaintiff and a class of 2,700 individuals with disabilities who are receiving, or have been referred to, illegally segregated employment services. DRO is asking that individuals who are segregated in “sheltered workshops” have the opportunity to be prepared for, find and maintain gainful employment in the community.

Those individuals are asserting their right under the "integration mandate" of the ADA to choose employment services in the least segregated, appropriate setting. It asks the court to declare that the state is violating the ADA and Rehabilitation Act by their needless segregation of class members in sheltered workshops and failing to provide them supported employment services for which they are eligible. It also seeks an order requiring the state to provide supported employment services to all qualified class members, consistent with their individual needs.

The trial is now set for December 2015.

This year, several DRO attorneys, including DRO’s fulltime CAP attorney shifted their emphasis from individual case services to the discovery phase of Lane v. Kitzhaber, during which they conducted depositions, attended site visits with expert reviewers, researched, and reviewed records.

3) DRO collaborated with other advocacy organizations to provide education and awareness to policy makers. Among the issues were: qualified rehabilitation facility minimum wage, continued funding for the Work Incentives Network (WIN) (benefits and work incentives counseling program for Vocational Rehabilitation participants), and transition services.

Requests for Formal Hearing and Mediation:

Cases that Went to Appeal, Hearing, Mediation, or Alternative Dispute Resolution: 10

Cases that Settled Prior to Hearing: 10

Examples and Interesting Cases: Example 1: KB is a homeless individual who is Latino and has emotional impairments. He dresses neatly and is well-spoken, but has difficulty in dealing with individuals who are confrontational. He obtained VR services to take computer classes to obtain certificates in basic office programs. He did well with his classes at the computer training vendor until staff changes necessitated transfer of an individual he did not get along well with to the program which he needed to complete. KB became frustrated as he was nearing completion of the exercises for fulfillment of an additional certificate. KB was further frustrated as he felt his VRC was not addressing or assisting with his dispute. After he contacted CAP, the CAP staff called the VR branch manager. The branch manager agreed to call the center himself and arrange for completion of KB’s present work and to arrange transfer to a different provider. KB also obtained his own laptop. KB was happy with the new provider and was able to demonstrate additional skills which increased his employability.

Example 2: PC is an individual who is deaf and primarily uses ASL as her first language. CAP facilitated resolution of a dispute between PC and the vocational rehabilitation counselor regarding payment of past due college tuition following an academic set-back. There was conflict between PC and Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services (OVRS) regarding a release allowing OVRS to communicate directly with the college financial aid office; such communication was necessary to resolve the OVRS funding issues. This was resolved. The vocational rehabilitation counselor authorized future tuition payments, agreed to restart the Independent Plan for Employment and pay her current term tuition and school expenses.

Example 3: CF is a 54 year old woman who is deaf, who uses ASL and translation services. CF was attending a public university under a VR plan for employment. VR failed to pay agreed-upon tuition for a semester. CF paid tuition out-of-pocket prior to contacting CAP, but could not continue to make out-of-pocket tuition payments. CF was consequently unable to register for a subsequent semester and faced disruption of her academic studies and deferred graduation. CAP intervened to (1) obtain immediate payment for current semester classes in order that CF could remain an enrolled student and graduate as scheduled; and (2) obtain reimbursement for CF’s prior tuition payment. In response to CAP advocacy, OVRS found that it had erred in failing to process relevant documentation and pay agreed-upon tuition, and immediately paid the client’s current tuition and reimbursed her for earlier tuition payments. Following this disbursement, CAP continued to monitor the case and assure that client received other services from VR prior to completing her plan for employment. CF graduated on time, and is now working as a vocational rehabilitation counselor.

Example 4: NH is a 27 year old man with cognitive and emotional disorders, who experienced difficulty transitioning into the workplace. NH contacted CAP because he felt his vocational rehabilitation counselor was not listening to him. CAP facilitated re-establishment of communication between NH and the vocational rehabilitation counselor, and monitored VR’s provision of job development and job training services until NH reached his employment goal. NH had a very positive experience with his new job coach, and is now employed as a pet store clerk.

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.

CAP had information about its services on the Disability Rights Oregon’s website. The website is continually updated with information about issues impacting people with disabilities in Oregon. All brochures and publications were available on the website, along with links to helpful sites for DRO clients, other stakeholders, and potential stakeholders. DRO’s employment guide provided information on reasonable accommodations and the rights of individuals with disabilities in employment.

The DRO website had nearly 44,000 hits last year, DRO also used Facebook, Twitter and a Blog about disability rights to disseminate information about the program, events and significant updates on disability issues.

Certification

Approved

This Report is Complete and Correct.Yes
Date Signed:29-Dec-14
Name of Designated Agency Official:Robert Joondeph
Title of Designated Agency Official:On file