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

Alabama (ALABAMA DIVISION OF REHAB. SERVICES AND CHILDREN’S REHAB SERVS) - H161A150057 - FY2015

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameAlabama Department of Rehabilitation Services
Address602 S. Lawrence Street
Address Line 2
CityMontgomery AL
StateAlabama
Zip Code36104
E-mail AddressCary.Boswell@rehab.alabama.gov
Website Addresshttp://www.rehab.state.al.us
Phone334-293-7200
TTY 334-293-7500
Toll-free Phone1-800-441-7607
Toll-free TTY1-800-441-7607
Fax334-293-7383

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameAlabama Department of Rehabilitation Services
Address602 S. Lawrence Street
Address Line 2
CityMontgomery
Zip Code36104
E-mail AddressCary.Boswell@rehab.alabama.gov
Website Addresshttp://www.rehab.state.al.us
Phone334-293-7200
TTY334-293-7500
Toll-free Phone1-800-441-7607
Toll-free TTY1-800-441-7607
Fax334-293-7383

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorRachel L. Hughes
Person to contact regarding reportRachel L. Hughes
Contact Person Phone334-263-2749

Part I. Non-case Services

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program6
2. Information regarding independent living programs2
3. Information regarding American Indian VR Service projects0
4. Information regarding Title I of the ADA1
5. Other information provided3
6. Information regarding CAP12
7. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1 through A6)24

B. Training Activities

a)Topics covered includes How to access CAP, When should I contact CAP, Who to contact at VR if my counselor does not call me back or there is a problem, and what services do VR and CAP provide. b) The purpose of the training is to inform VR counselors, VR consumers or people referred to VR. c) The attendees are individuals involved in a supported employment conference, disability support services on a college campus or college class, consumers who are participanting in a community rehab program State Rehab Council and unit meetings with supervisors and counselors.

1. Number of training sessions presented to community groups and public agencies.15
2. Number of individuals who attended these training sessions.850
3. Describe training presented by the staff. Include the following information:
  1. topics covered
  2. purpose of the training
  3. description of the attendees

C. Agency Outreach

Describe the agency's outreach efforts to previously un-served or underserved individuals including minority communities.

We are involved in activities that work with supported employment. We present at conferences and meetings to help people know how to access our serves if needed.

D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency

For each method of dissemination, enter the total number of each method used by your agency during the reporting period to distribute information to the public. For publications/booklets/brochures (item 4), enter the total number of documents produced. Agencies should not include website hits. See instructions for details.

N/A

1. Agency Staff Interviewed or Featured on Radio and TV0
2. Articles about CAP Featured in Newspaper/Magazine/Journals0
3. PSAs/Videos Aired about the CAP Agency0
4. Publications/Booklets/Brochures Disseminated by the Agency1100
5. Number of Times CAP Exhibited at Conferences, Community Fairs, etc.12
6. Other (specify below)

E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage

Describe the various sources and information disseminated about your agency by an external source.

Independent Living, Full Life Ahead, VR counselors, State Rehab Council, AL—APSE and school counselors.

Part II. Individual Case Services

A. Individuals served

An individual is counted only once during a fiscal year. Multiple counts are not permitted for Lines A1-A3.

1. Individuals who are still being served as of October 1 (carryover from prior year)4
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year24
3. Total individuals served (Lines A1+A2)28
4. Individuals (from Line A3) 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 A3 above.)0
5. Individual still being served as of September 30 (Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line A3.)3

B. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information0
2. Communication problems between individual and VR counselor8
3. Conflict about VR services to be provided17
4. Related to VR application/eligibility process2
5. Related to assignment to order of selection priority category0
6. Related to IPE development/implementation
  1. Selection of vendors for provision of VR services
  2. Selection of training, post-secondary education
  3. Selection of employment outcome
  4. Transition services
0
7. Related to independent living services0
8. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems0
9. Non-Rehabilitation Act related
  1. TANF
  2. SSI/SSDI
  3. Housing
  4. Other:
0
10. Related to Title I of the ADA1

C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases

(Choose one primary service the CAP provided for each closed case file. There may be more case files than actual individuals served.)

1. Short Term Technical Assistance3
2. Investigation/Monitoring4
3. Negotiation13
4. Mediation and other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution1
5. Administrative / Informal Review0
6. Formal appeal / Fair Hearing0
7. Legal remedy / Litigation0
8. Total21

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.)

N/A

1. All issues resolved in individual's favor10
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 individual2
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)1
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual withdrew complaint3
7. Issue not resolved in clients favor0
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.0
9. Individual not responsive/cooperative with CAP2
10. CAP unable to take case due to lack of resources0
11. Conflict of interest0
12. Other (Please explain below)

E. Results achieved for individuals

(Choose one primary outcome for each closed case file. There may be more case files than the total number of individuals served.)

1. Controlling law/policy explained to individual2
2. Application for services completed0
3. Eligibility determination expedited1
4. Individual participated in evaluation1
5. IPE developed/implemented/Services Provided1
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party5
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office1
8. Alternative resources identified for individual2
9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR complaint made0
10. Other (Please explain below)

Part III. Program Data

A. Age

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Up to 180
2. 19 - 249
3. 25 - 408
4. 41 - 6411
5. 65 and over0
6. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A5. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)28

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females15
2. Males13
3. Total (Lines B1+B2. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)28

C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race (for individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only)0
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian1
4. Black or African American4
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White23
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown0

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Acquired Brain Injury1
2. ADD/ADHD0
3. AIDS/HIV0
4. Amputations or Absence of Extremities0
5. Arthritis or Rheumatism0
6. Anxiety Disorder2
7. Autism Spectrum Disorder4
8. Autoimmune or Immune Deficiencies (excluding AIDS/HIV)0
9. Blindness (Both Eyes)0
10. Other Visual Impairments (Not Blind)4
11. Cancer0
12. Cerebral Palsy0
13. Deafness2
14. Hard of Hearing/Hearing Impaired (Not Deaf)0
15. Deaf-Blind0
16. Diabetes0
17. Digestive Disorders1
18. Epilepsy0
19. Heart & Other Circulatory Conditions0
20. Intellectual Disability2
21. Mental Illness3
22. Multiple Sclerosis0
23. Muscular Dystrophy0
24. Muscular/Skeletal Impairment0
25. Neurological Disorders/Impairment5
26. Orthopedic Impairments0
27. Personality Disorders2
28. Respiratory Disorders/Impairment0
29. Skin Conditions0
30. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)2
31. Speech Impairments0
32. Spina Bifida0
33. Substance Abuse (Alcohol or Drugs)0
34. Other Disability0
35. Total (Sum of Lines D1through D34. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)28

E. Types of Individual Served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicant of VR1
2. Individual eligible for VR services currently on a wait list0
3. Individual eligible for VR services not currently on a wait list26
4. Applicant or individual eligible for Independent Living1
5. Transition student/High school student3
6. All other applicants or individuals eligible for other programs or projects funded unther Rehabilitation Act1

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities

N/A

1. Number of non-litigation systemic activities not involving individual representation that resulted in the change of one or more policy or practice of an agency.0
2. Describe the systemic activities conducted by CAP during the fiscal year and its impact on other agency's policies or practices.

B. Litigation

N/A

1. Total number of CAP cases requiring litigation involving individual representation resulting in, or with the potential for, systemic change.
a. Number of cases requiring litigation involving individual representation filed during fiscal year.0
b. Number of on-going cases pending at start of fiscal year (carryover from prior fiscal year).0
c. Number of cases resolved through litigation during fiscal year.0
2. Describe the agency's on-going and completed systemic litigation activities involving individual representation.

Part V. Agency Information

A. Designated Agency

1. Agency Type (select only one option) Internal to the State VR agency
2. Name of designate agencyAlabama Department of Rehabilitation Services
3. Is the designated agency contracting CAP services?Yes
4. If yes, name of contracting agency:Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services

B. Staff Employed

Provide a description of all CAP positions (see instructions)

Director/Advocate — Full Time Clerical — Full Time There are no vacant positions.

Part VI. Case Examples

Provide some examples of some interesting cases during the past fiscal year.

Consumer A requested assistance from VR in obtaining a graduate degree. The VR counselor confirmed that she had several disabilities which are impediments to employment.

Approval was sought from the State Office for sponsorship in graduate school in order to become a Physician’s Assistant. It was denied by VR because she had completed a bachelor’s degree in Biology without VR assistance and she was currently working full time.

Consumer A was informed of the decision by the State Office. She was then directed to contact the Supervisor. Upon news of still being denied services she was provided information on the Client Assistance Program.

Upon speaking with Consumer A and her VR counselor it was discovered, Consumer A had only been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease her junior year in college. One of the reasons she was able to graduate in her undergraduate studies on time is when she was in high school she took dual enrollment. This allowed her to get ahead.

Unfortunately, Consumer A did not learn about VR until after she graduated. When she began experiencing problems at school, many of her teachers would allow her to make up her work. Her Dr. provided documentation regarding her disability. However, not all the teachers were as accommodating. Overall though, her grades were very good. After graduating with an undergraduate degree in Biology, Consumer A went to work with the Dr. that had diagnosed her Crohn’s. The Dr. made accommodations to Consumer A’s work schedule depending on her episodes.

Consumer A had already received her acceptance letter, allowing her to make all the necessary plans. Another concern from the State Office is the loss of class time due to her disability. VR was concerned she would be disqualified from the program. Her VR counselor made contact with Disability Support Services (DSS) at the University. CAP advocate contacted the liaison counselor to the school and asked that she assist in expediting the services she could receive. Upon further research and contact with DSS, it appeared all that could be done is to make the accommodations and present them to her professors.

Finally, it was agreed upon VR would support 50% of the cost of the program and books based upon sliding fee scale eligibility. As with all college cases, grades are dependent upon further sponsorship. The first semester Consumer A had a scholarship for $5,000 and VR paid the remainder of the $7,942, roughly $2,500.

Consumer B’s father contacted CAP when a meeting with VR had gone dreadfully wrong. At the time, Consumer B was in a general caseload. Her records indicate that she had Cerebral Palsy with visual perception problems, mathematics disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. She was a senior in High School and the family was looking for direction for available services when she graduated. Unfortunately, the family did not feel respected by VR and how they handled the meeting.

Upon opening the case, CAP advocate reviewed the case material and found that her vision impairment was such that she would best be served in a vision impaired caseload. The transfer was approved. At this point in time, the mobility specialist and independent living specialist had already begun to work with Consumer B. Providing her with some equipment to help her become more independent. CAP advocate then pulled together an additional team of specialist. We added a rehab technology specialist and also a rehab teacher for the blind. This made a world of difference for this consumer. Her vision impairment to date had not been taken into consideration in regards to her education or her VR program until these specialists started working with her.

The family had been extremely frustrated with the General VR process and felt they received no guidance on Consumer B’s future. Consumer B and her family began to look at an opportunity at Mississippi State University (MSU) called ACCESS. Long before the vision impaired VR services started to work with the family they had already been in touch with this program and she had been accepted. Consumer B and her family saw a need for her to be more independent but to also have an opportunity to access work. Therefore, the next request was support from VR in attending this program. The concern State Office personnel had in this request is the programs here in Alabama that VR could provide at no cost to the family. VR in the general program though had not provided any information to the family in this regard. CAP advocated contacted the ACCESS coordinator to gather information on the cost of the program and gain information about how the program would work. It was then submitted as a request to financially assist with ACCESS. VR agreed to pay an amount similar to another program in Alabama, $3500/per semester. Additional information was given to the family regarding some of the programs here in Alabama in case this is an avenue the family would want to pursue at a later date.

Certification

Reports are to be submitted to RSA within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this report. Please be reminded that you can enter data directly into RSA's website via the internet. Information on transmittal of the form is found on pages 19 and 20 of the reporting instructions.

Name of Designated Agency OfficialState of Alabama Client Assistance Program
Title of Designated Agency OfficialDirector/Advocate
Date Signed12/22/2015