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

Montana (Disability Rights Montana) - H161A150027 - FY2015

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameDisability Rights Montana
Address1022 Chestnut Street
Address Line 2
Zip Code59601
Website Address
TTY 406-449-2344
Toll-free Phone800-245-4743
Toll-free TTY800-245-4743

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameDisability Rights Montana
Address1022 Chestnut Street
Address Line 2
Zip Code59601
Website Address
Toll-free Phone800-245-4743
Toll-free TTY800-245-4743

Additional Information

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

Part I. Non-case Services

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program2
2. Information regarding independent living programs0
3. Information regarding American Indian VR Service projects0
4. Information regarding Title I of the ADA0
5. Other information provided23
6. Information regarding CAP0
7. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1 through A6)25

B. Training Activities

1. Special Education Symposium Date: 10/24—25/2014 120 Participants A two day event sponsored by Disability Rights Montana in collaboration with Great Falls Public Schools, Great Falls College MSU, and Parents Let’s Unite for Kids (PLUK). Information was offered to parents, family members, students, paraprofessionals, teachers, school administrators, psychologists, counselors, attorneys, and members of the community. Parents and family members could learn about their children’s legal rights to a free and appropriate education through informed IEP planning. Teachers, administrators, and other school professionals can learn how to better serve children for a more comprehensive educations.

2. Helena High School — Real Life Fair Date 3/12/2015 in Helena 120 Participants Conference dedicated to helping students with disabilities and other special needs and their families with transition into the Real World. Attendees were students, parents and educational professionals. 3. Annual Outreach for Salish Kootenai Tribal VR 8—17—20015 11 participants New CAP advocated introduced herself and did presentation on CAP services. 4. CAP has presented at two Regional Transition Planning Committee meetings (approximately 50 participants) and the Montana Youth Leadership Forum (approximately 20 participants).

1. Number of training sessions presented to community groups and public agencies.4
2. Number of individuals who attended these training sessions.271
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.

3. Annual Outreach for Salish Kootenai Tribal VR —121 Federally Funded VR Program 11 participants The new CAP advocate introduced herself and did presentation on CAP services.

The previous CAP advocate visited each of the tribal 121 projects this year to network and learn more about their programs. Additionally, the CAP advocate has been involved in transitions planning and programs throughout the state to ensure this underserved population understands their rights and are being served properly.

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.

Newsletters Published electronically July 21, 2015 sent to 597 Recipients September 18, 2015 sent to 601 Recipients

Legislative Newsletter and Updates

Date of publication — e—mailed Number of Recipients

January 2, 2015 585 Subscribers 150 Legislators

January 12, 2015 572 Subscribers

January 19, 2015 569 Subscribers

January 23, 2015 576 Subscribers

February 2, 2015 577 Subscribers

February 16, 2015 576 Subscribers

February 23, 2015 572 Subscribers

March 2, 2015 572 Subscribers

March 6, 2015 644 Subscribers

March 13, 2015 578 Subscribers

March 27, 2015 580 Subscribers

April 3, 2015 580 Subscribers

April 10, 2015 581 Subscribers

April 17, 2015 582 Subscribers

May 22, 2015 539 Subscribers

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 Agency4172
5. Number of Times CAP Exhibited at Conferences, Community Fairs, etc.10
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.

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)34
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year46
3. Total individuals served (Lines A1+A2)80
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.)6
5. Individual still being served as of September 30 (Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line A3.)17

B. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information0
2. Communication problems between individual and VR counselor27
3. Conflict about VR services to be provided22
4. Related to VR application/eligibility process13
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
7. Related to independent living services0
8. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems7
9. Non-Rehabilitation Act related
  1. TANF
  3. Housing
  4. Other:
10. Related to Title I of the ADA0

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 Assistance30
2. Investigation/Monitoring0
3. Negotiation19
4. Mediation and other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution1
5. Administrative / Informal Review15
6. Formal appeal / Fair Hearing2
7. Legal remedy / Litigation1
8. Total68

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.)

1. All issues resolved in individual's favor39
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 individual3
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)1
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual withdrew complaint20
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 interest1
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.)

15—Client did not maintain contact with client 1—Reffered client to VR for post—employment services 2—Client moved to another state 1—After discussing and weighing all of the options client opted to have cases with both State and Tribal VR agencies closed until she is able to focus her energies on employment. 1—Client is exploring other funding options other than VR 1—After review of case, client did not have a VR issue 1—Client let VR close her case pending a decision with Human Rights Bureau 1— After CAP got involved with case, VR reversed their decision and got client a new CPAP machine in order to help her keep her job driving a school bus 1—Client wanted his case closed as he did not want to work further with VR

1. Controlling law/policy explained to individual2
2. Application for services completed5
3. Eligibility determination expedited2
4. Individual participated in evaluation0
5. IPE developed/implemented/Services Provided19
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party11
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office0
8. Alternative resources identified for individual3
9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR complaint made2
10. Other (Please explain below)

Part III. Program Data

A. Age

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Up to 181
2. 19 - 246
3. 25 - 4024
4. 41 - 6428
5. 65 and over21
6. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A5. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)80

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females36
2. Males44
3. Total (Lines B1+B2. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)80

C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race (for individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only)3
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native8
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American0
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White62
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown7

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Acquired Brain Injury0
4. Amputations or Absence of Extremities0
5. Arthritis or Rheumatism0
6. Anxiety Disorder0
7. Autism Spectrum Disorder0
8. Autoimmune or Immune Deficiencies (excluding AIDS/HIV)0
9. Blindness (Both Eyes)0
10. Other Visual Impairments (Not Blind)3
11. Cancer0
12. Cerebral Palsy0
13. Deafness4
14. Hard of Hearing/Hearing Impaired (Not Deaf)2
15. Deaf-Blind0
16. Diabetes0
17. Digestive Disorders0
18. Epilepsy0
19. Heart & Other Circulatory Conditions1
20. Intellectual Disability2
21. Mental Illness31
22. Multiple Sclerosis0
23. Muscular Dystrophy0
24. Muscular/Skeletal Impairment0
25. Neurological Disorders/Impairment4
26. Orthopedic Impairments14
27. Personality Disorders0
28. Respiratory Disorders/Impairment0
29. Skin Conditions0
30. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)3
31. Speech Impairments0
32. Spina Bifida0
33. Substance Abuse (Alcohol or Drugs)1
34. Other Disability14
35. Total (Sum of Lines D1through D34. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)80

E. Types of Individual Served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicant of VR62
2. Individual eligible for VR services currently on a wait list2
3. Individual eligible for VR services not currently on a wait list12
4. Applicant or individual eligible for Independent Living0
5. Transition student/High school student2
6. All other applicants or individuals eligible for other programs or projects funded unther Rehabilitation Act2

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities

Throughout this past year CAP has noticed that VRBS is closing cases as ‘too severe to benefit from services’ without clear and convincing evidence. While CAP has been able to overturn each of these decision on and individual level we thought it was important to address this systemically. CAP presented the issue to the SRC and shared several stories. CAP requested that the SRC support a request for VRBS’s cooperation in having CAP review every case that is closed with this code. The SRC is in full support and VRBS also supports this and is looking forward to delve into this issue more. We are unsure of how this practice will occur, but it is now on the SRC agenda and we are moving forward with developing a plan.

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.1
2. Describe the systemic activities conducted by CAP during the fiscal year and its impact on other agency's policies or practices.

B. Litigation

We represented a young man who did not receive transition services, appropriate assistive technology or a free, appropriate public education. We settled the case for $50,000 for compensatory education and the young man started a job after his graduation.

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).1
c. Number of cases resolved through litigation during fiscal year.1
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) External-Protection and Advocacy agency
2. Name of designate agencyDisability Rights Montana
3. Is the designated agency contracting CAP services?No
4. If yes, name of contracting agency:N/A

B. Staff Employed

Provide a description of all CAP positions (see instructions)

Type of Position FTE % of year filled Person—years Professional Full—time 1.04 100 11 Part—time 0.01 100 1 Vacant Clerical Full—time 0.08 100 1 Part—time Vacant

Part VI. Case Examples

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

A 24 yr. old man who experiences developmental disabilities and has a grown up going to children’s hospitals due to ongoing issues with his heart. He had been a client of Montana Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services (VRBS) for a couple of years prior to contacting the Client Assistance Program (CAP) at Disability Rights Montana. During that time he had attempted work in the personal care field and in warehouse and production, he was unsuccessful in both of these experiences. He also attempted to attend a community college, but also learned that that was not going to work for him either. VRBS was unsure what else to do except try another work experience in a different environment and stated that if he was unsuccessful again he would be deemed too severe to benefit from services and his case would be closed. He and his mother did not feel comfortable with where his case with VRBS was heading. They contacted CAP for help. CAP learned that client is really interested in working as a medical assistant or something in a hospital environment due to his childhood experiences in the hospital. The CAP advocate had just learned about the Montana Project Search, a program in Bozeman. Project Search is a ten month internship for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to learn relevant and marketable skills to pursue their career and it is held at the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. Two days prior to the application deadline CAP was able to provide the information and client had it completed and submitted. After a few weeks we learned he had been accepted. He has made arrangements for his first apartment, has begun to network in his new community. He is so excited and is very happy to get to learn skills to work in the hospital someday. With CAP’s assistance client completed his application for the state DD program and VRBS has arranged to pay for the cost of the ten month program.


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 OfficialBernadette Franks-Ongoy
Title of Designated Agency OfficialExcutive Director
Date Signed11/07/2015