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

New Jersey (Disability Rights New Jersey) - H161A150031 - FY2015

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameDisability Rights New Jersey
Address210 S Broad Street
Address Line 2FL 3
CityTrenton
StateNew Jersey
Zip Code08608
E-mail Addressadvocate@drnj.org
Website Addresshttp://www.drnj.org
Phone609-292-9742
TTY 609-633-7106
Toll-free Phone800-922-7233
Toll-free TTY
Fax609-777-0187

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameDisability Rights New Jersey
Address210 S Broad Street
Address Line 2FL 3
CityTrenton
Zip Code08608
E-mail Addressadvocate@drnj.org
Website Addresshttp://www.drnj.org
Phone609-292-9742
TTY609-633-7106
Toll-free Phone800-922-7233
Toll-free TTY
Fax609-777-0187

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorLillie Lowe-Reid
Person to contact regarding reportLillie Lowe-Reid
Contact Person Phone609-292-9742

Part I. Non-case Services

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program28
2. Information regarding independent living programs3
3. Information regarding American Indian VR Service projects0
4. Information regarding Title I of the ADA0
5. Other information provided0
6. Information regarding CAP19
7. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1 through A6)50

B. Training Activities

Throughout Fiscal Year 2015, CAP actively participated in a number of presentations, outreaches, and conferences. DRNJ’s CAP staff provided information about CAP services through participation in 22 outreach, education, and training events and numerous Transition Fairs, including the Harbor School Transition Fair in Jackson, and two presentations at the Trenton Board of Education’s Senior Transition Fair with approximately 310 consumers, family members, and professionals in attendance. Staff also participated on a panel for the State Conference on Employment sponsored by the National Federation for the Blind in NJ. At the Autism NJ’s Annual Conference, CAP resources were distributed to over 300 attendees. Approximately 300 attended the Anti—Stigma Event where CAP information was made available. CAP brochures were provided to over 100 attendees at the Joint Military & Assessment Center Resource Fair. At the NJ Spinal Cord Injury Conference, information regarding the CAP program was provided to 120 participants. During the South Jersey Veterans Resources & Opportunity Fair, approximately 139 participants received information on the CAP program. At an additional Veterans Job Faiir, 29 consumers, families, and professionals received CAP materials. CAP attended the Resource Fair sponsored by the Department of Children and Families Children’s System of Care, providing resources to 50 families. Seventy—five attendees of the Meridian Health Vision Awareness Day Resource Fair were provided information on the CAP program.

Staff provided information to over 100 attendees on CAP and SSI at the Veterans Career Fair sponsored by Rider University. Staff also provided information on CAP to over 300 consumers and family members at the Annual Disability Awareness Day, and to over 80 participants at the Brick Township, Alpha, and Harbor Schools. Resources were provided to over 25 families regarding CAP services at the Regional Family Support Planning Council.

Staff conducted outreach and provided information to 15 professionals at MOCEANS and HIP CILs. Also, a presentation on the CAP program was provided to 48 participants at Twin Oaks Community Services. Additional information was provided to 200 participants of the JFK Career Options Day annual event. CAP information was provided to approximately 200 attendees of the Hope and Resilience Training of Mental Health Professionals and to approximately 100 attendees of the National Crime Victim Week’s Resource Fair. Information on CAP and SSI was also provided at five veteran’s resources and job fairs throughout the state, reaching over 470 participants.

Staff provided outreach to approximately 300 persons at the NJ Self—Advocacy Project Annual Statewide Conference and to 75 attendees of the Adaptive Recreation Expo, and distributed resources to 250 attendees of the TBI Consumer Conference. Staff also distributed resources to attendees of the Early Childhood Disability and Health Resource Fair.

CAP staff will continue its outreach, education, and training efforts regarding CAP services and representation to individuals seeking or receiving vocational rehabilitation and employment services, as well as their family members and professionals.

1. Number of training sessions presented to community groups and public agencies.25
2. Number of individuals who attended these training sessions.4,251
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.

In an ongoing effort to reach unserved and underserved populations, CAP extended its outreach to include veterans and mental health consumers and their families. CAP presented to consumers and professionals on the availability of vocational rehabilitation and CAP services for veterans and individuals with mental illness related to transition to work. CAP also contacted consumers through the ILCs in an effort to reach those individuals who are hardest to serve, and are in geographical areas that are often overlooked. CAP identifies and conducts outreaches to organizations that have a high percentage of minority clients, such as the National Minorities with Disabilities Coalition. CAP provided information in alternate formats to reach and serve populations of individuals who are otherwise underserved because of a lack of effective communication. CAP has access to Cyracom, a translation service that can access over 100 languages, and InLingua, a written translation service.

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.

1. Agency Staff Interviewed or Featured on Radio and TV4
2. Articles about CAP Featured in Newspaper/Magazine/Journals0
3. PSAs/Videos Aired about the CAP Agency0
4. Publications/Booklets/Brochures Disseminated by the Agency43104
5. Number of Times CAP Exhibited at Conferences, Community Fairs, etc.25
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.

Online newsletter: Making a Place for Disabled Kids in the State’s General Education Classrooms The Inclusion Campaign of New Jersey started last year as a collaboration among several organizations to promote the benefits of teaching students with disabilities inside general—education classrooms, among their nondisabled peers. This is a national issue, a central tenet of federal law, and the subject of long—running debates and lawsuits in New Jersey and elsewhere. The state recently settled one such suit that involved more than 70 districts. Funded by the van Ameringen Foundation, this campaign began as a white paper on the topic and evolved over the past year into a partnership with Amplify, Inc. to create a website, social media, press strategy, and a 10—minute video that features families and their stories.

Television: AT Demonstration NJFA’s Deputy Director, Melissa Chalker hosts this episode with guests Curtis Edmonds of Disability Rights NJ and Diane Vitillo of Home Heart Beats. The guests showcased some useful assistive devices and talked about modifications and adaptations to help with changes in mobility.

Television: Summer Camps Reminded to Be ADA Compliant

Thousands of New Jersey children will go to camp this summer and the U.S. Attorney’s Office wants camps to make reasonable accommodations so disabled kids can have fun, too. It’s issued a flyer reminding camps to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. That means evaluate each disabled child, don’t charge their parents for reasonable modifications, and train camp staff about the law. “However, sometimes it doesn’t work out well and we need additional staff,” said West Essex YMCA Executive Director Helen Flores. Flores says thanks to a grant the Y’s camps this summer will have one counselor for every two special needs campers and more adaptive sporting equipment — like bigger tennis rackets, paint brushes and soft balls — so all campers can stay mainstreamed. Flores says that acknowledges camps do have limits. “Unfortunately, there are. If a child is in a wheelchair, we can accommodate them. But, if they need help in toileting and lifting and moving them from a wheelchair and into a bathroom stall, that could be difficult for us,” Flores said. After a complaint and trial, a judge ruled the Evesham Township Triple A summer camp accommodated a 6—year—old camper with multiple disabilities. But, when the camp expelled him without warning because he was disruptive, the judge ruled “the camp violated the [state] LAD [law against discrimination] … by not following the disciplinary plan that applies to all disruptive campers.” “They’ve never been designed for kids with disabilities. They’re not used to having kids with disabilities,” said Disability Rights New Jersey Managing Attorney Mary Ciccone. That’s what Disability Rights New Jersey says about traditional camps and so it has this advice for parents and camps. “Communication is first and foremost the biggest issue and it starts not on the first day of camp. It should be going on before that kid comes to camp,” Ciccone said.

Television: Executive Director of Disability Rights NJ: ADA Gave People with Disabilities a Voice (http://www.njtvonline.org/news/video/executive—director—of—disability—rights—nj—ada—gave—people—with—disabilities—a—voice/)

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)56
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year51
3. Total individuals served (Lines A1+A2)107
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.)3
5. Individual still being served as of September 30 (Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line A3.)48

B. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information0
2. Communication problems between individual and VR counselor5
3. Conflict about VR services to be provided43
4. Related to VR application/eligibility process18
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
44
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 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 Assistance12
2. Investigation/Monitoring24
3. Negotiation4
4. Mediation and other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution12
5. Administrative / Informal Review10
6. Formal appeal / Fair Hearing0
7. Legal remedy / Litigation0
8. Total62

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 favor28
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)1
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual5
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)4
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual withdrew complaint14
7. Issue not resolved in clients favor0
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.1
9. Individual not responsive/cooperative with CAP9
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.)

client did not respond — 6

1. Controlling law/policy explained to individual18
2. Application for services completed2
3. Eligibility determination expedited2
4. Individual participated in evaluation1
5. IPE developed/implemented/Services Provided23
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party4
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office1
8. Alternative resources identified for individual5
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 - 2414
3. 25 - 4032
4. 41 - 6433
5. 65 and over28
6. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A5. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)107

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females48
2. Males59
3. Total (Lines B1+B2. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)107

C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race (for individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only)12
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian3
4. Black or African American24
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White67
7. Two or more races1
8. Race/ethnicity unknown0

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Acquired Brain Injury7
2. ADD/ADHD1
3. AIDS/HIV1
4. Amputations or Absence of Extremities1
5. Arthritis or Rheumatism0
6. Anxiety Disorder3
7. Autism Spectrum Disorder6
8. Autoimmune or Immune Deficiencies (excluding AIDS/HIV)0
9. Blindness (Both Eyes)8
10. Other Visual Impairments (Not Blind)7
11. Cancer0
12. Cerebral Palsy2
13. Deafness10
14. Hard of Hearing/Hearing Impaired (Not Deaf)1
15. Deaf-Blind0
16. Diabetes1
17. Digestive Disorders1
18. Epilepsy0
19. Heart & Other Circulatory Conditions3
20. Intellectual Disability3
21. Mental Illness20
22. Multiple Sclerosis0
23. Muscular Dystrophy0
24. Muscular/Skeletal Impairment1
25. Neurological Disorders/Impairment7
26. Orthopedic Impairments8
27. Personality Disorders0
28. Respiratory Disorders/Impairment1
29. Skin Conditions0
30. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)13
31. Speech Impairments0
32. Spina Bifida1
33. Substance Abuse (Alcohol or Drugs)1
34. Other Disability0
35. Total (Sum of Lines D1through D34. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)107

E. Types of Individual Served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicant of VR25
2. Individual eligible for VR services currently on a wait list0
3. Individual eligible for VR services not currently on a wait list83
4. Applicant or individual eligible for Independent Living0
5. Transition student/High school student1
6. All other applicants or individuals eligible for other programs or projects funded unther Rehabilitation Act0

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities

In 2015 CAP represented several clients in informal meetings and Administrative Reviews with both DVRS and CBVI. Because of these successful meetings, CAP was able to resolve most of the client’s issues. However, below is a case that may require legal intervention. CAP intervened on behalf of a 55—year—old client in Monmouth County, diagnosed with TBI and physical impairments. He contacted CAP regarding a DVRS eligibility denial, despite a positive eligibility determination in 2008. He was unable to follow through with DVRS in 2008 due to child support obligations, instead seeking employment independently in the field of sales and finance. These efforts failed due to his TBI, and he once again sought DVRS assistance. During an extended eligibility determination period, he requested DVRS sponsorship to attend surgical technician training, at which time DVRS denied eligibility for services. At that time, and prior to contacting CAP, the client enrolled in the surgical technician training and took out student loans. CAP investigated the matter by reviewing extensive documentation including the eligibility determination in 2008. CAP contacted DVRS and requested a reversal of the eligibility denial decision. DVRS conducted a brief neuropsychological evaluation indicating that NP had some strengths as well as deficits, but upheld their denial. CAP commissioned a neurocognitive executive functions assessment that was strongly supportive of the client’s need for DVRS services. CAP provided this information to DVRS who agreed to reverse its decision. When CAP asked that DVRS reimburse the client for the surgical technician training, it was denied, as the client has since graduated. CAP is presently reviewing this case for possible representation in a fair hearing to seek reimbursement.

Through DRNJ’s priority setting process, which includes consumer focus groups, surveys, and opportunities for input from the general public, CAP identified a number of priority areas. Priorities include ensuring that people with disabilities receive services on a timely basis consistent with the Rehabilitation Act, notification to vocational rehabilitation clients who are beneficiaries of Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income of financial participation exemptions, and promoting policies and practices that maximize employment potential in integrated settings for competitive wages.

In order to ensure that vocational rehabilitation clients receiving SSI or SSDI benefits are not required to financially participate in the cost of their services, CAP has met with the New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services and reviewed their policies and consumer handbook, consulted with the Rehabilitation Services Administration as well and the National Disability Rights Network, and is currently considering legal action in several cases.

Below are examples of financial participation priority cases.

CAP intervened on behalf of a 28—year—old client in Morris County who is deaf. She receives SSDI and Medicare. She contacted CAP following DVRS’s decision to withhold sponsorship for cosmetology training. Prior to contacting DVRS for services, she worked part—time for a year in a hair salon and was confident that she wanted to work as a hair stylist. DVRS did not support this goal as appropriate for a person who is deaf, citing a need for verbal communication in that job. The client is a proficient lip reader. DVRS instead referred her to a sheltered workshop for an evaluation to determine alternate marketable skills. Because of this disagreement, the client independently registered for training at the cosmetology school and took out approximately $10,000 in student loans. DVRS informed CAP that the client was not complying with its need to evaluate her, but CAP countered that the client’s employment goal was a matter of informed choice and provided DVRS with RSA policy directives as support. DVRS’s response was to advise CAP that the client’s participation in a vocational evaluation would be an important part of the process of providing informed consent. While advocating that DVRS reconsider its decision to deny sponsorship toward the client’s goal to train as a hairstylist, CAP was contacted by the client’s vocational school who advised they would provide the client with a speech—to—text device, but when the client insisted she needed interpreter services the school agreed to provide them. However, the school later stated that it was unwilling to fund the full interpreter cost as it had not been advised beforehand that the client was eligible for DVRS services. CAP informed the school of the DVRS denial and the client’s goal to obtain a reversal of the denial. With no IPE in place, no agreement with DVRS to provide interpreter services existed. The school subsequently wrote to the client informing her that they would discontinue interpreter services until she obtained sponsorship from DVRS. DRNJ opened a new service request, and the case was assigned to an attorney. As a result of this intervention, the school agreed to continue paying for the interpreters. In response to CAP’s intervention, DVRS agreed to an IPE with Cosmetologist as the client’s vocational goal. The client is currently attending cosmetology school with a 4.0 GPA. Since the client is a SS recipient, CAP is seeking full DVRS sponsorship and is presently considering this case for representation in a Fair Hearing for payment of the student loan.

CAP intervened on behalf of a 33—year—old client in Hudson County, diagnosed with tetra—amelia syndrome (absence of all four limbs). She receives SSI and Medicaid. The client contacted CAP when DVRS advised her they would only pay its college sponsorship part time rate cap, leaving the client with a balance of $1000 per semester. The client had already completed and independently paid for over half of the credits required for a bachelor’s degree and could no longer afford to financially contribute. CAP met with DVRS and advocated for full funding and an assistive technology evaluation. DVRS agreed to these requests. The client, who has a 4.0 GPA in math, now has the technology and the funding she needs to complete college level course work.

CAP continues to offer information to families, community social services agencies, and rehabilitation providers about SSA recipient financial participation under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

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.4
2. Describe the systemic activities conducted by CAP during the fiscal year and its impact on other agency's policies or practices.

B. Litigation

In 2015 CAP represented several clients in informal meetings and Administrative Reviews with both DVRS and CBVI. Because of these successful meetings, CAP was able to resolve most of the client’s issues. However, below is a case that may require legal intervention.

CAP intervened on behalf of a 55—year—old client in Monmouth County, diagnosed with TBI and physical impairments. He contacted CAP regarding a DVRS eligibility denial, despite a positive eligibility determination in 2008. He was unable to follow through with DVRS in 2008 due to child support obligations, instead seeking employment independently in the field of sales and finance. These efforts failed due to his TBI, and he once again sought DVRS assistance. During an extended eligibility determination period, he requested DVRS sponsorship to attend a surgical technician training, at which time DVRS denied eligibility for services. At that time, and prior to contacting CAP, the client enrolled in the surgical technician training and took out student loans. CAP investigated the matter by reviewing extensive documentation including the eligibility determination in 2008. CAP contacted DVRS and requested a reversal of the eligibility denial decision. DVRS conducted a brief neuropsychological evaluation indicating that NP had some strengths as well as deficits, but upheld itsr denial. CAP commissioned a neurocognitive executive functions assessment that was strongly supportive of the client’s need for DVRS services. CAP provided this information to DVRS who agreed to reverse its decision. When CAP asked that DVRS reimburse the client for the surgical technician training, it was denied, as the client has since graduated. CAP is presently reviewing this case for possible representation in a fair hearing to seek reimbursement.

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) External-Protection and Advocacy agency
2. Name of designate agencyDisability Rights New Jersey
3. Is the designated agency contracting CAP services?No
4. If yes, name of contracting agency:None

B. Staff Employed

Provide a description of all CAP positions (see instructions)

(A) Type of Position; (B) Full—time equivalent; (C) % of year position filled: (D) Person—years

(A) Coordinator; (B) 70%; (C) 100%; (D) 0.70

(A) Professional: (B) 50%; (C) 100%; (D) 0.50

(A) Professional; (B) 40%; (C) 100%: (D).0.40

(A) Professional; (B) 50%; (C) 100%; (D) 0.50

Total Person—Years = 2.10

Part VI. Case Examples

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

CAP intervened on behalf of a 27—year—old client residing at an assisted living facility in Morris County who is blind and has multiple sclerosis and hearing loss. He has open cases with both CBVI and DVRS. This client contacted CAP reporting that CBVI conducted an assistive technology assessment that only addressed his visual impairment, not the muscle weakness and tremors resulting from his multiple sclerosis. The client, who is pursuing his associate’s degree at a local community college, further reported being unable to independently type college assignments using this technology. CAP intervened by contacting both VR agencies and found that CBVI recognized its assessment did not address the client’s physical impairments and recommended collaboration with DVRS. The collaboration did not occur, and DVRS provided no services to the client. CAP successfully requested from senior CBVI staff that this client be afforded a comprehensive assistive technology evaluation conducted by a vendor able to address both the individual’s visual and physical disabilities, and it subsequently provided all the recommended technology. The client is currently being trained on this technology and reports now being able to complete his college assignments in a timely manner.

CAP intervened on behalf of a 42—year—old client in Middlesex County with dyslexia, apraxia, and central auditory processing disorder (CAPD). The client receives SSI and Medicaid. She worked as a day care assistant for many years and recently resigned from the position because the work was too physically demanding. She had been having allergy—related asthma attacks, and her medication was causing her to become dizzy and sleepy around the children. She contacted Middlesex DVRS, seeking its help to become an administrative assistant at a non—profit organization. DVRS re—evaluated her and stated that she should return to a day care assistant position because she had no other skills. She disagreed and became anxious. A psychological assessment was conducted by DVRS, indicating that the client may have new disabilities that would require her to do a different type of job, but that an office setting would be difficult for her. Despite this report, MG wanted to pursue administrative assistant work and requested a new counselor. DRNJ assisted her in amending her IPE, and DVRS agreed to provide volunteer employment and career assessments as well as computer training In order to obtain additional necessary information for employment placement. IPE services are now being provided to pursue her chosen vocational goal.

CAP intervened on behalf of a 27—year—old client attending college in Chester County, Pennsylvania, diagnosed with specific leaning disability. She contacted CAP regarding a DVRS denial to fund a college tuition bill for the fall 2014 semester. CAP contacted DVRS, who maintained that the client had not submitted required documentation by their deadline, a condition of her IPE. CAP investigated the circumstances of this denial and found that DVRS changed their software system during the fall of 2014, preventing the counselor from accessing the client’s records and issuing a regular reminder to the client, which would have assisted the client with her deficits in memory and organization. CAP further argued that unless the tuition bill was paid this client could not reenroll and complete her bachelor’s degree in missionary work. DVRS conceded and issued payment to the college for the outstanding tuition bill.

CAP intervened on behalf of a 53—year—old client with mental illness. He took online classes for certification in medical billing and coding for several years. The client stated that DVRS provided inconsistent payments toward his training, and the delays resulted in his internet services being cancelled, which in turn stalled his course completion. DVRS then stated that he was not eligible for continued funding due to non—compliance with course work even when he did have internet service, and he did not earn credit for the coursework. CAP assisted the client with obtaining a new counselor and re—opening his file. The counselor is now assisting him with obtaining funding for more current coursework. Additionally, the client will be engaged in volunteer work in a medical office in order to add medical billing work experience to his resume.

CAP intervened on behalf of a 23—year—old client with a learning disability who lives in Gloucester County. The client informed DRNJ that she requested assistance from DVRS, but was denied because her case was closed due to lack of contact. CAP advised the client to contact her DVRS counselor. The counselor responded, and DVRS is now assisting the client with completing her cosmetology training program. Funding for tutoring and classwork has been reinstated.

CAP intervened on behalf of a 36—year—old client who is deaf, speaks Spanish, and resides in Atlantic County. The client is certified in floral design and arrangement and wanted to obtain work in floral arrangement. Her initial IPE noted completion of General Equivalency Diploma (GED) as the primary goal, and she had been enrolled in GED classes at the One Stop Center in Pleasantville with DVRS funding. She requested a Spanish—speaking sign language interpreter but her requests were ignored, and she was instead provided English speaking interpreters, who were of little assistance. CAP intervened and assisted her with obtaining supports, including English as a Second Language (ESL) classes with a sign language component. The ESL program offered child care so her daughter was provided with supervision while the client attended classes. In addition, the client was connected to the deaf community in her area where she is participating in social activities. DVRS revised her IPE to include ongoing preparation for completion of the GED and job search for part—time work in floral arrangement and design.

CAP intervened on behalf of a 41—year—old client of Atlantic County who is deaf. The client, who is originally from Kenya, has limited ESL and ASL skills. She is currently not eligible for any SSA benefits due to her immigration status. The client contacted CAP when DVRS informed her they were closing her case after placing her in both a sheltered—workshop and a fast—food outlet. She reports advising DVRS that she did not want to work in either setting, but wanted DVRS assistance toward computer data—entry employment. DVRS denied this request, stating that if she wanted alternate employment she would have to conduct her own job search. CAP successfully advocated that DVRS sponsor this client in line with her employment interests. The client is currently attending ESL community college classes with interpreter services.

CAP intervened on behalf of a 25—year—old client of Bergen County, diagnosed with Meningocele spina bifida. She receives SSI and Medicaid. CAP previously assisted this client when DVRS denied funding for a final semester at college based on poor communication. The client has a severe speech impairment and is inaudible on the telephone. CAP was successful in obtaining DVRS funding for the client to complete her degree. After graduation, the client contacted CAP requesting assistance when DVRS advised that her communication regarding supported employment services was inadequate. CAP determined that, with the exception of an old generation Dynavox ‘robotic’ speech device, the client had no communication devices or internet access. CAP advocated that DVRS provide the client with an assistive technology evaluation to determine appropriate communication devices. DVRS agreed to this request and an evaluation was scheduled. The client has completed the first evaluation, which recommended several devices including a laptop and iPad mini. The assistive technology specialist also contacted DVRS and requested approval for a separate augmentative evaluation due to the client’s speech impairment. The client is scheduled to attend this evaluation mid—December. CAP will advocate for DVRS funding based on the recommendations made in these assessments.

CAP intervened on behalf of a 31—year—old client in Essex County with drug and alcohol addiction. The client was living in a residential facility where he was receiving rehabilitation. He contacted DVRS Essex County for assistance in attending school for heating & air conditioning repair. DVRS denied the request, stating that he must finish the rehabilitation program before he can receive services. Once the client was close to completing his rehabilitation and vocational program, CAP assisted him with submitting an application for DVRS services. DVRS opened a new case for him and assigned a new counselor. The client is re—connected with DVRS and is receiving employment services.

CAP intervened on behalf of a 20—year—old client in Essex County, diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, chronic migraines, and scoliosis. The client contacted CAP when DVRS informed her they would not fund a summer semester tuition bill. DVRS generally does not sponsor summer semesters due to financial aid disbursements, but the client provided DVRS with documentation from her college indicating that she had to take a specific summer course as a prerequisite to fall courses required for her major. Based on the approval of her DVRS counselor and his supervisor, the client registered for the summer course and was attending classes when she was informed that DVRS Central Office refused to pay the summer tuition bill. The client had already taken out student loans and was unable to register for the fall semester unless this bill was paid. CAP contacted the Assistant Director to challenge the denial and provided documentation from the college indicating that without completion of the summer course, the client’s graduation would be delayed by up to 12 months because of the scheduling of specific courses. DVRS reversed this decision, and the client completed the course.

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 OfficialJoseph B. Young
Title of Designated Agency OfficialExecutive Director
Date Signed12/23/2015