|Name||Disability Rights Tennessee|
|Address||2 International Plaza|
|Address Line 2||Suite 825|
|Address Line 2|
|Name of CAP Director/Coordinator||Lisa Primm|
|Person to contact regarding report||Angela Webster|
|Contact Person Phone||615-298-1080|
Multiple responses are not permitted.
|1. Information regarding the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program||58|
|2. Information regarding independent living programs||2|
|3. Information regarding American Indian VR Service projects||1|
|4. Information regarding Title I of the ADA||0|
|5. Other information provided||11|
|6. Information regarding CAP||62|
|7. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1 through A6)||134|
|1. Number of training sessions presented to community groups and public agencies.||11|
|2. Number of individuals who attended these training sessions.||898|
|3. Describe training presented by the staff. Include the following information:|
Describe the agency's outreach efforts to previously un-served or underserved individuals including minority communities.
In FY2015, DRT continued its outreach and collaborative initiatives to enhance provision of services to minority communities. In addition to ongoing collaborations described below, DRT conducted 20 outreaches to minority groups, including refugee populations, with a focus on organizations and groups that reached target audiences across the state. DRT continued its participation in two collaborations—Encuentro Latino and Camino Seguro—that specifically focus on connecting the Latino community in Tennessee to available resources and services. Encuentro Latino is a collaboration among service providers to enhance information & referral services for Latinos in Middle Tennessee. Camino Seguro, an online bilingual database for disability services across the state, continues to be an important resource. This past fiscal year the database was redesigned with a focus on increasing usability and accessibility. The database had over 8,200 visits by more than 3,152 unique visitors, of which 30% were new. The Multicultural Alliance on Disability (MAD), a group of community agencies serving people with disabilities and/or refugees and immigrants, continues to be an important collaboration. MAD partners work to address the following barriers affecting the service delivery to people with disabilities from other cultures: language; different cultural beliefs about disability/understanding of the disability system in a new country; eligibility and access to disability services; and transportation.
Steps taken to address these issues include:
· The training module for service providers developed in FY2014 has been received well with 9 trainings completed in FY2015 by MAD partners. Providers receiving training include Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS), Metro Nashville Public School, United Neighborhood Health Services, the Arc Tennessee, and others.
· The training module for families has been delivered in Kurdish and Arabic and covers basic disability rights and resources for families. · MAD partners continue to use and contribute information to the standardized outreach packets with resources and information to streamline education and awareness efforts in the Bhutanese, Egyptian and Somali communities.
· Developed a Fact Sheet on Cultural Competence Practices for service providers. By continuing to collaborate with community organizations within and outside the disability community, DRT continues to work to address the needs of individuals with disabilities from diverse ethnic and racial communities. These relationships also help DRT better connect immigrant/refugee clients to community services and supports when they fall outside our current priorities & objectives.
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 TV||1|
|2. Articles about CAP Featured in Newspaper/Magazine/Journals||10|
|3. PSAs/Videos Aired about the CAP Agency||4|
|4. Publications/Booklets/Brochures Disseminated by the Agency||7578|
|5. Number of Times CAP Exhibited at Conferences, Community Fairs, etc.||0|
|6. Other (specify below)|
Describe the various sources and information disseminated about your agency by an external source.
In FY2015, nine newspaper/journal articles included information about DRT that reached approximately 545,000 people. External sources included key media outlets in Tennessee, among them The Tennessean, News Channel 3, Knoxville Daily Sun, and Cookeville Ledger. Other external sources included community partners and smaller online publications, such as Chalkbeat and the Clearinghouse Review. Information disseminated covered information about DRT services and programs, including special education, CAP services for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) clients, disability discrimination, and voting rights. In addition, the CAP attorney was part of a TV appearance in which she discussed the benefit of assistive technology for people with disabilities.
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 year||85|
|3. Total individuals served (Lines A1+A2)||89|
|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.)||1|
|5. Individual still being served as of September 30 (Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line A3.)||24|
Multiple responses permitted.
|1. Individual requests information||1|
|2. Communication problems between individual and VR counselor||21|
|3. Conflict about VR services to be provided||51|
|4. Related to VR application/eligibility process||7|
|5. Related to assignment to order of selection priority category||0|
|6. Related to IPE development/implementation||7|
|7. Related to independent living services||1|
|8. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems||1|
|9. Non-Rehabilitation Act related||0|
|10. Related to Title I of the ADA||0|
(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 Assistance||27|
|4. Mediation and other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution||4|
|5. Administrative / Informal Review||1|
|6. Formal appeal / Fair Hearing||1|
|7. Legal remedy / Litigation||0|
(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 favor||39|
|2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)||5|
|3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual||4|
|4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)||2|
|5. Individual chose alternative representation||0|
|6. Individual withdrew complaint||12|
|7. Issue not resolved in clients favor||0|
|8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.||0|
|9. Individual not responsive/cooperative with CAP||3|
|10. CAP unable to take case due to lack of resources||0|
|11. Conflict of interest||0|
|12. Other (Please explain below)|
(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 individual||17|
|2. Application for services completed||0|
|3. Eligibility determination expedited||2|
|4. Individual participated in evaluation||0|
|5. IPE developed/implemented/Services Provided||29|
|6. Communication re-established between individual and other party||7|
|7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office||3|
|8. Alternative resources identified for individual||2|
|9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR complaint made||0|
|10. Other (Please explain below)|
Multiple responses not permitted.
|1. Up to 18||3|
|2. 19 - 24||16|
|3. 25 - 40||33|
|4. 41 - 64||32|
|5. 65 and over||5|
|6. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A5. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)||89|
Multiple responses not permitted.
|3. Total (Lines B1+B2. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)||89|
|1. Hispanic/Latino of any race (for individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only)||2|
|2. American Indian or Alaskan Native||0|
|4. Black or African American||30|
|5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander||0|
|7. Two or more races||0|
|8. Race/ethnicity unknown||1|
Multiple responses not permitted.
|1. Acquired Brain Injury||2|
|4. Amputations or Absence of Extremities||0|
|5. Arthritis or Rheumatism||0|
|6. Anxiety Disorder||2|
|7. Autism Spectrum Disorder||3|
|8. Autoimmune or Immune Deficiencies (excluding AIDS/HIV)||1|
|9. Blindness (Both Eyes)||6|
|10. Other Visual Impairments (Not Blind)||9|
|12. Cerebral Palsy||6|
|14. Hard of Hearing/Hearing Impaired (Not Deaf)||3|
|17. Digestive Disorders||1|
|19. Heart & Other Circulatory Conditions||0|
|20. Intellectual Disability||5|
|21. Mental Illness||19|
|22. Multiple Sclerosis||1|
|23. Muscular Dystrophy||0|
|24. Muscular/Skeletal Impairment||2|
|25. Neurological Disorders/Impairment||5|
|26. Orthopedic Impairments||5|
|27. Personality Disorders||0|
|28. Respiratory Disorders/Impairment||2|
|29. Skin Conditions||0|
|30. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)||4|
|31. Speech Impairments||1|
|32. Spina Bifida||0|
|33. Substance Abuse (Alcohol or Drugs)||0|
|34. Other Disability||1|
|35. Total (Sum of Lines D1through D34. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)||89|
Multiple responses permitted.
|1. Applicant of VR||45|
|2. Individual eligible for VR services currently on a wait list||2|
|3. Individual eligible for VR services not currently on a wait list||37|
|4. Applicant or individual eligible for Independent Living||0|
|5. Transition student/High school student||0|
|6. All other applicants or individuals eligible for other programs or projects funded unther Rehabilitation Act||5|
|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.||27|
|2. Describe the systemic activities conducted by CAP during the fiscal year and its impact on other agency's policies or practices.|
|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.||1|
|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.||1|
|2. Describe the agency's on-going and completed systemic litigation activities involving individual representation.|
|1. Agency Type (select only one option)||External-Protection and Advocacy agency|
|2. Name of designate agency||Disability Rights Tennessee|
|3. Is the designated agency contracting CAP services?||No|
|4. If yes, name of contracting agency:||not applicable|
Provide a description of all CAP positions (see instructions)
Type of Position FTE/ % of year filled/Person—years Professional 12/100%/12 Full—time 11 100% 11 Part—time 1/100%/1 Vacant 0 Clerical 6/100%/6 Full—time 6/100%/6 Part—time 0 Vacant 0
Provide some examples of some interesting cases during the past fiscal year.
1. A 39—year—old Caucasian male who has visual disabilities and cerebral palsy contacted Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) and reported that Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) had failed to provide Assistive Technology (AT) software as agreed and had consistently been late in providing for personal care attendant (PCA) payments. Shortly after he made contact with DRT, VR provided the AT software to our client and he immediately began using it to complete his work tasks. DRT met with our client, his mother and VR staff to discuss his concerns and defined a plan to avoid late PCA payments. As the service request progressed, our client experienced compatibility issues between his AT devices and required additional advocacy assistance to receive an AT evaluation. As a result of the AT evaluation, our client received additional AT software and has been able to use his AT devices without the previous interface issues. As our client experienced concerns regarding staff of the city transit system, DRT provided him with suggestions for addressing these issues with the supervisor of this department. Our client continues to employ these self—advocacy skills in addressing any further issues which have arisen. At the final meeting with VR staff in which DRT participated, it was agreed that VR would refer our client to a community rehabilitation provider to receive job placement services. However, after a delay of a few weeks and no responses to our client’s inquiries, DRT intervened and requested VR to proceed with the referral. Our client has received confirmation of the referral and anticipates that he will begin working with the job placement specialist in the near future. Our client’s VR case was recently transferred to a VR Counselor who is located in our client’s city of residence and it is hoped that this closer proximity will assist in timeliness of case tasks. As a result of DRT intervention, our client receives PCA payments in a timely manner, has access to appropriate AT devices to perform the tasks for his part—time work as a curriculum developer for a campus ministries group and will soon begin working with a new job placement specialist. Our client hopes to pursue employment in pastoral care in a medical facility.
2. A 28—year—old Caucasian male who has a visual disability contacted Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) and initially reported that his Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) refused to provide training services to help him become employed in small engine repair. Our client then reported to the advocacy staff that the VRC had reported agreement with exploring educational training as well as on the job training (OJT). At that time our client indicated that he wanted to follow up with VR rather than pursuing immediate assistance from DRT. A few weeks later he reported he had obtained employment at a small engine repair shop but the employer expected him to obtain further training. He indicated that at that time he wanted DRT assistance because VR was no longer agreeing to provide such training and was not helping with OJT services. DRT contacted the VR Supervisor to discuss the case issues. Around this time the employer requested that our client take a leave from work so he could resolve his issues with VR and obtain the needed training in order to be successfully employed in small engine repair work. DRT provided this information to VR and VR agreed to quickly amend our client’s Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) to provide for educational training in small engine repair. Our client is currently pursuing the training program with the plan to return to work to employment at the small engine repair shop upon completion of training.
3. A 47—year—old African—American female who has an acquired brain injury contacted Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) and reported that Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) had failed to provide reimbursement for her textbooks for the spring semester. She also reported the need for tutoring for one of her courses and wanted assistance to seek this service from VR. DRT attended a meeting with our client and her VR Counselor (VRC) and her IPE was amended to reimburse her for textbooks and to ensure VR would provide for textbooks in future semesters. We also reviewed the process for obtaining tutoring services so our client understands the process she will need to follow to request that service as needed in the future. Due to medical concerns during her spring semester, our client did not achieve the required grades in two courses and her graduate program required her to re—take those courses prior to moving forward with the remaining curriculum. When preparing for the fall semester she learned that those two courses were not offered and the only option provided by the university was to request a leave of absence for the fall semester. DRT provided suggestions for drafting the request and for contacting her VRC to discuss her plans. Her request for a leave of absence was promptly approved by the university and her VRC acknowledged the steps she must take to resume services prior to the next semester. Due to DRT intervention, our client is assured of receiving funds to provide for textbooks and she is prepared for the steps she must take with the university and with VR prior to returning to classes in the next semester to continue her pursuit of a Master’s of Business Administration.
4. The mother of a 23—year—old Caucasian male who has intellectual disabilities contacted Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) and reported that Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) had inappropriately closed her son’s case and the VR Counselor (VRC) had failed to communicate information to them during the VR case. She also indicated that her son had been involved in a non—reported bus accident when traveling with a transportation provider being paid by VR. She noted that, despite her son sustaining injuries in the accident, the transportation provider had not reported the accident to VR or to the client’s family. Our client’s mother had independently investigated this issue prior to contacting DRT but had not discussed her concerns with VR. Upon review of our client’s VR records, it was determined that his VR case was still open. However, the community rehabilitation provider (CRP) which had provided the work adjustment services had closed his case with their agency due to his inappropriate behaviors at the work site. After DRT explained this information to our client’s mother and encouraged further follow—up with the VRC, our client and his mother met with the VRC and planned for new services with a different CRP. Soon thereafter, our client began participating in the work adjustment program with that CRP. DRT contacted the VR Regional Supervisor (VRRS) to discuss the general VR case issues as well as our client’s concerns regarding the transportation provider. She reviewed our client’s VR case and followed ukp with the VRC to discuss appropriate case handling procedures for maintaining communication with a client and, when appropriate, the client’s family. The VRRS also contacted the transportation provider to discuss the concerns of our client and his family in an effort to ensure that future vehicle accidents would be appropriately reported by the transportation agency’s staff.
5. A 31—year—old Caucasian woman with anxiety disorder contacted Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) because Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) was failing to provide maintenance services in the form of housing listed on her Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). Initially, our client confirmed that VR upper management had rendered funds for the service. DRT agreed to monitor her issue with VR for one month to determine if our client experienced further problems. During the monitoring phase, DRT learned there were additional problems and had to address the issue with upper management. DRT recognized that our client’s issue was a problem manifesting itself across the state due to the new authorization and invoice process VR was implementing. Through our advocacy efforts, DRT has brought awareness to upper VR management of the challenges from this process and its negative effects on their clients and have seen VR take steps to stop the delays in service provision. Our client is now able to concentrate on her fast—paced time—consuming training program and pursue obtaining her required degree to become a mortician.
6. Disability Rights TN (DRT) was contacted by a 40—year—old African American female with a metal illness to request assistance with her Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services. She reported that VR had inappropriately closed her case and did not provide her with the services recommended on her evaluation reports. Upon review of our client’s VR file, we relayed to her that VR closed her case because she had found employment on her own and that VR could not provide the services recommended in the evaluation reports due to her current income exceeding their financial participation levels. However, VR did agree to review her circumstances to determine if they could help her document accommodations. They were able to provide her with documentation to give to her employer that may help her receive a reasonable accommodation from her employer. DRT educated our client on requesting reasonable accommodations in the work place. As a result of DRT intervention our client has the skills to self—advocate in her workplace that will help her to maintain her employment.
7. A 53—year—old African—American female, who has an auto—immune disorder with subsequent orthopedic limitations, contacted Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) and reported that Vocational Rehabilitation had failed to amend her Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) prior to the current fall semester and they had not paid for her fall tuition or books. VR informed our client that she must pursue employment as she had completed her associate degree, and they would not support her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in social work, even though that was listed as the intended employment objective on the IPE. DRT also learned that VR had not provided for services which were included on our client’s IPE, including books and transportation for both the spring and summer semesters. Very soon after DRT requested VR records, VR contacted our client to request a meeting to discuss the case. DRT contacted VR prior to the meeting to discuss all concerns as noted from their records and additional email records our client provided. VR agreed that the IPE should be amended to address our client’s employment objective of social worker and to provide for all services as listed on the IPE. DRT met with our client, her VR Counselor (VRC) and the VR field supervisor (VRFS) to review and amend the IPE to provide for tuition, books/supplies and transportation. As fall semester was already at the point of mid—term, DRT followed—up with the VRC, VRFS and VR Acting Director when delays occurred with completion of the current semester authorizations. The authorizations for immediate payment for fall semester tuition and books were quickly authorized and the VRC prepared the remaining authorizations for past services. DRT provided self—advocacy training to help our client prepare for future interactions with VR and to plan for her annual review and IPE amendments. As a result of DRT intervention, our client received all services as provided in her previously signed IPE and in the amended IPE, including reimbursement for prior semester tuition, books and transportation and payment made to the University for the current semester’s tuition and books/supplies. Our client is able to resume her undergraduate studies with the knowledge that VR is supporting her in the pursuit of her employment objective in social work.
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 Official||Lisa Primm|
|Title of Designated Agency Official||Executive Director|