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

Washington (CLIENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM) - H161A150058 - FY2015

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameClient Assistance Program
Address2531 Rainier Avenue South
Address Line 2
Zip Code98144
Website Address
Phone(206) 721-5999
TTY (206) 721-6072
Toll-free Phone(800) 544-2121
Toll-free TTY(888) 721-6072
Fax(206) 721-5980

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

Address Line 2
Zip Code
E-mail Address
Website Address
Toll-free Phone
Toll-free TTY

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorJerry Johnsen
Person to contact regarding reportJerry Johnsen
Contact Person Phone(206) 721-5996

Part I. Non-case Services

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program975
2. Information regarding independent living programs28
3. Information regarding American Indian VR Service projects25
4. Information regarding Title I of the ADA50
5. Other information provided0
6. Information regarding CAP850
7. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1 through A6)1,928

B. Training Activities

2 Presentations to Seattle Public Schools

Topics covered: Transition planning for students with disabilities to engage in the VR process starting at age 16, or as young as 14 if appropriate.

Purpose of the training: to explain, clarify and counter misapprehensions of staff, students and families about the role of VR in transition planning for students and youth with disabilities.

Description of the attendees: teachers and administrators in special education programs.

2 Presentations to PAVE

Topics covered: Provide a description of CAP’s role in the VR process. Address questions, and concerns of parents and students with disabilities about participating in the vocational rehabilitation process. Provide information and appropriate referrals about the transition process. Describe the role of the vocational rehabilitation counselor related to working with students and youth with disabilities as they explore the world of work and establish career goals. Address specific concerns of individual families and youth and develop CAP advocacy intervention.

Purpose of the training: To work directly with transition students and families.

Description of the attendees: Parents, students, teachers, administrators and staff of PAVE. PAVE is a parent—directed organization that works with families, individuals with disabilities, professionals and community members in all walks of life and with all types of disabilities. Since 1979, PAVE has provided information, training and support for over 1,000,000 individuals with disabilities, parents and professionals. PAVE is a parent directed organization that works with families, individuals with disabilities, professionals and community members in all walks of life and with all types of disabilities. Since 1979, PAVE has provided information, training and support for over 1,000,000 individuals with disabilities, parents and professionals.

1 Presentation to the Puget Sound Educational Service District

Topics covered: How Educational Service Districts (9 ESDs in WA state) can support ESD special education resource and monitoring staff to learn about transition services and make appropriate referrals within school districts for students and youth with disabilities.

Purpose of training: CAP staff responded to the Puget Sound Educational Service District request to present on advocacy and working with schools, youth and families to transition into services offered within the vocational rehabilitation process.

Description of attendees: Educational Service District agency staff serving school district special education programs. Administrators, working at a regional District level.

18 presentations to WorkSource staff

Topics covered: CAPs role in the VR process. Accept individual referrals of WorkSource clients for CAP advocacy to engage and succeed in the VR process.

Purpose of training: Collaborate with WorkSource staff not familiar with vocational rehabilitation as needed when working with job seekers with disabilities. Develop capacity within the WorkSource delivery system to work with people with disabilities. To engage and educate WorkSource frontline staff to be aware of and make good referrals to the vocational rehabilitation systems.

Description of attendees: WorkSource staff persons and administrators to learn about the Client Assistance Program’s role in providing information, referral and advocacy for job seekers with disabilities.

Presentation to Tribal Consort

Topics covered: Client Assistance Role in both individual and systemic advocacy for the tribal VR programs.

Purpose of training: to engage Tribal VR programs as partners with the Client Assistance Program.

Description of attendees: State VR program administrators, Tribal VR administrators and VR staff.

4 Presentations to general VR agency local units

Topics covered: The role and purpose of the Client Assistance Program within both state systemic processes and individual client information and referral, and for specific advocacy to address clients’ rights and remedies throughout their engagement in the VR process.

Purpose of the training: To engage individual and groups of VR support staff, VRCs and supervisors through out the state in a consistent dialogue with the Client Assistance Program.

Description of the attendees: VR front—line staff, including assistants, AT specialists, VRCs and supervisors.

2 Presentations to the Governor’s Committee on Disability and Employment

Topics covered: the role of the Client Assistance Program in the VR process. Describe common trends and frequent client concerns.

Purpose of the training: increase knowledge and how to make referrals to VR programs and to the Client Assistance Program.

Description of the attendees: Committee members and citizens concerns with the employment needs of persons with disabilities.

3 Rehabilitation Law Trainings:

Topics covered: Rehabilitation Law: History and Practice

Purpose of training: Enlighten VR staff to the mission, purpose and goals of VR legislation.

Description of attendees: VR staff at all level’s from front—line to administrators.

3 presentations to the State Independent Living Council

Topics covered: CAPs role in both policy and individual advocacy. Review trends with Agency procedures and client concerns.

Purpose of training: updates to the SILC

Description of attendees: SILC council members and representatives from community agencies. Concerned citizens.

4 presentations to the State Rehabilitation Council

Topics covered: Updates on CAP role and interventions with VR agencies.

Purpose of training: Educate council members on relevant aspects of the ACT, WIOA updates, VR agency policy, and current CAP trends

Description of the attendees: council members, VR staff, and community members.

1. Number of training sessions presented to community groups and public agencies.17
2. Number of individuals who attended these training sessions.367
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.

CAP staff have become involved in many requests for more information on the Pre—Employment Transition Services and general transitional VR services to students and youth with disabilities. We have worked with schools, skills centers, and Educational Service Districts to provide information and referral services and describe CAP’s role in advocacy and working with the Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies.

The Client Assistance Program is located, as a tenant, in a large WorkSource. The staff of this WorkSource collaborates with CAP for information, referral and advocacy for WorkSource Clients, the number of which exceed any other WorkSource in minority communities.

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 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 Agency0
5. Number of Times CAP Exhibited at Conferences, Community Fairs, etc.5
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)41
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year130
3. Total individuals served (Lines A1+A2)171
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.)48

B. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information61
2. Communication problems between individual and VR counselor81
3. Conflict about VR services to be provided99
4. Related to VR application/eligibility process38
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 problems0
9. Non-Rehabilitation Act related
  1. TANF
  3. Housing
  4. Other:
10. Related to Title I of the ADA2

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 Assistance9
2. Investigation/Monitoring39
3. Negotiation108
4. Mediation and other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution0
5. Administrative / Informal Review15
6. Formal appeal / Fair Hearing0
7. Legal remedy / Litigation0
8. Total171

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 favor87
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)39
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual21
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)3
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual withdrew complaint4
7. Issue not resolved in clients favor5
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.0
9. Individual not responsive/cooperative with CAP12
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 individual43
2. Application for services completed15
3. Eligibility determination expedited22
4. Individual participated in evaluation6
5. IPE developed/implemented/Services Provided35
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party35
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office11
8. Alternative resources identified for individual4
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 187
2. 19 - 2420
3. 25 - 4047
4. 41 - 6486
5. 65 and over11
6. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A5. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)171

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females83
2. Males88
3. Total (Lines B1+B2. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)171

C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race (for individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only)28
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native8
3. Asian2
4. Black or African American19
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander1
6. White104
7. Two or more races9
8. Race/ethnicity unknown0

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Acquired Brain Injury9
4. Amputations or Absence of Extremities2
5. Arthritis or Rheumatism8
6. Anxiety Disorder10
7. Autism Spectrum Disorder8
8. Autoimmune or Immune Deficiencies (excluding AIDS/HIV)11
9. Blindness (Both Eyes)7
10. Other Visual Impairments (Not Blind)5
11. Cancer0
12. Cerebral Palsy4
13. Deafness3
14. Hard of Hearing/Hearing Impaired (Not Deaf)5
15. Deaf-Blind2
16. Diabetes4
17. Digestive Disorders3
18. Epilepsy0
19. Heart & Other Circulatory Conditions2
20. Intellectual Disability5
21. Mental Illness27
22. Multiple Sclerosis6
23. Muscular Dystrophy0
24. Muscular/Skeletal Impairment4
25. Neurological Disorders/Impairment4
26. Orthopedic Impairments14
27. Personality Disorders10
28. Respiratory Disorders/Impairment0
29. Skin Conditions1
30. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)4
31. Speech Impairments0
32. Spina Bifida0
33. Substance Abuse (Alcohol or Drugs)2
34. Other Disability0
35. Total (Sum of Lines D1through D34. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)171

E. Types of Individual Served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicant of VR47
2. Individual eligible for VR services currently on a wait list0
3. Individual eligible for VR services not currently on a wait list151
4. Applicant or individual eligible for Independent Living17
5. Transition student/High school student17
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

non litigation not involving individual change in one or more policy or practice

A) CAP staff worked successfully with the general VR agency to review and change policy prohibiting summer school unless the client requests an exception to rule to approve attending summer school. With CAP systemic advocacy a client’s VRC will not have to go through the burdensome process with a client needing to request the exception to rule that often results in delays and denial of moving forward with educational services to achieve an employment goal. The VRC is now able to work with the client to decide how best to move forward with IPE services, including completing his/her completing their education in a timely manner.

B) CAP staff advocated for a systemic change to the general agency policy prohibiting paying for any exercise and weight loss program. There is now going to be a process allowing exceptions to this policy.

C) CAP staff reviewed and successfully advocated for systemic change regarding how a general agency client may ask for an exception to policy or rule. The new language will clarify that clients may ask for DVR assistance to submit a request for exceptions.

D) CAP staff worked with the general agency to clarify and support field staff to approve higher education goals and serve clients pursuing careers requiring advanced post—secondary and master’s levels degrees. An important result is that the general agency will also work with field staff to accept applications, determine eligibilities and develop plans for employed clients to advance in employment as a specific goal within the Workforce Innovations and Opportunities Act.

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

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-other nonprofit agency
2. Name of designate agencyClient Assistance Program
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)

1.0 FTE full person year, director 1.0 FTE full person year, rehabilitation coordinator

Part VI. Case Examples

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

JOHN is a 51 year old male with a disability due to bi—polar and ADHD. John contacted the Client Assistance Program because his DVR case had been closed and he disagreed with the case closure. CAP staff spoke with John’s VR counselor and reviewed his VR case file. VR’s rational for closure was based on John not having stable mental health and not being able to focus on choosing a vocational goal. VR recommended that he get counseling, take medication, that he find a volunteer position, and that he apply for SSDI.VR held that when John had completed these requirements he could reapply in 4—6 months.

After reviewing this case closure CAP came to the conclusion that VR was essentially closing his case as too severe and that VR has the obligation to help John address these concerns or to proceed to Trial Work Experiences, (TWE) to clarify with clear and convincing evidence that John is too severe to benefit from VR services. CAP addressed these concerns with the unit supervisor, explaining the law and the case was reopened.

This case involved 2 systemic issues that CAP has advocated for general clarification from the general agency to its staff; First, Closure as too Severe to Benefit: many VR staff do not show an understanding that when they close a VR case as too severe to benefit either prior to eligibility or during case services, they have an obligation to initiate the TWE process.

The second issue is that VR and it’s vendors must more fully understand the requirements of doing proper TWE — Trial Work Experiences. (A participant cannot be required to take medication, apply for other benefits and do rehabilitation—related activities before re—application.) VR was not addressing the client’s barriers but instead was sending him away to “improve” before receiving appropriate rehabilitation services, as should be done with an open VR case file.

COLLETTE has an open case with WA Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). As a service item on her Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) DVR purchased a modified van for her use in a self—employment venture. While developing her business Collette was approached by a company to possibly become a sales representative. DVR staff moved to recover her van as she had changed her employment goal. DVR staff maintained that she no longer was making use of her van in her self—employment and needed to develop a new IPE. Collette lives in a rural area, too far from public transportation. CAP staff argued successfully that she needed her own transportation to participate in VR services and develop a new IPE. CAP staff developed an advocacy plan with Collette wherein she would work with her vocational rehabilitation counselor to achieve employment. Collette remained in possession of her vehicle; as it happened, she did not pursue the sales representative position and continues developing her own business. Collette is on the road, developing further business contacts and continues working with her VRC to grow her business.

Systemically, CAP had previously, and successfully, advocated with administration about repossessing equipment and/or a vehicle, while a participant was still involved in VR services.

We reviewed the vehicle purchase and modification policy and worked with the area assistive technology specialist to clarify policy and review the need for appropriate transportation to participate in VR services and achieve a realistic employment goal.


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 OfficialJerry Johnsen
Title of Designated Agency OfficialDirector, Client Assistance Program
Date Signed11/25/2015