|Name||Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance|
|Address||430 1st Avenue N.|
|Address Line 2||Suite 300|
|Name||Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance|
|Address||430 1st Avenue N.|
|Address Line 2||Suite 300|
|Name of CAP Director/Coordinator||Daniel Stewart|
|Person to contact regarding report||Alex Farrell|
|Contact Person Phone||612-746-3764|
Multiple responses are not permitted.
|1. Information regarding the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program||15|
|2. Information regarding independent living programs||0|
|3. Information regarding American Indian VR Service projects||0|
|4. Information regarding Title I of the ADA||0|
|5. Other information provided||0|
|6. Information regarding CAP||0|
|7. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1 through A6)||15|
|1. Number of training sessions presented to community groups and public agencies.||15|
|2. Number of individuals who attended these training sessions.||664|
|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.
During this report period, CAP staff engaged in 11 outreach events throughout the state, which provided information about CAP services, VR rights and other disability rights. This outreach included a 2-day event sponsored by St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services in northeast Minnesota, a health fair in Northern Minnesota, the Project Homeless Connect resource fair in central Minnesota’s St. Cloud, the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans’ Stand Down event, an ADA at 25 event in St. Paul, a Dakota County disability services event and a Ramsey County Children’s Mental Health event in St. Paul. Staff also provided information about MDLC and CAP services at a booth at the Minnesota State Fair. CAP staff made a media appearance on Northwest Community Television (NWCT), a local television station in the Minneapolis suburbs, when MCLD’s Legal Director was interviewed about MDLC and CAP services to persons with disabilities.
In addition, CAP staff conducted outreach that was specifically targeted towards reaching historically unserved/underserved populations and minority communities.
Hispanic/Latino Community: CAP staff delivered a presentation to Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio, a nonprofit organization for Latinos in the Twin Cities, regarding access to vocational rehabilitation services, MDLC and CAP services, and issues facing Social Security beneficiaries seeking employment.
Native American Community: CAP staff presented a training about CAP and services for transition-aged youth at the White Earth Reservation in Northeastern Minnesota, hosted by the White Earth Sec. 121 vocational rehabilitation program. In attendance were Native American VR counselors from the reservation VR program, local social services staff and school district staff. Other presenters included Social Security staff, PACER representatives, and state vocational rehabilitation agency staff.
Transition-Aged Students: CAP staff delivered several presentations on transition issues, including a presentation on MDLC and CAP services with focus on special education and transition issues to staff at the Southeast Minnesota Center for Independent Living (SEMCIL), the ARC, and the Minnesota Ombudsman’s office. Staff delivered a webinar training presentation entitled “Hello From the Other Side - Employment Related Options for Young Adults (“Transition Age Youth”) with FASD” sponsored by the Minnesota Organization for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS); this webinar is available on the MOFAS website.
CAP staff delivered a presentation on “3 Main Challenges - Employment and Special Education” to the Booth Law Group. Special education and transition services were the topic of a training to the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health (MACMH). Staff delivered a training to parents and families from the School District 622 Transition group on transition issues, voting rights and guardianship. CAP staff also provided information to students and their families at transition fairs sponsored by the Minneapolis and Duluth public school districts.
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||0|
|3. PSAs/Videos Aired about the CAP Agency||0|
|4. Publications/Booklets/Brochures Disseminated by the Agency||11|
|5. Number of Times CAP Exhibited at Conferences, Community Fairs, etc.||11|
|6. Other (specify below)|
Describe the various sources and information disseminated about your agency by an external source.
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)||26|
|2. Additional individuals who were served during the year||26|
|3. Total individuals served (Lines A1+A2)||52|
|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.)||15|
|5. Individual still being served as of September 30 (Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line A3.)||23|
Multiple responses permitted.
|1. Individual requests information||5|
|2. Communication problems between individual and VR counselor||8|
|3. Conflict about VR services to be provided||22|
|4. Related to VR application/eligibility process||1|
|5. Related to assignment to order of selection priority category||2|
|6. Related to IPE development/implementation||5|
|7. Related to independent living services||0|
|8. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems||4|
|9. Non-Rehabilitation Act related||1|
|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||12|
|4. Mediation and other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution||0|
|5. Administrative / Informal Review||0|
|6. Formal appeal / Fair Hearing||0|
|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||9|
|2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)||12|
|3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual||3|
|4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)||1|
|5. Individual chose alternative representation||0|
|6. Individual withdrew complaint||1|
|7. Issue not resolved in clients favor||0|
|8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.||2|
|9. Individual not responsive/cooperative with CAP||0|
|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||5|
|2. Application for services completed||0|
|3. Eligibility determination expedited||0|
|4. Individual participated in evaluation||0|
|5. IPE developed/implemented/Services Provided||3|
|6. Communication re-established between individual and other party||14|
|7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office||2|
|8. Alternative resources identified for individual||1|
|9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR complaint made||0|
|10. Other (Please explain below)|
Multiple responses not permitted.
|1. Up to 18||5|
|2. 19 - 24||0|
|3. 25 - 40||8|
|4. 41 - 64||37|
|5. 65 and over||2|
|6. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A5. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)||52|
Multiple responses not permitted.
|3. Total (Lines B1+B2. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)||52|
|1. Hispanic/Latino of any race (for individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only)||0|
|2. American Indian or Alaskan Native||0|
|4. Black or African American||6|
|5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander||0|
|7. Two or more races||1|
|8. Race/ethnicity unknown||4|
Multiple responses not permitted.
|1. Acquired Brain Injury||2|
|4. Amputations or Absence of Extremities||1|
|5. Arthritis or Rheumatism||0|
|6. Anxiety Disorder||0|
|7. Autism Spectrum Disorder||2|
|8. Autoimmune or Immune Deficiencies (excluding AIDS/HIV)||0|
|9. Blindness (Both Eyes)||5|
|10. Other Visual Impairments (Not Blind)||1|
|12. Cerebral Palsy||0|
|14. Hard of Hearing/Hearing Impaired (Not Deaf)||2|
|17. Digestive Disorders||0|
|19. Heart & Other Circulatory Conditions||0|
|20. Intellectual Disability||3|
|21. Mental Illness||17|
|22. Multiple Sclerosis||0|
|23. Muscular Dystrophy||0|
|24. Muscular/Skeletal Impairment||0|
|25. Neurological Disorders/Impairment||2|
|26. Orthopedic Impairments||6|
|27. Personality Disorders||0|
|28. Respiratory Disorders/Impairment||0|
|29. Skin Conditions||0|
|30. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)||0|
|31. Speech Impairments||0|
|32. Spina Bifida||0|
|33. Substance Abuse (Alcohol or Drugs)||0|
|34. Other Disability||8|
|35. Total (Sum of Lines D1through D34. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)||52|
Multiple responses permitted.
|1. Applicant of VR||11|
|2. Individual eligible for VR services currently on a wait list||0|
|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||0|
|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.||2|
|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.||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.|
|1. Agency Type (select only one option)||External-Protection and Advocacy agency|
|2. Name of designate agency||Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance|
|3. Is the designated agency contracting CAP services?||No|
|4. If yes, name of contracting agency:||NA|
Provide a description of all CAP positions (see instructions)
Attorney FT .87 FTE 100% of year filled .87 Person years
Legal Advocate FT .8 FTE 100% of year filled .8 Person years
Clerical FT .06 FTE 100% of year filled .06 Person years
Provide some examples of some interesting cases during the past fiscal year.
An African-American woman who was a recent leg amputee sought CAP advocacy after moving from Wisconsin to Minnesota. The woman had worked for many years running her own home health care business but was no longer able to do that because of her disabilities. She wanted to pursue an alternate career as a freight broker but had little success with Minnesota VRS in developing a written Employment Plan for the training and other VR services she would need. Her VR counselor, who was white, did not believe she could be successful in that sort of endeavor. CAP staff investigated the case and recommend mediation to work through the issues. At mediation, where the woman was represented by CAP staff, VRS agreed to reassign the woman’s case to a different VR counselor, someone she had worked with successfully before. VRS and the woman were also able to agree on an Employment Plan to assess her abilities in pursuing the freight broker job goal and, if appropriate, to pursue the training she needed in an accredited educational program. After the mediation, CAP staff followed up with the woman and VRS to ensure the assessment process was moving along and that the woman was comfortable with the assessment activities recommended by VRS.
A blind woman sought CAP advocacy after spending two years trying to develop an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) without much success. She had undergone neurological assessment but about a year had gone by when her VR counselor was switched and nothing seemed to be moving forward. Her goal was to return to college to finish her bachelor’s degree so that she could get a social work job but she needed computer and braille training to be successful there, services SSB was reluctant to provide. After investigating her case, CAP staff represented the woman in a meeting with her VR counselor, the SSB supervisor and the SSB workforce development director. As a result, SSB agreed to support the woman’s job goal of working part-time in social services and returning to college. SSB also agreed to refer client for assistive technology assessments and to refer her to a different vendor for computer and braille training. Since then, the parties have moved forward to reassign the case to a different VR counselor, develop the written IPE, start the computer training and prepare for the return to college and a part-time job.
A man receiving VRS services was trying to start a small business but due to his wife’s income as a teacher could not get funding for any services under VRS’ consumer financial participation rules. The business involved developing tools to integrate computer hardware and software solutions from various vendors into an easy-to-use framework or platform for telehealth and e-health. CAP staff investigated his case and advocated on his behalf with VRS agency officials involved. CAP then set up a meeting with the VR counselor, the VRS office manager and VRS’ small business specialist to discuss what small business services could be provided within the scope of VRS funding and consumer financial participation policies. At the meeting, the man was able to talk about where he was in his small business development process and his need for technical assistance to put together financial forecasting information to include in his written business plan. VRS consequently agreed to provide 20 more hours of small business development consulting services to the man, for which consumer financial participation rules did not apply.
A woman with mental illness had been assigned to a different VR counselor and felt it was not a good fit, to the point where she was reluctant to share things and even experienced exacerbated mental health symptoms after interacting with the counselor. The woman was attending college and studying chemistry. She had requested reassignment to a different counselor but that request was denied. She contacted CAP, which investigated her case and learned that the woman had worked with a total of 8 counselors from two different VRS office locations, some by her request and others due to changing staff circumstances. CAP arranged a meeting with the office manager and the client and advocated on the client’s behalf for assignment to a different counselor who would relate to the woman better. At the meeting, the woman was also able to tell the VRS manager of a recent academic award she had received, the fact that she was very close to graduation and her concerns and anxieties about transitioning afterwards to a job search and employment. The parties were able to discuss what sorts of attributes were important in a VR counselor for the woman and it was agreed that the woman would meet with two potential counselors and make a decision, which would then be honored by VRS. This process resulted in a reassignment to a new VR counselor and the woman was consequently able to move forward with vocational rehabilitation.
An African-American man with physical disabilities had worked in cyber-security but lost his job. He sought VR services but was put on the waiting list because the VR counselor who determined his eligibility and order of selection priority status did not believe he was seriously disabled enough to be highest priority for services, finding him substantially limited in only one area, work tolerance. The man contacted CAP for help and after some investigation CAP staff worked with the man to gather additional evidence of the seriousness of his disabilities and how they substantially limited his functioning in two additional areas, mobility and work skills. With respect to mobility, the man had undergone additional medical evaluation which certified him eligible for disability parking and prescribed home-based work. Regarding work skills, the man had communications from prospective employers regarding his need for training in his field to become competitive for available jobs. All this information was submitted to VRS and as a result VRS changed its priority status determination to that of the highest priority for services, took him off the waiting list and started the assessment and Employment Plan development process.
A woman with mental illness living in rural Minnesota was experiencing difficulties communicating effectively with her VR counselor. She called CAP for help, and CAP staff interceded on her behalf with VRS to request reassignment to a different VR counselor. CAP staff then continued to advocate on the woman’s behalf at a series of meetings to plan VR services; VRS ultimately provided funding for a work trial along with interview clothing and transportation. The work trial itself went well until the woman was injured on the job, for which she needed physical therapy. The woman is currently looking for part-time work and is volunteering weekly so that the progress she made in her vocational rehabilitation process is not lost.
A high school youth with autism in outstate Minnesota contacted CAP with his mother who is also his guardian. He had a part-time job, working in concession services at the local ice skating arena, with one on one supported employment services funded by VRS. VRS had notified the family that the supported employment services funding would be discontinued because of the school’s responsibility to pay for such services. The school program maintained that such funding was not their responsibility, because the job he had was during evenings and weekends, outside of school hours. CAP staff investigated the situation and advocated on the boy’s behalf that funding should not be terminated and that VRS should continue to pay until other funding resources could be put in place. The parties then agreed that VRS would continue funding for supported employment funding outside of school hours and that the school program would pay for work experiences during the school day. With this arrangement, the boy was able to keep his job at the ice rink, especially important for Sundays when he did not have other activities. The plan now is for the boy to continue vocational training at the post-secondary level, along with employment with supported employment services funded by county waivered services.
A 26-year-old man with profound hearing loss contacted CAP because he was not getting the VR services he needed despite having worked with VRS since graduating from high school. He had a paralegal certificate from a local college but had not been able to find work. CAP staff investigated his case and was able to identify significant communication barriers with VRS and with prospective employers. VRS did not always provide interpreter services and when they did, sometimes the interpreter was not certified. CAP staff arranged a meeting with a certified interpreter, identifying many communication barriers of which VRS was not aware. The parties agreed that VRS would provide job placement services and appropriate interpreter services. When the man was offered a temporary job, VRS offered interpreter services for his training at the job site and disability awareness education for co-workers and staff at the new job. CAP then advised the man to communicate with VRS in writing, if at all possible going forward, and provided him with information about the sorts of services that could be available to him from VRS and other resources available to him in the community. CAP also successfully advocated that VRS provide funding for an assistive technology assessment, to be done by someone with expertise in communication barriers faced by persons with profound hearing loss.
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||Cathy Haukedahl|
|Title of Designated Agency Official||Executive Director|