|Name||Center for Disability Law & Policy|
|Address||1515 Market Street|
|Address Line 2||Suite 1300|
|Phone||215 557 7112|
|TTY||215 557 7112|
|Fax||215 557 7602|
|Address Line 2|
|Name of CAP Director/Coordinator||Stephen S. Pennington|
|Person to contact regarding report||Stephen S. Pennington|
|Contact Person Phone||215-564-2363|
Multiple responses are not permitted.
|1. Information regarding the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program||571|
|2. Information regarding independent living programs||86|
|3. Information regarding American Indian VR Service projects||0|
|4. Information regarding Title I of the ADA||116|
|5. Other information provided||329|
|6. Information regarding CAP||112|
|7. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1 through A6)||1,214|
|1. Number of training sessions presented to community groups and public agencies.||23|
|2. Number of individuals who attended these training sessions.||1,819|
|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.
As part of our underserved outreach this year, Margaret spent time uncovering and reaching out to Muscular Dystrophy associations and groups. This is a particularly underserved population from CAP’s perspective. In FY 2015, we had only 2 active cases with this disabling condition. In FY 2016 some of the outreach contacts we made to reach these individuals include but are not limited to: MDA of Pittsburgh; MDA of Harrisburg; MDA of Allentown; Hershey Medical Center; Good Shepherd Rehabilitation and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
In FY 2017 we will reconnect with these places, hopefully have an opportunity to speak/ participate in a training as to have direct interaction with the individuals affected by this crippling condition. As always, we will look to uncover more groups/rehabs that we can outreach across the state that are committed to making the lives of individuals with MD better! Our wish is to make as many people who are or know someone who is trying to become independent and productive aware of our advocacy services.
An underserved group CAP focused on was the blind/visually impaired. Some positive contacts have come from Margaret’s outreaching to all the Pennsylvania Blind Associations (PAB). The PAB was founded in 1910 as the nation’s only statewide private non-profit organization for individuals who are blind/visually impaired. There are 26 member agencies serving 132,000 Pennsylvanians annually providing various services for people who are blind/visually impaired.
Thanks to this outreach effort, Margaret was asked to present and provide training to our local blind association, Associated Services for the Blind (ASB). She provided training on topics such as: timeframe for completion of the IPE, choosing a realistic employment goal consistent with the client’s unique strengths, abilities, capabilities, interests and available in the labor market, a description of the specific rehabilitation services needed to achieve this goal including assistive technology, and the responsibilities of the client and BBVS regarding costs, comparable benefits, etc. There were 25 blind/visually impaired individuals in attendance for this training. Margaret also shared some tips from her personal experience as a BBVS client and how one can do a few proactive things to make the BBVS process a bit smother. Her outreach to this underserved population has really helped in spreading the word about our services and how we can be a fundamental part of their BBVS experience. Margaret is excited to report that she was also invited to present to 3 other blind associations for training in 2017. It is great to fulfill CAP’s mandate to outreach and to enjoy doing it as well. In continuing her efforts to the blind/visually impaired community, Margaret McKenna strategized her outreach to contact all the 27 Blind Associations state-wide. Some of these blind associations are also BBVS providers and in 2017, CAP will be working closely with BBVS offices encouraging them to offer their clients services at the local blind association in their area. This additional choice of provider, will shorten very long waiting lists for services, particularly orientation and mobility training.
Some of the Blind Associations she contacted include but are not limited to: Berks County Blind Association, Bucks County Blind Association, Cambria County Blind Association, Blair/Clearfield Blind Association, Center for Vision Loss, Lehigh County Blind Association, Keystone Blind Association, Montgomery County Blind Association, For Sight Vision, Central Susquehanna Blind Association, North Central Sight Services, Somerset Blind Association, Washington-Greene County Blind Association, Greater Wilkes-Barre Blind Association, South Central Blind Association and the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind, PAB.
In FY 2017 we plan to continue to reconnect with these contacts and research new chapter support groups across the state so more individuals with blindness or visual impairment have a better chance of being independent and successfully employed, a wish that CAP takes pride in helping to come true for these individuals.
As part of CAP’s efforts to become more visible in the community, CAP advocate Lannette Suarez focused on networking to the HIV/AIDS population. She contacted the organizations and mailed out brochures to inform them of CAP and the services that we provide to the disabled. Some of the organizations that were contacted Bebashi, Action Aids, Mazzoni Center and Philadelphia Fight. By reaching out to this unserved group, it will make them more aware of CAP and its role in the VR process.
One of the populations that CAP advocate Lannette Suarez honed in on was the Pulmonary population. CAP Advocate spent a great deal of time enlightening these organizations about CAP and how to navigate the VR process effectively. One such organization that she highlighted was the York Breathers Association. She contacted the organizations by phone and sent brochures about the availability of CAP.
In continuing with CAP’s outreach to underserved populations, Julia Blackwell targeted Autism for her population in FY ’16. Outreaching to all Autism Connection of PA support groups and speaking to each of their group coordinator on how CAP can be a resource to individuals with Autism trying to gain or main competitive integrated employment. Julia was invited to speak at Autism Sharing and Parenting of Philadelphia. Providing training to 50 parents with transitioning age students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Thanks to a great outreach connection CAP advocate, Margaret McKenna has maintained, she was to be both a presenter and host a resource table at The Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (PSD) Transition and Resource Fair. This event was held at the PSD and had 35 participants as exhibitors. The participants were comprised of providers, advocacy groups, employment and education representatives and OVR. Out of the 35 exhibitors, Margaret was asked to be one of 6 asked to be a presenter in addition to being an exhibitor. Margaret spoke about our services and provided some training on self-advocacy. This presentation was attended by 150 students and parents. Another unserved population the CAP staff focused on outreaching to was the Spina Bifida population. Advocate Margaret McKenna outreached to many Spina Bifida groups across the state including: MOSS Rehabilitation Center Adult Spina Bifida Clinic, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Spina Bifida Department, Geisinger Medical Center Spina Bifida Clinic, Shriners Hospital for Children, Erie Spina Bifida Clinic, and Penn State Hershey Medical Center Spina Bifida Services.
We will continue our work to build these relationships and uncover more groups, programs, and organizations that work with this population that we need to educate about our advocacy services for those who are trying to work and become productive members of our society. We are hoping to have more clients who have Spina Bifida as their disabling condition in our case load in FY 2017 because of our increased outreach to this unserved group.
This year we have become more proactive in reaching out to minority groups. CAP Advocate Lannette Suarez attended the International Women’s Tea hosted by the Germantown Deaf Ministry Fellowship. The organization provides self-pride and collaboration and safer and more informed community about services for the deaf. The program was very interesting and was in several languages including four different sign languages in Chinese, Russian, American and Kenyan. It was a great opportunity exchanging information with other providers about CAP services and the important role that CAP plays in the VR system.
Advocate Lannette Suarez, also attended The National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE, Delaware County Chapter) hosted by the Black Student Union at Drexel University. The National Association of Health Service Executives is a non-profit association of Black Health Care Executives founded in 1968 for promoting the advancement and development of Black healthcare leaders and elevating the quality of health care service rendered to minority and under-served communities. The topic was the Mind Matters/Mental Health Panel. It was a panel discussion exploring the disparities in the health care system. The distinguished panel discussed transforming the way health care is delivered locally and nationally to improve the health care outcomes of all under-served and low income communities. This was an amazing experience networking with members of the National Association of Health Service Executives, family members and customers.
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||0|
|2. Articles about CAP Featured in Newspaper/Magazine/Journals||6|
|3. PSAs/Videos Aired about the CAP Agency||0|
|4. Publications/Booklets/Brochures Disseminated by the Agency||13415|
|5. Number of Times CAP Exhibited at Conferences, Community Fairs, etc.||10|
|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)||70|
|2. Additional individuals who were served during the year||125|
|3. Total individuals served (Lines A1+A2)||195|
|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.)||75|
Multiple responses permitted.
|1. Individual requests information||16|
|2. Communication problems between individual and VR counselor||98|
|3. Conflict about VR services to be provided||83|
|4. Related to VR application/eligibility process||32|
|5. Related to assignment to order of selection priority category||0|
|6. Related to IPE development/implementation||15|
|7. Related to independent living services||0|
|8. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems||0|
|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||7|
|4. Mediation and other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution||3|
|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||86|
|2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)||13|
|3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual||0|
|4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)||0|
|5. Individual chose alternative representation||3|
|6. Individual withdrew complaint||11|
|7. Issue not resolved in clients favor||0|
|8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.||5|
|9. Individual not responsive/cooperative with CAP||2|
|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||42|
|2. Application for services completed||3|
|3. Eligibility determination expedited||3|
|4. Individual participated in evaluation||8|
|5. IPE developed/implemented/Services Provided||36|
|6. Communication re-established between individual and other party||24|
|7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office||3|
|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||10|
|2. 19 - 24||41|
|3. 25 - 40||43|
|4. 41 - 64||92|
|5. 65 and over||9|
|6. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A5. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)||195|
Multiple responses not permitted.
|3. Total (Lines B1+B2. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)||195|
|1. Hispanic/Latino of any race (for individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only)||12|
|2. American Indian or Alaskan Native||0|
|4. Black or African American||42|
|5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander||0|
|7. Two or more races||5|
|8. Race/ethnicity unknown||3|
Multiple responses not permitted.
|1. Acquired Brain Injury||12|
|4. Amputations or Absence of Extremities||1|
|5. Arthritis or Rheumatism||0|
|6. Anxiety Disorder||0|
|7. Autism Spectrum Disorder||27|
|8. Autoimmune or Immune Deficiencies (excluding AIDS/HIV)||0|
|9. Blindness (Both Eyes)||10|
|10. Other Visual Impairments (Not Blind)||9|
|12. Cerebral Palsy||2|
|14. Hard of Hearing/Hearing Impaired (Not Deaf)||5|
|17. Digestive Disorders||0|
|19. Heart & Other Circulatory Conditions||3|
|20. Intellectual Disability||9|
|21. Mental Illness||45|
|22. Multiple Sclerosis||2|
|23. Muscular Dystrophy||0|
|24. Muscular/Skeletal Impairment||5|
|25. Neurological Disorders/Impairment||11|
|26. Orthopedic Impairments||11|
|27. Personality Disorders||0|
|28. Respiratory Disorders/Impairment||0|
|29. Skin Conditions||0|
|30. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)||6|
|31. Speech Impairments||1|
|32. Spina Bifida||1|
|33. Substance Abuse (Alcohol or Drugs)||3|
|34. Other Disability||1|
|35. Total (Sum of Lines D1through D34. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)||195|
Multiple responses permitted.
|1. Applicant of VR||56|
|2. Individual eligible for VR services currently on a wait list||4|
|3. Individual eligible for VR services not currently on a wait list||121|
|4. Applicant or individual eligible for Independent Living||0|
|5. Transition student/High school student||21|
|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.||15|
|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-other nonprofit agency|
|2. Name of designate agency||Center for Disability Law & Policy|
|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)
4 full-time professionals - 4 person years
2 part-time, 1 full-time equivalent
1 Director, 3 CAP Advocates, 2 part-time clerical
Provide some examples of some interesting cases during the past fiscal year.
Client is a male with a history of mental illness and is eligible for VR services. Client is currently employed as an adjunct professor teaching noncredit classes at a local community college. His goal is to teach credit classes as an adjunct professor. The client reported that his counselor in their communications sounded on board with his goal and that OVR would therefore be able to help fund his training. This client had also been working on his self-advocacy skills with his case manager and thought he was doing a good thing by proactively registering for classes. After he registered, he stated he tried a few times to get back in touch with his counselor to no avail. When the counselor did finally get back to him, the drop add time had passed and the counselor told him OVR had not approved him for training for the Fall ‘15 semester. Counselor then explained the process for OVR to fund college training. When the client tried to register for the Spring semester, he was told he could not do so for he owed the school for the Fall semester and, therefore, couldn’t register for more classes. The client contacted CAP and fortunately the CAP advocate’s good relationship with the OVR office helped in justifying the client’s request and that OVR provide funding for the client’s Fall semester. Although CAP’s recommendation for funding did not fit within OVR’s college policy, CAP was able to show in the counselor’s case notes along with conversations with the client and his case manager and his counselor that there was verbal agreement as to his goal of adjunct professor. The training he is pursuing is required for him to achieve his goal. CAP also had the Dean of the college write a letter documenting the training was required to teach credit courses. As it is not within OVR guidelines to retroactively pay for tuition, this case is a good example of how CAP was able to make a logical and fair argument that an exception needed to be made in this case based on the overall picture and their agreement on his employment goal.
Client is a male with a history of mental illness. Client has been a long-standing client of both OVR and CAP. This client has a history of inappropriate behaviors due to his mental illness. These inappropriate behaviors have continued to get in the way of moving forward with his VR services. After many failed attempts by the client to follow through with recommendations for mental health treatment, OVR closed his case for failure to cooperate. The client stayed away from pursuing VR services for a while only calling periodically for support and VR reinforcing that he need to call when he was truly “ready”. CAP encouraged this client to be consistent with his therapy and try some volunteering, both of which he followed through with. As in this case, after the client removed himself out of the negative cycle that had become routine for him, he was able to calm down and focus on taking care of his mental and physical health. This time of stepping back often leads to being in a better place to pursue OVR services, usually resulting in a more successful outcome. This client had formed a trusting relationship with CAP which helped him listen to our recommendations. He provided a letter from both his psychiatrist and therapist stating he was compliant with treatment and ready to work part-time. He also provided documentation regarding his volunteer efforts. With this information, CAP was able to assist in having his case reopened. CAP worked closely with the District Administrator of this office, whom the CAP advocate had a good connection with. The District Administrator took great effort in hand picking an experienced counselor who worked primarily with individuals with mental health. As positive meetings continuously took place, the client had begun to build trust with OVR staff again. In time, IPE had been developed and agreed upon, regular meetings, support and follow-up emails occurred in a productive and understanding client/counselor relationship. The client was so pleased with this OVR experience he told CAP he no longer needed our advocacy support and would just call periodically to let us know how he was doing. Client is a 20-year-old transition student who is eligible for VR not on a waiting list. Client is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Upon exit of high school, client attended a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA. The state VR agency did not pay for this program as he attended the program before state VR agency approved and added CTP programs into the college policy. Client contacted CAP for guidance as to whether state VR agency would pay for him to attend a more comprehensive and well-established CTP program at Millersville University after completing the aforementioned CTP at Arcadia University. VR agency does not have a policy as to whether they will pay for an additional program after one program has been completed. State VR agency took the position that client attending an additional CTP program would be a “duplication of services”. Client and family took the position that client was not ready for competitive integrated employment nor was he ready for traditional college training. Client also took the position that the Millersville University CTP program was in no way comparable to the Arcadia program. As client’s advocate, PA CAP also took the position that the first CTP program was not well-established nor comprehensive enough to fit clients’ needs. Client had appealed the decision to deny the second program based on “duplication of services”. An Informal Administrative Review (IAR) was held with the District Administrator, CAP and, client. CAP contacted the Director of the Millersville CTP program to discuss the marked differences of both programs and speak to the District Administrator at length of how client would benefit from the well-established structure and support of the Millersville CTP program. Result of this case was the first program did not provide client with sufficient training to develop employment skills, stamina to work a full day, and appropriate social interaction skills. A successful result was achieved and VR agency reversed the decision to deny funding.
Client is a 40-year-old with a skeletal impairment and depression. Client is eligible for VR services and not on a waiting list. Client is currently enrolled in an online program for a degree in “Gemology”. Clients degree program requires he travel to California to take lab courses that can only be completed in person. Client contacted CAP per recommendation of his VR counselor. VR counselor had recommended client contact CAP due to management above the counselor informally denying request for VR agency to pay for travel to California. Through advocacy and mediation, CAP was able to get VR agency to pay for client’s trip to California. VR agency justified this by a issuing client a “hardship waiver”, due to clients’ current financial situation and being on Social Security Disability. Client completed lab in California and successfully received his Gemology degree. This case shows the importance of being not only a resource to consumers of VR services, but to VR counselors as well. By being a strong advocate for his client, the VR counselor successfully found a way to obtain VR funding for his client. This case involves a 21-year-old transition student who was diagnosed with ADHD. The client was found eligible for VR services. Clients father contacted CAP regarding concerns that client’s counselor had left OVR and no new counselor had been assigned. With advocacy from CAP, client was assigned a new counselor. Another concern that he expressed was receiving personal work adjustment training for his son at Community Services Group (CSG) bakery. The newly assigned counselor felt that client had transferable skills, therefore did not need additional training. The parent felt that son could benefit from personal work adjustment training to strengthen his skills. Both counselor and father had reached an impasse. Due to CAP’s intervention, OVR agreed to provide funding for client’s training at CSG bakery. All of this was accomplished through a succession of informal telephone dialogues with the OVR counselor. The client is a 32-year-old male who has a history of mental illness and a speech impairment. Client applied for VR services and a psychological evaluation to determine if he was eligible for services was ordered. After an evaluation was completed, no one from VR agency ever contacted him regarding the results of the psychological evaluation. Client did not want to put his schooling on hold so client decided to go to school on his own. While attending school, client repeatedly contacted OVR to obtain information about his case, but was unsuccessful. Thus, client contacted CAP to get some assistance in re-connecting with OVR. Through a series of telephone calls, CAP advocate contacted the supervisor and the case was assigned to a new counselor. CAP advocate informed supervisor that client has called OVR on several occasions about funding his college training, but to no avail. Supervisor contacted client and arranged a feedback session to discuss the results of the psychological evaluation and the next steps. Due to CAP’s intervention, client was assigned to a new counselor and OVR agreed to fund his college training.
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||Stephen S. Pennington|
|Title of Designated Agency Official||Executive Director|