|Name||Disability Rights Tennessee|
|Address||2 International Plaza|
|Address Line 2||Suite 825|
|Name||Disability Rights Tennessee|
|Address||2 International Plaza|
|Address Line 2||Suite 825|
|Name of CAP Director/Coordinator||Lisa Primm|
|Person to contact regarding report||Anna Bass|
|Contact Person Phone||615-298-1080|
Multiple responses are not permitted.
|1. Information regarding the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program||16|
|2. Information regarding independent living programs||1|
|3. Information regarding American Indian VR Service projects||0|
|4. Information regarding Title I of the ADA||0|
|5. Other information provided||1|
|6. Information regarding CAP||18|
|7. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1 through A6)||36|
|1. Number of training sessions presented to community groups and public agencies.||6|
|2. Number of individuals who attended these training sessions.||886|
|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 FY2016, DRT continued its outreach and collaborative initiatives to enhance provision of services to unserved and underserved populations, including minority communities. In addition to the ongoing collaborations described below, DRT conducted 16 outreach activities to minority groups and organizations that serve immigrant and refugee populations in Tennessee. Also, DRT conducted 27 outreach activities to expand its presence in rural communities that are generally underserved as evidenced by the disparity in resources in these communities across the state. This year DRT reached 734 people through outreaches targeted specifically to residents in rural counties. DRT continued participation in two collaborations, Encuentro Latino and Camino Seguro, which specifically focus on connecting the growing Latino community in Tennessee to available resources and services. Encuentro Latino is a collaboration among service providers that works to enhance information and referral services for the Latino population in Middle Tennessee. Group members meet on a monthly basis to share information as well as coordinate education and outreach efforts. Camino Seguro, an online bilingual database for disability services across the state, continues to be an important resource for the community. There were approximately 4,000 visits to the database and approximately 350 agencies are represented in the database. In addition to the initiatives above, DRT continues to be an active partner in the Multicultural Alliance on Disability (MAD). This is a group of community agencies serving people with disabilities and/or refugees and immigrants. MAD continues to address the following barriers affecting 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. To address these barriers, MAD regularly communicates with agencies and organizations that interact with immigrant and refugee families to share information; address concerns about service delivery that are brought to MAD’s attention; organize and train about the topics listed above with an emphasis on increasing culturally responsive service delivery; plan for policy advocacy to increase awareness of the barriers to disability and related services encountered by minority communities; and explore resources and tools needed to build the capacity of member organizations to conduct outreach to and education of refugee and immigrant clients. By continuing to collaborate with community organizations within and outside the disability community, DRT has increased the avenues through which it addresses the needs of individuals with disabilities from diverse ethnic, racial, and geographic communities. These relationships also help DRT better connect callers with community services and supports when they fall outside current priorities and objectives. The initiatives above directly assist historically unserved and underserved populations address barriers to employment and learn about CAP services within the state.
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||4|
|2. Articles about CAP Featured in Newspaper/Magazine/Journals||5|
|3. PSAs/Videos Aired about the CAP Agency||9|
|4. Publications/Booklets/Brochures Disseminated by the Agency||3423|
|5. Number of Times CAP Exhibited at Conferences, Community Fairs, etc.||17|
|6. Other (specify below)|
Describe the various sources and information disseminated about your agency by an external source.
In FY2016, information about DRT and the services provided was included in 164 external sources that reached approximately 1.5 million people. External sources included key print media outlets in Tennessee, which included The Tennessean, Knoxville News Sentinel, Memphis Commercial Appeal, as well as multiple other sources across the US who picked up press wires from the Associated Press. TV and radio stations in Tennessee also covered information about DRT, including News Channel 5, WRFG Memphis, WJHL, and WMOT Radio. Other external sources disseminated DRT information including community partners and other online publications, such as TennesseeWorks and Tennessee Bar Association. Information covered through these mediums included information about DRT services and programs, including CAP services related to vocational rehabilitation, employment efforts, and coverage of relevant client cases and legal work.
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)||24|
|2. Additional individuals who were served during the year||47|
|3. Total individuals served (Lines A1+A2)||71|
|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.)||4|
|5. Individual still being served as of September 30 (Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line A3.)||21|
Multiple responses permitted.
|1. Individual requests information||0|
|2. Communication problems between individual and VR counselor||22|
|3. Conflict about VR services to be provided||40|
|4. Related to VR application/eligibility process||5|
|5. Related to assignment to order of selection priority category||1|
|6. Related to IPE development/implementation||5|
|7. Related to independent living services||2|
|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||18|
|4. Mediation and other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution||2|
|5. Administrative / Informal Review||1|
|6. Formal appeal / Fair Hearing||2|
|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||31|
|2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)||1|
|3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual||3|
|4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)||5|
|5. Individual chose alternative representation||0|
|6. Individual withdrew complaint||9|
|7. Issue not resolved in clients favor||2|
|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||19|
|2. Application for services completed||0|
|3. Eligibility determination expedited||3|
|4. Individual participated in evaluation||1|
|5. IPE developed/implemented/Services Provided||19|
|6. Communication re-established between individual and other party||2|
|7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office||1|
|8. Alternative resources identified for individual||3|
|9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR complaint made||0|
|10. Other (Please explain below)|
Multiple responses not permitted.
|1. Up to 18||0|
|2. 19 - 24||18|
|3. 25 - 40||19|
|4. 41 - 64||30|
|5. 65 and over||4|
|6. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A5. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)||71|
Multiple responses not permitted.
|3. Total (Lines B1+B2. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)||71|
|1. Hispanic/Latino of any race (for individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only)||3|
|2. American Indian or Alaskan Native||0|
|4. Black or African American||24|
|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||0|
|4. Amputations or Absence of Extremities||0|
|5. Arthritis or Rheumatism||0|
|6. Anxiety Disorder||2|
|7. Autism Spectrum Disorder||6|
|8. Autoimmune or Immune Deficiencies (excluding AIDS/HIV)||1|
|9. Blindness (Both Eyes)||2|
|10. Other Visual Impairments (Not Blind)||9|
|12. Cerebral Palsy||5|
|14. Hard of Hearing/Hearing Impaired (Not Deaf)||2|
|17. Digestive Disorders||0|
|19. Heart & Other Circulatory Conditions||2|
|20. Intellectual Disability||5|
|21. Mental Illness||13|
|22. Multiple Sclerosis||1|
|23. Muscular Dystrophy||0|
|24. Muscular/Skeletal Impairment||2|
|25. Neurological Disorders/Impairment||2|
|26. Orthopedic Impairments||5|
|27. Personality Disorders||0|
|28. Respiratory Disorders/Impairment||0|
|29. Skin Conditions||0|
|30. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)||5|
|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.)||71|
Multiple responses permitted.
|1. Applicant of VR||5|
|2. Individual eligible for VR services currently on a wait list||1|
|3. Individual eligible for VR services not currently on a wait list||65|
|4. Applicant or individual eligible for Independent Living||0|
|5. Transition student/High school student||1|
|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.||28|
|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||Disability Rights Tennessee|
|3. Is the designated agency contracting CAP services?||No|
|4. If yes, name of contracting agency:||n/a|
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 50-year-old Caucasian male who has mental illness contacted Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) and reported that he was experiencing problems communicating with his Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselor. He also stated that VR was not consistently providing job placement services and had recently delayed providing mileage reimbursement. DRT assisted our client in being assigned a new VR counselor. Following reassignment, CAP staff met with our client and the new VR counselor to initiate the process of amending his Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) to receive job placement services through a new service provider. Within a few months of that amended plan’s development, our client relocated to a different city and DRT contacted the VR Regional Supervisor to assist our client in being assigned to a local VR counselor. Our client states he is able to communicate well with his new counselor. His IPE has now been amended again based on the locality of services. Because of this CAP advocacy, he is scheduled to begin working very soon with the new job placement provider in the city in which he now resides. Additionally, after several months of efforts to obtain the final mileage reimbursement, our client did receive that payment from VR.
2. A 21-year-old African-American male with cerebral palsy contacted DRT because VR was failing to pay our client’s tuition in a timely manner. DRT advocated on our client’s behalf with VR to pay his tuition and other school financial obligations on time per his IPE. At the time of opening, the client was at risk of his class schedule being automatically purged from the school’s enrollment system because the payment was not received on time by the client’s school; additionally, he was not guaranteed a place in the class when the payment was finally received. DRT observed that this VR office had a history of not submitting tuition on time in several instances and requested that VR develop an internal procedure to ensure that a client’s tuition and other school obligations are paid in a timely manner so that class schedules are not unnecessarily impacted. VR complied with DRT’s request to develop this procedure. DRT monitored and confirmed that our client’s recent tuition was paid on time. Because of CAP advocacy, our client’s payment issues are resolved and VR developed an internal procedure to ensure timely payment is made to the educational institution in the future, thus avoiding delays in progression toward employment objectives for VR clients.
3. A 53-year-old African-American female, who has an auto-immune disorder with subsequent orthopedic limitations, contacted DRT when VR reported to her its intention to end her VR services on the basis of her failure to comply with VR requirements. Our client prepared a draft letter to send to VR stating her disagreement with VR’s decision and requested DRT’s review of this letter. DRT reviewed the letter with our client as well as provided suggestions and options for addressing the situation. DRT also reviewed with our client the requirements of a VR student as outlined in the Student Letter of Understanding. DRT further reviewed self-advocacy skills appropriate for use during the remainder of her VR case. Our client prepared a revised letter to VR based on DRT’s guidance and requested assistance from her university program with providing appropriate documentation of course completion to support compliance with all VR requirements. Because of this CAP assistance, VR subsequently retracted its plan to cease our client’s VR services and she will continue to receive VR support toward the pursuit of her bachelor’s degree in social work.
4. A 58-year-old Caucasian female contacted DRT seeking assistance with having cataracts surgery, which she needed to avoid losing her job in a nursing facility. At the time of opening VR had determined that she was ineligible for services based on an eye report submitted by her ophthalmologist that showed her visual acuity to be above low vision standards. The report had been ordered by VR many months prior and no longer accurately reflected the status of her vision because her cataracts had rapidly progressed. DRT requested all records, investigated the issue, and spoke with both the VR counselor and his supervisor who made the ineligibility determination. DRT successfully advocated for VR to order a new eye report, which when completed provided evidence that our client’s vision was squarely within the range set as eligible for VR Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired. DRT sought a new determination concerning client’s eligibility as well as the development of an IPE containing an objective of job maintenance and cataract surgery as the main service to be provided. The client was then determined eligible and DRT worked with her counselor to develop the plan. Because of this CAP advocacy, the client has received the cataract removal surgery on both eyes and she has maintained her job. She reports greater independence and quality of life.
5. A 23-year-old Caucasian female who is hard of hearing contacted DRT and reported that VR was attempting to close her case prior to providing a stethoscope she needed for use in conjunction with her hearing aids. VR had reported that they did not have adequate documentation to support the need for the stethoscope and would therefore not provide it for our client. DRT provided her suggestions for working with her audiologist to provide justification to VR for the purchase of the adapted stethoscope. After utilizing the suggestions and self-advocacy information our client obtained through CAP advocacy, she received the needed stethoscope and her audiologist later reported to our client that the payment issue with VR had been resolved. As a result of DRT intervention, our client acquired self-advocacy skills to work with her audiologist to justify the need for a stethoscope which interfaces with her hearing aids for use in her job as a licensed practical nurse.
6. A 56-year-old African-American male with a visual disability and physical orthopedic disability contacted DRT requesting help because VR refused to amend his IPE to name his chosen employment goal as that of chef nor would VR provide him with services to achieve that employment outcome. Our client said that VR had denied the employment goal of chef for him stating that he would not be successful in pursuing this goal due to his visual disability. DRT advocated for our client in an Administrative Review appeal providing information disproving these assumptions about his abilities. VR admitted that a vocational evaluation had not been conducted to determine if this was an appropriate goal for our client prior to their denial, nor had VR ever suggested that such an evaluation may be helpful when determining that a client is unable to meet their goals. The Administrative Review decision was to conduct a vocational evaluation, which was completed and supported our client’s chosen goal of chef. VR then amended our client’s IPE with an employment goal of chef and agreed to provide needed training, assistive technology (AT) equipment, and transportation services. DRT provided follow up advocacy since there were issues in the receipt of the AT equipment, as well as funding issues for our client’s transportation services. Following DRT advocacy services, our client received all services outlined on his IPE. Because of this CAP advocacy and representation at our client’s Administrative Review, our client reported he achieved a 3.0 grade point average for his first term in culinary school and made the Dean’s list.
7. A 53-year-old African-American male diagnosed with mental illness contacted DRT for assistance with the development of an appropriate IPE. At opening, our client reported he had received services under many past IPEs throughout his years as a VR client, but he had never received appropriate support to pursue employment that is comprehensively consistent with not only his interests, but his abilities. He stated that he had previously assented to his VR counselors’ suggested employment objectives despite their being inconsistent with his needs and offering little chance of success for our client. DRT advocated for our client to participate in evaluations. Subsequently, DRT advocated that an employment objective be agreed upon by VR and our client using the information obtained as well as by using appropriate employment counseling. DRT provided in depth self-advocacy skills training for our client as well as information on how and when using these skills would be most effective moving forward. DRT successfully advocated for our client to receive vocational training as a service, namely sponsorship in obtaining an associate’s degree in a field that will allow our client to work from home. Our client states that this is an ideal fit for him. Because of this CAP advocacy, our client is pursuing a career consistent with his informed choice and is better aligned with his needs. He has also received valuable skills which allow him to advocate more successfully for himself now and in the future.
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|