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

Colorado (Center for Legal Advocacy) - H161A170005 - FY2017

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameCenter for Legal Advocacy
Address455 Sherman Streeet
Address Line 2Suite 130
CityDenver
StateColorado
Zip Code80203
E-mail Addressmaharvey@disabilitylawco.org
Website Addresshttp://www.disabilitylawco.org
Phone303-722-0300
TTY 303-722-3619
Toll-free Phone800-288-1376
Toll-free TTY800-288-1376
Fax303-722-0720

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameCenter for Legal Advocacy
Address455 Sherman Streeet
Address Line 2Suite 130
CityDenver
Zip Code80203
E-mail Addressmaharvey@disabilitylawco.org
Website Addresshttp://www.disabilitylawco.org
Phone303-722-0300
TTY303-722-3619
Toll-free Phone800-288-1376
Toll-free TTY800-288-1376
Fax303-722-0720

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorJennifer Purrington
Person to contact regarding reportJennifer Purrington
Contact Person Phone303-722-0300

Part I. Non-case Services

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program30
2. Information regarding independent living programs0
3. Information regarding American Indian VR Service projects1
4. Information regarding Title I of the ADA1
5. Other information provided9
6. Information regarding CAP4
7. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1 through A6)45

B. Training Activities

October 11, 2016 — Presentation for the Combined Federal Campaign on DLC Services and Priorities. 100 individuals were present. October 28, 2016 — Presentation at Parents Encouraging Parents in Vail, CO on Special Education Law and transition services. There were 100 parents and educators present. February 3, 2017 — Presentation at Parents Encouraging Parents in Colorado Springs, CO on special education law and transition services. There were 100 parents and educators present. May 5, 2017 — Presentation at Parents Encouraging Parents in Crested Butte, CO on Special Education Law and transition services. There were 110 parents and educators present. August 29, 2017 — Presentation to parents and advocates about special education law and transition services in Grand Junction, CO. There were 25 advocates and parents present. September 11, 2017 - Presentation to parents and advocates about special education law and transition services in Fort Collins, CO. There were 25 advocates and parents present. September 14, 2017 - Presentation to parents and advocates about special education law and transition services in Pueblo, CO. There were 25 advocates and parents present. September 14, 2017 — Presentation at New DVR Counselor Orientation about CAP/PABSS services. There were 11 new counselors present.

In August 2017, our CAP advocate in Grand Junction met with the DVR office in that area to discuss their process of covering students in transition at the Grand Junction High Schools. She learned that each counselor in the office has been assigned a school and they are fairly heavily involved with transition services at their assigned schools.

We recently developed a brochure regarding students and transition services. The brochure includes information on DVR and the CAP and PABSS programs. The brochure was cleared with our PABSS program specialist before it was distributed to the public at resource fairs/events.

Throughout September we have been finalizing a fact sheet on DVR services. This fact sheet should be finalized in November for distribution to the public.

1. Number of training sessions presented to community groups and public agencies.8
2. Number of individuals who attended these training sessions.396
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.

We collaborate with and reach out to the following entities and request referrals of individuals who are unserved/underserved/minorities: the Colorado Department of Education, the Arc of Colorado and the local Arcs throughout the state, the PEAK Parent Training Center, Parent to Parent Colorado, the Colorado Autism Society, the International Dyslexia Association, the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council and the University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service, the Colorado Assistive Technology Project, the Denver Metro Parent Center, the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, and Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition.

Our primary means for reaching minority communities has been through our training sessions across the state. This is especially true with our participation with Parents Encouraging Parents and the trainings they have all across Colorado. These sessions attract hundreds of parents from varying ethnic and racial communities from across Colorado. We also provide a large majority of our resource information in English as well as Spanish so consumers in the Hispanic community have access to the same information.

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.

Social media impressions - 121,892 website hits - 88,729

1. Agency Staff Interviewed or Featured on Radio and TV9
2. Articles about CAP Featured in Newspaper/Magazine/Journals0
3. PSAs/Videos Aired about the CAP Agency2
4. Publications/Booklets/Brochures Disseminated by the Agency34
5. Number of Times CAP Exhibited at Conferences, Community Fairs, etc.1
6. Other (specify below)210621

E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage

Describe the various sources and information disseminated about your agency by an external source.

• CBS Denver — Report blasts Colorado Division of Youth Corrections highlights thousands of incidents • KDVR 3/2/17 —New report puts Colorado Division of Youth Corrections under fire • CBS Denver — 4/6/17 — Regular restaurant customer asked to show proof of service animal • KGNU — disability Rights Activist Sues Red Rocks for Access -12/6/16 • CPR — Lawsuit demands better wheelchair accessibility at Red Rocks -12/2/16 • CBS Denver — Lawsuit alleges ADA violations at Red Rocks — 2/7/17 • KDVR — Trial expected for Red Rocks federal discrimination suit -2/5/17 • 9NEWS — Advocacy groups sue Red Rocks over accessibility — 12/1/16 • KKTV.com - Red Rocks releases statement in response to lawsuit — 12/7/16

• Denver Post 3/9/17 — Inappropriate response to abuse of Colorado’s incarcerated youth • NDRN - Colorado corrections staff wrap youths in straitjackets, subdue with knee strikes, report says • Denver Post 3/2/17 —Colorado juvenile corrections investigation • Denver Post 6/22/17 — Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo inmate competency evaluations • Advocacy Denver 4/19/17 — local control argument rejected by restraints bill sponsor • Durango Herald 9/27/17 —Service dog owner butts heads with Vallecito restaurant • Denver Post - Wheelchair patrons sue Red Rocks, Denver claiming discrimination — 12/1/16 • The Coloradoan - Denver sued over disability access at Red Rocks — 12/4/16

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)9
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year20
3. Total individuals served (Lines A1+A2)29
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.)7

B. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information3
2. Communication problems between individual and VR counselor5
3. Conflict about VR services to be provided16
4. Related to VR application/eligibility process0
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
3
7. Related to independent living services0
8. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems2
9. Non-Rehabilitation Act related
  1. TANF
  2. SSI/SSDI
  3. Housing
  4. Other:
0
10. Related to Title I of the ADA0

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 Assistance12
2. Investigation/Monitoring4
3. Negotiation6
4. Mediation and other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution0
5. Administrative / Informal Review0
6. Formal appeal / Fair Hearing0
7. Legal remedy / Litigation0
8. Total22

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 favor5
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)0
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual1
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)0
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual withdrew complaint5
7. Issue not resolved in clients favor1
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.0
9. Individual not responsive/cooperative with CAP4
10. CAP unable to take case due to lack of resources0
11. Conflict of interest0
12. Other (Please explain below)0

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 individual11
2. Application for services completed0
3. Eligibility determination expedited0
4. Individual participated in evaluation0
5. IPE developed/implemented/Services Provided4
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party3
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office0
8. Alternative resources identified for individual0
9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR complaint made0
10. Other (Please explain below)4

Part III. Program Data

A. Age

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Up to 180
2. 19 - 241
3. 25 - 404
4. 41 - 6421
5. 65 and over3
6. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A5. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)29

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females16
2. Males13
3. Total (Lines B1+B2. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)29

C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race (for individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only)1
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American5
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White22
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown1

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Acquired Brain Injury0
2. ADD/ADHD2
3. AIDS/HIV1
4. Amputations or Absence of Extremities0
5. Arthritis or Rheumatism0
6. Anxiety Disorder1
7. Autism Spectrum Disorder1
8. Autoimmune or Immune Deficiencies (excluding AIDS/HIV)1
9. Blindness (Both Eyes)1
10. Other Visual Impairments (Not Blind)0
11. Cancer1
12. Cerebral Palsy1
13. Deafness2
14. Hard of Hearing/Hearing Impaired (Not Deaf)2
15. Deaf-Blind0
16. Diabetes1
17. Digestive Disorders0
18. Epilepsy0
19. Heart & Other Circulatory Conditions0
20. Intellectual Disability3
21. Mental Illness6
22. Multiple Sclerosis0
23. Muscular Dystrophy0
24. Muscular/Skeletal Impairment2
25. Neurological Disorders/Impairment0
26. Orthopedic Impairments3
27. Personality Disorders0
28. Respiratory Disorders/Impairment0
29. Skin Conditions0
30. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)1
31. Speech Impairments0
32. Spina Bifida0
33. Substance Abuse (Alcohol or Drugs)0
34. Other Disability0
35. Total (Sum of Lines D1through D34. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)29

E. Types of Individual Served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicant of VR8
2. Individual eligible for VR services currently on a wait list19
3. Individual eligible for VR services not currently on a wait list0
4. Applicant or individual eligible for Independent Living1
5. Transition student/High school student0
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

As indicated in our previous PPR, DVR and its implementing regulations have gone through a large shift in the last year. DVR transitioned from the Colorado Department of Human Services to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE). While we believe this has been a good shift, as both DVR and CDLE are focused on getting Coloradoans back to work, we realize there have been some transition pains. Additionally, with the implementation of WIOA there has been an overhaul at DVR regarding their training efforts with their staff. We are trying to stay on top of those changes to training and to the DVR policy manual itself. Part of our success in following these changes and addressing issues as they come, is making sure that we are having an open dialogue with DVR at the highest level possible, namely their Director, Steve Anton. We also continue to see a large need for CAP services.

With the changes created by WIOA and an emphasis on pre-employment services, we plan to increase our outreach to high schools in Colorado to inform them about DLC and transition services through DVR. We are also increasing our presence in western Colorado specifically, as we have a small satellite office in Grand Junction. Additionally, we have some concerns about DVR regarding the amount of case closures occurring and whether counselors and supervisors are adequately trained. Thus, we will be requesting detailed data from DVR to delve into the case closure issue more deeply. We have also reengaged with DVR regarding their training procedures and plan to reinstitute our presence in their new counselor orientation trainings. We also plan to train some veteran counselors and supervisors to remedy some systemic concerns and provide them with updated information on the PABSS and CAP programs.

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.

B. Litigation

n/a

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-Protection and Advocacy agency
2. Name of designate agencyCenter for Legal Advocacy d/b/a Disability Law Colorado
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)

Total FTE = 1.65 Program Coordinator 28.9% Advocate 55.3% Staff Attorney 19.7% Legal Director 4.0% Staff Attorney 3.8% Senior Attorney 2.4% Staff Attorney 3.0% Advocate 8.8% Admin Assistant 6.9% Financial Manager 7.0% Office Manager 6.6% Executive Director 7.0% Accounting Assistant 7.0% Admin Assistant 2.4% Admin Assistant 2.7%

Part VI. Case Examples

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

Case 1 This was a coaching for self-advocacy case. The client was a man in his early thirties, used a wheelchair, and was quadriplegic. He required the services of a daily attendant. He was in a doctorate program at the University of Denver and had two years until program completion, and his academic performance was good. When DVR changed his counselor, the new counselor decided to no longer honor the IPE and decided he had to finish his program at the University of Colorado-Boulder because it was a publicly funded university. When the case came to CAP, the client was already in the midst of an appeal with the Supervisor II. The CAP advocate assisted the client with self-advocacy, since the client believed he could proceed with advice and coaching. The client believed that in view of his goals and level of education, he should be able to navigate the appeal process at least mostly on his own; however, he needed to understand what arguments would be persuasive and valid. He was deeply concerned about losing his ability to move forward with his program of study. The client lived in the vicinity of the University of Denver, his driver and his care attendant were in constant attendance, especially during the commute to classes and while attending classes. However, if he were forced to attend the university in Boulder, he would lose his services due to the providers’ terms of service which restricted services to the Denver Metro area; and he would have to seek, successfully or not, new services, which he discovered would require two personnel (driver and attendant) shifts between agencies while en route. That would make attending school in Boulder impossible to sustain. Further, he would have to reapply for the doctoral program at CU-Boulder, placing additional burdens on him. Based on the situation, CAP helped the client formulate arguments regarding policy and regulations to take to the Supervisor II. The conclusion was that the client was able to successfully argue his case with the Supervisor II, who concluded the client’s current program should proceed without interruption. The client was thrilled to be able to continue in his program of study at the University of Denver as planned.

Case 2 Client is 59 years old with multiple disabilities including blindness. She had been working with DVR off and on for the past four years and her case was recently closed when she approached CAP. After speaking with client over the phone, meeting her in person, and reviewing her records, the CAP attorney determined that her first and most important barrier was that she was not able to effectively communicate with DVR. The CAP attorney negotiated with DVR to reopen client’s case, as DVR had an obligation to effectively communicate with her. She had received multiple case closures from DVR over the years and the effective communication issue had never been addressed. Once her case was reopened, it was determined that the client needed additional technology such as a laptop, headphones, and a braille printer in order to communicate and work with DVR. Through extensive negotiation and research on possible technological resources, the CAP attorney worked very hard to get the client the technology she needed. As soon as she was provided the necessary assistive technology, DVR assigned her counselor and she and her counselor developed an IPE together. Over a four year period of working off and on with DVR, this was the first time the client had reached the point of creating an IPE. Case 3 Client is 64 years old with physical disabilities. He has been working with DVR for several years to become a helicopter pilot. Disability Law Colorado has worked with him in the past, but his most recent issue involved reimbursements related to completing his training courses. Although the CAP advocate began working with him on his case, this newer service request was dealt with by one of our CAP attorneys. She met with the client, spoke to DVR, and reviewed multiple documents. She ultimately prepared a very thorough appeal letter to the regional supervisor. DVR was currently refusing to pay for the client’s flight suit and helmet, denying his expenses incurred while relocating for training, and denying payment for school commute expenses. After receiving the comprehensive letter of the client’s claims, DVR agreed to pay for flight suit & helmet and reimburse Client for daily travel to & from helicopter training school. However, shortly after the case was closed, the client contacted CAP again stating that DVR was not following through on their agreements. The CAP attorney then reengaged with DVR to clarify the issues client was having and received confirmation in writing as to what DVR was promising to the client. With all of these issues resolved, client was able to continue his training, with the hopes of finishing the entire training process by the end of the year.

Certification

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 OfficialMary Anne Harvey
Title of Designated Agency OfficialExecutive Director
Date Signed12/22/2017