|Name||Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance|
|Address||430 1st Avenue N.|
|Address Line 2||Suite 300|
|Address Line 2|
|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||13|
|2. Information regarding independent living programs||0|
|3. Information regarding American Indian VR Service projects||0|
|4. Information regarding Title I of the ADA||1|
|5. Other information provided||0|
|6. Information regarding CAP||0|
|7. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1 through A6)||14|
|1. Number of training sessions presented to community groups and public agencies.||36|
|2. Number of individuals who attended these training sessions.||1,336|
|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 5 outreach events throughout the state, which provided information about CAP services, VR rights and other disability rights. This outreach included disseminating information at a staff meeting at the Mankato Open Door Health Center, a non-profit community health center serving Southwestern Minnesota, and Project Community Connect, an event at the Mankato Civic Center for low-income community members needing information about social service resources.
In addition, CAP staff conducted outreach that was specifically targeted towards reaching historically unserved/underserved populations and minority communities.
Communities of Color: CAP staff delivered a presentation to parents and community members associated with the Minneapolis NAACP Child Protection Committee. The presentation topic was vocational rehabilitation and CAP services, and special education. Staff also provided resource information at an event sponsored by Minneapolis Services for Adults which provides services to members of the African-American and Latino communities.
Transition-Aged Students: CAP staff presented a training on case law developments and trends for PACER vocational rehabilitation and special education advocates in the Twin Cities area. A similar training was sponsored by PACER in Rochester, in southeast Minnesota, where staff presented a training on services for transition-age youth with disabilities to parents and families of students with disabilities. This training was reprised for parents and families in northeastern Minnesota, and in Ramsey County, all sponsored by PACER. CAP staff made presentations titled “Employment Related Options for Young Adults with FASD” and “Special Education 101” and staffed a resource table at a conference sponsored by the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Attending the conference and the break-out sessions were parents of students with disabilities, attorneys, social workers, state agency staff and community advocates. CAP also staffed a table at the Transition Resource Fair sponsored by the Northwest Hennepin Community Transition Interagency Committee.
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||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.||2|
|6. Other (specify below)||0|
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)||21|
|2. Additional individuals who were served during the year||33|
|3. Total individuals served (Lines A1+A2)||54|
|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.)||17|
|5. Individual still being served as of September 30 (Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line A3.)||29|
Multiple responses permitted.
|1. Individual requests information||4|
|2. Communication problems between individual and VR counselor||7|
|3. Conflict about VR services to be provided||22|
|4. Related to VR application/eligibility process||4|
|5. Related to assignment to order of selection priority category||2|
|6. Related to IPE development/implementation||6|
|7. Related to independent living services||0|
|8. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems||8|
|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||8|
|4. Mediation and other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution||0|
|5. Administrative / Informal Review||1|
|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||12|
|2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)||7|
|3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual||0|
|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||1|
|8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.||0|
|9. Individual not responsive/cooperative with CAP||1|
|10. CAP unable to take case due to lack of resources||0|
|11. Conflict of interest||0|
|12. Other (Please explain below)||0|
(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||1|
|3. Eligibility determination expedited||2|
|4. Individual participated in evaluation||1|
|5. IPE developed/implemented/Services Provided||3|
|6. Communication re-established between individual and other party||7|
|7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office||1|
|8. Alternative resources identified for individual||1|
|9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR complaint made||2|
|10. Other (Please explain below)||0|
Multiple responses not permitted.
|1. Up to 18||7|
|2. 19 - 24||10|
|3. 25 - 40||8|
|4. 41 - 64||29|
|5. 65 and over||0|
|6. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A5. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)||54|
Multiple responses not permitted.
|3. Total (Lines B1+B2. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)||54|
|1. Hispanic/Latino of any race (for individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only)||1|
|2. American Indian or Alaskan Native||2|
|4. Black or African American||5|
|5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander||0|
|7. Two or more races||2|
|8. Race/ethnicity unknown||7|
Multiple responses not permitted.
|1. Acquired Brain Injury||5|
|4. Amputations or Absence of Extremities||2|
|5. Arthritis or Rheumatism||0|
|6. Anxiety Disorder||1|
|7. Autism Spectrum Disorder||2|
|8. Autoimmune or Immune Deficiencies (excluding AIDS/HIV)||0|
|9. Blindness (Both Eyes)||7|
|10. Other Visual Impairments (Not Blind)||0|
|12. Cerebral Palsy||0|
|14. Hard of Hearing/Hearing Impaired (Not Deaf)||3|
|17. Digestive Disorders||0|
|19. Heart & Other Circulatory Conditions||0|
|20. Intellectual Disability||2|
|21. Mental Illness||14|
|22. Multiple Sclerosis||0|
|23. Muscular Dystrophy||0|
|24. Muscular/Skeletal Impairment||1|
|25. Neurological Disorders/Impairment||0|
|26. Orthopedic Impairments||9|
|27. Personality Disorders||0|
|28. Respiratory Disorders/Impairment||0|
|29. Skin Conditions||0|
|30. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)||1|
|31. Speech Impairments||1|
|32. Spina Bifida||0|
|33. Substance Abuse (Alcohol or Drugs)||0|
|34. Other Disability||0|
|35. Total (Sum of Lines D1through D34. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)||54|
Multiple responses permitted.
|1. Applicant of VR||12|
|2. Individual eligible for VR services currently on a wait list||0|
|3. Individual eligible for VR services not currently on a wait list||39|
|4. Applicant or individual eligible for Independent Living||0|
|5. Transition student/High school student||3|
|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)
Provide a description of all CAP positions (see instructions)
Attorney FT 1.12 FTE 100% of year filled 1.12 Person years
Legal Advocate FT .76 FTE 100% of year filled .76 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.
A woman with visual impairments living in Northwest Minnesota called CAP after she was notified that her SSB case was being closed. She felt her SSB counselor had promised her funding for the cost of assistive technology (an iPhone and accessories) for use in college classes and to be able to navigate going to and from the college. The woman bought the assistive technology and requested reimbursement from SSB, but SSB did not reimburse her for the cost even though a year had passed and she had submitted the information that her SSB counselor requested. The woman also wanted her SSB case reopened because she needed assistance with job search. CAP investigated and assisted the woman with an SSB appeal, and requested mediation on her behalf. Negotiations with SSB before the mediation resulted in an agreement for SSB to reimburse the woman for the cost of the assistive technology, reopen her case and transfer her to a different SSB counselor for help with her employment search.
A woman who is blind called CAP, unhappy with the VR services she had received from SSB. The woman was receiving training on assistive technology and Braille in preparation to return to college to finish her bachelor’s degree. During the training, the woman developed medical problems that delayed her training progress. SSB communicated to her that they were concerned about this lack of progress. The woman worried that SSB would stop paying for training and stop supporting her job goal of becoming a social worker, for which she needed to finish her degree. Additionally, the woman was frustrated that SSB had not yet provided the assistive technology that they agreed to provide, so she was not receiving training on computer use. CAP advocated for the woman at a meeting with her SSB counselor and her counselor’s supervisor, resulting in a mutually agreeable timeline for training progress. SSB also agreed to order needed assistive technology, including a laptop and Braille display.
A woman with severe PTSD called CAP wanting to work with a different VR counselor and concerned that VRS had unfairly denied her funding for computer repair. Homeless for several years, the woman had difficulty finding consistent, fulfilling work. She enjoyed creating crafts and had sold her crafts occasionally, but she had not pursued selling her crafts as a significant source of income. CAP investigated the situation and advised the woman about VRS’ policies related to small business development and funding for computers to conduct an employment search. CAP then advocated on the woman’s behalf at a meeting with VRS management staff, including her desire to receive VR services from a different VRS office. VRS agreed, and CAP staff assisted with the transfer of the case, attending a meeting with the new VR counselor to discuss employment goals and the services the woman believed she needed to reach those goals. Consequently, the woman and her new VR counselor developed a positive relationship, VRS agreed to fund computer repairs, and the counselor provided funding for a community organization to help her develop a small business plan to sell her crafts.
A woman in the process of losing her sight called CAP after experiencing extreme anxiety after meetings with her SSB counselor; she reported negative and belittling remarks from him that prevented her from moving forward with employment planning. CAP staff investigated and then met with the woman and the counselor, assisting them to communicate more effectively with each other and reduce the woman’s anxiety. As a result, the parties were able to improve their working relationship and move forward on an employment plan to start a small business, with VR funding for rehabilitation technology and assistance with business plan development from a local community organization.
A deaf woman receiving services from VRS contacted CAP after promised funding for co-pays with her mental health provider did not materialize. CAP staff investigated the situation and discovered that VRS had committed to providing the funding for co-pays from a date identified in the Employment Plan, but had in reality not provided funding until state funding authorization was in place, some months later. CAP staff advocated on the woman’s behalf, and as a result the VR counselor reversed her decision and moved forward to provide the funding, totaling $250.00, for the period of time from the date of the Employment Plan and the date state authorization had commenced.
A woman with severe mental illness had been receiving services from VRS, including funding for a work assessment and work adjustment program at a Twin Cities community rehabilitation program. She had to stop program participation after illness and exacerbation of her disability. She was frustrated that her VR counselor and job placement specialists did not seem to understand the extent of her disability and what sort of job experiences were appropriate for her, and she called CAP for advice and help. CAP staff investigated and recommended meeting with the VR counselor and the job placement provider to clarify the woman’s ability to continue with VR activities. At the meeting, the woman was able to make clear what she was able and not able to do, and the VR counselor set out what services the woman could continue to receive, including help finding volunteer work activities appropriate to the woman’s health status and work availability. The parties agreed on a process they would follow in the next few months, giving the woman the chance to decide, in her own time, whether she was able to pursue employment or not.
A man with physical disabilities and a brain injury living in outstate Southwest Minnesota contacted CAP frustrated with his inability to access VR services. With CAP advocacy assistance, he was able to move forward with a trial work experience directly relevant to his employment goal, to work in social services or disability advocacy. As a result, he was provided interview training and then placed in a paid internship at a center for independent living. He was also provided funding for gas mileage reimbursement and work clothing, and job coaching during his internship.
A 31-year-old man who is legally blind had been trying to access the Vision Loss Program in Minneapolis for over three years without success. He needed help with independent living skill development travel and orientation skills, and money management. SSB had denied him funding because he was still living with a parent. This left the man unable to develop an effective plan to live and work independently. After CAP agreed to provide advocacy assistance, CAP staff requested that SSB make a referral for independent living skills assessment. The assessment revealed that the man was in fact independent in most of his adapted living skills. Accordingly, SSB agreed to provide funding for Vision Loss Program training and the man has since started classes there. CAP staff also provided advice and help finding resources regarding financial independence and Social Security’s Representative Payee program, including self-advocacy strategies towards increased independence.
A woman with failing eyesight had been a commercial broker and had been an auditor for SSB’s Business Enterprise Program. She contacted CAP for help becoming a vendor for that program and she reported that SSB had told her she would have to give up her brokerage firm and get a menial job. CAP staff investigated, and confirmed that the woman’s visual impairment was not severe enough to meet Business Enterprise Program standards. CAP moved forward, however, to advocate on her behalf for other SSB VR services, including improved communication between the woman and SSB staff. As a result, SSB agreed to provide the woman with services consistent with her employment goals, including guidance counseling, AT (assistive technology) assessment and AT support for rehabilitation tech and training, transportation reimbursement, technology training related to small business, assistance with labor market research and referral to a small business consultant.
A man with bipolar disorder who had also been in prison became frustrated with VR services and called CAP because he felt VRS had not been consistent in helping him find a job. CAP investigated the situation and then worked with the man and VRS staff to improve communication and make sure services were provided in a more timely manger. VRS also agreed to provide customized employment services and ongoing employment supports to help him maintain employment. As a result, the man accepted one of two job offers made to him, and has started employment there with the help of supportive employment services.
A woman with mental illness had been receiving services from VRS to become a cosmetology esthetician and had been notified that her vocational rehabilitation case was closed because she had found work in that field. The woman had been struggling, however, with housing problems and no work for a month because of broken street pipes at the beauty salon where she was working. The woman needed funding for her cosmetology license, additional cosmetology training and car repairs and did not want to go on Social Security benefits to afford these things. CAP staff intervened with VRS on her behalf, advocating for further services, and within a day, the woman met with VRS and was able to get all the funding she needed to move forward with employment and stay off of disability benefits.
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||Drew Schaffer|
|Title of Designated Agency Official||Executive Director|