|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||418|
|2. Information regarding independent living programs||76|
|3. Information regarding American Indian VR Service projects||0|
|4. Information regarding Title I of the ADA||50|
|5. Other information provided||303|
|6. Information regarding CAP||169|
|7. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1 through A6)||1,016|
|1. Number of training sessions presented to community groups and public agencies.||50|
|2. Number of individuals who attended these training sessions.||2,708|
|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.
CAP continued our outreach to populations that are unserved or underserved. These populations included: speech/language, heart/circulatory, spina bifida, pulmonary disorders, deaf and hard of hearing, skin disorders, and arthritis. CAP outreached to speech/language groups across the state highlighting the Aphasia Hope Foundation, the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and all state-wide support groups for speech-language disorders. Outreach highlights to the heart/circulatory population included: local chapters of the American Heart Association, National American Heart Association, and cardiac rehabilitation centers and support groups statewide. Highlights from the Spina Bifida outreach included: Spina Bifida Association of Greater Pennsylvania, Spina Bifida Association of Greater Pittsburgh, Good Shepherd Spina Bifida Program, Lehigh Valley Spina Bifida, Easter Seals of Southeastern PA Chester County, and Spina Bifida Association of Delaware County, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Geisinger Medical Center Spina Bifida Clinic, MOSS Rehabilitation Center Adult Spina Bifida Clinic and Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Some highlights of the pulmonary disease outreach are: Central PA Cystic Fibrosis Chapter, Temple University Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group, UPMC Presbyterian Hospital Simmons Center Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group, Gettysburg/Hanover/ Adams County Area Every Breath Counts Support Group, St. Luke's Hospital Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group and the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. CAP’s outreach to the deaf and hard of hearing population included attending the Advisory Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing quarterly meetings, outreaching to Western PA School for the Deaf, the Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing, attending the Berks County Deaf and Hard of Hearing Expo, and attended the Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing, hearing loss expo as an exhibitor. A highlight of CAP outreach to the deaf and hard of hearing transition population was as both a presenter and an exhibitor at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf’s 4th Annual Transition and Resource Fair as CAP was one of over 30 exhibitors asked to participate. At this event, CAP was provided the opportunity to train over 150 participants on self-advocacy and rights and responsibilities within the Vocational Rehabilitation system. CAP reached out to some of the other exhibitors as part of our outreach to the deaf/hard of hearing population. Some highlights from CAP’s outreach to skin disorder associations are the Alopecia Foundation and Foundation of Ichthyosis. CAP also focused on strengthening efforts to reach out to minority populations, participating and providing training at the Alliance of Black Social Workers Conference, the Community Resilience Symposium on Pride and Perseverance.
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||3|
|3. PSAs/Videos Aired about the CAP Agency||2|
|4. Publications/Booklets/Brochures Disseminated by the Agency||13904|
|5. Number of Times CAP Exhibited at Conferences, Community Fairs, etc.||27|
|6. Other (specify below)||12230|
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)||75|
|2. Additional individuals who were served during the year||126|
|3. Total individuals served (Lines A1+A2)||201|
|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.)||98|
Multiple responses permitted.
|1. Individual requests information||17|
|2. Communication problems between individual and VR counselor||107|
|3. Conflict about VR services to be provided||95|
|4. Related to VR application/eligibility process||20|
|5. Related to assignment to order of selection priority category||0|
|6. Related to IPE development/implementation||21|
|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||8|
|4. Mediation and other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution||3|
|5. Administrative / Informal Review||2|
|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||71|
|2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)||21|
|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||1|
|6. Individual withdrew complaint||8|
|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)||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||23|
|2. Application for services completed||3|
|3. Eligibility determination expedited||8|
|4. Individual participated in evaluation||7|
|5. IPE developed/implemented/Services Provided||55|
|6. Communication re-established between individual and other party||7|
|7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office||0|
|8. Alternative resources identified for individual||0|
|9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR complaint made||0|
|10. Other (Please explain below)||0|
Multiple responses not permitted.
|1. Up to 18||17|
|2. 19 - 24||45|
|3. 25 - 40||39|
|4. 41 - 64||92|
|5. 65 and over||8|
|6. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A5. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)||201|
Multiple responses not permitted.
|3. Total (Lines B1+B2. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)||201|
|1. Hispanic/Latino of any race (for individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only)||6|
|2. American Indian or Alaskan Native||0|
|4. Black or African American||49|
|5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander||0|
|7. Two or more races||7|
|8. Race/ethnicity unknown||3|
Multiple responses not permitted.
|1. Acquired Brain Injury||12|
|4. Amputations or Absence of Extremities||0|
|5. Arthritis or Rheumatism||1|
|6. Anxiety Disorder||1|
|7. Autism Spectrum Disorder||35|
|8. Autoimmune or Immune Deficiencies (excluding AIDS/HIV)||1|
|9. Blindness (Both Eyes)||8|
|10. Other Visual Impairments (Not Blind)||12|
|12. Cerebral Palsy||3|
|14. Hard of Hearing/Hearing Impaired (Not Deaf)||9|
|17. Digestive Disorders||1|
|19. Heart & Other Circulatory Conditions||4|
|20. Intellectual Disability||9|
|21. Mental Illness||35|
|22. Multiple Sclerosis||3|
|23. Muscular Dystrophy||2|
|24. Muscular/Skeletal Impairment||7|
|25. Neurological Disorders/Impairment||6|
|26. Orthopedic Impairments||12|
|27. Personality Disorders||0|
|28. Respiratory Disorders/Impairment||0|
|29. Skin Conditions||1|
|30. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)||9|
|31. Speech Impairments||0|
|32. Spina Bifida||1|
|33. Substance Abuse (Alcohol or Drugs)||2|
|34. Other Disability||1|
|35. Total (Sum of Lines D1through D34. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)||201|
Multiple responses permitted.
|1. Applicant of VR||44|
|2. Individual eligible for VR services currently on a wait list||2|
|3. Individual eligible for VR services not currently on a wait list||135|
|4. Applicant or individual eligible for Independent Living||1|
|5. Transition student/High school student||24|
|6. All other applicants or individuals eligible for other programs or projects funded unther Rehabilitation Act||2|
|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.
Case example 1: Client is a 67-year-old woman who has been diagnosed with Degenerative Joint Disease who is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree. Client had reached out to the Client Assistance Program numerous times for advice regarding her financial funding issues to support her Bachelor’s degree. After a few attempts to resolve her concerns on her own, with CAP guidance, client was unsuccessful and requested to open a CAP case. Clients concerns regarding college funding were that she believed she was not counseled properly in her college selection and she is unable to afford her tuition payments due to a financial hardship. Client’s assigned CAP advocate, advocated for client to receive hardship waiver from state agency to cover the college costs she was unable to afford. Through further discussions with client and agency, CAP advocate discovered that clients chosen major of study was the only program of its kind offered in Pennsylvania. Therefore, client should have been considered under an “exception” in the state agencies “College and Other Post-Secondary Training” policy. The exception detailed in the policy is for a student who has completed 2 full years of study, the student’s chosen program is not available at one of the State System of Higher Education (SSHE) universities, and the tuition amount for the least expensive SSHE program out of 3 programs offering the specific program of study would be used. Since the clients chosen program was solely offered at the university she has been attending for more than two years, through CAP advocacy, the state agencies used the policy exception for current outstanding payments and all remaining tuition payments moving forward with her education.
Case example 2: Client is a 23-year-old man diagnosed with Autism who is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree. Client contacted the Client Assistance Program with several concerns. Client was having difficulty navigating the Vocational Rehabilitation program and understanding the connection with the Social Security Administration(SSA). The CAP advocate assigned to his case has extensive SSA knowledge from previous employment with the Social Security Administration. was able to provide self-advocacy training tailored to the SSA process to the customer. Through this provided guidance, the client was able to resolve his SSA concerns by himself. The client was also having difficulty with communication with his assigned Vocational Rehabilitation counselor. CAP provided self-advocacy training to the client to resolve his communication concerns with the Vocational Rehabilitation State Agency. Client also was having difficulty in having the state agency agree to fund an extra semester that was necessary for the client to obtain a business minor in addition to his psychology major. Through CAP advocacy, client was able to justify the payment with the VR agency due to his government internship being able to offer him full-time employment after graduation if he was to obtain a minor in business.
Case example 3: This case is "interesting" for three good reasons. First, it truly demonstrates the importance of counseling and guidance from the onset of the client-counselor relationship. This young client is a student at local University and is profoundly deaf in both ears. She has had multiple counselors, none of which were counselors for the deaf as this OVR office did not have one a counselor for the deaf until recently. One issue the client was having was choosing a major that would both interest her and be a good fit for her strengths. A strong interest the client has is working with children. Therefore, she decided to declare her goal as an Elementary Teacher. Her prior counselor approved this goal and funding for a Bachelors in Education. In her third year at Bloomsburg, after taking a few education classes, she started having second thoughts about this goal and if it was the best choice for her. The client decided that working with children in the field of social work would be a better fit for her. CAP recommended that the client do some research and meet with an academic advisor. The academic advisor agreed this would be more realistic goal and fit nicer within her limits and skills. The client was also fortunate enough to have connected with a support program at the school that helps provide guidance and advocacy for individuals with disabilities separate from the Office of Student Disability Services. Upon solidifying her decision to change her major, the client then contacted her OVR counselor asking that her goal be changed to Social Worker and requested OVR fund one more year of schooling, so she could receive her degree, Bachelor of Science in Social Work. The counselor disagreed and recommended she finish her original course of study. As the case remained unassigned at OVR, CAP had advocated for her case to be assigned to a counselor, so she could receive proper counseling and guidance regarding choice of goal. The third and final interesting aspect of this case, was that after a counselor was assigned, CAP recommended the client complete OVR's Training Justification form, which had previously not been discussed. This form although not required as part of the college policy, is a helpful way of guiding the client to do some objective research on their own to find out more about a job before training is agreed upon. Some of the specific information discovered by completing this form include: the skills that are required for the specific job tasks, the job tasks, what training is required, the status of the labor market for each job goal. The clients newly assigned counselor agreed that the training justification form would provide specific objective information and should could be gathered to help make a final informed decision as to the best choice of job for the client. The advocacy efforts by CAP combined with a better working relationship with her counselor, the universities support and the client’s commitment to changing her goal all helped in fulfilling OVR's agreement to amend her goal and pay for the additional year of schooling needed to receive her degree in Social Work.
Case example 4: This case shows the importance of thinking "outside the box" and working together with the client valuing his pride and justifying his ability and capability of being productive. This case also reveals how the strong support of the counselor can have a positive role in vocational services. The clients goal is famer and the farm he owns in on the borderline of being profitable. He contacted CAP after OVR had denied him a skid steer which was recommended by an Agribility evaluation, a comprehensive review of his farm that was done to determine what equipment would benefit him on the farm. Based on OVR's farm policy, a skid steer is a piece of equipment that is excluded from equipment that OVR would be able to provide. In addition to his farm, the client also has an auto repair shop which is a bit more profitable than his farm right. After various attempts to see how OVR would agree to buying a skid steer, in CAP’s efforts to advocate on his behalf, CAP spoke with client and counselor to see if perhaps an evaluation could be done to see what assistance/equipment would be recommended to assist him in being more profitable with his auto repair shop. The client agreed to this recommendation and amended his IPE. The counselor was also in agreement with this change and an evaluation was done at his auto repair shop. Per the report from this evaluation, many pieces of equipment have been recommended. Although, OVR has not made a final decision regarding approval of equipment in this evaluation, there does appear to be a better chance of OVR providing these recommendations and of the client being more successful in this chosen field. In sum, a bit of brainstorming and creative thinking combined with a trusting client counselor relationship is the key to good advocacy.
Case example 5: This client is a young male who applied for OVR services and was found eligible. The client requested that OVR pay for repairs to his wheelchair, so he can maintain employment. The client had already put in a request from his insurance company to purchase a new wheelchair when he contacted CAP. While waiting for his new wheelchair, he requested that OVR make repairs to his old wheelchair. OVR agreed to make the necessary repairs to his wheelchair as it was necessary for the client to maintain his immediate employment. OVR provided the client with a vendor list to choose a provider to make the repairs. However, the vendors wanted to send the invoice to the insurance company for payment. The VR counselor agreed to make a referral to a provider and have them assess the cost of the repairs for the wheelchair. After OVR received the quote, then OVR would decide as to whether they would pay for the repairs or submit it to the insurance company. CAP advocate stressed the importance of the client receiving repairs to his wheelchair and OVR agreed to pay for the cost.
Case example 6: This client is a young woman who has a history of PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder. The client applied for VR services and was determined eligible. The IPE was developed and OVR agreed to fund her college training. The client contacted CAP because she was scheduled to graduate from college in May and OVR did not pay the bill for her schooling. CAP advocate had requested expedited payment as the VR counselor indicated that there was a back-up in the fiscal department. Advocate suggested that counselor contact the Bursar’s Office and make them aware of the situation. CAP Advocate insisted that OVR rectify this matter as soon as possible so that it will not interfere with the clients’ graduation from college. Through CAP’s involvement, OVR expedited the payment for client’s college funding. CAP is very pleased to have had the opportunity to help this client receive payment for her college funding and to ensure that her graduation was not jeopardized.
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||Center for Disability Law and Policy|
|Title of Designated Agency Official||Stephen Pennington|