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

Pennsylvania (Center for Disability Law and Policy) - H161A170039 - FY2017

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameCenter for Disability Law & Policy
Address1515 Market Street
Address Line 2Suite 1300
Zip Code19102
Website Address
Phone215 557 7112
TTY 215 557 7112
Toll-free Phone1-888-745-2357
Toll-free TTY1-888-745-2357
Fax215 557 7602

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

Address Line 2
Zip Code
E-mail Address
Website Address
Toll-free Phone
Toll-free TTY

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorStephen S. Pennington
Person to contact regarding reportStephen S. Pennington
Contact Person Phone215-564-2363

Part I. Non-case Services

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program418
2. Information regarding independent living programs76
3. Information regarding American Indian VR Service projects0
4. Information regarding Title I of the ADA50
5. Other information provided303
6. Information regarding CAP169
7. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1 through A6)1,016

B. Training Activities

CAP spoke with staff at all 22 OVR offices and visited with staff at 19 of 22 offices. Some highlights of our VR office trainings and outreach to OVR service providers are as follows. In October of 2016, CAP traveled to the Washington, PA OVR office. CAP met with approximately 10 staff members to discuss CAP services and any concerns that staff would like advice on. Also in October of 2016, CAP visited the Johnstown OVR office to speak with approximately 15 staff members and to participate in their local Consumer Advisory Committee. While in Johnstown, CAP visited the Commonwealth Technical Institute (Hiram G. Andrews Center). CAP met with approximately 20 members of the Hiram G. Andrews staff and approximately 100 students to speak about CAP advocacy services. In December of 2016, CAP staff visited the Wilkes-Barre Bureau of Vocational Services and Bureau of Blindness & Visual Services offices. CAP met with approximately 30 staff members both old and new to the agency. CAP spoke about our services to all staff and reserved time at the end of our visit to speak with individual counselors that wanted advice on specific case issues. While also in Wilkes-Barre, CAP staff visited the newly constructed “Transitional Skills Center” a part of the North-Eastern Pennsylvania Center for Independent Living. The Transitional Skills Center is a cutting-edge facility that provides Pre-Employment Transition Services to students 14-21. CAP was provided an opportunity to speak to all 70 students currently attending the half day program. In January of 2017, CAP staff met with approximately 10 staff members at the York OVR district office. CAP discussed current issues that staff were having with clients and offered methods of dispute resolution. The staff at the York OVR office invited us to visit a Pre-Employment Transition Services provider where a Work-Based Learning Experience (WBLE) was taking place. CAP met with 10 students participating in the WBLE and trained them on self-advocacy and how they can use CAP as a partner in their transition process. In May of 2017, CAP staff met with approximately 20 OVR staff members at the Reading, PA district office where we provided training to staff of best practices in communication and encouraged staff to utilize CAP as a resource. In July of 2017, CAP staff visited the Dubois OVR office. CAP spoke approximately 5 staff member Business Service representatives and provided guidance and best practices in communication with customers. Also, in July of 2017, CAP met with 10 staff members and provided training at the Venango Training and Development Center as well as Goodwill of Western Pennsylvania, both Pre-Employment Transition Services providers. In August 2017, CAP visited with approximately 10 staff members of both the Altoona Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services. CAP met with staff and discussed concerns that staff were having with issues such as transportation. While in Altoona, CAP met with an OVR supported employment provider and 5 of their staff members. CAP trained this service provider on CAP services and effective methods of OVR dispute resolution. In August 2017, CAP staff met with Allentown 10 staff members. CAP spoke with Allentown OVR staff about their innovative methods for accommodating customers with the newly introduced online VR services application. While in Allentown, CAP staff visited with Goodwill Keystone area, an OVR job coaching provider, providing training to 5 staff members about CAP services. We also visited 10 staff members at VIA of the Lehigh Valley, an OVR job coaching and PETS provider. In August of 2017, CAP attended the Pennsylvania State Rehabilitation Council's Empowerment Summit. At the Empowerment Summit, CAP provided training to 30 people on CAP services. In September 2017, CAP was asked to participate in a live television broadcast of “Disabilities: Issues and Updates” on Berks County Television Channel to speak about CAP services, Pre-Employment Transition Services, and how to access vocational rehabilitation services in Pennsylvania. Also, in September 2017, CAP attended the Developmental Disabilities Summit providing training to approximately 200 attendees on CAP services.

This year, a highlight of CAP’s outreach was the statewide Community on Transition Conference where CAP participated as one of 65 exhibitors. Other exhibitors that were in attendance included the Commonwealth Technical Institute (Hiram G. Andrews Center); Goodwill; Office of Vocational Rehabilitation; Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation; Centers for Independent Living; Penn State Office of Disability Services; Temple Institute on Disabilities, and Mobility Works. At the conference, CAP provided training to 25 OVR Early Reach Coordinators and OVR transition counselors. CAP’s training focused on CAP’s role in youth and young adults transition plans, including providing advocacy to students who are trying to receive Pre-Employment Transition Services (PETS). CAP advocates strongly encouraged OVR staff to reach out to CAP as often as needed as we are here to provide support, information, and clarity. Continuing outreach and training to youth and young adults accessing Pre-Employment Transition Services, CAP attend the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services Summer Academy as a presenter. The Summer Academy is an opportunity for 30 high school students in grades 9-12 with blindness or a visual impairment who plan to attend college or a technical school. The students attending the academy live on the Pennsylvania State Universities campus for a three-week, intensive program focused on enhancing independence skills for students transitioning to post-secondary education. The academy’s primary focus includes: daily living activities, travel skills, self-advocacy and networking skills, career awareness, social skills, enhancing access technology skills and low-vision rehabilitation. CAP was invited to participate in the career day portion of the academy as one CAP advocate is a successful person with a visual impairment. CAP provided training in self-advocacy, rights and responsibilities, and best practices for successfully navigating the vocational rehabilitation process. In July 2017, CAP also attended two “transition boot camps” as an exhibitor. At these training's CAP provided training to approximately 50 students at each event. The transition boot camps were organized by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in Norristown. These events were training for students to access transition resources while they are still in high school. In fiscal year 2017, CAP continued strong efforts to reach out to Pre-Employment Transition Services (PETS) providers and local educational agencies (LEAs). CAP outreached to Intermediate Unit Transition Consultants, high school transition coordinators, high school special education directors, and PETS providers statewide. Some highlights from this outreach included providing training at an Intermediate Unit transition coordinator meeting where approximately 60 transition coordinators from 3 counties were in attendance. CAP was also asked to provide training at the Philadelphia Special Needs consortium, providing training and information to approximately 60 disability services providers in Philadelphia. CAP’s outreach to Pre-Employment service providers included outreaching to all OVR 120 PETS providers statewide. CAP provided training to a “young adults with disabilities” club at the Philadelphia County Center for Independent Living, Liberty Resources. CAP provided training to 15 young adults that are accessing vocational rehabilitation services. CAP also provided similar training at Centers for Independent Living around the state including the Williamsport, Scranton and Lancaster Centers for Independent Living.

Acknowledging that many people obtain information from the internet, CAP focused on increasing our social media platform as a form of outreach. In fiscal year 2017, the Pennsylvania Client Assistance program Facebook page increased our amount of “page likes” to 925 and our “posts” reached a total of 12,230 people. CAP continues to strengthen this platform as we understand the need for adapting to new forms of technology to reach the most number of clients.

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:
  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.

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.

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.

Post reaches on CAP Facebook page.

1. Agency Staff Interviewed or Featured on Radio and TV1
2. Articles about CAP Featured in Newspaper/Magazine/Journals3
3. PSAs/Videos Aired about the CAP Agency2
4. Publications/Booklets/Brochures Disseminated by the Agency13904
5. Number of Times CAP Exhibited at Conferences, Community Fairs, etc.27
6. Other (specify below)12230

E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage

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

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)75
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year126
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

B. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information17
2. Communication problems between individual and VR counselor107
3. Conflict about VR services to be provided95
4. Related to VR application/eligibility process20
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
7. Related to independent living services0
8. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems0
9. Non-Rehabilitation Act related
  1. TANF
  3. Housing
  4. Other:
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 Assistance8
2. Investigation/Monitoring16
3. Negotiation74
4. Mediation and other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution3
5. Administrative / Informal Review2
6. Formal appeal / Fair Hearing0
7. Legal remedy / Litigation0
8. Total103

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 favor71
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 individual0
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)0
5. Individual chose alternative representation1
6. Individual withdrew complaint8
7. Issue not resolved in clients favor0
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.2
9. Individual not responsive/cooperative with CAP0
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 individual23
2. Application for services completed3
3. Eligibility determination expedited8
4. Individual participated in evaluation7
5. IPE developed/implemented/Services Provided55
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party7
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)0

Part III. Program Data

A. Age

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Up to 1817
2. 19 - 2445
3. 25 - 4039
4. 41 - 6492
5. 65 and over8
6. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A5. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)201

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females120
2. Males81
3. Total (Lines B1+B2. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)201

C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race (for individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only)6
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian3
4. Black or African American49
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White133
7. Two or more races7
8. Race/ethnicity unknown3

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Acquired Brain Injury12
4. Amputations or Absence of Extremities0
5. Arthritis or Rheumatism1
6. Anxiety Disorder1
7. Autism Spectrum Disorder35
8. Autoimmune or Immune Deficiencies (excluding AIDS/HIV)1
9. Blindness (Both Eyes)8
10. Other Visual Impairments (Not Blind)12
11. Cancer0
12. Cerebral Palsy3
13. Deafness8
14. Hard of Hearing/Hearing Impaired (Not Deaf)9
15. Deaf-Blind2
16. Diabetes1
17. Digestive Disorders1
18. Epilepsy1
19. Heart & Other Circulatory Conditions4
20. Intellectual Disability9
21. Mental Illness35
22. Multiple Sclerosis3
23. Muscular Dystrophy2
24. Muscular/Skeletal Impairment7
25. Neurological Disorders/Impairment6
26. Orthopedic Impairments12
27. Personality Disorders0
28. Respiratory Disorders/Impairment0
29. Skin Conditions1
30. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)9
31. Speech Impairments0
32. Spina Bifida1
33. Substance Abuse (Alcohol or Drugs)2
34. Other Disability1
35. Total (Sum of Lines D1through D34. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)201

E. Types of Individual Served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicant of VR44
2. Individual eligible for VR services currently on a wait list2
3. Individual eligible for VR services not currently on a wait list135
4. Applicant or individual eligible for Independent Living1
5. Transition student/High school student24
6. All other applicants or individuals eligible for other programs or projects funded unther Rehabilitation Act2

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities

1.CAP provided comment to OVR regarding the statutory requirement to actively consult the CAP director prior to adopting any policy or procedure. CAP is still working to resolve this issue. 2.CAP provided comment to OVR regarding limitations of the final Pre-Employment Transition Services regulations. CAP recommended that OVR utilize group services to provide transportation and assistive technology. CAP’s recommendations were accepted. 3.CAP provided comment to OVR raising the issue of OVR counselors asking clients to sign blank Individualized Plans for Employment. CAP recommended this be addressed through training. OVR accepted CAP’s recommendation. 4.CAP prepared a memo on federal and state rulemaking requirements to ensure OVR policies comply with state and federal laws. CAP is still working to resolve this issue. 5.CAP worked with OVR in providing comment to The Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, on the request for repeal, replacement, or modification regulations and guidance. 6.CAP participated in the workgroup revision of the Low Vision policy. CAP provided recommendations including a provision that would expedite the process to receive recommended low vision aides. This recommendation was included in the final policy. 7.CAP provided comment to OVR regarding the revision of the Psychological Services Memo. CAP was consulted about the removal of the requirement prohibiting the use of Psychological testing which was performed over 3 years ago. CAP supported the removal of this requirement and this was removed from the final memo. 8.CAP participated in the revision on the Supported Employment Policy. CAP made recommendations such us adding self-advocacy training as a part of the job mentoring phase of Supported Employment. CAP’s recommendations were added to the final policy. 9. CAP provided comment to OVR regarding the revision of the Competitive Integrated Employment Policy. CAP recommended compliance with federal regulations, specifically, 371.6, to include self-employment as part of the competitive integrated employment definition. The comment was accepted and added to the final policy. 10. CAP provided comment to OVR regarding the revision of the 1998 Amendments Memo. CAP recommendations included addition of statutory requirements to notify customers of the availability of CAP services. CAP’s recommendations were included in the final policy. 11. CAP provided comment to the OVR Combined State Plan. CAP recommended OVR address extended wait times for consumers seeking to receive Orientation & Mobility training and provide adequate notice for State Plan meetings. CAP is still working to resolve this issue. 12. CAP was asked to comment on OVR’s Small Business Policy regarding the start-up matching contribution. CAP’s recommendation was included in the final policy. 13.CAP recommended revising OVR’s Subrogation Policy to comply with Pennsylvania state law. CAP’s recommendations were included in the final policy. 14. CAP participated with the Pennsylvania State Rehabilitation Council in recommending to OVR the review and revision of the College & Post-Secondary Training Policy. CAP will be participating in the work group to resolve this issue in 2018. 15. CAP participated in the Pennsylvania State Civil Service Commission’s regulatory review process. CAP provided testimony at a Pennsylvania State Civil Service public hearing and provided written comment on proposed regulations. In 2018, CAP will be actively working to resolve this issue and has taken measures such as meeting with members of the Pennsylvania State Legislature to reform the State Civil Service system to ensure the system is inclusive to persons with disabilities.

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.

B. Litigation

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-other nonprofit agency
2. Name of designate agencyCenter for Disability Law & Policy
3. Is the designated agency contracting CAP services?No
4. If yes, name of contracting agency:not applicable

B. Staff Employed

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

Part VI. Case Examples

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 OfficialCenter for Disability Law and Policy
Title of Designated Agency OfficialStephen Pennington
Date Signed12/21/2017