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

Utah (DISABILITY LAW CENTER -- THE COMMUNITY LEGAL CENTER) - H161A170045 - FY2017

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameDisability Law Center
Address205 North 400 West
Address Line 2
CitySalt Lake City
StateUtah
Zip Code84103
E-mail Addressazahradnikova@disabilitylawcenter.org
Website Addresshttp://www.disabilitylawcenter.org
Phone801-363-1347
TTY
Toll-free Phone800-662-9080
Toll-free TTY
Fax801-363-1437

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameDisability Law Center
Address205 North 400 West
Address Line 2
CitySalt Lake City
Zip Code84103
E-mail Addressazahradnikova@disabilitylawcenter.org
Website Addresshttp://www.disabilitylawcenter.org
Phone801-363-1347
TTY
Toll-free Phone800-662-9080
Toll-free TTY
Fax801-363-1437

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorLindsay Boerens
Person to contact regarding reportLindsay Boerens
Contact Person Phone8013631347

Part I. Non-case Services

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program57
2. Information regarding independent living programs2
3. Information regarding American Indian VR Service projects0
4. Information regarding Title I of the ADA0
5. Other information provided0
6. Information regarding CAP5
7. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1 through A6)64

B. Training Activities

VR ADA Trainings CAP advocates provided training to VR counselors on Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Counselors received information about how the ADA interacts with hiring processes and reasonable accommodation requests. Our goal is to train counselors to be able to troubleshoot issues that clients may face as they seek competitive and integrated employment. This training was provided to the Provo, Southern Utah, Eastern Utah, and Davis district offices of VR, reaching 76 counselors and rehabilitation technicians.

PARC ADA Training Each year, CAP staff provides training to staff of the Pioneer Adult Rehabilitation Center (PARC) on Title I of the ADA, with an emphasis on the reasonable accommodation process. PARC is a local employment network that provides a wide array of employment services to individuals with disabilities. PARC has a program called Pathway to Careers that is nationally recognized as a best practice in creating tailored/individualized employment for people with intellectual disabilities. We like to support this program by training their staff on the legalities of the ADA and how they can help advocate for their clients to obtain reasonable accommodations when needed. In FY17, we provided this training to 35 job coaches and developers at PARC.

Deseret Industries Employment Centers — ADA Training Deseret Industries (DI) is a non-profit organization and division of Welfare Services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints — also known as the LDS Church. It includes a retail chain of thrift stores and work projects. The DI has a similar model to the well-known Goodwill Industries. As with other thrift stores, people donate items such as furniture, appliances, computers, and clothing, which the store then sells to the public. Deseret Industries provides job skill training for people with disabilities and helps place them into private sector employment. The DLC provided outreach and presentations to the Salt Lake City, Roosevelt, and Vernal DI locations to educate staff and employees on the reasonable accommodation process and how to overcome problems working with vocational rehabilitation. We provided information to 18 individuals — including DI managerial staff and DI sales associates engaged in their work training program.

WIOA Training — Rights in education, transition, and vocational rehabilitation Training on the new WIOA regulations, education rights, transition advocacy, and helping overcome problems related to vocational rehabilitation was provided to the Central Utah Youth Center, the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), and in Spanish to Utah Foster Care staff and parents. The DLC was able to educate 62 attendees on their rights related to transition and employment.

1. Number of training sessions presented to community groups and public agencies.11
2. Number of individuals who attended these training sessions.191
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.

Outreach to Underserved/Unserved Disability Populations Prior to the start of FY17, the DLC identified three traditionally underserved and unserved areas of the state where we wanted to conduct targeted outreach during the year. These areas include Kane County, Garfield County, and the Uintah Basin area. These three areas were chosen based on their small size and rural location as each county is located far from the Wasatch Front, where 80% of the state’s population reside. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Kane County had a population of 7,125; Garfield County had a population of 5,172; and Roosevelt and Vernal cities located in the Uintah Basin area had a combined population of 15,135. Kane County Outreach The DLC presented information about our services to 32 individuals from various human services agencies around Kane County, including Kane School District, the health department, law enforcement, Allies for Families, and local mental health agencies. Garfield County Outreach The DLC presented information to 10 individuals from various Garfield county agencies about our advocacy services. Uintah Basin Outreach Outreach was conducted in the Uintah Basin area to the following agencies: Uintah Basin Applied Technology Center, Vernal and Roosevelt VR offices, Vernal Deseret Industries Employment Center, and the Utah State University Extension locations in Roosevelt and Vernal. Information was provided to staff about DLC services and the referral/intake process. An emphasis was placed on our employment work and how we can help people with disabilities remove barriers to employment, understand their rights in relation to Title I of the ADA, and how to address disability-based discrimination.

Outreach to Minority Communities The DLC continues to make consistent efforts to reach members of the Latino community, which is our state’s largest minority group. In FY17, we dramatically increased our ability to meet the needs of the Latino community by increasing our Spanish-speaking staff to 5 members, including two advocates on our intake team. The DLC is also fortunate to have a Spanish-speaking advocate whose time is dedicated to conduct extensive outreach efforts across the state. We met with Latino-affiliated agencies to discuss DLC services and how we can help remove barriers to employment.

Our FY17 Latino community outreach efforts reached 825 individuals during 35 targeted ethnic outreach events and 8 presentations. Events included six Spanish Family Resource Fairs, the Spanish Cancer Conference, a presentation to Spanish Foster Care, four presentations to Spanish Liaisons, two outreach events with the Mexican Consulate, a lunch meeting hosted by the DLC where we established relationships with 12 Latino providers, outreach at the Spanish Family Links Conference, a presentation to the Road Home, four outreach events at Partners in the Park, an information table at the Hispanic Fiesta event, six presentations to WIC, outreach to a Spanish Back to School event, and an information table at the Latino Festival.

Our Spanish Outreach Advocate made two appearances on TV and one on the radio as described below:

• Pulso Latino radio show reaching out about 1000 listeners • Contacto Directo TV Azteca show reaching out to about 448 viewers • Univision Noticias 32 reaching close to 33, 924 viewers in one week

The DLC distributed 2,418 Spanish language brochures related to our target Latino community outreach efforts.

Work Ability Job Fairs Members of the CAP team operated information tables at two Work Ability Job Fairs held in October 2016 and April 2017. The job fair hosts disability-friendly employers looking to hire individuals with disabilities. The fairs are held at the Sanderson Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and attracts attendees from the deaf community, as well as transition-aged students, and the blind and visually impaired community. The DLC provided information to approximately 75 attendees about how the DLC can advocate to remove employment barriers in regards to working with VR, requesting reasonable accommodations, or addressing disability-related discrimination at work.

VR District Office Outreach We recognize the importance of collaborating with our local Vocational Rehabilitation offices, who provide critical services to individuals with disabilities seeking employment. During FY17, we met with and provided information about the CAP program to 156 VR counselors, supervisors, and district directors at the following VR offices: Audience Location of staff trained

South Valley VR South Jordan, UT 15 Southern Utah VR St. George, UT 13 Provo VR Provo, UT 18 Valley West VR West Valley City, UT 22 Downtown Salt Lake VR Salt Lake City, UT 25 Blanding VR Blanding, UT 4 Northern Utah VR Logan, UT 14 Central Utah VR Price, UT 15 Moab VR Moab, UT 3 Davis VR Layton, UT 12 VR Vendor Fair Taylorsville, UT 15

Outreach to the Blind and Visually Impaired We continue our efforts to gain the trust of the blind community so that we can help advocate for individuals to obtain or maintain employment. In this spirit, we presented to the Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DSBVI) staff and students on Title I of the ADA with an emphasis on the reasonable accommodation process. We also worked with the State Library for the Blind to transcribe our employment-related publications into Braille. The DLC Employment Team went on a tour of the center’s Student Workshop and had a great discussion about future collaboration between our agencies.

Southern Utah University Disability Resource Center (DRC) Outreach DLC staff presented information about our employment advocacy services to DRC staff and college students with disabilities at Southern Utah University. We also met with the local Vocational Rehabilitation office to network with staff and discuss emerging trends in client complaints.

Utah Multi-Tiered System of Supports (UMTSS) Conference Outreach UMTSS is designed to support Utah schools in developing sustainable, evidence-based practices and provide supports for students within a multi-tiered system. Through coaching, UMTSS staff support LEAs in developing the necessary infrastructure to sustain a multi-tiered system of supports, integrate academic and behavior systems, implement systems and interventions with fidelity, utilize data, and sustain efforts over time to positively impact student outcomes. During this event, the DLC operated an outreach table to discuss our services with attendees and offered to educate teachers, parents, and transition-aged youth on working with VR and how to remove barriers to employment. During the event, we met with 22 attendees.

Mental Health Outreach In an effort to reach people with mental illness facing barriers to employment, the DLC made a concerted effort to find opportunities to provide information about our services to this important community. We held a monthly “brown bag” lunch outreach event at Alliance House, which is a local mental health clubhouse that provides services to people with severe and persistent mental health issues in the Salt Lake City area. During these monthly lunches, a DLC staff member joined clubhouse members for lunch and answered questions about employment, housing, voting, and other areas of interest on that particular day. We would often receive requests from members to follow up on a particular question and would get them in touch with our intake team to see if their issue required further assistance. We provided information to approximately 50 attendees throughout FY17 at this event. In FY17, the DLC joined the newly formed Homeless & Housing Coordination Council to address the needs of the chronically homeless facing problems with employment. We also met with the Road Home — a local non-profit organization that helps provide food and temporary shelter to the homeless community — to discuss our services.

PHP Single Mother’s Seminar The DLC hosted an outreach booth at People Helping People’s Single Mother’s Seminar and provided information about DLC services to approximately 51 attendees.

Transition Fairs The CAP team understands the importance of quality transition services to youth moving from high school to higher education and/or employment opportunities. In an effort to provide information to this key group, the DLC operated information tables and/or presented information to 431 students, parents, and service providers at the following events during FY17:

Event of individuals who received information Cache County Transition Fair 20 Alpine School District 30 Ridgeline Transition Night 26 Granite School District Transition Fair 100 Davis School District Transition Fair 150

Box Elder District Fair 30

Highland High Transition Night 35

Nebo School District Fair 40

UCAT Open House We hosted an information table at the Utah Center for Assistive Technology’s (UCAT) Open House event where members of the community were invited to learn about the numerous service providers available to help people with assistive technology needs. This year, we provided information about our services to 30 attendees.

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.

The agency posted two CAP-related Facebook posts in FY17.

The DLC's Employment Team web page was viewed 456 times in FY17.

CAP Brochures

Approximately 5,720 CAP brochures were distributed to the disability and service provider communities during presentations, trainings, and outreach events. 440 brochures were distributed to attendees during our training events. 280 brochures were shared during outreach events. 5,000 brochures were given to VR offices to include with their orientation packets, applications, and for counselors to utilize during any part of the VR process with clients.

Facebook

Throughout the year, the DLC posted 19 employment-related articles on Facebook. Through these posts, we reached 8,605 readers with information about DLC advocacy services, employment-related disability discrimination settlements from around the country, articles about subminimum wage and sheltered workshops, and more.

Online Training Webinars & YouTube Videos

The DLC produced two online webinars for people with disabilities and service providers. One webinar focused on the HCBS settings rule and the other was about the proposed Medicaid cuts in the ACA repeal bill.

Agency website hits: 54,845

1. Agency Staff Interviewed or Featured on Radio and TV11
2. Articles about CAP Featured in Newspaper/Magazine/Journals0
3. PSAs/Videos Aired about the CAP Agency3
4. Publications/Booklets/Brochures Disseminated by the Agency5720
5. Number of Times CAP Exhibited at Conferences, Community Fairs, etc.21
6. Other (specify below)458

E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage

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

Radio/TV Appearances (11) The DLC was mentioned in or participated in interviews that were aired on local TV channels and radio stations. Topics covered include: guardianship, mental illness in Utah jails and exorbitant wait times to receive competency restoration services, rallies in support of affordable health care and against A.C.A. repeal efforts.

Website Mentions (152) Our agency was mentioned by external web sources many times throughout the year covering a wide variety of disability-rights topics. Sources that mentioned us online include: Deseret News, KSL.com, ACLU Utah, UtahPolicy.com, Radioactive KRCL, Salt Lake Tribune, LegalNewsLine, Washington Times, Standard-Examiner, KUTV.com, Alliance for a Better Utah, News Locker, Fox13, KUER.org, Good4Utah, SF Gate, AP News Archive, Wichita Eagle, Ability Chicago, Sentinel News, Stamford Advocate, University of Utah Updates, City Weekly, Voices for Utah Children, and many others.

Most of FY17’s employment-related media related to the case of Scott Bonn, a DLC client with an intellectual disability who was fired from Papa John’s after being denied the use of a job coach. The case has far reaching implications for people with disabilities working in Utah. The case story was featured on eeoc.gov, publicnow.com, Ability Chicago, and numerous disability organization Twitter accounts. Here is a portion of the story from eeoc.gov:

The owners of a Farmington, Utah Papa John's Pizza will pay $125,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the EEOC announced today. According to EEOC's lawsuit, Papa John's discriminated against Scott Bonn, who has an intellectual disability, Down syndrome. EEOC alleged that Papa John's employed Bonn successfully at its Farmington location for more than five months and allowed an independently employed and insured job coach to assist him. EEOC further charged that after an operating partner visited the Farmington location and observed Bonn working with the assistance of his job coach, the operating partner ordered Papa John's local management to fire Bonn. Under the consent decree settling the suit, Papa John's is required to pay $125,000 to Bonn, review its equal employment opportunity policies, conduct training for management and human resources employees for its restaurants in Utah, and establish a new recruitment program for individuals with disabilities in Utah. Laura Boswell, an attorney with the Disability Law Center in Salt Lake City, Utah and counsel for Scott Bonn, said, 'In my experience, employees with intellectual disabilities, while often overlooked, are frequently among the most dedicated and hardworking. Scott exemplified these qualities while employed at Papa John's. We are hopeful that this settlement will serve to educate employers about the skills and value Scott, and employees like him, can bring to the workforce when properly accommodated.'

The DLC’s Spanish Outreach Advocate also videotaped an interview with a client named Jorge Morales about workplace discrimination titled: "Conozca la historia de Jorge Morales - Discriminación de Empelo". Both webinars and the interview can be found on the DLC’s YouTube page.

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)14
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year82
3. Total individuals served (Lines A1+A2)96
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.)9
5. Individual still being served as of September 30 (Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line A3.)15

B. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information10
2. Communication problems between individual and VR counselor13
3. Conflict about VR services to be provided67
4. Related to VR application/eligibility process1
5. Related to assignment to order of selection priority category1
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
1
7. Related to independent living services0
8. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems6
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 Assistance60
2. Investigation/Monitoring0
3. Negotiation23
4. Mediation and other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution2
5. Administrative / Informal Review0
6. Formal appeal / Fair Hearing0
7. Legal remedy / Litigation0
8. Total85

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 favor45
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)18
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual5
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)3
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual withdrew complaint15
7. Issue not resolved in clients favor0
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.0
9. Individual not responsive/cooperative with CAP1
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.)

Client withdrew complaint to attend to family matters.

1. Controlling law/policy explained to individual35
2. Application for services completed1
3. Eligibility determination expedited2
4. Individual participated in evaluation1
5. IPE developed/implemented/Services Provided14
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party16
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office4
8. Alternative resources identified for individual9
9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR complaint made4
10. Other (Please explain below)1

Part III. Program Data

A. Age

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Up to 180
2. 19 - 2416
3. 25 - 4035
4. 41 - 6439
5. 65 and over6
6. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A5. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)96

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females40
2. Males56
3. Total (Lines B1+B2. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)96

C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race (for individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only)4
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native1
3. Asian2
4. Black or African American3
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White80
7. Two or more races1
8. Race/ethnicity unknown5

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Acquired Brain Injury1
2. ADD/ADHD1
3. AIDS/HIV0
4. Amputations or Absence of Extremities0
5. Arthritis or Rheumatism0
6. Anxiety Disorder1
7. Autism Spectrum Disorder7
8. Autoimmune or Immune Deficiencies (excluding AIDS/HIV)0
9. Blindness (Both Eyes)7
10. Other Visual Impairments (Not Blind)5
11. Cancer0
12. Cerebral Palsy4
13. Deafness1
14. Hard of Hearing/Hearing Impaired (Not Deaf)5
15. Deaf-Blind0
16. Diabetes0
17. Digestive Disorders1
18. Epilepsy0
19. Heart & Other Circulatory Conditions1
20. Intellectual Disability3
21. Mental Illness32
22. Multiple Sclerosis0
23. Muscular Dystrophy0
24. Muscular/Skeletal Impairment2
25. Neurological Disorders/Impairment9
26. Orthopedic Impairments13
27. Personality Disorders0
28. Respiratory Disorders/Impairment0
29. Skin Conditions0
30. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)3
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.)96

E. Types of Individual Served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicant of VR16
2. Individual eligible for VR services currently on a wait list5
3. Individual eligible for VR services not currently on a wait list74
4. Applicant or individual eligible for Independent Living2
5. Transition student/High school student0
6. All other applicants or individuals eligible for other programs or projects funded unther Rehabilitation Act1

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities

HB 92 The DLC engaged in legislative advocacy and worked with community partners to support the passage of House Bill 92. House Bill 92 prohibits corporal punishment and the use of restraint and seclusion of students who do not present a danger to themselves or others. The DLC continued its close collaboration with the Utah State Board of Education and the Utah Parent Center as well as its investigation of services for youth in state custody.

State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) During FY17, a DLC advocate served on the State Rehabilitation Council and attended monthly meetings to provide a voice of advocacy as our state’s Vocational Rehabilitation program adjusts and adapts to major changes in service delivery. We provided the council with a monthly report containing information on our advocacy efforts, complaint trends, and the steps we take when we open a CAP case.

Utah State Education Advisory Panel The Utah Special Education Advisory Panel (USEAP) had 4 major areas of focus during FY17: youth in state custody, high school diplomas, transition planning, and guidance counselors. USEAP brings parents, educators, administrators, service providers and advocates together to provide advisory opinions on special education and related programs in the State of Utah. In the area of transition, we continue to advise the state educational programs to work with state agencies to help students become more integrated by working toward competitive employment. We advised the state to work collaboratively with Vocational Rehabilitation to meet the needs of transition age youth. We also promoted the implementation of special education rules that lowered the age for starting the transition process to 14 years old and emphasized the importance of early involvement by transition guidance counselors. The Utah State Board of Education reviews our advisory opinions and will return to USEAP over the next year to show implementation of our recommendations.

Homeless & Housing Coordinating Council DLC staff participated in the forming of the Homeless & Housing Coordinating Council (HHCC). The HHCC is organized to provide support and a framework for organizations inside of Salt Lake County that assist people entering Permanent Supportive Housing in maintaining housing, and reengaging into the larger community through employment and other supportive services. The DLC was asked to provide input specific to employment for people with disabilities. This council fits in nicely with the CAP team’s broader goal of engaging the homeless community in an effort to help remove barriers to employment for those who are chronically homeless.

DWS Advocates Meeting

CAP staff participated in monthly meetings with the Department of Workforce Services (DWS) Advocates Meeting in an effort to provide input on barriers facing the disability community and to learn about service coordination for those seeking help from the state’s general assistance fund, food stamp program, and other programs aimed at helping people return to work.

USOR/CAP Quarterly Meetings

The CAP team meets quarterly with Utah State Office of Rehabilitation’s (USOR) administration to review emerging trends in vocational rehabilitation client service issues, provide feedback on proposed rule changes, and discuss items of mutual interest to our programs. The meetings allow our agencies to foster a positive relationship while addressing systemic issues. These meetings provide a forum for both sides to talk openly about client needs and systemic barriers. Meetings were held five times throughout FY17.

Transcribing Outreach Materials into Braille We continued our efforts to transcribe employment-related brochures, fact sheets, and publications into Braille to allow blind individuals more access to information about how to request reasonable accommodations or how to file a complaint related to employment discrimination.

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.7
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 agencyDisability Law Center
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)

Full-time professional: 1.48 Part-time professional: 0.11 Full-time clerical: 0.12 Part-time clerical: 0.33 TOTAL FTE: 2.03

The numbers above represent time spent on CAP by our supervising attorney, a full-time advocate, a part-time advocate, law clerks, support staff, three intake/information & referral advocates and various contributions from other staff throughout the year.

Part VI. Case Examples

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

Emerging Trend: Problem accessing VR services while residing at an ICF/ID

Client is 34 years old and has an intellectual disability. Client lives in an Intermediate Care Facility for Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/ID) and works at a sheltered workshop. The client desires to work in the community, but was having trouble connecting with the local VR office. After applying for services, VR sent the client a 30 day closing letter stating that the client was unresponsive and did not contact VR in a timely manner. The client was unaware that VR was trying to contact him because the case manager at his residence had not been relaying messages about upcoming meetings with VR. The client contacted CAP because he disagreed with VR’s decision to close the case. CAP argued that VR should find alternative communication methods that would allow the client to not have to rely on the ICF/ID staff. VR reversed their decision and agreed to keep the case open. VR has since worked with the client and with the ICF/ID staff to find a way to communicate and allow the client to attend meetings with his counselor. Our client now has an IPE and is actively working towards this goal.

Client is 67 years old and has an intellectual disability. Client contacted CAP after he and his guardians were unsuccessful in connecting with VR to submit an application for services. Following CAP involvement, we learned that the majority of the communication issues stemmed from the case manager at the ICF/ID who was not helping the client pursue VR services. CAP worked with the client and VR to set up alternative means of communication so that he would not need to rely on the case manager at the ICF/ID in order to meet with and communicate with VR. Client has since been found eligible for services, has an IPE with a job goal, and is working with a job coach.

Emerging Trend: Service Issues for Clients with Blindness Getting Services Approved in IPE

Client is 44 years old and is blind. Client had been receiving services from VR to support his goal of self-employment. Client operates a snack shack in a government building and required new software to use with a laptop he had purchased to run the business. VR had approved the software and it was listed in his IPE. However, the client found it almost impossible to get VR to submit the authorization so that he could receive the software. Frustrated, the client contacted CAP for help. CAP spoke with VR and within days the authorization was submitted and the client received his software.

Client is 19 years old and is blind. Client had been working with VR and had already been approved to begin taking college classes as part of his IPE. VR had also agreed to provide him with a laptop computer and screen reading software to help him be successful in class. However, VR did not authorize the purchase of the equipment in a timely manner and the client was forced to begin school without the appropriate AT. Frustrated, the client contacted CAP for help. CAP called VR and spoke with the counselor (the same counselor in the case example above). The counselor had gone ahead and sent in the authorization and expected the client to receive the equipment fin the following days. The client was satisfied with this resolution. VR agreed to make sure to not delay services in the future.

Following these two cases, CAP reached out to the Field Service Director to relay the problems that blind and visually-impaired clients were having in getting items approved in their IPEs. We asked for training to be provided to the counselor to help avoid delays for other clients in the future.

Conflict about tuition assistance payment

Client is 48 years old and has a hearing impairment. The client contacted CAP after VR denied his request to pay for fall 2016 college tuition as had already been approved in his IPE. VR denied his request because the client was having problems getting his PELL grant approved from his online university and VR wanted to wait to get the problems sorted out. CAP advocated for VR to move forward with paying the tuition since the PELL delay was not the client’s fault. The problems turned out to be technical errors at the university’s registrar’s office. VR agreed to pay the tuition so that the client’s bill would not be forwarded to the school’s collections department.

Eligibility denial

Client is 52 years old and is deaf and has mental illness. Client contacted CAP after he was found ineligible for VR services because he was employed at the time of application. VR believed that his current employment showed that his disability was not a substantial impediment to working. After a short investigation, CAP learned that VR failed to take into consideration that his current job was aggravating his disabilities and he was not likely to stay employed for long. CAP also learned that VR did not take into full account his mental health impairments. CAP provided VR with information about his mental health and discussed the problems the client was having at his current job with his VR counselor. VR reversed their eligibility determination and the client is now working with VR on his employment goals.

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 OfficialAdina Zahradnikova
Title of Designated Agency OfficialExecutive Director
Date Signed12/20/2017