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

Washington (CLIENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM) - H161A170058 - FY2017

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameClient Assistance Program
Address2531 Rainier Avenue South
Address Line 2
CitySeattle
StateWashington
Zip Code98144
E-mail Addressjcap@qwestoffice.net
Website Addresshttp://washingtoncap.org
Phone(206) 721-5999
TTY (206) 721-6072
Toll-free Phone(800) 544-2121
Toll-free TTY(888) 721-6072
Fax(206) 721-5980

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameClient Assistance Program
Address2531 Rainier Avenue South
Address Line 2
CitySeattle
Zip Code98144
E-mail Addressjcap@qwestoffice.net
Website Addresshttp://washingtoncap.org
Phone(206) 721-5999
TTY(206) 721-6072
Toll-free Phone(800) 544-2121
Toll-free TTY(888) 721-6072
Fax(206) 721-5980

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorJerry Johnsen
Person to contact regarding reportJerry Johnsen
Contact Person Phone206-721-5996

Part I. Non-case Services

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program1,098
2. Information regarding independent living programs19
3. Information regarding American Indian VR Service projects22
4. Information regarding Title I of the ADA58
5. Other information provided225
6. Information regarding CAP440
7. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1 through A6)1,862

B. Training Activities

1. Presentation to general VR agency local units.

Topic: Role and purpose of the Client Assistance Program within both state VR systems to provide advocacy and address clients’ rights and remedies throughout their VR process.

Purpose: To engage VR Counselors, VR support staff and VR Supervisors, throughout the state to build relationships, strengthen partnerships and promote open communication and transparency with the Client Assistance Program. Explain CAP’s perspective related to WIOA and Order of Selectionl.

Description of attendees: VR Counselors, Supervisors and Rehabilitation Technicians.

9 presentations to units of VR staff, for a total of 85 persons.

2. Individual training with VR staff about CAP role and services.

Topic: Role and purpose of the Client Assistance Program within both state VR systems to provide advocacy and address clients’ rights and remedies throughout their VR process.

Purpose: To engage VR staff by working with them one on one to understand Client Assistance Program role and function to improve customer service, build relationships and promote open communication and transparency with the CAP. Explain CAP perspective on WIOA and Order of Selection.

Description of attendees: VR Counselors and VR Supervisors from General and Blind VR agencies.

36 individual sessions, for a total of 36 persons.

3. Training on CAP rehabilitation law/history, systemic issues in VR system and how to better serve customers.

Topic: New Employee Orientation (Division of Vocational Rehabilitation)

Purpose: Explain CAP role, responsibilities, function, and how to best work with CAP to support customers. Enlighten VR staff to the mission, purpose and goals of VR legislation. Brief explanation of history of VR related laws, nationally and locally, as well as providing an overview of WIOA related changes.

Description of attendees: New staff - VR Counselors, Supervisors, and support staff from General and Tribal VR agencies.

2 training sessions, for a total of 130 persons.

4. Presentation to General VR staff during area wide WIOA training:

Topic: CAP and WIOA

Purpose: To partner with General VR as they educate staff about WIOA changes. Explain CAP’s role in VR WIOA workgroup, CAP perspective on WIOA, and issues related to individual and systemic advocacy under WIOA regulations to be aware of to ensure clients’ rights and laws are followed. Explain how WIOA changes to federal and state laws, state laws are still in draft process, but federal laws apply.

Description of attendees: All levels of General VR staff, required training for all staff: VR Counselors, Supervisors, Support staff in the field and at VR headquarters.

3 group sessions, for a total of 325 persons.

5. Presentations to General and Blind State Rehabilitation Councils.

Topic: Updates on CAP role and interventions with VR agencies.

Purpose: Educate council members on relevant aspects of VR agency policy, systemic issues impacting the delivery of VR services, Oder of Selection, WIOA updates and draft Washington Administrative Code (WAC) changes.

Description of attendees: Council members, representatives from community agencies and concerned citizens.

4 presentations to General Agency State Rehab Council (SRC) members, 3 presentations to Blind Agency State Rehab Council (SRC) members = 7 presentations, for a total of 140 persons.

6. Presentations to State Independent Living Council (SILC).

Topic: CAP’s role in both policy and individual advocacy, WIOA legislation, Order of Selection and challenges around Independent Living (IL) services.

Purpose: Provide CAP updates to the SILC, discuss IL challenges in the VR process, educate about WIOA and Order of Selection, and build relationships with new SILC members.

Description of attendees: SILC Council members and representatives from Independent Living Centers, community agencies, and concerned citizens.

2 presentations to SILC members for a total of 45 persons.

7. Presentations to WorkSource staff.

Topic: Workforce staff and their role in providing services to persons of disability and other resources for customers needing disability related assistance, including changes resulting from the passage of WIOA. Vocational Rehabilitation resources in our state and CAP’s role.

Purpose: To increase partnerships and better serve job seekers with disabilities. To engage and educate WorkSource staff to increase awareness and appropriate referrals to VR agencies.

Description of attendees: All levels of WorkSource staff.

4 presentations, 20 staff each, for a total of 80 persons.

8. Presentations to Governors Committee on Employment and Disability.

Topic: Role of the Client Assistance Program in the state VR system, compliance problems with the placement of General VR program, and WIOA legislation.

Purpose: Increase knowledge about CAP, provide background and information related to placement issues, and educate about changes to the VR system resulting from WIOA.

Description of attendees: Committee members and citizens concerned with the employment needs of persons with disabilities.

3 presentations, for a total of 150 persons.

9. Presentation to Statewide Benefit Planning Network.

Topic: Client Assistance Program role in individual and systemic advocacy for the Statewide Benefits Planning Network.

Purpose: Increase knowledge about CAP and it’s role in the VR system. Explain CAP responsibilities and process, CAP perspective on benefits planning issues we deal with, and educate about changes to the VR system resulting from WIOA.

Description of attendees: Statewide certified Benefits Specialists, from various government and non-profit organizations.

1 presentation for 22 persons total.

10. Presentations to Tribal VR staff.

Topic: Client Assistance Program role in both individual and systemic advocacy for the Tribal VR programs.

Purpose: Engage Tribal VR programs as partners with CAP to improve customer service, build relationships and promote open communication and transparency. Explain CAP perspective on WIOA and Order of Selection.

Description of attendees: Tribal VR Counselors and VR Supervisors.

3 presentations for 27 persons total.

11. Presentations to families of Transition age children with disabilities.

Topic: VR services and process for transition students.

Purpose: Educate families about the fundamental VR services and VR’s obligations under WIOA, including how to best self-advocate for your needs, and to encourage informed choice when participating in VR services, including Pre-Employment Transition services.

Description of attendees: Individuals with disabilities, their family members and supports.

5 presentations, for a total of 18 persons.

1. Number of training sessions presented to community groups and public agencies.75
2. Number of individuals who attended these training sessions.1,058
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 is located, as a tenant, in a large WorkSource located in the most diverse zip code in the state. We work closely with our workforce partners providing information and referral to their staff and customers.

CAP also continues to reach out to school districts and special education providers to help them, their transition youth, and families understand services under WIOA and changes related the implementation of Order of Selection.

CAP developed relationships with the Deaf-Blind Service Center and the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults. They now have a better understanding of CAP’s role in the Vocational Rehabilitation process and refer appropriate customers.

CAP connected with the Statewide Benefits Planning Network, a consortium of all the certified Benefits Specialists in WA state. They work for a variety of programs, from Vocational Rehabilitation to Mental Health, and include the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance organizations funded by Social Security. This group assists customers who receive Social Security benefits and want to go to work. Many of their customers are not connected to a VR program. We explained the VR process, CAP’s role, and shared changes related to WIOA implementation and the implications of Order of Selection.

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.

In addition to the above outreach, CAP continues to work closely with the State Independent Living Council (SILC), both General and Blind Agency SRC’s, and the Governor’s Committee on Disability and Employment to provide information on our advocacy services across the state. CAP has also disseminated over 21,000 brochures and other CAP materials to its rehabilitation partners and clients.

1. Agency Staff Interviewed or Featured on Radio and TV0
2. Articles about CAP Featured in Newspaper/Magazine/Journals0
3. PSAs/Videos Aired about the CAP Agency0
4. Publications/Booklets/Brochures Disseminated by the Agency21000
5. Number of Times CAP Exhibited at Conferences, Community Fairs, etc.3
6. Other (specify below)

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)16
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year105
3. Total individuals served (Lines A1+A2)121
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.)15

B. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information58
2. Communication problems between individual and VR counselor90
3. Conflict about VR services to be provided63
4. Related to VR application/eligibility process18
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
101
7. Related to independent living services5
8. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems0
9. Non-Rehabilitation Act related
  1. TANF
  2. SSI/SSDI
  3. Housing
  4. Other:
8
10. Related to Title I of the ADA2

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 Assistance18
2. Investigation/Monitoring45
3. Negotiation50
4. Mediation and other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution0
5. Administrative / Informal Review8
6. Formal appeal / Fair Hearing0
7. Legal remedy / Litigation0
8. Total121

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 favor46
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)42
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual26
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)0
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual withdrew complaint1
7. Issue not resolved in clients favor0
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.1
9. Individual not responsive/cooperative with CAP5
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 individual30
2. Application for services completed1
3. Eligibility determination expedited10
4. Individual participated in evaluation20
5. IPE developed/implemented/Services Provided29
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party19
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office12
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 180
2. 19 - 249
3. 25 - 4033
4. 41 - 6474
5. 65 and over5
6. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A5. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)121

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females58
2. Males63
3. Total (Lines B1+B2. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)121

C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race (for individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only)7
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native5
3. Asian4
4. Black or African American30
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White69
7. Two or more races5
8. Race/ethnicity unknown1

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Acquired Brain Injury7
2. ADD/ADHD2
3. AIDS/HIV0
4. Amputations or Absence of Extremities3
5. Arthritis or Rheumatism1
6. Anxiety Disorder5
7. Autism Spectrum Disorder5
8. Autoimmune or Immune Deficiencies (excluding AIDS/HIV)0
9. Blindness (Both Eyes)6
10. Other Visual Impairments (Not Blind)2
11. Cancer1
12. Cerebral Palsy1
13. Deafness4
14. Hard of Hearing/Hearing Impaired (Not Deaf)5
15. Deaf-Blind2
16. Diabetes1
17. Digestive Disorders0
18. Epilepsy0
19. Heart & Other Circulatory Conditions1
20. Intellectual Disability8
21. Mental Illness25
22. Multiple Sclerosis2
23. Muscular Dystrophy0
24. Muscular/Skeletal Impairment6
25. Neurological Disorders/Impairment3
26. Orthopedic Impairments12
27. Personality Disorders12
28. Respiratory Disorders/Impairment1
29. Skin Conditions0
30. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)3
31. Speech Impairments0
32. Spina Bifida0
33. Substance Abuse (Alcohol or Drugs)3
34. Other Disability0
35. Total (Sum of Lines D1through D34. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)121

E. Types of Individual Served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicant of VR19
2. Individual eligible for VR services currently on a wait list0
3. Individual eligible for VR services not currently on a wait list99
4. Applicant or individual eligible for Independent Living0
5. Transition student/High school student3
6. All other applicants or individuals eligible for other programs or projects funded unther Rehabilitation Act0

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities

1) CAP has been actively involved this year in the development of the state laws, (WACS), with both the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, (DVR), and The Department of Services for The Blind, (DSB). These law changes not only reflect new changes brought about by the passage of WIOA but also provided us with an opportunity to review all policies of the state Vocational Rehabilitation agencies. The proposed changes reflect a more progressive customer centered set of rules. CAP’s participation in this process allowed us to help shape a foundation that will better serve our customers as well as bring clarity to new regulations for VR staff. Additionally, it was an opportunity strengthen our partnerships with the agencies. We have been invited to review and give feedback for DVR staff training materials, which will be a significant systemic activity for the coming year, see 3 below.

2) CAP continued to work on seeking a better placement of our general VR agency, (DVR). Its current alignment does not allow for the DVR director to report directly to the Director of the designated agency. At this writing, working in partnership with the SRC, we have made considerable progress towards this goal.

3) Training and staff development of DVR staff. CAP is concerned about the absence of training available to DVR staff over the past year. We understand some is due to implementation of WIOA but foundational skill development has been noticeably lacking at a time when many new VR staff have come on board. This is especially noticeable in the field as inconsistent practices happen across the state. CAP has observed that VR staff are hungry for opportunity to improve their skills and provide good customer services but are often unclear of agency priorities. This has been compounded by the push to implement WIOA and from WIOA’s new obligations and mandates. The quality of VR services is dependent on good training and staff development. CAP will continue to challenge DVR to develop training that elevates best practice and professionalism.

4) Order of Selection. As FY2017 comes to a close DVR prepared to enter into OOS. DVR involved CAP, the SRC and the community in this process. CAP would like to acknowledge the preparation that was built on good communication and engagement with community partners. CAP worked with DVR to make sure customers have ample information and as much warning as allowed. As DVR moves into OOS we will continue to evaluate the classification process for consistency and fairness.

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.0
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 agencyClient Assistance Program
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)

1.0 CAP Director, 1.0 Rehabilitation Coordinator

Part VI. Case Examples

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

Amanda:

Amanda sought DVR services to help achieve her goal of being a Home Beauty Consultant. The goal as Amanda envisioned it would be considered self-employment. Her Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) discouraged her from pursuing self-employment, and recommended retail beauty consultation instead.

Amanda contacted CAP because she did not feel supported by her counselor and wanted CAP’s help to request a VRC change. After talking with the VRC and Amanda further, it was clear that neither had enough labor market information to make an informed choice about the goal. Amanda was willing to continue working with the VRC as they gathered more information, however, she wanted both myself and the VRC’s supervisor to be part of the next meeting.

During the meeting, the VRC communication appeared very defensive and impatient. The supervisor stepped in and recommended he take over the case and set up a meeting with Amanda without the VRC. Amanda was shaken by the meeting but felt supported by the supervisor and was comfortable moving forward with him as her counselor.

After completing labor market research it was mutually agreed that Amanda’s original goal for self-employment move forward. The supervisor set up a self-employment feasibility study with the local self-employment vendor. The vendor gave Amanda an extensive amount of paperwork and communicated with her only via email. Amanda had many questions as she worked on completing the paperwork. She found the emails responses confusing and contradictory. I encouraged Amanda to follow up with the supervisor to get assistance and clarification.

The supervisor recommended a meeting with the vendor. During the meeting, it appeared the vendor did not have a good understanding of the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) process or disability issues. The vendor was not sensitive or supportive of the challenges Amanda had with the paperwork and was dismissive of the contradictions in her emails. The VR supervisor skillfully mediated the meeting and CAP helped identify strategies and creative solutions to complete the feasibility study.

The feasibility study was favorable for Amanda’s employment goal. The next step was working with vendor for the business plan. However, Amanda did not want to continue working with this vendor. The supervisor indicated this was the only option in their area. I advocated for customer choice and encouraged the supervisor to talk with other agency approved vendors to determine if anyone out of area was willing to work with Amanda. The supervisor agreed, and was able to find a vendor who travelled to Amanda for a one-day meeting, with the remaining work completed via email and phone.

Amanda and the new vendor worked well together and in less than one month, completed the business plan. The VR agency wrote Amanda’s Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) for self-employment home beauty consultant. The IPE included training (and associated travel expenses), equipment, supplies, initial marketing expenses, and ongoing support from the self-employment vendor.

Amanda was eager to get working. She was aggressive with her marketing and was successful in setting up parties, making sales, and achieving close to projected income from the business plan within a matter of months.

As the case was moving towards closure, Amanda shared physical problems she was experiencing as a result of her job. The physical demands of the beauty parties were aggravating her neck, back, shoulders and carpal tunnel. Amanda was determined eligible for VR services based on her mental health and learning disabilities. She withheld information about her physical limitations because she was worried the VR agency would no longer support her goal. She explored various methods to reduce the physical requirements, such as utilizing rolling bags and hiring her 19 year old daughter to help her with parties.

DVR agreed to purchase the rolling bags and other storage tools to reduce the physical demands on Amanda. However, after agreeing to the purchase, the supervisor handling the case realized her physical limitations had not been considered during her eligibility or IPE development. The supervisor wanted to start with a physical capacity evaluation (PCE). Amanda felt this meant the VR agency did not want to continue supporting her goal and requested her case be closed successfully. She would buy what she needed on her own.

CAP provided counseling and guidance around the VR process and the importance of assessment services. I expressed concern that continued work without appropriate accommodations could worsen her physical limitations. CAP acknowledged the success Amanda had achieved so far booking parties and selling products, and with her business management skills. Amanda agreed to the PCE.

Based on the results of the PCE, it was recommended that Amanda also have an Assistive Technology/Rehabilitation Technology evaluation. Amanda was resistant to this idea because scheduling the assistive technology assessment would take 2 months. Additional time would be needed to get the report and recommendations, before the purchasing process could begin.

CAP reiterated the importance of assessment and ethical responsibility of the VR agency to not do harm. Amanda agreed to think more about the evaluation. After consideration and research, Amanda asked if she could change her self-employment business from beauty products to jewelry. Her friend works for a company that does jewelry parties. The difference with selling jewelry vs. the beauty products she is selling now, is that all orders are internet based, vs. having the products on hand and ready for sale at the party. The party host does all the party set-up (time and expenses) and is given credit towards jewelry base on a percentage of what sold. Amanda only needs to bring samples of all the jewelry. Given the size of the products, she could handle the transportation and set-up without aggravating her physical limitations. Additionally, the start-up cost to change her business focus were minimal. She already had an iPad to complete the online orders while at parties, she only needed the initial jewelry stock which was under $1000.

The self-employment vendor felt Amanda would be successful as she had demonstrated success already. This business was also easier to run. She was not required to purchase and store the products prior to sale, nor does she need to be as involved with the actual party planning. The VR supervisor contracted with the self-employment vendor to complete a mini feasibility study before approving the IPE amendment. Within a month the study was done and Amanda started marketing her new business. She continued to receive ongoing coaching from the self-employment vendor for 3 months before her case was closed successfully.

Michelle:

Michelle applied for VR services to get help becoming a child care provider. She contacted CAP after a meeting and subsequent communications with her Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) and their supervisor resulted in DVR determining a “risk assessment” was needed before moving forward with her goal. Michelle was upset and felt he was being discriminated against. She did not understand why a risk assessment was needed.

CAP spent investigated the situation, completing lengthy interviews with both the VRC and her supervisor, and reviewing the case file. The VR counselor felt they had been threatened with violence by Michelle and was concerned about her behavior and the appropriateness of a vocational goal working with children. The VRC and consulted with other supervisors, the Area Manager, and the agency Customer Service and Policy managers. Guiding laws and policies were reviewed and it was determined that completing a risk assessment was appropriate.

The assessment was to include a behavior contract, psychological evaluation, national background check, and Trial Work Experience. CAP successfully negotiated with the VRC and supervisor to get the results of the background check and psychological evaluation before determining if a Trial Work Experience was necessary. Michelle has successfully worked in the past and while VR may not be able to support her working with vulnerable populations, such as children, CAP believes Michelle is capable of employment.

CAP explained to Michelle that guiding laws and policies had been followed and that many people were consulted before taking action. They demonstrated the decision was not based on the VRC’s emotional reaction to their experience. CAP explained Trial Work Experience and how we negotiated for this to be looked at only after the other assessments were completed.

Michelle requested her case be transferred to another VRC. CAP agreed she needed a fresh start to ensure a fair risk assessment. CAP also recommended Michelle’s case be transferred to a different office. Another VRC in the same office would report to the same supervisor. If Michelle experienced additional issues throughout her case, she would have to work with the same supervisor. To get a truly fresh start she needed a new chain of command.

Michelle appreciated CAP’s recommendation as it was not something she had considered. I provided information so she could make an informed choice. Some issues discussed were that she may not be able to meet with her new VRC as timely as she would in her local office as they would need to have time to travel to her location, or she would need to travel to their office. Additionally, purchasing services and items could take longer due to the VRC not being as familiar with vendors in her community. Michelle felt that having a connection and feeling support from her VRC was the most important thing. If that trust existed, she was OK with the things happening a little slower and comfortable communicating via email and phone.

CAP talked with the supervisor and their manager and it was agreed that transferring Michelle’s case to another office was appropriate. CAP recommended some VRC’s who based on CAP’s experience would be a good fit for Michelle. Michelle was encouraged to interview both VRC’s and decide her preference. Michelle chose a counselor and they have successful worked together to develop her IPE.

Don:

Don was a 57 old male whose disabilities precluded him from working outside the home due to extreme chemical sensitivity. When Don initially contacted CAP he was concerned that DVR was unwilling to accommodate his chemical sensitivity even to meet with him. He had requested no strong perfumes or scented deodorants and a scent free meeting space. His first counselor was insensitive to his request and also said it would be hard for DVR to find him a job working at home. When Don came to CAP he asked for a new counselor and advocacy to create a sent free meeting space. We discussed Don’s case with the office supervisor who assigned his case to a different counselor. We then met with the new counselor to discuss ways to accommodate meeting with Don. The new counselor was open to find a place outside of the DVR office to meet. Don also helped to identify meeting spaces agreeable to him. Prior to meeting with Don and His counselor CAP spent time with Don helping to explore self-employment options that could utilize his transferable skills, where there was a market, and give him control over the environments he worked in. CAP also spent time brain storming vocational options with Don’s new counselor. CAP also helped Don understand the self-employment process and encouraged him to received benefits planning, (since he was on SSDI) prior to finalizing self-employment goal. CAP then met with Don and his counselor to explore vocational options. The meeting was successful in establishing a new relationship for Don with DVR and Don’s counselor was open to continuing to explore self-employment options. It is CAP’s position that challenging cases like Dons demand sensitivity and creativity.

Andrew:

Andrew was a 28 year old male whose disability was due to anxiety and depression. I met Andrew at community feedback session sponsored by the general agency SRC. Andrew was very concerned by the lack of communication from his VR counselor and the failure of the agency to respond to his emails and phone calls. Andrew was also concerned that when he met with his counselor he did not really listen to his concerns nor give him a clear idea of what to expect from DVR. Andrew was currently working but his job created a lot of stress for him since it required him to interact on the phone with customers however that was a strong trigger for his anxiety and he was seeking assistance to get into a different line of work that required less interaction with public. When we initially met with His DVR counselor his defense was that he had sixty days to make an eligibility decision and that he was out of the office for a month. Since we had concerns about the counselor’s interactions with Andrew as well as systemic concern about the eligibility process we discussed our concerns with his supervisor. Our concerns focused on the automatic assumption that a counselor can use the sixty days as a case management holding pattern and feel no obligation to communicate prior to making the eligibility decision. We also reminded DVR that the law says “up to sixty days” and that there is no reason an eligibility decision cannot be made quicker. We also discussed the office procedures regarding returning phone calls and emails in a timely manner. We then offered to Andrew to attend the next meeting with his counselor to help get his relationship back on track. Both Andrew and DVR felt the meeting went well and a draft vocational plan was developed with CAP’s assistance.

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 OfficialClient Assistance Program
Title of Designated Agency OfficialJerry Johnsen
Date Signed12/21/2017