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

Alaska (STATE OF ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND EARLY DEVELOPMENT) - H161A180061 - FY2018

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameAlaska State Department of Education & Early Dev.
Address801 West 10th Street, Suite 200
Address Line 2
CityJuneau
StateAlaska
Zip Code99801
E-mail Address
Website Address
Phone907-465-2800
TTY 907-465-2815
Toll-free Phone
Toll-free TTY
Fax907-465-4156

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameDisability Law Center of Alaska
Address3330 Arctic Blvd. 103
Address Line 2
CityAnchorage
Zip Code99503
E-mail Addressakpa@dlcak.org
Website Addresshttp://www.dlcak.org/
Phone907-565-1002
TTY
Toll-free Phone
Toll-free TTY
Fax907-565-1000

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorDavid Fleurant
Person to contact regarding reportMolly Johansson
Contact Person Phone907-565-1002

Part I. Non-case Services

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program16
2. Information regarding independent living programs0
3. Information regarding American Indian VR Service projects1
4. Information regarding Title I of the ADA1
5. Other information provided0
6. Information regarding CAP5
7. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1 through A6)23

B. Training Activities

No training sessions in FY18.

1. Number of training sessions presented to community groups and public agencies.0
2. Number of individuals who attended these training sessions.0
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.

The Alaska P&A participated in two annual events, to which we are regularly invited. The first is Project Homeless Connect. The event gathers agencies and organizations in one place at the same time to facilitate access to services. During the day the homeless population of Anchorage (the largest city in Alaska) can get information about housing, employment, Social Security, as well as help with clothes and haircuts. This year the event was held jointly with Stand Down, a similar event focusing on helping veterans in-need. Over the course of the day staff answered disability-related questions and provided information and referrals to over 30 people regarding a variety of topics. Furthermore, the event resulted in four intakes that were discussed at the next intake meeting.

The other annual event is the “Healthy Communities and Healthy Families Expo” at the Alaska State Fair. This year Connect Mat-Su, an organization that provides immediate access to information, referrals, and direct assistance to residents of the Mat-Su borough was the organizer. In previous years this expo had a specific focus on working with individuals and families with disabilities. This year the organizer’s ambition was to keep that focus while broadening the expo to reach all families who come to the fair. Their goal was to share helpful and diverse information in order to increase the community’s overall health. The Alaska P&A interacted with a diverse crowd of around 30 people and brought a wide variety of publications to hand out to fairgoers. The staff did not only increase awareness and knowledge of the agency among the fairgoers, but also among the other service providers gathered in the exhibit space.

Additionally, we were contacted by Access Alaska asking us to present at their staff meeting. Access Alaska is an Independent Living Center working to encourage and promote the integration of people with disabilities into the community of their choice. They facilitate independence by helping individuals identify and obtain services. P&A Staff presented general information about our intake process and organization, as well as provided a variety of publications and handouts. The staff meeting was physically attended by around 15-20 people, and roughly 10 people attended via video link from other parts of Alaska. Educating their staff will benefit the wider community, ensuring access to accurate information and knowledge of what services the P&A provides and issues we can help with.

Because of the P&A’s eye-catching CAP brochures design (bright pink!) they are visually accentuated at outreach events and information stands. Although the information in these brochures is required to be given out by the Alaska Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (TVR) and the Alaska State Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) offices to all seekers of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services, we chose to aid in that effort by providing these brochures in an easily-recognizable and accessible format. In FY18, 4,581 brochures were disseminated.

Because of the P&A’s eye-catching design (bright pink!) of the CAP brochures they are visually accentuated at outreach events and information stands. Although the information in these brochures is required to be given out by the Alaska Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (TVR) and the Alaska State Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) offices to all seekers of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services, we chose to aid in that effort by providing these brochures in an easily-recognizable and accessible format. In FY18, 4,581 brochures were disseminated.

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.

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 Agency5628
5. Number of Times CAP Exhibited at Conferences, Community Fairs, etc.2
6. Other (specify below)0

E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage

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

Multiple service providers in Alaska use their website to provide information about CAP and about the services of the P&A. Many of the providers link to our website for quick access for their clients. These service providers include: Statewide Independent Living Council of Alaska (SILC) https://www.alaskasilc.org/cap Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) http://labor.alaska.gov/dvr/ Access Alaska (an Independent Living Center) http://accessalaska.org/services/advocacy/

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)2
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year10
3. Total individuals served (Lines A1+A2)12
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.)2

B. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information0
2. Communication problems between individual and VR counselor6
3. Conflict about VR services to be provided5
4. Related to VR application/eligibility process0
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
1
7. Related to independent living services0
8. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems0
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 Assistance8
2. Investigation/Monitoring0
3. Negotiation0
4. Mediation and other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution0
5. Administrative / Informal Review2
6. Formal appeal / Fair Hearing0
7. Legal remedy / Litigation0
8. Total10

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 favor2
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)0
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual2
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)2
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual withdrew complaint2
7. Issue not resolved in clients favor1
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.)

1. Controlling law/policy explained to individual2
2. Application for services completed0
3. Eligibility determination expedited0
4. Individual participated in evaluation0
5. IPE developed/implemented/Services Provided1
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party4
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office0
8. Alternative resources identified for individual3
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 - 241
3. 25 - 402
4. 41 - 649
5. 65 and over0
6. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A5. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)12

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females5
2. Males7
3. Total (Lines B1+B2. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)12

C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race (for individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only)1
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native5
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American2
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White3
7. Two or more races1
8. Race/ethnicity unknown0

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Acquired Brain Injury2
2. ADD/ADHD0
3. AIDS/HIV0
4. Amputations or Absence of Extremities0
5. Arthritis or Rheumatism0
6. Anxiety Disorder2
7. Autism Spectrum Disorder0
8. Autoimmune or Immune Deficiencies (excluding AIDS/HIV)0
9. Blindness (Both Eyes)0
10. Other Visual Impairments (Not Blind)0
11. Cancer0
12. Cerebral Palsy0
13. Deafness1
14. Hard of Hearing/Hearing Impaired (Not Deaf)1
15. Deaf-Blind0
16. Diabetes0
17. Digestive Disorders0
18. Epilepsy0
19. Heart & Other Circulatory Conditions0
20. Intellectual Disability1
21. Mental Illness2
22. Multiple Sclerosis0
23. Muscular Dystrophy0
24. Muscular/Skeletal Impairment1
25. Neurological Disorders/Impairment0
26. Orthopedic Impairments1
27. Personality Disorders0
28. Respiratory Disorders/Impairment0
29. Skin Conditions0
30. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)1
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.)12

E. Types of Individual Served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicant of VR10
2. Individual eligible for VR services currently on a wait list0
3. Individual eligible for VR services not currently on a wait list0
4. Applicant or individual eligible for Independent Living1
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

No systemic activities in FY18.

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

No systemic litigation activities in FY18.

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 public agency
2. Name of designate agencyState Department of Education and Early Development
3. Is the designated agency contracting CAP services?Yes
4. If yes, name of contracting agency:Disability Law Center of Alaska

B. Staff Employed

Provide a description of all CAP positions (see instructions)

The Alaska CAP utilizes several attorney and non-attorney advocates in three offices in the state to achieve statewide coverage. The P&A’s staffing arrangement provides for 1.42 fulltime equivalent employees, with 11 employees in Anchorage (1.27 FTE), 1 employee in Fairbanks (.10 FTE), and 1 employee in Juneau (.05 FTE). The advocates in Juneau and Fairbanks respond to I&R requests, provide individual advocacy assistance, and conduct outreach in their communities. In the Anchorage office, an Intake Specialist takes the initial call, obtains information and/or paperwork, and passes the matter on to the CAP advocates for assessment. Individuals seeking CAP services can do so by contacting any of the three offices or submit an email request. The Anchorage office also maintains a statewide toll free 800 number for individuals outside of these three hub communities.

Part VI. Case Examples

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

In one case, which highlights a bigger issue, the school counselor for a 20-year-old male with an intellectual disability contacted the P&A with a complaint against the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). The counselor informed us the man’s case with DVR had been closed and she asked for assistance getting his case reopened, and an individualized plan for employment (IPE) created and implemented.

DVR informed our staff that the client’s case was closed because the client needed to be on the Medicaid Waiver in order to receive the supported employment services that were recommended in the client’s neuropsychological evaluation. Unfortunately, due to recent changes to the Alaska Medicaid Waiver system, some individuals in need of supported employment are unable to receive it in a timely manner, if at all. This is an issue the Alaska P&A staff will continue to investigate and monitor.

After meeting with DVR, reaching out to agencies who assist with the Medicaid Waiver program, and speaking with the director of Senior and Disability Services (SDS), Alaska P&A staff learned that the client was found eligible for the waiver, however, would most likely remain on the waitlist indefinitely. Because the client’s case with DVR was closed and the appeal period having passed, the P&A closed the case. During an in-person meeting, and in the closure letter, the client was informed that he could reapply for services with DVR and was provided with referrals to other agencies that may be able to assist him.

During FY18 the P&A has received a couple of cases where communication has been at the heart of the issue. In one case, a 48-year-old female with mental illness and learning disabilities called us regarding her complaint that DVR would not assist her with finding employment. The client requested our assistance with ensuring she could utilize their services.

P&A staff received the client’s case file and spoke with the DVR Regional Manager, who informed us that their staff had asked the client to leave their office due to her aggressive behavior. They had not heard back from her since that meeting. It became clear that the client believed she would not be able to utilize DVR’s services at any time due to them asking her to leave during this encounter. As a result of the Alaska P&A’s involvement, DVR agreed to work with the client and had a better understanding of this individual’s needs. Staff encouraged the client to communicate with DVR staff if she was feeling frustrated or confused to ensure the situation does not escalate. The client agreed to re-apply with DVR and be open about her feelings.

In another case, on a similar theme, a 61-year-old woman with hearing impairment called the Alaska P&A regarding communication issues with her DVR counselor, she also disagreed with the counselor’s decisions regarding her services.

The client informed P&A staff that DVR failed to include needed accommodations and assistive technology in her Trial Work Experience (TWE) Plan. Additionally, the DVR counselor was not returning the client’s telephone calls. As a result of our advocacy, DVR agreed to include accommodations and assistive technology in the TWE plan. They also agreed to provide the client with a job evaluator to place her in trial work that would align with the client’s desired employment goal. During a follow-up call, the client was happy about working with DVR as they discussed placement in occupations that align directly with her passions. The client also informed staff that her DVR counselor was positively communicating with her now.

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 OfficialDavid C. Fleurant
Title of Designated Agency OfficialExecutive Director
Date Signed12/14/2018