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

North Dakota (North Dakota Department of Human Services) - H161A180035 - FY2018

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameND Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Address1000 E. Divide Avenue
Address Line 2
CityBismarck
StateNorth Dakota
Zip Code58501
E-mail Addressrthrolson@nd.gov
Website Addresshttp://www.nd.gov/dhs/dvr/
Phone701-328-8955
TTY 701-328-6888
Toll-free Phone1-800-755-2745
Toll-free TTY1-800-366-6888
Fax701-328-8969

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameProtection & Advocacy Project
Address400 E. Broadway
Address Line 2Suite 409
CityBismarck
Zip Code58501
E-mail Addresstlarsen@nd.gov
Website Addresshttp://www.ndpanda.org
Phone701-328-2950
TTY701-328-6888
Toll-free Phone1-800-472-2670
Toll-free TTY1-800-366-6888
Fax701-328-3934

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorTeresa Larsen
Person to contact regarding reportTeresa Larsen
Contact Person Phone701-328-2950

Part I. Non-case Services

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program4
2. Information regarding independent living programs0
3. Information regarding American Indian VR Service projects0
4. Information regarding Title I of the ADA0
5. Other information provided3
6. Information regarding CAP6
7. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1 through A6)13

B. Training Activities

a) accommodations in the workplace; T-ND Transition app; employment discrimination; CAP; b) educate individuals with disabilities on the law requiring, and options for, accommodations in the workplace; encourage use of the ND Transition app for high school students and young adults; educate stakeholders on employment discrimination law and the prevalence of such cases in ND; educate individuals about VR and CAP; c) special education teachers on one of ND's reservations; individuals with disabilities; service providers; new VR Counselors

1. Number of training sessions presented to community groups and public agencies.5
2. Number of individuals who attended these training sessions.80
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.

April 20th & 21st - CAP advocate attended the Transition Fair in Ft. Totten and staffed a booth. 1,049 individuals were reported to be in attendance. Aug. 10th - CAP attorney presented on CAP and employment-related issues to six individuals who are blind or have visual impairments attending Camp Grassick. Aug. 30th - CAP advocate manned a booth at the Veterans' "Stand Down" Conference in Bismarck. Information & materials were provided. CAP staff have ongoing contact with Tribal 121 staff on the reservations in ND.

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.

Booths/exhibits were provided by CAP at the following: 1) annual ND VR Conference (October 2017) with 300 in attendance; 2) Transition Fair at Ft. Totten (April 2018) with 1,049 in attendance; 3) ND Association of Community Providers annual conference (May 2018) with 300 in attendance; 4) Veterans' Stand Down (August 2018)

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 Agency3000
5. Number of Times CAP Exhibited at Conferences, Community Fairs, etc.4
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.

CAP provides brochures to all of the VR offices and CIL agencies in ND for dissemination to its applicants and clients.

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)9
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year19
3. Total individuals served (Lines A1+A2)28
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.)1
5. Individual still being served as of September 30 (Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line A3.)5

B. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information1
2. Communication problems between individual and VR counselor9
3. Conflict about VR services to be provided16
4. Related to VR application/eligibility process1
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 services1
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 Assistance7
2. Investigation/Monitoring0
3. Negotiation16
4. Mediation and other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution0
5. Administrative / Informal Review0
6. Formal appeal / Fair Hearing0
7. Legal remedy / Litigation0
8. Total23

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.)

agency withdrew from case = 1; other?

1. All issues resolved in individual's favor10
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)4
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual2
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)0
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual withdrew complaint3
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 CAP2
10. CAP unable to take case due to lack of resources0
11. Conflict of interest0
12. Other (Please explain below)2

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 individual0
2. Application for services completed0
3. Eligibility determination expedited1
4. Individual participated in evaluation0
5. IPE developed/implemented/Services Provided4
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party2
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office3
8. Alternative resources identified for individual2
9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR complaint made4
10. Other (Please explain below)7

Part III. Program Data

A. Age

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Up to 181
2. 19 - 2411
3. 25 - 405
4. 41 - 6411
5. 65 and over0
6. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A5. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)28

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females14
2. Males14
3. Total (Lines B1+B2. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)28

C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race (for individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only)2
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native8
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American2
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White16
7. Two or more races1
8. Race/ethnicity unknown1

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Acquired Brain Injury0
2. ADD/ADHD1
3. AIDS/HIV0
4. Amputations or Absence of Extremities0
5. Arthritis or Rheumatism0
6. Anxiety Disorder0
7. Autism Spectrum Disorder3
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 Palsy1
13. Deafness0
14. Hard of Hearing/Hearing Impaired (Not Deaf)0
15. Deaf-Blind0
16. Diabetes1
17. Digestive Disorders0
18. Epilepsy0
19. Heart & Other Circulatory Conditions0
20. Intellectual Disability2
21. Mental Illness9
22. Multiple Sclerosis0
23. Muscular Dystrophy0
24. Muscular/Skeletal Impairment2
25. Neurological Disorders/Impairment1
26. Orthopedic Impairments5
27. Personality Disorders0
28. Respiratory Disorders/Impairment0
29. Skin Conditions0
30. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)1
31. Speech Impairments0
32. Spina Bifida1
33. Substance Abuse (Alcohol or Drugs)0
34. Other Disability1
35. Total (Sum of Lines D1through D34. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)28

E. Types of Individual Served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicant of VR15
2. Individual eligible for VR services currently on a wait list0
3. Individual eligible for VR services not currently on a wait list9
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 Act2

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities

1) CAP staff had multiple meetings with VR offices, centers for independent living, and tribal 121 offices around the State. While some of this effort might be considered outreach, or even training, there is also significant discussion regarding VR practices as well as CAP work. In addition, the CAP director (P&A Exec. Dir.) met with VR administration re issues and activities a total nine (9) times, generally monthly, during FY 2018. These meetings allow for discussion of programmatic issues and general updates re staffing, etc. A significant issue raised was the letter going to clients/former clients/applicants regarding their appeal rights and the process. The letters were not consistent, and not always accurate, in terms of processes/timelines, etc. This was ultimately addressed by VR and appears to be resolved. 2) The CAP attorney provided public input on the promulgation of VR State Administrative Code. Most, if not all, of the suggested changes were accepted by VR.

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.2
2. Describe the systemic activities conducted by CAP during the fiscal year and its impact on other agency's policies or practices.

B. Litigation

A client with significant mental illness was found eligible for VR services and VR was working with her. However, following VR's request for, and the client's subsequent completion of, an evaluation with a psychologist, the client's case was closed. The psychologist's evaluation basically stated the client "can't work" because of the mental illness. VR did not communicate with the client but closed the case arbitrarily. The Administrative Law Judge found that the decision by VR to close the case was improper and VR's decision was reversed.

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.1
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.1
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) Internal to the State VR agency
2. Name of designate agencyND Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
3. Is the designated agency contracting CAP services?Yes
4. If yes, name of contracting agency:Protection & Advocacy Project

B. Staff Employed

Provide a description of all CAP positions (see instructions)

For FY 2018, the CAP Team included: 1) Cynthia Goulet (attorney, 40%); Loretta Movhcan (advocate, 50%); Dave Boeck (director of legal services, 5%); Teresa Larsen (exec. dir., 10%). [Note: the % equals the allocated time for a full-time position]

Part VI. Case Examples

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

"Joe" was a young adult who was living with his parents. He was in his fifth year in high school when he came to CAP for help. He has multiple diagnosis. He was receiving services through special education as well as VR. The client and his parents reported being very unhappy with VR services. While Joe was on a Transition IEP, VR stated they only had one hour a week to work with Joe due to a lack of staffing. CAP provided extensive assistance to Joe and his parents. While they played an active role, they asked for CAP assistance at all times. As a result of CAP involvement, Joe's needs were finally met by the last semester of his fifth year in high school. Because the public school did not have a transition program, they agreed to pay for two years for Joe to participate in A-STEP (http://www.ndcpd.org/astep/) at Minot State University. This is a very successful outcome for Joe. He is doing exceptionally well in A-STEP.

A client with significant mental illness was found eligible for VR services and VR was working with her. However, following VR's request for, and the client's subsequent completion of, an evaluation with a psychologist, the client's case was closed. The psychologist's evaluation basically stated the client "can't work" because of the mental illness. VR did not communicate with the client but closed the case arbitrarily. The Administrative Law Judge found that the decision by VR to close the case was improper and VR's decision was reversed.

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 OfficialRobyn Throlson
Title of Designated Agency OfficialActing Executive Director, VR
Date Signed12/31/2018