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

New Mexico (NATIVE AMERICAN P and A PROJECT -- DNA - PEOPLES LEGAL SERVICES) - H161A180068 - FY2018

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameNative American Disability Law Center
Address405 W. Apache Avenue
Address Line 2
CityFarmington
StateNew Mexico
Zip Code87401
E-mail Addresstyanan@nativedisabilitylaw.org
Website Addresshttp://www.nativedisabilitylaw.org
Phone505-566-5880
TTY
Toll-free Phone800-862-7271
Toll-free TTY
Fax505-566-5889

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

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

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorTherese E. Yanan
Person to contact regarding reportTherese E. Yanan
Contact Person Phone505-566-5880

Part I. Non-case Services

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program0
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 provided0
6. Information regarding CAP0
7. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1 through A6)0

B. Training Activities

Annual Navajo Disability Conference

The Law Center collaborated with the Navajo Nation Advisory Council on Disabilities to hold their annual Navajo Disability Awareness Conference. The conference was held on October 5, 2017, at Twin Arrows Hotel located on the Navajo reservation, near Flagstaff, Arizona. For this conference, the Law Center presented a general session on “Disability Rights in Employment” and a break-out session on “Disclosure & Reasonable Accommodation.” In addition, the Law Center presented their video, Above and Beyond our Disability, A Native American Success, in a general session and further discussed the positive impact of individuals with disabilities working in the community. The video reflects on the lives of seven individuals with disabilities who pursued employment and/or higher education. Part of the video also serves a great resource by presenting information on the Client Assistance Program (CAP) and the Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS). The video helps to explain how individuals with disabilities can access these services, including vocational rehabilitation. The conference had about 80 participants attend, and 7 participants attended the break-out session; conference participants included service providers, community members with disabilities, as well as students with disabilities from Greyhills Academy High School. In August 2018, the Law Center presented the video, Understanding & Acknowledging Disabilities from a Native Perspective to twenty students in three classroom sessions at Greyhills Academy High School. The video was shown as an introductory session to help the students understand their Native foundation and how these traditional stories impacted the disability community. Based on the great response from the Law Center’s previous two videos, the Law Center created a video script that will present three scenarios on disability disclosure and accommodation in the workplace. The first scene has an individual requesting for accommodations during the application process; the second scene discusses the do’s and don’ts an employer may ask an applicant during an interview, and the third scene has the employee disclose their disability and request for an accommodation after accepting the job position. The Law Center continues to display both videos on the Law Center’s website and use in future outreach presentations.

Webinar: Understanding the Native American VR Programs The National Disability Rights Network collaborated with the Native American Disability Law Center to present a webinar on Native American VR programs. The webinar aimed to highlight the difference & similarities in regulation & practices between the tribal 121 & State VR Programs. The webinar also provided information on the history of the tribal VR Programs & the broad cultural differences in tribal communities. The webinar successfully improved the participants' understanding of the tribal VR programs. Their feedback verified that the webinar clarified their understanding of the relevant VR regulations & the different communication styles typically used in tribal communities.

1. Number of training sessions presented to community groups and public agencies.2
2. Number of individuals who attended these training sessions.110
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 Law Center only serves Native Americans, a typically in-served or underserved community.

The Law Center was present at the annual Hopi Disabilities Awareness Day to raise awareness of the special needs of Hopis with disabilities. The day included an Honor Walk Parade around the gym and the activity booths, which included games as well as crafts, such as puppet making, face painting, basketball toss, bean bag toss, musical numbers, fingernail painting, etc. Eleven organizations had informational booths that provided information about services and supports. The organizations included: Arizona Developmental Disability Planning Council, Arizona Department of Economic Security, Northern Arizona University, ASSIST! for Independence, Hopi Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Arizona Rehabilitation Services, Arizona Community Leadership Academy and Northern Arizona Health Care. The Law Center distributed the full range of informational materials and answered questions about both the Law Center’s services and the other services available to those in the community. There were a total of 350 attendees from various schools and group homes.

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 Agency2
4. Publications/Booklets/Brochures Disseminated by the Agency1532
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.

The Law Center has distributed CAP Brochures to the regional VR offices, the Independent Living Centers & other Service Providers.

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)0
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year2
3. Total individuals served (Lines A1+A2)2
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.)1

B. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information1
2. Communication problems between individual and VR counselor0
3. Conflict about VR services to be provided0
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 Assistance1
2. Investigation/Monitoring0
3. Negotiation0
4. Mediation and other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution0
5. Administrative / Informal Review0
6. Formal appeal / Fair Hearing0
7. Legal remedy / Litigation0
8. Total1

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 favor1
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 individual0
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)0
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual withdrew complaint0
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 CAP0
10. CAP unable to take case due to lack of resources0
11. Conflict of interest0
12. Other (Please explain below)0

E. Results achieved for individuals

(Choose one primary outcome for each closed case file. There may be more case files than the total number of individuals served.)

1. Controlling law/policy explained to individual0
2. Application for services completed1
3. Eligibility determination expedited0
4. Individual participated in evaluation0
5. IPE developed/implemented/Services Provided0
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party0
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office0
8. Alternative resources identified for individual0
9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR complaint made0
10. Other (Please explain below)0

Part III. Program Data

A. Age

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Up to 180
2. 19 - 240
3. 25 - 401
4. 41 - 641
5. 65 and over0
6. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A5. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)2

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females1
2. Males1
3. Total (Lines B1+B2. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)2

C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race (for individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only)0
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native2
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American0
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White0
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown0

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Acquired Brain Injury1
2. ADD/ADHD0
3. AIDS/HIV0
4. Amputations or Absence of Extremities0
5. Arthritis or Rheumatism0
6. Anxiety Disorder0
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. Deafness0
14. Hard of Hearing/Hearing Impaired (Not Deaf)0
15. Deaf-Blind0
16. Diabetes0
17. Digestive Disorders0
18. Epilepsy0
19. Heart & Other Circulatory Conditions0
20. Intellectual Disability0
21. Mental Illness0
22. Multiple Sclerosis0
23. Muscular Dystrophy0
24. Muscular/Skeletal Impairment0
25. Neurological Disorders/Impairment0
26. Orthopedic Impairments0
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.)2

E. Types of Individual Served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicant of VR2
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 Living0
5. Transition student/High school student0
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

Strengthening Legal Protections

The Navajo Nation passed a Vocational Rehabilitation Act (VR Act) in 1984 that prohibited discrimination against individuals with disabilities & required that reasonable accommodations be provided across major life activities, including employment. After receiving a legal challenge to whether the VR Act allowed a private right of action, the Law Center began considering whether it provided sufficient legal protections. The Navajo Nation Advisory Council on Disabilities (the Advisory Council) is a statutorily established body to advise the Navajo Nation on issues facing those with disabilities. The Law Center & the Advisory Council began working together to ensure that appropriate legal protections are in place & ultimately decided that the VR Act needed to be updated.

A Law Center provided legal technical assistance (TA) to the Advisory Council on drafting revisions to the VR Act. This initiative formed into a collaborative effort with the Navajo Nation President’s Office, Navajo Nation Department of Justice, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, Honorable Jonathan Hale (Council Delegate), and the Navajo Nation Tribal Council on addressing this situation. As part of providing TA, the Law Center directed conversations that explored ways to improve civil rights protections for Navajos with disabilities under Navajo law so that they are able to more fully participate in the community and have those rights enforced.

The Advisory Council and Law Center then presented the legislation to required Standing committees, as part of the Legislative Process. The legislation went in front of the Navajo Tribal Council on July 17, 2018; the legislation passed 14-2. Subsequently this legislation became Navajo Nation law when President Russell Begaye signed it on August 6, 2018.

Self-Advocacy Project The Law Center works with high school students in the Exceptional Student Services at Greyhills Academy High School (Greyhills) in Tuba City, Arizona, located on the Navajo reservation. Throughout Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semester’s, the Law Center presented to twenty-four high school students, grades ninth through twelfth. The Law Center focused its self-advocacy project to help high school students increase their understanding of their legal rights, develop self-advocacy skills, and actively make their own decisions. The Law Center presented nine sessions in each semester covering topics of finding their career path, accessing vocational rehabilitation services and client assistance program, understanding disability disclosure and accommodations in the work and school settings, and included identifying transition services. The sessions also discussed the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disability Act. The sessions provided examples, role playing, guest speakers and had students present to their classmates to increase their confidence to self-advocate. In the second to last session, students presented to their classmates, explaining the decision-making process of their career choices. Most of the students identified their career options, which included aerospace, a welder, or entering the military. Based on the student’s presentations, four of the five seniors will be attending college, two at a local community college, one in Oklahoma, and the other in Utah. Students also attended the Annual Navajo Disability Conference in Twin Arrows, Arizona, which the conference was primarily focused on employment, returning to work, and requesting accommodations. The Law Center presented two parent night sessions with guest speakers. One of the guest speakers presented to the students and parents about issues she faced due to her disability and how she accessed vocational rehabilitation services to help her start her self-employment business. The guest speaker also highlighted her advocacy at the local, state and national levels and encouraged the student’s to self-advocate for their needs. Greyhills students have increased their knowledge of their legal rights, obtained self-advocacy skills, and gained vital information that helps them to prepare for their transition into adulthood. The Law Center continues the self-advocacy project with Greyhills to ensure students with disabilities are aware of their transition services and self-advocate for their future choices.

Review Major Employers & Their Understanding of Hiring People with Disabilities

The Law Center staff identified major employers on the Navajo Nation, focusing on the Navajo government and Navajo enterprises. A matrix was created to identify whether employers were equal opportunity employers, whether they only had policies regarding Navajo and Veterans preference, or whether they had any policies published regarding their hiring practices. The other focus of the matrix was to identify if the employers’ job application was clearly discriminatory towards individuals with disabilities or not. Further, a short questionnaire (below) was developed to get more information about the employment practices and policies of these organizations. Does your current organization employ any individuals with a disability? Possible Answers are Yes, No or I don’t know If Yes — How many? Then after How many for Yes, or after a No or I don’t Know response we could ask - Does your organization consider employing individuals with a disability?

• Does your Personnel and Policies Manual include Procedures for considering employing Individuals with a disability?

• Has your Human Resources Staff, Administrative Personnel, and-or, Supervisors received Disability Employment related Training?

• Is your organization familiar with the Navajo Nation law related to Disability Employment and related topics?

Because the Law Center was also working on passing the Navajo Civil Rights Act for Individuals with Disabilities, Law Center staff agreed to hold off on contacting employers until the Act had passed and revise the questions in light of the provisions of the Civil Rights Act. The Civil Rights Act for Individuals with Disabilities was signed into law by President Begay on August 6, 2018. Therefore, in FY2019, the Law Center will now revise the questions developed and begin contacting employers to educate them about the change in the law and the clarified rights of individuals with disabilities.

1. Number of non-litigation systemic activities not involving individual representation that resulted in the change of one or more policy or practice of an agency.3
2. Describe the systemic activities conducted by CAP during the fiscal year and its impact on other agency's policies or practices.

B. Litigation

The Law Center has not pursued any systemic litigation using CAP funds.

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 agencyNative American Disability Law Center
3. Is the designated agency contracting CAP services?No
4. If yes, name of contracting agency:Not Applicable

B. Staff Employed

Provide a description of all CAP positions (see instructions)

CAP funds are used to cover the following staff: Advocate: 0.25 FTE - performs outreach, community education & individual case advocacy Community & Government Liaison: 0.05 FTE - works with the Navajo Nation Advisory Council on Disability to advocate for systemic improvements to address the barriers facing those with disabilities. Attorney: 0.15 FTE - provides legal analysis & input Executive Director: 0.10FTE - provides overall supervision & input on initiatives Administrative Support: 0.50 FTE - provides necessary support for program staff, includes administrative assistants & fiscal personnel

Part VI. Case Examples

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

Unfortunately, we only had 2 cases & closed 1 of them. In that case we did assist a 47 year old Navajo woman to access VR services. We are continuing to work on our systemic efforts & are developing a coordinated community outreach & education effort. Across the Navajo Nation, the general unemployment rate is over 40%. This broader difficulty to work makes it much more difficult for those with disabilities, even with the assistance of Vocational Rehabilitation services. The Law Center is committed to increasing an understanding of the options & supports available to those with disabilities.

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 OfficialNative American Disability Law Center
Title of Designated Agency OfficialTherese E. Yanan
Date Signed11/05/2018