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

Oregon (DISABILITY RIGHTS OREGON) - H161A180038 - FY2018

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameDisability Rights Oregon
Address511 SW 10th Ave Suite 200
Address Line 2
CityPortland
StateOregon
Zip Code97207
E-mail Addresswelcome@droregon.org
Website Addresshttp://droregon.org/
Phone503-243-2081
TTY
Toll-free Phone800-452-1695
Toll-free TTY
Fax503-243-1738

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameDisability Rights Oregon
Address511 SW 10th Ave Suite 200
Address Line 2
CityPortland
Zip Code97207
E-mail Addresswelcome@droregon.org
Website Addresshttp://droregon.org/
Phone503-243-2081
TTY
Toll-free Phone800-452-1695
Toll-free TTY
Fax503-243-1738

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorTed Wenk
Person to contact regarding reportJamie Jones
Contact Person Phone503-243-2081

Part I. Non-case Services

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program6
2. Information regarding independent living programs0
3. Information regarding American Indian VR Service projects0
4. Information regarding Title I of the ADA1
5. Other information provided2
6. Information regarding CAP35
7. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1 through A6)44

B. Training Activities

1) CAP staff gave a classroom lecture to Western Oregon University rehabilitation graduate students. The topics included the role of CAP, the Protection & Advocacy system in terms of services provision and the purposes of WIOA. 2) CAP staff presented a program to counselors with the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) section of the Oregon Commission for the Blind on Reasonable Accommodations and the interactive process under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The purpose of the training was to educate OCB VR counselors to better serve clients who face discrimination issues in employment, or who need to engage in the interactive process while employed in order to secure accommodations in employment. 3) CAP attended the Pacific Northwest Employment Forum, sponsored by the Association of Professionals for Supported Employment. CAP participated in a panel on the subject of job coaching and reasonable accommodations - specifically, how job coaching can be a reasonable accommodation in employment under Title I. The audience for the presentation was primarily VR counselors, job developers, job coaches, and other employment support staff. The purpose of the panel was to educate this audience on the right of their clients, largely Voc Rehab clients, to access job coaching in employment.

1. Number of training sessions presented to community groups and public agencies.11
2. Number of individuals who attended these training sessions.30
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 staff attended a youth transition fair in a rural Oregon county, where a high percentage of attendees were Latinx. CAP staff were able to provide information about VR services in a rural Oregon County and information about employment and employment accommodations. DRO also met with several local advocates serving communities of color whose work focuses on ensuring qualified individuals apply and receive appropriate SSI services. DRO urged this agencies to refer any potential callers to DRO for assistance.

CAP staff also attended a healthcare conference in Portland focused on healthcare for LGBTQ communities. Many of the organizations and individuals present were from trans and HIV+ communities. CAP was able to distribute brochures and talk about the services we provide to VR and ILR clients.

Throughout FY2017, DRO collaborated with Padres en Accion on more than 30 rights in special education (SPED) outreach and training activities, most conducted in Spanish. The primary audience for these outreach and training activities were Latino, Spanish-speaking parents of children with disabilities. As a result of this outreach, CAP staff has given recommendation to VR regarding the shortage of bilingual job developers and the need to expand the range of CRP’s who have bilingual staff.

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) Email to DRO listerv regarding CAP and Job Coaching, with an email open rate of 32% 2) 3 infographics created 3) 27 blog posts authored 4) 56 listerv emails sent to DRO email list

1. Agency Staff Interviewed or Featured on Radio and TV29
2. Articles about CAP Featured in Newspaper/Magazine/Journals0
3. PSAs/Videos Aired about the CAP Agency0
4. Publications/Booklets/Brochures Disseminated by the Agency1082
5. Number of Times CAP Exhibited at Conferences, Community Fairs, etc.9
6. Other (specify below)3

E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage

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

- Mentioned in 83 Newspaper and Digital Outlets - Facilitated 9 separate coffees between DRO staff and individual journalists - Secured meeting w/ Oregonian editor & DRO staff on writing about people w/ disabilities - Helped secure Oregonian editorial board meeting w/ staff member and director - Media relations work helped lead to 5 favorable editorials on our issues - Worked with staff/external messengers to edit/pitch 9 op-eds published in newspapers - Worked with staff/Board to edit/pitch 7 letters to the editor published in newspapers - Worked with board member on authoring letter to the editor that was published in The Oregonian - Helped secure Think Out Loud coverage of our issues/staff appearance 5 times - Unexpected messengers: Worked with business owner to author op-ed on disability employment published in Portland Business Journal - Nat’l coverage: worked with advocate to draft op-ed published in Washington Post and reprinted in The Oregonian

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)21
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year18
3. Total individuals served (Lines A1+A2)39
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.)39
5. Individual still being served as of September 30 (Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line A3.)21

B. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information1
2. Communication problems between individual and VR counselor8
3. Conflict about VR services to be provided18
4. Related to VR application/eligibility process2
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
10
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 Assistance0
2. Investigation/Monitoring1
3. Negotiation13
4. Mediation and other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution0
5. Administrative / Informal Review1
6. Formal appeal / Fair Hearing3
7. Legal remedy / Litigation0
8. Total18

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 favor7
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 individual0
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)0
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 CAP3
10. CAP unable to take case due to lack of resources0
11. Conflict of interest1
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.)

2 - loss to follow up 1 - CAP withdrew 1 - Client withdrew 1 - Individual maintained employment 1 - Unsuccessful attempt to implement the IPE that client desired through the fair hearing process

1. Controlling law/policy explained to individual1
2. Application for services completed0
3. Eligibility determination expedited3
4. Individual participated in evaluation0
5. IPE developed/implemented/Services Provided3
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party2
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office2
8. Alternative resources identified for individual0
9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR complaint made1
10. Other (Please explain below)6

Part III. Program Data

A. Age

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Up to 180
2. 19 - 242
3. 25 - 4010
4. 41 - 6424
5. 65 and over3
6. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A5. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)39

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females24
2. Males15
3. Total (Lines B1+B2. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)39

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 Native1
3. Asian1
4. Black or African American1
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White15
7. Two or more races1
8. Race/ethnicity unknown19

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 Rheumatism2
6. Anxiety Disorder1
7. Autism Spectrum Disorder2
8. Autoimmune or Immune Deficiencies (excluding AIDS/HIV)0
9. Blindness (Both Eyes)3
10. Other Visual Impairments (Not Blind)1
11. Cancer0
12. Cerebral Palsy0
13. Deafness1
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 Disability4
21. Mental Illness16
22. Multiple Sclerosis0
23. Muscular Dystrophy0
24. Muscular/Skeletal Impairment0
25. Neurological Disorders/Impairment1
26. Orthopedic Impairments4
27. Personality Disorders0
28. Respiratory Disorders/Impairment0
29. Skin Conditions1
30. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)1
31. Speech Impairments0
32. Spina Bifida0
33. Substance Abuse (Alcohol or Drugs)0
34. Other Disability1
35. Total (Sum of Lines D1through D34. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)39

E. Types of Individual Served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicant of VR8
2. Individual eligible for VR services currently on a wait list0
3. Individual eligible for VR services not currently on a wait list30
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 Act1

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities

CAP reviewed and provided recommendations and input regarding the following VR policies which ensured and enhanced client rights:

CAP held an interactive presentation session with VR staff, which addressed systemic misunderstanding by VR staff as to the role of CAP as client advocate. This session helped address reluctance of VR staff to cooperate with CAP in provision of timely file information and with individual representation at the informal level of e-mail exchange and phone conferences. CAP is thereby empowered to bring solutions of client issues which comply with state and federal regulation. VR has amended its practice of requiring CAP to address all levels of dispute resolution directly to and through administrative level quality assurance VR staff. CAP is able to address most matters more promptly by having informal discussion with VR counselors and local branch managers. This helps speed up resolution time and results in a less stressful process for many VR clients who engage CAP services.

CAP submitted formal written public comment on state administrative rule changes which would impact the timeliness of processing individual application for services; comment on rules which cause barriers for tribal members from providing tribal identification towards eligibility and rules which were overbroad and not clearly defined as to what constitutes pre-approved services and pre-existing debt. VR is re-drafting these rule proposals. CAP also provided input and comment on rules pertaining to vehicle purchase and modification, supported employment assessment and CRP service rates, repossession policy, due process forms, stabilization determination, WIOA 511 implementation, and confidentiality and privacy assurances. VR adopted most CAP recommendations, thereby ensuring client informed choice and person-centered services. VR’s practice and policy of requiring a signed written application as available only after orientation and a wait for assignment to and meeting with a VR counselor is thereby foregone allowing for more prompt processing of client application for services. VR’s attempt to eliminate all vehicle purchases is withdrawn. Barriers for tribal members to apply for services are reduced. The clarified job stabilization determination allows clients to have a uniform measurement under which they can then qualify for on-going supported employment services. WIOA 511 implementation policy and practice now more accurately and consistently communicates with students about the availability of VR services, resulting in more individuals seeking VR services while they are transition age. Confidentiality and privacy assurances help give confidence to clients that their data will be handled appropriately.

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

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 Rights Oregon
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)

During FY2018, eight (8) individuals (1 Intake Advocate, 3 Attorneys, 1 Communications Specialist, 1 Administrative Assistant, 1 Chief Financial Officer, and 1 Director of Operations) spent part of their time on CAP activities. Total FTE for CAP-related activities totaled FTE 0.951.

All 8 positions were filled for the entire year, so there are 8 person-years during FY 2018. They were not full-time on the CAP program and charged to the Grant part-time. There are no Part-Time employees on this program.

Part VI. Case Examples

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

1) The client contacted Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) in February of 2018 because their VR counselor had refused to approve car repairs needed in order to meet emissions requirements for the car to be “legal” on the road. The client needed to use the car to access an employment program through which they was earning wages. The client’s VR counselor informed the client that, in lieu of repairs, they could instead provide a monthly paratransit pass.

The client had many reasons why paratransit was not an appropriate option. With a car, the client could both work and travel to the grocery store and other places needed for activities of daily living. Because of the increased time that trips take on paratransit, both working and accessing those activities would have been impossible for the client without their own vehicle.

Shortly after CAP was contacted, on February 12, 2018, DRO filed a hearing request on the client’s behalf in order to protect the client’s hearing rights on the issue of the requested car repair. On February 23, CAP arranged a meeting between the client and local branch managers in order to explain to VR why the car repairs were the cheapest available means of providing the client with effective transit to work, and why paratransit was not an effective alternative. Following this meeting, VR agreed to pay for the requested repairs in order to make the client’s vehicle “street legal,” and CAP withdrew the hearing request on March 14, 2018.

Client was able to continue employment while driving their own vehicle. In May, the client’s VR file was closed as “successfully employed,” and CAP informed the client of their right to post-employment services.

2) When contacting CAP, the client was employed and seeking post-employment VR services to help with accommodations needed to maintain employment. The client had created a plan for post-employment services with a VR counselor in July of 2017. However, the client was unable to reach the counselor following the creation of the plan, and the services were not delivered. At the time the client contacted CAP in October of 2017, the client was at risk of losing their job because VR had not provided the services needed to maintain it.

After receiving the information from the client, CAP contacted the local branch manager to ask why the services had not been provided. The branch manager confirmed that the client’s counselor had gone out on leave and many of the items had never been ordered. The branch manager then agreed to contact the counselor to ensure that this occurred.

Shortly afterwards, the client’s existing counselor resigned. CAP followed up with the branch manager to ensure that the client was quickly assigned a new counselor who could follow through on the requested post-employment services and the items needed. CAP also intervened to make sure that client wasn’t inadvertently placed with a counselor with whom they’d previously had a negative experience.

CAP continued to follow up with the client to make sure that their new counselor continued to work with the client and provide the needed services. CAP file was closed following the successful closure of the client’s Post-Employment Services file in April of 2018.

3) A client of the Oregon Commission for the Blind’s (OCB) VR program contacted CAP in September of 2017. The client was concerned that their VR counselor was seeking to improperly close the client’s file as “successfully employed” because she was working part-time designing fabric, despite the fact that her employment goal was to be a social worker and obtain a Masters of Social Work degree. The client had a plan that stated this as the job goal; however, they had been waitlisted for the Fall 2017 entering class at the school of the client’s choice and had not gotten in.

CAP reviewed the client’s file and confirmed that their employment goal was to become a social worker and that the client’s VR counselor had suggested closing their file because of the part-time design work. CAP contacted the manager of the OCB’s VR program and informed the manager that this would not be a proper file closure because the client’s employment goal had not been reached.

The VR program manager agreed. A meeting was set up between the client and VR counselor to revise the client’s employment plan so that they could seek to enter the social work program in the following term. CAP did not participate in this meeting, but followed up with CM and confirmed that it was successful. CAP also reviewed the client’s new Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) with them and confirmed that it offered the services the client felt they needed to obtain their Masters of Social Work degree and become a social worker.

At the time of file closure in April of 2018, the client’s IPE reflected this goal, and they had utilized VR to find an internship in the field at a human services office.

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 OfficialDisability Rights Oregon
Title of Designated Agency OfficialRobert C. Joondeph
Date Signed12/11/2018