Annual Report - Independent Living Services For Older Individuals Who Are Blind

RSA-7-OB for Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation - H177B130006 report through September 30, 2013

Part I: Funding Sources And Expenditures

Title VII-Chapter 2 Federal grant award for reported fiscal year448,996
Other federal grant award for reported fiscal year0
Title VII-Chapter 2 carryover from previous year195,190
Other federal grant carryover from previous year0
A. Funding Sources for Expenditures in Reported FY
A1. Title VII-Chapter 2644,186
A2. Total other federal0
(a) Title VII-Chapter 1-Part B0
(b) SSA reimbursement0
(c) Title XX - Social Security Act0
(d) Older Americans Act0
(e) Other0
A3. State (excluding in-kind)0
A4. Third party0
A5. In-kind71,576
A6. Total Matching Funds71,576
A7. Total All Funds Expended715,762
B. Total expenditures and encumbrances allocated to administrative, support staff, and general overhead costs8,765
C. Total expenditures and encumbrances for direct program services706,997

Part II: Staffing

FTE (full time equivalent) is based upon a 40-hour workweek or 2080 hours per year.

A. Full-time Equivalent (FTE)

Program Staff a) Administrative and Support b) Direct Service c) Total
1. FTE State Agency 0.5000 0.0000 0.5000
2. FTE Contractors 2.3850 11.6000 13.9850
3. Total FTE 2.8850 11.6000 14.4850

B. Employed or advanced in employment

a) Number employed b) FTE
1. Employees with Disabilities 18 10.8150
2. Employees with Blindness Age 55 and Older 4 1.9700
3. Employees who are Racial/Ethnic Minorities 3 1.4700
4. Employees who are Women 22 10.0450
5. Employees Age 55 and Older 13 5.2800

C. Volunteers


Part III: Data on Individuals Served

Provide data in each of the categories below related to the number of individuals for whom one or more services were provided during the reported fiscal year.

A. Individuals Served

1. Number of individuals who began receiving services in the previous FY and continued to receive services in the reported FY813
2. Number of individuals who began receiving services in the reported FY420
3. Total individuals served during the reported fiscal year (A1 + A2) 1,233

B. Age

1. 55-5976
2. 60-64100
3. 65-69106
4. 70-74130
5. 75-79122
6. 80-84180
7. 85-89237
8. 90-94192
9. 95-9983
10. 100 & over7
11. Total (must agree with A3)1,233

C. Gender

1. Female917
2. Male316
3. Total (must agree with A3)1,233

D. Race/Ethnicity

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race123
2. American Indian or Alaska Native6
3. Asian8
4. Black or African American11
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander2
6. White1,078
7. Two or more races1
8. Race and ethnicity unknown (only if consumer refuses to identify)4
9. Total (must agree with A3)1,233

E. Degree of Visual Impairment

1. Totally Blind (LP only or NLP)81
2. Legally Blind (excluding totally blind)478
3. Severe Visual Impairment674
4. Total (must agree with A3)1,233

F. Major Cause of Visual Impairment

1. Macular Degeneration718
2. Diabetic Retinopathy83
3. Glaucoma101
4. Cataracts119
5. Other212
6. Total (must agree with A3)1,233

G. Other Age-Related Impairments

1. Hearing Impairment278
2. Diabetes131
3. Cardiovascular Disease and Strokes147
4. Cancer36
5. Bone, Muscle, Skin, Joint, and Movement Disorders330
6. Alzheimer's Disease/Cognitive Impairment40
7. Depression/Mood Disorder43
8. Other Major Geriatric Concerns448

H. Type of Residence

1. Private residence (house or apartment)684
2. Senior Living/Retirement Community362
3. Assisted Living Facility154
4. Nursing Home/Long-term Care facility29
5. Homeless4
6. Total (must agree with A3)1,233

I. Source of Referral

1. Eye care provider (ophthalmologist, optometrist)80
2. Physician/medical provider35
3. State VR agency29
4. Government or Social Service Agency64
5. Veterans Administration6
6. Senior Center274
7. Assisted Living Facility58
8. Nursing Home/Long-term Care facility15
9. Faith-based organization23
10. Independent Living center70
11. Family member or friend251
12. Self-referral248
13. Other80
14. Total (must agree with A3)1,233

Part IV: Types of Services Provided and Resources Allocated

Provide data related to the number of older individuals who are blind receiving each type of service and resources committed to each type of service.

A. Clinical/functional vision assessments and services

Cost Persons Served
1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds 7,797
1b. Total Cost from other funds 2,085
2. Vision screening / vision examination / low vision evaluation 36
3. Surgical or therapeutic treatment to prevent, correct, or modify disabling eye conditions 7

B. Assistive technology devices and services

Cost Persons Served
1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds 46,975
1b. Total Cost from other funds 7,895
2. Provision of assistive technology devices and aids 861
3. Provision of assistive technology services 854

C. Independent living and adjustment training and services

Cost Persons Served
1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds 163,530
1b. Total Cost from other funds 11,298
2. Orientation and Mobility training 132
3. Communication skills 269
4. Daily living skills 1,080
5. Supportive services (reader services, transportation, personal 874
6. Advocacy training and support networks 267
7. Counseling (peer, individual and group) 1,211
8. Information, referral and community integration 1,898
. Other IL services 212

D. Community Awareness: Events & Activities

Cost a. Events / Activities b. Persons Served
1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds 118,300
1b. Total Cost from other funds 15,791
2. Information and Referral 2,816
3. Community Awareness: Events/Activities 339 5,779

Part V: Comparison of Prior Year Activities to Current Reported Year

A. Activity

a) Prior Year b) Reported FY c) Change ( + / - )
1. Program Cost (all sources) 719,040 715,762 -3,278
2. Number of Individuals Served 1,526 1,233 -293
3. Number of Minority Individuals Served 196 155 -41
4. Number of Community Awareness Activities 491 339 -152
5. Number of Collaborating agencies and organizations 683 537 -146
6. Number of Sub-grantees 2 7

Part VI: Program Outcomes/Performance Measures

Provide the following data for each of the performance measures below. This will assist RSA in reporting results and outcomes related to the program.

Number of persons Percent of persons
A1. Number of individuals receiving AT (assistive technology) services and training 854 100.00%
A2. Number of individuals receiving AT (assistive technology) services and training who maintained or improved functional abilities that were previously lost or diminished as a result of vision loss. (closed/inactive cases only) 277 32.44%
A3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 326 38.17%
B1. Number of individuals who received orientation and mobility (O & M) services 132 100.00%
B2. Of those receiving orientation and mobility (O & M) services, the number of individuals who experienced functional gains or maintained their ability to travel safely and independently in their residence and/or community environment as a result of services. (closed/inactive cases only) 70 53.03%
B3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 55 41.67%
C1. Number of individuals who received communication skills training 269 100.00%
C2. Of those receiving communication skills training, the number of individuals who gained or maintained their functional abilities as a result of services they received. (Closed/inactive cases only) 131 48.70%
C3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 118 43.87%
D1. Number of individuals who received daily living skills training 1,080 100.00%
D2. Number of individuals that experienced functional gains or successfully restored or maintained their functional ability to engage in their customary daily life activities as a result of services or training in personal management and daily living skills. (closed/inactive cases only) 362 33.52%
D3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 258 23.89%
E1. Number of individuals served who reported feeling that they are in greater control and are more confident in their ability to maintain their current living situation as a result of services they received. (closed/inactive cases only) 373 n/a
E2. Number of individuals served who reported feeling that they have less control and confidence in their ability to maintain their current living situation as a result of services they received. (closed/inactive cases only) 6 n/a
E3. Number of individuals served who reported no change in their feelings of control and confidence in their ability to maintain their current living situation as a result of services they received. (closed/inactive cases only) 18 n/a
E4. Number of individuals served who experienced changes in lifestyle for reasons unrelated to vision loss. (closed/inactive cases only) 272 n/a
E5. Number of individuals served who died before achieving functional gain or experiencing changes in lifestyle as a result of services they received. (closed/inactive cases only) 35 n/a

Part VII: Narrative

A. Briefly describe the agency's method of implementation for the Title VII-Chapter 2 program (i.e. in-house, through sub-grantees/contractors, or a combination) incorporating outreach efforts to reach underserved and/or unserved populations. Please list all sub-grantees/contractors.

Colorado uses a competitive RFP process to award OIB contracts. Currently, there are seven contracts which have been awarded to seven independent living centers. Each contractor covers a multi-county area. Colorado’s OIB program has a large number of peer support groups; many are consumer-facilitated. All contractors provide some level of home visits to assist with removing barriers, marking appliances, and consulting about lighting. All OIB staff continue to have access to the on-line training modules of the American Federation of the Blind. Collaboration continues to be the key for the OIB contractors, particularly with their outreach efforts. Contractors in less rural-more urban areas of the state report that their most successful outreach efforts have involved collaborating with other organizations to present information at health fairs and vendor fairs. Contractors in rural and remote parts of the state report that their most successful outreach efforts continue to be word-of-mouth and support groups.

Current contractors include: Center for Disabilities; Connections for IL; Center for People with Disabilities, Disabled Resource Services; The Independence Center; The Northwest Colorado Center for Independence (formerly the Independent Life Center); and the Southwest Center for Independence.

B. Briefly describe any activities designed to expand or improve services including collaborative activities or community awareness; and efforts to incorporate new methods and approaches developed by the program into the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) under Section 704.

CPWD updated their brochures and marketing materials to more thoroughly reflect services offered to older individuals with vision loss including individualized services. CPWD offered recreation activities that expanded clients skills sets and to practice these new skills in the community. Outreach was accomplished through 32 different monthly peer groups for older adults with visual impairment. Guest speakers and staff facilitated a wide range of topics each month. At Connections for Independent Living the center offered MagnifEYED Living seminars that have been well attended and extremely successful. At IC the center has worked closely with several different agencies and businesses to ensure they are offering the most current advances in assistive technology. IC has worked very hard to develop relationships with providers in rural areas to expand service provisions. At SWCI they have expanded the following activities:Systematically networking with low vision professionals in the region, training and presentations at support group meetings, coordinating with AT dealers to set up accounts and host local AT fairs ,really working hard through various contacts to have a presence in all 5 counties and both Reservations,and arranging for loaners of magnifiers and CCTVs from AT dealers. DRS has increased staff presence at senior and health fairs with a vendor table promoting their program and services to a broad audience thus increasing contact with the public in less time. OIB staff have found the distribution of large print desk blotter size and notebook size calendars to consumers, physicians and professionals (ophthalmologists optometrists, assisted, skilled and senior residence staff) has increased referrals and communication with them because the calendars contain OIB contact information that is readily available for 13 months. NWCCI is using the core service of peer support to expand and improve our services to people who are over 55 living with blindness or low vision. By inviting local service providers to attend the peer group meetings and encouraging leadership and mentor ship within the peer groups, members and participants are able to not only take ownership of the groups, but also engage in outreach and raise awareness of the mutual support that is developed from the sharing of experience, strength and hope

C. Briefly summarize results from any of the most recent evaluations or satisfaction surveys conducted for your program and attach a copy of applicable reports.

CPWD collected data from over 100 CILSuite surveys. Of those surveyed results indicated in an increase in Orientation and Mobility skills, Daily Living Skills, communications skills, and a greater sense of control. CPWD plans to improve its data collection and reporting ability on consumers’ benefits and needs. Connections for Independent Living used seminar evaluations and report cards. Seminars received high scores and unfortunately not many consumers completed the report cards. IC asks for verbal feedback at support groups and during home visits. At DRS Staff have since relied on phone and in-person surveys done at or after educational events, support groups and other activities. Staff have also surveyed service providers, volunteers and family members attending events to acquire an overview of their opinions. With a greater than 98% satisfaction rate among consumers surveyed, most applauded the topics selected for discussion/presentations, the hands-on training in support groups and our annual educational events. Staff received high marks for their interaction and understanding as blind individuals themselves, using peer speakers and encouraging consumer input. NWCCI gathered feedback both from the peer groups and individuals served under Title VII-Ch. 2. The peer groups are dynamic and feedback is gathered on an ongoing basis as we discuss strategies and activities to be implemented as a means for reaching the goals identified by the groups to realize the desired changes in the communities we serve.

D. Briefly describe the impact of the Title VII-Chapter 2 program, citing examples from individual cases (without identifying information) in which services contributed significantly to increasing independence and quality of life for the individual(s).

CPWD After marking one client’s stove, she remarked “I have never used that thing, now I can.” She had been relying on a microwave, and missed cooking. She now had the freedom and independence to cook a wider variety of more nutritious food. Another client told a similar story. She has always loved to bake and feared she would no longer be able to do so with vision loss. After marking her oven, she ecstatically stated she would now be able to make bread and cookies again and have her home smell wonderfully fragrant as well as share her baked goods with others. For her, this meant a reduction in isolation and therefor an increase in social activities. IC Two consumers in the OIB program were inspired to start their own non-profit organization to assist people with low vision in attaining their own computers and learning how to operate them. DRS A 57 year old consumer was released from employment due to vision loss following unsuccessful mediation with her employer. By not making reasonable accommodations, she received a monetary settlement from her employer. Despite losing her job, she went on to successfully complete training at the Colorado Center for the Blind, traveled internationally using her enhanced O & M skills, received a scholarship and recently completed training in Hospitality Services. This consumer has been an inspiring motivational speaker at several of our support groups, actively participates in organizations for the blind and is a ready advocate for herself and consumers as well. NWCCI During the reporting year, one of the individuals for whom we provided training on the use of Windows Eyes software, after his goal for becoming proficient in the use of the AT software, then presented and provided training to peer groups and other individuals in the program. We have several individuals who have become a source for information and assistance in their communities when it comes to accessing AT and finding training on how to use it.

E. Finally, note any problematic areas or concerns related to implementing the Title VII-Chapter 2 program in your state.

Colorado’s diverse geography and rural, even frontier counties limit the extent to which consumers, particularly those with no access to transportation, can participate in services. Services are also impacted by the time and expense associated with staff traveling to consumers. OIB contractors have tried many different ways to gather input from consumers for the 70B’s outcomes and performance measures, with limited success. This reporting year saw significant staff changes in Colorado?s OIB Program?a new IL Program Coordinator came on board part-way through the year and the program was transferred to another unit, with a resulting change in management. Both staff have requested in-depth training on the OIB Program.

Part VIII: Signature

As the authorized signatory, I will sign, date and retain in the state agency's files a copy of this 7-OB Report and the separate Certification of Lobbying form ED-80-0013 (available in MS Word and PDF formats.

Signed byJoelle Brouner
TitleDirector Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Date signed12/31/2013