U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

RSA-227 for FY-2021: Submission #1166

Oregon
09/30/2021
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Disability Rights Oregon
511 SW 10th Ave Suite 200
{Empty}
Portland
OR
97205
https://www.droregon.org/
503-243-2081
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
Additional Information
Matt Serres
Matt Serres
503-243-2081
mserres@droregon.org
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
14
0
0
1
1
3
19
B. Training Activities
5
209
National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) Training on the Vocational Rehabilitation Hearing Process
a. Topics covered: Vocational Rehabilitation hearing process
b. Purpose of the training: To train Protection and Advocacy agency and CAP staff throughout the country at the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) conference on the VR hearing process
c. Description of the attendees: 85 CAP representatives or non-attorneys attendees at the 2021 NDRN/CAP conference
Oregon Commission for the Blind (OCB) Blind Vendor Fall In-Service 2020
a. Topics covered: Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) CAP program and other services
b. Training purpose: Educate blind vendors who are participants of the Oregon Commission for the Blind Business Enterprise Program about DRO’s CAP program and other services
c. Attendee description: 18 participants of the Oregon Commission for the Blind Business Enterprise Program who operate vending machine businesses under the Randolph Sheppard Act
Oregon Statewide Transition Conference (OSTC) 2021 Presentation on Workers' Rights, the ADA, and Reasonable Accommodations During COVID-19
a. Topics covered: DRO employment-related programs and services, including advocacy on behalf of vocational rehabilitation participants under DRO’s CAP program, as well as the rights of young workers with disabilities during COVID-19
b. Training purpose: Educate attendees on DRO’s CAP program and other services, and to train attendees about the rights of young workers with disabilities, with a particular focus on COVID-19 pandemic-related issues
c. Attendee description: Approximately 75 individuals attended the presentation consisting of transition-aged youth with disabilities preparing to enter the workforce, as well as service providers and family members

OSECE Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Provider Training on Legal Rights of Transition Age Youth (TAY)
a. Topics covered: An overview of key employment laws for young workers, reasonable accommodation in the workplace, employee medical privacy, and Disability Rights Oregon's employment-related services such as the Client Assistance Program.
b. Purpose of the training: Inform Individual Placement and Support (IPS) providers of employment-related legal rights of transition age youth
c. Description of the attendees: 25 IPS providers who serve VR participants

State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) Legislative Education Program for FY2021
a. Topics covered: The role of the State Rehabilitation Council and the importance and scope of vocational rehabilitation services and services available from the Client Assistance Program
b. Purpose of the training: The purpose of the educational meetings with legislators was to familiarize them with (1) the role of the State Rehabilitation Council in informing the policies of state vocational rehabilitation agencies, and (2) the importance and scope of services available through vocational rehabilitation programs. As a result of the participation by the Client Assistance Program's SRC representative in the educational programming, participants also learned more about the role of CAP at Disability Rights Oregon in resolving disputes between VR participants and the state VR agencies.
c. Description of the attendees: 6 state legislators
C. Agency Outreach
Due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic, DRO’s in-person outreach is still greatly reduced in FY2021. CAP-specific outreach and training events in FY2021 served both people (and agencies that serve them) who are racial minorities, veterans, rural Oregonians, and low-income individuals. DRO continues to provide Spanish and Braille translations of CAP-specific publications upon request, as well as providing appropriate interpretive and translation services when working with clients, constituents, and beneficiaries.

Employment of People with Disabilities within Urban Redevelopment Projects: People of color, women, and persons with disabilities have historically been excluded from the economic opportunities that arise out of urban redevelopment projects. DRO participated in the early planning stages of the Broadway Corridor development project by monitoring the activities of the Broadway Corridor Steering Committee, participating in negotiations concerning a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) as a member of the Healthy Communities Coalition, and participating as a member of Prosper Portland's Interim Activation Committee.
As a result of our participation in CBA negotiations, a number of community benefits related to persons with disabilities and racial minorities were included on the CBA "Term Sheet" that was approved by the Portland City Council. The CBA "Term Sheet" will be incorporated into future project development agreements and form a principal basis for community oversight of the project as it moves forward. In terms of workforce equity, the city redevelopment agency Prosper Portland augmented its aspirational goals for COBID firm utilization to 22%, and the Portland Housing Bureau set a similar goal of 30% for hard construction contracts and 20% for professional service contracts. Those goals include service-disabled veteran-owned businesses and a specific sub-goal of 12% for minority-owned businesses. “COBID” firms are firms certified by the “Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity.” Prosper Portland committed to create more pathways for COBID firms to become more competitive in securing contracts related to the development project. Prosper Portland also agreed to establish a $3-million-dollar fund for grants and low-cost loans that will prioritize underrepresented businesses including businesses owned by persons with disabilities or racial minorities. DRO’s participation in the Interim Activation Committee increased the likelihood that interim activities that take place during the demolition and construction phases of the project will emphasize participation by persons with disabilities and racial minorities.

Support of Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Services: Over the last three fiscal years, the Warm Springs Tribe sought Disability Rights Oregon's support for continuing its provision of vocational rehabilitation services. In FY2019, DRO wrote a letter of support for Warm Springs application for a 121 grant. In FY2020, an unsuccessful competition for the 121 placed the Warm Springs Vocational Rehabilitation Program in jeopardy. DRO wrote a letter of support for the Warm Springs Reservation application for Tribal 121 funds for FY2021 in April of 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Education, which administers 121 funds, directed that a waiver shall be granted continuing funding to the 29 American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS) projects set to expire at the end of September 2020. As a result, tribal entities that had submitted applications to compete for those expiring grants would not be able to do so, and the Warm Springs would not receive 121 grant funds for FY2021. DRO wrote another letter of support for the Warm Springs Reservation application for Tribal 121 funds for FY2022 in February of 2021. In late-September of 2021, Warm Springs was notified that it would not be a recipient of 121 funds. DRO will follow Warm Springs guidance as to how we can best support them and plans to continue our support as Warm Springs competes for future funds and assist in developing policies and other means to preserve access to vocational rehabilitation services for Warm Springs Tribal Members.
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
28
0
0
812
5
1
Website hits (pageviews): 82,278
Facebook page: 9,864 total likes, 10,663 followers
Twitter: 4,679 followers
Email database (listserv): 1,910
Instagram: 1,481 followers
LinkedIn: 322 followers
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
Disability Rights Oregon FY2021 Media Coverage

Newspapers/Digital (51)
1. State lacks rules for care-rationing at Oregon hospitals (The Bend Bulletin, September 30, 2021)
2. State lacks rules for care-rationing at Oregon hospitals (Pamplin Media, September 30, 2021)
3. Outside Investigation Finds “Complete Disarray” At Oregon State Hospital (The Lund Report, September 27, 2021)
4. Judge sets deadline for Oregon State Hospital to resume prompt admission of patients (The Oregonian, September 22, 2021)
5. City Officials Say They’re Eager to Resolve Police’s Non-Compliance with DOJ Settlement; Community Groups Skeptical (Portland Mercury, August 26, 2021)
6. Judge floats idea of adding court-appointed monitor for Portland’s settlement with Justice Department on police reforms (The Oregonian, August 24, 2021)
7. Salem man held in jail 'on the idea of future crimes he might commit' (Street Roots, August 18, 2021)
8. Judge ordered to review his decision on admissions policy for Oregon State Hospital, 9th Circuit Court rules (The Oregonian, August 17, 2021) Picked up by: AP, Roseburg News-Review, The Columbian, KTVZ, U.S. News and World Report, LaGrande Observer, Seattle Times, Westport News, Register-Guard
9. $71M Oregon Capitol construction project focuses on accessibility, earthquake safety (Register-Guard, July 27, 2021)
10. Despite court orders, 16 held in jail rather than Oregon State Hospital (Street Roots, July 21, 2021)
11. Rights group will not pursue litigation (Lake County Examiner, July 21, 2021)
12. Federal Justice Department wants body-worn cameras on Portland police, a civilian to oversee police training (The Oregonian, July 15, 2021), picked up by Government Technology, July 14, 2021
13. For women under conservatorship, forced birth control is routine (The Nation, July 15, 2021)
14. Malicious prosecution: Steve Duin column (The Oregonian, June 19, 2021)
15. ‘The state did not follow through.’ As Oregon State Hospital brings on National Guard staffers, others recall facility’s long-term problems (The Oregonian, June 4, 2021), picked up by Lund Report
16. Portland protests account for extraordinary increase in complaints against police, annual report says (The Oregonian, June 3, 2021)
17. Legal costs for Portland law enforcement climb (The Center Square, May 6, 2021)
18. Critics, Including Providence, Legacy, Pan Proposed Wilsonville Psychiatric Hospital (Lund Report, April 27, 2021)
19. Pausing Oregon State Hospital admissions would violate Constitutional rights of people with mental illness (The World, April 20, 2021)
20. Portland police fatally shoot man in Lents Park (The Oregonian, April 16, 2021)
21. Having someone committed could become easier in Oregon (Street Roots, April 14, 2021)
22. Oregon State Hospital seeks pause on admissions as new patient numbers spike (The Oregonian, April 14, 2021)
23. Oregon State Parks will spend the next 25 years making parks more accessible (The Oregonian, April 1, 2021), picked up by AP/East Oregonian, Seattle Times , Bend Bulletin, Register-Guard, Lewiston Tribune
24. Sent home early: Lost learning in special education (The Hechinger Report, March 25, 2021), picked up by USA Today, Disability Scoop (Klamath Falls Herald and News, February 2021)
25. Oregon State Senate Committee holds public hearings for bills that expand health equity (State of Reform, March 16, 2021)
26. Report finds that prisoners are dying in jails ill-equipped for people with mental illness or other disabilities (Salem Reporter, February 8, 2021), picked up by Bend Bulletin
27. Subpar medical care, lack of suicide precautions led to many of the 10 deaths in Oregon jails in 2020, report finds (The Oregonian, February 8, 2021)
28. Disability Rights Oregon recommends changes after death at county jail (Daily Astorian, February 8, 20201)
29. Too Many U.S. Doctors Biased Against Patients with Disabilities: Study (HealthDay, February 2, 2020), picked up by U.S. News and World Report, Web MD, KMJNow
30. Disability rights advocates say Oregon prisons doing better by severely mentally ill inmates (The Oregonian, January 11, 2021)
31. Report finds Conditions improved for mentally ill prisoners in Oregon’s maximum security prison (Willamette Week, January 11, 2021)
32. As COVID-19 unit nears capacity, Oregon State Hospital suspends admissions again (The Oregonian, January 7, 2021)
33. Aid & Assist: How best to balance mental health needs and public safety (Oregon State Bar Bulletin, December 2020)
34. New equity-driven crisis care principles to support surge planning (Lincoln City News-Guard, December 10, 2020)
35. Oregon officials revamp crisis-care guidelines as coronavirus cases spike (The Oregonian, December 10, 2020)
36. As Oregon State Hospital halts admissions due to coronavirus outbreak, staff shortage poses mounting challenges (The Oregonian, December 9, 2020), picked up by Lund Report, govtech.com, Salem Reporter
37. First-Ever Federal Data Release Shows Short Supply Of Critical Care Beds In Oregon (Lund Report, December 8, 2020)
38. Portland disabled Black Lives Matters protesters demand rights under the ADA (Workers World, November 24, 2020)
39. State hospital to suspend admissions for 1 week after more patients test positive (The Oregonian, December 3, 2020)
40. Profiles in the Law: Advocacy that’s ‘Intensely Personal’ (Oregon State Bar Bulletin, November 2020)
41. Discharged Portland patient, found handcuffed and shivering in ambulance bay, plans to sue Unity psychiatric hospital (The Oregonian, November 23, 2020)
42. Former Disability Rights Oregon director receives highest legal honor (Pamplin, Southwest Connection, November 16, 2020) (Oregon State Bar Bulletin, October 2020)
43. Disabled and elderly face growing challenges throughout Washington County (Portland Tribune, Forest Grove News Times, November 11, 2020)
44. Portland police failed to accommodate disabled demonstrators, lawsuit alleges (The Center Square, November 3, 2020)
45. Disabled Protesters (Courthouse News Service, November 3, 2020)
46. Lawsuit filed on behalf of protesters with disabilities (Portland Tribune, November 2, 2020)
47. People with disabilities accuse local, state and federal police of violating their free speech rights at Portland protests (The Oregonian, November 2, 2020)
48. Record $2.75 million settlement reached for Oregon inmate's flu death (Statesman Journal, October 18, 2020), picked up by AP, appeared in KGW News web report, OPB News, Medford Mail Tribune.
49. Press release: Former Disability Rights Oregon Director Receives High Honor (Lund Report, October 15, 2020)
50. State will pay record $2.7 million settlement in Oregon prisoner’s death from flu (The Oregonian, October 13, 2020), subscriber-only content. Pick up by Bend Bulletin.
51. Portlanders with disabilities still fighting for rights (Portland Tribune, October 7, 2020)

Letters to the Editor (6)
1. Lawsuit led to curb ramp project (Ashland Daily Tidings, July 29, 2021), Medford Mail Tribune (August 2, 2021) Tom Stenson
2. Build bridge with inclusive workforce (The Oregonian, July 28, 2021), Matt Serres
3. Lawmakers fail those with mental illness (The Oregonian, June 27, 2021), Liz Reetz
4. State hospital should be a last resort, not first choice (East Oregonian, June 10, 2021), KC Lewis
5. Fight for accessibility continues (Hillsboro Tribune, February 18, 2021), Forest Grove News Times, Jake Cornett
6. Curb ramps allow accessibility for all (Coos Bay The World, October 9, 2020), Tom Stenson

Op-Eds (5)
1. Anniversary of landmark Olmstead case shines light on disability rights (Register-Guard, June 2021) Jake Cornett
2. Opinion: What’s really driving the Oregon State Hospital crisis (The Oregonian, June 6, 2021), KC Lewis
3. Opinion: Oregon provides opportunity to those with disability (East Oregonian, April 3, 2021), Jake Cornett, published by La Grande Observer
4. The rising tide of unnecessary death in Oregon jails (Street Roots, March 10, 2021), Liz Reetz
5. Opinion: Liability protection for health care industry would be an unnecessary barrier to justice (The Oregonian, December 13, 2020), Jake Cornett & Paula Boga

Op-Eds (pitched by Disability Rights Oregon, 3)
1. Southwick: Foster care systems fail Oregon's LGBTQ youth (Pamplin Media, April 30, 2021), Portland Tribune, Lake Oswego Review, and more
2. My View: Websites shouldn't leave visually impaired behind (client Katie Durden, Portland Tribune, December 8, 2020)
3. As Hospitals Fear Being Overwhelmed By COVID-19, Do The Disabled Get The Same Access? (NPR’s All Things Considered, December 14, 2020), picked up by OPB News (December 15, 2020)

Blog (1)
1. Disability rights activist pushes bill for more diversity on ODOT committees (Bike Portland blog, March 22, 2021)

Radio (18)
2. Judge signals Oregon’s psychiatric hospital could have to speed up admissions, add capacity (OPB News, September 22, 2021)
3. Legislature Approves Funding For Sign Language Interpretation At The Capitol (KLCC FM, July 9, 2021)
4. New Oregon law seeks to improve life for people with appointed guardians (OPB News, June 21, 2021)
5. Oregon lawmakers will take a ‘big swing’ at mental health funding this year (OPB News, June 15, 2021), picked up by the Lund Report
6. ‘Dire’ staffing situation at Oregon State Hospital prompts call for National Guard to assist (OPB News, May 27, 2021), picked up by East Oregonian
7. Oregon could shield health-care providers from COVID-related lawsuits (OPB News, May 8, 2021)
8. State and county prosecutors will investigate Portland police shooting of man in mental health crisis (OPB News, April 29, 2021) – mentions Mental Health Alliance
9. Jail deaths happen more to disabled people (Jefferson Exchange, February 22, 2021)
10. Most death in Oregon jails were people with disabilities (KBOO Community News, February 8, 2020)
11. Suicide remains the leading cause of death in Oregon’s jails, new report finds (OPB News, February 8, 2021), picked up by East Oregonian
12. Report: Majority of Oregon’s jail deaths last year were people with disabilities (Jefferson Public Radio, February 8, 2021)
Many students with disabilities still struggle with distance learning (OPB’s Think Out Loud, February 4, 2021)
13. ODOC Treatment of Prisoners with Mental Illness (KBOO Prison Pipeline, January 19, 2021)
14. Oregon hospitals didn't have shortages. So why were disabled people denied care? (NPR, December 21, 2020), picked up by OPB News
15. When Hospitals Decide Who Deserves Treatment: NPR Investigates 'Denial Of Care' (NPR’s Consider This, December 16, 2020)
16. COVID-19 outbreak at state psychiatric hospital grows, further delaying admissions (OPB News, December 5, 2020), reprinted by the Lund Report
17. Disability Rights Oregon works to help voters (Jefferson Exchange, October 15, 2020)
18. Oregon Steps Up to Help People with Disabilities Vote During Pandemic (Public News Service, October 2, 2020), picked up by KTVZ, Ontario Argus Observer

Television (10)
1. Alsea superintendent: Mask letter to parents ‘out of context’ (KOIN News, August 17, 2021)
2. Legal costs for Portland law enforcement climb (KPVI News, May 6, 2021)
3. Witness who recorded shooting of man by police in Lents Park speaks out (KGW News, April 18, 2021)
4. Reports suggest 9 out of 10 recent jail deaths in Oregon were people with a disability (KTVL News, February 8, 2021)
5. Lawsuit alleges city leaders violated rights of disabled protesters in Portland
6. (KPTV News, November 2, 2020)
7. Portland protest response tactics violate ADA, new lawsuit claims (KATU News, November 2, 2020)
8. Record settlement after Medford man’s death in prison (KOBI-5 News, October 20, 2020)
9. How Oregon officials are protecting the right to vote in nursing homes (KGW News, October 16, 2020)
10. Effort to help people living with disabilities vote as November election nears (KPTV News, October 7, 2020)

Editorials (DRO shaped, DRO not mentioned, 4)
1. Op-Ed: Breaking the cycle of mental health crisis and police violence (The Oregonian, April 21, 2021), Patrick Nolen, Javonnie Shearn
2. Homeless camps on sidewalks brings up concerns for disabled (KATU News, March 11, 2021)
3. Editorial: Oregon must clean up own vaccine messes (The Oregonian, January 17, 2021)
4. Representative for people with disabilities says OHA is falling short on vaccine accessibility (KPTV News, January 15, 2021)

Mention in op-ed by others (2)
1. Mary Ganapol: Medical Aid in Dying in Arizona (Arizona Daily Star, April 17, 2021)
2. Oregon legislation that will transform justice (Street Roots, April 13, 2021), Shannon Wright

Mentions of DRO by others (5)
1. Psychologist: Why suicide and medical aid in dying are truly different (Connecticut Mirror, March 15, 2021)
2. As a severely disabled person, I know how vital it is that UK law on assisted dying is changed (The Independent, February 4, 2021)
3. Obituary for Elizabeth “Betsy” Arledge (Washington Post, January 10, 2021)
4. Op-Ed, Is Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law affecting disabled COVID-19 patients? (December 25, 2020), Merrill Matthews
5. Urgent for lawmakers to pass End of Life Options Act (Telegram & Gazette, December 3, 2020)
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
10
14
24
0
5
B. Problem areas
0
4
7
6
0
7
0
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
6
3
9
1
0
0
19
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
11
3
0
0
0
3
1
0
0
0
0
0
{Empty}
E. Results achieved for individuals
5
2
2
0
4
1
3
0
1
1
Client's issue is resolved, after client decided to fulfill VR's request for additional documentation.
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
0
0
3
20
1
24
B. Gender
13
11
24
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
0
1
1
0
0
12
1
9
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
2
0
1
0
1
2
2
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
7
0
0
0
2
5
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
24
E. Types of Individuals Served
8
1
15
0
0
0
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
7
1. Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Policy on Microenterprise. The Client Assistance Program (CAP) submitted a number of comments that were incorporated into the final draft of VR's "Microenterprise Technical Assistance Guide." The following comments were incorporated into the final draft: (1) Clarified that "self-employment" may be an aspect of a person's employment goal, even if it is not an employment outcome in and of itself. The previous draft in multiple places had stated, "Self-employment is not an employment goal[.]" (2) Revised the wording around "competitive integrated employment" to correspond with how that phrase is defined in federal regulations (34 CFR 363.5(c)(9)). (3) Removed requirement that the VR participant "solely" owns the business. (4) Removed wording that implied that the VR participant needs to be able to perform the end service of the business. They need to be able to manage those who perform the end service, but they do not necessarily need to be the ones performing the service. (5) Clarified that the VR participant should be able to choose who is part of their support team for the microenterprise process. (6) Removed the requirement that the business must show proof of minimum wage at file closure before long-term job coaching services will be considered. (7) Added wording in some parts that the purpose of the business should be "to achieve a level of economic self-sufficiency consistent with the client's informed choice," instead of requiring that the purpose be "economic self-sufficiency prior to file closure." (8) Added information about the Client Assistance Program and the WIPA "Plan for Work" programs at Disability Rights Oregon. (9) Removed the requirement that a new feasibility analysis must be conducted anytime further VR funding is requested. Revised wording indicates only that a new feasibility study should be "considered." (10) Removed stipulation that VR will not provide additional startup funds beyond what is written in the IPE. (11) Clarified that post-employment services may be included in the IPE. (12) Removed stipulation that VR will not provide further funding for costs associated with a business that has not made a profit within the agreed timelines listed in the IPE. (13) Modified wording that VR will not support "ongoing functions intrinsic to the operations of the business," and replaced with the wording "ongoing day-to-day operations of the business." (14) Clarified "The Client's Role" and "The VRC's Role" in the process. (15) Removed most references that implied a requirement that the business must be "for profit," since it is possible a VR participant's business could benefit from 501(c)(3) status and still be solvent and income-generating.

2. Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Policies on ROIs, Notice of Privacy Rights and Acknowledgment of Client. The Client Assistance Program (CAP) reviewed and analyzed Section III of the VR application form and Form 3029 and recommended that VR continue to use both Section III and Form 3029 in order to ensure that privacy rights are fully conveyed to VR participants at the time of application. VR continues to use both means to convey privacy rights. CAP also reviewed VR's proposed policy on "Using Release of Information (ROI) with Clients" and offered a number of comments that were incorporated into the final policy. Additions to the policy that resulted from CAP's suggestions included (1) a client's right to determine how long their information may be shared; (2) a requirement that ROIs must specify a limited time period generally not to exceed one year; (3) special considerations with respect to mental health records; and (4) references to other provisions under 34 CFR 261.38 that limit the release of certain information.

3. Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Policy on eSignatures. The Client Assistance Program provided comments that VR’s new policy transmittal authorizing electronic signatures policy could be more clear about the scope of documents for which VR will accept electronic signatures. CAP also suggested that VR add to the written policy that signatory's identities may be confirmed verbally and noted in the case file because the written draft did not specify what type of identity verification is required. VR modified the wording of the policy to make it clear that electronic signatures will be accepted for all VR forms, contracts, Authorizations for Payment (AFPs), Releases of Information (ROIs) and other documents, forms and correspondence as necessary. They also clarified that verbal confirmation is sufficient if it is documented in a case note, but that an actual signature must still be obtained within 30 days.

4. COVID-19 Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Policy on High Risk Clients Updates. The Client Assistance Program (CAP) submitted comments with respect to the "Updated Interim policy on Clients identified with high risk health conditions: Placement and Employment during the COVID-19 Pandemic." CAP recommended that they set a specific termination date for the policy, unless the VR Director extends the policy. CAP noted a few citation errors to the Governor's pandemic-related executive orders and recommended that wording be added to the policy to ensure that previously developed employment support plans from other agencies are in alignment with the VR participant's choices. Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services incorporated each of those recommendations.

5. Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) Report Review. The Client Assistance Program (CAP) reviewed the proposed draft of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment in May of 2021 and provided recommendations. The recommendations incorporated into the CSNA final report included: (1) Stronger wording to "track, review, and monitor” progress. (2) Adopted wording that VR should "[i]dentify unserved and underserved individuals with disabilities or special populations that would benefit from expanding successful practices.” (3) Adopted wording that VR should "develop strategies to reduce delays from referral to intake."

6. Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Policy on Provision of Services for Protected Persons with Guardians. VR approached the Client Assistance Program (CAP) for additional guidance with respect to its interactions with individuals who apply for or receive services and who are under guardianship. CAP provided VR management information on best practices when VR is working with a VR participant who is under guardianship.

7. State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) Consumer Satisfaction Survey for FY2021. The Client Assistance Program reviewed the proposed questions for the Vocational Rehabilitation and the State Rehabilitation Council Consumer Satisfaction Survey and offered some suggestions that were incorporated into the survey questions. The Community Satisfaction Survey was distributed in December 2020 and January 2021. Responses were received, and the survey was successfully completed.
B. Litigation
0
0
0
0
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Disability Rights Oregon
No
N/A
B. Staff Employed
Professional:
Full-time: 49%
Part-time: 0%
Vacant: 0

Administrative:
Full-time: 14%
Part-time: 0

Total: 63%
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
Case Example 1. Constituent, whose primary disability is Anxiety Disorder, contacted the Client Assistance Program (CAP), because Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services (OVRS) found her ineligible for services. OVRS had determined that the applicant did not meet the eligibility criteria, because the person did not need assistance or did not have a substantial barrier to employment. The constituent’s mental health therapist strongly supported her application for vocational rehabilitation services, but claimed the VR counselor who handled the intake process disregarded her input. The Client Assistance Program intervened on the applicant’s behalf and objected to OVRS’s determination of ineligibility. OVRS agreed to re-open the case file to reevaluate the individual’s eligibility based on additional evidence provided by the constituent’s therapist. CAP coordinated with the applicant’s therapist to provide more specific information related to the individual’s disability-related barriers to employment. After reviewing the additional records provided, OVRS determined the constituent eligible for services. CAP then requested that the individual’s case file be transferred to a different branch and VR counselor, because the individual did not think she could have a productive relationship given communication problems between her and the VR counselor to whom she originally had been assigned, and because a different branch office had become more convenient for her to access geographically. Constituent is eligible and currently receiving VR services from a different counselor at her newly assigned branch.

Case Example 2. A VR participant with a mental illness contacted the Client Assistance Program after his VR counselor closed his case file unexpectedly. The file closure letter asserted that the constituent did not respond to a letter sent about participation in the vocational rehabilitation process. The letter also indicated that, if he decided to reapply for VR services, it would be required that he get his medical and mental status updated through further assessments. The constituent indicated that he did not receive the previous letter in a timely manner, because it was sent to an old address. He did not agree that additional psychological evaluation was necessary to continue services with OVRS. At the time that his counselor closed his file, he still had not obtained a number of goods and services that he had sought from OVRS, including hearing aids, eyeglasses, and job training. The Client Assistance Program contacted the branch manager and objected to the file closure. We argued that federal regulations require that OVRS should use existing information as a primary source of information to the maximum extent possible and appropriate. We also requested reassignment to a different counselor. As a result of CAP advocacy, OVRS reversed its decision to close the file and assigned him to a different counselor with greater experience serving clients with mental illness. We coordinated with the new counselor to ensure that the OVRS explored the goods and services that the individual had requested. He received his hearing aids, and the next steps for obtaining eyeglasses were arranged. His new counselor did not require additional mental health assessments, as part of annually updating his Individualized Plan for Employment. The counselor also agreed to explore possible certifications and training that would benefit the client in obtaining a successful employment outcome. All issues appeared resolved in the VR participant’s favor, and he continued to engage with services.

Case Example 3. An individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder who is a beneficiary of Social Security contacted the Client Assistance Program, because Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services (OVRS) found her ineligible for services. The letter denying her services stated simply that the client does “not have a disability that results in substantial barriers to employment and does not need vocational rehabilitation services to obtain employment.” Subsequently, the constituent obtained an additional independent evaluation confirming a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. The Client Assistance Program objected on behalf of the individual for several reasons. We argued that federal regulations state that Social Security recipients are presumed eligible for vocational rehabilitation services. We also argued that OVRS should reconsider its decision in light of the additional evidence confirming her disability diagnosis. OVRS agreed to process her application again and ultimately determined her eligible for services. Constituent is eligible and currently receiving VR services.
Certification
Approved
Jake Cornett
Executive Director
2021-10-27
OMB Notice

OMB Control Number: 1820-0528, approved for use through 07/31/2023

According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 16 hours per response, including time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. The obligation to respond to this collection is required to obtain or retain a benefit (Section 13 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended). Send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20202-4537 or email ICDocketMgr@ed.gov and reference the OMB Control Number 1820-0528. Note: Please do not return the completed form to this address.