U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

RSA-227 for FY-2021: Submission #1173

Louisiana
09/30/2021
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Advocacy Center d.b.a. Disability Rights Louisiana (DRLA)
8325 Oak St
{Empty}
New Orleans
LA
70118-2043
{Empty}
(800) 960-7705
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
Additional Information
Debra Weinberg
Debra Weinberg
(504) 522-2337, Ext. 128
dweinberg@disabilityrightsla.org
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
22
0
0
0
0
7
29
B. Training Activities
3
59
During FY 2021, despite limitations in training opportunities due to COVID-19, CAP staff
completed three (3) separate trainings on topics related to CAP and transition services.
On July 27, 2021, Community Advocacy Director, Debra Weinberg, and CAP Program
Manager, Glyn Butler, presented “Transition: Preparing for Life after High School” to the
Louisiana Governor’s Office for Disability Affairs annual conference. This presentation outlined
transition services under the IDEA and WIOA, with an emphasis on Pre-ETS and vocational
rehabilitation services. This conference was held virtually due to COVID-19. For this
presentation, 95 people attended on Zoom and 81 people attended on YouTube. The audience
consisted of members of members of the governor’s office, vocational rehabilitation
professionals, educational system staff members, providers, and disability advocates.
On February 25th, 2021, CAP Program Manager, Glyn Butler, presented “Transition Planning:
Bridging the Gap from School to Adult Living” through Families Helping Families Region 7.
This virtual presentation informed transitioning students how to access the Client Assistance
Program (CAP) through Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) for their employment and
transitioning needs. The audience consisted of community members and disability advocates.
On October 30, 2020, CAP Program Manager, Glyn Butler, presented, “Transition: Preparing
For Life After High School.” This virtual presentation, hosted by Families Helping Families
Region 7 and Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council, discussed available transition
services, with an emphasis on Pre-ETS and vocational rehabilitation services. The audience
consisted of community members and disability advocates.
C. Agency Outreach
Advocacy Center of Louisiana, doing business as Disability Rights Louisiana (DRLA) and CAP
strives to serve previously un-served or underserved communities, including minority groups.
DRLA reaches out to people with disabilities via its website, email blasts, social media, mail,
virtual outreach and training, and in-person at outreach and training events throughout Louisiana.
DRLA distributes information about its programs and services in rural areas and areas with high
concentrations of racial and ethnic minority populations. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has
made it very difficult to conduct in-person outreaches since March 2020. Due to the pandemic,
all previously scheduled outreaches were conducted virtually, canceled, or postponed until 2022.
DRLA provides a variety of informational flyers and publications at a grade level that all persons
can read and understand. The informational flyers and publications are available in alternative
formats, including Spanish, Vietnamese, large-print, braille, etc. All content is posted on the
website which, via the ReciteMe© accessibility barr available for easy translation and adaptation
for disability-related needs (including read-aloud, contrast change, stimuli reduction, and
magnification). Outreach to minority groups is accomplished through participation or
membership on the following committees: Louisiana Rehabilitation Council (LRC), LSU Human

Development Center Consumer Advisory Committee, Louisiana Association of People
Supporting Employment First Committee, and the Governor's Office of Disability Affairs
(GODA). Further, DRLA collaborates with the following organizations: Louisiana Rehabilitation
Services (LRS)), the Parent Training and Information Center, and Families Helping Families.
DRLA continues to make a concerted effort to conduct outreaches to address employment needs
of formerly incarcerated persons with disabilities and collaborates often with the agency’s
Financial Access Inclusion Resources (FAIR) Program... DRLA continues to be actively involved
with the Behavioral Health Council Criminal Justice Work Group, the Louisiana APSE Board,
the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance, the Step Up Louisiana’s Fair Chance Employment
Committee, the National Association of Benefits and Work Incentives Counselors, and the
Louisiana Stop Solitary Coalition. DRLA also provided outreach and obtained direct clients
through its direct client participation on the Probation and Parole Triage Team
and the New Orleans Reentry Task Force.

While no distinct policy was changed, LA CAP kept the focus of the Louisiana Rehabilitation Counsel on transition issues and ensured that policies regarding transition were discussed at each meeting and that repeated contacts werre made by LRS to school distrcits. Unfortunately, to our understanding, there was not an increase in LRS school involvement and no new cooperative agreements with school districts were made. In light of COVID-19 and the hurricanes on 2020 and 2021, efforts to push school districts on non-disaster related topics have been more difficult, as most school district efforts have been focused on hurricane and COVID-19 disaster recovery.

To “push” LRS on continued outreach to schools, LA CAP presented at each Louisiana Rehabilitation Counsel meeting on reported transition issues and discussed the deficient practices at length with the director of LRS. LA CAP also highlighted the requirements, and thus LRS’s deficiencies, at a statewide Governor’s office conference, empowering the over 170 viewers including those from state government, advocacy organizations, and schools with the knowledge to challenge the lack of LRS services in schools.
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
0
0
0
5464
Other is the number of hits on DRLA's social media reach.
Instagram: 375
Twitter: 959
Facebook: 4,130
Total: 5,464
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
N/A
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
50
33
83
0
34
B. Problem areas
20
7
32
4
0
16
0
2
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
49
0
0
0
0
0
49
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
12
15
0
0
0
4
0
0
18
0
0
0
{Empty}
E. Results achieved for individuals
31
0
1
0
6
9
2
0
0
0
{Empty}
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
2
11
17
52
1
83
B. Gender
32
51
83
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
1
0
0
37
0
38
3
4
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
4
4
1
2
1
2
2
0
8
8
1
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
8
8
0
0
12
2
6
0
2
0
4
0
0
2
0
83
E. Types of Individuals Served
10
0
70
0
2
1
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
1
CAP worked with Louisiana Rehabilitation Services in an effort to get all Louisiana public and public charter schools to allow transition services to be provided by LRS or through a third-party agreement. CAP is a part of the LRC’s Transition Committee which is working on the Gateway Program Project in which the Committee members will reach out to the parents of transition-age students to find out their experiences with their school districts and LRS or if they know what transition services are. CAPs efforts pushed LRS to continue this outreach to schools. Also, CAP provided 3 trainings on transition services, educating not only consumers but educational professionals and state agencies on transition requirements.
B. Litigation
1
0
1
CAP was contacted by a client regarding LRS denying him access to a pilot’s license due to the lack of aviation jobs in his local area. Not only did DRLA represent him in a FAIR hearing where he prevailed in showing that LRS was incorrectly limiting job opportunities through a misreading of the policies regarding the availability of employment in a particular field. DRLS is using this to highlight the actual policies regarding available vocations, and to work to eliminate the use of arbitrary restrictions
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Disability Rights Louisiana (formerly the Advocacy Center)
No
N/A
B. Staff Employed
Disability Rights Louisiana (DRLA), formerly The Advocacy Center of Louisiana, organizes its professional staff by teams related to each priority and goal within the agency's annual plan. Collaboration between teams is encouraged, and team members specialize in areas of law and advocacy across multiple programs. With the exception of the CAP Client Advocate, no staff members are assigned solely to the CAP Program. Instead, of the full time professional staff, each person spends a percentage of his/her time serving CAP clients. Each group's individual representation services parallel one of the CAP program's priorities and goals, already described in this report.

Time calculations are based on actual time reported on a bi-weekly basis. Administrative and support staff's time are allocated across all programs in a pro-rata share of total agency staff hours worked. Disability Rights Louisiana's CAP Program falls within the agency's Community Advocacy Team. This team includes the Director of Community Advocacy at 9.36% or 0.09 FTE, the CAP Program Director at 67.48% or 0.67 FTE and the CAP Client Advocate at 100.00% or 1.00 FTE. The remaining percentages equal less than 5% and include an Intake Specialist handling calls related to the CAP Program at 1.95% or 0.02 FTE and two (2) Staff Attorneys who are consulted regarding legal-related issues within the CAP Program at 0.32%. Also, a Program Director at 0.57% and a Case Manager at 1.06%, both of whom are familiar with the CAP Program and equal 0.01 FTE. Between October 1, 2020 - September 30, 2021, the total FTE equals 1.81.

The administrative and support percentages, which equal less than 5%, include the agency's Executive Director, Executive Assistant, Director of Finance, Assistant Director of Finance, HR Manager, Communications & Outreach Manager, Administrative Assistant and Receptionist.

Following is a chart of CAP staff divided by position, FTE, percentage of the year the position was filled and person-years:

Type of Position Full-Time Equivalent % of Year Position Filled Person-Years
Professional Full-Time 0.7878 100.00% 6
Professional Part-Time 1.0000 100.00% 1
Professional Vacant 0.0000 0.00% 0
Administrative Full-Time 0.0195 100.00% 1
Administrative Part-Time 0.0000 0.00% 0
Administrative Vacant 0.0000 0.00% 0
Grand Total 1.8072 - 8

Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
1. CAP was contacted by an individual employed in state government with significant mobility-related disabilities, impacting his ability to bathe, and thus to attend work. He needed bathroom modifications and LRS approved the needed modifications, but provided him with a budget limited to $5,000. No one could be found to complete the modification for that amount. The CAP advocate spoke with LRS and advocated to get a quote for the work. Once the quote was completed, CAP advocated for an exception to the $5,000 cap, which was granted. As a result, the consumer now has received the full modification and is able to use the modified bathroom so that he can continue at his vocation.
2. The CAP program was contacted by an LRS consumer with physical disabilities that was having trouble getting assistance from LRS to work in the mortgage industry, after failing a licensing exam. The CAP advocate contacted LRS and requested and obtained a new vocational rehabilitation counselor for him. The CAP advocate also advocated for him to be able to retake the licensing exam. As a result of this advocacy, LRS paid for the related costs including a background check, and the client obtained a job as a loan officer.
3. The CAP program was contacted by a college student with learning disabilities. Due to COVID-19, the student was attending remotely and needed additional monetary support from LRS that they were not receiving. The CAO advocate contacted the LRS case manager and regional office regarding the need for them to cover a computer and expenses such as internet, since the student was attending school remotely. With a clarification of policies by the CAP advocate, LRS agreed to a new IPE and to reimburse the student for his computer and, with receipts, reimburse certain living expenses up to the amounts agreed upon in the IPE.

Certification
Approved
Ron Lospennato
Executive Director
2021-12-28
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.