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RSA-227 for FY-2021: Submission #1175

Ohio
09/30/2021
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Disability Rights Ohio
200 Civic Center Dr
Suite 300
Columbus
Ohio
43215
614-466-7264
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Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
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Additional Information
Alison McKay
Lyndsey Brown
614-466-7264
lbrown@disabilityrightsohio.org
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
0
0
0
1
2
3
6
B. Training Activities
11
1271
1. (500 individuals reached) – DRO provided a virtual training for ARC of Ohio parents on special education during a pandemic.
2. (25 individuals reached) – DRO trained pediatric hospital staff on special education advocacy and COVID-19 issues affecting students with disabilities.
3. (500 individuals reached) – DRO provided a video training module for CASA training curriculum on special education advocacy.
4. (16 individuals reached) – DRO gave a presentation to staff and teachers for a local school district on guardianship topics for transition youth.
5. (50 individuals reached) – DRO provided a virtual training to families for The Center for Disability Empowerment on special education with an emphasis on issues during the pandemic.
6. (100 individuals reached) – DRO Executive Director presented at the NFB Ohio Statewide virtual convention, providing information on DRO, DRO’s FY 21 priorities, and COVID-19 issues including access to AT and VR services.
7. (35 individuals reached) – DRO Board Member and Executive Director provided information about DRO, the P&A, and the CAP programs to university graduate students who will work as counselors and service providers in the disability service system.
8. (15 individuals reached) – DRO staff participated in a panel presentation to provide information on DRO and disability rights to Masters-level genetic counseling students in at Ohio State University.
9. (15 individuals reached) – DRO presented on a panel to Ohio State medical students, providing information about both the P&A and CAP, and advocacy for people with disabilities.
10. (5 individuals reached) – In collaboration with People First of Ohio and the Arc of Ohio, DRO virtually presented to a group of future women leaders about disability rights advocacy.
11. (10 individuals reached) – DRO presented to the Athens City Commission during their monthly Disabilities Advocacy Committee meeting on DRO and the rights on people with disabilities.
C. Agency Outreach
1. (20 individuals reached) – DRO provided a “resource table” during a virtual resource fair for people with disabilities.
2. (8 individuals reached) – DRO provided information and insight on how the intake process works at DRO for Disability Rights North Carolina.
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
1
0
1
850
5
0
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E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
DRO spoke with WSYX-TV on a story about education access throughout the pandemic: https://abc6onyourside.com/news/local/parents-fear-year-out-classroom-leave-kids-behind-8-19-2021.
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
56
203
259
7
19
B. Problem areas
11
8
17
3
1
10
0
2
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
240
4
1
1
1
0
247
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
123
106
1
0
3
0
1
1
8
1
0
1
Duplicate SR, it was closed.
E. Results achieved for individuals
183
1
2
0
7
5
1
41
6
1
1. Duplicate SR - Closed
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
10
24
92
126
7
259
B. Gender
149
110
259
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
4
0
0
33
0
165
1
56
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
2
7
0
3
1
2
23
9
7
19
0
3
5
6
1
5
0
2
3
10
59
5
1
19
21
18
0
7
0
3
0
2
0
16
259
E. Types of Individuals Served
7
2
219
24
5
3
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
1
DRO submitted public comment to Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities regarding four proposed state administrative rule changes. The proposed rules removed substantial language regarding key components of the VR process, including: eligibility criteria for VR services, trial work experiences, the comprehensive assessment process, and diagnostic services among others. OOD revised each of the rules and made several changes to each rule in line with and in accordance with DRO comments.

For example, OOD proposed the following language to the rule: OOD shall ensure that the vocational rehabilitation services listed in 34 CFR 361.48(b) are available, as OOD determines is appropriate to assist the individual with a disability in preparing for, securing, retaining, advancing in or regaining an employment outcome that is consistent with the individual's unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interest, and informed choice.
The CAP commented that the language (as OOD determined is appropriate) was inconsistent with federal law and OOD should remove it. OOD removed it.

Additionally, OOD removed language regarding the eligibility criteria, trial work, and information/notice to be provided upon ineligibility determinations. We commented that OOD should either include language consistent with federal law or make the federal regulations readily accessible and understandable to individuals so they can exercise informed choice. OOD agreed to add back in the core eligibility standards and cross-reference the ineligibility determination procedures required by 34 CFR 361.43.

Finally, OOD substantially revised its rule regarding “training” services, and added specific definitions for types of training offered. The CAP commented that “training” under federal law is broader than the types of training outlined in the rule and requested OOD revise in accordance with law. OOD revised the rule to clarify what the rule covered and cross-referenced the federal definition of “training” in the rule.
B. Litigation
1
1
0
In May 2019, DRO filed a civil action in federal court on behalf of a client who had been denied services from Ohio’s vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency. The client requested that the VR agency support and finance his participation in a post-secondary program for students with Autism to enable him to achieve his employment outcome. The VR agency denied the request on the basis that it does not support such types of programs. DRO represented the client in an informal administrative review and fair hearing, and then filed an action in civil court after the VR agency’s actions were upheld by the hearing officer, asserting that the VR agency’s actions violate federal law. The Court denied the state agency’s motion to dismiss, and granted Plaintiff’s motion to admit additional evidence. Subsequently, the Court permitted the parties to engage in additional discovery. The parties are scheduled to brief the issues to the Court in November 2021.
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Ohio Disability Rights Law and Policy Center
No
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B. Staff Employed
CAP FTE % Year Filled Person Years
Professional part time - 0% -
Professional full time 4.1 91% 3.7
Clerical part time 0.1 100% 0.1
Clerical full time 0.2 100% 0.2
Total 4.4 91% 4.0

Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
1. The client contacted DRO because her OOD VRC would not entertain Peer Recovery Support Advocate as a viable job goal. After several months during which the client believed the VRC kept putting barriers up which delayed the development of her IPE as well as other services, the client asked the VRC to close her case. With DRO involvement, the client's case remained open and was transferred to a different counselor. As a result, the new VRC met with the client in November 2020 to develop her IPE. The client signed it, and will graduate with certification to be a Peer Recovery Support Advocate. The client is also having an evaluation completed to determine the need for other services.
2. The client's mother contacted DRO on behalf of her daughter, who has a diagnosis of ID/DD, requesting help for the client to receive funding from Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities so she can attend a state university. DRO provided advice to the parent regarding the client's rights to receive vocational rehabilitation services to attend the university program. The parent reported that the client was working with a vocational rehabilitation counselor to complete evaluations to receive DD services and to participate in the university program to prepare for and obtain gainful employment.
3. Client contacted DRO with a concern that her employer was not providing her a reasonable accommodation and approved, then unapproved, her disability leave. Client eventually quit due to the lack of accommodation. DRO provided the client information on legal and administrative remedies that are available, information on requesting a reasonable accommodation for the future, and referral to a private attorney. The client is more informed about her rights and options.
4. The client contacted DRO because he was fired from work and considered it discriminatory. DRO provided the client with information and resources regarding his right to file a complaint as well as his right to reasonable accommodations. The client reported that he received unemployment compensation, payment for is accrued vacation time, and has found a new job.
Certification
Approved
Kerstin Sjoberg
Executive Director
2021-12-16
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