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RSA-227 for FY-2021: Submission #1177

Virginia
09/30/2021
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
disAbility Law Center of Virginia
1512 Willow Lawn Drive
Suite 100
Richmond
Virginia
23230
http://www.dlcv.org
800-552-3962
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800-552-3962
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Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
disAbility Law Center of Virginia
1512 Willow Lawn Drive
Suite 100
Richmond
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Additional Information
Colleen Miller
Robert Gray
804-225-2042
robert.gray@dlcv.org
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
126
7
0
92
83
132
440
B. Training Activities
21
696
During this fiscal year, the disAbility Law Center of Virginia (dLCV) held four CAP clinics to reach out to individuals with disabilities who are not familiar with dLCV and our CAP program. dLCV provided individual consultations and services to 13 people who overcame issues related to vocational rehabilitation services as a result of our assistance!

dLCV continued our successful podcast series in FY 21 reaching over 4,000 viewers! We developed and released two podcast episodes featuring the Deputy Commissioners for the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) Division of Rehabilitative Services and the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) Deputy Commissioner for Services and Director of Vocational Rehabilitation and Workforce Services. Both episodes demonstrated that students and adults with disabilities can receive vocational rehabilitation services, assistive technology, and independent living supports from DARS, DBVI, and advocacy from dLCV to obtain and maintain employment and independence. The podcast episodes are accessible online at: https://anchor.fm/rightshererightnow/episodes/Interview-with-Dale-Batton--DARS-Deputy-Director-e15nbdo/a-a6ajuuq and https://anchor.fm/rightshererightnow/episodes/Interview-with-the-Department-of-Blind-and-Vision-Impaired-e16chp5 and also on the Anchor, Spotify, Apple Podcast, and Google Podcast apps.

dLCV presented employment rights presentations and CAP information to Dominion Payroll and the Norfolk Commission for people with disabilities (PWD). Attendees engaged in active conversation about dLCV services and how Title 1 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) impacts their work environments and policy. There were 58 people present at the Dominion Payroll presentation and 35 present at the Norfolk Commission presentation.
C. Agency Outreach
dLCV continued membership in the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. We participated in activities and meetings with the Chamber throughout the year. In a virtual roundtable hosted by the Hispanic Chamber, The Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce, and the Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce, dLCV helped 95 business owners understand their obligations and their employees’ rights under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These business owners now have a better understanding of hiring and supporting people with disabilities to achieve successful employment.

dLCV collaborated with La Casa de la Salud, Lay Health Promoters El poder de ser, Mujer Multicultural Educational Center Sacred Heart, Virginia Commonwealth University, Family Life Line, Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center, Virginia Community Health Workers Association, Northstar Academy, 4 Virginia Foundation, Cafecito, Henrico County Public Library, and a Parent Education, Advocacy and Training Center (PEATC) support group to provide training on CAP and dLCV to 250 underserved individuals with disabilities and their family members and information and materials for an additional 2019 individuals.

dLCV collaborated with a mobile home complex and two apartment complexes with a high percentage of minority tenants. dLCV provided educational information by distributing our CAP brochure in both English and Spanish. Due to dLCV efforts and education to the families from these housing complexes, dLCV brochures are now a part of the welcome packets at all 3 locations. Due to dLCV's outreach in these living communities, we were able to reach people from underserved communities that had never heard of us before.

dLCV maintains a cultural competency work group, in which our staff discuss ideas for increased cultural competency and awareness throughout the agency. This year we brought in the Manager of the Richmond Office of Multicultural Affairs for an internal staff training on cultural competency. The Committee also completes an annual evaluation of the effectiveness of our outreach to unserved and underserved communities.

dLCV used our volunteer core of over 50 individuals to attend fairs, conferences and other events to reach many across the Commonwealth as well.

dLCV continues close communication with all state DARS and DBVI offices to ensure their clients understand dLCV and the CAP program.

dLCV continues to complete activities to increase our diversity internally as well such as advertisement of employment and volunteer opportunities in minority markets.

D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
2
0
2
13125
5
0
The disAbility Law Center of Virginia (dLCV) drafted a new Client Assistance Program brochure and sent 6000 copies to all 80 Virginia locations of the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, and Centers for Independent Living. The updated brochure includes information about how dLCV can help people with disabilities who are interested in, applying to, or receiving services from these agencies. Other information provided includes descriptions of and contact information for the state agencies, concerns dLCV may be able to address, and types of services dLCV offers.

dLCV updated all Employment Service Organizations (ESOs) with dLCV's new Client Assistance Program (CAP) brochure. This brochure gives clients and organizations information and details regarding the services available to individuals with disabilities including services that are available separately or in combination with other rehabilitation services. dLCV sent 50 CAP brochures in English and 25 in Spanish to the 95 ESOs throughout Virginia.

dLCV offered an annual public input survey allowing our 204 respondents the opportunity to express which disability advocacy issues they feel are most important. The top three categories selected were: quality mental health care, community access / barrier free, and access to government benefits including Medicaid waivers. 38% of our respondents were individuals with disabilities, who represented our highest number of respondents. Agencies and groups we reached included: past dLCV clients, the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), Virginia Board for People with Disabilities, Arc South of the James, Partnership for People with Disabilities, Department for Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), and dLCV volunteers. dLCV used this information to develop our FY 22 goals and focus areas.

disAbility Law Center of Virginia (dLCV) is pleased to report a 94.2% satisfaction rate from the 34 client satisfaction surveys we received across all grants. This satisfaction rate breaks down as 28 respondents who indicated a high level of satisfaction, 4 were satisfied, and 2 were unsatisfied.
disAbility Law Center of Virginia (dLCV) conducted follow-up interviews with 10% of our closed clients for more in depth feedback on our services. 95% percent of clients interviewed reported that they were satisfied with the results they received from our agency.

dLCV staff attended quarterly meetings for State Rehabilitation Councils for DARS and the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI). dLCV had a voice at the table when discussing Order of Selection (OOS) and vocational support services during the COVID-19 Pandemic. dLCV also received reports from both Commissioners on the state of each agency.

dLCV maintains a website that posts the following: our federal grants’ goals and focus areas, notices for the Board of Directors and dLCV’s Advisory Council meetings, job vacancies, announcements, agency publications, and disability-related links.

dLCV has a Facebook page and Twitter account which include agency information and links to resources.
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
N/A
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
2
67
69
5
3
B. Problem areas
9
7
22
28
0
0
4
2
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
29
1
29
0
1
0
60
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
36
28
1
0
0
4
0
1
1
0
0
0
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E. Results achieved for individuals
41
9
0
0
3
13
2
2
0
0
{Empty}
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
24
10
9
25
1
69
B. Gender
32
37
69
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
11
0
2
17
1
34
1
3
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
0
4
0
0
0
1
14
0
2
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
3
23
0
0
3
6
5
0
0
0
6
0
0
1
0
69
E. Types of Individuals Served
21
1
22
2
21
4
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
0
Through an impact project focusing on PRTFs, we reached all 19 Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTFs) in Virginia. We provided 11 different trainings and educated over 60 individuals about CAP and VR Services. The trainings led to dLCV providing public comment to DARS about how youth at the PRTFs should be receiving services. DLCV staff met with the DARS Deputy Commissioner of and Director of Employment Services and Special Programs who agreed that students at PRTFs should be receiving Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) and stated that they would work to address the barriers that dLCV encountered throughout the project.

dLCV also provided our ‘I Have a Choice, I Have a Voice’ manuals to each of the 19 PRTFs in Virginia, and we got information to over 500 individuals to educate youth with disabilities about services to help them transition into VR services and employment.

As a result of our focus on PRTFs and VR and Pre-ETS services, we are breaking down barriers for youth with disabilities to find a path to employment. We still have work to do in the area, and the project continues in FY 22!
B. Litigation
0
0
0
N/A
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
disAbility Law Center of Virginia
No
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B. Staff Employed
dLCV completes our CAP advocacy primarily within the Resource and Vocational Access Unit. This Unit is comprised of 1 Senior Advocate Unit Manager and 3 Disability Rights Advocates. dLCV has 33 other Advocates, Attorneys, Directors, and Support Staff who provide assistance on the CAP program when needed.
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
I Got a Job

Sam is a client of the Richmond DARS Office. He has mental health and learning disabilities. He received a letter from DARS stating they would close his VR case immediately after he acquired a job. dLCV contacted DARS on his behalf and stated Sam does not want his VR case closed. DARS agreed to provide him with support to make sure his job gets off to a good start with adequate supports. dLCV advocated for DARS and Sam to have a better communication plan moving forward in order for Sam to have what he needs to be successful in his employment. Sam is now confident and successful at his job!

Fulfilling a Dream

Charles has mental health disability and is a DARS client. Charles wants to go to Wilson Workforce Rehabilitation Center (WWRC) to learn a trade. Charles has dreamed of going to WWRC for over thirty years. dLCV advocated with DARS and WWRC admissions staff to update Charles’s medical information and update his application for admission to reflect his current needs and interests. Due to dLCV advocacy, Charles attended WWRC for an evaluation and plans to return soon for training with using computers. Charles is well on his way to getting the training he needs so he can be successful in future employment.

Preparing for the Future

Tara is a teenage resident of a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) for children. She has intellectual and mental health disabilities. Tara is preparing for discharge to return to her community. She is 17 years old and is preparing for her life after high school. She knows her disability could be a barrier to getting a job. Tara and her case manager from Cumberland contacted dLCV to see how Tara can be eligible to receive Pre-ETS from DARS. dLCV connected Tara and her family to DARS and she began meeting with DARS staff before she left the hospital. Once she left the hospital, dLCV assisted Tara to connect with her local DARS resources. DARS assisted Tara to enroll in a class to get her driving learner’s permit. DARS is also providing career interest inventories and other vocational assessments to help her evaluate what type of career she is interested in pursuing.

I Want to be Involved in My Community

Eli has mental health disabilities. He contacted dLCV because he wants to receive services from his local Center for Independent Living (CIL) to find employment and community supports. dLCV worked with Eli to empower him to self-advocate and communicate with the CIL. Due to Eli’s self-advocacy skills, as well as dLCV’s support and advocacy, Eli is now working with the CIL to help him integrate and work in the community.

I Don’t Understand

Roberto has multiple disabilities and is a student in high school. Spanish is his primary language and he does not always understand what services and supports he is entitled to due to his disability. dLCV’s bi-lingual advocate provided education to Roberto regarding Pre-ETS from DARS. dLCV also provided Robert with a copy of our CAP brochure and ‘I Have a Choice, I Have a Voice’ transition manual in Spanish, to prepare students with disabilities and their families for life after high school. Roberto is now accessing services from DARS and making plans for the next phase of his life in his own language and on his own terms.

I Want Services

Sarah has an intellectual disability. Sara wants to work with children in a daycare setting. She is trying to receive adult VR services from her local DARS office. Her VR counselor denied her services. The counselor told her she’s on the Medicaid Waiver waitlist and she can get services through her waiver when she gets off of the waitlist. dLCV informed DARS policy on their obligation to provide an intake. DARS immediately provided a VR intake. Sara is now a client of DARS and is receiving Situational Assessments (SAs) in the area of childcare.

I Want to Take a Drive

Olivia is a DARS client. She has orthopedic disabilities. She needs vehicle modifications for her van. DARS provided her some of her needed modifications, but due to the Pandemic and delays in evaluations, they were unable to complete the modifications to her van. In the meantime, DARS decided she no longer met financial criteria for vehicle modifications and they would not finish what they started. dLCV worked with Olivia and DARS staff to try and negotiate for DARS to provide the vehicle modifications. DARS again denied the request for the modifications. dLCV requested an “Informal Administrative Review” (IAR) by the District Director. The IAR decision found in favor of Olivia and she will get her needed modifications to her van. The modifications will allow for her continued independence while performing her job.

I Don’t Want to Lose my Job

Juan has autism and Spanish is his primary language. Juan is working with DARS and works part-time with a flower shop. Juan contacted dLCV because he was having trouble with his Job Coach and his employer. dLCV worked with Juan, his Mother, DARS and the Job Coach to discuss a communication plan moving forward. Due to dLCV’s assistance of bringing all parties together, the communication issues are addressed and Juan now understands when to contact his Job Coach and how to address his employer.

I Don’t Have that Much Money

Henry is a DARS client. He has several neurological and orthopedic disabilities. He works part-time, but he is still trying to meet his employment goal of being a teacher. He contacted dLCV because DARS said he no longer meets the financial eligibility to receive “cost services” from DARS. dLCV communicated with Henry, his Counselor and the District Director to discuss DARS financial policy. They further discussed how DARS reached their decision that Henry no longer meets financial criteria. dLCV successfully negotiated an arrangement to allow Henry to bring in further financial documentation to show that he does meet financial criteria for “cost services”. As a result, Henry can continue to receive “cost services” from DARS so he can fulfill his dream to one day be a teacher.

Certification
Approved
Colleen Miller
Executive Director
2021-10-22
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