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RSA-227 for FY-2021: Submission #1179

West Virginia
09/30/2021
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
West Virginia Advocates, Inc dba Disability Rights of WV
1207 Quarrier St, Ste 400
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Charleston
West Virginia
25301
https://www.drofwv.org/
304-346-0847
800-950-5250
800-950-5250
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
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Additional Information
Russell S Cook, Legal Director
Jodi Calissie, Data Report Specialist
304-346-0847 ext 67
Jcalissie@drofwv.org
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
25
2
0
33
0
3
63
B. Training Activities
1
7
DRWV provided employment rights training to participants of the WV University Center for Excellence in Disabilities (WVUCED) Country Roads program. Since the goal of the participants is future employment, DRWV was invited to present this training to help them understand their rights as job seekers and employees. This training included an outreach about all of our programs as well. This program is described on the WVUCED’s website as follows: “The goal of the program is to prepare students with disabilities for independence by providing academic courses, social engagement and real-world work experiences. Students will live in a shared residential housing arrangement, participate in social activities across campus and receive career education and training.”

Although CAP was included in several outreach presentations (see the complete list in Section I.C below), none of the training that was done in conjunction with them was funded by CAP.
C. Agency Outreach
In all of the outreach events described in this report, we hope to reach individuals that we have not yet served as well as people from diverse ethnic and minority communities. DRWV continues to look for ways to reach out to minority populations including the outreach efforts described throughout this report.

Events where DRWV staff provided CAP outreach and/or training presentations between October 1, 2020, and September 30, 2021, included:
•Berkeley County virtual Fair Housing Webinar for landlords and property managers
•Concord University's Criminology Course (recording for future use as well)
•Highland Clarksburg Hospital
•Lewis County Schools virtual fair
•Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center
•TBI Waiver Providers Meeting Self Advocacy presentation
•Telamon Landlord Workshop and Virtual Disabilities Rights Workshop
•United Summit Center Service Coordinators
•Wood County Rotary
•WV Birth to Three Lunch & Learn
•WV Coalition to End Homelessness/SOAR
•WV Elder Abuse Awareness Day-DRWV is also a sponsor
•WV Reentry Councils (X5)
•WV Secretary of State Conference
•WVUCED Community of Practice: Transition to Employment
•WVUCED Dress for Success: Career Workshops
•WVUCED TBI Program
•WVU Hospitals Ground Rounds: Pediatrics department
•WVU Law School Intern presentation

We did not have the opportunity to set up our outreach display for many events in FY 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions. We did however seek out as many opportunities to provide virtual presentations as possible.

An Advocate was hired for the CAP Program early in FY 2021. Her first goal was to reach out to as many community groups and agencies as possible, including children’s residential facilities, to especially target those who serve transition-age youth with disabilities. In her short time here, she reached out to Family Resource Networks (FRN) in thirteen counties. The West Virginia FRNs describe themselves as: “Organizations that respond to the needs and opportunities of the community. Partnering with community members and public and private organizations, the WVFRN members develop innovative projects and provide needed resources for their local areas.” The FRNs are heavily involved in their local communities and would have the opportunity to reach transition-age students on a regular basis. The Advocate asked that DRWV be included in the guides that each of the FRNs publish regularly. The FRNs and communities they server are hopefully now fully aware of the services we offer.

Through our monitoring of facilities who serve children, we learned that transition-age students in both private and state-run sites are not getting access to WV Division of Rehabilitation Services (WVDRS) or any other transition-focused services. We began to communicate with the facilities and WVDRS to educate them on the requirement to offer transition planning to these students. The CAP Advocate had begun to reach out to several of the facilities during her time here, sending a questionnaire about their populations and contact with WVDRS. We also planned an outreach effort to these facilities in the coming year.
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
1
640
0
12052
According to DRWV’s latest Facebook page statistics, we had 2,255 followers and 2,073 likes at the end of FY 2021 and reached over 11,000 people with our posts. People and agencies who like our page are viewing and sharing things we post on a regular basis. Additionally, our Twitter feed has 294 followers. We shared numerous employment-related posts throughout the year, and even more during National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in October. We often include information about upcoming events and trainings available to people with disabilities. Our website is also used for sharing information and resources. We created a new website that became active in February 2021. It contains built-in accessibility features, including a language translation option. We had approximately 21,000 hits on our website in FY 2021 reaching 6,000 individuals.

DRWV publishes a monthly newsletter that is sent out via our e-mail list as well as shared on our website, Twitter feed. and Facebook page. The October 2020 edition was about employment in honor of NDEAM. The April 2021 edition was also focused on the employment of people with disabilities, and particularly on reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Our e-mail subscriber list currently includes 678 people. The newsletters can be found at: https://www.drofwv.org/drwv-newsletters.

In addition to the total publications in Part 1.D.4 of this report, DRWV distributed over 80 other outreach items. DRWV also distributed brochures for the three Centers for Independent Living through Information and Referrals.

DRWV worked with NDRN and Good Point Creative to develop two videos. One was about receiving vocational services while in school or working. The video can be found on our YouTube channel at: https://youtu.be/6tJXwlkggJE. The other video was about Centers for Independent Living and can be found at: https://youtu.be/_-H3rP-e7JQ
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
DRWV is a member of the Fair Shake Network (FSN). The FSN is a grassroots organization of people with disabilities and other interested parties who are concerned with systems change to ensure people with disabilities get a "fair shake". The activities of the organization include education on disability issues and legislative activities. Senate Resolution 20 designated March 17, 2021, as Disability Advocacy Day at the Legislature. DRWV is involved with the FSN each year as they host this event, and we are named in the resolution. The FSN circulates a quarterly e-newsletter. DRWV is listed as an “Organizational Partner” in each edition. In addition, the FSN regularly sends e-mail updates about various disability related issues. Any events or announcements shared with the FSN by DRWV are posted in these updates.

DRWV collaborates with the West Virginia Assistive Technology System (WVATS) to include articles designed by DRWV staff in their newsletters. Each article includes our contact information along with the topic that we choose. The e-mail list includes 305 people and their Facebook page has 574 followers.
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
0
2
2
0
0
B. Problem areas
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
1
0
1
0
0
0
2
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
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E. Results achieved for individuals
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
The client and grandparent will go over all of the information and resources that they were provided and call back if they need further assistance.
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
0
1
0
0
1
2
B. Gender
1
1
2
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
E. Types of Individuals Served
1
0
1
0
0
0
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
1
As a result of DRWV’s collaboration with the WV Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC), House Bill 2290 was passed, and the WV Employment First Taskforce was created in July 2021. DRWV is a required member of this Taskforce, and our Executive Director participates in meetings as well as the Strengths and Weaknesses sub-committee. The Taskforce is charged with developing and implementing a statewide Employment First Plan.

During FY 2021, DRWV continued to participate in the WV Statewide Rehabilitation Council (SRC). DRWV is also on the Statewide Needs Assessment Committee and the Policy Committee. DRWV continued to advocate for an increase in the WVDRS services to children in non-traditional educational settings. DRWV also advocated for services to all clients continue to be provided throughout the pandemic and assisted with outreach to transition age youth via virtual options.

DRWV continues to participate in the WV Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) meetings and attended three meetings in FY 2021. DRWV participates in the meetings to keep informed and updated on the status of independent living services in WV. This allows DRWV to maintain current information to provide to our Board, clients, and staff as needed when issues arise that are pertinent to these services.

DRWV staff continue to monitor National Disability Rights Network’s (NDRN) CAP Advocacy and Employment-Return to Work discussion forums and share pertinent information and resources with other agency staff. Staff also read the NDRN Training and Advocacy Support Center (TASC) newsletters, which often contain information, training opportunities and resources related to CAP. NDRN’s Amy Scherer continues to be consulted for technical assistance about our CAP work.

All Advocates who provide advocacy to 300+ individuals with developmental disabilities through a state grant have been trained to recognize CAP issues when they arise with the individuals they serve. Service Requests can be opened when issues arise.

During the summer of FY 2021, DRWV was again able to obtain two legal interns from the West Virginia University (WVU) College of Law. These interns learned about all of the Protection and Advocacy Programs, including CAP.
B. Litigation
0
0
0
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Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
West Virginia Advocates, Inc dba Disability Rights of WV
No
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B. Staff Employed
Type of Position Full-time equivalent % of year position filled Person-years
Professional
Full-time 0.40 100% 11.00
Part-time 1.06 51.5% 5.67
Vacant N/A N/A N/A

Clerical
Full-time 0.03 100% 1.00
Part-time 0.00 0.00% 0.00
Vacant N/A N/A N/A
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
The client requested information about any or all job training or employment services he may be eligible to receive. The client and his grandmother were given information and guidance about the local WorkForce WV office, local WVDRS office, and additional information on Ticket to Work, and services DRWV can provide.

The client requested assistance with a conflict she has with her WVDRS counselor. DRWV reviewed the clients WVDRS records and Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). DRWV met with the client, her WVDRS Counselor and the supervisor. WVDRS agreed to provide payment for physical therapy services as identified in her previous IPE. A new IPE was developed that serves her current needs.

At the very end of FY 2021, DRWV encountered a potential issue of concern while conducting monitoring at a transitional living facility for individuals involved in the forensic system. The staff expressed concern about a resident previously being denied services from the WVDRS. The reason given for the denial was that he was in custody of the state of WV at the time. Due to this denial, the facility stopped referring residents to apply for services from the WVDRS. DRWV plans to return to the facility in FY 2022 to train staff and residents, as well as complete intakes for those interested in receiving services from the WVDRS.
Certification
Approved
Susan Given
Executive Director
2021-11-12
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