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RSA-227 for FY-2021: Submission #1183

Alaska
09/30/2021
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Alaska State Department of Education & Early Dev.
801 West 10th Street, Suite 200
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Juneau
Alaska
99801
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Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Disability Law Center of Alaska
3330 Arctic Blvd. #103
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Anchorage
99503
Alaska
akpa@dlcak.org
https://www.dlcak.org/
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1 - 800 - 478 - 1234
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Additional Information
David Fleurant
David Fleurant
907 - 565 - 1002
dfleurant@dlcak.org
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
10
0
1
0
1
6
18
B. Training Activities
9
550
Meet-and-Greet with Administrator at Providence Hospital
The Alaska P&A met with an administrator at Providence Hospital who connects patients with community resources and facilitates their transition back into their community. Providence Hospital in Anchorage serves the whole state and is the largest hospital in Alaska by revenue and number of beds (400 beds). We informed the administrator about our agency, the CAP program, and what assistance is available to patients having difficulties in their return-to-work efforts.

Anchorage Regional Behavioral Health Coalition (ARBHC)
The Alaska P&A was invited by staff at the Department of Health & Social Services of Alaska to present on our agency, the P&A programs, and our services. We provided handouts and PowerPoint slides to the 27 attendees from a wide array of invested organizations, from State entities to non-profits, and tribal organizations. The purpose was to provide education on what the P&A programs can and cannot provide. This was to address a concern among attendees who raised the issue of how difficult it is for individuals with disabilities to file Social Security disability applications as well as have them approved.

ASAGA Info Webinar
We were invited by Alaska State Association for Guardianship and Advocacy (ASAGA) to participate in one of their series of webinars. The point of the series was to give an overview of the agencies in the disability advocacy field, what they do, and how to contact them. There were 20 attendees, largely guardians of people who have been found to lack capacity by a court, although there was at least one court visitor present. We also saw an opportunity to advocate for our view on guardianship and our involvement with Supported-Decision Making Agreements (SDMA). By training guardians about SDMAs and alternatives to guardianship, the P&A hoped to help guardians be better representatives and instill a spirit of autonomy among the people they represent.

State Employment of People with Most Significant Disabilities
During the National Disability Rights Network’s (NDRN) annual conference our staff presented Alaska’s approach to the employment of people with disabilities in state government. The session was attended by 105 disability advocates and attorneys from around the nation. The aim was to discuss hiring practices that allow and promote employment of people with disabilities in state government, review and assess said hiring practices, and encourage and advocate for effective hiring practices to eliminate competitive applications and provide proper accommodations as needed. We presented what works in Alaska and improvements and how the attendees’ state can also have a functional provisional hire program to assist people with disabilities to obtain gainful employment within their state government.

FASD Awareness Training
We were asked to participate in the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and the National Disability Rights Network’s (NDRN) video for all disability rights attorneys throughout the United States to inform about FAS. We provided a 5-to-7-minute video, that has been viewed 187 times about how we work to assist individuals who have FAS and legal issues or barriers to obtaining employment and why it’s important to get training in this area.

Alaska Advocacy and Leadership Opportunities Guide Virtual Discussion
The Governor’s Council was hosting a virtual discussion panel on the Alaska Advocacy and Leadership Opportunities guide and we were invited to participate as panelists. We provided a brief description of our organization, its purpose, and how individuals with disabilities and their supports can get involved in our Board. The attendees included 11 people with disabilities, two parents/guardians, four service providers, and 11 others who either did not identify themselves, or identified as the category "other." Participants were mostly 40 years of age and older, with some in their 60s, 70s, and 80s.
C. Agency Outreach
Anchorage Reentry Coalition
The Alaska P&A was invited by the Anchorage Reentry Coalition to disseminate information regarding CAP at one of their meetings. The Anchorage Reentry Coalition is a diverse group of individuals that are engaged in prisoner reentry and recidivism reduction efforts in Anchorage and Alaska. Participants included 15- 20 staff of the Department of Corrections, halfway houses, homeless shelters, and non-profits.

Reducing Recidivism & Reentry Conference
During FY21, staff represented the Alaska P&A at 2021 Reducing Recidivism and Reentry Conference. The event had 187 attendees varying from social workers, case managers, DVR & TVR councilors, Department of Corrections (DOC) staff, behavioral health clinicians, and peer support staff. The aim was to learn about best practice principles along with highlighting interventions and support strategies that will strengthen and expand Alaska's reentry services. We participated to provide information on the P&A's purpose and the return to work effort through CAP as well as to educate our staff to better serve often underserved inmates reentering their community out of DOC and juvenile justice system.

TVR Directors' Meeting
We attended a TVR Directors' meeting aimed to share information about the CAP program, strengthen our relationship with TVR, and expand our CAP network. We will work with TVR managers to provide training depending on the need in their area. There were seven TVR managers in attendance, as well as a staff member from Social Security Administration.
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
1
0
1
1642
2
0
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E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
The agency has been featured in the media on at least five occasions in connection to cases/projects we were undertaking. We have also been listed as resources on the Alaska Public Radio's website in connection with disability-related stories they have run. We are also actively collaborating on informational videos on the COVID-19 vaccine and our YouTube page has been getting a lot of traffic.
Furthermore, multiple service providers in Alaska use their website to provide information about CAPand the services of the P&A. Many of the providers link to our website for quick access for their clients. These service providers include Statewide Independent Living Council of Alaska (SILC) https://www.alaskasilc.org/cap, Department of VocationalRehabilitation (DVR) http://labor.alaska.gov/dvr/, Access Alaska (an independent living Center) http://accessalaska.org/services/advocacy/.
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
1
13
14
2
3
B. Problem areas
0
10
2
2
0
0
1
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
12
0
0
0
0
0
12
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
3
1
0
0
0
6
0
0
2
0
0
0
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E. Results achieved for individuals
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
2
0
7
Other Results

No known results due to the client not being responsive/cooperative with CAP = 2
No known results due to the client withdrawing complain/declining further CAP assistance = 5
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
1
2
2
9
0
14
B. Gender
7
7
14
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
1
4
0
2
0
6
1
0
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
3
4
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
14
E. Types of Individuals Served
13
0
1
1
1
0
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
0
N/A
B. Litigation
0
0
0
N/A
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
State Department of Education and Early Development
Yes
Disability Law Center of Alaska
B. Staff Employed
The Alaska CAP utilizes several attorneys and non-attorney advocates in two offices in the state to achieve statewide coverage. The P&A’s staffing arrangement provides for 1.0 full-time equivalent employees, with 9 employees in Anchorage (0.97 FTE), and 1 employee in Juneau (.03 FTE). The advocate in Juneau responds to I&R requests, provides individual advocacy assistance, and conducts outreach in their community. In the Anchorage office, an Intake Specialist takes the initial call, obtains information and/or paperwork, and passes the matter on to the CAP advocates for assessment. Individuals seeking CAP services can do so by contacting any of the two offices or submitting an email request. The Anchorage office also maintains a statewide toll-free 800 number for individuals outside of the hub communities.
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
The Alaska P&A was contacted by a 43-year-old with various mental health diagnoses because he wanted better communications between his DVR counselor and himself. He was concerned he was not being heard by the counselor and that they were not actually helping him obtain the training needed to help him maintain employment. He did not want to have the P&A involved however asked for advice. We provided him with information on how to request a meeting with the regional manager and how to discuss his concerns. It is important for us that we follow our clients' lead and support them as self-advocates.

We were also contacted by a 55-year-old woman who had difficulty hearing. She was having communications problems with her current vocational counselor and wanted to change to a new counselor. The Alaska P&A assisted the woman by gathering documentation from her and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) to assess her case and our advocate encouraged the client to continue with her appeal to the Deputy Chief of services at DVR with her case issue. We decided to accept her case and to advocate for the trial work experiences (TWE) to start and to keep her case open and provide trial work experiences in a variety of realistic integrated employment settings. We advocated for the woman with the Deputy Chief and they approved the client’s appeal to change her DVR counselor and the trial work experiences will start once the new counselor has been assigned.

In a third case, a 31-year-old with schizophrenia, PTSD, and an intellectual disability wanted our help with getting his DVR case closed so he could obtain supported employment waiver services and DVR would not close his file. The Alaska P&A started assisting this client by obtaining documentation from DVR, his care coordinator, and the employment specialist at Community Connections (a mental health service provider). He wanted to start his own power washing business and already had the equipment from funding through a micro-enterprise grant. He also had a business plan developed with the assistance of the Alaska Small Business Development Center. DVR was concerned that he would not be able to perform the tasks of this business and that the small population where he wanted to open his business, which was 1,189 people as of 2019 would not sustain his business long-term. He also did not have his driver’s license at the time and the DVR counselor was not familiar with how the supported employment waiver services worked if he went into his own business. After a discussion with the staff member at Community Connections and the client, the advocate was convinced the man had enough training, support from staff and his family to perform and run the business. The obstacles DVR had brought up were being addressed such as the driver’s license and any gaps in employment specialist services. Our advocate brought this information to the DVR counselor’s attention as well as the regional DVR manager's. Thanks to our advocate, the client and DVR are on the same page again. The client will be able to go ahead and continue his waiver services and add his business plan to his supported employment waiver services to submit to the state.

The Alaska P&A also assisted a 48-year-old woman with multiple mental health diagnoses because of communication problems between the individual and their Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation (TVR) counselor. The Alaska P&A assisted by obtaining documents from TVR. She was informed that she could also work with DVR as well as TVR. The client was appreciative of the time and information provided on DVR services and eligibility. She has opened a case with DVR, working with a counselor and everything is going well and has let the P&A know that at this time she no longer needs the P&A assistance.
Certification
Approved
David C. Fleurant
Executive Director
2021-12-16
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