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RSA-227 for FY-2021: Submission #1201

Colorado
09/30/2021
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Center for Legal Advocacy d/b/a Disability Law Colorado
455 Sherman St Ste 130
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Denver
Colorado
80203
303-722-0300
800-288-1376
800-288-1376
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
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Additional Information
Kelly McCullough
Kelly McCullough
303-722-0300
kmccullough@disabilitylawco.org
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
1
0
0
0
3
1
5
B. Training Activities
6
265
• February 10, 2021 –Online Presentation for New DVR Counselor Orientation about CAP/PABSS services. There were 6 new counselors present.
• April 28, 2021 – Online Presentation for Southern Ute VR. There were 4 Southern Ute VR staff present.
• May 11, 2021 – Online Presentation for New DVR Counselor Orientation about CAP/PABSS services. There were 8 new counselors present.
• July 20, 2021-Online Presentation for New DVR Counselor Orientation about CAP/PABSS services. There were 5 new counselors present.
• August 17, 2021-Online Presentation for All DVR Staff about CAP/PABSS services as well as what DLC does generally. There were 245 DVR Counselors and staff present.
• September 3, 2021 – Presentation for city administrators in the City of Brush on Employment and the ADA. There were 5 city administrators present.

We have created a Guidebook on Transition Services describing what services the Department of Education and DVR must provide and when, and giving them tips for self-advocacy and advising them to contact us if these do not work.
C. Agency Outreach
Describe the agency's outreach efforts to previously un-served or underserved individuals including minority communities.
We collaborate with and reach out to the following entities and request referrals of individuals who are unserved/underserved/minorities: the Colorado Department of Education, the Arc of Colorado and the local Arcs throughout the state, the PEAK Parent Training Center, Parent to Parent Colorado, the Colorado Autism Society, the International Dyslexia Association, the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council and the University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service, the Colorado Assistive Technology Project, the Denver Metro Parent Center, the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition and the Office of Employment First.
We provide a large majority of our resource information in English as well as Spanish so consumers in the Hispanic community have access to the same information. We have also increased the amount of Spanish materials on our website to make those materials more accessible to people as well.

In 2008 we published “Guía de la Ley de Educación Especial,” the Spanish/English version of the award-winning publication, “The Everyday Guide to Special Education Law – Third Edition.” This guide also includes information on transition services. The Spanish and English text appear side-by-side so that people can literally be on the same page. One of our goals in publishing Guía de la Ley de Educación Especial was to eliminate the language barrier for Spanish-speaking parents in learning about their child’s educational rights. Efforts are underway to produce the 2nd edition of Guía de la Ley de Educación Especial in FY20.

Our website, which was redesigned in 2015, has a Spanish section and we regularly update resources. In FY19 we were intentional in bringing focus to this effort by recruiting a volunteer, who is a professional Spanish translator, audit the Spanish version of our website, and to bring available content in Spanish current and equitable. We routinely make surveys, fact sheets and educational materials available in both Spanish and English. We have begun a strategic Latino Community Engagement initiative to intentionally focus our quest to provide additional Spanish resources and identify Latino community groups and organizations throughout the state with whom we want to partner.

DLC had a booth at the annual Cesar Chavez Celebration in Grand Junction last July 15th to discuss agency services and that the event was attended by approximately 200 people. This was an event where non-profit entities such as DLC had the opportunity to provide information about our services to an event which was specifically designed for the Latino community of western Colorado.

Our Transition Guidebook, mentioned above, is being translated into Spanish to ensure we can provide this to a broader community.

We have strengthened our relationship with the Southern Ute Tribal VR. We provided a training to the staff and had a meeting with them, that we plan to make an annual occurrence. We also are working on plans to have a booth at a back to school event that Southern Ute Tribal VR is planning.

D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
2
0
0
5500
0
4205
Twitter: 837 Following | 1,144 Followers | Avg Reach: 3.1K
Facebook: 1,855 Likes/Followers | Avg Post Reach: 691
Instagram: 218 Following | 990 Followers
LinkedIn: 216 Followers | Avg Impressions: 172
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
N/A
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
4
12
16
2
3
B. Problem areas
0
4
12
0
0
2
0
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
10
0
5
0
0
0
15
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
0
6
0
3
1
3
1
0
1
0
0
0
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E. Results achieved for individuals
5
0
0
0
1
6
1
2
0
0
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Part III. Program Data
A. Age
2
0
8
5
1
16
B. Gender
11
5
16
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
1
0
0
2
0
8
1
4
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
2
1
0
0
0
2
2
0
0
0
0
0
3
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
16
E. Types of Individuals Served
8
0
9
0
0
0
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
2
Last year we reached out to the Chief Judge of the Administrative Courts to offer training and/or written guidance because we noticed some issues regarding lack of knowledge from the Office of Administrative Court judges about the DVR formal appeal process and statutes and regulations governing that process. This lack of knowledge led to an Administrative Law Judge making a clearly incorrect ruling on a pro se individual’s right to have their mother present to assist them in the hearing. It also led to a ruling we feel was incorrect on a vehicle modification issue we represented a client on. After reaching out a number of times without response after these issues, this year we finally met with the Chief Judge. He told us that the most helpful way we could assist to ensure that the Administrative Law Judges are applying all the laws and regulations would be creating a reference benchbook. As we considered the project more we realized this could be very helpful to make it more widely available. That way DVR clients, DVR counselors, CAP staff and anyone else who wants to know the laws and regulations that apply to DVR can have access. This is a very large project. We have started this, and hope to have it done in the first part of 2022. This is an ongoing activity. Based on our communications with the Chief Judge at the Office of Administrative Courts, once we have completed this benchbook, the OAC will change their policy by including this benchbook in the materials that Administrative Court Judges are provided to use in their work. The Administrative Court Judges will change their practice by using this benchbook in their work. In discussions with DVR administration it also seems possible that DVR will change their practice by including the benchbook in trainings for counselors.

Over the past year we have continued quarterly meetings with DVR administration to discuss systemic issues the CAP has identified. We have addressed issues regarding lack of the knowledge in the Office of Administrative Courts, issues with the language in certain sections of the DVR policy manual and have arranged training collaboratives. These meetings have proven to be a way for us to consistently connect with DVR and resolve systemic issues in a timely manner. We believe that based on bringing issues to DVR’s attention we have seen DVR dedicate more funding and personnel to work on transition. Additionally, through raising issues we have seen with staffing and a shortage of contractors we are seeing those issues being addressed in the state plans they are currently working on. Additionally, through these talks we are hearing about what they are considering for the state plan and giving our input as they work on it, instead of simply commenting once the plan has been finalized for comments. We hope that because of this we will help shape the future plans more substantially. We have worked with DVR to ensure that CAP is an included section in new counselor training programs. We coordinate with the DVR trainers to present a 1 hour session to inform new counselors of our role, and encourage them to refer clients and to reach out to us. We also coordinated our appearance at their all staff training. At which we were able to do a presentation reminding counselors of our role, how to refer clients to CAP, and also when to refer clients for non-CAP issues that the P & A may be able to assist on. Our trainings have focused on familiarizing DVR counselors with our role and how we can assist in meeting DVR client’s needs. I believe this year is the first year that CAP has been invited to present at an all staff training, and we have discussed making it a more regular (possibly annual) occurrence. Since our presentation at the All Staff Meeting we have seen an increase in CAP clients.
B. Litigation
0
0
0
As stated above we have begun developing a reference benchbook that will be easily searchable by topic. This will ensure that Judges, Attorneys, Counselors, and Clients all can know the applicable laws quickly. If clients are representing themselves in hearings this can put them on a more even ground with the judge and opposing counsel because they can have easy access to all the laws, regulations and policies in any given topic that govern DVR. This is a very large project and we hope to complete this in the early part of 2022
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Center for Legal Advocacy dba Disability Law Colorado
No
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B. Staff Employed
Total FTE = 1.96
Program Coordinator 19.1%
Advocate 71.7%
Grand Junction Advocate 11.6%
Grand Junction Advocate 3.4%
Attorney 21.0%
Attorney 4.7%
Attorney 1.6%
Intake Coordinator 13.2%
Director of Legal Services 9.2%
Executive Director 1.1%
Outreach Coordinator 5.5%
Director of Administrative Services 11.7%
Office Manager 6.1%
Accounting Manager 0.4%
Administrative Assistant 6.2%
Administrative Assistant 6.6%
Administrative Assistant 2.5%

Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
Part VI. Case Examples
Provide some examples of some interesting cases during the past fiscal year.

1. The client is a 46-year-old man with late onset seizures that significantly interfered with life and employment. He was doing a Paid Work Experience with the state VR agency. The client was having numerous problems with his paid work experience. DVR said they had sent him a payment card for his paychecks to be deposited onto several times, but the client never received them. He tried to get them to pay him another way with no success. As part of trying to get paid DVR was saying the identification he submitted was not sufficient. Client was getting late fees on his bills and was at risk for losing services. When DVR did pay him through alternate methods the amounts were incorrect. After the CAP advocate spoke with the VR counselor the client received a working payment card. They gave him the correct pay and back pay.

2. The client is a 39-year-old deaf woman who was doing on-the-job training through DVR. DVR had denied providing Cued Language Transliterator services for the client as she performed on-the-job training duties, although DVR would provide American Sign language. The client was much more comfortable using CLT services. The CAP Advocate negotiated with DVR. The DVR counselor then agreed to amend the client's IPE to include Cued Language Transliterator services for her DVR activities, thus improving communications between the client and DVR and providing effective communication for her on-the-job training.

3. Client is a 30-year-old man with mental illness. Client's complaint was that DVR would not support his employment goal to become a counselor. Client would need to get a bachelor’s degree in order to pursue his career goal. The counselor had once supported the career goal, but that support was withdrawn and his IEP changed after a couple of incidents at work. Client had pursued counseling, and his counselors were in support of re-initiating work towards the career goal. The CAP advocate spoke with client and recommended he get some additional documentation in support of his career goal and advocate for putting his career goal back on his IEP. Client self-advocated successfully, provided effective supporting documentation, after which the counselor supported the client's employment goal.

Certification
Approved
Mary Anne Harvey
Executive Director
2021-12-30
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