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RSA-227 for FY-2021: Submission #1205

Illinois
09/30/2021
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Illinois Department of Human Services
Division of Rehabilitation Services
100 South Grand Avenue East- P.O. Box 19429
Springfield
IL
62794-9429
http://www.dhs.state.il.us
217.557.9103
1.800.641.3929
1.800.440.8994
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
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Additional Information
Julie C. Baker (Acting)
Julie C. Baker
217.557.9103
julie.c.baker@illinois.gov
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
27
2
0
0
348
49
426
B. Training Activities
13
629
During this reporting period, CAP's ability to deliver presentations and training opportunities was impacted by COVID-19. As offices across the State shifted to remote work models, opportunities for in-person training and education were not available. As a result, CAP shifted the manner of training and education, and offered virtual options to Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and to Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) offices, statewide. Although agencies did not request training and presentation sessions at a pre-pandemic frequency, CAP delivered these sessions virtually at a rate of 1 to 2 trainings/presentations per month, on average. For those training sessions, CAP educated attendees about CAP services, VR services, and self-advocacy. Attendees included providers of services to individuals, parents and family members of individuals with a disability, and individuals with a disability. Information provided to attendees focused on the purpose of CAP, as well as a description of services provided by CAP. CAP also reinforced to DRS and CIL staff that CAP's role is not adversarial. Rather, CAP is a partner in the process, as we share a common goal of helping individuals with disabilities acquire the services they need to gain competitive integrated employment, in order to live as independently as possible. CAP also had the privilege of presenting a virtual, lunchtime session for the ARC of Illinois on 12/08/20. This session was attended by service providers, parents and family members of individuals with a disability, and individuals with a disability. As a result of this session, CAP was asked to provide 2 additional training and education sessions, which were also conducted during the reporting period.
C. Agency Outreach
Illinois CAP continuously seeks to identify events in areas populated by those that have been unserved and/or underserved, including minority and rural populations. During this reporting period, CAP diligently sought virtual events which targeted those who were unserved or underserved. Despite challenges brought about by COVID-19, CAP virtually exhibited at the Springfield District 186 Empower All Abilities Conference in February 2021. This event targeted youth with disabilities and their families. This event brought attendees from a variety of backgrounds (age, disability, ethnicity, etc.) from the Springfield and surrounding areas.

During this reporting period, CAP continued its awareness campaign. CAP continued to target potential DRS customers and active DRS customers, to include unserved/underserved from minority and rural communities. The purpose of the mail-out awareness campaign is to ensure that DRS customers know who CAP is, how CAP may be able to help, and that they are aware that CAP remains open and ready to serve, despite continuing to work remotely. This statewide outreach effort has resulted in individuals contacting CAP with questions and concerns, some of which have resulted in the opening of a CAP case. In addition, CAP worked with Public Broadcast providers to broadcast CAP PSAs. This initiative ended on 03/31/21. As a result, 539,000 TV impressions were delivered in the Chicago area, 657,000 listeners were reached through WSEC radio (though this number may likely be higher, as only 9 of 39 counties collected listener data), approximately 11 million viewers were reached via WSEC TV, and WILL TV/Radio provided coverage across the State.

CAP's Polish informational video went live on YouTube on 01/15/21, in an effort to reach the large percentage of Polish-speaking individuals residing in Illinois.
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
100
436
1
0
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E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
As noted above, CAP worked with Public Broadcast providers to broadcast CAP PSAs. This initiative ended on 03/31/21. As a result, 539,000 TV impressions were delivered in the Chicago area, 657,000 listeners were reached through WSEC radio (though this number may likely be higher, as only 9 of 39 counties collected listener data), approximately 11 million viewers were reached via WSEC TV, and WILL TV/Radio provided coverage across the State.

The Illinois Client Assistance Program information is available on the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services webpage. The webpage explains CAP's purpose, who can receive services, services offered, how those services are provided, and contact information. The CAP program description and contact information is available on the State of Illinois Service Provider Identification & Exploration Resource (SPIDER). SPIDER is a public-facing website and serves as a key resource for human service provider staff, other state agencies, city and county human services personnel, non-profit service organizations, and a variety of behavioral health and insurance organizations. CAP's contact information is also available on the following websites: International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (ICDRI), AbleData Tools and Technologies to Enhance Life, Great Lakes ADA Resource Guide, and the Sauk Valley Community College Community Services On-line Directory.
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
8
38
46
0
7
B. Problem areas
1
33
29
0
0
4
0
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
7
19
2
11
0
0
39
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
16
4
3
6
0
6
0
0
4
0
0
0
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E. Results achieved for individuals
17
0
0
0
12
4
2
1
0
3
1- Client approved for direct reimbursement
1- Client no longer wishes to pursue CAP case
1- Client requested VR case closure
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
0
15
11
19
1
46
B. Gender
22
24
46
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
1
0
0
18
0
25
3
0
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
2
0
0
2
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
3
0
0
0
4
3
1
1
0
5
0
0
0
22
46
E. Types of Individuals Served
5
0
41
0
1
0
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
0
Illinois CAP continues to address systemic issues with DRS, which remain ongoing. No specific change has occurred during the fiscal year with regard to CAP's systemic activities.

Illinois CAP is represented on the State Rehabilitation Council which provides recommendations to the Governor, Secretary of the Department of Human Services, Director of the Division of Rehabilitation Services, and to the legislature on the needs and effectiveness of statewide vocational rehabilitation programs. The CAP Director was an active member, serving in the role of Secretary and member of the Executive, Operations, State Plan, Policy/Legislation, and Member Recruitment sub-committees, until her departure from CAP in March 2021. Since that time, the Acting CAP Director has been an active member of the committee. The Acting CAP Director provides quarterly reports to the Council related to CAP activities and common problem areas experienced by DRS customers. The Council continues to gather DRS customer and activities data that will aid the Council in identifying problem areas, and determine how to best advise DRS to address those problems.
B. Litigation
0
0
0
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Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
Internal to the State VR agency
Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services
No
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B. Staff Employed
Acting CAP Director; Administrative Assistant; 3 Advocate/Complaint Investigators. The current Acting CAP Director is also an advocate/complaint investigator, devoting approximately 50% of each workday to supervisory duties, and 50% of each workday to advocacy duties. The full-time CAP Director resigned from CAP in March 2021, but had filled that position 100% of the time until that point. The Administrative Assistant position was filled for 41.65% of the time, and is currently filled. One advocate position was filled 100% of the time, and a second position was vacant 100% of the time, due to a leave of absence.
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
The client contacted CAP because his VR counselor denied reimbursement of Fall 2020 college expenses, including tuition, fees, room and board. DRS also denied funding for ongoing college expenses. CAP advocates later held a phone conference with the client's VR counselor. The rehabilitation counselor shared the history of the VR case, as well as her opinion that the disputed college expenses should be covered by DRS. This information was summarized and presented to the Rehabilitation Services Supervisor (RSS). After receiving the information and discussing the case with the Assistant Bureau Chief, the RSS reversed her decision and agreed to reimburse Fall 2020 college expenses, including tuition, fees, and increased costs. DRS also agreed to pay these expenses going forward. The client's appeal request was successfully withdrawn, and the CAP case was closed.

The client received a notice of pending case closure from his Transition Specialist, due to lack of communication. The client's mother contacted CAP because she could not read the letter, due to a language barrier. With interpreter services, the client and his mother were able to understand the letter and they requested CAP's assistance with keeping the case open. CAP also assisted the client with filing an appeal of the case closure. With the help of a Spanish interpreter, the client's mother was able to speak to his transition specialist about the services he received through his IPE. An updated IPE was successfully signed and the STEP case remains open. The transition specialist also agreed to send future correspondence in Spanish instead of English to better accommodate the family. The Request for Appeal was successfully withdrawn, and the CAP case was closed.

The client's mother contacted CAP because her son, the client, wanted to attend a specialized school out of state, in order to train dogs. The family had initially been informed that DRS would cover some of the tuition, then were informed that DRS would not cover the tuition. A joint meeting was held between CAP, the client, his mother, the VR counselor, her supervisor, and the Assistant Bureau Chief. During the meeting, it was discussed that the client would not be able to attend school for this type of specialized training anywhere closer than his chosen school, in Missouri. Further, the family's combined annual income of under $27,000 for a family of three should be considered as a factor. As a result of the meeting, DRS' decision was reversed, and DRS agreed to pay the client's tuition and housing costs for Summer and Fall 2021, with the family contributing a much more affordable amount. The family had filed an appeal prior to contacting CAP, which was successfully withdrawn. The CAP case was closed.
Certification
Approved
Julie C. Baker
Acting CAP Director
2021-12-15
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