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RSA-227 for FY-2021: Submission #1206

Alabama
09/30/2021
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services
602 S. Lawrence Street
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Montgomery
Alabama
36104
http://rehab.alabama.gov
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1-800-441-7607
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Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
State of AL Client Assistance Program
400 South Union Street
Suite 465
Montgomery
36104
Alabama
http://scap.alabama.gov
{Empty}
1-800-228-3231
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Additional Information
Rachel Hughes, Director
Rachel Hughes
(334) 263-2749
rachel.hughes@rehab.alabama.gov
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
27
13
0
3
30
490
563
B. Training Activities
6
175
All presentations provided information to parents and consumers who can access Vocational Rehabilitation and Independent Living Services. Focus topics included what to do when you have problems with your VR program, how to talk and ask questions to your VR counselor, how to get a new VR counselor, the appeals process, and how CAP can help me. Training provides hope to consumers who feel VR is not listening or to parents helping their young person move to the next step.
C. Agency Outreach
Alabama CAP did not have many chances in 2021 to reach out to the unserved and underserved populations. Before COVID, the advocate had a couple of opportunities to speak with parents whose young adults fit the description of the most significant disabled. On these occasions, supported employment was an important topic. The advocate helped parents know the process of receiving this type of service and the amount of support they should expect.
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
0
600
3
360
We were unable to put on our Annual Disability Expo this FY year. Instead, I gathered community resources for people with disabilities, including information about the Client Assistance Program. There were 300 copies printed and given to various nonprofit disability organizations. The contributors who provided information on their services also received an emailed copy for their use and others in the future.
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
There were not any external media coverage for FY 2021.
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
4
20
24
0
2
B. Problem areas
5
14
16
3
0
9
1
3
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
8
6
9
1
0
0
24
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
10
1
2
0
0
1
2
1
6
0
0
1
COVID related.
E. Results achieved for individuals
2
1
0
5
2
5
4
3
0
0
{Empty}
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
1
5
7
10
1
24
B. Gender
14
10
24
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
1
0
1
8
0
11
1
2
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
0
2
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
3
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
7
0
0
0
3
1
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
2
24
E. Types of Individuals Served
21
0
13
1
7
1
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
Internal to the State VR agency
Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services
No
{Empty}
B. Staff Employed
Director/Advocate (Full time) Client Intake, paperwork as needed, data entry of cases, sending case activation information to VR, speaking with consumers by phone and email, and contacting VR counselors, supervisors, and other rehab staff as required. Knowing the Appeals Process and how to help consumers navigate the system. Concerning other programs that consumers participate in, such as community rehab or independent living programs, communicating with staff to assist the consumer needs. Budgets and keeping up with expenses each month. Set up meetings with consumers, counselors, supervisors, or others to advocate or work through complaints. Set up ZOOM meetings, in-person with various organizations to talk about CAP services. Check CAP database and website for needed changes and contact IT to make those recommended changes. Update Rehab Community Center information as required for the CAP database. Participate in training opportunities in the VR agencies to learn about their services and the consumers they represent. Participate in other training programs if money and time allow. Because of funding issues, CAP looks for free or inexpensive training. Travel as required to meet with consumers, agencies, and training.
Assistant (Part-time-10 hrs./week) Assistant returned to work the second half of January because there was insufficient work from October-January. There were not any calls coming into the office by consumers. We assumed COVID had an impact on this population. We later found out that the state IT on which the phone/internet sat had canceled the office and toll-free number. Very few calls were coming in from October thru July. A few calls came in through the VR switchboard and several complaints from the CAP website. The job consists of gathering information from consumers, entering data into the database, sending a case activation to the VR counselor, supervisor, or other programs, and acquiring out how to get an information release form to the consumer. The Assistant will also put case files together when a case is activated. Other details include ordering supplies when needed, checking on bills when sent, and checking the mailroom. The Assistant is crucial when the director/advocate is on the road to supply information to consumers or others as requested. After a case is closed, the Assistant will put closed cases in the document images database.

Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
After looking at the cases for FY 2021, I discovered how different the issues were in the complaints this year. Like many others, COVID has created problems with our services.
This consumer contacted CAP because she was frustrated with the lack of knowledge her VR counselor had about resources in the community regarding jobs and transportation. She further stated the counselor did not understand the Ticket to Work Program or the Lakeshore Adaptive Driving Program, and she was involved in both. The consumer expressed her frustration with the VR counselor always having to ask the supervisor, who usually wasn't available for a week to a few weeks at a time.

CAP opened the case on 1/21/21 and scheduled a ZOOM meeting by 2/25/21. Due to COVID and the consumer's transportation, ZOOM provided accommodations for all parties. The consumer could no longer participate in the Adaptive Driving Program because she was the only participant in the area which utilized that VR office. VR contacted the Adaptive Driving Program at Lakeshore to continue services and schedule transportation for the consumer. During the meeting, the consumer expressed concerns over her vision and an eye appointment with the Low Vision Clinic coming up in March. CAP suggested an AT assessment to further identify technology needs in light of the consumer's statement.

The VRC assigned a new job placement representative to the consumer to assist with job development and placement. The VRC then scheduled a meeting with the consumer and job placement representative to request a Paid Work Experience.
Other needs identified during the meeting:
*Referral to Benefits Specialist – Discuss employment needs utilizing Ticket to Work (PASS Plan to purchase a vehicle). *Referral to Career Exploration – explore other career paths to utilize her degree. *Request information from STARR Program about a vehicle purchase. * Explore a degree in Social Work.

The consumer and CAP advocate spoke after she completed the eye exam. The consumer said her vision loss is too severe, and she can not drive. A discussion with the consumer covered utilizing the VR program as discussed in the meeting in February. The appointment with the Adaptive Driving Program no longer was an option; however, she could still take advantage of the PASS Program to help with transportation in getting to a job instead of purchasing a vehicle.
With the help of Career Exploration, the consumer determined it would be best to obtain a degree in Social Work. A social worker is a role that is employable in small towns and urban areas. In addition, she would have remote roles as options as well. Due to her vision loss, she established that online training would be the best option. The consumer researched several institutions and confirmed an online MSW program would be the best match.
With the assistance of a rehab center, VR will continue assisting the consumer with job development and placement.

CAP assisted the consumer in expediating a plan with VR. As you can see, there were multiple services available to the consumer. Counseling and Guidance helped to direct the consumer to the possibilities of a career, training, and employment
Certification
Approved
Rachel Hughes
Director/Advocate
2022-01-14
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