RSA-227 for FY-2016: Submission #879

Connecticut
9/30/2016
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilit
60B Weston Street
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Hartford
CT
06032
http://www.ct.gov/opapd
(800) 842-7303
(800) 842-7303
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilit
60B Weston Street
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Hartford
06032
Connecticut
gretchen.knauff@ct.gov
http://www.ct.gov/opapd
(800) 842-7303
(800) 842-7303
Additional Information
Linda Mizzi
Gretchen Knauff
(860) 297-4342
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Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
13
0
0
2
1
4
20
B. Training Activities
11
318
Training Type 1 Basic Information about CAP and Vocational Rehabilitation including tips for working with the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS). <p><p>a. Topic CAP/BRS <p><p>b. Purpose of Training The purpose of the training was to provide information about the vocational rehabilitation (VR) system in Connecticut including the steps in the VR process, what to expect from the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), and rights in VR. P&A updated its fact sheet on tips for working with BRS and distributed the fact sheet to all participants. The training also included information about the CAP program and its watchdog responsibilities over the vocational rehabilitation system and complaints from the independent living centers. <p><p>c. Description of the Attendees The attendees were participating in Partners in Policymaking, an intensive leadership program for people with disabilities and their family members. <p><p>Training Type 2 Why Work? <p><p>a.Topic The CAP Advocate and an I&R Advocate with extensive experience in vocational services for persons with mental illness were asked to develop an educational tool to address this issue. The result was Why Work (WW), a PowerPoint presentation that focuses is on specific barriers facing people with mental illness as they consider employment and the supports available to overcome those barriers. At each presentation, the advocates handed out materials related to vocational rehabilitation, employment, benefits, and CAP. During the 2016 fiscal year, it was presented at 6 clubhouses, the epicenter of recovery services and often vocational supports in Connecticut. More than 122 people attended the presentations with satisfaction surveys showing an overwhelmingly positive response of over 90% satisfaction. <p><p>As a result of this success, the CAP and I&R Advocates were invited to present the PowerPoint at a webinar hosted by the National Disability Rights Network and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. A total of 49 agencies attended the event on Thursday, August 25,, 2016. A recording of the webinar is available on both the NDRN and SAMHSA websites. Attendees were also encouraged to submit questions and participate in a discussion following the PowerPoint. <p><p>The presentation has now been modified to encourage all people with disabilities to work. The new presentation is called How Work works! It will be presented for the first time at a conference in November 2106. <p><p>b. Purpose of the Training The purpose of the training is to encourage people with mental illness to seek assistance with vocational preparation and to go back to work. <p><p>c.Description of the Attendees Attendees for the presentations in Connecticut were people with mental illness who were attending and/or receiving services at one of Connecticuts clubhouses. The webinar was attended by staff at various protection and advocacy agencies and other organiza
C. Agency Outreach
During the 2016 fiscal year, P&A staff including the CAP Advocate and Supervisor participated in 22 outreach events. CAP information was distributed to more than 4,380 attendees at these events. Almost 5,000 publications were distributed at these events. In addition, 6,400 P&A publications and program brochures were also distributed to individuals and organizations contacting CAP for assistance. More than 3,200 people were given the opportunity to register to vote. P&A staff also responded to requests for information from news media, educating the public about service the need to close Southbury Training School and the Regional Centers operated by the Department of Developmental Services, mental health reform, and investigating abuse and neglect of persons with intellectual disability. There were also news articles concerning the closure of the P&A in June 2017 and transition to a newly designated non-profit. <p><p>The P&A website is constantly updated and includes current news and a calendar of upcoming events; P&A program descriptions and agency publications; legislative updates; links to websites for disability rights and resources; and reports on developments in the field of disability rights. Many of the P&A publications have been translated into Spanish and are available on the P&A website. Last year, the website (www.ct.gov/oapad) had more than 127,386 hits for information and more than 47,282 publications were downloaded, 2,580 were directly related to the work of the CAP program. <p><p>The CAP Advocate is bilingual and bicultural. She is able to provide information to clients and members of the public in Spanish, an invaluable tool at resource events. P&As Community Advocacy Specialist is also bilingual and bicultural. She is responsible for arranging participation at many of the resource events. During the 2016 fiscal year, P&A participated in a Community Fairs, a Block party, an Open House, and Christmas in July, reaching thousands of people in underserved and unserved minority communities. P&A also provided agency brochures at a statewide dental clinic where the majority of the participants were members of minority communities. A Spanish speaking staff person was at each event to improve access for members of the community. <p><p>
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
0
53682
12
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Not Applicable. <p><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
There were no sources of external media about the CAP program. There were 7 newspaper articles that concerned the work of the P&A or where P&A commented. <p><p><p><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
14
22
36
2
26
B. Problem areas
3
2
24
6
0
1
0
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
5
0
5
0
2
0
12
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
11
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
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<P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
1
0
0
1
0
3
2
3
2
{Empty}
<P><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
1
6
13
14
2
36
B. Gender
14
22
36
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
6
0
1
5
0
24
0
0
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
1
5
0
0
0
0
3
0
0
0
0
4
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
10
0
0
0
1
6
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
36
E. Types of Individuals Served
30
0
7
0
0
0
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
2
The Connecticut CAP is aware that this section of the report looks at systemic activities that did not involve individual representation. The issues below, however, became evident because of individual representation and have been addressed by looking at the cases taken and taking action in many different forms. <p><p>1.Template Evaluation Tool The Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) provided evaluators with a standardized tool that is the same for every evaluation conducted regardless of the evaluator and needs of the client. The tool consisted of categories ranging from hygiene to ability to perform the functions of the job. Under each category is a list of questions. When completing the evaluation, the evaluators is asked to check Exceeded, Met or Not Met depending on their observation during the short period of time spent with the consumer. The tool is not individualized and therefore, often does not ask questions that lead to a true reflection of the consumers abilities and skills. A consumer either meets the criteria or does not. BRS clients, including CAP clients, are being rejected for services because of the inadequacy of the form. <p><p>During the 2015 fiscal year, CAP staff began requesting changes to the form to allow for individual evaluation through forms that are customized for each person being evaluated. In 2016, this request was granted and CAP staff began having success with better evaluation tools and assessments of CAP clients. <p><p>2.Assistive Technology Evaluations The CAP program continued to experience issues with obtaining Assistive Technology (AT) evaluations for clients which were routinely denied. AT evaluations are often critical to identifying tools to assist with successful employment. CAP staff worked diligently during the fiscal year, to remind BRS of its obligation and to educate BRS counselors. By the end of the 2016 fiscal year, obtaining an AT evaluation was easier and clients were being better served. <p><p>3.People with Greatest Support Needs are Turned Away/Customized Employment The 2015 CAP PPR discussed the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) and how agencys refusal to serve people with intellectual disabilities. The assumption is that a person with intellectual disability cannot be competitively employed and the person is found ineligible after a cursory evaluation of the client. The individual is then referred to the Department of Developmental Services for assistance with the recommendation that he or she do volunteer work for a couple of years to develop employment related skills. People with intellectual disability are denied the same opportunities to gain job skills and find employment that are available to all other disability groups. Most employment approaches for people with intellectual disability also take a very standard approach to finding competitive employment for people with disabilities. This global approach requires that each employee have a n
B. Litigation
0
0
0
The CAP program does not currently have cases that have reached the litigation level of service. The agency has, however, agreed to represent 3 individuals in fair hearings. One case has settled and the other 2 are ongoing. <p><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities
No
Not Applicable
B. Staff Employed
The Connecticut Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons funds the partial salary of a Human Services Advocate who provides information, referral and case representation. She also provides training, represents the agency at resource events, and is a member of the State Rehabilitation Council for the Board of Education and Services for the Blind and the Chair of the State Rehabilitation Advisory Council for BRS. A small portion of the salary of the CAP Supervisor is also funded with CAP monies. When necessary, CAP funds are used for attorney representation. During the 2016 fiscal year, the CAP attorney represented an individual at a fair hearing and spent considerable time reviewing cases and issues with the CAP Advocate and Supervisor. <p><p>Professional Staff<p>CAP Advocate .53 FTE<p>CAP Supervisor .02 FTE many of her cases are funded with different sources.<p>CAP Attorney .19 FTE Support <p><p>Clerical Staff<p>CAP Secretary .05FTE <p><p><p><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
During the 2016 fiscal year, the Connecticut CAP program agreed to provide representation at 3 administrative hearings. The first hearing settled and the first two interesting cases are summaries of the issues and progress on the 2 remaining hearings.<p>Interesting Case 1<p>Rosita had a full career as a Registered Nurse but at 65 years of age physical disabilities made it progressively difficult for Rosita to do her job. Rosita was using a walker but would soon be transitioning to a wheelchair. She finally had to leave the only career she had ever known. Although she could no longer be a nurse, Rosita still wanted to work.<p>Rosita found a job for 4 hours a week with the possibility of increasing her hours over time. She absolutely loved her job working for a small company that trains animals for the movies and television. Rositas home, however, had begun to be a barrier to employment. Her bathroom was too narrow to accommodate her walker so she switched to a cane to get through the bathroom door. Because she does not get proper balance and support with a cane, Rosita has fallen several times.<p>The entrance to the bathroom needs to be widened and Rosita needs grab bars in the shower. She requested payment for the modifications through the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS). Rositas request was denied and she immediately contacted the CAP Advocate for assistance with an appeal of the decision. The CAP Advocate requested a copy of Rositas BRS file and reviewed the records. It was clear that the home modifications were necessary for Rosita to keep working. The CAP Advocate requested that the CAP Attorney review the file for possible representation at the Administrative Hearing. After reviewing the file, the CAP Attorney met with Rosita to discuss her case and possible options for an Administrative Hearing and other alternative strategies. <p><p>Interesting Case 2<p>Maggie wants to become a social worker and has already completed 3 years of college in pursuit of that goal. Because of her disability, cerebral palsy, Maggie requires Personal Assistance Services (PAS). For the first 2 years of college, Maggies mother was her primary caregiver and paid for her education but she now needed assistance with paying for PAS services and her tuition costs.<p>Maggie asked the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) for help. Initially, BRS found that Maggie was eligible for their services and tried to arrange a work evaluation for her. They could not find an agency that could accommodate her hygiene/toileting needs, a private room with a sofa or a 5-6 foot table. As a result, BRS told Maggie that she should use a catheter but she explained that she has medical complications that prevent her from using one. BRS, therefore, concluded that she was not competitively employable and ineligible for BRS assistance.<p>Maggie wanted to fight the decision and contacted P&A for representation at an Administrative Hearing. The CAP program staff reviewed her file
Certification
Approved
Gretchen Knauff
Assistant Director
2016-12-13
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