RSA-227 for FY-2016: Submission #881

Florida
9/30/2016
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Disability Rights Florida
2473 Care Drive
Suite 200
Tallahassee FL
FL
32308
(800) 342-0823
(800) 346-4127
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
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Additional Information
Maryellen McDonald
M. Ann Robinson
(850) 488-9071
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Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
110
4
1
2
5
31
153
B. Training Activities
6
681
Senior Advocate Investigators for Disability Rights Florida presented at the Ms. Wheelchair Florida Womens Conference on Leadership and Self Advocacy in Tampa on March 2, 2016. Round table discussion centered on services from Disability Rights Florida and the Client Assistance Program (CAP), Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Division of Blind Services (DBS) and the Center for Independent Living. The training focused on how to successfully navigate problems or concerns using self-advocacy techniques as well as using formal appeal processes. Individuals with disabilities, family and friends, colleagues at the University of S. Florida and Self-Reliance Center for Independent Living were in attendance.<p>Agency attorneys provided training sessions at the 3rd Annual Guardian Ad-Litem Conference in Orlando, April 28 and 29, 2016. Presentations included: Transition and Social Security Benefits for Students with Disabilities; Benefits Management and the Role of the Representative Payees and Guardianship to Help Individuals with Disabilities Achieve Their Employment Goals, Inclusion; Advocating for Least Restrictive Environment and Navigating the New Florida Diploma Options; and Behaviorally Challenged Students, Staying in Class and Making Progress. Guardian Ad-Litems, attorneys and social service agency representatives were in attendance.<p>A &quot;Know Your Childs Special Education Rights&quot; training was provided at the Lighthouse of the Big Bend in Tallahassee on May 3, 2016 with emphasis on special education advocacy and transition services. The training provided education and outreach to parents of children with blindness as well as for other social service agency participants. <p><p>A Disability Rights Florida training about agency services, including CAP, and how to access agency services was provided to the Hillsborough County Joint Alliance for People with Disabilities on May 10, 2016 in Tampa. Attendees were participants from the Tampa Mayors Alliance for People with Disabilities and the Hillsborough County Commission for People with Disabilities.<p>A Family Caf&Eacute; conference presentation &quot;Navigating the Hiring Process and Accessing Employment Resources&quot; was provided in Orlando, June 10-12, 2016. Agency Attorneys and advocates skilled in transition and employment related areas designed this training for participants of the best attended Florida conference specifically for parents, students with disabilities and social service and advocacy agencies.<p><p><p>A CAP Bilingual Advocate Investigator provided training at the Family Network on Disabilities &quot;Familias Unidas en Discapacidades&quot; conference in Tampa on September 27, 2016 to promote awareness in the Hispanic community of resources available for children or adults with disabilities including information on DVR, DBS and the role of CAP. The attendees were parents of students with disabilities.<p>
C. Agency Outreach
CAP was active in rural outreach and transition events throughout the fiscal year with continued emphasis on foster youth with disabilities and individuals from minority and previously underserved groups. The Intake Outreach Coordinator has over 21 years of experience with CAP and Disability Rights Florida. Events are targeted that afford the opportunity to network in rural health settings where information on Vocational Rehabilitation Services, both the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Division of Blind Services (DBS), CAP, Title 1 ADA information, Independent living services and Ticket-to-Work can be explained. The CAP grant coordinator is also the Intake Manager and this allows for expertise at the very front end of the agency with all client contacts. The intake unit also has a Spanish line and Spanish online intake system to ensure access to this population. A universal translation is on our website and Disability Rights Florida has access to Certified Language Interpreters who can assist with communication with individuals with other languages. <p><p>Event: Disabilities Expo 2015 (The Expo),Location and Date: Nova Southeastern University, October 3, 2015, Approximate Participation: 600,<p>Outcome: There were over 60 exhibitors and approximately 600 participants. Participants learned about Floridas local and state disability agencies, organizations and businesses that will provide services, programs, resources and products for children, teens, adults and seniors with disabilities. Disability Rights Florida completed 15 onsite intakes with regards to the following issues: Guardianship information, Employment, Voting, Special Needs Trust, ADA Accommodation issues.<p>Event: St. Pete College Disability Awareness Event<p>Location and Date: St. Petersburg College Clearwater campus. October 07, 2015<p>Approximate Participation: 20<p>Outcome: DRF provided brochures, canvas carry bags, magnets, 2014 Annual Report<p>booklets, 10 steps for Self-Advocacy to faculty and various members of the student body.<p>Event: Spirit of the ADA<p>Location and Date: October 25 at the Jacksonville Zoo<p>Attendance: 1000 people with disabilities<p>Outcome: Provided information on CAP and Disability Rights Florida<p>Event: Employment Symposium Hiring Abilities Expo and Job Fair 2015<p>Location and Date: 4800 Deerwood Campus/Blue Cross Blue Shield 11/2/2015<p>Approximate Participation: There were approximately 100 people at the symposium and another 150 at the job fair.<p>Outcome: The employers at the symposium were very impressed and several of them stated that they received very good information on hiring people with disabilities especially in regards to reasonable accommodations. The job fair was very successful with over half of the attendees being able to put in applications and approximately two dozen were approved to go to a training class by one of the employers.<p>Event: Jacksonville VA/Community Mental Health Summit<p>Location and Date: Legacy Ctr., Jacksonville, FL 11/10/2015<p>A
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
4
0
28632
23
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N/A <p><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
Public Radio Sponsorships - Disability Rights Florida agency announcement played in 5 markets during the fiscal year. The listener data is from weekly estimates from Nielsen. <p><p>Miami: 299,500 Gainesville: 80,600 Orlando: 214,500 Tallahassee: 42,000 Tampa: 204,000 Total: 840,600 <p><p><p><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
20
153
173
7
33
B. Problem areas
3
0
0
0
7
153
11
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
67
11
65
0
5
1
149
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
45
75
2
10
0
9
8
0
0
0
0
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<P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
63
14
5
0
27
22
12
6
0
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Part III. Program Data
A. Age
8
22
33
98
12
173
B. Gender
80
93
173
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
40
1
1
42
0
80
6
3
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
1
3
3
1
0
1
11
0
24
8
0
5
4
6
1
2
1
3
3
2
39
0
1
3
12
20
0
0
0
16
1
0
2
0
173
E. Types of Individuals Served
39
5
113
3
11
2
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
12
Systemic Highlights:<p>The Executive Director of Disability Rights Florida serves on the Employment and Transportation Taskforce of the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC) as well as being a council member. In that role, the Executive Director attends both taskforce and Council statewide meetings with the Director and other representatives of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to encourage competitive integrative employment for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Areas of focus in Florida include:<p>Benefits training and asset development, Employment First, promotion of Project Search model,rural employment initiatives as well as transition information and effective practices. The Executive Director also serves as the Chair of the FDDC Public Policy and Advocacy Committee which includes policy makers with the state Department of Education, Agency for Persons with Disabilities and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and monitors statewide policy initiatives in employment and education.<p>The Executive Director participated in an Interagency Round Table on supported employment and sheltered workshops sponsored by the Director of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities in January 2016. This meeting included the Directors and staff from DVR, the Florida ARC, Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities and representatives from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council as well as some local employment providers.<p>The CAP grant coordinator participated in the Developmental Disabilities Council and National Disability Institute stakeholder meeting on the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) in April 2016 before the launch of the accounts in July 2016. Financial literacy and the advantages and risks of the accounts were discussed by leaders within the disability community at this meeting. Florida DVR, Division of Blind Services and Florida Alliance of Assistive Services and Technology, parents and individuals with disabilities attended this meeting.<p>CAP resolved a systemic issue for DVR Area 3 in St. Lucie County after an advocate learned that a specific DVR unit did not have a vendor for bus transportation to serve DVR clients. The unit was not providing transportation services due to lack of provider. CAP worked with the DVR Supervisor to ensure a provider was located in the area and the issue resolved a barrier to employment and participation with DVR services. <p><p>Rehabilitation Engineering Project:<p>DVR/DBS Rehabilitation Engineering Project: A CAP client who encountered a denial related to the type of van to buy for vehicle modification was highlighted in the 2015 Disability Rights Florida Annual report which was ready for distribution late 2015/early 2016. The policy at issue on this case was the DVR Counselor Manual Chapter 14.00 and specifically 14.07(25) &quot;25. The individual is responsible to purchase a suitable vehicle recommended by the RE. This vehicle will be one requiring
B. Litigation
1
0
0
<P><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Disability Rights Florida
No
N/A
B. Staff Employed
PositionPosition Type% of Year filled% of position funded by CAP Person Years <p><p>Sr. Advocate/InvestigatorProfessional100.00%6.1%1 <p><p>Staff AttorneyProfessional8.00%9.1%0.08 <p><p>Advocate InvestigatorProfessional100.00%81.9%1 <p><p>Staff AttorneyProfessional100.00%11.6%1 <p><p>Technology & Communications ManagerProfessional100.00%11.3%1 <p><p>Personnel & Benefits CoordinatorProfessional100.00%11.3%1 <p><p>Advocacy SpecialistProfessional75.00%11.2%0.75 <p><p>Advocacy SpecialistProfessional58.00%11.2%0.58 <p><p>Advocacy SpecialistProfessional75.00%9.9%0.75 <p><p>Advocacy SpecialistProfessional100.00%10.2%1 <p><p>Intake CoordinatorProfessional100.00%11.3%1 <p><p>Advocate/InvestigatorProfessional100.00%59.7%1 <p><p>Staff AttorneyProfessional100.00%20.3%1 <p><p>Director of Finance & AdministrationProfessional100.00%10.7%1 <p><p>Staff AttorneyProfessional100.00%35.9%1 <p><p>Advocacy SpecialistProfessional100.00%11.3%1 <p><p>Advocacy SpecialistProfessional100.00%11.3%1 <p><p>Executive DirectorProfessional100.00%11.1%1 <p><p>Intake Outreach CoordinatorProfessional100.00%11.3%1 <p><p>Staff AttorneyProfessional100.00%6.8%1 <p><p>Director of Public PolicyProfessional100.00%12.3%1 <p><p>Intake ManagerProfessional100.00%12.1%1 <p><p>Dir. Of Education, Advocacy & OutreachProfessional100.00% 21.4%1 <p><p>AdvocateProfessional100.00%48.3%1 <p><p>Managing AttorneyProfessional75.00%2.4%0.75 <p><p>Managing AttorneyProfessional75.00%1.6%0.75 <p><p>Staff AssistantClerical100.00%11.3%1 <p><p>Project ManagerClerical50.00%8.8%0.5 <p><p>Sr. ParalegalClerical67.00%0.9%0.67 <p><p>Sr. ParalegalClerical100.00%10.8%1 <p><p>Staff AssistantClerical100.00%11.3%1 <p><p>Executive AssistantClerical100.00%11.3%1 <p><p>Staff AssistantClerical100.00%11.3%1 <p><p>ParalegalClerical100.00%11.0%1 <p><p>Senior ParalegalClerical100.00%11.3%1 <p><p>Accounting AssociateClerical100.00%11.3%1 <p><p>Legal SecretaryClerical100.00%11.3%1 <p><p>ReceptionistClerical100.00%11.2%1 <p><p>Communications Intern (half time)Clerical50.00%10.8%0.5 <p><p>Total Professional 23.66 <p><p>Total Clerical 11.67 <p><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
Disability Rights Florida was contacted by P.F.G., a person with ADHD, epilepsy, learning disabilities, TBI, bipolar disorder, dyslexia and physical impairments. P.F.G. requested assistance with obtaining the tuition at a private school, daycare for P.F.G.s daughter, mental health restoration co-pays, parking decal and books from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR). Disability Rights was able to negotiate for VR to pay the state rate for P.F.G.s last class at the private school, 5 hours of daycare for P.F.G.s daughter per week, change of counselor, mental restoration co-pays, and books. <p><p>A.M., an individual with blindness, contacted Disability Rights Florida for assistance with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and Division of Blind Services (DBS) cases. Specifically, A.M. wished to increase computer skills training classes at the Lighthouse for the Blind and have the agencies provide A.M. with a Jumbo Braille Writer and laptop equipped with JAWS software. Disability Rights learned through its investigation that A.M. was denied these services by the agencies based on the Vocational Rehabilitation counselors misinterpretation of VR policies. The advocate/investigator successfully advocated for VR and DBS counselors to authorize an Assistive Technology evaluation and approve the Jumbo Braille Writer, additional computer skills training classes at the Lighthouse for the Blind and the laptop with JAWS software. <p><p>A.C., an individual with Ushers Syndrome who is deaf and blind, contacted Disability Rights Florida for assistance in working with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and Division of Blind Services (DBS). Specifically, A.C. was frustrated with the agencies delay in providing services and lack of progress on A.C.s cases. Disability Rights was able to successfully advocate for the agencies to provide A.C. with training for Braille Sense and Pac Mate along with a new walking cane and money identifier. It was also able to advocate for DBS to conduct a psychological evaluation as required by Goodwill Industries for an OJT program where A.C. can gain training on sewing. The evaluation was completed and A.C. was placed in the 8 month OJT program at Goodwill. A.C. also requested applications for employment opportunities in cities with a larger deaf/blind community, specifically Arkansas and Seattle. The counselor from Division of Blind Services submitted an application on behalf of A.C. for a Production Worker position at the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind. <p><p>E.J., a person with hip, low back, shoulder and PTSD conditions contacted Disability Rights Florida regarding a delay in self-employment services from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR). For the past three years, E.J. has met with resistance from VR in approving a proposed business plan. Further investigation revealed that VR in fact delayed approving the business plan for reasons unrelated to policy. Disability Rig
Certification
Approved
Maryellen McDonald
Executive Director
2016-12-18
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