RSA-227 for FY-2016: Submission #897

Montana
9/30/2016
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Disability Rights Montana
1022 Chestnut Street
{Empty}
Helena
MT
59601
(800) 245-4743
(800) 245-4743
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Disability Rights Montana
1022 Chestnut Street
{Empty}
Helena
59601
Montana
(800) 245-4743
(800) 245-4743
Additional Information
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
3
0
0
0
2
5
10
B. Training Activities
2
25
10-1-15 New VR employee Orientation of CAP Program, VR Central Office, Helena, MT 20 People, CAP did a presentation to new counselors what CAP was and CAP does. Included information on how to get a hold of CAP advocate and to include CAP information to all new VR clients. 7-14-16CAP training to ASPIRE (Achieving Success by Promoting Readiness for Education and Employment) Helena, MT 5 People ; CAP advocate invited to do a P&A overview and talk about the CAP program specifically involving WIOA and what CAP can do with students transitioning. <p><p>
C. Agency Outreach
10-6-15Outreach to Native American Tribes, Voting Information, Ft. Belknap Reservation, 8 People; CAP advocate introduced herself to Tribal VR and gave contact information. <p><p>10-6-15Outreach to Native American Tribes, Voting Information, Rocky Boy Reservation, 8 People; CAP advocate introduced herself to Tribal VR and gave contact information. <p><p>10-7-15Outreach to Native American Tribes, Voting Information, Ft. Peck Tribe, 7 People; CAP advocate introduced herself to Tribal VR and gave contact information. <p><p>10-8-15Outreach to Native American Tribes, Voting Information, Northern Cheyenne Tribe, 10 People; CAP advocate introduced herself to Tribal VR and gave contact information. <p><p>10-8-15P&A Overview at a NAMI meeting, Voting Information, Missoula, MT 8 People; CAP Program brochures and CAP advocate information handed out. 10-21-15 to 10-23-15 P&A Overview at NAMI Convention, Billings, MT 200 People; CAP Program brochures and CAP advocate information handed out. <p><p>12-3-2015International Day of PWD, Kalispell, MT 10 People; CAP Program brochures and CAP advocate information handed out. <p><p>2-26-16Educate MT attorneys on P&A, Voting Information, Yellowstone Area Bar Assoc., Billings, MT 70 People; CAP Program brochures and CAP advocate information handed out. <p><p>5-12-16Voter Registration and Information, Montana Disability Employability Conference, Great Falls, MT 200 People 7-20-16 to 7-23-16 Voter Registration and P&A Information, Rebecca Farm Art and Event Fair, Kalispell, MT 2000 people; CAP Program brochures and CAP advocate information handed out. <p><p>7-14-16CAP Outreach to ASPIRE (Achieving Success by Promoting Readiness for Education and Employment) Helena, MT 5 People ; CAP advocate invited to do a P&A overview and talk about the CAP program specifically involving WIOA and what CAP can do with students transitioning. <p><p>7-20-16 to 7-23-16 Voter Registration and P&A Information, Rebecca Farm Art and Event Fair, Kalispell, MT 2000 people; CAP Program brochures and CAP advocate information handed out. <p><p><p><p>
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
0
5840
5
{Empty}
CAP advocate was the guest contributor in the September 2016, PABSS Newsletter talking about the CAP Program and what the Transition Services mandated in the new WIOA. This was sent to 250 people by E-Mail; and 50 people by hard copy. <p><p>Also, DRM Newsletters<p>Date Recipients<p>11-13-15608<p>2-12-16612<p>5-16-16608<p>7-27-16610<p>8-19-16600<p>9-16-16635 Total 3673 Recipients<p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
DRM Newsletters <p><p>DateRecipients 11-13-15608 2-12-16612 5-16-16608 7-27-16610 8-19-16600 9-16-16635 Total 3673 Recipients <p><p>Twitter Account: 132 Currently following Facebook - 877 Likes; 3,947 Followers <p><p><p><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
18
50
68
3
31
B. Problem areas
3
24
30
4
0
6
0
4
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
23
0
9
2
5
0
39
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
18
1
2
3
0
0
1
0
14
0
0
{Empty}
<p><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
0
0
1
0
0
9
4
3
22
{Empty}
11-Client did not return Release of Information, no further contact with CAP; 1- Client did not follow thru with VR or CAP; 1- No information or grounds to follow thru with Adm. Review; 1- Client has criminal record and the Dean of the Law School did not accept him into law school, CAP could not clear his numerous felonies; 1- Client was able to get Post Employment Services with CAPs help;1-CAP was able to get client into private in-state school that compared with the cost of a state college/maintenance fees; 1- Client was unable to clear bad credit debt to secure a business loan to help with his business plan; 1- After successful Adm. Review, client was able to start his business; 1- VR told client they would pay to repair wc then denied, with CAPs involvement they paid for repairs;1- After successful Adm. Review, client would not stick with work goal and changed her mind 3 times and never followed thru with any of them, failed to work with VR; 1- After getting a degree in Music, college would not let him sit for his teaching certificate due to felonies on his records, CAP worked with Dean of Students but they still would not allow him to sit for certificate, 1- Due to several semesters of bad grades, VR refused to pay for make up classes, CAP tried to work with VR but this was clients 2nd warning. <p><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
2
5
17
40
4
68
B. Gender
27
41
68
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
2
6
1
3
0
54
1
1
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
3
5
0
0
3
1
0
0
0
0
2
3
23
0
0
0
2
16
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
6
68
E. Types of Individuals Served
55
3
7
0
2
1
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
2
In Montana, this is a time of huge changes in Vocational Rehabilitation services. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program has been in an Order of Selection for some months and has been closing categories as time has progressed. At this time, Montana VR has closed two categories, leaving only one eligibility category for services. We have heard that there is a possibility that VR may close this last category before the year is out. <p><p>The decision to stay in an Order of Selection is in part because of the passage of WIOA and its requirement that certain funds be directed solely to those youth in school. As Montana is now the only state that does not require schools to provide special education services past the age of 18, this has meant that the WIOA requirement has had unintended, negative consequences with regard to VR funding to serve people who are 19 and older. <p><p>In addition, Montana VR is having trouble getting schools on board to take Pre-ETS money, and to use it for the purpose it is intended. The 121 Programs largely have not taken Pre-ETS monies offered to them either, even when the State VR stated their were no strings attached. This is largely because it is quite difficult to find employment and supports in these communities. <p><p>We also have seen the results of the great demographic shift with the retirement of baby boomers and the subsequent hiring of millennials to fill those positions. This shift is complicated by the very low unemployment rate that Montana is facing currently. Consequently, many of these new employees do not have the education that the prior counselor had and has much less familiarity with the vocational rehabilitation system in general. <p><p>As a response to all of these profound changes and pressures in the Montana VR system, we have been focusing even more closely on issues at VR offices in addition to our focus on systemic issues. We have unfortunately learned that several new VR clients have been experiencing some difficulties when going to their local VR offices. For instance, we have heard of many instances where VR staff have been telling new applicants about the Order of Selection, but not doing an intake or putting them on a waiting list for services for when their category opens up. Also, some staff were also telling new applicants that they would only be served if they were in a wheelchair. The CAP advocate is working with the Chief of Field Offices at the State VR level to help remedy these problems as they come up. Now all new applicants must have an intake done with a VRC and be put on a waiting list if they do not qualify for the one remaining eligibility category. <p><p>Another issue that has been brought to CAPs attention is the VR rule stating that if a client is doing a business plan they can only receive $5,000 in start up money and 25% of approved funds after that. Of course, with VR Centrals office approval more funding can be approved, but vr counselors
B. Litigation
0
1
0
Disability Rights Montana is representing a young, deaf woman who experiences bi-polar disorder, is receiving post employment services through VR. She was in competitive, integrated employment until she had her infant taken by CPS soon after his birth. CPS did so because it believed that her bi-polar disorder was not well controlled and that she had a cognitive impairment. Both are incorrect. <p><p>When CPS finally made visitation available for this client, it insisted upon a certain date and time each week that conflicted with her employment. She was forced to quit this job and rely solely on her work at a sheltered workshop for her income. CPS continues to require her to have visitation on this schedule so she can only hold her sheltered workshop job. Fortunately, she did get a raise to minimum wage, but it is still a segregated position. We have helped her to convince CPS to reunite her with her child and that reunification will occur in the next months. She then will be able to work with VR to find integrated, competitive employment. <p><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Disability Rights Montana
No
NA
B. Staff Employed
Type of PositionFTE% of year filledPerson-years Professional Full-time1.721009 Part-time0.061003 Vacant Clerical Full-time0.131001 Part-time Vacant <p><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
CAP advocate has worked with a client who has been in VR services since 2014. Her first VRC was a young man with very little experience and a gruff demeanor with clients. He basically told this client that because of her learning disabilities she could be nothing more than a secretary in an office and would not support her goal of becoming a parole/probation officer. A new VRC was requested and the client changed her goal to becoming an attorney. Her new VRC did not think she could make the grades requested of being in law school successfully. She was required to do a job experience and her CRP was able to get one in the local County Attorneys office. She did very well and got experience shadowing an attorney in court. With CAPs help she was able to become enrolled in the Fall of 2016 as a law student at the University of Montana. She has supports from the colleges Disability Services and is doing well. <p><p>A 15 year old woman who experiences cerebral palsy in a rural Montana town, became enrolled in the Pre-ETs program with the local VR and was doing a summer job as a camp counselor. One of the issues for her became transportation to and from school and her summer job, as her parents van was not accessible for her motorized wheelchair and her mother had great difficulty physically lifting her into the van. Client has an oversized, motorized wheel chair and this requires a special make and model of van and ramp system. At the time of her Pre-ETs intake with VR, her family income was not considered per VR. However, VR had her parents fill out financial information. The parents then asked for VR to purchase a specialized van for their daughter. VR denied this request. CAP got involved and was able to present this as the clients vehicle so she could be more independent in the community, at her job and school. Parents agreed that their daughter could then take drivers education and learn to drive the van. CAP was able to negotiate that VR pay for 49% of the van and the parents pay and retain ownership of 51% of the van. VR also agreed to pay for a personal drivers education trainer and someone who could train her on how to work her accessible van. <p><p>CAP has had 2 clients from the same VR counselor who saw their cases closed as the counselor failed to develop their medical issues to determine eligibility. Both of these cases went to Administrative Review and one case was found to be that VR did not develop the medical record and is now being served with the addition of mental illness as a disability in his VR record. He will be able to get some mental health services that will further help him in being successful in a job. <p><p>The other individual was receiving post employment services and was only offered 90 days of job search. This gentlemen has a very significant mental health issue and diabetes, but neither of these were addressed in his original VR plan. Although we lost the Administrative Review for more
Certification
Approved
Bernadette Franks-Ongoy
Executive Director
2016-11-01
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