RSA-227 for FY-2016: Submission #909

Utah
9/30/2016
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Disability Law Center
205 North 400 West
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Salt Lake City
UT
84103
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(800) 662-9080
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Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Disability Law Center
205 North 400 West
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Salt Lake City
84103
Utah
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(800) 662-9080
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Additional Information
Lindsay Boerens
Lindsay Boerens
(801) 363-1347
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Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
48
3
2
0
0
12
65
B. Training Activities
15
341
State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) By rule, the SRC must have a Client Assistance Program (CAP) advocate on its council. During this past year, DLC advocate Evelyn Owen served on the councils Executive Committee as Treasurer. She attended monthly meetings to provide a voice of advocacy as our states Vocational Rehabilitation program adjusts and adapts to major changes in service delivery. During FY16, we provided strong advocacy efforts around how the state moved forward with implementation of the Order of Selection (OOS) plan. We were also asked to provide the council with information on our advocacy efforts, complaint trends, and the steps we take when we open a case. We provided feedback on the state legislatures proposal to move USOR from the State Office of Education to the Department of Workforce Services. We also assisted the council with updating their bylaws. <p><p>Basic Counselor Orientation and Training (BCOT) The DLC presented information on the CAP program to attendees of a week-long mandatory training program for new Vocational Rehabilitation counselors, benefits planners, vocational techs, etc. at the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation. During FY16, 15 new staff learned about how the CAP program can help beneficiaries remove barriers to employment. <p><p>Independent Living Centers We recognize the importance of collaborating with our local Independent Living Centers, who provide critical services to individuals with disabilities. During FY16, we met with and provided information about the CAP program to the following ILCs: <p><p>AudienceLocation of staff trained Roads to Independence Ogden, UT 10 Annual ILC Conference attendees Utah State University Logan, UT42 Ability First Provo, UT 10 Options for IndependenceLogan, UT10 <p><p>VR ADA Trainings CAP advocates provided training to VR counselors on Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Counselors were provided with information about what is legal during the hiring process and in reasonable accommodation requests. We hope that counselors will be able to help troubleshoot issues that clients may face as they look for employment. This training was provided to the Valley West and Tooele VR offices with 18 attendees present. <p><p>USEP ADA Trainings CAP advocates were invited to present information about Title I of the ADA to job coaches and developers as part of the newly mandated A.C.R.E. Employment Specialist training. All job coaches and developers are required to obtain the certification in order to continue providing services. Our advocates presented at five training classes and trained 176 professionals on how to help their clients get reasonable accommodations. <p><p>DateLocation of staff trained 11/17/2015 St. George, UT35 1/26/16 Salt Lake City, UT35 3/29/16 Kaysville, UT36 5/17/16Ogden, UT 35 <p><p>8/2/16Salt Lake City, UT 35 <p><p>PARC ADA Training Each year, CAP staff provides training to staff of th
C. Agency Outreach
In reviewing case numbers from prior years, we noticed a distinct lack of cases from members of particular disability groups such as people who are blind, individuals fighting cancer, people with AIDS, etc. We chose to direct our outreach efforts to ensure that agencies serving these groups are well aware of our advocacy services so that they may refer an individual to the DLC for legal help. During FY16, our team met with the following agencies to discuss how we can help remove barriers to employment: <p><p>Huntsman Cancer Institute Utah AIDS Foundation Epilepsy Alliance of Utah National Alliance on Mental Illness Department of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired Sanderson Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing National Federation of the Blind Utah Council for the Blind <p><p>Outreach to the blind community This year, we wanted to reach out to the blind community to ensure they are aware of the services of the DLC. We hosted two information tables at events specifically for individuals who are blind. At each event, we provided information about the CAP program and described how we can help with barriers to employment. We attended the National Federation of the Blinds Annual Convention and the Utah Council for the Blind Conference, where we provided information to 115 attendees. <p><p>Work Ability Job Fairs Members of the CAP team operated information tables at two Work Ability Job Fairs held in October 2015 and April 2016. The job fair hosts disability-friendly employers looking to hire individuals with disabilities. The DLC provided information to approximately 75 attendees about how the DLC can advocate to remove employment barriers for CAP-eligible clients. <p><p>UCAT Open House We hosted an information table at the Utah Center for Assistive Technologys (UCAT) Open House event where members of the community are invited to learn about the numerous service providers available to help people with assistive technology needs. This year, we provided information about our services to 30 attendees. <p><p>PHP Single Mothers Seminar We hosted an outreach booth at People Helping Peoples Single Mothers Seminar and provided information about<p>
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
9
3
0
24
12
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Social Media The primary social media forum that we use are Facebook and our growing electronic mailing list. This year, we grew our electronic mailing list by 35%. Beginning in FY 2017, we have over 2,000 individuals on the list. We produced or posted 17 employment-related articles via our social media forums. <p><p>Newsletters Four newsletters were produced and distributed in FY16. Four articles were dedicated to CAP topics; including information on the states move to an Order of Selection and transition-related information for students with disabilities. <p><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
Radio/TV Appearances (9) The DLC was mentioned in or participated in interviews that were aired on local TV channels and radio stations. Topics covered include: ending solitary confinement at new state prison, interview on the new Home and Community Based Settings (HCBS) rule, using force on students in the classroom, HCBS Transition Report, and the Fair Housing Program interview. <p><p>Website Mentions (51) Our agency was mentioned by external web sources many times throughout the year covering a wide variety of disability-rights topics. Sources the mentioned us online include: Rooted in Rights, Herald Journal, Deseret News, UtahADA25Blog, Salt Lake Tribune, Associated Press, Utah Assistive Technology Program, Utah Public Radio, Law.Utah.Edu, Utah Poverty News, KUER, The Independent, Fox13 News, KRCL, KSL, Positiva Radio, UAD Blog, Law360, NMP Magazine, ACLU Utah, Antibias Law, BYU Universe, HUD, Newswise, Utah.edu, AZOBuild, At the U, Utah Policy, KNRS, KUER, Standard Examiner, and DOJ Press Release. <p><p><p><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
20
83
103
3
15
B. Problem areas
1
4
56
34
5
4
1
1
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
80
0
2
1
8
0
91
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
61
15
1
1
0
12
0
0
1
0
0
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<P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
21
12
7
1
7
13
1
16
6
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Six instances where we lost contact with clients <p><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
3
14
36
47
3
103
B. Gender
34
69
103
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
2
1
0
0
1
83
0
3
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
2
1
0
0
1
2
3
1
3
6
0
1
1
6
0
0
0
0
1
11
34
0
0
1
3
19
0
0
1
6
0
0
0
0
103
E. Types of Individuals Served
36
7
58
2
0
0
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
4
ICF/ID Residents Rights to Integrated Employment Options Back in FY15, the CAP team started a project to assist people with intellectual disabilities living in Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF/ID) in understanding their employment rights and options with an emphasis on discussing VR services, eligibility criteria, and how to submit VR applications. This project began after the DLC received feedback that many ICF/ID residents were not aware of VR services, but were excited about the possibility of working. We continued this project in FY16 with great success. Throughout the year, we visited 18 ICFs/ID and provided information and VR application assistance to residents interested in working. We then submitted the applications to their appropriate local VR offices. We soon learned that some applications were ignored or denied due to the client living in an ICF/ID facility. We worked with USOR administration on this issue and were able to get assurance that all applications from clients living in ICF/IDs would be accepted and fairly considered in the future. <p><p>Input on the Unified State Plan to the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (USOR) Through public comment, we advocated for specific language to be included in USORs Unified State Plan regarding individuals paid at subminimum wage. The language is consistent with WIOA requirements that Vocational Rehabilitation provide individuals being paid a subminimum wage with career counseling and information and referral on an annual basis. <p><p>WIOA Fact Sheet A brochure was created outlining WIOA requirements that we intend to take to sheltered workshops as we train and educate individuals on their employment rights. <p><p>Sheltered Workshop Monitoring We visited a local sheltered workshop to gauge staff and client reactions to the new WIOA regulations. We quickly discovered that individuals and staff were unclear on how WIOA requirements should be implemented. There were also questions about VR funding streams and which agency is responsible for which costs. Further monitoring and updates will continue in FY17 to ensure that providers are aware of their responsibilities and that clients are provided with information about their employment rights. <p><p><p><p>
B. Litigation
0
0
0
<P><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Disability Law Center
No
N/A
B. Staff Employed
Full-time Professional FTE 1.02 Part-time Professional FTE .05 Full-time Clerical FTE .13 Part-time Clerical FTE .06 TOTAL FTE 1.26 <p><p>The numbers above represent time spent on CAP by our supervising attorney, a full-time advocate, a part-time advocate, law clerks, support staff, three intake/information & referral advocates and various contributions from other staff throughout the year. <p><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
Denial of medical services <p><p>Client is 58 years old and has a TBI. <p><p>Client contacted CAP when VR moved forward with case closure after client had been employed for three months. Prior to the case closure letter, VR had given the client approval for surgery. However, before the surgery could be scheduled VR ran out of funds and had to suspend all paid services while the agency implemented an Order of Selection. When the suspension of paid services was lifted, VR failed to inform our client that she could go ahead and schedule the approved procedure. Client felt that she had simply fallen through the cracks and been forgotten about. CAP advocated that since the surgery had already been approved that VR should still support the surgery as a post-employment service. VR agreed. The client received the surgery and is now in better physical condition to continue working. <p><p>Denial of medical services <p><p>Client is 62 years old and has mental illness and physical disabilities. <p><p>Client contacted CAP when VR denied her request for surgery that would alleviate the pain caused by neuroma and plantar fasciitis. Client had pursued several treatment options to deal with the pain associated with plantar fasciitis; all were unsuccessful. Client was informed by her primary care doctor that the only option left was surgery. Due to the constant pain and inability to sleep, the clients mental health began to decline. Despite providing VR with detailed information on the necessity of the surgery, her request for support was still denied. CAP advocated that our clients condition was an impediment to employment and was causing her mental health problems to be exacerbated. CAP encouraged client to get a letter from her mental health doctor detailing how the pain caused by neuroma and plantar fasciitis were causing her mental health to decline. After providing the doctors letter, VR supported surgery for client. <p><p>Denial of housing and tuition assistance <p><p>Client is 21 years old and has a neurological disorder and orthopedic impairment. <p><p>Client contacted CAP after VR sent a case closure notice letter stating that VR would no longer be supporting the client with tuition or housing for her college program. The counselor stated that the client was not taking enough credits each semester. VR was aware that the clients disability had caused her to miss a couple months of school, leaving her unable to take on a full load of classes. Client had instead signed up for independent study courses to make sure she was meeting the minimum credit requirement. VR arbitrarily decided that they would not count the independent study courses as meeting the requirement. CAP advocated for the client by filing for an informal review. Following the review, the Field Service Director reinstated tuition and housing assistance. The client is pleased with the outcome and reports that communication between her and VR has greatly improved following C
Certification
Approved
Adina Zahradnikova
Executive Director
2016-12-19
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