RSA-227 for FY-2016: Submission #920

New Mexico
9/30/2016
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Disability Rights New Mexico
3916 Juan Tabo NE
{Empty}
Albuquerque
NM
87111
http://www.drnm.org
(800) 432-4682
(800) 432-4682
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
Additional Information
Bernadine Chavez
Bernadine Chavez
(505) 256-3100
{Empty}
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
29
2
3
4
4
22
64
B. Training Activities
10
250
CAP staff provided two trainings to 18 new staff persons working for the New Mexico Division (NMDVR) at the Rehabilitation Academy. The training topics included the CAP and other programs at Disability Rights New Mexico. The other topic covered was Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This training helps to familiarize new VR staff with the requirements of notifying participants about CAP and helps to promote a working relationship in solving issues for participants. CAP staff also provided training to new IHOs who had been on contract with NMDVR and had not yet received training. Both the CAP attorney and CAP staff presented to the contract IHOs.We also attended the two-day training event and were able to interject CAPs position on some issues. We also provided training on VR, CAP, employment and ADA to a support group for individuals with brain injuries. Many had participated in VR services and were thinking of returning for services. Many of the participants in this group had lost employment due to their TBI. Every participant was on SSA benefits. Staff provided training on rights and VR services to participants of the ARC Summit on Social Equality. The training focused on &quot;informed choice, selfdetermination and selfadvocacy and the right to have competitive, integrated employment. DRNM provided training to the Department of Workforce Solutions (Labor) staff on the Rehabilitation Act, VR services, Disability Awareness, and also training on ADA and Title I. There were 15 participants at each session for a total of 30 participants. In summary, CAP staff at DRNM conducted a total of 10 trainings with a total of 250 participants. DRNM/CAP also participated in 15 informational fairs in which we distributed CAP brochures and provided information to participants. Of the 15 fairs, five were targeted outreach to minorities and underserved populations. <p><p>
C. Agency Outreach
The majority of New Mexicans are unserved/underserved. We provided training in southern New Mexico to monolingual Spanish speaking VR participants. CAP conducted considerable outreach to persons in rural areas and on Native American pueblos. As shown above, many of the trainings and outreach activities conducted by DRNM were focused on minority communities and areas. CAP staff at DRNM conducted a total of 10 trainings with a total of 280 participants. DRNM/CAP also participated in 15 informational fairs in which we distributed CAP brochures in English and Spanish as well as provided information to participants in both languages. Of the 15 fairs, 6 were targeted outreach to minorities and underserved populations outside the states major urban areas. DRNM provided training to Native American families at the EPICS (Educating Parents of Indian Children) conference in Albuquerque. The topics covered were the VR services through the state VR programs as well as the Native American 121 programs, and transition services under the Section 121 programs and state vocational programs including DVR and the New Mexico Commission for the Blind. We also talked about transition services under WIOA. There were 50 participants in the session. CAP staff provided training to the staff and faculty of Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute at their annual Colloquium. There were 80 staff and faculty at this event. The topics covered were vocational rehabilitation and higher education, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and WIOA. Staff provided training on CAP and employment rights to clients of the quarterly job club at the Belen office of NMDVR (in central New Mexico); the club is sponsored by Desert Bloom Rehabilitation. There are 8 to 10 participants each quarter. This is rural area with very limited resources and a lack of accessible transportation. <p><p>
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
0
525
15
{Empty}
N/A <p><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
N/A <p><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
5
25
30
3
7
B. Problem areas
0
7
15
2
0
5
0
1
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
3
0
16
0
5
1
26
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
15
1
0
2
0
4
2
0
2
0
0
{Empty}
<P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
2
3
1
1
8
3
3
2
0
{Empty}
1. Client was not permitted to reapply with DVR until 10/1/2016. 2. Client withdrew <p><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
0
2
5
22
1
30
B. Gender
10
20
30
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
6
4
0
3
0
17
0
0
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
5
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
2
1
0
0
2
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
11
0
1
0
1
2
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
30
E. Types of Individuals Served
24
0
4
0
1
1
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
2
NM CAP staff meets with NMDVR Management Staff (Field Operations Directors) and the acting Director on a quarterly basis to discuss areas of service in which CAP and NM DVR can work together to improve services for NM participants. NMDVR has recently hired an agency director, having had an Acting Director for the past 12 years. When the last Acting Director retired, CAP staff continued to meet with the interim Acting Director. This individual was (and continued to be) the Deputy Secretary of the Public Education Department (PED), which administers DVR. This individual served for many months as the temporary interim Director until a permanent Director was finally hired in July 2016. CAP staff also continued to meet with the Field Operations Directors (FOD) who oversee the Area Managers. The focus of discussion of the FOD meetings included the following issues: Presumptive eligibility continues to be an issue for beneficiaries. There is still a lack of communication and explanation to SSA Beneficiaries about presumptive eligibility. CAP staff has been working with the Ticket to Work Team and the Benefits Advisors who provide that service through NMDVR to help counselors provide better and more accurate information to SSA beneficiaries. CAP has been working on this issue for the past three years and we have seen some improvement. This past year we had difficulty and delays in receiving participant records after they have been requested by CAP staff. NM CAP and NMDVR had agreed to address these issues. We mutually agreed on three working days as a reasonable amount of time for providing records to CAP. The Acting Director sent out a directive requiring NMDVR offices to send records to CAP within three business days. This process is working very efficiently. Most of the time CAP receives records within one or two days of our request. Issue with participants who are assigned to caseloads with no counselor. As counselors have left NMDVR there has been a substantial delay in getting either a temporary counselor or a permanent counselor. We had participants who have waited several months before hearing from anyone regarding their services. In most cases the participants either called CAP or called NMDVR directly to find out who would be providing services. NMDVR had a 24% vacancy rate which was among the highest of state agencies. The vacancy rate is now around 12% and temporary counselors have been covering vacant caseloads. CAP had a couple of cases with NMDVR where services were put on hold since NMDVR did not have a dental consultant. The participants in each case were unable to proceed with their employment efforts until their dental issues were taken care of. The delay was substantial and the CAP had a discussion with the Deputy Director who then instructed the counselors to proceed with the dental services and not delay. Case closures by NMDVR counselors continue to be obscure and not well explained to the clients. The reaso
B. Litigation
1
0
0
Our client is a 55-year-old white male with a history of traumatic brain injuries. He had repeatedly been denied services by the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (NMDVR), and continued to reapply and then initiate various tracks of litigation. In January of 2016 NMDVR filed a motion to permanently ban our client from contacting DVR in any way. CAP agreed to represent him. Ultimately the district court judge ordered our client to not contact NMDVR, but only for a period of four months. He is now free to reapply to DVR services, and we believe that as a result of CAP working with him and addressing a few of his many issues, our client has learned how to more effectively navigate the NMDVR system. <p><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Disability Rights New Mexico
No
N/A
B. Staff Employed
Advocate positions 0.94 FTE Attorney positions 0.24 FTE Support staff 0.27 FTE Supervisory staff 0.25 FTE TOTAL CAP staff 1.7 FTE <p><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
Example 1: Client is a 50 year old man who lives in Alamogordo. Client is blind and has been a client of the NM Commission for the Blind for many years. Client came to DRNM with an employment goal of Auto Mechanic and had enormous difficulty finding work. Client reports that he was the first blind person to graduate with an auto mechanic degree and he received national attention in 2014. He was interviewed by local and national newspapers, websites, and radio stations around the world. Client hoped this publicity would help him find a job, but years later, he still had not found a job. Client feels discriminated against because employers could not understand how a blind man could be a mechanic. He blamed CFB because they did nothing to support him when he was discriminated against and also said they didnt do enough to help him search for employment opportunities. Client decided it was time to change goals and he asked DRNM/CAP for assistance. CAP helped the Client set up meetings with his VRC to discuss his new employment goal and to discuss services hed need to be successful. Clients employment goal was changed to &quot;Ministry&quot; and his IPE was updated and signed in July 2016. Clients IPE includes job development services that will start right away as well as multiple as needed services including: rehab technology, technology training, ministry related training, ministry conventions, remedial/literacy training based on an evaluation, transportation, OJT, guidance and counseling, and maintenance for interview and work attire. All issues have been resolved in the clients favor.<p>Example 2: Client is a 39 year old man from Albuquerque. He has diagnoses of TBI, Mental Illness, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, and a history of substance abuse. Client has been a client of NMDVR for over three years. Client contacted DRNM/CAP because he was very concerned about how NMDVR has treated him and handled his case. He reported significant delays, including multiple counselor changes since 2013. He feels that DVR has continually put up road blocks so that they do not have to help him. His main concern is that he has been a client since 2013 and still is not in a program to move forward. CAP reviewed Clients DVR file and spoke with his counselor about these concerns. His counselor agreed that client did unfortunately go through several counselor changes, which led to delays in his case. Client was also concerned about a cancellation in services due to receipts not being turned in on time. Client claims DVR lost his receipts; DVR claims he turned in the same receipts twice. DVR told us that they would like to move forward but explained that Client has demonstrated aggressive and verbally abusive behavior toward DVR staff. This is documented on multiple occasions in case notes. DVR told CAP that in order to move forward, they wanted client to sign a behavior contract. DRNM advocated against this with the counselor, FOD, and on a systemic level with the De
Certification
Approved
James Jackson
Chief Executive Officer
2016-12-07
OMB Notice

OMB Control Number: 1820-0528, approved for use through 07/31/2023

According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 16 hours per response, including time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. The obligation to respond to this collection is required to obtain or retain a benefit (Section 13 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended). Send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20202-4537 or email ICDocketMgr@ed.gov and reference the OMB Control Number 1820-0528. Note: Please do not return the completed form to this address.