RSA-227 for FY-2016: Submission #922

Rhode Island
9/30/2016
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
RHODE ISLAND DISABILITY LAW CENTER INC.
275 WESTMINSTER STREET
SUITE 401
PROVIDENCE
RI
02903
http://www.ridlc.org
(800) 733-5332
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Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
RHODE ISLAND DISABILITY LAW CENTER INC.
275 WESTMINSTER STREET
SUITE 401
PROVIDENCE
02903
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rbandusky@ridlc.org
http://www.ridlc.org
(800) 733-5332
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Additional Information
Catherine Sansonetti
Catherine Sansonetti
(401) 831-3150
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Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
1
0
0
0
6
1
8
B. Training Activities
4
115
RIDLC continues to provide information and training agency-wide as part of our outreach efforts. Agency-wide presentations include promoting CAP services. This year, we provided information about CAP services specifically as part of three events. <p><p>We presented an overview of CAP services along with other services RIDLC provides to 30 participants of the Northern Rhode Island Collaborative. This event was attended by special educators and others who have direct interaction with transition-aged youth who need VR services. <p><p>At an all day VR training event, we provided a session about RIDLC and CAP services to ORS counselors. There were 50 counselors and VR personnel in attendance. We provided detailed information about the role of CAP in helping clients to resolve disputes with VR and how VR and CAP can work together to improve the system. <p><p>We met with transition-age students from the Northern Rhode Island Regional Collaborative at our office, to provide information on adult services and advocacy supports through RIDLC. In addition to providing information about services and rights, the goal of the visit is to facilitate future access to self-advocacy support for students with intellectual disabilities. Approximately 10 individuals attended. <p><p>We presented an overview of RIDLC services to transition age youth, including alternatives to guardianship, to about 25 parents and students who attend the Options program at Bishop Hendricken High School, an inclusion program within a private school. <p><p>In addition to providing training at events, RIDLC also provided information about CAP services while at other events. These events included other classroom trainings and panel discussions, as well as staffing information tables. For example, we attended a transition event at a local public high school attended by 20 individuals, an event at an educational collaborative to expose transition age youth to post high school training opportunities attended by 110 people, and we attended an event for Dyslexia Awareness Month attended by 50 individuals. <p><p>
C. Agency Outreach
RIDLC continues to provide copies of CAP publications in both English and Spanish at events and presentations and on our website. Since 2006, we have provided a Spanish version of our publication A Consumers Guide to Vocational Rehabilitation in Rhode Island to provide information about CAP and VR services to Spanish speakers. Over the years, this guide has been widely distributed to Spanish speaking individuals. In FY2016, we began revisions to the booklet and plan to update our Spanish version as well. <p><p>RIDLCs intake department answers intake calls in Spanish. RIDLC staff also includes two attorneys who speak other languages. One attorney is bi-lingual is available to assist Spanish speaking clients and another attorney is multi-lingual and is available to assist clients who are Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, French and Danish to understand RIDLC and CAP services. <p><p>In addition, RIDLC continues to advertise in the yellow pages for Spanish Speakers (Directorio Hispano). This telephone directory has a circulation of 40,000. <p><p>RIDLC was a co-sponsor of the 3rd Annual Behavioral Health Conference focused on Transition to Adulthood attended by approximately 300 individuals. This conference focused on transition aged youth with serious behavioral health needs, and particularly focused on ensuring that they have equal access to employment and education opportunities which is essential for health and wellness. The RIDLC staffer who attended the event reported that it was very well attended. The attendees are often underserved or unserved by VR and do not have a good understanding of the wide array of available transition services. <p><p>
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
1
0
999
9
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RIDLC continues to maintain a website which includes general information about CAP in both English and Spanish. The website was recently revamped and updated. The RIDLC website contains links to permit downloads of our CAP publications. In addition, RIDLC routinely takes CAP publications to many events where funds other than CAP funds are used. <p><p>In addition, government and community organizations maintain a RIDLC presence on their websites through links. These links routinely send the visitor to our website directly, or in some cases provide contact information. These organizations include, but are not limited to, the RI.gov government website for all statewide services and resources, The RI Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH), the state VR agency (ORS) on its resource links pages, the RI Parent Information Network (RIPIN) on its resource library, and the RI Developmental Disabilities Council.<p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
One newspaper article covered the attendance of RIDLC and other disability organizations at an summer Family Resource Fair targetted towards children with special health care needs and their families. <p><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
38
16
54
2
33
B. Problem areas
4
11
25
6
0
7
0
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
18
0
4
1
0
0
23
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
8
2
1
1
0
9
0
0
2
0
0
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<P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
8
0
0
0
2
3
0
1
9
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1 individual moved out of state; 1 individual decided they no longer wanted VR services; 7 individuals did not respond to CAP attempts to meet and follow-up. <p><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
0
10
13
29
2
54
B. Gender
17
37
54
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
8
0
1
1
0
42
1
1
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
2
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
2
1
0
1
4
1
0
0
0
0
3
6
13
0
0
0
2
8
0
0
0
5
0
0
0
4
54
E. Types of Individuals Served
30
0
18
2
2
4
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
3
1. RIDLC Comments on VR Policies <p><p>RIDLC provided written comments regarding VRs proposed policy changes. We provided comment on three proposed policies. These included Order of Selection, Post Secondary Education and Vocational Training Services, and Supported Employment. With regard to the Order of Selection policy, we suggested that VR utilize its discretion under the amendments to WIOA to serve individuals outside an order of selection category who were working if they needed VR services to maintain employment. We suggested VR to incorporate this discretionary option into its Combined State Plan and its Order of Selection policy as it supports the mission of the VR agency, the spirit of the Rehabilitation Act, and public policy. In addition, VR agreed to make several changes to its Post Secondary Education and Vocational Training Services policy as suggested by RIDLC. In addition, RIDLC commented on mostly regulatory citation errors in VRs Supported Employment policy. In all three policies, we expressed concern with VR moving its procedures to a separate manual, citing concerns about moving client rights information outside a public document. The VR agency responded by stating it was striving to develop a policy manual that is more understandable for clients. We remain concerned about the removal of certain procedures outside the VR policies. In response to our concerns, the VR agency is beginning to insert language into its VR policies that it will educate clients on informed choice and CAP services.<p>2. Advocacy around the VR State Plan timeline <p><p>In addition to commenting on the VR proposed policy changes, RIDLC provided advocacy around the VR and Supported Employment section of the WIOA Combined State Plan. In collaboration with the SRC, we advocated that VR provide a more timely process for input on the state plan. The combined state plan process was new for the agency in 2016. The changes and the short time frame for review made the process confusing. RIDLC will meet quarterly with VR to continue to develop ways to provide input into the state plan process. We are hoping to build in a step for continued joint SRC and ORS walk through of the state plan attachments. <p><p>Also regarding the State Plan, as we did in the Order of Selection policy, RIDLC suggested that ORS amend its policy on Order of Selection to allow the agency to utilize discretion under WIOA to allow the waiting list to be opened to permit working individuals who may be at risk of a job loss or who may be placed in a different job and need VR services to keep their employment. VR agreed to do so. <p><p>3. Improved and Consistent Access to Client Records <p><p>This year, we also advocated for improved and consistent access to client records. We met with VR and the agency agreed to provide us with printed copies of all VR generated or funded records, rather than to review records on site. This will hopefully expedite records acces
B. Litigation
0
0
0
<P><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Rhode Island Disability Law Center, Inc.
No
NA
B. Staff Employed
Because of the relatively small size of our P&A staff, RIDLC attorneys are not assigned to one specific grant, but generally represent individuals on several grants. Attorneys are assigned responsibility for systemic activities, which are funded by specific P&A programs. A RIDLC staff attorney serves as the primary liaison with the state VR agency, and serves as the CAP representative on the Statewide Rehabilitation Council. RIDLC employs two intake advocates, who also work on a cross-program basis. The intake advocates screen callers to determine whether their problems fall within our office-wide priorities, collect demographic and case data, and give referral information. Under the current system, attorneys track their time spent on serving CAP eligible clients, and these costs are billed to the CAP program. <table border=1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"><thead><tr><th valign="top"> Type of Position </th><th valign="top"> FTE </th><th valign="top"> % of Year Filled </th><th valign="top"> Person-years </th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td style="text-align:left">Professional</td></tr><p><tr><td style="text-align:left">Full-time</td><td style="text-align:right">1.46</td><td style="text-align:right">100%</td><td style="text-align:right">1.46</td></tr><p><tr><td style="text-align:left">Part-time</td></tr><p><tr><td style="text-align:left">Vacant</td></tr><p><tr><td style="text-align:left">Clerical</td></tr><p><tr><td style="text-align:left">Full-time</td><td style="text-align:right">.24</td><td style="text-align:right">100%</td><td style="text-align:right">.24</td></tr><p><tr><td style="text-align:left">Part-time</td></tr><p><tr><td style="text-align:left">Vacant</td></tr><p></tbody></table><p><p>"
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
RIDLCs CAP cases included the following, which were resolved using non-litigation strategies <p><p>A client who had prior long term dealings with VR for many years was not receiving the services that the agency promised. Although he had the help of an advocate, the VR agency did not follow through until RIDLC made contact with the agency. Once we made contact with the agency, the client began to receive the services he needed. <p><p>A client contacted RIDLC after being placed on a waiting list for services at VR. RIDLC provided advice and information about her rights. The client obtained information from RIDLC and from VR about alternative sources of services that she might receive instead of or while awaiting VR services. <p><p>RIDLC represented a 17-year old client at an IEP meeting to advocate for appropriate transition services. At that meeting, the IEP team and VR agreed to provide an array of services including job coach services to assist the client to find community-based job opportunities. <p><p>A client contacted RIDLC after learning that VR was closing his case due to no contact in some time. It appeared that the VR agency would keep his case open, but they would not provide further services due to a federal student loan default status. RIDLC helped the client to reconnect with VR and provided him with resources to help him to clear up his default status. RIDLC also provided him with legal advice about VRs decision <p><p>
Certification
Approved
Raymond L. Bandusky
Executive Director
2016-12-22
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