RSA-227 for FY-2016: Submission #923

District of Columbia
9/30/2016
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
University Legal Services, Inc.
220 I Street, N.E., Suite 130
N/A
Washington
DC
20002
http://www.uls.dc.org
(877) 221-4638
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Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
University Legal Services, Inc.
220 I Street, N.E., Suite 130
N/A
Washington
20002
District of Columbia
sbernstein@uls-dc.org
http://www.uls.dc.org
(877) 221-4638
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Additional Information
Sandy Bernstein
Sandy Bernstein
(202) 547-0198
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Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
19
0
0
0
9
4
32
B. Training Activities
4
60
CAP presented at a DC public library to individuals with intellectual disabilities regarding the range of services D.C. Rehabilitation Services Administration (DCRSA) provides and the assistance CAP offers. This presentation also highlighted informed choice and the right to due process.<p>CAP presented to D.C. public schools students regarding the transition services provided by D.C. Rehabilitation Services Administration (DCRSA) and the assistance CAP offers. During this presentation, ULS explained to high school students with intellectual disabilities and D.C. public school staff in a Self-Advocacy course what services are available at DCRSA (and other agencies) when they leave high school. <p><p>CAP also gave two separate presentations at the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Educations Local Educational Agency Institute. These presentations were directed to public and charter school teachers and administrators regarding the transition services provided by the D.C. Rehabilitation Services Administration (DCRSA) and the assistance CAP offers. <p><p>
C. Agency Outreach
CAP attended, volunteered, and conducted outreach at the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Educations Transition Forum. Over 400 transition-aged youth attended this event. CAP assisted in running the event, conducted outreach and spoke directly with transition-aged youth regarding services available from DCRSA, and provided information on the assistance provided through CAP.<p>CAP also contacted transition coordinators at local public and charter schools that serve students with disabilities to provide them with information about vocational rehabilitation services and CAP. ULS also met with government agencies such as the D.C. Education Ombudsman, the D.C. Student Advocate, and the D.C. State Board of Education, who each serve underserved individuals, including minority communities, and explained the range of services D.C. Rehabilitation Services Administration (DCRSA) provides and the assistance CAP offers. <p><p>In addition, CAP attended the Mayors Disability Expo and the District of Columbias Deaf Awareness Day and informed participants about the vocational rehabilitation services available in DC and the assistance CAP provides. CAP also presented to Project Action, a self-advocacy group comprised of people with intellectual disabilities, regarding the services CAP provides. <p><p>
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
0
2
6
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<P><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
N/A <p><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
16
18
34
2
12
B. Problem areas
33
34
23
3
0
28
1
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
5
2
11
0
6
0
24
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
16
1
0
3
0
2
0
0
2
0
0
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<P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
5
0
0
0
16
2
0
1
0
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<P><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
0
7
11
15
1
34
B. Gender
15
19
34
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
3
0
0
27
0
3
1
0
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
0
2
0
0
1
0
2
0
1
0
0
1
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
9
0
0
0
1
5
0
0
0
5
0
0
0
2
34
E. Types of Individuals Served
1
0
37
1
3
0
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
2
1. Systemic Advocacy with the State Rehabilitation Council: CAP serves as the Chair of the State Rehabilitation Councils Policy Committee. In that role this year, CAP reviewed and provided comment on proposed DCRSA policies regarding informed choice, case record keeping, release/authorization, and case closure. CAP successfully advocated for the following changes that benefit CAP clients:<p>CAP reviewed the draft policies and provided feedback about the need for the policies to be written in language that is easily understood by DCRSA clients. DCRSA agreed to incorporate plain language into their policies. For example, in their case record policy, they changed language from &quot;each person placed in Status 00 or 02&quot; to &quot;each person upon receipt of a signed application. The changes made the policies more understandable to the general public.<p>In the case record policy, DCRSA agreed to insert language stating that decision letters and appeal rights will be provided to clients with a documented disability that have requested a service to address said disability and RSA has denied the requested service.<p>CAP successfully advocated for the inclusion and recognition of supported decision-making documents in DCRSAs informed choice policy. The D.C. Public School system enacted regulations making it mandatory for schools to explain and offer supported decision-making documents as a student transitions out of high school. It is CAPs hope that with DCRSA agreeing to honor supported decision-making documents, there will be a smooth transition from an IEP to an IPE.<p>In the case closure policy, CAP was able to successfully advocate that all applicants deemed ineligible for services will be provided with DCRSAs reasoning and their appeal rights in the mode of communication consistent with their informed choice. DCRSA also agreed to add a requirement that there be supervisory approval before closing an applicants case when the DCRSA counselor does not believe the applicants employment goal was achievable. In addition, CAP successfully advocated for DCRSA to insert language stating that a DCRSA counselor cannot close a case simply when a client secures competitive, integrated employment. The policy now states that a client must not only secure competitive, integrated employment, but that DCRSA must also determine that the individual does not require any services to maintain such employment.<p>In the protection, use, and release of personal information policy, CAP was able to advocate for a requirement that DCRSA explain to each individual whether or not providing the requested information to DCRSA is mandatory and the consequences of not providing the requested information.<p>2 Testimony before the D.C. City Council: CAP testified at the D.C. City Councils Oversight Hearing on DCRSA in February 2016. CAP emphasized the need for DCRSA to improve the quality of Individualized Plans for Employment (IPE) and advocated for DCRSA to provide copie
B. Litigation
0
0
0
We have not been involved in any litigation this year. <p><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
University Legal Services
No
N/A
B. Staff Employed
University Legal Services (ULS) has 5 part-time professional positions funded by CAP. <p><p>Executive Director (professional, partially funded by CAP): Jane Brown is the Executive Director of University Legal Services. She supervises all employees and grants of the agency. A very small portion of her salary was billed to CAP in October 2016. <p><p>Legal Director/CAP Director (professional, partially funded by CAP): Sandy Bernstein supervises all of the legal and policy work at University Legal Services, including the work under CAP. She closely supervises the two attorneys at ULS who handle the CAP cases, participates in policy discussions, outreach and represents a few CAP clients herself. <p><p>Staff Attorney (professional, partially funded by CAP): Margaret Cowley is the lead CAP attorney and handles the majority of the CAP cases, trainings, policy initiatives and outreach. Prior to June 2016, she was fully funded under CAP. Starting in June 2016, she began billing seventy percent of her time to CAP and began sharing the CAP cases with another ULS attorney. <p><p>Staff Attorney (professional, partially funded by CAP): Jennifer Halper started her employment at ULS on June 6, 2016. Twenty-five percent of her time is billed to CAP. She assists Ms. Cowley with the CAP cases, policy initiatives and outreach.<p>ULS Accountant/Bookkeeper (professional, partially funded by CAP): Lan Ji is responsible for billing and the accounting of CAP for ULS. A very small portion of her salary was billed to CAP in October 2016. <p><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
CAP represented a 42-year-old woman, diagnosed with a mental illness. She contacted CAP because DCRSA was refusing to make her case active unless she could provide documentation from her psychiatrist stating that she was taking medication to address her mental illness. She wanted to attend college to study business and did not want to take medication related to her mental health diagnosis. She had contacted DCRSA numerous times in the months prior to contacting CAP and had not received a response. CAP represented her at multiple IPE meetings and was able to advocate successfully with her DCRSA counselor and supervisor for her case to be deemed active and moved forward. In addition, CAP successfully advocated for DCRSA to fund her post-secondary studies in business. DCRSA is currently supporting the client in securing a bachelors degree in business and providing supports including tuition, books, travel expenses, and supplies. Additionally, CAP assisted the client by successfully advocating that DCRSA clarify in writing that they cannot make medication a mandatory component of DCRSA services. All mention of medication compliance was removed from the clients IPE and DCRSA has fully implemented her IPE. <p><p>CAP represented a 26-year-old man who has profound deafness. He contacted CAP because DCRSA did not process his application for services timely and did not pay for his tuition. The client is working toward a masters degree in business administration with the goal of managing a non-profit organization. CAP re-established communication with him and DCRSA and represented him at two IPE meetings where we successfully advocated for him to receive funding for tuition for the entire academic year. <p><p>CAP represented a 61-year-old woman, diagnosed with multiple orthopedic and visual impairments. She contacted CAP after she was denied updated assistive technology equipment and optical supplies from DCRSA. Her equipment was destroyed as a result of a flood in the apartment above hers. Her employment goal is to be an industrial hygenist and she needed the assistive technology to search and apply for employment independently. CAP successfully advocated for the client at two administrative reviews and DCRSA agreed to purchase the needed assistive technology and optical supplies, which included a laptop with speech software. <p><p>CAP represented a 38-year-old woman with a serious back injury, who had been approved for DCRSA services in December 2014 but was receiving minimal services from the agency. She repeatedly requested transportation assistance from DCRSA to help her get to job interviews but was only provided with such assistance once. She asked for DCRSA to fund training to become a medical assistant but they did not do so and did not respond to her request for a change in counselor. CAP was able to re-establish communication between the client and her counselor. We encouraged the client to work with the counselor and assist
Certification
Approved
Sandy Bernstein
Legal Director
2016-12-23
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