RSA-227 for FY-2016: Submission #925

Virginia
9/30/2016
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
disAbility Law Center of Virginia
1512 Willow Lawn Drive
Suite 100
Richmond
VA
23230
http://www.dlcv.org
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(800) 552-3962
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Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
disAbility Law Center of Virginia
1512 Willow Lawn Drive
Suite 100
Richmond
23230
Virginia
info@dlcv.org
http://www.dlcv.org
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(800) 552-3962
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Additional Information
Colleen Miller
Robert Gray
(804) 225-2042
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Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
31
0
0
68
53
0
152
B. Training Activities
26
1325
The disAbility Law Center of Virginia (dLCV) completed 3 presentations to 185 high school students about their employment rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Locations included a high school in Henrico County and transition fairs in Manassas and Montgomery County. The students were so pleased to learn this information. A post training survey revealed all students had an increase in knowledge of the topic from beginning to end. <p><p>dLCV trained 30 individuals at the Youth Leadership Forum, which took place at Virginia State University in Petersburg, VA. The main audience members were high school students and staff for the Youth Leadership Forum attended as well. dLCV focused on ideas such as disclosure, accommodations, and disability related discrimination. The interactive presentation let the participants explore whether specific accommodations were reasonable or not. <p><p>dLCV provided an education and training to 81 staff and students from Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center (WWRC) and Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired. The presentation topic was how to avoid an overpayment of benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Both of these training locations train individuals with disabilities on getting ready for employment. <p><p>dLCV provided 5 presentations to job clubs and advocacy groups on benefits planning, and VR Rights including transition services. dLCV presented to the Hampton DARS (Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services) Job Club, the Portsmouth Job Club, the Post-secondary Education Rehabilitation Transition (PERT) program, the VOCAL statewide conference and at the Manassas DARS Office. dLCV presented this information to a combined total of 73 individuals. All attendees had an increase in knowledge of the subject matter. There were many questions about benefits planning and how to avoid an overpayment of benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). <p><p>dLCV presented information about vocational rehabilitation and employment to 132 people. The audiences included employees of a sheltered workshop, people with mental illness, and staff of centers of independent living, parents, and service providers. <p><p>dLCV presented 10 employment rights presentations across Virginia with particular attention to the underserved populations and the rural regions of Virginia. We presented to 304 students, employers, service providers, and other community advocates and members to increase awareness, increase self-advocacy, and compliance with the ADA across the state including locations such as Winchester, Leesburg, Norton, Richmond, Harrisonburg, and Danville Virginia. <p><p>
C. Agency Outreach
dLCV focused attention for our 10 employment rights presentations reported above in Section e. on underserved populations in rural regions of Virginia including Winchester, Leesburg, Norton, Harrisonburg, and Danville Virginia. <p><p>dLCV continues close communication with all state DARS and DBVI offices to ensure their clients understand dLCV and the CAP program. <p><p>
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
2
0
2
4250
11
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dLCV completed a video on Transition Rights for Children for our Ask the Expert video series. The video features a teenager with autism and his parent exploring choice and independence while learning about transition rights. The video has over 129 views and is on our website and on YouTube at: http://dlcv.org/resources/transition-services/. <p><p>dLCV created the Ask the Expert &quot;Can I Keep My Benefits if I Go Back to Work&quot; video. The video educates the public about many ways that benefits and working can co-exist to allow individuals to be successful and gainfully employed and financially stable. The video received 55 views in its first week of release in September 2016. It is on our website at: http://dlcv.org/ask-the-expert/. <p><p>The Ask the Expert videos are invaluable to reach a statewide audience electronically through the internet and additionally supplement dLCV training and outreach across the Commonwealth. <p><p>A Guide entitled Removing Barriers Faced by College Students with Disabilities Applying for or Receiving Social Security Benefits was mailed to all Virginia Department of Education Special Education Directors for dissemination to their case managers. The guide alerts schools to the special social security work incentives that allow students to safely pursue a college education and how work incentives can be used to their advantage. Case managers are key members of the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team and are in a position to educate students and parents about the options available. This report provides vital information that can assist them in making a successful transition to adulthood and the world of work. dLCV anticipates that this guide, also posted to dLCVs website, will eventually have a wide impact and useful in other advocacy efforts with youth in transition. <p><p>dLCV maintains a website that posts our federal grants Goals and Focus Areas. This website also posts notices for the Board of Directors and Advisory Council meetings. <p><p>Job vacancies, announcements, agency publications, and disability-related links are also available. This website can be viewed at www.dlcv.org. <p><p>dLCV routinely takes training and outreach requests from the community providing a wide variety of presentations on multiple topics including CAP related issues like employment and benefit planning and work incentives. <p><p>dLCV offered two public input surveys during the spring and summer of this fiscal year. The first survey allowed our 318 respondents the opportunity to express which disability advocacy issues they feel are most important. The top three categories chosen: quality mental health care (15%), community access, and barrier free environment (10%) and special education (9%). Other CAP related issues of concern included: vocational rehabilitation services (8%) and employment rights (5%). 31% of our respondents were individuals with disabilities and 34% were family members and caregivers. dLC
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
N/A <p><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
20
78
98
10
10
B. Problem areas
5
11
54
16
0
4
0
1
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
48
0
37
0
14
0
99
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
49
31
1
2
1
12
0
0
3
0
0
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<P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
14
4
2
1
10
35
4
22
7
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<P><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
5
24
19
46
4
98
B. Gender
46
52
98
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
2
0
1
50
0
41
1
3
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
0
1
0
1
0
1
9
1
5
3
0
2
4
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
21
0
0
0
10
20
0
2
0
15
0
0
1
0
98
E. Types of Individuals Served
14
6
48
1
12
18
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
4
In October 2015, the disAbility Law Center of Virginia (dLCV) began investigating the accessibility of Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) application process. By accessibility we mean, if a prospective client attempts to initiate DARS services, can they do so independently and in a timely manner? Is it difficult to reach the local DARS offices? Are the offices responsive? <p><p>To answer these questions, we contacted the 34 DARS field offices in Virginia and inquired about the application process at each location. We were able to gather information from 30 of those offices. 4 DARS offices were non-responsive. We also listened to our clients experiences applying for services and discovered troubling inconsistences that lead to delays in services. <p><p>dLCV requested DARS to implement a singular, unified application process across the state. Furthermore, dLCV requested for all prospective clients to have an application and intake appointment within 30 days of initial contact with DARS. We made this demand in a letter to the DARS Commissioner in Sept 2016 and are negotiating the unified system in FY 17. <p><p>dLCV also took on a major Coming of Age project to provide information and education to students and parents to prepare them for what happens when a student turns 18 and becomes an adult. dLCV reached 520 individuals with the information at our own conference, detailed below, and at other presentations and outreach events. <p><p>dLCVs Coming of Age conference hosted 25 students and parents. dLCV provided educational information on being a self-advocate at your IEP meeting, provided information on supported decision making/alternatives to guardianship, provided information on how to apply for Social Security benefits and what to do to reapply when a child becomes an adult and provided information on Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services and the Client Assistance Program (CAP). Finally, dLCV shared the importance of knowing that one does not automatically lose benefits when returning to work. All of the parents and students were so pleased to receive this information in a singular event. <p><p>Another aspect of our conference was our vendor fair. We had vendors from the VR agency, the Community Work Incentive Coordinator (CWIC), the Partnership for People with Disabilities and the Center of Transition Innovation from Virginia Commonwealth University. Also at the conference was a dLCV staff member showing different types of AT and how AT can positively change the life of a person with a disability. The conference also included a self-advocacy panel. dLCV invited 2 self-advocates and a parent to share their own experiences. All shared how AT had played an important role in their lives. The self-advocates also gave their contact information to our student attendees so they could be a resource later if needed. <p><p>dLCV created a handbook of resources which we distributed at our Coming of
B. Litigation
0
0
0
N/A <p><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
disAbility Law Center of Virginia
No
N/A
B. Staff Employed
dLCV utilized advocates and attorneys and support staff from all units to complete our CAP advocacy in FY 16. <p><p>Multiple staff have attended the NDRN CAP training including: 1 Deputy Director, 1 Staff Attorney, and 4 Advocates. <p><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
I can work with a disability <p><p>Geoffrey contacted dLCV and requested assistance with getting DARS to open a vocational rehabilitation case to assist him in finding employment. He went into DARS, completed an application intake appointment, and never heard back from anyone. dLCV learned the counselor who completed his application/intake appointment was in the process of retiring and just simply allowed Geoffreys VR case to fall through the cracks. dLCV intervened and spoke with the retiring counselor about the status of the clients case, the counselor stated the client would not be able to benefit from services because he could not work due to his significant disabilities and extensive criminal background. <p><p>dLCV continued to zealously advocate on Geoffreys behalf through a letter of concern and numerous emails and follow up phone calls to Geoffreys newly assigned vocational rehabilitation counselor. Geoffreys vocational rehabilitation counselor was able to find him eligible for DARS services and prepare a situational assessment for him. Geoffrey is about to be hired for a driving position, which is his vocational goal and falls right in line with his knowledge, skills, and abilities! <p><p>A little support to start a business <p><p>Hillary called dLCV because she got a letter from the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) stating they were going to close her case. Her vocational goal was to create a small business as a child care provider. She said she had worked with DARS in the past and was a part of their Small Business Enterprise (SBE) but not provided certain goods and services needed to maintain her business. dLCV agreed to assist Hillary in keeping her DARS case open. <p><p>dLCV negotiated with DARS. DARS wrote a proposal for services and dLCV responded with a counter proposal. As a result of dLCVs zealous advocacy, DARS agreed to the following: <p><p>1. DARS agreed to help Hillary identify a mentor through the Small Business Administration to provide ongoing support with business decisions. 2.DARS agreed to support Hillary through the Employment Resource Center (ERC), (Fairfax DARS office) to manage all business related paperwork (including but not limited to the Federal Tax ID, Metro Access Application and the Certificate of Trade Name application, Business License Permit, and child care applications). They also agreed to make this service available to Hillary after case closure. 3.DARS offered to make available to Hillary a computer with internet connection, printer and paper in the ERC; as needed within reason. They agreed to make this service available after case closure. 4.DARS agreed to sponsor a financial literacy class to help with budgeting. 5.DARS agreed to provide Hillary with a $75 gas card to travel to her recertification training. 6.DARS agreed to provide Hillary with a $200 spending account to purchase flyers and business cards. 7.VR counselor agreed
Certification
Approved
Colleen Miller
Executive Director
2016-10-19
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