RSA-227 for FY-2017: Submission #936

Connecticut
9/30/2017
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilit
60B Weston Street
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Hartford
CT
6120
http://www.ct.gov/opapd
(800) 842-7303
(800) 842-7303
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilit
60B Weston Street
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Hartford
6120
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gretchen.knauff@ct.gov
http://www.ct.gov/opapd
(800) 842-7303
(800) 842-7303
Additional Information
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Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
22
0
0
0
0
2
24
B. Training Activities
3
350
<P><p>
C. Agency Outreach
<p>The Office of Protection and Advocacy for persons with Disabilities was abolished on June 30, 2017. During the last 6 months, CAP continued to serve its clients but obtaining information about outreach was almost impossible. Because, the State of Connecticut cut access to information systems and email on the last day of the agency&rsquo;s existence, some information could not be accessed in writing this report. It is therefore, only a representation of the work completed and does not reflect the full scope of outreach or website statistics.</p><p><p>During the abbreviated fiscal year, the CAP Advocate and Supervisor participated in 14 outreach events. CAP information was distributed to more than 2100 attendees at these events. Almost 10,000 publications were distributed at these events. In addition, more than 2,500 P&amp;A publications that included CAP information were distributed to individuals and organizations contacting P&amp;A for assistance. More than 2,000 people were given the opportunity to register to vote.</p><p><p>The P&amp;A website was updated during the 2017 fiscal year, providing information about events, issues affecting people with disabilities, P&amp;A programs including CAP, agency publications, legislative updates; links to websites for disability rights and resources; and reports on developments in the field of disability rights. Many of the P&amp;A publications have been translated into Spanish and were available on the P&amp;A website. Statistics on the number of hits and downloads from the website were not available for this report.</p><p><p>The CAP Advocate was bilingual and bicultural. She was able to provide information to clients and members of the public in Spanish, an invaluable tool at resource events. P&amp;A&rsquo;s Community Advocacy Specialist was also bilingual and bicultural. She was responsible for arranging participation at many generic disability-related resource events. She distributed information to at events including, but not limited to a statewide dental clinic that reached 4,000 people many of whom were members of underserved and unserved minority communities.</p><p>
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
0
0
12
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<p>Not Applicable.</p><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
<p>Not Applicable.</p><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
26
19
45
0
5
B. Problem areas
1
4
28
9
0
1
0
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
7
0
28
1
4
0
40
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
24
6
0
1
0
2
0
0
6
0
1
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<P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
0
2
1
4
3
10
9
7
3
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<p>1 - Assisted in obtaining records from vocational rehabilitation agency.</p><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
1
5
14
21
4
45
B. Gender
18
27
45
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
7
0
2
6
0
29
0
1
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
2
3
0
0
0
0
2
0
2
0
0
4
1
2
0
0
0
0
1
3
15
0
0
1
0
6
0
0
0
2
0
1
0
0
45
E. Types of Individuals Served
42
0
3
0
0
0
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
2
<p>The Connecticut CAP is aware that this section of the report looks at systemic activities that did not involve individual representation. The issues below, however, became evident because of individual representation and have been addressed by looking at the cases taken and taking action in many different forms.</p><p><p>1. <u>Assistive Technology (AT) Evaluations </u>- The CAP program continued to request assistive technology evaluations for its BRS clients as AT evaluations are often critical to identifying tools to assist with successful employment. CAP staff worked diligently during the fiscal year, to remind BRS of its obligation and to educate BRS counselors. The CAP staff reported that the resistance to AT evaluations has dissipated and that their requests were now routinely being met with success.</p><p><p>2. <u>People with Greatest Support Needs are Turned Away/Customized Employment</u> - The 2015 CAP PPR discussed the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) and how agency&rsquo;s refusal to serve people with intellectual disabilities. The assumption is that a person with intellectual disability cannot be competitively employed and the person is found ineligible after a cursory evaluation of the client. The individual is then referred to the Department of Developmental Services for assistance with the recommendation that he or she do volunteer work for a couple of years to develop employment related skills. People with intellectual disability are denied the same opportunities to gain job skills and find employment that are available to all other disability groups. Most employment approaches for people with intellectual disability also take a very standard approach to finding competitive employment for people with disabilities. This global approach requires that each employee have a number of skills to meet the demands of the job rather than using a customized employment approach to match skills with particular employer needs.</p><p><p>In fiscal year 2016, the CAP Advocate and Supervisor also found that their clients with mental illness were also experiencing the same dismissive treatment by BRS staff. Because of the mental illness, they were not found to be competitively employable and were told to go volunteer, acquire new skills and come back in a couple years.</p><p><p>During the 2016 fiscal year, P&amp;A staff including the CAP Advocate and Supervisor, made changes to its employment workgroup and decided to focus on bringing customized employment to Connecticut. This is a multi-agency, multi-year initiative to assist people with the most significant disabilities with finding competitive employment by matching their skills and abilities with the specific needs of the employer. Collaborating agencies include the Departments of Developmental Services, Labor, Rehabilitation Services, and Mental Health and Addiction Services. The Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities and the University Center for Excellence in Develop
B. Litigation
0
0
0
<P><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
Internal to the State VR agency
Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities
No
N/A
B. Staff Employed
<p>The Connecticut Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons funded the partial salary of a Human Services Advocate who provided information, referral and case representation. She also provided training, represented the agency at resource events, and was a member of the State Rehabilitation Council for the Board of Education and Services for the Blind and the Chair of the State Rehabilitation Advisory Council for BRS. A small portion of the salary of the CAP Supervisor was also funded with CAP monies. When necessary, CAP funds were used for attorney representation. During the 2017 fiscal year, the CAP attorney represented an individual at a fair hearing and spent considerable time reviewing cases and issues with the CAP Advocate and Supervisor.</p><p><p>The FTE for each position was not available at the time of this writing due to closure of the</p><p><p>agency.</p><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
<p>The following are examples of non-litigation cases handled by the CAP advocate and/or supervisor.</p><p><p><u>Interesting Case 1</u></p><p><p>Jesse, a young woman with Cerebral Palsy, had been receiving services from the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) for about three years. She was not having much success because BRS did not seem to take her seriously. Her BRS Counselor and community rehabilitation provider (CRP) were very paternalistic when it came to Jesse and her job choices. Jesse loves children and wanted to work in a day care setting. Her BRS Counselor would not support her job choice, however, because Jesse uses a walker and the Counselor didn&rsquo;t feel it would be safe. Children running around or playing could run into Jesse causing her to fall and hurt herself. Jesse got tired of hearing &ldquo;no&rdquo; to her choices and called the CAP Advocate for help.</p><p><p>The CAP Advocate attended a meeting and explained to the BRS Counselor and the CRP that Jesse is not going to put herself in harm&rsquo;s way and she is capable of making these choices. The Advocate insisted that Jesse decide where she should work. She also worked with Jesse before the meeting and empowered her to speak up about her choices for the first time. After that meeting, Jesse met with the CRP to discuss employment. She felt like the CRP was listening to her. They worked to get her an interview at a day care center where is now employed and enjoying every minute.</p><p><p><u>Interesting Case 2</u> -</p><p><p>Jason, a person with right upper paralysis from a stroke at age 5, called CAP because BRS was closing his case for noncompliance. Jason was requesting employment in the insurance industry. He has received several licenses in the insurance field and wants to work in the finance department. He called CAP requesting assistance with keeping his case open and moving forward with employment.</p><p><p>After one meeting, BRS agreed to keep Jason&rsquo;s case open and support him with additional services. The CAP advocate attended several meeting with Jason. The CAP advocate noted that Jason was more than capable of working in the insurance industry. She thought that Jason would benefit from having the Employment Consultant (EC). This would facilitate a quicker road to employment. BRS agreed to schedule a meeting with the EC. Before the meeting could be scheduled the EC left BRS. There is was no plan for an immediate replacement. The CAP advocate knew that applying to the insurance filed is very competitive. She suggested that Jason have an AT Evaluation to enhance his skills. She also felt his resume and interview skills should be updated. Jason decided to work with CRP to fulfill the role of the EC. Jason was on his way but, needed to take someone to physically prepare himself for employment. He is working on getting better and will move forward with employment soon.</p><p><p><u>Interesting Case 3</u></p><p><p>Joan, an LPN, called CAP because she had been
Certification
Approved
Gretchen Knauff
Assistant Director
2017-09-03
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