RSA-227 for FY-2017: Submission #938

Florida
9/30/2017
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Disability Rights Florida
2473 Care Drive
Suite 200
Tallahassee FL
FL
32308
(800) 342-0823
(800) 346-4127
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
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Additional Information
Maryellen McDonald
Ann Robinson
(850) 488-9071
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Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
134
8
0
10
44
1
197
B. Training Activities
12
1002
Brooks Rehabilitation- Working While Disabled presentation on October 6, 2016 to provide information on VR services, Social Security and to cover employment rights and self advocacy for individuals with disabilities who have been newly injured or receiving therapy at the Rehabilitation Center. Presentation to individuals and family members to ensure they are aware of opportunities to work and their access to CAP and Disability Rights Florida assistance. On October 7, 2016, CAP staff members attended a Disability Mentoring Day in Jacksonville Florida to provide information on CAP, Disability Rights Florida, self advocacy and work place accommodations to individuals with disabiliites. Vocational Rehabilitation Programs explained along with Ticket to Work. Rights of Students with Disabilities presentation at the Expo 2016 Exceptional Student Education Family Forum on October 29, 2016. Families and studenets with disabilities in Miami-Dade County provided with transition information related to transition from school to work and vocational rehabilitation programs. Presentation at the Polk Symposium on Special Education on February 25, 2017 to students with disabilities, parents, caregivers, community agencies and Polk County School District on navigating the transition process including post-secondary education, assistive technology accommodations and vocational rehabilitation and CAP information. Connecting the Dots presentation at the Family Care Council on April 13, 2017 to provide individuals with information on CAP and Disability Rights Florida. Information on rights and responsibilities under different federal and state programs provided such as VR and Social Security with work incentives. The predominant audience were individuals with developmental disabilities and their family members. There were also disability organizations such as the Center for Independent Living and the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology in attendance. Event: Visions XXIV Transition Planning Institute and conference on May 18, 2017. CAP attorney presented workshop training to transition age individuals related to vocational rehabilitation, what issues to be aware of while transitioning to post-secondary activities, and how work incentives can ease the transition from beneficiary to self-sufficient individual. An overview of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act was also provided. CAP as a resource was also explained. Guardian ad-litem Transition to PostSecondary/Employment Training provided on May 4, 2017 to introduce high school and post-secondary students to the vocational rehabilitation process and inform them of their rights while participating with VR as well as accommodations in post secondary school settings and employment settings. Training provided to raise awareness of the CAP program and the advocacy assistance that can be provided. Event: National Alliance for Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) May 22-24, 2017 in Tampa Flor
C. Agency Outreach
Event: 9TH Annual Yes! Family Abilities Information Rally (F.A.I.R.) Location & Date: Tampa, Florida on October 1, 2016 Attendance: 800 Outcome: The F.A.I.R. had over 800 participants (vendors, healthcare providers and government officials). The Hillsborough County community was able to receive free wellness screenings, information and resources from local and state health care providers and vendors. CAP raised awareness of services available for individuals with disabilities on Emergency Preparedness, Access to Voting, Employment, Assistive Technology (Durable Medical Equipment), Social Security and other disability related issues. Onsite Intakes 12.<p>Event: Reimagine Brownsville Event (Faith Based Organization in Pensacola, FL) Location & Date: Oakcrest Elementary School in Pensacola, FL on October 22, 2016 Attendance: 200 Outcome: Intake participated in this event by providing general information to participants including underserved minorities and individuals with disabilities. The outreach event generated onsite intakes on the following issues: Social Security, vocational rehabilitation services, employment, education and Medicaid including concerns related to the need for more Medicaid providers in rural areas of the state. <p><p>Event: Spirit of the ADA Jacksonville on October 30, 2016. Attendance: There were 1000 people in attendance and approximately 250 stopped at our table. Outcome: City of Jacksonville's Disabled Services Division, the Independent LIving Resource Center of Northeast Florida and the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens at the 9th Annual Spirit of the ADA to celebrate October as Disability Awareness Month and the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. <p><p>Event: Employment Symposium: Hiring Abilities Expo and Job Fair 2016 Location and Date: November 3, 2016 at the Florida Blue Conference Center in Jacksonville Attendance: 160 HR Professionals at the Symposium. 155 Candidates at the Job Fair. 26 Employers hiring at the Job Fair. 13 Agencies giving very valuable information for both events. Outcome: The goal was to reach out to the business community to educate HR professionals on disability issues and accommodations in order to take away the fear of hiring persons with disabilities. There were over 30 actual job offers. <p><p>Event: Coral Glades High School Transition Fair on February 24, 2017 Attendance: 100 Outcome: Approximately 50 students with disabilities, their families, care givers, teachers and counselors, staff and community agencies participated in a Student Transition Fair. Local and state agencies were represented with options to post-secondary education, employment, voting, VR, accommodations, access and health insurance options for when the student graduates.<p>Event: Ms. Wheelchair Florida at University of South Florida (St. Petersburg Campus) on March 31, 2017. Attendance: 25 Outcome: To conduct a training on ADA Title I, Reasonable Accommodations and WIOA to the participants with var
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
0
31000
20
1
CAP reworked our Disability Topic on Vocational Rehabilitation to include a new Podcast: You First Episode 9: What is the Client Assistance Program? The podcast was active on April 13, 2017.<p>Two CAP advocates describe the CAP program and process in an accessible podcast format. 180 individuals have listened to the Podcast. <p><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
The Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Florida Division of Blind Services include information on the CAP program on their website, in their online counselor manuals and application information. The Florida Rehabilitation Council website also has information on how to access the CAP program. <p><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
33
173
206
10
48
B. Problem areas
1
160
99
28
3
47
5
1
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
81
3
71
0
9
4
168
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
116
13
4
5
2
13
1
0
14
0
0
0
<P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
90
21
5
0
5
26
13
5
2
1
Agency withdrew from representation as client was uncooperative with CAP <p><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
6
23
42
120
15
206
B. Gender
105
101
206
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
43
1
1
52
1
101
2
5
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
0
3
1
2
1
4
12
0
29
10
0
3
14
8
0
0
0
2
5
3
50
2
0
5
9
28
0
1
0
13
1
0
0
0
206
E. Types of Individuals Served
31
2
152
2
21
2
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
9
2017 CAP Systemic Highlights: <p><p>The Employment Goal Subcommittee of the Florida Developmental Disability Council focuses on the Council&rsquo;s State Plan employment initiatives. The subcommittee brings together Council and resource members from state and private entities concerned with increasing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The CAP Director is also the Executive Director of Disability Rights Florida and participates in the quarterly meetings. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) Director is a Council member and both serve on this subcommittee so close collaboration can occur. Some of the activities monitored by the subcommittee focus on Employment First priorities such as training and employment of transition age youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, increasing rural employment opportunities and increasing host businesses and providers for Project Search. Florida Rehabilitation Council (FRC): The CAP grant coordinator was elected as vice chair of the FRC this year and continued appointment as the Chair of the Evaluation Committee. The Evaluation Committee is responsible for the Client Satisfaction Survey as well as recommending topic areas for focus groups under the contract. CAP advocacy promoted a focus group conducted in two DVR areas related to client understanding of appeal rights. The focus group results indicated client understanding of the various levels of conflict resolution opportunities including use of the DVR supervisor, use of CAP, use of the DVR Ombudsman and appeals process was not as high as expected. Additional questions were added to the satisfaction survey at the suggestion of the Evaluation Committee and our systemic advocacy resulted in the tracking of client understanding of their rights to be actively monitored on a quarterly basis by the FRC, CAP and DVR so that additional education efforts can proceed. Major advocacy from the CAP representative on the Council focused attention on continued concerns for clients having to go through a higher level of appeal (administrative review or administrative hearing) when some issues should be resolved through better communication and consideration of all the facts. CAP fostered a major discussion on mediation with strong support from the council after providing the Council with the the DBS policy that mediation can be considered even at an informal level. A key part of the discussion was requesting the criteria used by DVR when considering mediation and DVR has agreed to better describe how mediation option fits into the appeal process. CAP Evaluation Committee advocacy resulted in a presentation by DVR staff in the August 2017 quarterly meeting related to the new Orientation Process for individuals with disabilities. The Council is interested in how rights, services and expectations of DVR are explained as this model is soon to be taken statewide. The initial review appeared to be conc
B. Litigation
0
0
0
<P><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Disability Rights Florida
No
NA
B. Staff Employed
PositionPosition Type% of Year filled% of position funded by CAPPerson Years Advocacy SpecialistProfessional100.00%11.4%1 Advocacy SpecialistProfessional100.00%11.4%1 Advocacy SpecialistProfessional100.00%11.4%1 Advocacy SpecialistProfessional60.00%1.1%0.6 Advocacy Specialist BilingualProfessional100.00%11.4%1 AdvocateProfessional100.00%37.8%1 Advocate InvestigatorProfessional100.00%85.0%1 Advocate/InvestigatorProfessional100.00%78.2%1 Dir. Of Education, Advocacy & OutreachProfessional100.00%19.8%1 Director of Finance & AdministrationProfessional100.00%11.4%1 Director of Public PolicyProfessional100.00%3.6%1 Executive DirectorProfessional100.00%11.4%1 Intake CoordinatorProfessional100.00%11.4%1 Intake ManagerProfessional100.00%11.4%1 Intake Outreach CoordinatorProfessional100.00%11.4%1 Managing AttorneyProfessional100.00%0.6%0.75 Outreach CoordinatorProfessional100.00%6.4%1 Personnel & Benefits CoordinatorProfessional100.00%11.4%1 Senior Advocate/InvestigatorProfessional100.00%0.6%1 Senior Advocate/InvestigatorProfessional100.00%0.9%1 Sr. Advocate/InvestigatorProfessional100.00%5.4%1 Staff AttorneyProfessional100.00%19.7%1 Staff AttorneyProfessional100.00%19.7%1 Staff AttorneyProfessional100.00%26.3%1 Staff AttorneyProfessional38.00%16.0%0.38 Technology & Communications ManagerProfessional100.00%11.4%1 Accounting AssociateClerical100.00%11.4%1 Communications Intern (quarter time)Clerical50.00%11.4%0.25 Executive AssistantClerical100.00%11.4%1 Legal SecretaryClerical100.00%11.4%1 ParalegalClerical100.00%11.4%1 Senior ParalegalClerical100.00%11.4%1 Sr. ParalegalClerical100.00%11.4%1 Staff AssistantClerical100.00%11.4%1 Staff AssistantClerical100.00%11.4%1 Staff AssistantClerical92.00%11.4%0.92 Staff AssistantClerical85.00%11.4%0.85 Total Professional 24.73 Total Clerical 10.02 <p><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
MV, an individual with a specific learning disability, contacted CAP for assistance with getting the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) to reverse a case closure decision and provide transportation assistance. CAP investigation revealed the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor previously providing services to MV did not speak Spanish. The DVR office did not have phone interpreting service available for non-English speakers with only one interpreter available for in-person meetings. CAP successfully advocated for the case to be reopened through negotiation with the DVR supervisor, a new counselor was assigned and transportation services were approved. It was also suggested that VR initiate the vendor process with a phone interpreting service to eliminate any future systemic communication delays for Spanish speaking clients.<p>MD, an individual with anxiety, depression and orthopedic impairment contacted CAP for assistance reopening a DVR case. Investigation revealed that MD&rsquo;s case was closed because MD only speaks Spanish. CAP advocacy resulted in the case being reopened and assigned to a new DVR Counselor. The DVR supervisor confirmed that all future letters will be in Spanish and that an interpreter will be made available for all future meetings.<p>MC, a person with ADHD and social pragmatic communication disorder reported a denial of training assistance from DVR. MC was interested in attending a private specialty school with particular expertise in education services for individuals with attention deficit disorders. CAP agreed to represent MC and CAP intervention resulted in DVR agreeing to draft an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) reflecting MC&rsquo;s vocational goal and providing assistance towards tuition.<p>SP, an individual with anxiety disorder, mental illness, heart and other circulatory conditions contacted CAP for assistance with the DVR application process. Investigation revealed that during the application process, the DVR Counselor dismissed SP and deemed her ineligible because she had a Bachelor&rsquo;s degree in Nursing. Furthermore, SP was not permitted to explain her disability, provide medical information nor discuss her vocational goal. CAP successfully argued for SP&rsquo;s application to be reprocessed with a more experienced DVR Counselor. Our intervention resulted in SP being allowed to fully complete the application process with a DVR supervisor and she was scheduled for a psychological, ophthalmological and functional evaluation.<p>CM, a person with neurological disorders contacted CAP regarding her DVR case, seeking assistance in clarifying the status of her case and obtaining transportation and job placement assistance. Investigation revealed that the DVR Counselor sent CM a closure letter as she was successfully employed. CAP successfully advocated for CM&rsquo;s case to remain open as she is underemployed and DVR agreed to keep CM&rsquo;s case open, provide a bus pass for transportation assistance, jo
Certification
Approved
Maryellen McDonald
CAP Director and Executive Director
2016-12-18
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