RSA-227 for FY-2017: Submission #960

Pennsylvania
9/30/2017
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Center for Disability Law & Policy
1515 Market Street
Suite 1300
Philadelphia
PA
19102
(888) 745-2357
(888) 745-2357
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
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Additional Information
Stephen S. Pennington
Stephen S. Pennington
(215) 564-2363
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Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
418
76
0
50
303
169
1016
B. Training Activities
50
2708
CAP spoke with staff at all 22 OVR offices and visited with staff at 19 of 22 offices. Some highlights of our VR office trainings and outreach to OVR service providers are as follows. In October of 2016, CAP traveled to the Washington, PA OVR office. CAP met with approximately 10 staff members to discuss CAP services and any concerns that staff would like advice on. Also in October of 2016, CAP visited the Johnstown OVR office to speak with approximately 15 staff members and to participate in their local Consumer Advisory Committee. While in Johnstown, CAP visited the Commonwealth Technical Institute (Hiram G. Andrews Center). CAP met with approximately 20 members of the Hiram G. Andrews staff and approximately 100 students to speak about CAP advocacy services. In December of 2016, CAP staff visited the Wilkes-Barre Bureau of Vocational Services and Bureau of Blindness & Visual Services offices. CAP met with approximately 30 staff members both old and new to the agency. CAP spoke about our services to all staff and reserved time at the end of our visit to speak with individual counselors that wanted advice on specific case issues. While also in Wilkes-Barre, CAP staff visited the newly constructed “Transitional Skills Center” a part of the North-Eastern Pennsylvania Center for Independent Living. The Transitional Skills Center is a cutting-edge facility that provides Pre-Employment Transition Services to students 14-21. CAP was provided an opportunity to speak to all 70 students currently attending the half day program. In January of 2017, CAP staff met with approximately 10 staff members at the York OVR district office. CAP discussed current issues that staff were having with clients and offered methods of dispute resolution. The staff at the York OVR office invited us to visit a Pre-Employment Transition Services provider where a Work-Based Learning Experience (WBLE) was taking place. CAP met with 10 students participating in the WBLE and trained them on self-advocacy and how they can use CAP as a partner in their transition process. In May of 2017, CAP staff met with approximately 20 OVR staff members at the Reading, PA district office where we provided training to staff of best practices in communication and encouraged staff to utilize CAP as a resource. In July of 2017, CAP staff visited the Dubois OVR office. CAP spoke approximately 5 staff member Business Service representatives and provided guidance and best practices in communication with customers. Also, in July of 2017, CAP met with 10 staff members and provided training at the Venango Training and Development Center as well as Goodwill of Western Pennsylvania, both Pre-Employment Transition Services providers. In August 2017, CAP visited with approximately 10 staff members of both the Altoona Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services. CAP met with staff and discussed concerns that staff were having with issues such as transportat
C. Agency Outreach
CAP continued our outreach to populations that are unserved or underserved. These populations included: speech/language, heart/circulatory, spina bifida, pulmonary disorders, deaf and hard of hearing, skin disorders, and arthritis. CAP outreached to speech/language groups across the state highlighting the Aphasia Hope Foundation, the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and all state-wide support groups for speech-language disorders. Outreach highlights to the heart/circulatory population included: local chapters of the American Heart Association, National American Heart Association, and cardiac rehabilitation centers and support groups statewide. Highlights from the Spina Bifida outreach included: Spina Bifida Association of Greater Pennsylvania, Spina Bifida Association of Greater Pittsburgh, Good Shepherd Spina Bifida Program, Lehigh Valley Spina Bifida, Easter Seals of Southeastern PA Chester County, and Spina Bifida Association of Delaware County, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Geisinger Medical Center Spina Bifida Clinic, MOSS Rehabilitation Center Adult Spina Bifida Clinic and Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Some highlights of the pulmonary disease outreach are: Central PA Cystic Fibrosis Chapter, Temple University Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group, UPMC Presbyterian Hospital Simmons Center Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group, Gettysburg/Hanover/ Adams County Area Every Breath Counts Support Group, St. Luke's Hospital Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group and the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. CAP&rsquo;s outreach to the deaf and hard of hearing population included attending the Advisory Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing quarterly meetings, outreaching to Western PA School for the Deaf, the Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing, attending the Berks County Deaf and Hard of Hearing Expo, and attended the Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing, hearing loss expo as an exhibitor. A highlight of CAP outreach to the deaf and hard of hearing transition population was as both a presenter and an exhibitor at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf&rsquo;s 4th Annual Transition and Resource Fair as CAP was one of over 30 exhibitors asked to participate. At this event, CAP was provided the opportunity to train over 150 participants on self-advocacy and rights and responsibilities within the Vocational Rehabilitation system. CAP reached out to some of the other exhibitors as part of our outreach to the deaf/hard of hearing population. Some highlights from CAP&rsquo;s outreach to skin disorder associations are the Alopecia Foundation and Foundation of Ichthyosis. CAP also focused on strengthening efforts to reach out to minority populations, participating and providing training at the Alliance of Black Social Workers Conference, the Community Resilience Symposium on Pride and Perseverance. <p><p>
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
1
3
2
13904
27
12230
Post reaches on CAP Facebook page. <p><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
<P><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
75
126
201
0
98
B. Problem areas
17
107
95
20
0
21
0
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
8
16
74
3
2
0
103
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
71
21
0
0
1
8
0
2
0
0
0
0
<P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
23
3
8
7
55
7
0
0
0
0
<P><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
17
45
39
92
8
201
B. Gender
120
81
201
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
6
0
3
49
0
133
7
3
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
12
12
2
0
1
1
35
1
8
12
0
3
8
9
2
1
1
1
4
9
35
3
2
7
6
12
0
0
1
9
0
1
2
1
201
E. Types of Individuals Served
44
2
135
1
24
2
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
15
1.CAP provided comment to OVR regarding the statutory requirement to actively consult the CAP director prior to adopting any policy or procedure. CAP is still working to resolve this issue. 2.CAP provided comment to OVR regarding limitations of the final Pre-Employment Transition Services regulations. CAP recommended that OVR utilize group services to provide transportation and assistive technology. CAP&rsquo;s recommendations were accepted. 3.CAP provided comment to OVR raising the issue of OVR counselors asking clients to sign blank Individualized Plans for Employment. CAP recommended this be addressed through training. OVR accepted CAP&rsquo;s recommendation. 4.CAP prepared a memo on federal and state rulemaking requirements to ensure OVR policies comply with state and federal laws. CAP is still working to resolve this issue. 5.CAP worked with OVR in providing comment to The Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, on the request for repeal, replacement, or modification regulations and guidance. 6.CAP participated in the workgroup revision of the Low Vision policy. CAP provided recommendations including a provision that would expedite the process to receive recommended low vision aides. This recommendation was included in the final policy. 7.CAP provided comment to OVR regarding the revision of the Psychological Services Memo. CAP was consulted about the removal of the requirement prohibiting the use of Psychological testing which was performed over 3 years ago. CAP supported the removal of this requirement and this was removed from the final memo. 8.CAP participated in the revision on the Supported Employment Policy. CAP made recommendations such us adding self-advocacy training as a part of the job mentoring phase of Supported Employment. CAP&rsquo;s recommendations were added to the final policy. 9. CAP provided comment to OVR regarding the revision of the Competitive Integrated Employment Policy. CAP recommended compliance with federal regulations, specifically, 371.6, to include self-employment as part of the competitive integrated employment definition. The comment was accepted and added to the final policy. 10. CAP provided comment to OVR regarding the revision of the 1998 Amendments Memo. CAP recommendations included addition of statutory requirements to notify customers of the availability of CAP services. CAP&rsquo;s recommendations were included in the final policy. 11. CAP provided comment to the OVR Combined State Plan. CAP recommended OVR address extended wait times for consumers seeking to receive Orientation & Mobility training and provide adequate notice for State Plan meetings. CAP is still working to resolve this issue. 12. CAP was asked to comment on OVR&rsquo;s Small Business Policy regarding the start-up matching contribution. CAP&rsquo;s recommendation was included in the final policy. 13.CAP recommended revising OVR&rsquo;s Subrogation Policy to comply with Pe
B. Litigation
0
0
0
<P><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-other nonprofit agency
Center for Disability Law & Policy
No
not applicable
B. Staff Employed
4 full-time professionals - 4 person years <p><p>2 part-time, 1 full-time equivalent <p><p>1 Director, 3 CAP Advocates, 2 part-time clerical <p><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
Case example 1: Client is a 67-year-old woman who has been diagnosed with Degenerative Joint Disease who is pursuing a Bachelor&rsquo;s degree. Client had reached out to the Client Assistance Program numerous times for advice regarding her financial funding issues to support her Bachelor&rsquo;s degree. After a few attempts to resolve her concerns on her own, with CAP guidance, client was unsuccessful and requested to open a CAP case. Clients concerns regarding college funding were that she believed she was not counseled properly in her college selection and she is unable to afford her tuition payments due to a financial hardship. Client&rsquo;s assigned CAP advocate, advocated for client to receive hardship waiver from state agency to cover the college costs she was unable to afford. Through further discussions with client and agency, CAP advocate discovered that clients chosen major of study was the only program of its kind offered in Pennsylvania. Therefore, client should have been considered under an &ldquo;exception&rdquo; in the state agencies &ldquo;College and Other Post-Secondary Training&rdquo; policy. The exception detailed in the policy is for a student who has completed 2 full years of study, the student&rsquo;s chosen program is not available at one of the State System of Higher Education (SSHE) universities, and the tuition amount for the least expensive SSHE program out of 3 programs offering the specific program of study would be used. Since the clients chosen program was solely offered at the university she has been attending for more than two years, through CAP advocacy, the state agencies used the policy exception for current outstanding payments and all remaining tuition payments moving forward with her education. <p><p>Case example 2: Client is a 23-year-old man diagnosed with Autism who is pursuing a Bachelor&rsquo;s degree. Client contacted the Client Assistance Program with several concerns. Client was having difficulty navigating the Vocational Rehabilitation program and understanding the connection with the Social Security Administration(SSA). The CAP advocate assigned to his case has extensive SSA knowledge from previous employment with the Social Security Administration. was able to provide self-advocacy training tailored to the SSA process to the customer. Through this provided guidance, the client was able to resolve his SSA concerns by himself. The client was also having difficulty with communication with his assigned Vocational Rehabilitation counselor. CAP provided self-advocacy training to the client to resolve his communication concerns with the Vocational Rehabilitation State Agency. Client also was having difficulty in having the state agency agree to fund an extra semester that was necessary for the client to obtain a business minor in addition to his psychology major. Through CAP advocacy, client was able to justify the payment with the VR agency due to his government internship being able to offer him fu
Certification
Approved
Center for Disability Law and Policy
Stephen Pennington
2017-12-21
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