RSA-227 for FY-2017: Submission #968

Vermont
9/30/2017
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Vermont Client Assistance Program
57 North Main Street
Suite 2
Rutland
VT
05701
http://vtlegalaid.org
(800) 769-7459
(800) 769-7459
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Vermont Client Assistance Program
57 North Main Street
Suite 2
Rutland
05701
Vermont
nbreiden@vtlegalaid.org
http://vtlegalaid.org
(800) 769-7459
(800) 769-7459
Additional Information
Nancy Breiden
Nancy Breiden
(802) 775-0022
{Empty}
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
41
12
0
92
0
103
248
B. Training Activities
6
77
<p>&ldquo;The ADA for Service Providers.&rdquo; Training for non-profit service providers on the requirements of the ADA, both for them as places of public accommodation and for the people they serve. Training was through formal presentation, written materials and question/answer. Purpose of the training was to inform staff of non-profit service provider agencies of their obligations to provide accommodations under the ADA and of the rights of the people they serve to be free from disability-based discrimination.</p><p><p>&ldquo;The Client Assistance Program: Who we are and What we do.&rdquo; Training for the Vermont Federation of Families for Children&rsquo;s Mental Health on CAP with emphasis on transition from school to adult services/employment. Training was through informal presentation, written materials, and question/answer. Purpose of the training was to make agency staff and families served aware of advocacy services available through the CAP.</p><p><p>&ldquo;Americans With Disabilities Act&rdquo; for Vermont Legal Aid. Purpose of the training was to remind staff of non-profit service provider agency of their obligations to provide accommodations under the ADA and of the rights of people they represent to be free from disability-based discrimination.</p><p><p>&ldquo;CAP Services&rdquo; for the Vermont Refugee Service Provider Network. Purpose of the training was to inform participants in the refugee service provider network of what legal services CAP can offer to New Americans.</p><p><p>&ldquo;Vermont Legal Aid Legislative Breakfast Roundtable.&rdquo; Information for legislators on CAP advocacy services. Training was through informal presentation and question/answer. Purpose of the information session was to make legislators aware of legal advocacy services available through the CAP and to encourage legislators to contact the CAP for help with resolution of constituent issues. 19 legislators participated.</p><p><p>&ldquo;CAP Advocacy for Youth in Transition&rdquo; for <i>Reach</i> for Transition, a collaboration between 9 parent centers in 7 Northeastern states. Training was through a webinar for families, youth/young adults with disabilities and professionals, on many different transition topics. CAP presented on what resources CAP could offer to the aforementioned group.</p><p>
C. Agency Outreach
<p>CAP shared information about CAP services with approximately (30) attendees of high school students at the Transition Fair which was held on April 4, 2017 at Castleton State University and was sponsored by the Rutland Core Team.</p><p><p>CAP shared information about CAP services with approximately (12) individuals from local agencies, teachers and parents participating in the Transition Fair at Castleton State University on April 4, 2017.</p><p><p>CAP shared information about CAP services with approximately (8) attendees of the VT. Transition and Career planning conference which took place May 25, 2017 and was sponsored by Vermont Student Assistance Corporation.</p><p><p>CAP shared information with approximately (10) attendees of the Employment Summit conference which took place on June 6<sup>th</sup>, 2017 at the University of Vermont. This conference was sponsored by the Centers for Disability Inclusion and the Vermont APSE.</p><p><p>CAP shared information about CAP services with approximately (20) individuals who participated in an &ldquo;accessibility walk&rdquo; through down town Rutland in celebration of the 27<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the signing of the ADA. This event took place in July and was sponsored by Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL) and Disabled Advocacy and Access of Rutland (DAAAR). CAP also participated in this event by touring the city with the group of local politicians, advocates and wheelchair users in a manual wheelchair to experience first- hand the obstacles that are encountered by folks who use wheelchairs.</p><p><p>CAP shared information about CAP services at the Interagency Core Team Collaboration Event held at St. Michael&rsquo;s College in Colchester, VT in October of 2017. CAP shared information with approximately (12) participants who attended the event including special educators, VR staff, and staff from the designated agencies.</p><p><p>CAP shared information about CAP services with (6) individuals with intellectual disabilities in the context of involvement with other DLP non-CAP cases in an effort to improve outreach to individuals with Intellectual Disabilities.</p><p><p>CAP shared information about CAP services with (2) parents/guardians of adolescent/young adult children in the context of SSI cases in an effort to improve outreach to young people with disabilities who live with their families are not involved with designated developmental service provider agencies.</p><p><p>CAP shared information about CAP services with (3) staff members of designated developmental service provider agencies in the context of other non-CAP cases in an effort to improve outreach to individuals with Intellectual Disabilities who receive services through the designated agencies.</p><p><p>CAP developed a &ldquo;know your rights&rdquo; insert to be added to Vermont Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI) materials to improve outreach to blind and visually impaired consumers.</p><p><p>CAP developed an audio version of t
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
1
0
1
7
0
<P><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
<p><b>Colchester Sun </b>September 27, 2017</p><p><p><i>VOICE FOR CONSUMERS</i></p><p><p>Gerald Doody and <b>Sherrie Brunelle</b> were each named to three-year terms on the State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind and Visually Impaired, a 37-year old commission that advises the state division of the same name.</p><p><p>Brunelle, a paralegal with the Disability Law Project at Vermont Legal Aid, represents the Client Assistance Program on the council, which is federally mandated.</p><p><p>Brunelle serves in the same capacity for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.</p><p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re the consumer&rsquo;s voice,&rdquo; Brunelle said. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re bringing a consumer&rsquo;s perspective to the table, and we are making sure that both entities are complying with the federal law.&rdquo;</p><p><p>Brunelle was a nurse for 15 years before advocating for her own children with disabilities prompted a career change. She&rsquo;s been in her current job for nearly 30 years, and she often draws on her own experience - both with her children and her late husband - when helping clients access services.</p><p><p>She would likely serve on the same councils no matter what her job, but &ldquo;it just happens to be part of my work now,&rdquo; she said.</p><p><p>Maintaining necessary funding is a perennial challenge, Brunelle said, and she hopes to help the state update its policies and procedures to comply with federal law and include a consumer perspective.</p><p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m speaking for adults with disabilities who want to work, who want to be able to work,&rdquo; she said. [...]</p><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
13
24
37
1
14
B. Problem areas
4
16
28
4
0
2
0
3
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
2
2
20
5
1
0
30
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
8
2
1
4
0
7
0
0
5
0
0
3
<p>No Service (1)</p><p><p>Counsel &amp; Advice (1)</p><p><p>Individual referred to Department of Labor (1)</p><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
7
0
0
0
3
0
0
1
0
19
<p>Decision reversed or a compromise (7)</p><p><p>Client failed to follow up/not responsive to CAP (4)</p><p><p>Client's case lacked legal merit (1)</p><p><p>Client withdrew complaint (5)</p><p><p>Client given referral (2)</p><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
1
1
7
26
2
37
B. Gender
20
17
37
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
1
0
0
2
0
31
0
3
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
2
10
0
0
0
2
5
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
8
37
E. Types of Individuals Served
0
0
34
4
1
1
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
3
<p>CAP systemic advocacy does not always directly impact a policy but does inform the thinking and decisions of policy makes and thus affect the lives of people with disabilities. As such, it is impossible to accurately assess the number of policies and practices that are changed directly as a result of CAP systemic activities. However, the following 3 policies were changes as a direct result of CAP advocacy:</p><p><p>CAP staff sits on the SRC-VR and on the Policy &amp; Procedures subcommittee of the SRC-VR. Over the course of the reporting year CAP advocacy on these committees resulted in changes the policy on VR dispute resolution. CAP staff took the lead in drafting proposed changes to the policy and leading discussion on the proposed changes. As a result of CAP advocacy Vermont&rsquo;s policies in this area are clearer and offer better protection for VR consumers.</p><p><p>CAP staff had identified a problem with DVR policies and procedures regarding financial participation that required consumers to contribute to the cost of goods and services in violation of federal law. The problem CAP identified specifically had to do with payment for hearing aids, but the issue was applicable across the VR program. CAP staff met with the VR Director and her staff to address the ongoing violation. As a result of this meeting, VR immediately changed its policy with respect to hearing aids. Thereafter, as part of its work on the Policy &amp; Procedures subcommittee of the VR State Rehabilitation Council (SRC-VR) CAP advocated to have the policy on cost of goods and services be consistent with federal law.</p><p><p>The state proposed a change in the rule covering Augmentative Communication Devices and Systems Covered Services in State Medicaid Rules (HCAR 4.211.2). The proposed rule would have improperly limited access to Medicaid coverage for services which should be otherwise covered. CAP submitted written comments to the proposed rule change. As a result of CAP comments, changes that are beneficial to users of augmentative communication devices (ACD)and systems were made to the proposed rule. Specifically, the proposed rule included language stating that an individual&rsquo;s cognitive level of functioning will be taken into consideration when choosing an ACD. CAP commented that an individual&rsquo;s cognitive functioning may not be properly measured until that individual has the means to effectively communicate and suggested the addition of language to clarify that an individual&rsquo;s cognitive function cannot be fully known until s/he is provided with an adequate means of communication<i>. </i>As a result of CAPs comments the proposed rule was amended to rmove consideration of a benficiary&rsquo;s cognitive level of functioning when match a device to a beneficiary. In addition, the proposed rule included language that limited coverage of augmentative communication devices and systems to individuals who can use the device or system independe
B. Litigation
0
0
0
<p>n/a</p><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-other nonprofit agency
Vermont Legal Aid, Inc.
No
N/A
B. Staff Employed
<p><br><br><br><br><br></p><p><table width=319" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="0"><thead><tr height="51"><th height="51" width="133">Type of position</th><th width="64">FTE</th><th width="58">% of position filled</th><th width="64">Person years</th></tr></thead><tbody><tr height="17"><td height="17">Professional - FT</td><td align="right">0.50</td><td align="right">100%</td><td align="right">0.50</td></tr><p><tr height="17"><td height="17">Professional - PT</td><td>0.06</td><td align="right">100%</td><td align="right">0.06</td></tr><p><tr height="17"><td height="17">Professional - Vacant</td><td></td><td></td><td></td></tr><p><tr height="17"><td height="17">Clerical FT</td><td></td><td></td><td></td></tr><p><tr height="17"><td height="17">Clerical PT</td><td></td><td></td><td></td></tr><p><tr height="17"><td height="17">Clerical - Vacant</td><td></td><td></td><td></td></tr><p><tr height="17"><td colspan="4" rowspan="4" height="68" width="319">Description: Vermont Legal Aid's CAP program had two 0.50FTE attorneys, two 0.50FTE paralegals, and 0.06FTE project director staff for the entire fiscal year.</td></tr><p><tr height="17"></tr><p><tr height="17"></tr><p><tr height="17"></tr><p></tr><p></tbody></table><p>"
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
<p>CAP represented a 22 years old client with Autism who contacted the CAP due to problems with a VR counselor and delays in providing services. With CAP involvement, the client was assigned a new VR counselor and progress toward implementation of the IPE began including additional supports from the developmental services agency. In the 1<sup>st</sup> quarter of FY &rsquo;17, anticipated enrollment of the client in a training program failed to occur due to illness of the instructor. Discussions regarding alternative sources for training that would accommodated the client&rsquo;s disability related limitations were discussed but no decisions were made. A meeting was held in the 2<sup>nd</sup> quarter of FY &rsquo;17 at which the client identified interest in an independent living option and a different employment goal requiring continuing education. As a result of CAP advocacy, the IPE was revised to reflect the new employment goal and a plan to further investigate the independent living goal was established. The case was closed with the client satisfied with the outcome.</p><p><p>CAP represented a 28 years old client with a TBI and visual impairment who received Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services from the Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI). CAP became involved initially through an AT issue. However, in course of representation other issues related to services arose. With CAP assistance the client was able to get a different case manager and a more comprehensive Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). Thereafter, the client began a work experience under the IPE, but was unable to complete the work experience due to illness. After our client recovered from his illness, CAP participated in a meeting designed to get the client&rsquo;s IPE services restarted, including a job coach to help facilitate the development of work experiences. As a result of CAP advocacy, our client was able to access a work experience that was a good fit for his abilities and needs and had the potential for becoming permanent employment for the client.</p><p><p>CAP was contacted by an individual with a mental health diagnosis who was unhappy with the services he was receiving from VR. He desperately wanted to work and complained that VR staff were not responsive to his needs. CAP began attending meetings with him at VR and provided ongoing informal advocacy. This individual experienced some financial difficulties which were exacerbated by his lack of employment. He got behind in his rent and was facing eviction. His CAP advocate referred him to Vermont Legal Aid for assistance with the eviction. Things were looking grim when he, with the assistance of his VR counselor identified an employment position which resulted in a job offer. This individual is now employed in competitive integrated employment making $17.00 an hour.</p><p><p>CAP represented a 63 years old client with multiple physical disabilities who sought to establish his own business focuse
Certification
Approved
Nancy Breiden
Vermont Legal Aid Disability Law Project Director
2017-12-27
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