RSA-227 for FY-2017: Submission #972

Wyoming
9/30/2017
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Protection & Advocacy System, Inc.
7344 Stockman Street
{Empty}
Cheyenne
WY
82009
http://www.wypanda.com
(800) 821-3091
(800) 821-3091
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Protection & Advocacy System, Inc.
7344 Stockman Street
{Empty}
Cheyenne
82009
Wyoming
wypanda@wypanda.com
http://www.wypanda.com
(800) 821-3091
(800) 821-3091
Additional Information
Lee Beidleman
Lee Beidleman
(307) 638-7668
{Empty}
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
19
7
0
0
2
1
29
B. Training Activities
25
601
This past fiscal year, the Client Assistance Program provided specific training to several agencies requesting assistance.<p>CAP met with the Red Feathered Eagle Vocational Rehabilitation Program, RFEVR, a 121 program, on the Wind River Indian Reservation. The Wind River Indian Reservation has a history of excessive alcoholism and drug abuse. RFEVR was experiencing difficulties with clients who were actively engaged in substance abuse activities and still expecting continued services through their vocational rehabilitation program. The agency did not have a clear understanding or a policy on the suspension of services for individuals who continued to abuse drugs and alcohol which continually obstructed the rehabilitation process. CAP met with RFEVR director, at her request, as well as RFEVR counselors and some of their clients. CAP reviewed and discussed the Code of Federal Regulation in 29 U.S.C. 705 (20) Definitions; which in short allows RFEVR &ldquo;to adopt or administer reasonable policies or procedures, including but not limited to drug testing, designed to ensure that an individual described in subclause (I) or (II) is no longer engaging in the illegal use of drugs.&rdquo; CAP also reviewed several substance abuse policies or procedures used by other states, including Wisconsin, Indiana, and Wyoming. RFEVR has developed procedures for dealing with these challenges and have become more effective in providing meaningful services to eligible clients with continued substance abuse issues.<p>CAP participated and provided input at a policy and planning forum for the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND), which is an academic unit in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Wyoming. WIND works to assist individuals with developmental disabilities, their families, professionals, and University of Wyoming students through education, training, community services, and early intervention. The forum was designed for WIND to gather information about family and agency needs related to children, youth, adults, and seniors with developmental disabilities. The information learned will lead to future policy initiatives and the development of a five year plan to assist WIND with future programs, activities, and supports. CAP&rsquo;s contributions were related to meaningful career development and gainful employment of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Topics included: sheltered workshops versus competitive integrated employment, student transition, supported employment, trial work experiences, job coaching and development, higher education and training, employer training, incentives for hiring individuals with disabilities, reasonable accommodations and costs, flexibility of vocational rehabilitation services, independent living services, and transportation. Other stakeholders involved in the forum included parents, guardians, service providers, graduate students of disability studies and sociology, University of Wy
C. Agency Outreach
During the fiscal year, the Client Assistance Program, CAP conducted presentations in all areas of Wyoming. Several of the presentations were designed to reach individuals who are members of traditionally unserved or underserved population groups. This year&rsquo;s focus was on reaching new groups and organizations with information regarding the Client Assistance Program and vocational rehabilitation services.<p>On October 15, 2016, a CAP advocate presented information regarding CAP and the vocational rehabilitation process to the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Advisory Council meeting, held in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Attendees included individuals with mental illness disabilities, family members, and members of the community who provide services to these individuals. Attendance: 8 persons.<p>On October 26, 2016, a CAP advocate presented information regarding CAP and the vocational rehabilitation process to the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities and its Wyoming Assistive Technology Resources program, held at the University of Wyoming campus, in Laramie, Wyoming. Attendees included persons providing expert and professional assessments for services and assistive technology for people with disabilities. Attendance: 8 persons.<p>On October 21, 2016, a CAP advocate presented information regarding CAP and the vocational rehabilitation process to Mountain Regional Services, Inc., a community program serving persons with traumatic brain injury and persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Attendees included consumers, youth in transition from school to work, and program staff. Attendees also included persons who are members of traditionally underserved or unserved demographic groups. Attendance: 9 persons.<p>On December 14, 2016, CAP advocates presented information regarding CAP and the vocational rehabilitation process to the Red Feather Eagle Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, in Fort Washakie, Wyoming, located on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Attendees included vocational rehabilitation staff and clients, youth in transition from school to work, and family members. All attendees were persons who are members of traditionally underserved or unserved demographic groups, and all were enrolled tribal members. Attendance: 18 persons.<p>On March 9, 2017, a CAP advocate presented information regarding CAP and the vocational rehabilitation process to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Colorado and Wyoming at its Wyoming office in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Attendees included individuals with MS and advocates. Attendance: 5 persons.<p>On March 21, 2017, CAP advocates met in Cheyenne, Wyoming with the new Wyoming Long-Term Care Ombudsman, and provided training on CAP services and information regarding employment services through vocational rehabilitation. Attendees included professional program leadership and staff. Attendance: 4 persons.<p>On April 13, 2017, CAP presented information regarding services C
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
3
1
6
3
0
Not Applicable <p><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
Information on how to contact the CAP agency is listed in the following: Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities website; Wyoming State Bar Directory; Goshen County Services Directory; Wounded Warrior's Website; NAMI Website; Behavioral Health Division Website; Wyoming Real Estate Commission website; Independent Living Center publications; Division of Vocational Rehabilitation publications. <p><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
12
4
16
0
0
B. Problem areas
0
3
9
1
0
3
0
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
0
0
16
0
0
0
16
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
13
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Not Applicable <p><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
0
1
2
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Not Applicable <p><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
0
1
4
9
2
16
B. Gender
7
9
16
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
0
0
0
0
0
16
0
0
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
4
0
0
0
0
4
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
16
E. Types of Individuals Served
9
7
0
0
0
0
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
1
CAP has always suspected that vocational rehabilitation counselors did the bare minimum to inform clients about the Client Assistance Program and available services. The bare minimum being a written reference to the Client Assistance Program on the forms used; 1) at the time of application for VR services; 2) at the time the individualized plan for employment is developed; and. 3) upon reduction, suspension, or cessation of VR services. It became even more apparent that CAP information was lacking when clients contacted CAP stating, they weren&rsquo;t aware of CAP services until informed by a case manager, a service provider or someone outside the DVR agency. In fact, some clients dissatisfied with VR services were lodging complaints with the Governor&rsquo;s office, with state legislators, and with other government officials and agencies. There have also been letters to the editor in local newspapers expressing dissatisfaction with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Clients simply weren&rsquo;t aware of how to access help through the appropriate appeals process. Of course, these actions by clients raised the anxiety level of DVR administrators, since government officials and the public were now being informed of issues before the VR agency had any knowledge of them and hadn&rsquo;t had an opportunity to address their complaints at a lower level. Since DVR administrators were desperate to resolve this uncomfortable predicament, it became a carpe diem opportunity for CAP to talk to them about two identified problems and possible solutions.<p>The first problem CAP discussed with DVR administrators and the area managers was why clients were contacting sources well above the lower levels of the appeals process. CAP explained the suspicions that counselors were not providing clients with thorough verbal descriptions of CAP services. Because they viewed CAP&rsquo;s involvement as interference rather than assistance, they were reluctant to encourage clients to contact CAP. In order to get clients with complaints to use the appropriate incremental steps when challenging a decision, counselors would need to be more accepting of CAP&rsquo;s involvement in their casework. Instead of viewing CAP as an opponent, they must recognize CAP as a resource that can assist them in solving problems at their level rather than beyond their office. Once counselors understand and accept that CAP is a resource governed by the same rules and with the same mission, there shouldn&rsquo;t be an unwillingness to explain CAP&rsquo;s availability to their clients. The second problem CAP discussed with DVR administrators and area managers was the reason for dissatisfaction among most clients. The lack of autonomy in a DVR counselor&rsquo;s ability to make individual guidance and counseling decisions has resulted in client frustrations. Counselors have been instructed and trained to strictly follow the local policies and procedures manual with very little if any deviation, r
B. Litigation
0
0
0
<P><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Protection & Advocacy System, Inc.
No
Not Applicable
B. Staff Employed
Professional Staff: 1 CAP Director at 1 FTE for the entire funding period. Part-time professional staff is comprised of 4 full-time professionals working part-time in the CAP program at 1 FTE.<p>No vacant professional positions.<p>Clerical/Support Staff: 2 Clerical/Support Staff persons at .23 FTE for the entire funding period.<p>No Vacant clerical/support staff positions. <p><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
This case involves a 71 year old man with severe hearing loss and early stages of cerebral palsy. This client recently moved to Wyoming from another state where he had received vocational rehabilitation services through that state's VR agency. The VR agency provided him with hearing aids, a college degree in special education, and amplification equipment to enhance his classroom teaching experience. He has an extensive and successful work history in the state he moved from. Since moving to Wyoming he has applied for many jobs but has not been successful. This individual says, &ldquo;I can&rsquo;t even get hired as a teaching assistant.&rdquo; He applied for Wyoming DVR services and was declared ineligible. DVR says that he has been rehabilitated, and therefore, no longer has any impediments to employment. They feel his past successful work history supports their decision. CAP disagrees with the ineligibility decision; he still has a hearing loss even though hearing aids have improved his condition. Also, this individual speaks in a very loud voice and has some speech impediments, which are early on residual effects of his severe hearing loss. These characteristics may very well be deterrents when interviewing with prospective employers. He also has a loss of some fine motor skills in one hand due to early onset cerebral palsy, which limits his speed on a computer. CAP took the position that this individual should have been declared eligible for services. And, with DVR&rsquo;s involvement, support, and influence with employers, he could land a job fairly quickly, and cost DVR very little effort and expense. CAP&rsquo;s negotiations in this case prevailed. This individual was found eligible and at last check was successfully employed.<p>In a second case, CAP has worked on the client's issues for more than a few months. The client is a young single mother who has total hearing loss and some serious health problems with diabetes. Her career goal is to be employed in an office setting with job tasks that accommodate her disabilities. She obviously cannot vocally answer and converse on telephones, but would need to work at tasks that require mostly reading and doing computer manipulations and paperwork, such as; ordering supplies, paying bills, filing, etc. DVR and this individual have not been successful in finding employment of this type, partially because DVR&rsquo;s involvement with employers to customize jobs to fit her skill set has been minimal, and also the client didn&rsquo;t have any specialized training or experience to successfully do these tasks. This client spent many months doing various jobs that did not correspond with her career goal, but, that DVR was intent on trying to fit her into because they couldn&rsquo;t find one that met her goal. After too much trial and error with these various jobs and some medical issues, because some jobs were too physically demanding, CAP was finally able to convince the client and DVR that she ne
Certification
Approved
Jeanne A. Thobro, CEO
Chief Executive Officer
2017-10-26
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