RSA-227 for FY-2017: Submission #977

New Mexico
9/30/2017
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Disability Rights New Mexico
3916 Juan Tabo NE
{Empty}
Albuquerque
NM
87111
http://www.drnm.org
(800) 432-4682
(800) 432-4682
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Disability Rights New Mexico
3916 Juan Tabo NE
{Empty}
Albuquerque
87111
New Mexico
info@drnm.org
http://www.drnm.org
(800) 432-4682
(800) 432-4682
Additional Information
Bernadine Chavez
Bernadine Chavez
(505) 256-3100
{Empty}
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
32
2
1
2
3
19
59
B. Training Activities
12
268
CAP staff provided two trainings to 28 new staff persons working for the New Mexico Division (NMDVR) at the Rehabilitation Academy. The training topics included the CAP and other programs at Disability Rights New Mexico. The other topic covered was Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This training also helps to familiarize new VR staff with the requirements of notifying participants about CAP and helps to promote a working relationship in solving issues for participants. CAP staff also provided training at the NMDVR Statewide meeting to all NMDVR staff. CAP staff attended the two-day training event and were able to interject CAPs position on some issues. We also provided training on VR, CAP, employment and ADA (Title I). CAP staff presented to a support group of Native American parents with transition age children. We trained on PRETS for individuals preparing for transition. We also provided training for a program that provides support services for persons with AIDS and HIV. Many had participated in VR services and were thinking of returning for services. Many of the participants in this group had lost employment due to their disabilities from AIDS or HIV. Every participant was on SSA benefits. Staff provided training on rights and VR services to participants of the ARC Summit on Social Equality. The training focused on informed choice&rdquo;, self-determination and self-advocacy and the right to have competitive, integrated employment. DRNM provided training to the Department of Workforce Solutions (Labor) staff on the Rehabilitation Act, VR services, &ldquo;Disability Awareness&rdquo;, and also training on ADA and Title I. There were 12 participants at each session for a total of 24 participants. In summary, CAP staff at DRNM conducted a total of 12 trainings with a total of 250 participants. DRNM/CAP also participated in 16 informational fairs in which we distributed CAP brochures and provided information to participants. Of the 16 fairs, five were targeted outreach to minorities and underserved populations. <p><p>"
C. Agency Outreach
New Mexico is a very poor and very rural state with few resources. CAP staff has targeted rural areas since many VR counselors are not always accessible to individuals in rural areas and participants are unserved/underserved. CAP has provided training in southern New Mexico to monolingual Spanish speaking VR participants. CAP conducted considerable outreach to persons in rural areas and on Native American pueblos. As shown above, many of the trainings and outreach activities conducted by DRNM were focused on minority communities.CAP staff at DRNM conducted a total of 12 trainings with a total of 268 participants. DRNM/CAP also participated in 16 informational fairs in which we distributed CAP brochures in English and Spanish as well as provided information to participants in both languages. Of the 16 fairs, 5 were targeted outreach to minorities and underserved populations outside the state&rsquo;s major urban areas. DRNM provided training to Native American families at the EPICS (Educating Parents of Indian Children) conference in Albuquerque. The topics covered were the VR services through the state VR programs as well as the Native American 121 programs, and transition services under the Section 121 programs and state vocational programs including DVR and the New Mexico Commission for the Blind. We also talked about transition services under WIOA. There were 50 participants in the session. CAP staff provided training to the staff and faculty of Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute. There were 30 staff and faculty at this event. The topics covered were vocational rehabilitation and higher education, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and WIOA. Staff provided training on CAP and employment rights to clients of the quarterly job club at the Belen office of NMDVR (in central New Mexico); the club is sponsored by Desert Bloom Rehabilitation. There are 8 to 10 participants each quarter. This is rural area with very limited resources and a lack of accessible transportation. <p><p>
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
0
542
16
0
<P><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
N/A <p><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
5
20
25
4
7
B. Problem areas
30
28
19
2
0
2
0
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
2
0
13
1
4
0
21
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
14
3
0
1
2
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
<P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
1
1
0
0
11
3
3
1
0
1
Individual's employment opportunities increased <p><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
1
1
4
17
2
25
B. Gender
11
14
25
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
12
2
1
1
0
9
0
0
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
6
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
3
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
6
2
0
0
1
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
25
E. Types of Individuals Served
20
1
0
1
1
2
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
2
NM CAP staff continues to meet with NMDVR Management Staff (Field Operations Directors) and the acting Director on a quarterly basis to discuss areas of service in which CAP and NM DVR can work together to improve services for NM participants. CAP staff also continued to meet with the Field Operations Directors (FOD) who oversee the Area Managers. The focus of discussion of the FOD meetings included the following issues: Presumptive eligibility continues to be an issue for beneficiaries. There is still a lack of communication and explanation to SSA Beneficiaries about presumptive eligibility. CAP staff has been working with the Ticket to Work Team and the Benefits Advisors who provide that service through NMDVR to help counselors provide better and more accurate information to SSA beneficiaries. CAP has been working on this issue for the past four years and we have seen some improvement. Issue with participants who are assigned to caseloads with no counselor continues to be an issue of concern. We have had participants who did not hear from a VR Counselor in several months and were not informed of anyone else being responsible for their VR services. As counselors have left NMDVR there continues to be substantial delay in getting either a temporary counselor or a permanent counselor assigned to the cases. In most cases the participants either called CAP or called NMDVR directly to find out who would be providing services. NMDVR had a 24% vacancy rate but has worked on improving that and it is currently down to about 12% vacancy rate, which is average for a state agency. CAP had a couple of cases with NMDVR where services were put on hold since NMDVR did not have vendors that could provide the specific services. In those cases VR worked on getting the appropriate vendors on the state vendors list to solve the issues. The participants in each case were then able to proceed with their approved IPEs. Case closures by NMDVR counselors continue to be obscure and not well explained to the clients. The reasons for closing cases have ranged from &ldquo;you were referred to another agency so we are closing your case&rdquo; to &ldquo;we can&rsquo;t agree on a vocational goal so your case is being closed&rdquo;. The other systemic issue with case closures is a case closure due to an IPE not being developed within 90 days. NMDVR has stated that those are the regulations and if an IPE is not developed for whatever reason the case will be closed.When a case is closed and CAP does a supervisory review or gets the case closure reversed NMDVR does not have a mechanism to re-open the case. The AWARE system that they have does not allow the re-opening of a case. They have to take a new application and start a new case. Sometimes it is done behind the scenes quickly and seamlessly, but other times it creates more delay and the counselor decides to ask for more records or more evaluations. This practice has improved this year with the help of administration and
B. Litigation
1
0
0
N/A <p><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Disability Rights New Mexico
No
N/A
B. Staff Employed
Advocate positions 0.60 FTE Attorney positions 0.27 FTE Support staff 0.23 FTE Supervisory staff 0.32 FTE TOTAL CAP staff 1.41 FTE <p><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
Example 1. A 52 year old woman with physical disabilities contacted DRNM because her former NMDVR counselor had resigned and she was not assigned a new counselor. Also, her job developer was not getting her the training and support she needed. DRNM/CAP advocate learned that she had not yet gone through the training for her employment goal of &ldquo;Human Resources Assistant&rdquo;. The client qualified under a special grant program, but because her unemployment benefits had run out, her housing was in jeopardy and she would not be able to move forward with the training. She had no transportation and was being evicted, all of which may have been avoided with proper support from DVR. DRNM first advocated for a new VRC and attended meetings with the client at NMDVR, resulting in the addition of bus passes and training for online job searching. NMDVR agreed to assist the client in determining a quick path to employment and accordingly, the client changed her employment goal from &ldquo;HR Assistant&rdquo; to &ldquo;All other service workers&rdquo; to expand her job opportunities. Now that our client has a new NMDVR counselor and an updated IPE with the services she needs, she wants to focus on obtaining skills to get back on her feet. Eventually she plans to identify a new employment goal. She has the necessary tools and support to move forward toward a fulfilling career that pays the bills.<p>Example 2. A 27-year-old had been approved for NMDVR services in 2015, but still didn't have an IPE. The client is paralyzed from the waist down, and needed modifications to her vehicle including hand controls and a wheelchair lift. Her counselor at NMDVR had initially told her that the modifications were too expensive" and that they wouldn't be covered. The client needed to be able to drive in order to pursue her educational goals at the University of NM. She managed to negotiate an evaluation from Driving to Independence that DVR would pay for, although at that point her NMDVR counselor wasn't returning her phone calls. She had an upcoming meeting that she felt uncomfortable attending without Client Assistance Program (CAP) support. DRNM/CAP attended the meeting and negotiated NMDVR support in paying for a training program through Driving to Independence so the client could learn to drive with hand controls. NMDVR said that once the training program was successfully completed, hand controls would be added to her IPE. The client was very satisfied and excited at the prospect of attaining her own independence so that she could pursue her academic endeavors at the University of NM. DRNM/ CAP closed the case successfully after the approved IPE contained all of the services that we requested and the client was attending driving classes.<p>Example 3. A 19-year-old client with developmental disabilities applied for services at NMDVR and felt like they kept giving her excuses about getting her a job. She had requested an on-the-job-training (OJT) position with Jef"
Certification
Approved
James Jackson
Chief Executive Officer
2017-12-15
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