RSA-227 for FY-2017: Submission #984

New York
9/30/2017
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Disability Rights New York (DRNY)
725 Broadway
Suite 450
Albany
NY
12207
http://www.drny.org
(800) 993-8982
(800) 993-8982
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Disability Rights New York (DRNY)
725 Broadway
Suite 450
Albany
12207
New York
mail@drny.org
http://www.drny.org
(800) 993-8982
(800) 993-8982
Additional Information
Erica M. Molina, Esq.
Erica M. Molina, Esq.
(518) 432-7861
{Empty}
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
71
4
0
0
27
14
116
B. Training Activities
4
156
<p><em>**Note** In New York, the state vocational rehabilitation agencies are the New York State Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) and the New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB). The former is a general VR agency serving people with all disabilities except blindness, while the latter is a VR agency only serving those who are blind.</em></p><p><p>DRNY successfully conducted 4 trainings about the CAP program and other Rehabilitation Act-related programs and projects throughout FY 2017. DRNY continues to attend meetings at ACCES-VR and NYSCB agency district and satellite offices with the goal of educating the attendees about the P&amp;A system, the CAP program, and DRNY&rsquo;s priorities. The attendees at these meetings have included VR counselors, senior VR counselors, directors of counseling, district office managers, regional coordinators, and statewide-level VR administrative staff.</p><p><p>DRNY also has conducted trainings in other venues. These trainings covered several topics, including managing difficult client interactions, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA), and VR eligibility. DRNY also provided training on the P&amp;A System and CAP. During these presentations, DRNY discusses the history and scope of its services. The audiences at these trainings included members of the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN); the NYS Disability Services Council; adults and youth with disabilities; their families; disability advocates; attorneys; and VR and ILC personnel.</p><p>
C. Agency Outreach
<p>In FY 2017, DRNY continued to conduct outreach and expand its services to individuals in previously unserved or underserved groups. <a>As a result of this outreach, DRNY reached 1,069 i</a>ndividuals throughout NY State. This number includes people from unserved or underserved communities who benefited from the systemic projects described later in this report.</p><p><p>DRNY is a member on both the ACCES-VR and NYSCB State Rehabilitation Councils. DRNY is also a member on the Advisory Council on Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities. The Council is overseen by the NYS Education Department; it focuses on expanding the opportunities available to the transition-age and postsecondary student population.</p><p><p>DRNY also continued to target the transition-age population in light of WIOA&rsquo;s emphasis on pre-employment transition planning. DRNY conducted several outreaches, such as at school-sponsored transition and college fairs; special needs and family support fairs; and Special Education PTA meetings.</p><p><p>DRNY conducted an outreach via webinar for the NY State Division of Veterans Affairs (DVA). DRNY was able to educate attendees about VR services available to veterans with disabilities from state agencies ACCES-VR and NYSCB, as well as DRNY&rsquo;s own advocacy services. As this outreach was conducted via webinar, DRNY was able to reach dozens of DVA employees across the entire state at once, who then in turn could refer their clients appropriately.</p><p><p>DRNY has also continued its focus of reaching those people with disabilities who work in sheltered workshops at a subminimum wage rate, in light of WIOA&rsquo;s Section 511. DRNY has developed resources and training and scheduled site visits for early FY 2018. DRNY will provide a &ldquo;know your rights&rdquo; presentation to workers and employers at the workshops, and will discuss VR services and employment services with interested individuals.</p><p>
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
4
0
6
3500
14
0
<p>DRNY has worked to make sure that the agency is recognized as a resource for people with disabilities seeking services under the Rehabilitation Act. This includes disseminating brochures and other resources to clients, the public, and stakeholders. DRNY&rsquo;s information is provided to the public by DRNY as well as other groups within New York State. DRNY has targeted VR agencies and ILCs to disseminate information and these referral sources have produced many new referrals to DRNY. Referrals also come from stakeholders who participate with DRNY in various state councils, committees, and taskforces.</p><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
<p>N/A</p><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
93
210
303
19
66
B. Problem areas
3
96
175
33
0
13
4
1
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
51
107
97
3
1
1
260
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
125
22
21
0
1
43
2
30
18
0
0
0
<p>N/A</p><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
107
18
8
9
63
24
24
6
0
1
<p>DRNY agreed to represent an individual, seeking ACCES-VR&rsquo;s services, at his impartial hearing. DRNY prepared the client case for a hearing. A week before the hearing, however, the client changed his mind and withdrew his request for hearing.</p><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
6
37
74
168
18
303
B. Gender
138
165
303
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
27
3
11
91
0
160
8
3
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
7
12
0
0
8
6
22
1
8
8
3
11
10
7
0
3
0
3
5
14
76
3
1
16
14
32
2
0
0
21
1
1
5
3
303
E. Types of Individuals Served
40
0
261
6
0
1
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
1
<p><strong>Successful non-litigation systemic activity (<em>answer to 1</em>):</strong></p><p><p>In FY 2017, DRNY successfully advocated for a change in practice by ACCES-VR and its administrative review (AR) process. DRNY represented a client who was denied VR services after an AR review. The AR decision said the client was a recipient of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and as such was entitled to reapply for services. This is a misstatement of basic VR eligibility law. The AR decision also said that the client&rsquo;s disability was too severe to allow her to benefit from VR services but failed to offer the client a trial work experience until the client reapplied.</p><p><p>As a result of DRNY advocacy, ACCES-VR modified its practice and now requires decisions to be reviewed by their District Office Manager before finalization. Further, if the issues in the AR are complex, the decision will be reviewed by the Regional Coordinator. This new practice will ensure that decisions are written consistent with VR law and policy, and that any misunderstandings or misstatements be addressed before the decision reaches any client.</p><p><p><b><u>Impartial Hearings</u></b>:</p><p><p><a>DRNY has created a study of all VR agency impartial hearing decisions reported by the agencies in the last 5 years. T</a>his study is examining withdrawal of hearing requests, common issues appealed, and the outcome of the hearing. This study will assist DRNY to identify whether hearings are not being requested, decisions are unevenly biased towards the VR agency, and whether the process dissuades clients from seeking hearings. The project will continue in FY 2018 and will include DRNY&rsquo;s targeting training based upon the findings of this study.</p><p><p><b><u>Sub-Minimum Wage Workers</u></b>:</p><p><p>DRNY targeted outreach and training to workers who receive sub-minimum wages in sheltered workshop settings. Pursuant to Section 511 of WIOA, DRNY has developed training materials to educate clients about their right to transition to competitive employment and receive VR services to assist with this transition. DRNY has met several times with VR agencies to ensure that the agencies are prepared to address the needs of these workers. DRNY will continue this work with targeted outreaches to sheltered workshop settings in FY 2018.</p><p><p><b><u>State & City Universities</u></b>:</p><p><p>DRNY continued its outreach campaign to all Disability Services Offices in the SUNY/CUNY system (comprised of all the NY State- and NYC-operated colleges and universities). DRNY has successfully conducted 6 outreach presentations at these schools. These outreaches focused on providing training to the youth and the college and university student population about VR and CAP services. DRNY will continue this work in FY 2018.</p><p><p><b><u>Transition Population</u></b>:</p><p><p>DRNY continued to focus on serving the pre-employment transition (&ldquo;Pre-ETS&rdquo;) population in FY 2017.
B. Litigation
0
0
0
<p>DRNY did not have any systemic litigation activity involving individual representation. Instead, DRNY&rsquo;s efforts to resolve disputes using alternative methods were very successful. DRNY participated in informal meetings, written and in-person negotiations, administrative reviews, and mediation, to successfully represent its clients.</p><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Disability Rights New York
No
N/A
B. Staff Employed
<p><p><table cellspacing=0" cellpadding="0" border="0"><thead><tr><th width="132"> Type of position </th><th width="94"> Full-time equivalent </th><th width="97"> % of year position filled </th><th width="80"> Person-years </th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td style="text-align:left">Professional</td><td style="text-align:right">7.91</td></tr><p><tr><td style="text-align:left">Full-time</td><td style="text-align:right">7.91</td><td style="text-align:right">94%</td><td style="text-align:right">7.82</td></tr><p><tr><td style="text-align:left">Part-time</td><td style="text-align:right">0</td><td style="text-align:right">0</td><td style="text-align:right">0</td></tr><p><tr><td style="text-align:left">Vacant</td><td style="text-align:right">0.9</td><td style="text-align:right">6%</td><td style="text-align:right">0.9</td></tr><p><tr><td style="text-align:left">Clerical</td><td style="text-align:right">1.09</td></tr><p><tr><td style="text-align:left">Full-time</td><td style="text-align:right">0.87</td><td style="text-align:right">89%</td><td style="text-align:right">0.87</td></tr><p><tr><td style="text-align:left">Part-time</td><td style="text-align:right">0</td><td style="text-align:right">0</td><td style="text-align:right">0</td></tr><p><tr><td style="text-align:left">Vacant</td><td style="text-align:right">0.22</td><td style="text-align:right">11%</td><td style="text-align:right">0.22</td></tr><p></tbody></table><p></p><p><p><p><p><i><u>Professional FTE</u></i></p><p><p>DRNY paid 17 professional staff in the 2017 fiscal year from Section 112 funds. Allowing for the timing of hires during the year as well as the percentage of indirect staff time allocated to Section 112 funds the 17 professional EE&rsquo;s equate to 7.91 FTE. During FY 2017, 94% of the full time professional positions were filled for 12 months equating to 7.82 person years. The vacancies for FY 2017 equate to 6% of the positions unfilled. DRNY did not have any part time professional employees during FY 2017.</p><p><p><i><u>Clerical FTE</u></i></p><p>DRNY paid 12 clerical staff in the 2017 fiscal year from Section 112 funds. Allowing for the timing of hires during the year as well as the percentage of indirect staff time allocated to Section 112 funds the 12 EE&rsquo;s equate to 1.09 FTE. During FY 2017, 89% of the full time positions were filled for 12 months equating to .87 person years. The vacancies for FY 2017 equate to 11% of the positions unfilled which equals .22 FTE&rsquo;s totaling .22 person years. DRNY did not have any part time clerical employees during FY 2017.</p><p>"
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
<p>1.</p><p><p>DRNY represented a 43-old-year woman with a muscular skeletal impairment. She was seeking assistance from ACCES-VR for a high-tech vehicle modification. The ACCES-VR provider who conducted the initial assessment, refused to travel to the client&rsquo;s local area to provide necessary adaptive driving training. DRNY located a different provider and successfully negotiated with ACCES-VR to fund the adaptive driver training at the client&rsquo;s home. Today, the client is driving independently.</p><p><p>2.</p><p><p>DRNY represented a 24-year-old male with specific learning disabilities. He sought DRNY&rsquo;s assistance in receiving graduate school tuition and support to become an intelligence analyst, with the ultimate goal of working at the FBI&rsquo;s Accounting/Finance and Business Analysis and Administration departments. The client had already received ACCES-VR support to obtain his bachelor&rsquo;s degree. The agency denied the client&rsquo;s request because his broad goal of working in the field of criminal justice meant he was employable without the need for more schooling. DRNY successfully advocated for an updated targeted goal so the client could receive graduate school tuition and support.</p><p><p>3.</p><p><p>DRNY represented a 55-year-old man who wanted to start his own plant nursery business. The client was denied services by ACCES-VR even after compiling extensive research, meeting with a business consultant, creating a business plan. After a year of DRNY&rsquo;s advocacy, his self-employment plan was finally approved by ACCES-VR. However, ACCES-VR continued to deny technology, seeds, and supplies the client needed for his business. DRNY was successful in obtaining support from ACESS-VR for all the services he needed to run a successful business.</p><p><p>4.</p><p><p>DRNY represented a 22-year-old man with Autism who was denied ACESS-VR college sponsorship because his goal of becoming a Pixar animator was deemed not viable. DRNY discovered that the VR counselor (VRC) only met with the client one time before she and her supervisor had concluded that his goal was not viable. The VRC argued that the client seemed incapable of completing college level courses, though this conclusion was made without referring the client for any evaluations for the record. DRNY argued that such denials could not be made based on first impressions. DRNY advocated for the client to undergo several appropriate evaluations and to receive college sponsorship, contingent on those results. After the evaluations were completed, ACCES-VR granted the client college sponsorship to attend a university, where he is currently majoring in Computer Animation.</p><p><p>5.</p><p><p>DRNY represented a 19-year-old woman with physical impairments, and who uses a power wheelchair. ACCES-VR denied her sponsorship for college, alleging that the client was taking too many prerequisite courses. ACCES-VR also denied her transportation support to get her to and from school. Th
Certification
Approved
Erica M. Molina, Esq.
CAP Director
2017-12-15
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