RSA-227 for FY-2018: Submission #1006

Louisiana
9/30/2018
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Advocacy Center
8325 Oak Street
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New Orleans
LA
70118-2043
http://www.advocacyla.org
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(800) 960-7705
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Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Advocacy Center
8325 Oak Street
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New Orleans
70118
Louisiana
http://www.advocacyla.org
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(800) 960-7705
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Additional Information
Sophia Mire
Chris Rodriguez
(504) 522-5507
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Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
16
0
1
0
1
1
19
B. Training Activities
11
159
During FY 2018, CAP staff completed 11 separate trainings, reaching 159 individuals. Three trainings covered information related to P&A services, including CAP services. Of the 11 trainings, three trainings were provided to various church groups and provider agencies and reached 20 individuals. An additional four trainings covered topics related to legal status, self-determination, and autonomy. These trainings were attended by 44 individuals, mostly from provider agencies and community groups. Another training, which was attended by 21 individuals, featured information on sheltered workshops and 14(c)monitoring. AC provided one training on benefits planning, transition services, and employment rights to 21 individuals. Lastly, AC provided two trainings on professional considerations when interacting with people with disabilities. These trainings were attended by 45 individuals, collectively. The audience was composed of professional students (occupational therapy, physical therapy, therapy, and rehabilitation counseling) and the Louisiana State Bar Association. <P><p>
C. Agency Outreach
Advocacy Center (AC) and CAP strives to serve previously underserved communities, including minority groups. In FY2018, AC employed four bilingual staff members, and had dedicated voicemail options for persons who speak Spanish and Vietnamese. Messages are checked regularly and staff members respond, with the assistance of an interpreter when necessary. <p><p>The Advocacy Center continues its membership with the National Institute of Community Inclusion (ICI) &ldquo;Financial Inclusion&rdquo; initiative. The goal of this initiative is to increase engagement of working- age adults with disabilities with mainstream financial products and services. Outreach to minority groups is accomplished through participation or membership in the following committees: Governor&rsquo;s Office of Disability Affairs, Employment First Initiative, ICI Financial Inclusion initiative, Latino Forum, Language Access Coalition, Louisiana Rehabilitation Council, Houma Nation Vocational Rehabilitation Services, National Disability Rights Advocacy Committee, Louisiana Rehabilitation Services, and Louisiana Association for Persons Seeking Employment First. <p><p>This year, AC made a concerted effort to conduct outreach to address employment needs of formerly incarcerated persons with disabilities. To that end, AC joined the Behavioral Health Council Criminal Justice workgroup and the Southeast Alliance for Economic Inclusion. AC also provided outreach and obtained direct clients through its direct client participation on Probation and Parole Triage Team and the Reentry Task Force. <p><p>AC reaches out to people with disabilities via our website, email blasts, social media, mail and in person at events across Louisiana. AC distributes information about our programs and services in rural areas and areas with high concentrations of racial and ethnic minority populations. <p><p>
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
2
19
0
18630
8
{Empty}
<P><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
N/A <P><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
36
25
61
1
34
B. Problem areas
2
17
33
6
0
3
0
1
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
0
7
10
0
11
0
28
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
17
1
1
1
0
0
3
4
1
0
0
0
<P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
5
2
1
0
6
1
1
2
10
0
<P><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
0
9
11
37
4
61
B. Gender
29
32
61
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
1
0
0
10
0
36
3
1
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
3
3
0
0
0
1
6
1
3
0
0
1
2
0
0
0
0
0
5
5
6
1
0
8
3
5
0
0
0
0
0
1
2
5
61
E. Types of Individuals Served
23
1
33
0
3
1
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
3
For CAP, systemic change is addressed through various methods of advocacy. The following activities are examples of CAP&rsquo;s ongoing systemic work to address barriers to employment: 1. Louisiana Rehabilitation Services Fair Hearing Officers. In FY 2017, CAP met with Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) Director to elevate the concern regarding the deficiency in the number of administrative fair hearing officers. Our concerns were addressed and in FY2018, LRS hired an additional fair hearing officer, thus fulfilling LRS&rsquo; mandated requirements. As a result, LRS Hearings are now offered more timely to CAP clients during FY 2018. <p><p>2. Louisiana Rehabilitation Services&rsquo; (LRS) Budget Cuts. During FY 2017, LRS closed all orders of selection (OOS) categories due to a 63 percent budget cut. CAP met with the LRS Director to express concerns regarding the closure of orders of selection and the negative impact on clients. CAP also requested that LRS compile data that could be shared with the general public and legislators showing the negative impact of the reduction in LRS funding. During FY 2018, CAP advocacy paid off. The budget was restored and LRS reopened order of selections 1, 2, and 3. This authorized service for more than 464 individuals previously on waiting lists. LRS continues to monitor the data surrounding case closings, order of selections, and client participation. This data is now shared monthly with CAP so that CAP can be alerted to issues before they reaching a crisis. 3. Employment First Initiative. Advocacy Center and CAP continue its membership on the the Governor&rsquo;s Employment First work group. The work group continues to develop guidance and policy recommendations to increase employment of people with disabilities in state government and in private industry. Pursuant to the Taskforce, CAP helped the work group begin development of an Employment First Guide, which will be disseminated to the public. Lastly, the Governor&rsquo;s Office hosted a conference on July 25, 2018 in Baton Rouge which showcased this initiative. CAP staff attended and provided comments and feedback. <p><p>
B. Litigation
0
0
0
N/A <P><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Advocacy Center of Louisiana
No
N/A
B. Staff Employed
Employee Time Branch, Quentialla 26.25 Broussard, Daryn 1,512.00 Butler, Glyn 1,067.50 Carter, Linda 21 Collins, Sharia 158.5 Dahlke, Lisa 67.5 Felt, John David 5.25 Fernandez, Kathryn 283.5 Gallegos, David 542 Hall, Sarah 199 Kauffman, Stephen 105 Krantz, Jennifer L 29.67 Le, Hong T 4.35 Mire, Sophia 3.5 Richardson, Robert Z 369 Sanchez, Jackolyn 263.25 Trunnell, Jonathan 13.3 VanWart, Virginia 21.5 Total - U.S. Department of Education : CAP 4,692.07 <p><p>The Advocacy Center organizes its professional staff by teams related to each priority and goal in the agency plan. Team members specialize in areas of law across multiple programs and collaboration between teams is encouraged. No staff members are assigned solely to the CAP program. Rather, of the full time professional staff, each person spends a percentage of his or her time serving CAP clients. Each group's individual representation services parallel one of the CAP program's priorities and goals, already described in this report. <p><p>During this project period the organization underwent a restructuring which eliminated some positions, created new positions, and maintained others. The two highest percentages of time charged to CAP in FY2017 were 45% and 30% by an attorney and the Program Director, respectively. Time calculations are based on actual time reported on a bi-weekly basis. <p><p>When Administrative and Support staff salaries are not charged directly, they are allocated among programs in a pro-rata share of total agency staff hours worked. Professional staff included during the project period were the following: Intake Coordinator, Intake Specialist, Legislative & Systems Advocacy Specialist, Program Director, Director of External Relations, Director of Community Advocacy, Director of Policy and Planning, Staff Attorneys, Client Advocate, Director of Legal Services, Director of Litigation, Chief Information Officer, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer. Their duties include planning, managing, supervising and performing outreach, training, individual client representation, systems advocacy, and litigation on behalf of CAP clients. Administrative Support or Clerical staff includes the Executive Assistant and Administrative Assistants. <p><p><em>B. Idenitfy the number of person-years staffing CAP this reporting fiscal year. Person-years" refer to the actual time that positions (both professional and clerical) were filled during the period covered by this annual report. If a position was filled throughout the year, it counts as one person-year. Positions filled for any fraction of the fiscal year should be expressed in "full-time equivalents.&rdquo; Person-years should be reported for all CAP personnel whose salaries are paid totally or partially by Section 112 funds. Identify the number of person-years staffing CAP this fiscal year. Be sure to include an explanation of the number of full-time, part-time, and vacant positions. "
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
CAP worked on the following interesting cases during FY 2018. <p><p>1. The Advocacy Center was contacted by CC to provide assistance in resolving an issue with Louisiana Rehabilitation Services. CC is 55 years old, has some college education, and is diagnosed with several mental illness disorders. CC has a current Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) which addresses her employment goal of becoming a real estate agent. CC successfully completed real estate school and has located a job with Keller Williams. The newly assigned LRS counselor stated that due to budget cuts to LRS, CC will have to pay the costs associated with obtaining a real estate license as well as the cost associated with working with a real estate company which totals $3,287.00. CAP was successful in getting LRS to immediately reimburse CC the money she had borrowed to cover some of the cost and LRS covered the additional cost. The CAP Advocate was able to show that CC would not obtain gainful employment without the license and LRS would be violating CC's IPE which was accepted by LRS. The IPE clearly stated that LRS would cover all necessary and reasonable fees associated with becoming a real estate agent. 2. A CAP client requested assistance connecting with LRS in order to develop a more meaningful and appropriate IPE toward his ultimate goal of self-employment and entrepreneurship. The CAP advocate was able to facilitate meaningful communication between the client and LRS; which allowed the client to develop an IPE toward his goal of becoming a professional boat canvas maker. The client has received funding from LRS to obtain a professional sewing machine, which will allow him to make custom boat covers for his clients. <p><p>3. The mother of NK requested Advocacy Center assistance in getting the high school to provide appropriate accommodations to NK as indicated on the IEP. During the course of representation, the Advocate realized that NK was not receiving appropriate transition services under Pre-ETS and the IEP did not contain an appropriate transition plan. CAP immediately opened a new request for services under the CAP Program and advocated for appropriate transition services under Pre-ETS. As a result, the LRS counselor assigned to the school became active in working with NK and opened an LRS case on NK while he still enrolled in high school. NK graduated from high school in May 2018 with a 3.7 GPA and enrolled in college to major in Business Administration. <p><p>
Certification
Approved
Christopher Rodriguez
Executive Director
2018-12-11
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