RSA-227 for FY-2018: Submission #1010

Minnesota
9/30/2018
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance
430 1st Avenue N.
Suite 300
Minneapolis
MN
55401
http://www.mndlc.org
(800) 292-4150
(800) 292-4150
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance
430 1st Avenue N.
Suite 300
Minneapolis
55401
{Empty}
mndlc@mylegalaid.org
http://www.mndlc.org
(800) 292-4150
(800) 292-4150
Additional Information
Daniel Stewart
Margaret Kienitz
(612) 746-3764
{Empty}
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
18
0
1
0
0
1
20
B. Training Activities
26
853
<p>The Minnesota Disability Law Center&rsquo;s (MDLC) Client Assistance Project (CAP) staff delivered trainings throughout the state providing hundreds of participants from all over the disability community with information about CAP and vocational rehabilitation (VR) issues. Many of these presentations were to populations that have been unserved or underserved by Minnesota vocational rehabilitation agencies; such outreach activities are summarized below</p><p><p>Staff made presentations about CAP and MDLC services to persons with disabilities at an expo sponsored by the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota, and at events sponsored by the Social Security Administration/Minnesota Department of Human Services, The ARC Minnesota in Northeastern Minnesota and in East Central Minnesota, and the Minneapolis Women&rsquo;s Club. Attending these presentations were persons with disabilities, their family members, disability benefits counselors, county disability case managers and employment networks.</p><p><p>Staff delivered presentations about CAP and MDLC services during Social Security work incentive trainings sponsored by the Minnesota Work Incentives Connection/Goodwill-Easter Seals at several locations around Minnesota, including St. Paul, Bloomington, and Bemidji. Attending those presentations were persons with disabilities, parents and guardians of individuals with disabilities, and disability service providers.</p><p><p>Staff made several presentations about CAP/MDLC services regarding Minnesota&rsquo;s Olmstead Plan and support for people seeking competitive, integrated employment. These presentations were sponsored by the Work Is Possible coalition in Burnsville/Dakota County and in Willmar/Kandiyohi County, and by the Minnesota Association of People Supporting Employment First annual state conference, also located in Willmar.</p><p><p>Staff delivered a training about MDLC/CAP services to staff of Minnesota VRS and Independent Living Centers in Anoka, Dakota and Hennepin Counties involved with the WIOA &ldquo;They Said Yes&rdquo; pilot project.</p><p><p>MDLC&rsquo;s Employment Team Supervising Attorney made a presentation at NDRN&rsquo;s national conference in Washington, D.C., on supervising CAP and PABSS work. In attendance were P&amp;A attorneys, advocates, intake workers, legal and financial managers, and legal directors.</p><p><p>MDLC&rsquo;s Legal director made a media appearance on KFAI, a local radio station, during their Disability and Progress Program, speaking about, among other things, MDLC and CAP services to persons with disabilities.</p><p>
C. Agency Outreach
<p>During this report period, CAP staff engaged in many outreach events throughout the state, which provided information about CAP services, VR rights and other disability rights. This outreach included disseminating information at the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Health and Wellness Conference, a PICA (Parents in Community Action)/Headstart Community Event, a conference sponsored by the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (now PR%F Alliance), an event sponsored by Dakota County Family and Disability Services, and an event sponsored by The ARC Minnesota/Brain Injury Alliance.</p><p><p>In addition, CAP staff conducted outreach that was specifically targeted towards reaching historically unserved/underserved populations and minority communities.</p><p><p><u>Native American Communities</u>: Four CAP staff delivered an hour-long presentation on vocational rehabilitation rights and MDLC/CAP services at the Consortia of Administrators for Native American Rehabilitation (CONAR) conference held at the Mystic Lake Event and Conference Center, owned by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. Attending the conference were Native American vocational rehabilitation counselors from around the country working for Sec. 121 tribal vocational rehabilitation programs.</p><p><p><u>Somali Communities of Color</u>: Staff delivered a presentation about MDLC/CAP services, special education and community disability services to parents and community members with HAARAN (Helping the Displaced Reach a Better Life), an organization of Somali-speaking parents of children with disabilities. Staff also spoke on these topics at a meeting of Isuroon, a Somali community organization in Minneapolis.</p><p><p><u>Transition-Aged Students</u>: Staff presented trainings on MDLC and CAP services to transition-aged students at events in Northwest Minnesota and other locations around the state sponsored by PACER. Topics at these presentations also included supports for youth in transition, SSI first steps, and trends in special education case law developments. Staff also delivered a special education case law update in a continuing legal education training to Minnesota attorneys and school staff. Staff also attended a workskills competition outstate in southcentral Minnesota, volunteering as job interviewers for transition-aged teens involved in the event and sharing resources with transition-aged youth, VRS professionals, transition specialists from area schools and other staff members from community support agencies for persons with disabilities.</p><p>
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
1
0
0
0
9
0
<p>NA</p><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
<p>NA</p><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
28
31
59
19
30
B. Problem areas
8
7
24
3
2
7
0
5
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
11
1
17
0
0
0
29
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
12
12
2
2
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
<p>NA</p><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
5
0
0
1
5
13
0
2
0
3
<p>Decision Reversed -- 3</p><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
13
0
12
33
1
59
B. Gender
17
42
59
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
0
1
3
4
0
49
2
0
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
7
0
0
1
0
0
6
0
8
0
0
1
5
0
0
0
0
0
2
2
11
0
0
3
0
2
0
0
0
5
0
1
0
5
59
E. Types of Individuals Served
6
0
45
0
0
8
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
3
<p>a. VRS agency officials approached CAP staff during the fiscal year about difficulties they have been experiencing developing a Memorandum of Understanding with Department of Human Services officials on, among other things, eligibility, service delivery and financial responsibilities between the two agencies regarding habilitation and rehabilitation of the most severely disabled individuals receiving waivered disability services. In particular, the draft MOU developed seemed to foreclose efforts to allow flexible and coordinated vocational rehabilitation services, potentially leading to separate service provision structures from which consumers would move back and forth, wasting limited resources and not serving individuals with disabilities as effectively as possible. CAP staff gathered information about the difficulties and the events leading up to the problematic draft MOU and participated in a meeting with VRS officials involved in the negotiations and a third party facilitator involved in the process. From information presented during the meeting from CAP staff regarding the impact of the draft MOU provisions on service delivery and consumer populations, the facilitator re-approached DHS officials and the parties are now back negotiating the problematic draft MOU provisions, with CAP staffers standing by and available to provide further input if needed.</p><p><p>As a result of CAP&rsquo;s activities in this area, VRS resolved to return to the MOU negotiation progress this year to develop an MOU that better coordinates vocational rehabilitation service systems provided by both VRS and DHS. Specifically, with CAP&rsquo;s input about how actual consumers are faring with the two systems and how various proposed changes in the service delivery system would impact consumer communities, VRS was then better able to make its case with DHS officials about what changes to the MOU would better serve persons with disabilities and make the most efficient use of state and federal resources.</p><p><p>In summary, although CAP does not have a formal role in the MOU process, CAP&rsquo;s efforts resulted in 1. VRS having better information about VRS consumer difficulties with service coordination and 2. VRS being able to share CAP concerns about MOU changes with DHS. CAP&rsquo;s efforts and input to the MOU serve to ensure that VR consumers will have been service flexibility and coordination so that they can access effective and efficient resources. Because the MOU process between VR and DHS is ongoing, CAP will continue to work with VRS to monitor, review, and provide input on any future MOU changes.</p><p><p>b. CAP staff, through its special education advocacy, became aware of a new state legislative requirement, that Minnesota school districts assist all students by grade 9 to explore post-high school educational and work options and to develop personal learning plans for a smooth and successful transition to post-secondary education or employment. CAP staf
B. Litigation
0
0
0
<p>During the fiscal year, CAP staff undertook no systemic litigation activities involving individual representation, relying instead on more informal review and mediation procedures which successfully resolved cases before having to resort to formal administrative or legal remedies.</p><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance
No
NA
B. Staff Employed
<p>Attorney FT 1.27 FTE 100% of year filled 1.27 Person years</p><p><p>Legal Advocate FT .72 FTE 100% of year filled .72 Person years</p><p><p>Clerical FT .065FTE 100% of year filled .05 Person years</p><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
<p>1. A woman with autism was working at a local humane society as an animal trainer when she ran into problems at work jeopardizing further employment there. Her schedule of training classes had been altered, and she needed reasonable accommodations and additional job supports. She contacted CAP, and advocacy staff acted quickly to restore communication and supportive employment services from VRS. The woman had discontinued services because as a Ticket to Work participant, she could not bear further Social Security communications that she had failed to meet employment milestones, to the degree that this became a barrier to work for her. With advocacy from CAP, VRS agreed to unassign the woman&rsquo;s Ticket to Work, discontinuing her participation in the Ticket to Work program, and thus, the notices from Society Security ceased. CAP staff also advised the client about the reasonable accommodation process under the ADA. With this advice and understanding about governing legal principles, the woman was able to get a reasonable accommodation agreement into place, including a provision that her autism counselor be allowed to meet with her and her supervisor and manager to help interpret communication and solve problems.</p><p><p>2. A Native American man living near the Fond du Lac Reservation in Northeast Minnesota contacted CAP when VRS kept him from moving forward with vocational rehabilitation services. He had limited functioning on the right side of his body and serious back problems, but wanted to finish graduate school so that he could pursue a career advocating and providing social services for Native American youth. He had worked with VRS previously but his services lapsed when he had to attend to other problems in his life. He had reapproached VRS for services and met with staff there. He was told he could not get further funding for schooling until he addressed his student loan default, which he did. He was then told that the VRS counselor he had been working with would not work with him anymore, and he was reassigned to a different counselor, who did not follow up with his case. CAP staff investigated his case and learned that the VR counselor had refused to continue working with him because he made her feel uncomfortable, and that the VR eligibility process had never been completed. Staff then intervened on the client&rsquo;s behalf with regional VRS management. As a result the client was reassigned to another VR counselor and was determined eligible for services. The client was not served right away, however, because recent medical records showed the client&rsquo;s disability had improved and did not support a determination that he had serious functional limitations in three or more areas, putting him on the agency waiting list. CAP staff then worked with the client&rsquo;s medical providers to clarify his disability-related challenges in functioning and on the client&rsquo;s behalf submitted this additional documentation to VRS. With thi
Certification
Approved
Drew Schaffer
Executive Director
2018-12-12
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