RSA-227 for FY-2018: Submission #1013

Montana
9/30/2018
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Disability Rights Montana
1022 Chestnut Street
{Empty}
Helena
MT
59601
(800) 245-4743
(800) 245-4743
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Disability Rights Montana
1022 Chestnut Street
{Empty}
Helena
59601
{Empty}
(800) 245-4743
(800) 245-4743
Additional Information
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
11
0
1
1
0
5
18
B. Training Activities
6
655
<p>The 43 Annual American Indian Council Pow Wow was attended by consumers, parents, pwd, family members and the general public. DRM had a table with an advocate that provided information pamphlets and other information regarding the CAP and other P&amp;A programs. 500+ people</p><p><p>A presentation to the Justice for Ameri Corps was done to educate members about services and progams at DRM. 20+ people</p><p><p>Disability Awareness presentation to Montana Legal Services Association explaining all programs including CAP. 10+ people</p><p><p>Helena Community Advocacy Meeting presented to pwd and family members. Information was given about the CAP program. 5+ people</p><p><p>With the Helena Citizens Council information on all DRM programs was presented to pwd, family members, and the general public. 20+ people</p><p><p>Presentation to the Parents Training Center (PLUK), consumers, pwd, family members, educators and teachers about DRM services including CAP. 100+ people</p><p>
C. Agency Outreach
<p>CAP advocate is a member of the Native American Task Force for the State of Montana. She participates on several committees and helps to arrange outreach efforts to reservations and events. The committee was just recently established.</p><p><p>Disability Rights Montana (DRM) developed an electronic survey for input in planning the FY 2018 Priorities and Objectives. The survey was announced in 2 DRM e-newsletters, website, Facebook, and Twitter as well as emailing to individuals and listerservs. The website, Facebook and Twitter all updated at least weekly.</p><p><p>The State of Montana allows agencies to design and sell, through the DMV, license plates as a means to fundraise. DRM has had the license plate for 3 years now.</p><p>
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
0
2
6
3
<p>CAP information brohures were sent out closed VR clients, making sure they were able to contact CAP if they had any issues with VR. An additional 500 brochures were given out at various outreach events.</p><p><p>4 quarterly Disability Rights Montana newsletters were published and sent out to 2,651 people on our mailing list. Each newsletter was also put on the Disability Rights Montana website.</p><p><p>The CAP program also provides a &quot;Red Book&quot;, guide to the Vocational Rehabilitation Process, to every new VR client. VR offices give one to each new applicant. Over 2,000 books were given out to VR offices across the state.</p><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
<p>Disability Rights Montana has a very active website with 816,168 hits in FY 2018</p><p><p>Twitter - 4, 868 Followers</p><p><p>Facebook - 2,240 Followers</p><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
21
27
48
1
15
B. Problem areas
2
15
24
2
0
1
0
5
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
3
0
9
9
13
0
34
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
22
2
2
2
0
2
3
1
0
0
0
0
<P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
3
1
1
2
6
5
2
4
0
10
<p>1- Due to the client's financial situation, she was unable to pay for repairs to her computer that was borrowed from VR. She had the computer fixed by the college that she is attending, IT department. The college would not allow the client to finalize her tuition bill until the repairs were paid for. VR denied the bill stating the client did not request prior approval. CAP was able to get the bill paid for by VR, explaining the client was in her senior year of college and that VR already had a tremendous investment in her tuition with this client. CAP also made sure the client knew that she needed to have prior authorization before VR would pay for anything.</p><p><p>1- VR client recently moved and due to a hearing impairment, he asked VR to text him only because he could not hear his phone ring or get voice messages. When he had moved he neglected to let VR know of his new address, when his mail was forwarded to him he realized VR had closed his case. CAP was able to get his VR case reopened and to make sure that a note was written in his file that he could only receive text messages from now on. CAP also educated the client on making sure he understood that it is his responsibility for giving VR current contact information.</p><p><p>1- VR paid for a client to get his welding certificate, however the client failed one part of the test and VR would not pay for the retake. CAP was able to show that VR already had quite an investment in this client and with him getting his certificate he would be able to work. VR agreed to pay for the retake of the test. Client did pass 2 of the 3 sections that retook and will take that section over again this winter.</p><p><p>1- VR would not pay for the client to travel out of state to take a test because that is the only place the client was able to get test accommodations. CAP was able to show that they needed to do this as an accommodation due to the clients need for extra time. They agreed and paid for the clients, food, gas and lodging to travel out of state to take his test.</p><p><p>1-Client has finished law school and is transioning into work, she wants to do her PASS plan. The town where the client lives had a benefits planner but this service was denied by VR saying there was a person who would do it free of charge. However, that person had a huge caseload and could not get back to the client for weeks. A benefits planner to do a PASS plan was written into this individuals IPE. CAP was able to argue successfully that if a comparable benefit is not readily available to a client then VR needs to provide the service. They paid for the benefits planner to do her PASS plan.</p><p><p>1- Client who lived in a rural area of the state that received a lot of snow during the winter months was unable to get to her mail box and missed a deadline for services with VR. CAP was able to get her back on the waiting list for services.</p><p><p>1-Due to a provider's contract with VR, job coach services were termin
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
0
3
12
30
3
48
B. Gender
22
26
48
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
1
9
0
0
0
38
0
0
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
3
1
0
0
0
0
1
2
18
0
0
0
3
8
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
7
48
E. Types of Individuals Served
40
2
5
0
1
0
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
2
<p>The Vocational Rehabilitation Program in Montana had a large turnover of staff due to funding and leadership issues, along with that the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) who also experienced a large turnover of members in 2018. Since the CAP advocate did not receive new member training when she was appointed to the SRC, she insisted that any new members coming on to the Council, be trained so they understand the VR system and their responsibilities as council members. Along with a new Chairperson and CAP, the SRC received new member orientation for the first time ever in the history of the SRC. This was a huge accomplishment and was reported in the Governor&rsquo;s 2018 report.</p><p><p>CAP advocate was also able to ask the SRC to implement sub-committees on the council and to make sure each member is actively participating on a committee. The sub-committees are: Education and Membership, Planning &amp; Review, Customer Satisfaction and Needs Assessment, and Policy, Procedure, &amp; Personnel Development. CAP advocate is on the Customer Satisfaction and Needs Assessment, and Policy, Procedure, &amp; Personnel Development committees.</p><p><p>Since the Montana VR is in Order Of Selection with all 3 categories closed to new clients, CAP has had many calls regarding clients being taken off the waiting list if they don&rsquo;t respond to VR in a timely manner. VR sends out letters every 6 months to see if VR clients on the waiting list still want to be on the waiting list. Montana is very rural state and in the winter, mail is often delivered very sporadically in some areas. By the time clients would get notification to call VR their 10 days were up and their case was closed. CAP worked directly with the Acting Director to make sure if someone was on a waiting list, and unforeseen circumstances arose, they would not lose their place on the waiting list. This also goes for active cases being closed through no fault of the client.</p><p>
B. Litigation
0
0
0
<p>N/A</p><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Disability Rights Montana
No
N/A
B. Staff Employed
<P><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
<p>Montana remains in an Order of Selection of all 3 categories that started in March 2017. The Department of Health and Human Services and VR decided that they would open category 1 50 people at a time on the waiting list. This total OOS has frustrated many VR clients, transitioning youth, and VR employees. Currently VR is down 33 employees and is scheduled to lose more due to retirement. DPHHS also implemented a hiring freeze in FY 17-18 and has recently let VR start hiring more counselors. Currently counselors 100's of miles away must travel weekly to cover offices with no counselors. Recently, at the last State Rehab Council meeting it was shown that VR is finally in the black again, but services are very slow to be restored to people on the waiting list.</p><p><p>The Fort Peck Indian Reservation 121 Tribal VR Program has brought 4 client complaints in the past few months. They are denying client services randomly and with no real reason. They have stated that one lady is too old to work, but in fact works a few days a month for the tribe on a committee. CAP argued they need clear and convincing evidence to be able to show she can't work. The tribe will not send files as requested by CAP, return phone calls, or provide Admin Reviews stating they do not have enough money to hire an ALJ. CAP also reached out to the Native American P&amp;A and talked with their Director for some possible solutions. CAP attorney has tried to contact the tribal attorney, and she will not return phone calls either. This has been an on-going problem for several years with the 121 Tribal VR Director.</p><p><p>A VR client who was going to be a senior in college,contacted CAP from another state saying he had to leave Montana last spring due to him shooting and killing another individual who broke into his home, on the reservation. Although, he was found not to be negligent in the homicide, he was threatened by the victim's family and was advised to leave the state with no contact to anyone by the local county attorney's office. When the client was able to get his mail he found out that VR had closed his case for no contact. CAP was able to meet with the VR Chief of Field Services and explain why the client was out of touch with his counselor for so long. VR agreed to re-open his case and he was able to start school again this fall to finish out his senior year.</p><p>
Certification
Approved
Disability Rights Montana
Bernadette Franks-Ongoy, Ex. Director
2018-10-31
OMB Notice

OMB Control Number: 1820-0528, approved for use through 07/31/2023

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