RSA-227 for FY-2018: Submission #1022

Tennessee
9/30/2018
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Disability Rights Tennessee
2 International Plaza
Suite 825
Nashville
TN
37217
(800) 342-1660
(800) 342-1660
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Disability Rights Tennessee
2 International Plaza
Suite 825
Nashville
37217
Tennessee
(800) 342-1660
(800) 342-1660
Additional Information
Lisa Primm
Anna Bass
(615) 298-1080
{Empty}
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
18
0
0
0
2
17
37
B. Training Activities
14
360
Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT)&rsquo;s Client Assistance Program (CAP) utilized training to achieve a twofold objective. DRT disseminated crucial knowledge about individual rights and state rehabilitation agency responsibilities that will arm individuals, families, and service providers to self-advocate, fight for established rights, and makes systemic impact through improved and informed services. Secondarily, DRT&rsquo;s training attracted individual clients and referrals to our CAP program through increased exposure and experience with CAP. Apart from general information about CAP, how we can help, and how to contact us, DRT&rsquo;s CAP training included information about reasonable accommodations in the workplace, teaching self-advocacy skills, deadlines for filing complaints, and the value of providing pre-employment transition services. DRT provided its CAP training to families at the Fort Campbell Exceptional Family Member Program. DRT&rsquo;s CAP program also trained approximately forty members of the Deaf community when it was asked to provide a training at the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults with a focus on reasonable accommodations in the workplace. DRT presented its CAP training to thirty new Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselors at three New Counselor Institutes. DRT&rsquo;s CAP also trained five Community Work Incentive Coordinators and five employees at Tennessee&rsquo;s Centers for Independent Living. DRT&rsquo;s CAP even reached the next generation of service providers by providing a training to rehabilitation graduate students at the University of Memphis. Further training was completed across Tennessee that provided CAP&rsquo;s education to 264 more VR staff and service providers. DRT continues to use training to achieve systemic change that will make competitive employment a viable and desired choice for every Tennessean with a disability. <P><p>
C. Agency Outreach
In this fiscal year, of the fifty-eight CAP outreach efforts completed, fifty-two percent were located within a community or population that is historically unserved or underserved in Tennessee. These communities include inner city populations, rural communities, as well as disability groups such a Traumatic Brain Injury, Deaf, and Deaf-Blind. Additionally, Disability Rights Tennessee began active exploration of ways to more intentionally conduct outreach to the Hispanic/Latino communities, which together are the second largest minority group in Tennessee at about 5% of the population. This fiscal year, efforts continued to translate key publications and website information into Spanish. <P><p>
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
0
5612
32
0
n/a <P><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
n/a <P><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
8
45
53
4
10
B. Problem areas
6
8
31
1
1
11
0
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
22
9
15
1
1
0
48
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
30
5
4
0
0
8
0
0
1
0
0
0
n/a <P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
22
0
1
0
17
3
1
2
0
2
Individual withdrew complaint before results could be achieved. <P><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
2
10
13
25
3
53
B. Gender
32
21
53
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
4
1
0
16
0
30
2
0
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
2
3
0
0
0
3
7
1
4
6
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
1
2
2
7
0
1
2
2
1
0
0
0
4
0
0
0
3
53
E. Types of Individuals Served
12
0
41
0
0
1
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
2
In FY18, Tennessee&rsquo;s CAP focused systemic efforts toward effective implementation of Pre-Employment Transition Services. As a result of those efforts, CAP continued to ensure that Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) implementation became more successful in Tennessee. Through this initiative CAP provided VR with clarifications regarding regulations that VR must follow, ensuring that services would be provided to not just high school students but also post-secondary students with disabilities. In addition to this, CAP sent letters to high schools throughout the state explaining the importance of Pre-ETS services and asking for referrals of individual clients and any systemic Pre-ETS implementation issues encountered. <p><p>To address systemic issues, including policy and practice concerns, CAP resumed regular quarterly meetings with Tennessee&rsquo;s Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) leadership. These meetings had been discontinued but following CAP&rsquo;s advocacy through emphasizing statutes and regulations that in CAP&rsquo;s opinion necessitated such meetings, these meeting resumed at the end of FY2017. This initiative resulted in VR changing its practices regarding consistent communication with CAP about VR issues and policies which has led to more effective individual advocacy and the remedy of systemically identified issues for individuals with disabilities who are VR applicants and clients. One such systemic policy change resulting from these regular discussions between VR and CAP is the revision to VR policy based on CAP concerns about its self-employment policy which was inappropriately restrictive to part-time hours. Another example is VR addressing long waiting times for initial client intakes in a certain region. This effort will continue, as it has been found to be a productive method of addressing policy and practice concerns identified by CAP. <p><p>
B. Litigation
0
0
0
DRT's CAP did not utilize CAP resources in any litigation efforts in FY18. <P><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Disability Rights Tennessee
No
n/a
B. Staff Employed
14 FTE (Advocacy&Legal) -13 employed 100% of year 1 employed 75% of year. <p><p>2 FTE ( Clerical) - 1 employed 100% of year, 1 employed 88% of year. <p><p>2 PTE (Advocacy&Legal) 2 employed 100% of year <p><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
A 20-year-old African-American woman with an anxiety disorder and other mental illness contacted Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) because Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) would not provide transportation reimbursement costs to our client in support of job readiness training services. After review of our client&rsquo;s file, DRT verified that both the job readiness training services and the transportation services were listed on our client&rsquo;s Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). DRT also confirmed that the training services were provided beginning February, 2018, and VR paid for the training services but not transportation costs until May, 2018. Due to both training services and support transportation services being listed on the IPE with the same timeline, DRT informed VR that they owed our client those transportation costs. VR did comply and provided the transportation reimbursement to our client. Through DRT&rsquo;s advocacy efforts, our client received her VR services in full and has successfully moved into gainful employment with the assistance of VR services. <p><p>Following DRT intervention, an individual's case with VR has been re-opened and assigned to a new counselor. Additionally, VR has agreed to provide financial assistance as necessary for our client to participate in ongoing therapy and to provide transportation assistance for our client to attend the VR-required therapy sessions. A 59-year-old Caucasian male who resides in a rural area and has orthopedic disabilities and mental illness contacted DRT to report that he had difficulty working with his VR counselor (VRC) and had requested to be assigned to a new VRC but this had not occurred. Upon contact with VR, DRT learned that our client's VR case was currently closed and VR agreed to re-open the case with a new VRC being assigned. Due to our client's past difficulties in cooperating with co-workers and supervisors during the prior VR training program, VR requested that our client participate in therapy services. As our client had experienced difficulties in receiving such services due to having to independently make the co-payment, and because he is a recipient of Social Security benefits which prevents him from being required to participate in the cost of VR services, DRT worked with VR to ensure that our client's co-payment for the required therapy services will be covered by VR if no other options are available to him. VR also agreed to provide financial support for bus transportation for our client to attend the required therapy sessions as he lives in a rural area of the state and must travel to another town for these services. At the time of closure our client had recently met with his new VRC and would begin participating in the therapy services very soon to prepare him to attend VR training again in the near future. The goal of the training program will be to prepare our client to move forward to secure employment as a general laborer or custodian. <p><p>
Certification
Approved
Lisa Primm
Executive Director
2018-12-21
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