RSA-227 for FY-2018: Submission #1026

Vermont
9/30/2018
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Vermont Client Assistance Program
57 North Main Street
Suite 2
Rutland
VT
05701
http://vtlegalaid.org
(800) 769-7459
(800) 769-7459
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Vermont Client Assistance Program
57 North Main Street
Suite 2
Rutland
05701
Vermont
nbreiden@vtlegalaid.org
http://vtlegalaid.org
(800) 769-7459
(800) 769-7459
Additional Information
Nancy Breiden
Nancy Breiden
(802) 775-0021
{Empty}
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
43
15
0
76
0
93
227
B. Training Activities
2
59
<p>CAP trained 12 staff members of the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity on the rights of people with disabilities with particular emphasis on public benefits and the Client Assistance Program.</p><p><p>&ldquo;Vermont Legal Aid Legislative Breakfast Roundtable.&rdquo; Information for legislators on CAP advocacy services. Training was through informal presentation and question/answer. Purpose of the information session was to make legislators aware of legal advocacy services available through the CAP and to encourage legislators to contact the CAP for help with resolution of constituent issues. 47 legislators participated.</p><p>
C. Agency Outreach
<p>CAP was one of approximately 30 exhibitors at the &ldquo;Transition Fair&rdquo; sponsored by the Rutland Core Team. This event took place at Castleton University and was for transition age students. The purpose of the event was to expose attendees to the wide array of services available to students and family members who reside in Rutland County. CAP interacted with approximately 100 students, family members and community service providers. CAP handed out approximately 100 brochures and other relevant information.<b> (</b>April 2, 2018)</p><p><p>CAP was one of 35 exhibitors at the Vermont Family Network Conference (&quot;Building a Good Life&quot;) in South Burlington. This conference was for families, individuals with special needs and the professionals who support them. More than 350 individuals attended this all day conference which included workshops on such topics as self-advocacy, interview preparation, Vocational Rehabilitation services, special needs legal planning, developing life skills and careers, financial preparedness etc. Approximately 125 individuals and exhibitors stopped by our table and we gave out approximately 125 CAP brochures as well as other information. (April 3, 2018)</p><p><p>CAP was one of 15 exhibiters at the first ever &ldquo;Transition Night at Rutland High School&rdquo; in Rutland, Vermont. The purpose of this transition night was to provide students and their families with a better understanding of the community resources available in the Rutland area to help prepare students for the transition to adulthood. Approximately 50 students, family members and community partners stopped by our table and CAP gave out approximately 50 brochures and other relevant information.<b> (</b>April 12, 2018)</p><p><p>CAP conducted outreach to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families through a presentation and legal clinic at the annual Green Mountain Self Advocates conference. Many individuals attending the conference are not aware of the services VR can offer, and are not aware of their rights under the ADA and Vermont anti-discrimination laws.</p><p><p>CAP is in the planning stages of working with Green Mountain Self Advocates to offer a training for self advocates on recognizing and responding to disability-based employment discrimination.</p><p><p>CAP client representation is carried out by 2 half time advocates. As the other half of their caseload, these advocates carry a more general disability law caseload (education, access to assistive technology, access to health care, public benefits, etc). In the context of representation in their non-CAP cases, CAP advocates regularly inform clients about VR and CAP services.</p><p>
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
1
0
1
4
0
<P><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
<h3><a href=https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/letters-to-the-editor-4-11-18/Content?mode=print&amp;oid=14626587">www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/letters-to-the-editor-4-11-18/Content</a></h3><p><h3><strong><i>Seven Days</i>, </strong><strong><em>Letters to the Editor (4/11/18)</em></strong></h3><p><h3>Work Ethics</h3><p><p>I salute Dick Vaughn for recognizing the value of workers with disabilities and for his desire to hire them [Side Dishes: &quot;<a href="https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/perky-planet-cafe-will-employ-people-with-disabilities/Content?oid=13596011">Level Grounds</a>,&quot; March 14]. However, the community at large, and the disability community in particular, would benefit more if his plan included hiring both disabled and nondisabled workers.</p><p><p>The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was enacted to address employment challenges facing people with disabilities. Prior to its passage, most individuals with intellectual disability (ID) were un- or underemployed. Many were isolated in sheltered workshops where most workers had a disability, were paid below minimum wage and had little expectation of competitive integrated employment (CIE).</p><p><p>WIOA and CIE secure the dignity of economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities. CIE occurs in environments where individuals with disabilities work alongside, and are reimbursed at rates comparable to, nondisabled coworkers. Although Vaughn's plan contemplates paying at least minimum wage, he apparently plans on hiring only individuals with ID. Consequently, his employees will be denied the opportunity to work alongside nondisabled friends, peers and neighbors, reminiscent of the days when individuals with ID were segregated in sheltered workshops.</p><p><p>I realize Perky Planet is not intended to be a sheltered workshop. However, I am concerned it is not CIE. It could become so if Vaughn tweaked his business plan by also hiring workers without disabilities.</p><p><p><b>Jane Callahan</b></p><p><p>RUTLAND</p><p><p><i>Callahan works in Vermont Legal Aid's Client Assistance Program</i></p><p>"
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
14
23
37
3
13
B. Problem areas
7
16
25
3
0
4
3
3
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
12
0
14
0
0
0
26
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
10
4
0
3
0
0
0
0
6
0
0
3
<p>Information and referral only (2)</p><p><p>Clinet given information and wants to gather more information from other sources befreo continuing (1)</p><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
7
0
0
0
4
0
1
1
0
13
<p>Decision reversed or a compromise reached (5)</p><p><p>Client did not follow up (6)</p><p><p>Client failed to cooperate (1)</p><p><p>Information provided (1)</p><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
2
1
8
21
5
37
B. Gender
19
18
37
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
1
0
0
2
0
32
0
2
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
3
1
0
0
2
2
0
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
2
12
0
0
3
3
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
4
37
E. Types of Individuals Served
4
0
0
7
1
31
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
3
<p>CAP systemic advocacy does not always directly impact a policy but does inform the thinking and decisions of policy makes and thus affect the lives of people with disabilities. As such, it is impossible to accurately assess the number of policies and practices that are changed directly as a result of CAP systemic activities. However, the following policies have been are in the process of being changed as a direct result of CAP advocacy:</p><p><p>1) CAP provided advocacy in 2 individual cases involving lack of adequate notice of intended termination of Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL) services. As a result of these cases, CAP engaged in systems advocacy to get VCIL to change it's policy and practices with respect to providing notices when services are being terminated or reduced. As a result of CAP advocacy, VCIL agreed to provide staff training on notices, and developed an appeal process for consumers when services are reduced or terminated. This change benefits individuals with disabilities in that it ensures that consumers of VCIL services are afforded an opportunity to be fully informed of the basis for any adverse actions taken by VCIL with respect to their services, and are provided an opportunity to appeal such adverse actions.</p><p><p>Similarly, CAP has raised the issue of inadequate notices with the State Designated Unit (SDU). CAP contributed revisions to the letter issued to inform VR consumers of VR service decisions, but inadequate notice to consumers continues to be a problem. VR notices are particularly inadequate when VR closes a case. CAP will continue to meet with SDU staff in the coming year to work on this important issue.</p><p><p><style type=text/css"><p>p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 7.5px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Times New Roman'}<p></style></p><p><p>2) CAP provided input on the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Policy and Procedure, Chapter 313 regarding procedures and spending guidelines to be used when DVR is working with an audiologist or licensed hearing aid dispenser on behalf of a VR consumer. Specifically CAP noted that requiring that audiology services and hearing aid purchases be provided through a certified clinical audiologist was unduly burdensome in a rural state where many consumers do not have ready access to a certified clinical audiologist. As a result, the policy was amended to allow audiology services to be provided by a licensed hearing aid dispenser when there is no certified clinical audiologist within 25 miles of the consumer&rsquo;s home. This change in policy benefits consumers in that it makes hearing aids more accessible for VR consumers. In addition, CAP staff had previously identified a problem with the DVR policies and procedures regarding consumer financial participation in payment for hearing aids. CAP staff met with the VR Director and her staff to address this problem in the previous funding year. As a result of this meeting, VR changed its policy to allow an exception "
B. Litigation
0
0
0
<P><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-other nonprofit agency
Vermont Legal Aid, Inc.
No
N/A
B. Staff Employed
<p><br></p><p><table border=0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="319"><thead><tr height="51"><th height="51" width="133"><strong>Type of position</strong></th><th width="64"><strong>FTE</strong></th><th width="58"><strong>% of position filled</strong></th><th width="64"><strong>Person years</strong></th></tr></thead><tbody><tr height="17"><td height="17">Professional - FT</td><td align="right">0.62</td><td align="right">100%</td><td align="right">0.62</td></tr><p><tr height="17"><td height="17">Professional - PT</td><td>0.08</td><td align="right">100%</td><td align="right">0.08</td></tr><p><tr height="17"><td height="17">Professional - Vacant</td><td></td><td></td><td></td></tr><p><tr height="17"><td height="17">Clerical FT</td><td></td><td></td><td></td></tr><p><tr height="17"><td height="17">Clerical PT</td><td></td><td></td><td></td></tr><p><tr height="17"><td height="17">Clerical - Vacant</td><td></td><td></td><td></td></tr><p><tr height="17"><td colspan="4" rowspan="4" height="68" width="319">Description: Vermont Legal Aid's CAP program had two 0.05 FTE attorneys, two 0.57 FTE paralegals, and 0.08 FTE project director staff for the entire fiscal year.</td></tr><p><tr height="17"></tr><p><tr height="17"></tr><p><tr height="17"></tr><p></tr><p></tbody></table><p>"
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
<p>CAP represented a client with a speech impairment and a psychiatric diagnosis who contacted CAP for assistance when she was terminated from DVR services after she requested a new VR counselor. Our client had participated in several job experiences but had difficulty maintaining employment due to interpersonal difficulties with colleagues/employers. DVR wanted her to participate in Employee Assistance Program Services. DVR closed her case based on non-participation when she requested a new counselor. CAP supported her in a meeting with DVR. As a result of CAP advocacy, our client&rsquo;s case was re-opened and she was provided with a new VR counselor.</p><p><p>(MP) CAP represented a client with a musculo-skeletal impairment and psychiatric diagnosis who contacted the CAP when his VR case was closed for non- participation after he requested a new DVR counselor. The case closure notice was inadequate and the client wanted his case re-opened. CAP advocated for and received a proper notice and represented him in an informal hearing. As a result of CAP&rsquo;s advocacy, our client&rsquo;s case was re-opened and he was provided with a new VR counselor.</p><p><p>C.R.- CAP represented a client with a psychiatric diagnosis who contacted CAP for assistance accessing a reasonable accommodation. Specifically, our client had great difficulty entering the DVR office due to anxiety. She had requested that she meet with DVR staff at a location outside of the office. DVR had denied the request stating that their services were &ldquo;office based.&rdquo; CAP helped the client submit a request for a reasonable accommodation that would allow her to receive services outside of the VR office. The request for reasonable accommodation was granted. CAP then assisted our client in identifying an alternative space for meetings and supported her through months of meetings. CAP closed the case upon our client receiving an offer of employment.</p><p><p>CAP represented a 60 year-old former client of VR with physical disabilities. Client sought and was denied funding for new tires for his car that he asserted were necessary for him to maintain his current employment. VR denied the request based on a pattern on the part of the client of coming to VR for auto related expenses when not an active VR client. CAP found that VR&rsquo;s position was justified, but, nonetheless, was able to successfully negotiate for VR payment for the tires subject to conditions, including client&rsquo;s commitment to work with VR on his expressed interest to find a different type of work more suited to his disability related needs.</p><p><p>CAP represented an individual with a psychiatric diagnosis who complained of being denied the opportunity to re-apply for VR services. CAP conducted research and participated in a meeting between our client and VR staff. As a result of CAP advocacy, VR agreed to accept her re-application for services<b>. </b></p><p><p>CAP was contacted by an individual
Certification
Approved
Nancy Breiden
Vermont Legal Aid Disability Law Project Director
2018-12-31
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