RSA-227 for FY-2018: Submission #1035

New Mexico
9/30/2018
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Disability Rights New Mexico
3916 Juan Tabo NE
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Albuquerque
NM
87111
http://www.drnm.org
(800) 432-4682
(800) 432-4682
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
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New Mexico
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Additional Information
Bernadine Chavez
Bernadine Chavez
(505) 256-3100
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Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
24
3
0
2
20
53
102
B. Training Activities
14
272
CAP staff provided two trainings to 32 new staff persons working for the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (NMDVR) at the Rehabilitation Academy. The training topics included the CAP and other programs at Disability Rights New Mexico. The other topic covered was Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This training also helps to familiarize new VR staff with the requirements of notifying participants about CAP and helps to promote a working relationship in solving issues for participants. DRNM/CAP staff also provided training for the NMDVR staff involved with &ldquo;job acquisition&rdquo; training. The topics covered were disability related issues during the job application process, the interviewing process, and requesting a reasonable accommodation for the employee once a job offer is made and accepted. CAP staff also attended the two-day training event and was able to provide NMDVR staff with information on other programs at DRNM, as well as reinforce the importance of CAP in the rehabilitation process. CAP staff presented to a support group of Native American parents with transition age children. We trained on Pre-Employment Transition (PRETS) for individuals preparing for transition. We also had a separate presentation on &ldquo;School to Jail&rdquo; pipeline. The training topic covered youth with disabilities who are suspended/expelled and make their way into the juvenile justice system instead of completing their education or going through vocational rehabilitation. Staff provided training on rights and VR services to participants of the ARC Summit on Social Equality. The training focused on informed choice&rdquo;, self-determination and self-advocacy and the right to have competitive, integrated employment. DRNM provided training to the Department of Workforce Solutions (Labor) staff on the Rehabilitation Act, VR services, &ldquo;Disability Awareness&rdquo;, and also training on ADA and Title I. There were a total of 24 participants. In summary, CAP staff at DRNM conducted a total of 12 trainings with a total of 250 participants. DRNM/CAP also participated in 16 informational fairs in which we distributed CAP brochures and provided information to participants. Of the 16 fairs,5 were targeted outreach to minorities and underserved populations. <p><p>"
C. Agency Outreach
New Mexico is a very rural state with a diverse population. In addition to these factors New Mexico is a very poor state with a high rate of unemployment for New Mexicans with disabilities. The majority of New Mexicans are unserved/underserved. DRNM CAP targets rural and underserved areas to provide training and outreach. Our goal is to inform communities of state vocational rehabilitation services and the possibility of individualized vocational rehabilitation services. We provided training in southern New Mexico to monolingual Spanish speaking VR participants. CAP conducted considerable outreach to persons in rural areas and on Native American pueblos. New Mexico is fortunate to have three 121 programs which we work very closely with.CAP staff focused on minority communities and areas that have few resources, such as public transportation. DRNM/CAP also participated in 16 informational fairs in which we distributed CAP brochures in English and Spanish as well as provided information to participants in both languages. Of the 16 fairs, 8 were targeted outreach to minorities and underserved populations outside the state&rsquo;s major urban areas. DRNM provided training to Native American families at the EPICS (Educating Parents of Indian Children) conference in Albuquerque. The topics covered were the VR services through the state VR programs as well as the Native American 121 programs, and transition services under the Section 121 programs and state vocational programs including DVR and the New Mexico Commission for the Blind. We also talked about transition services under WIOA. There were 42 participants in the session. CAP staff provided training to the staff and faculty of Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute at their annual Colloquium. There were 52 staff and faculty at this event. The topics covered were vocational rehabilitation and higher education, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and WIOA. Staff provided training on CAP and employment rights to clients of the quarterly job club at the Belen office of NMDVR (in central New Mexico); the club is sponsored by Desert Bloom Rehabilitation. There are 8 to 10 participants each quarter. This is rural area with very limited resources and a lack of accessible transportation. <P><p>
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
0
500
16
0
<P><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
N/A <P><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
5
22
27
27
5
B. Problem areas
29
11
16
1
7
15
0
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
0
0
0
2
0
0
2
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
19
2
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
<P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
0
2
0
0
13
5
1
2
0
0
<P><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
1
1
5
18
2
27
B. Gender
15
12
27
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
9
0
0
1
0
17
0
0
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
2
2
0
0
2
2
2
0
0
0
0
0
7
0
0
0
3
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
27
E. Types of Individuals Served
24
1
2
0
0
0
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
2
NM CAP staff meets with NMDVR Management Staff (Field Operations Directors) and the acting Director on a quarterly basis to discuss areas of service in which CAP and NM DVR can work together to improve services for NM participants. NMDVR had hired an agency director, having had an Acting Director for the past 12 years. That Director left the agency within a year. The new &ldquo;Acting Director&rdquo; was in place for most of the fiscal year but is not currently serving in that capacity. CAP staff has met with the new &ldquo;Acting Director&rdquo; where CAP staff discussed several issues. The most pressing issue is the high turnover rate at the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (NMDVR). Several caseloads are without VR Counselors and other staff are filling in until NMDVR is able to hire new staff to provide those services. Currently the Public Education Department has taken the hiring authority away from NMDVR. CAP is following this very closely to determine if this will have a negative impact on service delivery. The focus of discussion of the quarterly meetings this year included the following issues: 1.) Presumptive eligibility continues to be an issue for beneficiaries. There is still a lack of communication and explanation to SSA Beneficiaries about presumptive eligibility. CAP staff has been working with the Ticket to Work Team and the Benefits Advisors who provide that service through NMDVR to help counselors provide better and more accurate information to SSA beneficiaries. CAP has been working on this issue for the past three years and we have seen some improvement. 2.) Issue with participants who are assigned to caseloads with no counselor. As counselors have left NMDVR there has been a substantial delay in getting either a temporary counselor or a permanent counselor. We had participants who have waited several months before hearing from anyone regarding their services. In most cases the participants either called CAP or called NMDVR directly to find out who would be providing services. NMDVR had a 22% vacancy rate which was among the highest of state agencies. The vacancy rate is now around 12% and temporary counselors have been covering vacant caseloads. 3.) CAP had a couple of cases with NMDVR where services were put on hold since NMDVR did not have a dental consultant. The participants in each case were unable to proceed with their employment efforts until their dental issues were taken care of. The delay was substantial and the CAP had a discussion with the Deputy Director who then instructed the counselors to proceed with the dental services and not delay. 4.) Case closures by NMDVR counselors continue to be obscure and not well explained to the clients. When a case is closed and CAP does a supervisory review or gets the case closure evaluations. This practice has improved this year with the help of administration and better training. We continue to monitor this issue and track problematic areas. 5.) NMDVR imple
B. Litigation
0
0
0
CAP did not have any fair hearings this year. We were able to resolve issues through advocacy and negotiation. <P><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Disability Rights New Mexico
No
N/A
B. Staff Employed
Advocate positions 0.94 FTE Attorney positions 0.24 FTE Support staff 0.27 FTE Supervisory staff 0.25 FTE TOTAL CAP staff 1.7 FTE <P><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
Example 1 The client is an individual with TBI and a spinal cord injury. This client has been a participant of NMDVR for a while and CAP has assisted him with services in the past. He reported that he was having communication problems with his VRC, who he had not heard from in several months. He reported that he needed DVR&rsquo;s assistance with having a lift installed in his car so that he could more readily transport his scooter. He also stated that DVR&rsquo;s automobile vendor was unable to meet his needs. He asked for CAP&rsquo;s assistance in: 1) re-establishing communications with his VRC, and 2) advocating for another automobile vendor to install a lift in to his car. A CAP advocate obtained the client's DVR records from the NMDVR office and noted that the NMDVR counselor had not communicated with the client and had not responded to his requests for some time. The CAP advocate reviewed the DVR file in more detail. In addition to the concerns brought to us, the advocate noted that the VRC had sent a NMDVR closure letter, which our client was not aware of. The end result is that the case was not closed and a new amendment was done that included a new vendor to install the lift on his vehicle for his scooter. The VRC also scheduled several advance appointments to keep the communication going. Example 2 The client's mom contacted DRNM on her behalf because the client was experiencing a delay in services at the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehab (NMDVR). The client also had not met with her Vocational Rehab Counselor (VRC) for several months and needed services added to her Individual Plan for Employment (IPE). Due to CAP involvement, a meeting was set up with the client's new VRC, who was updated with the client's past issues with her previous counselor. CAP staff also attended several meetings with the client and her mom so that the appropriate services Assistive Technology, in the form of an Ipad, and services through Driving to Independence, were added. The client is now receiving the AT and transitional services she requires to find meaningful employment or educational opportunities in the community. Example 3 The client contacted DRNM because she was experiencing a delay in service with her DVR plan. She wanted to attend school abroad, and she felt she had submitted all the information to her VRC that was required to get her plan approved. DRNM evaluated and assessed the case, and found that DVR could not provide funding for portions of the plan that counted as immigration fees." The client was under the impression that DVR would cover those costs. An advocate from DRNM attended a meeting with the client, her VRC, and the Program Manager, to find out what was still required of the client. The client was made aware of what DVR was required to do to contribute to her plan, and what she still needed to do. The client needed $7,000 to secure her place at the medical school, as well as other immigration fees. When the client h"
Certification
Approved
Gary Housepian
Chief Excutive Officer
2018-12-11
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