RSA-227 for FY-2019: Submission #1054

Florida
9/30/2019
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Disability Rights Florida
2473 Care Drive
Suite 200
Tallahassee FL
FL
32308
(800) 342-0823
(800) 346-4127
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Disability Rights Florida
2473 Care Drive
Suite 200
Tallahassee FL
32308
Florida
(800) 342-0823
(800) 346-4127
Additional Information
Ann Siegel, Legal Director
Ann Robinson
(850) 488-9071
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Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
150
11
0
23
3
56
243
B. Training Activities
5
211
Tree of Life School Presentation at private school to share CAP and transition fact sheets along with VR program information to roundtable of a school administrator and families. The purpose of the training: Provide available resources for transition and adult life, the importance of self advocacy and the participation of transition age youth with disabilities with VR programs. There were 4 attendees as the students expected to attend did not do so. Information was also left for those who did not attend.<p>Visions 2019 Conference, St. Augustine Florida Topic covered: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Division of Blind Services, Centers for Independent Living and CAP transition resources from high school to post-secondary training and/or employment. The purpose of the training: Provide transition and post-transition services for a full range of options for preparation for competitive employment. Description of attendees: Parents, students with disabilities and Exceptional Student Education staff and service providers from several surrounding Florida counties. Approximately 60 individuals attended. <p><p>Brooks Rehab Support Group Working While Disabled Topic covered: Individual&rsquo;s rights and responsibilities under different federal and state programs including Social Security, the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Florida Division of Blind Services, Medicaid, and Medicare. CAP also provided information on self-advocacy skills and the different services offered by Disability Rights Florida, including the CAP program. The purpose of the training: Presentation/outreach for individuals with disabilities that would like to seek employment but have barriers with new injuries that prevent them from working. Description of attendees:67 participants of the Brooks Rehabilitation Support Group. <p><p>Family Caf&Eacute; Topic covered: Raising the Bar on Transitioning to Adulthood The purpose of the training: Promotion of expectations for students and parents in accessing transition services by exploring Vocational Rehabilitation, Division of Blind Services, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, post-secondary options and worksite modifications and accommodations. Description of attendees: Largest statewide disability specific conference for students, individuals with disabilities, parents, stakeholders and advocates. Approximately 30 attended this session. <p><p>Topic covered: Access Beyond the Classroom The purpose of the training: To educate those who work with children with disabilities how to advocate for equal access to extracurricular and after school programs as required by Section 504 and the ADA Description of attendees: Approximately 30 parents and teachers with one student. <p><p>
C. Agency Outreach
The CAP was active in outreach venues throughout the year in urban and rural areas to reach diverse groups, transition students and their families, with increased emphasis on foster youth with disabilities, and individuals from minority and previously underserved groups. The Intake Outreach Coordinator has 24 years of experience with Disability Rights Florida and has an extensive background in serving CAP clients. One of her key roles within Disability Rights Florida is rural outreach where she can share information on Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Division of Blind Services (DBS), CAP, TickettoWork and Independent Living Services during outreach events. The Florida CAP is located within the Florida P&A, Disability Rights Florida, and we also have an External Affairs Coordinator that provides onsite facetoface contact with the public at all agency outreach events. Both of these individuals are representatives of a minority group. We also have bilingual staff (English/Spanish) attending some events. The CAP Grant Coordinator is the Intake Manager which provides additional expertise to individuals with disabilities from the beginning of the process with Disability Rights Florida for information on VR, CIL and ADA Title I information. Disability Rights Florida had two full time bilingual intake specialists (English/Spanish) and added a third before the end of the year who also speaks Creole. Certified Language interpreters are utilized when necessary for other languages. Disability Rights Florida has a Spanish website and Spanish online intake system. This accessible computer system allows individuals to contact us at night and on the weekends and has become very popular to allow after-hour access. <p><p>Specific events CAP participated in this year included: Participation at the Spirit of the ADA, Escambia County Transition Fair, START Transition Conference, Your Path Your Future Transition Fair, Victory Ridge Resource Fair, 11th Annual YES! Of America United&rsquo;s Family Information Rally (FAIR), Department of Children and Families Farm Share and Community Partner Event, Family Caf&Eacute; 2019 Exhibit table, Tampa Lighthouse White Cane Day, Fearless Caregiver Conference, Florida Healthy Minds and Healthy Futures Transition Services and Supported Employment Conference, Florida Behavioral Health Day, Florida Youth Council 12th Annual Youth Summit, Broward 211 Expo, Connect with Your Community Resources Evening with the Agencies, Florida Association of Independent Living 2019 Youth Leadership Forum, Disability Employment Awareness Celebration, Deaf Nation Expo, Marion County Disability Resource Round Up, 26th Annual Center for Autism and Related Disabilities Conference, Tourette Association Family Weekend, Tampa Bay Healthcare Annual Health and Wellness Conference, Access Beyond the Classroom Guardian Ad-Litem Conference, Veterans with Disabilities Melbourne/Viera Support Group and Daytona Beach Support Group. <p><p>
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
0
19190
30
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Disability Rights Florida News Feed included a July 29, 2019 - Employment Accommodations Explained video with 705 views and 1275 minutes watched and a CAP Training Module with 200 views and 903 minutes watched. <p><p>Podcast Episode 9: What is the Client Assistance Program had 121 listeners. <p><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
NA <P><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
30
145
175
5
24
B. Problem areas
4
26
92
45
0
5
3
5
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
79
6
64
0
6
1
156
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
74
45
0
8
1
22
0
0
6
0
0
0
<P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
83
30
4
1
1
22
11
1
0
0
<P><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
21
31
32
79
12
175
B. Gender
76
99
175
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
37
0
1
41
0
88
3
5
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
2
9
0
2
1
4
22
2
16
6
1
4
10
9
1
2
3
2
0
6
26
2
0
3
10
21
0
1
0
7
2
0
1
0
175
E. Types of Individuals Served
34
6
90
2
45
3
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
7
CAP systemic work and policy changes: The CAP has been working systemically on an issue with DVR failing to approve requests for post-secondary education for individuals who require that training in order to achieve their agreed-upon IPE goal. The CAP has also engaged in discussions with DVR counsel and leadership regarding the impact of this policy and the requirements of the Work Innovation and Opportunity Act. Through this systemic work, the CAP attorney identified a misunderstanding on the part of the DVR attorney. The DVR attorney did not have an understanding of federal education law, including the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act and the Division&rsquo;s obligation under that law and thus proposed a policy change that violated the rights of individuals with disabilities between the ages of 14-21. The CAP attorney has been working to educate the DVR attorney in this regard. Due Process: The CAP has been strategically pursuing Due Process cases in the area of funding for post-secondary education necessary for clients to pursue goals that require higher education. DRF has represented three clients at Administrative Hearings and appealed two cases to the Commissioner of Education to advocate for the rights of individuals with disabilities to pursue meaningful employment and to receive continuing education that will enable them to obtain a career and not just entry-level employment. The CAP attorney was invited to present on this strategy at the National Disability Rights Conference. <p><p>Right to Work/immigration status: The CAP provided individual advocacy on the issue of immigration status and right to DVR services based on lawful presence in the state. The CAP successfully advocated for a client to be allowed to apply for DVR services based on lawful residency through (Deferred Action for Childhood Adults DACA). The CAP attorney was invited to present on this strategy at the National Disability Rights Conference (NDRN). The following NDRN Training and Advocacy Support Center (TASC) March 2019 Helpful CAP Tip featured the Florida Success Story: <p><p>March 2019 Helpful CAP Tip The goal of this e-mail is to provide consistent, yet brief, information, ideas, and suggestions to improve your advocacy skills and knowledge. VR ELIGIBILITY AND CITIZENSHIP STATUS Related to the characteristics VR cannot use to deny eligibility for services is the issue regarding non-United States citizens. In an older, but still valid Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) sub-regulatory guidance document (Program Instruction PI-76-25), RSA notes that the Rehabilitation Act is silent in regards to non-citizens. In other contexts, discrimination against a non-citizen legally residing in the United States may violate federal civil rights laws prohibiting discrimination based on national origin, and the same theory can be considered in the context of VR services. A number of visas exist under U.S. immigration law which allows an ind
B. Litigation
0
0
0
NA <P><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Disability Rights Florida
No
NA
B. Staff Employed
PositionPosition Type% of Year filled% of position funded by CAPPerson Years Accounting ManagerProfessional100.00%7.9%1 Advocacy SpecialistProfessional100.00%32.6%1 Advocacy SpecialistProfessional100.00%10.4%1 Advocacy SpecialistProfessional100.00%10.4%1 Advocacy Specialist (half time)Professional50.00%10.6%0.5 Advocacy Specialist BilingualProfessional100.00%10.5%1 Advocacy Specialist BilingualProfessional67.00%10.0%0.67 AdvocateProfessional75.00%29.2%0.75 Advocate InvestigatorProfessional100.00%1.3%1 Advocate InvestigatorProfessional100.00%98.8%1 Advocate InvestigatorProfessional33.00%0.9%1 Advocate InvestigatorProfessional17.00%10.7%0.17 Advocate/InvestigatorProfessional100.00%1.9%1 Advocate/InvestigatorProfessional100.00%77.1%1 Dir. Of Education, Advocacy & OutreachProfessional100.00%18.4%1 Director of InvestigationsProfessional100.00%1.5%1 Director of OperationsProfessional100.00%8.2%1 Director of Public PolicyProfessional100.00%1.1%1 Executive DirectorProfessional50.00%6.7%0.5 Intake CoordinatorProfessional100.00%9.0%1 Intake ManagerProfessional100.00%10.5%1 Intake Outreach CoordinatorProfessional100.00%10.4%1 Managing AttorneyProfessional75.00%1.4%0.75 Outreach CoordinatorProfessional100.00%16.6%1 Part-time I.T. Support AssociateProfessional25.00%7.2%0.25 Personnel & Benefits CoordinatorProfessional100.00%8.2%1 Project ManagerProfessional100.00%1.1%1 Public Policy AnalystProfessional58.00%4.6%0.58 Senior Advocate/InvestigatorProfessional100.00%4.3%1 Senior Advocate/InvestigatorProfessional100.00%1.7%1 Sr. Advocate/InvestigatorProfessional100.00%1.0%1 Sr. Advocate/InvestigatorProfessional92.00%5.7%0.92 Sr. Advocate/InvestigatorProfessional100.00%2.4%1 Sr. Staff AttorneyProfessional83.00%17.7%0.83 Sr. Staff AttorneyProfessional67.00%1.0%0.67 Staff AttorneyProfessional100.00%2.8%1 Staff AttorneyProfessional100.00%12.9%1 Staff AttorneyProfessional100.00%8.8%1 Staff AttorneyProfessional33.00%11.5%0.33 Technology & Communications ManagerProfessional100.00%8.3%1 Accounting AssociateClerical50.00%6.6%0.5 Advocacy SpecialistClerical58.00%9.9%0.58 Advocacy SpecialistClerical8.00%11.4%0.08 Communications Intern (quarter time)Clerical25.00%7.2%0.25 Executive AssistantClerical100.00%8.2%1 ParalegalClerical100.00%8.2%1 ReceptionistClerical50.00%9.8%0.5 Senior ParalegalClerical100.00%10.3%1 Staff AssistantClerical100.00%10.3%1 Staff AssistantClerical100.00%8.2%1 Staff AssistantClerical100.00%8.2%1 Staff AssistantClerical100.00%10.4%1 Total Professional 34.92 Total Clerical 8.91 <P><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
BL, an individual with hearing impairment and orthopedic-neurological issues stemming from a 1994 car accident contacted CAP regarding job placement services wanting formal appeal representation with VR. CAP investigation determined that the matter could be resolved through informal negotiation. BL was assisted by providing multiple job leads for employment within VR, facilitated multiple conference calls with VR and by drafting an email summary of the resolving agreements between the disputing parties. CAP also helped BL withdraw the request for a Fair Hearing. <p><p>AO, an individual with mental illness, contacted CAP seeking assistance regarding a delay in tuition payment from VR to Florida International University (FIU) with an additional need of financial assistance for housing. Investigation revealed the tuition payment authorizations were delayed due to a breakdown in communication between AO, the university and the VR counselor. CAP successfully negotiated for the payment authorizations (tuition and book vouchers) to be expedited as well as suggested that the VR counselor contact FIU's financial disbursement department and explain the delay in order for AO's account to reflect a zero balance which will allow client to attend Spring classes. AO explained the need for rent payment assistance due to attending FIU fulltime and not currently being employed. Initially, the VR counselor and supervisor indicated that VR could not provide housing assistance (room and board) as AO currently lives within a 30-50-mile radius of the university. CAP explained that VR can provide this service in the form of maintenance. A financial needs assessment was completed at the meeting. CAP intervention resulted in communication reestablishment between client and VR, in addition to the IPE being amended to reflect the additional maintenance service. <p><p>AM, an individual with a neurological/orthopedic disability reported a denial of service by the Division of Blind Services (DBS). AM&rsquo;s case was closed after being informed that the assistance requested was not likely to be approved. Also, based on information provided to AM, a decision was made not to request an appeal and to have the case closed immediately. CAP investigation confirmed AM&rsquo;s claims and therefore provided successful representation at a District Review. DBS agreed to accept a new application for services and find AM eligible for services, develop an Individual Plan for Employment that reflects AM&rsquo;s informed choice of vocational goal, the provider of choice, Polk State College for an associate degree and AT services to ensure academic success. KB, an individual with PTSD and Major Depressive disorder contacted CAP regarding VR recommended mental health restoration services. CAP confirmed the DVR counselor had improperly denied KB&rsquo;s request of a provider preference (female PTSD/Trauma informed care trained LMHC). CAP further obtained a list of 15 providers who met
Certification
Approved
Ann Siegel
CAP Director
2019-12-13
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