RSA-227 for FY-2019: Submission #1076

Pennsylvania
9/30/2019
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Center for Disability Law & Policy
1515 Market Street
Suite 1300
Philadelphia
PA
19102
(888) 745-2357
(888) 745-2357
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
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Additional Information
Stephen Pennington
Stephen Pennington
(215) 557-7112
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Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
321
42
0
15
150
75
603
B. Training Activities
37
2154
In FY 2019 CAP continued our outreach efforts to the OVR/BVS district offices across the state. Some of the offices we visited include: Philadelphia OVR/BVS, Norristown, Allentown, Reading, York, and Wilkes Barre OVR/BVS. It is extremely important for CAP staff to continue to establish and maintain open and trusted relationships with the OVR staff. CAP Advocates realize how valuable it is to the success of our clients for us to maintain a good relationship with OVR counselors. As a result of CAP's connections most of the OVR counselors rely on CAP for clarification of OVR policy and/or the law, and our ability to narrow the issue and negotiate creative solutions. It is CAP&rsquo;s continued goal to be a vital link between the client and OVR. The training we provided to OVR staff, in particular new staff, consisted of detailing CAP&rsquo;s role in the VR process, our mandate in the law to advocate, assist and inform clients in the OVR process, the 3 required times within the VR process a counselor is required to inform their client about CAP services, and our support to the field staff as we encouraged counselors to feel comfortable contacting us.<p>In Oct. 2018 Advocate Margaret McKenna was invited to participate in Senator Tartaglione's statewide Disability Awareness Day. Disability Awareness Day was held in the rotunda of the Capitol building in Harrisburg. As part of this event CAP Advocate Margaret McKenna spent time talking and getting a picture with the Senator. Senator Tartaglione is very pro Disability legislation and a great advocate for IWD. CAP is working with her on a couple things that will have an impact for the employment of IWD. This event had 10 exhibit tables spread throughout the rotunda. Margaret outreached to all exhibitors at this event. Some of the exhibitors were: Agribility, an agency that provides assessments/evaluations for IWD who are trying to be productive working on their farm and need some support from OVR; Harrisburg OVR/BVS: Pennsylvania Institute for Assistive Technology, PIAT which provides loaner equipment for IWD: MOSS rehab, a rehabilitation hospital. Margaret spoke with someone from Moss's Certified Peer Visitor Program which has trained and certified peer visitors in the community to provide support to IWD and their families. Margaret also connected with Melissa Hawkins, Director of the Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing, ODHH and Marsha Drenth, who is the Program Manager of the Deaf Blind Living Well Services statewide. CAP gave a 15-minute training/summary of CAP's services. Margaret provided information highlighting how CAP advocacy services are available to assist IWD better understand the VR process and become Informed of their rights and responsibilities as a VR client. Margaret also emphasized the importance of self-advocacy and referred the group to CAP's website and our Guide to VR Services. Margaret McKenna had an opportunity to talk one on one with each person. There were abou
C. Agency Outreach
One of the most underserved populations is the deaf and hard of hearing population. In Pennsylvania, there is an estimated 1.1million individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing out of 12,787,209 total population, 8.6%, as of 2014. Some of the groups/programs/agencies Advocate Margaret McKenna outreached to who assist these individuals included: Hearing Loss Association of America, Center for Hearing and Deaf Services, Deaf Stone Services in Pittsburgh, Center for Hearing and Deaf Services, and Berks Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services. CAP was invited to the Pennsylvania&rsquo;s School for the Deaf Transition Resource Fair again this year and hosted an exhibit table and did a CAP training. In addition, Margaret contacted the Rehabilitation Counselors for the Deaf, RCD, in all the PA OVR offices. In talking with these counselors, it continues to be a problem to find job placement agencies who have a job developer/job coach who know ASL. A lot of these counselors provided CAP resources in their respective counties which Margaret is reaching out to in FY 2020. CAP has worked hard over the last few years to become more visible in the deaf and hard of hearing community. This year CAP was much more involved with OVR&rsquo;s Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing, ODHH, and regularly attended their meetings throughout this year. We met several times with OVR&rsquo;s new ODHH Director as well. We were invited to a couple events this year in this community which we attended to increase our contacts in this unserved disability group. Advocate Margaret has really strengthened her relationship with Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, PSD, and CAP is being highlighted in the next PSD newsletter. We have received more inquiries from individuals who are deaf/hard of hearing this year. We spoke at a couple support groups as well. In FY 2020, Margaret plans to reconnect with key contacts and seek out other groups, agencies, providers who work with this population. <p><p>Another very underserved population is the blind and visually impaired, b/vi. This population is massive as there are an estimated 285 million, 39 million who are blind and 246 million who are low vision in the world. Also 65% of all visually impaired and 82% of all blind individuals are over 50 years old. Some of the agencies and groups Margaret reached out to in FY 19 included: Community Services for Sight, Central Susquehanna Sight Services, Nu Visions Center, Vision Corps, Blind and Vision Rehabilitation, and Vision Resources of Central PA. Margaret also reconnected with some of the Blind Associations statewide, including Blair/Clearfield Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Beaver County Association for the Blind, Blind Association of Butler and Armstrong counties, Bucks County Association for the Blind, Fayette County Association for the Blind, Keystone Blind Association, Lehigh County Association for the Blind, and Associated Services for the Blind. These are all
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
3
18
13980
27
85
CAP developed a guide to transition from school to work which was disseminated at the P.A.T.T.A.N. Transition conference at Penn State University. This guide described the barriers that can be faced in the transition process as well as how to avoid said barriers. The guide also detailed CAP's role in the transition process and how we can become an asset to youth and parents during the time they seek Pre-E.T.S. services. <P><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
CAP produced a PSA that was played throughout Pennsylvania. The PSA was developed to reach individuals across the state, emphasizing the ability to reach those in unserved and underserved areas. CAP received several calls during the course of FY &rsquo;19 because of the PSA. CAP made the PSA to inform and educate citizens of Pennsylvania about VR and CAP services. <p><p>CAP had substantial growth and reach with our CAP Action Alert series on Facebook. CAP was able to grow our Facebook network from 996 to 1359 followers. CAP&rsquo;s action alert on 5/4/19 was able to reach 12,000 people, and other action alerts reached similar numbers of people in Pennsylvania interested in our services as well as current events within OVR. <p><p>CAP Director Steve Pennington was interviewed several times in FY &rsquo;19. In article centered around Pre-E.T.S. services and Special Education students being unprepared for life after school. This article was published in the Philadelphia Public School notebook by Paul Jablow and aimed at educating the public about service issues as well as educating the public about what services and programs are available to youth with disabilities. <p><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
96
113
209
0
63
B. Problem areas
5
99
106
22
0
36
0
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
10
34
101
0
1
0
146
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
126
10
0
0
0
8
0
2
0
0
0
0
<P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
19
2
4
8
68
38
6
1
0
0
<P><p><P><p><P><p><P><p><P><p><P><p><P><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
28
42
46
86
7
209
B. Gender
116
93
209
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
7
0
2
58
2
134
4
2
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
8
7
3
3
3
4
38
1
5
12
2
8
6
2
1
3
0
1
3
15
42
2
3
2
12
6
1
0
0
10
0
0
1
5
209
E. Types of Individuals Served
47
5
131
3
26
0
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
4
1. Based upon written RSA clarification, CAP had language in the VR Agency's Vehicle Modification Policy prohibiting the purchase of vehicles removed in FY 2019. 2. CAP requested the the VR Agency comply with 34 CFR 361.50 and develop a written PETS policy describing the nature and scope of these services. The VR Agency convened a transition workgroup in FY 2019 to develop, among other things, a written PETS Policy. 3. CAP objected to the VR Agency's closing of the Order of Selection on July 1, 2019 and in response the VR Agency convened a workgroup to focus on the definition of most significantly disabled. A revised definition was adopted, in part, by the VR Agency Board in FY 2019. 4. CAP convened a workgroup in FY 2019 to address the VR Agency's consideration of the consolidation of its Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services with the general VR program. As a result of the workgroup's research and analysis, the VR Agency decided not to consider consolidation and to maintain separate programs. <P><p>
B. Litigation
0
0
0
N/A <P><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-other nonprofit agency
Center for Disability Law & Policy
No
not applicable
B. Staff Employed
4 full-time professionals - 4 person years, 2 part-time, 1 full time equivalent, 1 Director, 3 CAP Advocates, 2 part-time clerical. <P><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
Interesting case 1 This case had multiple issues and required multiple meetings and joint efforts to get this gentleman to the point where his case is today, only a few remaining authorizations in process for his agreed upon equipment needed for his recording business. Most of the equipment on his list is now in his studio. This gentleman has suffered a couple strokes and also has a mental health diagnosis. He has had various personal challenges, changes in counselors and changes to OVR's Small Business Policy, and overall frustration with the VR process. He initially contacted CAP for help with getting his recoding business approved so he could receive funding for the equipment he needed to be successful in his music business. CAP Advocate assisted him by working on each component of what was required of him one piece, one note, one step at a time. A group effort including his counselor, supervisor, business expert in the community and the District Administrator, in addition to his family support all worked hard to break each issue/concern apart and help him focus on what he needed to do next to reach our end goal, a successful recording business. After many meetings, discussions, clarification of OVR&rsquo;s small business policy, breaking down each component, detailing the responsibilities of all, including the client match, and the process itself, we handled each concern and this gentleman now has most of the equipment he needs to become successful in his business. In addition, CAP was instrumental in helping him get approved for a waiver for monies for equipment over the 10,000.00 maximum. CAP helped him achieve his goal, musician, which accentuates his skill and interests, not to mention making him feel productive and independent in his life. This case emphasizes the importance of clear caring communication, clarification of pertinent OVR policies, development of an open and respectful client/counselor relationship which includes making the client aware of his rights and responsibilities, and the need to research other resources in the community. As a result of this case, CAP became connected with the Small Business Development Center, SBDC, in this area as well. Interesting case 2 Although this client contacted CAP initially due to a request for assistance with a training funding concern, after some case review and clarification of OVR&rsquo;s college policy and financial needs test policy, it was determined that other support services could be provided for this client as well. This client is attending college with a job goal of Digital Design and Print work, and is not collecting Social Security, SS. He is a freshman and not attending a Community College. He and his parents went through the financial aid process and as he is not on Social Security and since his parents income is high, he is not eligible for any PHEAA or PELL grants. As a result he is not awarded any funding for schooling from OVR based on th
Certification
Approved
Stephen Pennington
Executive Director
2019-12-27
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