RSA-227 for FY-2019: Submission #1081

Utah
9/30/2019
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Disability Law Center
205 North 400 West
{Empty}
Salt Lake City
UT
84103
{Empty}
(800) 662-9080
{Empty}
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Disability Law Center
205 North 400 West
{Empty}
Salt Lake City
84103
{Empty}
{Empty}
(800) 662-9080
{Empty}
Additional Information
Katie Carroll
Adina Zahradnikova
(801) 363-1347
{Empty}
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
23
0
0
0
0
6
29
B. Training Activities
24
364
During fiscal year 2019 (FY19) the Disability Law Center&rsquo;s (DLC) Client Assistance Program (CAP) continued our efforts to provide high-quality trainings to people with disabilities in Utah who want to or are working. We trained 364 individuals during 24 trainings on the employment protections afforded to people with disabilities under Title I of the ADA, including the availability of reasonable accommodations, and on Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (USOR) Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services. Our trainings emphasized the services that could be provided by the VR program and how CAP can advocate for VR clients and applicants and ensure they receive effective, high-quality supports as they work to gain, regain, maintain, or advance in employment. Several of our trainings focused on transition youth, in alignment with the goals of WIOA and the VR program&rsquo;s increased focus on this population. <p><p>Employment and Disability: Your Rights Trainings <p><p>During FY19 the DLC&rsquo;s employment team held eleven presentations in partnership with six agencies who provide Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) under contracts with VR. These presentations were targeted towards transition-age youth and their families and covered a broad range of information a person with a disability might need when deciding if they want to work. We discussed protections under Title I of the ADA, including how to ask for a reasonable accommodation, Vocational Rehabilitation Services and the CAP program, and ABLE accounts. These presentations were held across the state of Utah in Ogden, Salt Lake City, Provo, and St. George. We reached 164 transition youth, parents and providers and recorded an accessible webinar version of the presentation (see Information Disseminated section). We plan to continue these presentations to transition youth in future FYs and our goal is to provide transition youth and their families the information they will need to make a decision about work. <p><p>VR Office Trainings on CAP Services <p><p>During FY19 the CAP team continued our efforts to visit VR districts at least yearly and talk with counselors and rehab techs during staff meetings to discuss the CAP program. Our goal is to keep counselors familiar with CAP staff, how we approach cases, and areas of concern based on recent casework. During this FY we trained 90 VR staff in five trainings on the CAP program and hope that regular outreach and trainings will allow us to build relationships with VR and resolve more client concerns at the counselor level. AudienceLocation of staff trained Northern Utah VRLogan, UT15 Valley West VRWest Valley City, UT22 Central Utah VRSpanish Fork, UT13 Eastern Utah VRPrice, UT18 Southern Utah VRSt. George, UT22 Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DSBVI) Presentation <p><p>In May 2019 the CAP advocate presented to 20 members of Utah&rsquo;s DSBVI advisory committee on DLC employment service
C. Agency Outreach
In FY19 the DLC&rsquo;s CAP team conducted regular outreach effort at employment events and school district fairs targeted to people with disabilities. Additionally, we made efforts to reach out to people who are blind and people with disabilities who have recently been released from prison. We also continued our FY18 efforts to meet with the VR-contracted Pre-ETS providers in alignment with our increased training efforts targeted at transition youth. Our outreach efforts were statewide, reaching both urban and rural populations. <p><p>Transition Youth <p><p>School District and Transition Fairs <p><p>The CAP team continues to prioritize trainings and outreach to transition youth in recognition of the importance of ensuring this population receives quality transition services from school to employment. Given the key role VR plays in this process, the CAP team tabled at six transition fairs during FY19 and provided information on working with VR and utilizing CAP as a resource for disagreements and service delivery concerns. We spoke to 227 students, parents and service providers, reaching students in both rurally located and predominantly minority school districts. Event individuals who received information Granite School District Transition Fair71 (2 fairs during FY19) Davis School District Transition Fair 84 Jordan School District Transition Fair25 Salt Lake Multi-Agency Fair19 Cache/Logan District Transition Fair28 <p><p>Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) Provider Outreach Utah&rsquo;s VR contracts out a large portion of their Pre-ETS activities to local service providers. As a continuation of the CAP team&rsquo;s FY18 project to meet with providers and learn about how they are serving students and provide information on the availability of CAP should their clients apply for individual services, the team met with three new VR-contracted providers during FY19. We met with Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Duchesne School District in Roosevelt, and Community Options in Salt Lake City to discuss the services offered by each provider, individual VR services, and the CAP program, emphasizing how we can help ensure students receive appropriate Pre-ETS and other transition services from VR. <p><p>People Recently Released From Prison <p><p>VR Prison Orientation Outreach <p><p>In January 2019 a CAP advocate shadowed a VR representative at the Utah State Prison as she presented a VR orientation to inmates nearing their release dates. CAP&rsquo;s goal in this project was to identify ways to coordinate with VR&rsquo;s outreach efforts in the prison to ensure potentially VR-eligible people leaving the prison system were aware of their rights in regards to VR and CAP services. After shadowing VR&rsquo;s efforts, the DLC determined that working directly with VR&rsquo;s existing project was not feasible given logistics and resources required to navigate the prison system and regularly attend orientation presentations. Dur
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
10
0
0
15000
15
542
Unique employment page view on our website <P><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
Radio/TV Appearances (10) <p><p>PSA/Videos Aired about CAP (0) <p><p>Agency Mentions: The Disability Law Center (DLC) was mentioned 72 times by external web articles and sources throughout the year, covering a variety of disability rights-related topics. Sources include Utah Public Radio, Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News, Utah Autism Coalition, American Apartment Owners Association, New York Times, YWCA and many others. <p><p>Website hits (48,093) <p><p>Employment page views (669- 542 unique views) <p><p>Online Training Webinars and YouTube Videos: The DLC produced five YouTube videos during the year. One video covered the rights of people with disabilities in employment, availability of services to support someone who wants to work like VR, and how employment can impact Social Security benefits. Four of the videos covered various disability and voting related topics. Disability and Employment: Your Rights https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5o6oyLNVLA&t=1350s Poll Worker Training: Serving Diverse Voters https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LdCLcgbioI Poll Worker Training: Setting up the Polling Place https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuMwLCxfc4k Voting by Mail or at an Election Center in Utah https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkZntyrpNyQ Voting by Mail or at an Election Center in Utah (audio description) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9ZAwRGwGcU <p><p>Facebook: Throughout the year, the DLC posted 43 employment-related articles on Facebook. Through these posts, we reached 26,291 readers with information about DLC advocacy services, the benefits of hiring people with disabilities, upcoming employment events targeted to people with disabilities, articles supporting equal pay for people with disabilities and more. <p><p>CAP Brochures: The DLC distributed around 15,000 CAP brochures during FY19, both in English and Spanish. Approximately 731 brochures were distributed to attendees during our training events and approximately 636 brochures were given out during our outreach efforts. The rest of the brochures were given to VR offices to include with orientation packets for new clients and for counselors to utilize during the VR process with clients. Brochures were also given out to independent living centers when requested. <p><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
10
47
57
1
16
B. Problem areas
12
13
31
0
0
1
0
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
22
0
16
1
2
0
41
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
28
4
0
0
0
4
2
0
2
0
0
1
Not responsive to agency <P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
15
0
2
0
5
4
5
10
0
1
Not responsive to agency <P><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
1
13
17
24
2
57
B. Gender
28
29
57
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
6
0
3
4
0
40
1
3
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
0
1
0
0
0
0
4
0
4
4
0
2
3
1
0
0
0
0
0
2
17
1
0
4
1
11
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
57
E. Types of Individuals Served
7
1
48
1
0
0
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
4
1. Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (USOR) Quarterly Meetings During FY19 the DLC's CAP team met quarterly with Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (USOR) administrators to discuss emerging trends in CAP complaints, go over policy changes, collaborate on issues facing people with disabilities in their return-to-work efforts, and to advocate as necessary for changes to be made to VR case service delivery. During the year, we covered topics such as concerns about closing clients&rsquo; cases before the client is ready, pre-employment transition services, and how VR is meeting its duty to reach out to people with disabilities in sheltered work under Section 511. In addition to quarterly meetings, the DLC also met with USOR administrators on three occasions to discuss concerns around VR support of client job goals that will require graduate degrees. In response to our concerns, USOR drafted a new policy chapter which more clearly lays out VR&rsquo;s ability to and process for supporting graduate-level education goals. The DLC provided feedback on the chapter and an additional memo was produced to help VR counselors and clients work through questions related to graduate support. As a result of this advocacy, the DLC hopes VR counselors will support more individuals to pursue graduate-level job goals and maximize their employment. This, in turn, could help beneficiaries to become more qualified for quality jobs in alignment with the goals of WIOA. <p><p>2.State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) Meetings The SRC is an advisory council that reviews programs, analyzes service delivery processes and advises on VR policy and procedures to ensure quality VR services for clients. During FY19 the DLC&rsquo;s CAP team attended eight meetings and provided a voice of advocacy while Utah&rsquo;s VR program continues to adjust and adapt to major changes in service delivery after implementing an Order of Selection and transitioning to management under a new state office. The DLC provides leadership and expertise to the council on issues related to delivery of VR services to applicants and clients. In addition to providing further feedback on VR&rsquo;s new graduate degree policy in our official capacity on the SRC when the policy was presented to the council, the CAP team provided input on VR&rsquo;s customer satisfaction survey. We advocated for VR to add additional questions to the survey to solicit client feedback on understanding of their responsibilities as a VR client and on services available under the VR program. We also advocated for changes to existing questions to increase clarity and accessibility. In response to our recommendations VR added an additional question to the satisfaction survey asking clients about their understanding of their responsibilities as a client. VR also accepted CAP&rsquo;s suggestion to simplify a question and make it clearer. These changes to the customer satisfaction survey will increase the accessibility of the survey an
B. Litigation
0
0
0
N/A <P><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Disability Law Center
No
N/A
B. Staff Employed
Full-time professional: 1.29 Part-time professional: 0.09 Full-time clerical: 0.21 Part-time clerical: 0.01 Total: 1.60 The numbers above represent time spent on CAP by our supervising attorney, two advocates, law clerks, support staff, three intake/information & referral advocates and various contributions from other staff throughout the year. <P><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
Emerging Trend: Issues obtaining VR support for master&rsquo;s degree level employment goals and related services. <p><p>Client is 55, has a TBI and mental illness and is attending Penn State&rsquo;s Dickinson Law School. Client first requested VR support for her employment goal when she was notified that she had received a full-tuition scholarship to the school. Client has a Master of Education, but due to workplace experiences that aggravated her disability, she made an informed choice to pursue a career change. Client reported to CAP that her VR counselor reluctantly agreed to list her employment objective as lawyer but expressed doubts about her ability to be successful. Over the next two years, client consistently requested paid services from VR related to her legal education and was told by her counselor that these services were not available to her because she was attending an out of state university, or services were delayed until client was forced to pay herself due to deadlines. When client contacted CAP in July 2018, VR still had not provided any services related to client&rsquo;s education, but client&rsquo;s counselor had finally agreed to support textbooks, a psychological evaluation so client could begin the process of requesting Bar Exam accommodations, health insurance, school fees, rent, and transportation costs. Client first asked for these services for her final year in April 2018 to ensure VR would have sufficient time to process her request before the start of the school year. Client contacted CAP because, based on her prior experience with VR, she remained concerned that her counselor would continue to delay these services until client was forced to pay for them herself by taking out a loan. Client was also concerned about delays in receiving her textbooks as she needed to submit proof of purchase to the school well ahead of the start of classes so that she could receive the alternative format texts she needed. CAP expressed concern to VR about the urgency of resolving client&rsquo;s concerns, especially related to the purchase of her textbooks. CAP suggested client make a list of all services she was requesting so that VR could answer individually what they would and would not support and why and provide client with guidance about what information she would need to submit to VR for support. Client requested eleven different services related to support for her education and maintenance of her disability. Client&rsquo;s counselor was provided with this list ahead of a meeting with client and CAP. Despite this, little was accomplished in the meeting with client&rsquo;s counselor and her supervisor as VR seemed focused on determining client&rsquo;s financial contribution towards services and client&rsquo;s counselor seemed to find the logistics of out of state purchases overwhelming. At this point CAP decided to reach out to the District Director (DD) to prevent further delays as client&rsquo;s classes were starting in jus
Certification
Approved
Adina Zahradnikova
Executive Director
2019-12-10
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