RSA-227 for FY-2019: Submission #1088

Alaska
9/30/2019
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Alaska State Department of Education & Early Dev.
801 West 10th Street, Suite 200
{Empty}
Juneau
AK
99801
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{Empty}
{Empty}
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Disability Law Center of Alaska
3330 Arctic Blvd. #103
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Anchorage
99503
Alaska
akpa@dlcak.org
http://www.dlcak.org/
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(800) 478-1234
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Additional Information
David Fleurant
Molly Johansson
(907) 565-1002
{Empty}
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
13
3
0
0
0
18
34
B. Training Activities
5
40
We were approached by the National Federation of the Blind&rsquo;s (NFB) Alaska chapter to speak at their annual state convention about the CAP program. We spoke to 19 individuals regarding CAP, employment discrimination, as well as voting. The aim was to increase the attendees&rsquo; knowledge of an individual's rights as well as increase our awareness of NFB and its members. Continued education of our staff fosters understanding for and knowledge of the disability community, which in turn informs our advocacy and sensitivity to the diverse needs of our clients. <p><p>During this year, we were invited to host several training events at both Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation (TVR) and Division Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). During our training events, we not only educated the staff about our work on a whole and what type of cases we pursue but also specifically about CAP. The aim behind these meetings was to inform and to create a closer, friendlier relationship. We answered questions and cleared up any misgivings about the CAP program in four locations. One meeting was with DVR&rsquo;s Wasilla branch and was attended by 10 people. Wasilla is situated in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough (pop. around 107,000 ) and is a growing city with approximately 10,000 residents, which makes it a critical branch to build a relationship with to serve current and future residents of the area better. Another meeting was with two DVR counselors in Kenai, which is a city with around 7,000 residents in the Kenai Peninsula Borough (pop. about 58,500). To ensure diversity among our relationships and that our services are equally available to all of Alaska&rsquo;s ethnic groups and cultures, two of our visits were with TVR. We met with five representatives from Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) TVR and four representatives from Aleutian Pribilof Island Association (APIA) TVR.<p>
C. Agency Outreach
Our outreach efforts aim to inform about the mission of the P&A and increase the general knowledge about the agency and what type of cases and services we provide, as well as hand out publications to attendees. Because of the P&A&rsquo;s eye-catching design (bright pink!) of the CAP brochures, they are visually accentuated at outreach events and information stands. Although the information in these brochures is required to be given out by the Alaska Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (TVR) and the Alaska State Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) offices to all seekers of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services, we chose to aid in that effort by providing these brochures in an easily-recognizable and accessible format. In FY19, we disseminated 4,290 leaflets. Events we were invited to participate in include: Stand Down 2018 An event to help Veterans-in-need with all types of assistance including but not limited to: medical screening, legal aid, housing, and employment. We distributed around 60 publications and spoke with approximately 50 people, including veterans, family, and friends of veterans, and other service providers who were at the event. 2019 Alaska State Fair Every year, service providers are invited to inform fairgoers about available services and to share helpful and diverse information. During the day we were there, around 100 people, both other service providers, and fairgoers approached our table and spoke to our staff. The fair is a large and diverse event that increases the possibility of us reaching individuals who might not usually seek us out. 2019 Project Homeless Connect This event assists people who are homeless in Anchorage with providing housing, services, and hospitality in a convenient one-stop model. It is a way to bring service providers, government agencies, and the general community together to address a problem that affects everyone. The goal is to move from only managing homelessness toward ending it. During the day, we provided information to around 31 people and made connections with staff at the Alaska Native Justice Center who later came and talked to us about their Anti-Trafficking program and educated us on how to spot signs of trafficking. Anchorage Disability Pride Celebration 2019 - The Governor's Council on Disabilities and Special Education invited us to host a table at the Anchorage Disability Pride Day. The event aimed to celebrate the disability community and the anniversary of the ADA. We spoke with over 40 individuals, including people with disabilities, family members, interested community members, and other service providers who were at the event, as well as distributed over 70 publications. Ombudsman&rsquo;s Day 2018 The State Ombudsman invited us to participate in their first-ever problem-solving" fair, an event with national participation and supported by the American Bar Association. They asked problem-solving and complaint-resolving partners like the Alaska P&A to info"
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
1
0
0
7067
5
0
<P><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
During the year, our Executive Director was interviewed by the Alaskan Public Radio station KSKA. KSKA is Southcentral Alaska&rsquo;s source of National Public Radio news and information and reaches around 60% of the state&rsquo;s population. During the show, Justice Alaska, he informed 2,700 listeners of the areas of law we work in and what type of services we can provide. The show can still be accessed on https://www.alaskapublic.org/2019/05/19/how-the-disability-law-center-of-alaska-serves/ Furthermore, multiple service providers in Alaska use their website to provide information about CAP and the services of the P&A. Many of the providers link to our website for quick access for their clients. These service providers include: Statewide Independent Living Council of Alaska (SILC) https://www.alaskasilc.org/cap Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) http://labor.alaska.gov/dvr/ Access Alaska (an Independent Living Center) http://accessalaska.org/services/advocacy/ <P><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
2
9
11
0
8
B. Problem areas
0
4
7
0
0
0
0
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
3
0
0
0
0
0
3
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
0
2
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
<P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
2
0
0
<P><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
0
1
4
6
0
11
B. Gender
5
6
11
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
1
1
1
2
0
5
1
0
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
4
2
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
11
E. Types of Individuals Served
9
0
0
2
0
0
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
0
N/A <P><p>
B. Litigation
0
0
0
N/A <P><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-other public agency
State Department of Education and Early Development
Yes
Disability Law Center of Alaska
B. Staff Employed
The Alaska CAP utilizes several attorney and non-attorney advocates in three offices in the state to achieve statewide coverage. The P&A&rsquo;s staffing arrangement provides for .92 fulltime equivalent employees, with 9 employees in Anchorage (0.84 FTE), one employee in Fairbanks (0.06 FTE) and one employee in Juneau (.02 FTE). The advocates in Fairbanks and Juneau respond to I&R requests, provide individual advocacy assistance, and conduct outreach in their communities. In the Anchorage office, an Intake Specialist takes the initial call, obtains information and/or paperwork, and passes the matter on to the CAP advocates for assessment. Individuals seeking CAP services can do so by contacting any of the three offices or submit an email request. The Anchorage office also maintains a statewide toll-free 800 number for individuals outside of the hub communities. <P><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
We received a complaint from a 57-year-old man with acquired brain injury, ADD/ADHD, diabetes, and circulatory issues. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) had closed his case, stating he did not require VR services because of past employment and businesses owned. The client asked for assistance determining if his case had been closed appropriately. He had an ongoing court case with DVR due to his removal from DVR&rsquo;s Business Enterprise Program (BEP). After being removed from the BEP program, the client went to DVR to apply for employment services. DVR denied him services and closed his case. The attorney who was assisting him with his court case had also filed an appeal of the closure, which had also been denied. Because the individual already had legal counsel representing him with both his court case against DVR and his case closure, the Alaska P&A closed his case. However, we informed him that if something new arises, that is separate from DVR closing his case, he is welcome to contact our office. Despite already having legal representation, the man approached us, which demonstrates the P&A&rsquo;s high standing and effective outreach. We were also approached by a 35-year-old man with an acquired brain injury, and auto-immune disorders with complaints against DVR. The man informed us that DVR had included inaccurate information in his employment plan and failed to assist him with finding employment. Staff learned that the client&rsquo;s DVR case had been closed for over a year, and we informed him that he could reapply for services with DVR. The client was encouraged to contact us again if any issues arise after reapplying. In addition to the DVR complaint, the man asked the P&A for assistance with a variety of tasks. Staff referred him to the local independent living center (ILC). When we learned of ongoing communication issues between the ILC and the client, we helped the parties overcome them and assisted the man in receiving case management. Since we did not hear back from the client, we assumed our guidance strengthened his knowledge and self-advocacy skills and that he no longer needed assistance. Additionally, we helped a 31-year-old woman with mental illness. Her DVR complaints was regarding communication issues with her counselor, and their failure to thoroughly explain DVR&rsquo;s process and requested documents. We learned that DVR had demanded the client sign documents within a few days, or they would close her case. The client asked for clarification of the documents but was denied a thorough explanation. Due to disparaging remarks by DVR, and their failure to explain the documents and process, the client requested a new counselor. Ultimately, DVR denied the request. P&A staff explained the DVR process to the client during the first telephone conversation. We later met with the DVR counselor, the regional manager, and the chief officer of DVR to discuss the client&rsquo;s case. DVR agreed to provide b
Certification
Approved
David C. Fleurant
Executive Director
2019-12-11
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