RSA-227 for FY-2019: Submission #1093

New Mexico
9/30/2019
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Disability Rights New Mexico
3916 Juan Tabo NE
{Empty}
Albuquerque
NM
87111
http://www.drnm.org
(800) 432-4682
(800) 432-4682
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Disability Rights New Mexico
3916 Juan Tabo NE
{Empty}
Albuquerque
87111
{Empty}
info@drnm.org
http://www.drnm.org
(800) 432-4682
(800) 432-4682
Additional Information
Bernadine Chavez
Bernadine Chavez
(505) 256-3100
{Empty}
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
50
4
18
8
10
20
110
B. Training Activities
10
274
CAP staff provided two trainings to 26 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 to Independent Living staff to two centers for independent living. The topics covered were CAP, WIOA and order of selection for DVR. 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 to a group of self-advocates that have a woman&rsquo;s group and men&rsquo;s group for Native Americans with disabilities. CAP staff talked about CAP services, independent living services and 121 programs. There were 15 participants at this training, 10 participants from the Navajo Nation, two from the Pueblo of Zuni and three indivuals from the Pueblo of Zia. 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 18 participants. In summary, CAP staff at DRNM conducted a total of 10 trainings with a total of 274 participants. DRNM/CAP also participated in 18 informational fairs in which we distributed CAP brochures and provided information to participants. Of the 18 fairs,4 were targeted outreach to minorities and underserved populations. <p><p>"
C. Agency Outreach
This year the Client Assistance Program staff focused on outreach to rural areas. CAP staff participated in four transition fairs in rural underserved areas. These rural underserved areas have few resources for employment. Most of the information provided at these fairs was information on transition services both through the local school district and the vocational rehabilitation programs. CAP staff was able to provide referrals to the state VR programs for students and families that were concerned that upon graduation the exiting students would be left without any resources or direction towards meaningful employment. DRNM/CAP continues to have a goal of informing rural and underserved communities regarding 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 18 informational fairs in which we distributed CAP brochures in English and Spanish as well as provided information to participants in both languages. Of the 18 fairs, 4 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. Staff provided training on CAP and employment rights to clients of the quarterly job club. The job club is sponsored by private group that provides job placement to state funded programs. There are 8 to 10 participants each quarter. The program is in a very rural area in central New Mexico. The participates are on state waiver programs or DVR. <p><p>
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
0
600
18
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
6
22
28
27
6
B. Problem areas
0
6
4
6
5
8
0
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
1
0
9
2
10
0
22
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
14
1
1
3
0
1
0
0
2
0
0
0
<P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
7
0
0
0
8
3
2
2
0
1
Client refused to sign Release of Information form. <P><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
1
3
3
19
2
28
B. Gender
13
15
28
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
9
1
0
0
0
18
0
0
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
2
1
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
11
0
0
0
2
6
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
28
E. Types of Individuals Served
15
5
2
6
2
0
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
3
New Mexico DVR had not had a fully appointed Executive Director in over 10 years. The Governor appointed a new NMDVR Director that has been very responsive to CAP concerns. The systemic issues that CAP has worked on with NMDVR included the order of selection and the way that participants were categorized. We saw a pattern of participants being put in the second and third category. With both of those categories being closed the applicants were automatically put on the waiting list without being able to provide information regarding other disabling conditions. In most cases it made a difference and participants were moved to category 1. Example: A participant with a back injury provided the medical records to NMDVR. The medical records were only pertinent to the back injury. The applicant also had a significant traumatic brain injury (TBI). The TBI had occurred a few years before the back injury, but the participant was never asked about other disabling conditions that created a barrier to employment. CAP contacted NMDVR and explained that the applicant should really be category 1 due to the combination of his disabilities and the severity of his TBI. CAP discussed this pattern with NMDVR administration and gave them examples of participants that were moved to the first category when a complete assessment had been re-done after CAP involvement. NMDVR assured us that they would ask participants about other disabling conditions and would try to assess if the all of the person's disabling conditions might make them eligible for category 1. The other substantive issues that CAP worked on were 1.) lack of staff to cover vacant caseloads, 2.) post employment services, 3.) reasonable accommodations policies for participants. The agency has responded favorably by looking at training and policies that make their practices clear and more transparent. NMDVR continues to have a high rate of vacancy but is working with the State Personnel Office to get more applicants on the hire lists. The other systemic issue that CAP is working on is with an independent living center. We received multiple complaints from a group of Native American participants that were receiving independent living services but stated that their cases were closed without warning and without notice. They also felt that the services were no longer provided because the participants are Native Americans. We met with the group and collected statements. We also included the Native American Disability Law Center. We are still working on this systemic issue as a carryover from last fiscal year. <p><p>
B. Litigation
0
0
0
DRNM/CAP did not have any fair hearing this year. New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (NMDVR) was hiring a new supervising attorney. Neither NMDVR or the CFB had a fair hearing this federal fiscal year. <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
1. DRNM/CAP represented a client of the New Mexico Commission for the Blind (CFB) that purchased a pair of glasses needed for her low vision. CFB had purchased one pair several years earlier but the participant needed some with tint for outside activities. The CFB counselor incorrectly informed the client that the CFB only provided one pair of glasses and would not purchase any other glasses. The client's work required her to do some things out in the community and her ophthalmologist prescribed the tinted lenses. Since the CFB refused to purchase the lenses the client paid for them herself but felt it was a real hardship since she just started her employment. CAP spoke with the CFB and they attempted to get the ophthalmologist to let our client return the glasses and then have the CFB purchase them. The Ophthalmologist refused and stated it was against their policies to return the glasses. The CFB stated that they could not reimburse the client. We negotiated other services that would assist the client, such as moving expenses, as she moved closer to her employment. The CFB helped with other expenses that in the end made it not so much of a hardship to pay for the glasses.<p>2. The client contacted DRNM/CAP because she was experiencing delays in her Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) through DVR. The client had been having some mental health issues and the DVR counselor recommended she seek some mental health services. The client had accessed those mental health services, but had not contacted her VRC. A DRNM/CAP advocate arranged for an IPE meeting, and attended it with the client to negotiate for services. The client wanted to attend a computer/tech arts and sciences at NM Highlands University, and brought tuition, fees, and supplies lists to the meeting. The DRNM advocate attended the several meetings to develop an IPE and DVR agreed to give the client tuition for school, as well as the supplies needed to participate in the program. The client was very happy with the outcome, and was excited to be in school working towards a Master's degree. Because of DRNM intervention, the client is able to access DVR services to make steps towards meaningful employment.<p>3.The client is a 48 year old male who lives in Albuquerque. He called DRNM/CAP because his Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) would not respond to his phone calls. The client was concerned because he had not received funding for his equipment for his auto-body shop that was supposedly approved in 2018. Through CAP's review of the DVR records it was discovered that the Program Manager (PM) had approved this service in October 2018. DRNM contacted the Field Operations Director (FOD) to inform him of the PM&rsquo;s previous approval. The IPE had been approved but was never implemented. The client picked up the check needed for this equipment in early July 2019.<p><p><p>
Certification
Approved
Gary Housepian
Chief Executive Officer
2019-11-26
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