RSA-227 for FY-2019: Submission #1100

New York
9/30/2019
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Disability Rights New York (DRNY)
725 Broadway
Suite 450
Albany
NY
12207-5001
http://www.drny.org
(800) 993-8982
(800) 993-8982
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Disability Rights New York (DRNY)
725 Broadway
Suite 450
Albany
12207
New York
mail@drny.org
http://www.drny.org
(800) 993-8982
(800) 993-8982
Additional Information
Erica M. Molina, Esq.
Erica M. Molina, Esq.
(518) 432-7861
{Empty}
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
70
3
1
1
12
11
98
B. Training Activities
10
426
<p><i>**Note** In New York, the state vocational rehabilitation agencies are the New York State Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) and the New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB). The former is a general VR agency serving people with all disabilities except blindness, while the latter is a VR agency only serving those who are blind.</i></p><p><p>DRNY collaborated with the NYC Commission on Human Rights and the NYC Mayor&rsquo;s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD). The partnership&rsquo;s inaugural event was a &ldquo;Know Your Rights&rdquo; Symposium. Participant organizations included Visions, a service provider to the blind community, and Barrier Free Living, an organization working with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities. The symposium engaged stakeholders and individuals with disabilities in discussion about various resources available to the disability community.</p><p><p>DRNY also presented a training at the Annual Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Institute hosted by the NYSCB. The audience was made up of VR counselors, service providers, mobility instructors, and assistive technology vendors. The training, &ldquo;Obstacles to Work Success: Resources and Solutions&rdquo; focused on the importance of recognizing cultural intersectionality and discovering creative approaches to problem-solving when removing employment barriers for blind individuals.</p><p><p>DRNY has been actively sought out for involvement in several panels and events hosted by stakeholders and agencies. For example, in FY 2019, DRNY participated in the New York State Disability Services Council Annual Meeting; a disability symposium in Brooklyn, New York; a special needs resource fair on Long Island, New York; an American Council of the Blind meeting; a meeting with the DeVry Institute; an autism service provider breakfast; the 8<sup>th</sup> Annual Autism Expo; and the ADAPT Community Network&rsquo;s Family Connect Summit. During these presentations, we presented on our history and our scope of services. DRNY also targeted community stakeholder training to adults and youth with disabilities; their families; disability advocates; attorneys; VR and ILC personnel; and staff from the New York State Department of Labor, the New York State Department of Education, and the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.</p><p>
C. Agency Outreach
<p>In FY 2019, DRNY targeted outreach and provided services to individuals in previously unserved or underserved groups. Outreach efforts resulted in reaching a total of 1,488 individuals throughout New York State. Many of these efforts are related to the systemic projects described in this report.</p><p><p><b><u>Native American Outreaches &amp; Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation</u>: </b></p><p><p>DRNY focused on two tribal vocational rehabilitation (TVR) agencies, as well as other agencies serving the Native American community. Our goal was to ensure Native Americans with disabilities are aware of VR services. We presented to 11 agencies that offer services to Native Americans across New York State. We also presented to TVR agencies 6 times throughout the fiscal year. DRNY and both TVR agencies have developed a working relationship that will lead to further collaborations in FY 2020. As a result of these efforts, DRNY provided TVR-related Information and Referral, and reached 297 individuals.</p><p><p><b><u>New York State Commission for the Blind &amp; Assistive Technology Centers: </u></b></p><p><p>DRNY visited all 10 of the New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB) District Offices across the state. We gave presentations at all 7 NYSCB District Offices, and to 3 NYSCB satellite offices. As a result, DRNY obtained 3 new service requests, and 4 additional outreach opportunities to agencies such as the American Council of the Blind.</p><p><p>As a result of this effort, DRNY was able to network with Assistive Technology Centers (ATC) in New York State. DRNY made contact with 8 ATCs across the state to discuss services that DRNY provides. DRNY reached 52 new individuals. We will continue to build upon these relationships during the next fiscal year.</p><p><p><b><u>Pre-ETS &amp; Transition Outreaches: </u></b></p><p><p>DRNY continued its focus on serving the Pre-ETS and transition populations during the 2019 fiscal year. DRNY conducted several outreaches, including at school-sponsored transition and college fairs; special needs and family support fairs; and Special Education PTA meetings. We also contacted local high schools across the state, which resulted in 12 different presentations to high school principals and guidance counseling teams. We also conducted outreaches at community colleges, State University of New York (SUNY) colleges and universities and New York City University of New York (CUNY) systems. These combined efforts reached approximately 1,015 people.</p><p><p><b><u>Sub-Minimum Wage Population</u></b></p><p><p>In FY 2019, DRNY also continued its focus of reaching those people with disabilities who work in sheltered workshops at a subminimum wage rate, to align with WIOA&rsquo;s mandates in Section 511. DRNY developed training materials and other resources, and conducted site visits throughout FY 2019. DRNY provided several &ldquo;Know your Rights&rdquo; presentations to workers and employers at the workshops regarding VR employme
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
3
0
2
6086
8
1
<p>DRNY has worked to make sure that the agency is recognized as a resource for people with disabilities seeking services under the Rehabilitation Act. This includes disseminating brochures and other resources to clients, the public, and stakeholders. DRNY&rsquo;s information is provided to the public and groups within New York State. DRNY has targeted VR agencies and ILCs to disseminate information; these referral sources have produced many new referrals to DRNY. Referrals also come from stakeholders who participate with DRNY in various state councils, committees, and task forces. In particular, DRNY is represented on both the ACCES-VR and NYSCB State Rehabilitation Councils. DRNY regularly updates both Councils on its programs; this has resulted in consistent requests for technical assistance, and also in information and referral (I&amp;R) and case service requests.</p><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
<p>This fiscal year, a DRNY staff was interviewed on a local broadcast show called Ability Fierce. On the show, we explained the purpose of ACCES-VR, as well as the opportunities available to people with disabilities through the VR system. Information about this broadcast can be found at <a href=https://www.abilityfierce.com/blog/what-is-an-acces-vr-anyway">https://www.abilityfierce.com/blog/what-is-an-acces-vr-anyway</a>.</p><p>"
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
59
158
217
19
54
B. Problem areas
12
45
146
22
0
9
3
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
44
72
65
0
1
0
182
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
82
17
24
2
2
25
0
16
13
0
0
1
<p>Client's case had merit, but the issue was presented outside the statute of limitations; DRNY advised the client that we would address the issue on a systemic level to prevent similar error in the future.</p><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
74
11
4
8
53
13
13
6
0
0
<p>N/A</p><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
6
38
43
119
11
217
B. Gender
99
118
217
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
32
0
6
52
1
115
7
4
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
2
8
3
2
0
7
13
4
14
6
1
8
13
3
1
2
1
0
4
8
48
1
0
7
8
20
0
0
0
24
1
1
5
2
217
E. Types of Individuals Served
37
0
171
6
2
4
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
0
<p><b><u>VR Service Provider Project </u></b></p><p><p>DRNY expanded outreach to service providers contracted by ACCES-VR and educated them on DRNY&rsquo;s services. As a result of this project, DRNY presented to 7 service providers, and 63 of their staff members. This project led DRNY to obtaining 4 new service requests. DRNY also conducted a survey asking providers several questions about their provider contract experience and working relationships with ACCES-VR. Six providers completed this survey. DRNY will continue this project in FY 2020.</p><p><p><b><u>Sub-Minimum Wage Workers: </u></b></p><p><p>As detailed above, DRNY targeted outreach and training to workers who receive sub-minimum wages in sheltered workshop settings. DRNY will continue this work in FY 2020.</p><p><p><b><u>CAP Program Priorities</u></b><u>: </u></p><p><p><i>DRNY has been able to focus its resources on certain substantive areas while providing the public with a clear articulation of issues with which DRNY might be able to assist. Priorities are also used to identify and monitor systemic problems. DRNY will use these CAP priorities (copied below) in the coming fiscal year to inform its future advocacy efforts.</i></p><p><p><b>Priority I: </b>Advocate for those who are in the process of applying for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services while ensuring the legal standards for findings of eligibility and ineligibility are maintained by the VR agencies, with particular attention to individuals in underserved populations.</p><p><p><b>Priority II: </b>Advocate for those who are in the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) development stage of the VR process in an effort to ensure a timely and suitable employment goal consistent with the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice of individuals, with particular attention to individuals in underserved populations.</p><p><p><b>Priority III: </b>Advocate for those who are seeking to establish or reestablish communication and/or a productive working relationship with their vocational rehabilitation counselor (VRC), with particular attention to individuals in underserved populations.</p><p><p><b>Priority IV:</b> Advocate for the provision of pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) for students with disabilities who require and are eligible or potentially eligible for such services under Section 113 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, with particular attention to individuals in underserved populations.</p><p><p><b>Priority V:</b> Advocate for those clients and applicants who are seeking vocational and/or trade school training in an effort to achieve their IPE goal, with particular attention to individuals in underserved populations.</p><p><p><b>Priority VI:</b> Advocate for those clients and applicants who are seeking college and/or graduate school support from their VR agency in an effort to achieve their IPE goal, with particular attention to individuals in underserved po
B. Litigation
0
0
0
<p>DRNY did not have any systemic litigation activity involving individual representation. Instead, DRNY&rsquo;s efforts to resolve disputes using alternative methods were very successful. DRNY participated in informal meetings, written and in-person negotiations, and administrative review to successfully represent its clients.</p><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Disability Rights New York
No
N/A
B. Staff Employed
<p><br><i><u>Professional FTE</u></i></p><p><p>DRNY paid 18 professional staff in the 2019 fiscal year from Section 112 funds. Allowing for the timing of hires during the year, as well as the percentage of indirect staff time allocated to Section 112 funds, the 18 professional EE&rsquo;s equate to 8.26 FTE. During FY 2019, 93% of the full time professional positions were filled for 12 months, equating to 6.94 person years. The vacancies for FY 2019 equate to 7% of the positions unfilled. DRNY did not have any part time professional employees during FY 2019.</p><p><p><i><u>Clerical FTE</u></i></p><p><p>DRNY paid 13 clerical staff in the 2019 fiscal year from Section 112 funds. Allowing for the timing of hires during the year, as well as the percentage of indirect staff time allocated to Section 112 funds, the 13 EE&rsquo;s equate to 1.49 FTE. During FY 2019, 99% of the part time positions were filled for 12 months equating to 1.48 person years. The vacancies for FY 2019 equate to 1% of the positions unfilled, which equals 0.01 FTE&rsquo;s, totaling 0.01 person years. DRNY did not have any full time clerical employees during FY 2019.</p><p><table cellspacing=0" cellpadding="0" border="0"><thead><tr><th width="156"><b>Type of position</b></th><th width="104"><b>Full-time equivalent</b></th><th width="118"><b>% of year position filled</b></th><th width="90"><b>Person-years</b></th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td colspan="4"><b><i>Professional</i></b></td></tr><p><tr><td>Full-time</td><td>8.26</td><td>93%</td><td>6.94</td></tr><p><tr><td>Part-time</td><td>0</td><td>0</td><td>0</td></tr><p><tr><td>Vacant</td><td>.17</td><td>7%</td><td>.17</td></tr><p><tr><td colspan="4"><b><i>Clerical</i></b></td></tr><p><tr><td>Full-time</td><td>0</td><td>0</td><td>0</td></tr><p><tr><td>Part-time</td><td>1.49</td><td>99%</td><td>1.48</td></tr><p><tr><td>Vacant</td><td>0.01</td><td>1%</td><td>0.01</td></tr><p></tr><p></tbody></table><p>"
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
<p><b>1</b></p><p><p>DRNY represented a 51-year-old woman with major depression and PTSD. She also had a criminal history. The client was receiving job placement services from an independent provider contracted with ACCES-VR, but she was dissatisfied with these services. The client&rsquo;s emails and phone calls to her VR counselor were left largely unanswered. DRNY&rsquo;s intervention caused the VRC to take notice of her client&rsquo;s issues. We located and advocated for a job placement program that was specifically designed to work with individuals with a mental health diagnoses and a criminal background. With DRNY&rsquo;s advocacy, the client was successfully referred to this job placement program.</p><p><p><b>2</b></p><p><p>DRNY represented a 38-year-old man with alcoholism. This client was working with ACCES-VR toward an employment goal of film production and editing. Because the contract between ACCES-VR and New York University (NYU) had lapsed, the tuition for the client&rsquo;s certification program was not paid. This left the client with a hold on his account, and he was unable to register for his last set of courses. DRNY negotiated with ACCES-VR and NYU to have their contract signed. ACCES-VR then provided the $10,000 needed to pay the client&rsquo;s outstanding balance for courses. The client has since completed his certificate program, and is actively seeking employment.</p><p><p><b>3</b></p><p><p>DRNY represented a 19-year-old man with Asperger&rsquo;s Syndrome. The client sought transportation support from ACCES-VR for travel to and from his trade school program. ACCES-VR agreed to support him in attending the program, but denied him transportation. The client lived in a rural area, and did not have access to public transportation. ACCES-VR asserted that the client was old enough to obtain his drivers permit. Anxiety is a part of the client&rsquo;s disability, and the client did not feel safe driving. DRNY determined that the client was not yet able to obtain his drivers permit, and obtained medical documentation supporting this. Through DRNY&rsquo;s advocacy, the client obtained transportation support through ACCES-VR, and can now attend his training program 5 days a week.</p><p><p><b>4</b></p><p><p>DRNY represented a 35-year-old woman with mental illness. She requested that ACCES-VR provide her with sponsorship for her last two semesters of college. However, because she had previously medically withdrawn from college, ACCES-VR denied her request. The client was told to contact ACCES-VR again upon graduating. DRNY argued this denial and its basis were arbitrary. DRNY also asserted that the client&rsquo;s IPE must be reviewed at least annually, and that a counselor may initiate review of the IPE at any time. Through DRNY&rsquo;s advocacy, the client&rsquo;s IPE was amended, and she was granted complete sponsorship for her last two semesters of college, as well as funds for her associated fees, books, and transportatio
Certification
Approved
Erica M. Molina, Esq.
CAP Director
2019-12-23
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