RSA-227 for FY-2020: Submission #1108

West Virginia
09/30/2020
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
West Virginia Advocates, Inc dba Disability Rights of WV
1207 Quarrier St, Ste 400
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Charleston
West Virginia
25301
https://www.drofwv.org/
304-346-0847
800-950-5250
800-950-5250
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
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Additional Information
Taniua Hardy, Program Director
Jodi Calissie, Data Report Specialist
304-346-0847 ext 67
Jcalissie@drofwv.org
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
33
2
0
24
0
4
63
B. Training Activities
2
47
DRWV provided training about CAP, the WV Division of Rehabilitation Services
(WVDRS), Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA), and work incentives to
27 individuals, many of whom are diagnosed with mental health issues, some
are also veterans, who were accessing a winter freeze shelter in Northern WV. Volunteers
and staff were also present.

DRWV presented employment rights training to staff from the Veterans Administration
(VA). The event was held at the Roark Sullivan Lifeway Center’s Community Center. Roark
Sullivan runs a shelter that serves homeless individuals including veterans. A general
outreach about our programs and services was also provided. This training was requested by
the VA after DRWV reached out several times. The purpose was for VA staff to better
understand the rights of the homeless veterans they serve and what DRWV can offer. After
the presentation, several veterans came in and asked questions about their rights.

Although CAP was included in several outreach presentations (see the complete list in
Section I.C below), none of the training that was done in conjunction with them was funded
by CAP other than the events listed above. Several trainings had been planned for dates
beyond March 2020 but had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. Offers for virtual
presentations were declined.
C. Agency Outreach
In FY 2020, DRWV sent a letter to WV’s 44 private children’s facilities and state juvenile justice facilities alerting them of DRWV’s intention to complete monitoring activities. The letter specifically outlined the CAP program, explaining CAP’s purpose to help people receive services from WVDRS or a Center for Independent Living (CIL). The letter stated that during DRWV’s monitoring, we would like to meet with the Case Manager and Principal regarding WVDRS and the services they have available.

Prior to COVID-19 restrictions, DRWV was able to complete monitoring and CAP outreach to seven (7) children’s facilities: 3 private and 4 juvenile justice facilities. A total of eighteen (18) Case Managers and Principals were trained on CAP as well as the transition services that WVDRS can provide. DRWV arranged for WVDRS to meet with 2 of the private facilities where WVDRS explained the services available to the students: Pre-Employment Transition Services vs Traditional Services. DRWV was present at both of these meetings. As recommended by a juvenile justice facility, DRWV reached out to the WV Department of Health and Human Resources (WVDHHR) Youth Service Workers, After Care Case Managers with Division of Juvenile Services, and WV Department of Education Transition Specialists. DRWV provided a Department of Education Transition Specialist with information on CAP and WVDRS services asking that the information be shared with the Transition Coordinators throughout the state.

In all of the outreach events described in this report, we hope to reach individuals that we have not yet served as well as people from diverse ethnic and minority communities. DRWV continues to look for ways to reach out to minority populations including the outreach efforts described throughout this report.

In an effort to reach out to veterans and the organizations that serve them, DRWV set up a display at the Homeless Veterans Stand Down event in Wheeling, WV in October 2019. Similar Stand Down events had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.

Events where DRWV staff provided CAP outreach displays in person between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020, included:
• Greenbrier Autism Community Outreach Resource Fair
• Awareness and Job Fair at the WorkForce WV in Huntington
• Berkeley County Schools Transition Service Fair
• BridgeValley Community and Technical College Disability Resource Fair
• 2019 US Senator Joe Manchin and WV Higher Education Policy Commission Erma
Byrd Higher Education Center Regional Job & Resource Fair
• The Annual Families Conference – items were distributed for DRWV by event staff
• Disability Advocacy Day at the WV Legislature
• Deaf Awareness Day on the Senate Side of the WV State Capitol

Events where DRWV staff provided CAP outreach and/or training presentations in person between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020, included:
• Northern Correctional Facility’s Behavioral Health Unit
• River Park Hospital Staff Training
• Peterson Rehabilitation Hospital Family Council
• Partners in Policymaking
• WV Advisory Council for the Education of Exceptional Children (WVACEEC) at the
Tyler County Board of Education
• West Virginia Association for Disability Employment (WVADE) Quarterly Training-
Community Rehabilitation Partners (CRPs) were present
• Roark Sullivan Lifeway Center’s Community Center
• Wheeling Winter Freeze Shelter
• WV Early Intervention Interagency Coordinating Council Lunch & Learn - Alternatives
to Guardianship with a General Outreach component
• National Federal of the Blind-WV Chapter Members at Large Meeting
• Mercer County Re-entry Council Meeting
• Coordinating Council for Independent Living (IDDW Provider) Offices
• Mountain State Conference on Disabilities (2 sessions)

DRWV’s Legal Director attended a job fair at WVU Law School and spoke with a number of students about the P&A network. He discussed legal work opportunities within the program.

At the end of FY 2020, a DRWV Advocate recorded a comprehensive outreach presentation including question and answers with the Criminology Instructor/Internship Coordinator to be shown to all of the students in Concord University’s Criminology courses in the coming year.

We did not have the opportunity to set up our outreach display and/or present for many events beyond March 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. We did however seek out as many opportunities to provide virtual presentations as possible.
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
1
4023
9
4000
According to DRWV’s latest Facebook page statistics, we had 2,100 followers and 1,900 likes at the end of FY 2020 and reached over 2,700 people with our posts. People and agencies who like our page are viewing and sharing things we post on a regular basis. Additionally, our Twitter feed has 224 followers. We shared numerous employment related posts throughout the year, and even more during National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October. We often include information about upcoming events and trainings available to people with disabilities. We also include helpful resources available to beneficiaries to gain, re-gain or maintain employment. Our website is also used for sharing information and resources. We had approximately 6,400,000 hits on our website in FY 2020.

In addition to the total publications in Part 1.D.4 of this report, DRWV distributed over 1,000 other outreach items. DRWV also distributed brochures for the three Centers for Independent Living through Information and Referrals.
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
DRWV is a member of the Fair Shake Network (FSN). The FSN is a grassroots organization of people with disabilities and other interested parties who are concerned with systems change to ensure people with disabilities get a "fair shake". The activities of the organization include education on disability issues and legislative activities. The FSN circulates a quarterly e-newsletter to over 130 individuals. DRWV is listed as an “Organizational Partner” in each edition. In addition, the FSN regularly sends e-mail updates about various disability related issues. Any events or announcements shared with the FSN by DRWV are posted in these updates.

DRWV collaborates with the West Virginia Assistive Technology System (WVATS) to include half page articles designed by DRWV staff in their quarterly newsletters. Each article includes our contact information along with the topic that we choose. The fall 2019 edition contained an article about Title I of the ADA and reasonable accommodations. The e-mail list includes 360 people and their Facebook page has 435 followers.

DRWV’s logo and contact information was included in the event materials for the Mountain State Conference on Disabilities, of which we also provided 2 presentations listed in the outreach narrative in section I.C above.

DRWV’s Program Director was interviewed by People First of WV for a Facebook Live event. She explained each of our federal programs, including CAP. The video has had 199 views.
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
0
3
3
0
0
B. Problem areas
0
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
3
0
0
0
0
0
3
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
2
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
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E. Results achieved for individuals
1
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
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Part III. Program Data
A. Age
1
0
2
0
0
3
B. Gender
2
1
3
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
0
0
0
0
0
3
0
0
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
3
E. Types of Individuals Served
1
0
1
1
0
0
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
1
During FY 2020, DRWV continued to participate in the WV Statewide Rehabilitation Council (SRC). DRWV served on the Unified State Plan Committee and assisted with drafting recommendations. DRWV continued to advocate for an increase in the WVDRS services to children in non-traditional educational settings. Following up on work from FY 2019, DRWV developed a plan with WVDRS Program specialists to use five juvenile residential treatment facilities for a pilot project to improve access to pre-employment transitional services through the WVDRS to individuals in these settings.

DRWV continues to participate in the WV Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) meetings and attended three meetings in FY 2020. DRWV participates in the meetings to keep informed and updated on the status of independent living services in WV. This allows DRWV to maintain current information to provide to our Board, clients, and staff as needed when issues arise that are pertinent to these services. DRWV reviewed the draft Statewide Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) and attended public meetings to provide feedback on the plan.

DRWV was a member of the Education Task Force of the SILC. This task force consisted of people representing many different organizations to provide a broad background of the needs of persons with disabilities in education. The task force engaged in monthly conference calls and, between calls, gathered information to be used. The task force’s goal was to find areas which needed improvement and then provide recommendations on how to make those improvements. The task force developed a report to submit to the WV Department of Education (WVDE) outlining the following issues and concerns: IEPs are not consistently followed/implemented; modifications to curriculum are not made; equipment and support services are not provided in a timely manner; Positive Behavior Supports are not being provided; high number of students getting modified diplomas; higher education training of teachers is not adequate; college students preparing to become general education teachers are not trained on how to modify curriculum for students with disabilities; WVU has closed its Special Education teacher training program; and, the WVDE has influenced the content of the Advisory Council for the Education of Exceptional Children’s Annual Report. The task force also made recommendations to the WVDE, including creating an independent Ombudsman as well as providing training on regarding the development and implementation of IEPs, 504 Plans, and modifying curricula.

DRWV staff continue to monitor National Disability Rights Network’s (NDRN) CAP Advocacy and Employment-Return to Work discussion forums and share pertinent information and resources with other agency staff. Staff also read the NDRN Training and Advocacy Support Center (TASC) newsletters, which often contain information, training opportunities and resources related to CAP. NDRN’s Amy Scherer continues to be consulted for technical assistance about our CAP work.

All Advocates who provide advocacy to 300+ individuals with developmental disabilities through a state grant have been trained to recognize CAP issues when they arise with the individuals they serve. Service Requests can be opened when issues arise.

DRWV’s Legal Director was a member of the Board of the Disability Rights Bar Association (DBRA). The DRBA is an online network of attorneys who specialize in disability civil rights law. Through the DRBA, disability rights attorneys share information, coordinate litigation and other legal representation strategies, and mentor lawyers and law students who are new to disability rights practice. DRWV’s Legal Director served as the chair of DRBA’s annual meeting event planning sub-committee.

During the summer of FY 2020, DRWV was again able to obtain two legal interns from the West Virginia University (WVU) College of Law. These interns learned about all of the Protection and Advocacy Programs and CAP. One of the interns appeared in front of DRWV’s logo/sign in an article about interns from the WVU School of Law in one of WVU’s online publication.
B. Litigation
0
0
0
NA
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
West Virginia Advocates, Inc dba Disability Rights of WV
No
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B. Staff Employed
Full-time % of year
Type of Position equivalent position filled Person-years
Professional
Full-time 0.42 100% 9.00
Part-time 0.46 46.3% 8.33
Vacant N/A N/A N/A

Clerical
Full-time 0.04 100% 1.00
Part-time 0.05 0.17% 0.17
Vacant N/A N/A N/A
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
A CAP eligible client requested assistance with getting WVDRS to pay for or reimburse her for tuition as they promised when she initially applied for their services. DRWV spoke with the client and her mother as well as reviewed our previous records for the client. DRWV then educated the client on laws and regulations pertaining to her complaint. Since the client's Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) did not include college sponsorship and the decision not to place it in the IPE took place over two years ago, the statute of limitations to appeal the decision had expired. The client and her mother are now more aware of her rights and responsibilities as a client of WVDRS.

During monitoring of a children’s residential facility, DRWV determined that a transition age client would benefit from services from WVDRS but was not receiving them. DRWV met with the client and determined that she wanted to receive transition services. DRWV advised staff working with the client to contact WVDRS. Facility staff were told that the client would go on a waiting list. DRWV contacted the WVDRS counselor directly and set up an intake for the client. WVDRS could not get the WV Department of Health and Human Resources (WVDHHR) legal guardian to sign the application. DRWV worked with the client's Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) to get permission from the judge for the GAL to sign the application for WVDRS. As a result of DRWV’s advocacy, an application was completed with WVDRS and an IPE was developed. The client is currently actively working with WVDRS to implement the IPE.

Through working with a client under another federal program and providing him with information and options, he requested that DRWV link him with services in the community to assist him with independent living and increased employment options. DRWV linked the client with the local CIL as well as WVDRS. As a result, the client was able to sign up for classes with the CIL and is applying for services from WVDRS.
Certification
Approved
Susan Given
Executive Director
2020-10-29
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