RSA-227 for FY-2020: Submission #1114

Virginia
09/30/2020
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
disAbility Law Center of Virginia
1512 Willow Lawn Drive
Suite 100
Richmond
VA
23230
http://www.dlcv.org
8042252042
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Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
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Additional Information
Colleen Miller
Robert Gray
8042252042
robert.gray@dlcv.org
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
7
0
0
16
1
1162
1186
B. Training Activities
13
2677
“CIL Outreach”
In FY 2020 dLCV developed a project to provide meet and greet sessions at 4 Centers for Independent Living (CILs) quarterly to educate advocates, individuals with disabilities, and community providers regarding identifying and addressing issues related to vocational rehabilitation services and service and companion animals. A combined total of 37 participants were present at these trainings from CILs across the Commonwealth.

“Education Makes ALL the Difference”
dLCV spoke with three brain injury clubhouses, a mental health clubhouse, and 2 day program groups to educate participants about the Client Assistance Program (CAP) and Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and other programs. Throughout the year, dLCV spoke with Mount Vernon Lee Enterprises, Denbigh House, Bridgeline Place, Kenmore Club, and Mill House. There were 75 participants total and over 1500 received the information through brochures and other materials distributed by our partners.

"A Plethora of Resources"
dLCV presented to a combined total of 110 students with disabilities, their parents, families, and the professionals who work with them on topics related to transitioning from high school to life after high school. dLCV presented at William and Mary, parents groups in Danville and Charlottesville, and the Community Services Board (CSB) state conference. People were enthusiastic, had great questions and were very thankful for the "I Have a Choice, I Have a Voice" manual. An overwhelming amount of parents and participants agreed that they had no clue they had so much to think about when transitioning from high school to adulthood for individuals with disabilities.

“When You Know Better, You Do Better”
In FY 20, dLCV trained 6 job clubs, employment networks, employment service organizations, and community service providers regarding CAP and Title 1 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The community partners who benefited from the presentations and the materials provided included the Henrico Fairfield Library, The Choice Group in Fairfax Virginia, The Coastal Clubhouse in Chesapeake, Virginia, Hired Hands and Associates, and The Spina Bifida Organization. A combined total of 46 participants, individuals with disabilities, their families, and individuals in the community were educated and 300 individuals received the information provided.

“Very Chatty!”
In Fiscal Year 2020, dLCV expanded “CAP Chats” to agencies and organizations outside of DARS. dLCV completed CAP chats at the Norfolk Workforce Center, the Woodbridge Workforce Center, the Parent Education Advocacy and Training Center (PEATC). We also filmed a CAP Video that is on Facebook and YouTube. The combined views on the video is 694. We had 664 Facebook views and 30 YouTube views. Due to dLCV in-person Cap Chats, as well as the virtual CAP chats we reached 730 people!

C. Agency Outreach
“New Information”
dLCV updated the "I Have a Choice, I Have a Voice Manual" that was originally published in 2016. The updated manual has information to reflect facts from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

We translated the manual into Spanish. We used the manual as a resource for the virtual "I Am Determined" statewide Zoom conference. Over 100 individuals participated in the video session on Supported Decision making. Many other people had access to the manual due to the conference being available online and archived. The updated manual is also current and active on dLCV's website.

dLCV hired a Disability Rights Advocate with specific skills in outreach to reach the Hispanic community. We continued our participation with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and involvement in multiple community outreach activities including resource fairs, community events and meeting with community organizations and faith based groups.

dLCV collaborated with three veterans' hospitals in Richmond, Hampton, and Salem by sending information to each of the three facilities regarding dLCV and CAP.

dLCV used our volunteer core of over 50 individuals to attend fairs, conferences and other events to reach many across the Commonwealth as well.

dLCV continues close communication with all state DARS and DBVI offices to ensure their clients understand dLCV and the CAP program.
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
3
0
3
1162
5
2
dLCV offered a public input survey to identify which disability advocacy issues we should consider in FY 21. We posted the survey our website and distributed primarily through electronic means with some limited distribution in outreach due to COVID. Our 112 respondents identified quality mental health care, community access, and special education as the top three areas of concern. 39% of our respondents were individuals with disabilities. Agencies and groups we reached included: the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities, Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), Partnership for People with Disabilities, Department for Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) , and multiple community advocacy and networking groups. dLCV used this information to develop our FY 21 goals and focus areas.
dLCV participated on the Virginia State Rehabilitation Councils (SRACs) for the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI), assigning two different CAP disability rights advocates to each position. dLCV will continue collaboration with the State Rehabilitation Councils in FY 21.

dLCV created a podcast series titled ‘Rights Here, Rights Now!’. We released over twenty podcast episodes about disability rights, self-advocacy strategies, and organizational successes. Vocational Rehabilitation and employment rights are topics in the series. Our podcast is available at https://anchor.fm/rightshererightnow and on all major podcast platforms (such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts). Volunteers transcribe every episode to ensure full accessibility for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. The podcast has been accessed over 1,100 times and listenership continues to grow! We have even had listeners in Ireland, Canada, United Kingdom, Romania, and Germany. In FY21, dLCV will continue to develop and release new content.

dLCV maintains a website that posts the following: our federal grants’ goals and focus areas, notices for the Board of Directors and dLCV’s Advisory Council meetings, job vacancies, announcements, agency publications, and disability-related links.

dLCV has a Facebook page and Twitter account which includes agency information and links to resources.
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
N/A
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
7
30
37
5
2
B. Problem areas
7
7
15
8
0
2
0
3
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
11
0
16
0
8
1
36
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
26
8
0
0
0
4
2
0
0
0
0
0
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E. Results achieved for individuals
17
5
0
3
4
8
1
2
0
0
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Part III. Program Data
A. Age
11
5
12
9
0
37
B. Gender
13
24
37
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
3
0
3
9
0
20
2
0
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
0
1
0
0
0
0
8
1
3
2
0
1
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
3
7
1
2
3
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
37
E. Types of Individuals Served
10
1
20
0
8
1
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
2
"We Now Know”
dLCV did a Live Webinar to VR Counselors and VR Management from DBVI on CAP and many other important disability advocacy topics and how dLCV can help. There were 26 Counselors, Managers and Administrators who attended the webinar live. DBVI recorded the webinar and they use the webinar for new employee training for their VR staff now and in the future! This webinar bridges a knowledge gap about VR agencies and dLCV and that will be invaluable to ensure our clients’ rights are protected!

“Education is the Key to Future Success”
dLCV presented to three Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTFs) to educate staff about Pre Employment Transition Services (pre ETS) which DARS or DBVI can provide to residents at PRTFs. dLCV had previously had access issues reaching these students, but that barrier has been broken. The staff at the PRTFs were happy with the information and now have resources to share with their residents and their families to assist in preparing for discharge and return to the community.

B. Litigation
0
0
0
dLCV did represent one client in a DARS Fair Hearing. See the final narrative in Part VI.
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
disAbility Law Center of Virginia
No
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B. Staff Employed
dLCV utilized 36 advocates, attorneys, and support staff from all units to complete our CAP advocacy in FY 20.

As Virginia’s protection and advocacy system, we utilize multiple funding streams to complete our advocacy projects and casework.
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
“On the Road to True Independence!”
Edward requested dLCV assist him with advocating for van modifications from DARS. dLCV jumped into action and requested mediation after DARS made a determination to deny Edward’s van modification for a third time in an informal administrative review. Edward felt lost as he could not understand why DARS would continue to deny his van modification. Edward was pursuing a bachelor’s degree, worked for years to get a license so he could be independent, and saved for years to purchase a van. The only thing in his way to complete independence was the approval from DARS for his van modification.

dLCV and Edward worked together to gather information from his physician as well as other documentation and statements. dLCV presented the additional information and documentation and DARS made the correct decision to provide Edward with the van modification! Edward can finally independently and safely travel in the community!

“Must be Reasonable”
Paulette called dLCV due to being denied additional leave time to go to the doctor. She had recently started working in a new office, and she used her paid time off in its entirety due to illness. dLCV informed her about DBVI as a resource since she was vision impaired and was in need of vocational rehabilitation services. Additionally, we explained the order of selection and exceptions which would make her eligible for services without having to wait on the DBVI waitlist. Paulette was so grateful she contacted dLCV because she found DBVI was a great resource and she was able to get immediate assistance from DBVI to save her job!


"I Just Want Services”
Natalie contacted dLCV to request we represent her in the fair hearing process with DARS. DARS closed her Vocational Rehabilitation case, denied her a job coach, and other services needed for her to find employment.

dLCV represented her at an initial fair hearing and a continued fair hearing. The hearing officer unfortunately made the decision to deny Natalie the services requested. Natalie did however, decide to appeal the hearing officer’s decision and dLCV connected her to the Commonwealth’s administrative review appeal process where she awaits a final decision.

Although the hearing officer ruled against Natalie, she was grateful to know dLCV was in her corner and put every effort toward protecting her rights!

“I Need Measurable Goals!”
Teddy and his family contacted dLCV because he needed to meet with DARS in order to update his Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). dLCV advocated for a continuum of services with DARS. We worked with the family and other support staff to ensure that the goals in Teddy’s IPE were reasonable and measurable. DARS agreed to edit the IPE goals, and the family was very happy with the services dLCV provided as Teddy now has the plan he needs to succeed!

“Setting Up for Success”
John wanted dLCV to help break down barriers for DARS to develop a plan for Pre-Employment Transition Services. dLCV helped John advocating DARS establish services for him. John met with DARS and dLCV to express his career goals and DARS agreed to provide training and the services he needed. Due to dLCV's advocacy, John is now receiving pre-ETS from DARS and is on the career path he chose!

“More Work Options”
Irene was frustrated that DARS was not adequately working with her to get a job or explore career options. Irene’s job coach left her position, leaving Irene with no supports for career exploration; subsequently leaving her VR case and progress stalled. dLCV intervened and got Irene a new job coach with a new vendor. Additionally, dLCV negotiated for Irene to participate in a Trial Work Experience that she was very enthused about! Without dLCV’s intervention, Irene’s VR progress would have probably remained stagnant. She was very appreciative of dLCV’s advocacy!


“Don’t Call Us, We will Call You”
Bertha asked dLCV to investigate her service denial by DARS. dLCV explained to the DARS District Manager the policy which showed Bertha was indeed eligible to receive DARS services. The District Manager quickly responded and contacted the local DARS office and informed them they needed to provide Bertha with services. Bertha was able to go to the office and she received services this time! dLCV was available to assist the client right on time to avoid the loss of her job!
Certification
Approved
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