JP is a person with Autism and Intellectual Disability. JP's legal guardian contacted Disability Rights Florida seeking assistance in obtaining appropriate services from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). JP had been working with DVR for about a year and a half, however, had yet to receive any On-the-Job training (OJT) or Pre-employment transition services. JP had been referred to three different vendors at the point of contact with CAP and was having difficulty with the current vendor not maintaining contact and not following through on promises to set up an OJT. CAP investigation confirmed that the problem was a lack of vendor follow through as well as frequent changes of vendor. CAP advocacy resulted in a meeting between the DVR counselor, the vendor, JP and the guardian as well as improved communication biweekly between DVR and the vendor.
LH is an individual with Sjogren’s Syndrome, chronic kidney disease, hypothyroid, high cholesterol, bone loss, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteopenia and depression. LH contacted Disability Rights Florida regarding services and supports in order to become employed. CAP investigation led to an understanding of the cause for delays in the case, which were not the fault of DVR. CAP staff explained rights, options and policies. CAP intervention led to a change of job coach, an amended Individual Plan for Employment, and an agreement for training, clothing, mileage reimbursement and mental restoration services.
AC, an individual who is deaf, contacted CAP with questions about employment discrimination and post-secondary training services from DVR. CAP assisted AC by explaining the role of the federal and state complaint processes for employment discrimination options. CAP provided additional assistance by reviewing relevant DVR records and negotiating a resolution wherein DVR agreed to provide post-secondary and other support services including amending the plan for employment in accordance with informed choice.
DZ, an individual with mental illness, contacted CAP regarding self-employment services from DVR. DZ claimed that DVR and the VR business consultant were ignoring DZ, slow in delivering services and were not properly attending to DZ’s case. CAP investigated DZ’s concerns by contacting the vocational counselor, business consultant and through follow-up observation. Subsequently, the business consultant called DZ more often and was more responsive to DZ’s messages. The business consultant helped DZ register the business on the appropriate state website as well as obtain proper city/county business licenses. DVR proceeded with purchasing tools as noted in the business plan.
WP, an individual with Retinitis Pigmentosa, contacted CAP concerned about services from the Division of Blind Services (DBS). WP claimed that as a result of poor customer service by DBS and their job placement vendor, WP was still unemployed. CAP investigation revealed that transportation and communication were issues as well. CAP facilitated a conference meeting that resulted in WP agreeing to computer assessment and training and participation in a job club. The job placement vendor continued to provide job placement services. All parties agreed to make a better effort to communicate.
TP is a transition age student who is a customer of DVR who identifies as hard of hearing and has a mental health disability. TP contacted CAP regarding post-secondary education services. DVR declined TP’s request to pay for tuition for training, books, supplies and training materials for an out-of-state university, based on recent changes to the Financial Participation policy. CAP provided education/information regarding the DVR policy on out-of-state training and TP was successful at the Administrative Review in having the decision reversed. DVR agreed to provide TP tuition for training, books, supplies and training materials for the out-of-state university.
RS, a transition age individual on the Autism Spectrum contacted CAP regarding post-secondary services after DVR denial of private rate tuition and book support to obtain a bachelor’s degree in anthrozoology from a private college that provides specially designed instruction for students with disabilities. The DVR Area Supervisor reversed the counselor’s decision during an administrative review and agreed to private rate funding so RS could attend the private college.
BE, an individual with autism and a learning disability, contacted CAP requesting assistance with an Administrative Review of DVR denial to sponsor law school. After CAP investigation and advocacy, DVR agreed to sponsor the state rate for tuition and books to support BE’s vocational goal of attorney.
MME, an individual with heart failure and former drug addiction, contacted CAP requesting assistance with an administrative review of the DVR denial to sponsor a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) at a state university. CAP advocacy prior to the Administrative Review led to the overturning of DVR's decision not to provide tuition for MME's MSW. DVR agreed to sponsor the master’s program and licensure expenses for MME to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
MH, an individual with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, chronic migraines and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, contacted CAP requesting DVR assistance paying for outstanding bills for a new wheelchair. CAP intervention led to DVR agreeing to sponsor the wheelchair.
BD, an individual with blindness in both eyes, contacted CAP requesting assistance with opening a case with the Division of Blind Services (DBS) in order to receive a referral to the local Lighthouse. CAP advocacy expedited DBS case opening, assignment and contact by the new DBS counselor and a referral to the Lighthouse for independent living skills classes, including cooking, cleaning, and technology.
DA, an individual with absence of extremities, contacted CAP requesting assistance having the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) sponsor a new prosthesis in order to maintain employment. CAP intervention led to DVR amending the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) to include the new prosthesis through a chosen vendor.