RSA-227 for FY-2020: Submission #1119

Michigan
09/30/2020
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Disability Rights Michigan
4095 Legacy Parkway
{Empty}
Lansing
Michigan
48911
https://www.drmich.org
517-487-1755
800- 288-5923
{Empty}
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
Additional Information
Elham Jahshan
Elham Jahshan
517-374-4653
ejahshan@drmich.org
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
60
3
0
100
34
29
226
B. Training Activities
10
530
During FY 2020 CAP staff members conducted six trainings:
1) Disability Network of Mid-Michigan: The staff provided information to 30 attendees about the P&A system and DRM, CAP, PABSS, transition services and other programs supporting clients of Disability Rights Michigan.
2) MRS - Ann Arbor office: DRM advocacy staff met with the staff at the MRS Ann Arbor Office and provided information to 15 counselors and managers about the P&A system and DRM, CAP, PABSS, transition services and other programs supporting clients of Disability Rights Michigan.
3) All regional BSBP staff: Staff presented to 50 BSBP counselors, teachers, and managers through a Microsoft Meeting platform. Training included a brief overview of the history and functions of DRM, CAP and PABSS programs, transition services and other programs supporting clients of Disability Rights Michigan.
4) Virtual training via NDRN's Annual Conference: CAP staff provided a training to 230 attendees about transition systems and strategies Including resources, strategies, and outcomes.
5) MRS Grand River and Porter offices: CAP staff trained 15 staff from MRS Grand River and Porter offices. Training information included DRM services and activities, including CAP & PABSS services.
6) Michigan Alliance for Families and ARC advocates: Staff presented to 40 individuals about CAP, PABSS and transition services for achieving successful youth outcomes as it relates to vocational rehabilitation services.

Due to COVID-19 several trainings scheduled at MRS offices were cancelled.

C. Agency Outreach
CAP staff participated in two outreach events this year, and several other events were cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic such as, Michigan Transition Services Association (MTSA) Conference and outreach for students at college/university campuses.
1) DRM staff attended the Ingham ISD Transition Expo. The Transition Expo was hosted by the Parent Advisory Council. CAP staff met with students and parents and provided information about transition services, the role of the CAP in transition, Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), and Bureau Services for Blind Persons (BSBP). The staff met approximately with 40 individuals at this event.
2) DRM staff attended the annual Re: Con Conference. CAP staff had a booth at the conference and met with approximately 25 service providers and consumers. We provided information about CAP, PABSS and other programs supporting clients of Disability Rights Michigan. The staff also attended several sessions related to transition, Employment First, and Social Security and VR policy collaborations.
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
4
10
0
1777
3
4164
CAP brochures (164) were provided at outreach activities & trainings, including events supported with other DRM funding sources.

CAP brochures (4,000) were mailed to clients, outside organizations, and others upon request.
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
Overall, DRM Media activities during FY 2020: 14 mentions by external media coverage.
Print-7 times: Michigan Advance (1); Crain's Detroit Business (1); Lansing State Journal (3); Detroit Free Press (2). Topics included proposed legislation, support animals, DRM litigation, accessible parking, COVID-19 discrimination, and juvenile detention.

TV-4 times: WXYZ Detroit (2); WILX Lansing (1); MyFenton.com (1). Topics included psychiatric patient deaths, mental health hotline bill, and a nursing facility closure.

Press releases-3. Topics included DRM litigation, COVID-19, and our launching of a new agency name.
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
42
43
85
85
85
B. Problem areas
1
19
35
7
0
28
2
1
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
0
3
61
10
2
0
76
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
24
34
0
4
0
10
0
0
4
0
0
0
N/A
E. Results achieved for individuals
16
1
1
1
21
15
8
8
4
1
Client obtained employment and no longer needed MRS services.
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
9
23
15
32
6
85
B. Gender
38
47
85
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
4
1
2
36
0
40
1
1
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
2
5
1
0
0
3
10
0
6
0
0
2
7
5
0
3
0
1
1
4
17
0
1
3
1
5
0
0
0
6
0
0
1
1
85
E. Types of Individuals Served
4
0
76
2
3
0
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
4
In FY 2020 CAP continued meeting on a quarterly basis with Michigan Rehabilitation Services' (MRS) policy division director, her staff, and the Southeastern Michigan district director to discuss client concerns and issues. As a result, CAP has been able to provide input and help develop strategies to improve relationships and services to MRS clients. Some of the concerns addressed with MRS staff included:
1) Cost of Services: Counselors consistently tell clients that something costs "too much" for the services they need.
2) Delay of Services: CAP has seen many issues with MRS services unnecessarily and inexplicably delayed to clients, causing unneeded stress and confusion.
3) Psychological Evaluations for Students: CAP has noticed there are a lot of psychological evaluations required for students who have grades that support their abilities.
4) Trauma Informed Practice: CAP asked about trauma training after witnessing client concerns being met with dismissiveness. Trauma has an impact on many of the clients we serve and should be considered during all aspects of the VR process.
5) Language Issues: When a client’s first language is not English, there is great disparity in the services provided and the attitude of the counselor toward the individual.
6) College Cases: The College Supports Program (CSP) for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder at Eastern Michigan University and what the program benefits are for the students.
7) Social Security (SS) beneficiaries: Some counselors are telling students who receive SS benefits to contribute to paying their college expenses. CAP informed MRS directors that students can be asked if they can contribute but cannot require that they do so. Also, MRS cannot deny services if the student cannot financially contribute.

During the COVID -19 pandemic, CAP presented four concerns to MRS staff that have arisen during this time:
1) Pre-ETS and transition services, students without internet and Zoom access.
2) MRS counselors have been advising customers who are in college they will not pay for housing if classes go online which is of great concern for students who have already signed leases with the understanding that MRS would pay for their housing.
3) Delay in services in some MRS office.
4) The services being provided during the pandemic for summer pre-ETS students.

Throughout FY 2020 CAP staff actively participated in the MRS Policy Cadre by reviewing and assisting in re-writing MRS policies and procedures impacting applicants and consumers. Staff reviewed the Comparable Benefits policy, the Confidentiality policy, Request and Release of Information policy, Vocational Needs Assessment policy, Medical Marijuana policy, Informed Choice Policy, and Guidance and Counseling policy.
The CAP Director requested documentation of the number of MRS consumers who are beneficiaries of Social Security and are receiving support from MRS for college for the time period of 2016- 2020. Additionally, using FOIA, MCL 15.231 et seq., CAP requested data on the number of those individuals matching the above description who are contributing financially to their services. The data shows the number of consumers who are receiving SS and going to college is 118, and 49 of them contributed financially to the cost of their college services.

CAP staff reviewed the MRS Bluebook to make it more accessible by simplifying the language, addressing the need to consider careers (not just low-paying jobs) for MRS clients, and ensure the language reflects the expectations spelled out in WIOA.

The CAP Director continues to serve on the Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services (MCRS). The Council gives advice and works in strategic partnership with both state VR agencies. This provides an external, client-oriented perspective when designing and implementing programs and policy. The Council also provides consumers of VR with mechanisms to influence the direction of rehabilitation programs at both the systemic and policy level. In FY 2020, MCRS members reviewed the Unified State Plan Process, approved MCRS’ Response to MRS’ Unified State Plan VR Section, approved MCRS’ Response to BSBP Unified State Plan VR Section, reviewed MCRS’ Resource Plan Update and reviewed DSU Updates – VR Services during COVID-19.

CAP staff participated in and shared information and strategized with the MRS Diversity Advisory Group to enhance their understanding that disability is part of diversity and individuals with disabilities have their own culture, traumas, and experiences that impact the ways they interact with the world around them. Staff was able to provide feedback and discuss the intersectional ways in which clients experience oppression and systemic injustice.

CAP targeted the practices and procedures of VR agencies involving students with disabilities who are eligible for transition services. This helps to ensure students with disabilities receive appropriate transition services and support for school and VR services. This work was comprised of the following:
1) CAP is involved with the Michigan Inter-Agency Transition Team (MITT). The MITT team is comprised of professionals from all state agencies (MRS, BSBP, DHHS, CMH, MTSA, MI Works and DD Council) who are working with youth and students with disabilities. MITT’s goal is to develop a state model for secondary transition supported by all state agencies.
2) CAP is involved with the Michigan Association on Higher Education and Disabilities (MI- AHEAD). MI-AHEAD is an organization for professionals who work with students with disabilities in higher education. The purpose of MI-AHEAD is to strengthen the professionalism, expertise, competency, and the promotion of equity and opportunities for students with disabilities. MI-AHEAD members were provided with information and resources to provide their students with options for accommodations, disability-related resources, referrals to VR, and information about the CAP program.
3) CAP met with the College Support Program (CSP) Director at Eastern Michigan University and with the MRS Division Director for Professional Enhancement to create a standardized process for approval and authorization of services with MRS. The CSP works directly with students with Autism Spectrum Disorder to understand and support campus life and to manage academic responsibilities. CAP negotiated with CSP and MRS to modify the invoices that reflect the list of the services MRS can provide for the students.

DRM continues to participate in the Employment First work group to coordinate efforts to increase competitive employment opportunities and eliminate subminimum wage. The updated Employment First report was released by the DD Council and copies were provided to DRM for circulation. The Employment First report showed a 50% decrease in sub minimum wage employment since 2014. The work group is now focusing on developing common data sources. The group identified the ability to share data on employment services and outcomes as a strategy to support access to employment for Michigan citizens with disabilities. The group convened to identify data of interest, priorities, and policies that would influence implementation of enhanced data sharing. The group included representatives from Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), Workforce Development (LEO-WD), Michigan Rehabilitation Services (LEO-MRS), Michigan Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (LEO-BSBP), Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (LEO-UIA), Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Administration (BHDDA), the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education (OSE), Office of Career and Technology Education (CTE), Office of Systems, Evaluation, and Technology (OSET) and the Department of Technology Management and Budget/Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI). The group developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the purpose of developing the first data sharing agreement, and policy guidance, and strategy recommendations on unified data. The MOU will also maximize competitive, integrated employment for students, youth and adults with disabilities, and will improve the quality of the employment outcomes. DRM will not be part of the MOU.
CAP continues to participate in Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) activities. CAP Staff had a meeting with a committee from Michigan State University and provided them information about CAP experiences with VR agencies and the challenge people with disabilities are facing in Michigan. We discussed disabilities, such as mental illness, Deaf/ Deaf-Blind, and those among children that are becoming increasingly more common in Michigan, the geographic implications, VR services, and CAP’s roles and recommendations to strengthen VR services. The CSNA final report identifies unserved/underserved groups and the unmet needs of individuals with disabilities. The result of the consumer survey highlights a strong need for Pre-Employment transition services. However, a relatively low number of students and their parents indicated a need for assistive technology and help with applying to college. While students and their parents indicated a high interest in exploring career and job opportunities parents expressed concerns regarding decision-making, goal-setting, and problem-solving skills, and learning how to talk to employers about their disability. VR agencies need to use the CSNA findings to change their priorities and goals and implement programs to target a certain group. Eventually, the impact of CSNA can be used for policy or practice change.

The CAP Director has been approached by Michigan State University to join other professionals with a Michigan Employment Clinic (MI-EC) for the FY 2021. MI-EC’s vision is to support the efforts of people with disabilities or criminal records in securing employment, while promoting employers’ hiring and workplace practices to create more inclusive employment opportunities.
B. Litigation
0
0
0
N/A
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Disability Rights Michigan
No
N/A
B. Staff Employed
PI/Outreach 3.1% 0.12
Support Staff 16.4% 0.63
Advocate 57.8% 2.22
Attorney 1.8% 0.07
Director 19.8% 0.76
Executive 1.0% 0.04
Total 100% 3.84
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
Case Example 1- The client contacted CAP to investigate whether Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) would support her goal to work as an HVAC technician and provide training. Initially, MRS was reluctant to support the client’s goal because they were concerned about her ability to physically perform the work. CAP was able to successfully negotiate with MRS and they agreed to provide HVAC training to the client.

Case Example 2 - The client is a client of the Bureau Services for Blind Persons( BSBP). The client wanted to attend a training program in Arkansas as the program was to be face-to-face instruction. BSBP stated that due to COVID none of the instruction they were providing in-state was allowed to be face-to-face so they could not support the client attending the program. Through negotiation, the client was allowed to enroll in the program and participate in the online program and it would be reassessed if changes were made on the restrictions to in-person attendance.

Case Example 3- The client is attending Eastern Michigan University (EMU) and needed support from MRS for the College Support Program. The client is an individual with autism who had attended a different school and had not been able to be successful. The client transferred to EMU and was able to maintain a 4.0 with the support of the College Support Program( CSP). After working with the MRS counselor and CSP staff to educate the counselor on the benefits of the program, the client was provided support for a trial semester for the majority of the cost of the program.

Case Example 4- The client works in heating and cooling. The client had only been working one week when his car transmission stopped working. The Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) counselor denied the repair. A CAP advocate contacted the MRS counselor agreed to replace the transmission. The client's new job required writing clear reports of what was found to be not working in the heating and cooling area of his job. The client needed a device for his computer to combat his dyslexia so he could write clear reports. The client and CAP advocate met with the MRS counselor and the Small Business' occupational therapist. The client eventually received a device to improve his grammar and make his reports much more effective.

Case Example 5- The client is a customer of the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP). The client was trying to start her own business by setting up a gaming business on the computer. The BSBP counselor closed the case and did not assist the client with her business expenses. The counselor informed the client the business does not generate enough income to sustain living off of it. The CAP Advocate worked with the counselor and client to re-open the case with BSBP. The counselor agreed to re-open the case and offered her a position in the BSBP vendor business. The client accepted the position and started the process of a vendor business.

Case Example 6- The client contacted us because he was having communication issues with his Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) counselor. The client is deaf and requested that MRS provide him with an ASL interpreter. At the time, his counselor was signing to him, but the client felt the counselor was not proficient enough in ASL to communicate effectively with him. The CAP Advocate was able to negotiate with MRS to ensure that ASL interpretation was available for all vocational rehabilitation activities. The client also obtained a new counselor in the process.
Certification
Approved
Michelle Roberts
Executive Director
2020-12-17
OMB Notice

OMB Control Number: 1820-0528, approved for use through 07/31/2023

According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 16 hours per response, including time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. The obligation to respond to this collection is required to obtain or retain a benefit (Section 13 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended). Send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20202-4537 or email ICDocketMgr@ed.gov and reference the OMB Control Number 1820-0528. Note: Please do not return the completed form to this address.