RSA-227 for FY-2020: Submission #1122

Ohio
09/30/2020
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Disability Rights Ohio
200 Civic Center Dr
Suite 300
Columbus
OH
43215
614-466-7264
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Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
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Additional Information
Alison McKay
Lyndsey Brown
614-466-7264
lbrown@disabilityrightsohio.org
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
1
0
0
5
2
3
11
B. Training Activities
15
1283
CAP Training Activities:
1. (50 individuals reached): DRO provided training to Legal Aid attorneys on advanced discovery to provide better advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities.
2. (75 individuals reached): DRO trained Ohio Legal Aid as well as P&A non-attorney staff (intake, administrative support, and other advocates) on how to best support attorneys and clients through non-litigation means, which includes all P&A and CAP programs.
3. (120 individuals reached): DRO developed and presented on: a publication that provides information on post-secondary training services through Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, 2 CAP brochures describing the goals of the program, and providing outreach to college students, informing them of CAP’s available assistance where it intersects with post-secondary training services.
4. (110 individuals reached): DRO trained youth, families of youth, and youth advocates on guardianship and potential alternatives. The training was held virtually due to COVID-19, which allowed more individuals to receive training than originally scheduled.
5. (8 individuals reached): DRO presented at a convention to inform attendees about DRO’s P&A and CAP services that could serve as resources to members of the convention’s host and attendees.
6. (500 individuals reached): DRO provided training to families of students with disabilities on issues that may impact education services due to COVID-19, empowering families to tackle topics like ESY, compensatory education, IEP meetings, and alternative placement options.
7. (50 individuals reached): DRO provided training for young professionals on autonomy and self-determination for people with disabilities, particularly in relation to voting rights, employment, and legislative advocacy.
8. (30 individuals reached): DRO presented to parents of students with disabilities on special education services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The training specifically focused on school closures, remote learning, accessibility, and communication with school staff.
9. (90 individuals reached): DRO trained Jobs and Family Services staff on Title II Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations to educate staff who regularly engage with people with disabilities on necessary accommodations and practical tips for interactions.
10. (25 individuals reached): DRO trained transition students with disabilities on navigating the post-secondary education system and the workforce. DRO also provided information about CAP services that may be useful to students during their transition.
11. (35 individuals reached): DRO virtually trained social workers on the developmental disabilities service system in Ohio to assist them in better serving people with developmental disabilities, specifically in relation to voting rights, vocational services, and assistive technology.
12. (100 individuals reached): DRO presented to convention attendees—including advocates and people with disabilities—on CAP services to promote the program to potential clients and inform advocates about referrals.
13. (30 individuals reached): DRO presented to parents of students with disabilities on IDEA and 504, requesting evaluations, and how to access DRO’s services and resources. This presentation allowed parents to be more informed advocates on behalf of their children with disabilities.
14. (30 individuals reached): DRO presented to genetic counseling students about disability rights as well as the P&A and CAP systems. The presentation provided students with information that will help them be better advocates for people with disabilities in their future careers in the medical field.
15. (30 individuals reached): DRO presented to rotary club members on how DRO’s work impacts people with disabilities. The club members were given information that allowed them to become more involved in advocating for people with disabilities through their volunteer opportunities.
C. Agency Outreach
CAP Outreach
1. (100 individuals reached): DRO presented on the CAP and P&A system to self-advocates during a self-advocate-organized conference, specifically informing attendees about rights of people with disabilities.
2. (38 individuals reached): DRO held a live phone bank on the evening news regarding special education issues for parents of students with disabilities who may not be reached through typical outreach. Parents engaged in dialogue with advocates and attorneys on how to ensure their student was receiving a Free and Appropriate Public Education.
3. (30 Individuals trained): DRO provided outreach during a disability resource fair for medical staff and parents of children with disabilities. Attendees were informed of DRO’s services and resources as well as general disability rights topics.
4. (75 individuals reached): DRO attended a high school transition resource fair to provide transition students and their parents about rights under IDEA, negotiation skills, and OOD’s post-secondary resources. Attendees were given materials about CAP and post-secondary training.
5. (100): DRO attended a 2-day conference to provide conference attendees with resources related to CAP and transition services from OOD. Attendees included people on the autism spectrum, those with sensory disabilities, and those with low-incidence disabilities who may be excluded from traditional outreach efforts.
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
0
1000
3
0
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E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
N/A
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
107
267
374
9
57
B. Problem areas
24
29
29
6
0
14
0
2
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
311
4
3
1
7
0
326
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
58
248
1
1
4
0
1
1
12
0
0
0
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E. Results achieved for individuals
268
3
2
0
7
9
4
22
0
11
Client not responsive - 9 service requests
Case notes provided to client - 1 service request
No longer wanted DRO representation - 1 service request
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
10
38
140
169
17
374
B. Gender
198
176
374
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
0
0
0
50
0
205
2
117
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
4
12
0
2
2
9
34
6
11
24
3
6
13
11
0
7
0
6
6
16
83
4
0
21
21
35
0
9
0
6
2
2
0
22
377
E. Types of Individuals Served
24
0
300
16
7
15
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
4
• DRO’s CAP Team Leader served and participated on the State Rehabilitation Council, called Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) Council, which is responsible for reviewing, analyzing and advising the state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency regarding its responsibilities and evaluating its effectiveness, among other duties, pursuant to 34 C.F.R. 361.17(h). DRO’s CAP Team Leader encouraged the Council to consider creating a policy subcommittee in order to consult with and advise the VR agency about its policies and procedures. The subcommittee was created and the DRO CAP Team Leader is one of the co-chairs.
• DRO reviewed proposed revisions to the state vocational rehabilitation agency’s regulations, policies and procedures and submitted public comments in order to protect and advocate the rights of applicants and recipients of VR services. This included rules governing the VR program, VR appeals, Home modifications, and Order of Selection. As a result, the VR agency revised their policies and procedures or agreed to make revisions in the state plan in line with some of our comments (for example, differentiating the processes for (a) requesting review of VR decisions and (b) filing complaints regarding civil rights violations; changes to fair hearing requirements; and bringing rules in line with other regulatory requirements).
• DRO reviewed the Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council tri-annual state plan and submitted public comment to request the plan address client rights to access the Client Assistance Program. The SILC added language to provide assurances that clients will have required information about the CAP.
• DRO reviewed and submitted public comment regarding two U.S. Department of Education notices of proposed rulemaking, one proposing a one year extension of the CAP training grant, and another proposing a new approach to CAP training. In line with our comments, the Department extended the CAP training grant and made some revisions to the approach to CAP training.
B. Litigation
0
1
0
In May 2019, DRO filed a civil action in federal court on behalf of a client who had been denied services from Ohio’s vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency. The client requested that the VR agency support and finance his participation in a postsecondary program for students with Autism to enable him to achieve his employment outcome. The VR agency denied the request on the basis that it does not support such types of programs. DRO represented the client in an informal administrative review and fair hearing, and then filed an action in civil court after the VR agency’s actions were upheld by the hearing officer, asserting that the VR agency’s actions violate federal law. The Court denied the state agency’s motion to dismiss, and granted Plaintiff’s motion to admit additional evidence. Subsequently, the Court permitted the parties to engage in additional discovery, and the parties will reconvene with the Court in early February.
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Disability Rights Ohio
No
N/A
B. Staff Employed
CAP FTE % Year Filled Person Years
Professional part time - 0% -
Professional full time 4.2 86% 3.6
Clerical part time 0.1 100% 0.1
Clerical full time 0.2 100% 0.2
Total 4.5 87% 3.9
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
1. The client called Disability Rights Ohio because Ohio's Vocational Rehabilitation agency, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, refused to pay for certain costs for a prosthetic leg because the client had Medicare insurance. Disability Rights Ohio reviewed the client's OOD case file and spoke with his VR counselor. We provided information and advice to the client regarding VR services, comparable benefits, and appeal rights, and advocated on the client's behalf with OOD. After the client filed his appeal, OOD agreed to pay for whatever costs the client's Medicare insurance would not cover for his prosthetic leg. The client signed a settlement agreement with OOD to resolve his appeal. Disability Rights Ohio monitored the case to ensure issues resolved completely with OOD prior to closing.

2. The client experienced an episode of PTSD at work which caused issues with another co-worker. The client reach out to Disability Rights Ohio because he had a meeting with HR and was told that termination may be a possibility. The client wanted to keep his job and wanted information about his rights to ask for a reasonable accommodation due to his PTSD. A Disability Rights Ohio attorney reviewed the client's information and advised the client regarding reasonable accommodations and the interactive process. The client responded that the information provided by Disability Rights Ohio was very helpful for his HR meeting.

3. The client contacted Disability Rights Ohio for help getting support from OOD. She had an open case with OOD and was working as a substitute teacher, but that was not a good job fit. She wanted to change her employment goal to become an art professor. This would require an MFA. OOD had initially resisted this request. Disability Rights Ohio provided information to the client about her rights and the information she could present to OOD to support her request for a change in job goal and additional services. When OOD denied client's request, Disability Rights Ohio provided information to client on how to appeal and represented the client in an informal administrative review (stage 1 of appeal). The informal administrative review decision agreed to support client's request for services that she needs to pursue an MFA (additional undergraduate courses) and agreed to reconsider the change in employment goal upon client's successful completion of the courses and pending acceptance into the MFA program. DRO also helped client obtain transportation assistance and a change in VR counselor. Disability Rights Ohio monitored the case to ensure the client's IPE was appropriately updated and services were being provided. As all issues were resolved, the client's case was closed.

Certification
Approved
Kerstin Sjoberg
Executive Director
2020-12-28
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