RSA-227 for FY-2020: Submission #1127

South Carolina
09/30/2020
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. (As of 11-13-20 Disability Rights South Carolina)
3710 Landmark Drive Suite 208
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Columbia
SC
29204
803-782-0639
866-275-7273
866-232-4525
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
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Additional Information
Beth Franco
Pete Cantrell
803-782-0639
cantrell@disabilityrightssc.org
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
12
0
0
0
0
0
12
B. Training Activities
9
225
• Disability Benefits & Employment Workshops: These workshops are part of our work with the SC Disability Employment Coalition (SCDEC). The purpose of the workshops is to provide information on SSI/SSDI and Work Incentives to members of the community. They also provide an opportunity to educate about the availability of assistance from the vocational rehabilitation program and CAP. Due to COVID-19 we switched from in person to virtual workshops after February 2020. P&A presented at the following workshops this fiscal year:
o October 24, 2019--Oconee Co, SC
o December 10, 2019--Gaffney, SC
o February 5, 2020--Cheraw, SC
o May 13, 2020—virtual
o June 24, 2020—virtual
o July 23, 2020—virtual
o August 12, 2020—virtual
o August 27, 2020--virtual
o September 24, 2020—virtual
C. Agency Outreach
P&A serves a diverse client population. Our Outreach Team provides targeted outreach to minority populations. We have a Minority Rural Outreach Project Advisory Council to advise us on the needs of individuals with disabilities from minority communities. We have a staff member who is fluent in Spanish to handle Spanish language intakes. She also provides support to other staff members regarding Spanish language and cultural issues. We have another staff member who is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) who is available for intakes from ASL users. She provides support to other staff members regarding ASL and the deaf community. P&A uses Language Line when needed, which can provide telephone interpretation services in over 200 languages.
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
0
2218
2
121132
Website 39005
Twitter 26790
Facebook 34303
Email blasts 20680
YouTube 354
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department, SC Commission for the Blind and our three Centers for Independent Living (Able SC, Walton Options, and AccessAbility) distribute CAP brochures.
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
36
22
58
0
31
B. Problem areas
1
11
30
2
0
11
0
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
19
1
5
0
2
0
27
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
10
10
1
1
0
3
1
0
1
0
0
0
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E. Results achieved for individuals
2
1
0
0
3
4
3
2
0
12
Individuals issue with South Carolina Commission for the Blind resolved without CAP’s intervention.

VR agreed to pay graduate school costs

VR reviewed decision denying eligibility and processed client’s VR application.

The client-CAP relationship deteriorated to the point that CAP could not continue effective representation.

After a second evaluation, VR found client needed more one on one assistance than VR can provide. Client to contact another agency.

CAP provided contact information for VR area supervisor and CAP didn’t hear further from client.

CAP provided requested information about the program and also who to contact at SCCB.

Individual no longer desired services from VR.

Individual obtained employment, so no longer needed assistance from VR.

3 x Individual failed to maintain contact with CAP.
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
1
11
12
33
1
58
B. Gender
25
33
58
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
0
1
0
28
0
29
0
0
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
2
0
0
0
0
3
8
0
6
5
0
2
2
3
1
2
0
0
1
1
9
0
1
2
4
3
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
58
E. Types of Individuals Served
12
0
45
0
0
1
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
0
• We continue to follow up on problems with SCVRD funding for postsecondary education discussed in last year’s PPR. As we work on more individual cases we learn more about the full range of problems. While SCVRD management indicates that $1850 per semester is no longer a limitation we continue to often see payments at or near that level. SCVRD has not changed their written policy on this. We have had no update since we provided comments to SCVRD in 2019. In addition, SCVRD often delays providing information to students on the amount they will pay. As a result, students are forced to take out student loans to avoid losing the classes they have signed up for, housing placements, etc. We have been researching this by talking with both SCVRD and postsecondary financial aid offices. We plan to continue advocating for improved policies and practices in this area.
• In order to improve communication and to discuss systemic issues we requested monthly calls with SCVRD. These began in July. We have learned a few things, however, these calls have yet to yield much in the way of concrete results.
• SCVRD has not updated their policy manual to comply with WIOA. We noted this a couple of years ago and we have spoken with them about this several times. In August 2020 SCVRD General Counsel told us that the Commissioner has set up a workgroup to prepare a draft. We asked to see the draft in sufficient time to make comments before SCVRD puts it in final form. We will continue to follow up on this.
• SCVRD claims to have a financial needs test. As federal regulations require this to be in writing, we asked to see it. So far, SCVRD has not provided a copy of any written financial needs test. We will continue to follow up on this.
B. Litigation
0
0
0
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Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. (Note: Effective November 13, 2020, our agency announced a name change to Disability Rights South Carolina)
No
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B. Staff Employed
FTE Professional 3924 hours 2.01 FTE
FTE Clerical 315 hours .162 FTE
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
• South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD) reimburses client for graduate school tuition: P&A was contacted in March 2018 by an individual who was struggling to get SCVRD to assist in payment for post-baccalaureate education. P&A opened a case and advocated that the individual be awarded assistance from SCVRD. P&A was not able to persuade SCVRD to pay the balance on the individual’s tuition on a timely basis. As a result, the client needed to take out student loans to pay the amounts SCVRD should have paid. P&A successfully advocated for SCVRD to reimburse the client for the amounts that should have been paid earlier. Case closed 10/15/2019. (CAP 86061)
• SCVRD repays two clients for needed vehicle modifications: One client has paraplegia and the other has muscular dystrophy; both needed modified vehicles to accommodate their wheelchairs and movement restrictions in order to travel to and from their part-time jobs. In 2018, the area SCVRD office sent these clients away after telling them, separately and on several occasions, that they were not eligible for VR services because they “already had jobs” and “only needed financial assistance.” Both clients took out sizable vehicle loans and purchased vans with the conversion equipment they needed. P&A agreed to represent these clients and requested hearings in each case. Both cases were resolved following a pre-hearing conference with the Hearing Officer and SCVRD General Counsel. The clients’ banks received checks representing the total cost of the vehicle modifications paid by each. The clients were able to pay off their remaining loans and put a bit in savings. Cases closed in June 2020. (90529 and 92232 CAP)
• SCVRD reverses decision finding individual with anxiety and depressive disorders was ineligible for services. Client contacted P&A in July 2019 saying she wanted to appeal a decision from SCVRD that she was ineligible for services. The following day, P&A forwarded the client’s letter of appeal to the Area Supervisor. The day after that, the Area Supervisor wrote saying she had reviewed the matter and had contacted the client. The client informed the Area Supervisor that she was receiving services from her local mental health center. The Area Supervisor assured the client that her application for SCVRD services would be processed. The client subsequently informed P&A that her case with SCVRD was moving along and she no longer needed our help. Case closed 10/2/2019. (CAP 93489)
• Individual who is blind assisted in restoring good communication and obtaining new DTE staff person with SC Commission for the Blind (SCCB). Our client, who is blind, had reached an impasse with staff of the Department of Training and Employment (DTE) at the SCCB. While trying to schedule a meeting with us, the client received notice that DTE would come the next day to pick up a laptop loaned to the client. P&A asked DTE staff to hold off picking up the laptop and if there were, in fact, preconditions to helping the client find work. A few days later, P&A arranged a call with the new Director of Consumer Services at SCCB. The client was very pleased and said the call went “great.” She was assigned a different staff person at DTE and good communication was restored. Case closed 12/31/2019. (CAP 95999)
• Case reopened and client assigned new counselor: Our client, who has declining and low-vision, called us because he had not received eyeglasses and other assistive technology from the SCCB. His Counselor told him that, in order to continue receiving services, he would have to travel from his home in Georgetown to Mt. Pleasant to visit an eye-doctor. Because of his limited vision, the client could not safely drive that distance. He decided to stop receiving SCCB assistance, and his case was closed. The client asked SCCB to review the case closure, but he did not receive any meaningful response. He contacted P&A and we helped him understand his rights and the options for self-advocacy. He spoke with the new Director of Consumer Services at SCCB. She had his case reopened and assigned a new counselor. Case closed 12/31/2019. (CAP 96150)
Certification
Approved
Beth Franco
Executive Director
2020-12-15
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