RSA-227 for FY-2020: Submission #1152

Indiana
09/30/2020
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Melissa L Keyes
4701 N Keystone Ave
Suite 222
Indianapolis
Indiana
46205
http://www.in.gov/idr
317-722-5555
800-622-4845
800-838-1131
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Indiana Protection & Advocacy Services (Indiana Disability Rights)
4701 N Keystone Ave Ste 222
Suite 222
Indianapolis
46205
Indiana
http://www.in.gov/idr
317-722-5555
800-622-4845
800-838-1131
Additional Information
Melissa Keyes
Melissa Keyes
317-722-3463
mkeyes@indianadisabilityrights.org
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
11
1
0
1
6
26
45
B. Training Activities
9
110
a. Topics covered include: P&A basics, introduction to the CAP program, when and how to refer clients to the CAP program, how the CAP program can serve clients.
b. Purpose: to inform VR counselors and regional managers about the CAP program and their responsibilities under the CAP program.
c. attendees: VR counselors and managers
C. Agency Outreach
IDR continues to be a community of practice for cultural competency. We are working with other stakeholders in Indiana to address outreach issues common amongst agencies, particularly on rural and minority communities and communities of color. IDR analyzed data to determine gaps in client referrals. Using that information, we attempted to target disability groups in those geographic areas (e.g., Centers for Independent Living, self-advocacy groups). We are expanding our efforts to reach more minority communities; however, outreach in general was hampered by the global pandemic. Our CAP attorney is also bilingual and has expanded our outreach into the Hispanic community. Materials developed by IDR are provided in Spanish and ASL.
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
6
12
31
2000
4
1
A Facebook Live video with our CAP program staff was done with over 600 views.
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
We have many external partners that share our information with their communities and followers on social media and in their newsletters and communications. These are other state agencies, the Indiana DD Council, the state UCED, The Arc of Indiana, IN*Source, the state Independent Living Council, Down Syndrome Indiana, and other disability focused partners. We also share information with other legally-based advocacy groups and attorneys. Our information is shared on their websites, social media accounts, newsletters, trainings, and conferences. The information disseminated is sometimes more general about our basic services we provide or more focused on specific rights issues such as clients rights when receiving services from VR or how to apply for VR service during Order of Selection. We always provide information on how to contact us via phone, email, online, or in-person. IDR also regularly has traditional media coverage for press releases and special announcements.
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
6
14
20
0
1
B. Problem areas
0
0
9
2
0
7
1
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
5
6
4
0
0
2
20
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
3
7
1
3
0
0
3
0
1
2
0
0
{Empty}
E. Results achieved for individuals
6
0
2
0
10
1
0
1
0
0
{Empty}
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
1
8
3
5
3
20
B. Gender
9
11
20
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
1
0
0
4
0
13
0
2
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
0
0
0
0
0
0
4
0
0
1
0
0
4
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
5
0
1
0
0
2
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
20
E. Types of Individuals Served
2
0
17
1
0
0
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
1
CAP staff were involved with the development of Indiana's Employment First State Plan. This involved providing input and making recommendations for enhancing the state plan. The development of the state plan began in FY2019 and was approved late in FY2020, therefore implementation of the plan is not expected until FY 2021. The Employment First plan will be integral for future changes to VR agency policies or practices.
B. Litigation
2
0
2
Two cases were filed in federal court in FY 2020 involving a challenge to Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services’ (VR) postsecondary fee schedule, a policy used to determine when VR would fund postsecondary educational services. IDR argued that the policy was discriminatory under the ADA and Rehabilitation Act as it required individuals to attend school in-state, regardless of whether or not the necessary vocational services (here, appropriate postsecondary educational options for the individual) were available in the state. For example, there are no postsecondary options in Indiana for deaf individuals who need to learn with direct ASL (vs. indirect through an interpreter); those individuals were nonetheless required to attend Indiana schools based on the fee schedule. Both cases were successfully resolved.
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Indiana Protection & Advocacy Services Commission / Indiana Disability Rights
No
N/A
B. Staff Employed
1.) CAP Lead Staff Attorney: Direct all case management within the Employment team to include the Client Assistance Program. Represent clients with disabilities who have
experienced civil rights violations through administrative and litigation processes. Provide legal direction to advocates. Design and perform community training to educate
community members regarding legal rights and obligations. 2.) CAP Program Coordinator (fulfilled by Executive Director) - Ensure timely federal grant reporting. Serve as an advisory representative on the Indiana Commission on Rehabilitation Services. Remain current with all issues impacting CAP. Ensure CAP program guidelines are followed. Assist with report assignments. Participate in weekly case review committee meetings. Coordinate with the other program area staff attorneys to develop a yearly strategic plan for the area including: proposed individual advocacy cases and case selection criteria, systemic projects or potential litigation issues, and policy initiatives for presentation to the Executive Director and Legal Director. 3.) CAP Advocate II Team Leader: Specific duties of this regionally positioned Advocate is to work with individuals with disabilities to redress individual disability rights concerns and promote system change to protect and promote the rights of individuals with disabilities. Essential Duties and Responsibilities: Serve as a subject matter expert to the IPAS Employment Team. Provide technical assistance to other team members on advocacy tactics relating to employment. Perform individual case advocacy as directed by staff attorney. Assist or manages systemic projects as assigned. Perform in public speaking for education and training purposes. Monitor facilities as assigned. Serve as an advisory member on the Indiana Council on Independent Living as a representative
of CAP. Assist or manages reports from the subject matter group as assigned. Coordinate with the assigned areas attorney(s) as necessary for advocacy. 4.) CAP Advocate III: Specific duties of this regionally positioned Advocate is to work with individuals with disabilities to redress individual disability rights concerns and promote system change to protect and promote the rights of individuals with disabilities. Essential Duties/Responsibilities: Investigate alleged civil rights violations against persons with
disabilities, in reference issues related to their disabilities Implement advocacy plans to alleviate rights violations involving persons with disabilities.Provide information and referral services regarding regional resources. Conduct agency outreach activities specifically regarding disability rights. IDR employs 28 staff members. IDR administers 9 federally funded advocacy programs as the state's P&A, including CAP; Protection & Advocacy for Assistive Technology (PAAT), Protection & Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS), Protection and Strengthening of Social Security Beneficiaries (Rep Payee Reviews); Protection & Advocacy: Developmental Disabilities (PADD), Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI), Protection & Advocacy of Individual Rights (PAIR); Protection & Advocacy for Traumatic Brain Injury (PATBI), Protection & Advocacy for Voting Access (PAVA). The CAP program staff is comprised of the Employment Team to include the CAP program coordinator, one attorney, one attorney supervisor and two advocates. These staff members also work under the other seven programs as needed. The time reporting system utilized by IDR requires staff to closely track and report their work activities under each program. Biweekly, each staff member accounts for the amount of time worked in each program. This accounting is used to determine the portion of each staff member’s salary and benefits paid by each of the federal programs for that biweekly period. This cost allocation approach ensures that each funding source supports only those activities and expenses which are authorized under that source’s legislation and regulations. The number and type of positions are listed here: 1 Executive Director; 1 Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operations Officer; 1 Legal Services Director; 1 Director of Communication & Outreach; 3 Managing Attorney; 2 Staff Attorneys; 1 Advocate Supervisor; 1 Investigation Coordinator; 2 Intake Advocates; 6 Advocacy Specialists; 1 Communications Specialist; 1 Technology Clerk; 1 Administrative Assistant; 2 Accountants; 3 Representative Payee Reviewers.
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
– “Martin” asked IDR to provide advocacy related to a Trial Work Experience (TWE) with Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VR). Because VR had questions as to whether Martin could truly benefit from VR services, it required him to successfully complete a TWE before he could be deemed eligible to participate further in the VR program. Martin had not succeeded in an earlier TWE, partly because his VR counselor had denied any reasonable accommodations, and partly because Martin had zero interest in the TWE setting. Unfortunately, Martin’s new TWE provider wanted to have him complete his second TWE in the same setting, doing the same activities. Martin asked IDR to intervene. An IDR advocate met with Martin, his VR counselor, and his TWE provider, and helped Martin advocate for some revisions to his TWE Plan. The TWE provider better understands the type of work Martin is interested in doing, and Martin will not have to return to the failed TWE site.

– “Jessica” contacted IDR wanting information about obtaining help to return to work. Intake was able to provide contact information for the local Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VR) office along with an explanation about the application process. It was detailed how VR determines whether someone is placed in Category 1 to immediately start receiving services, or Category 2 to be deferred. Intake forwarded information on the seven areas of functional limitations that VR considers and noted that VR requires that she meet at least three for Category 1. It was also noted that VR requires two outcomes of a significant duration. Jessica sent a follow-up noting how appreciative she was for the information and for what she felt was going the extra mile for helping her.

– “Nathaniel” sought advocacy assistance from IDR because Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VR) did not categorize him as Most Significantly Disabled (MSD) and, as a result, placed him on a waitlist for services. Nathaniel is a high school student and wants to participate in Project SEARCH. However, Nathaniel could not participate in the program unless he was an active VR participant. Nathaniel’s teachers believed he was a perfect candidate for Project SEARCH, and could not understand VR’s severity level determination, given the high level of support that Nathaniel receives at school. IDR opened a case and learned that VR had actually revised its decision, re-categorizing Nathaniel as MSD weeks earlier. Somehow, this information was neither communicated to Nathaniel and his family, nor his teachers. IDR prompted Nathaniel’s VR counselor to send a redetermination letter and begin the IPE development process. IDR also confirmed that Nathaniel will be referred to Project SEARCH before closing his case.

– “Michelle” contacted IDR about a number of problems she was experiencing with Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VR). The topic proved extremely emotional for Michelle and was a difficult situation for her to convey to the IDR intake staff. After a lengthy and, at times, challenging conversation, IDR staff provided technical assistance on contacting her VR counselor’s supervisor, assembling the pertinent facts to present to him, and the best way to self-advocate in the situation. Michelle later called back and thanked IDR for taking the time to listen and for providing the much-needed assistance. Michelle had done exactly as was suggested, put her facts in order, and scheduled an appointment with the supervisor.

– “Vivian” sought representation for her appeal of VR’s postsecondary funding determination. Vivian was attending an out-of-state university that met her plans for employment as well as her disability-related needs. IDR represented Vivian in informal and formal appeal processes, and ultimately obtained a settlement agreement in which VR provided more than $16k in additional postsecondary support for Vivian. After the state court judge dismissed Vivian’s judicial review case, IDR closed her case with the agency.

– “Monica” requested that IDR represent her in her appeal of VR’s Fall 2018 postsecondary support determination. Monica disagreed with VR’s position that she could obtain her education in-state. Monica was attending a University that met her training and educational needs, as well as providing instruction in ASL. IDR represented Monica at her administrative hearing, agency review, judicial review, and settlement negotiations. Ultimately, in exchange for Monica’s dismissal of her state court case, VR provided Monica with $7,422 to repay the student loans she took to continue attending the out-of-state university. IDR closed the case after the parties to the settlement agreement completed their responsibilities.

- “Rick” and his guardian contacted IDR for assistance advocating for VR to provide postsecondary services so he could pursue his goal to become a 3-D printer engineer. Fact-finding revealed that VR consistently failed to provide Rick with informed choice – of his employment outcome, of services, and of providers. VR wanted Rick to enter Discovery services to select an employment goal, although he had clearly utilized informed choice in the engineering goal. The IDR Advocate successfully helped Rick to advocate for an IPE amendment. VR removed Discovery services and added postsecondary services, to enable him to go to college for a trial semester.
Certification
Approved
Melissa Keyes
Executive Director
2020-12-22
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.