RSA-227 for FY-2020: Submission #1154

Illinois
09/30/2020
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Illinois Department of Human Services
Division of Rehabilitation Services
100 South Grand Ave., East - P.O. Box 19429
Springfield
Illinois
62794-9429
http://www.dhs.state.il.us
217.524.7552
{Empty}
1.800.440.8994
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
{Empty}
Additional Information
Kari L. Branham
Kari L. Branham
217.557.5233
kari.branham@illinois.gov
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
50
9
0
0
205
19
283
B. Training Activities
3
77
During this reporting period, CAP was scheduled to provide oral presentations/trainings all over the State. Despite numerous event cancellations brought on by COVID-19, CAP was able to participate in 3 of the 15 pre-scheduled events during this reporting period. For those training sessions, CAP educated attendees about CAP services, VR services, and self-advocacy. Attendees included providers of services to individuals participating in IPS programs that are designed so that individuals with a serious mental illness may receive specialized supports that will enable them to obtain and maintain employment. CAP presented to Center for Independent Living professional staff and new DRS professional staff at the virtual DRS New Employee Orientation. CAP is routinely added to the agenda of presenters for these Orientations. Those in attendance include new Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, Rehabilitation Case Coordinators, Rehabilitation Services Supervisors, and Division Administrators. Information provided at these orientation sessions focus on the purpose of CAP and a description of the services provided. CAP also used this opportunity to reinforce to DRS staff that we are not an adversary but rather a partner in the process as we share a common goal of helping individuals with disabilities acquire the services they need to gain competitive integrated employment so that they can live as independently as possible.

The CAP Director had the honor of presenting on Continuing VR Issues at the National Disability Rights Network Virtual Annual P&A/CAP Training Conference during this reporting period. This presentation provided an overview of Customized Employment (CE), analyzed laws/regulations related to CE , identified barriers/challenges and strategies to successfully overcome these barriers/challenges when assisting clients. Those attending were members of the P&A/CAP community.
C. Agency Outreach
Illinois CAP continuously seeks to identify events in areas populated by those that have been unserved and/or underserved, including minority and rural populations. During this reporting period, CAP diligently searched for virtual events targeting those unserved or underserved. Despite numerous event cancellations brought on by COVID-19, CAP was able to participate in 4 exhibit events during this reporting period. The events were as follows: Decatur School District’s Special Needs Resource Fair, ARC of Illinois’ Speak Up Speak Out Summit, Springfield School District 186 Empower All Abilities Conference, and The ARC of Illinois 2020 Convention. These events targeted youth with disabilities, adults with disabilities, and their families. These events brought in a large number of attendees from a variety of backgrounds (age, disability, ethnicity, etc.) from all over the State.

During this reporting period, CAP began working on an awareness campaign through various methods. CAP is targeting potential DRS customers and active DRS customers to include unserved/underserved from minority and rural communities. The purpose of this mail-out awareness campaign is to ensure that DRS customers know who we are, how we may be able to help, and are aware that CAP is open and ready to serve, despite working remotely. This statewide outreach effort has resulted in individuals contacting CAP with questions and concerns, some of which have resulted in the opening of a CAP case. In addition to the mail-out initiative, CAP worked with Public Broadcast providers to broadcast CAP PSA. As this part of our outreach initiative did not start being broadcast until November 1, we will report in greater detail in the FY2021 Annual CAP Report. CAP currently has 2 YouTube videos posted and active in English and Spanish. During this reporting period, CAP worked to acquire a CAP Informational Video in the third most commonly spoken language in Illinois, Polish. As the video was acquired during the FFY 2021 reporting period, more detail will be provided in next year’s annual report.
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
2
239
4
0
{Empty}
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
The Illinois Client Assistance Program information is available on the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services webpage. This webpage explains our purpose, who can receive services, services offered, how they are provided, and contact information. The Description of CAP’s scope of services and contact information was featured in three Disability Resource Guides published this year for Champaign County, Will-Grundy County, and Cook County (Chicago). The CAP program description and contact information is available on the State of Illinois Service Provider Identification & Exploration Resource (SPIDER). SPIDER is a public-facing website and serves a key resource for human service provider staff, other state agencies, city and county human services personnel, non-profit service organizations, and a variety of behavioral health and insurance organizations. Our program and contact information is also available on the following websites: International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (ICDRI), AbleData Tools and Technologies to Enhance Life, Great Lakes ADA Resource Guide, and the Sauk Valley Community College Community Services On-line Directory.
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
11
35
46
0
8
B. Problem areas
6
27
32
1
0
1
0
0
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
14
13
2
10
0
0
39
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
12
3
5
5
1
3
1
0
7
0
0
2
In both cases the client requested to have VR case closed.
E. Results achieved for individuals
20
0
0
0
9
1
2
0
0
7
1 - Training Approved
1 - Client terminated VR services
1 - Client requested CAP case be closed
2 - Client reimbursed
2 - VR approved funding for training
Total - 7
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
0
14
15
17
0
46
B. Gender
24
22
46
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
0
0
1
17
0
22
6
0
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
9
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
13
2
0
0
1
6
4
9
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
46
E. Types of Individuals Served
6
0
41
0
1
0
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
0
Illinois CAP continues to address systemic issues with DRS, which are ongoing. No specific change has occurred during the fiscal year with regard to CAP’s systemic activities.

Illinois CAP is represented on the State Rehabilitation Council that provides recommendations to the Governor, Secretary of the Department of Human Services, Director of Division of Rehabilitation Services, and to the legislature on the needs and effectiveness of statewide vocational rehabilitation programs. The CAP Director continues to be an active member serving in the role as Secretary and member of the Executive, Operations, State Plan, Policy/Legislation, and Member Recruitment Sub-committees. The CAP Director provides quarterly reports to the Council related to CAP activities and common problem areas DRS customers are experiencing. The Council is currently working to gather DRS customer and activities data that will aid the Council in identifying problem areas and determine how best to advise DRS in addressing those problems.
B. Litigation
0
0
0
{Empty}
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
Internal to the State VR agency
Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services
No
{Empty}
B. Staff Employed
CAP Director; Administrative Assistant; 4 Advocate/Complaint Investigators. All positions are full-time positions. The Director and 2 Advocate/Complaint Investigator positions were filled 100% of the time. The Administrative Assistant position was filled 66.66% of the time and is currently vacant due to an extensive hiring process. One Advocate/Complaint Investigator position filled, however due to extensive hiring process, it was vacant 75% of the time and has recently been filled. One Advocate position was vacant 100% of the time due to leave of absence.
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
The legal guardian of the client contacted CAP in October 2019, requesting assistance. The client had participated in a DRS supported high school transition program and was now ready to transition to adult VR services, however the legal guardian expressed that the counselor discouraged them from pursuing VR services due to the significance of the client’s disabilities. CAP investigated the complaint and conferenced with the counselor to discuss the concerns of the parent, what occurred in the initial meeting, and explore types of VR services the client could benefit from. As a result of the meeting, the counselor scheduled another meeting with the legal guardian and client which resulted in it being determined that the client was a good fit for Customized Employment. The customer was found eligible for VR services, an IPE was developed, the client was referred to a CRP for services and is currently working towards an employment goal.

Client and parent contacted CAP in December 2019, requesting assistance. The client wanted to advance in employment. However, the counselor denied the customer’s request for funding to attend graduate school, stating their bachelor’s degree was enough. The customer was not provided appeal rights and mistakenly thought the counselor had the final say. This lack of appropriate action denied our client the right to due process and accurate information to make an informed choice for appropriate next steps. This resulted in the customer unnecessarily incurring a student loan. CAP was able to show that there was no justifiable reason that the request for assistance to pursue a graduate degree should have been denied and was able to prove that the client was not afforded the right to appeal the counselor's decision that could have been overturned based on Code of Federal Regulations and the Illinois Administrative Code. As a result of CAP intervention, VR funded the client’s graduate degree program and the client was made whole.

The client contacted CAP in August 2020, requesting assistance. The client's tuition had not been paid in full for the prior semester, which hindered the client from registering for classes for the Fall semester. The client’s outstanding balance was due to having reached a lifetime limit on financial assistance. The client’s VR counselor denied the client’s request for VR to fund this unexpected expense that related directly to the training program and the employment goal, stating the client was responsible. Documentation was obtained from the college, showing client’s outstanding balance, as well as a breakdown of payments made. Through conversations with the college, and an explanation about CAP’s ongoing request for the outstanding balance, the college allowed the client to register for classes for the Fall semester. As the counselor was unwilling to discuss the matter any further with CAP, CAP contacted the VR counselor’s supervisor. After doing research into the matter, the supervisor agreed that the unforeseeable expense, directly related to the client’s training program, should be funded by VR. As a result of CAP’s intervention, the school was paid by VR and the client continues to work towards achieving the employment goal.
Certification
Approved
Kari Branham
CAP Director
2020-12-29
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.