Client Assistance Program (CAP)
The Client Assistance Program (CAP) is a federal program administered by the Commission to assist New Yorkers who have any type of disability with problems encountered while seeking vocational rehabilitation, employment, and independent living services from the NYS Adult Career and Continuing Education Services (ACCES-VR) and the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH). CAP services include: Public Education on Vocational Services; Information & Referral; Individualized Advocacy Services; and Representation at Mediation, Administrative Reviews, and Fair Hearings & Court. There is also a list of local legal assistance and outreach contact offices.
Informed Consumers Make Our Best Clients
The Commission's CAP program is available free of charge to adults seeking information and referral, applying for Office the Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) and Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH) services, or in the process of receiving ACCES-VR or CBVH services. CAP is also available to assist students in transition from school to adult life with training and services leading to employment, and in resolving complaints with Independent Living Centers. A CAP advocate near you can provide you with information on funding and services to assist you in achieving your employment and independent living goals.
The Commission administers the Client Assistance Program (CAP), as authorized and funded by the Rehabilitation Act, as amended. The Rehabilitation Act provides federal funding for states to provide a broad range of services leading to employment and independent living. The Scope of Services section of the Rehabilitation Act provides a summary of these training and service options available to meet the individualized needs of New Yorkers with disabilities.
- Public Education on Vocational Services
- Information & Referral Individualized Advocacy Services
- Representation at Mediation, Administrative Reviews, Fair Hearing & Court
CAP Areas of Expertise
- ACCES-VR and CBVH Policies and Practices
- Student Loan Default Resolution
- Social Security Work Incentives Assessment & Referral
- Assistance with Transition from School to Adult Life
- Assistance in Transition from Sheltered Employment to Supported Employment
- Informational Trainings Targeting Undeserved Populations
- Assessment and Referral of Related Services Leading to Employment
Almost all the Commission's CAP funding is used to support regionally subcontracted offices. The system is designed to provide for individualized advocacy, "outreach" and legal support. Most CAP outreach offices are located in Independent Living Centers where there is access to related services that promote successful employment. The bulk of CAP day-to-day business is assisting persons with disabilities in getting vocational rehabilitation services and employment services from ACCES-VR or CBVH.
Individualized Advocacy Services & Representation
A CAP advocate will typically learn about an individual’s goals, interests and abilities and then discuss individual rights under the Rehabilitation Act and the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). CAP advocates make every effort to inform consumers of services available through ACCES-VR/CBVH including but not limited to Evaluations, Supported Employment, College Training, Vocational Training, On the Job Training, Transition Services, Self Employment Services etc.
If a consumer is experiencing a conflict, the CAP advocate will contact the ACCES-VR or CBVH counselor to negotiate a resolution. When a negotiated settlement is not possible, CAP can represent consumers of service at formal mediation, administrative reviews, fair hearings, and in court.
ACCES-VR & CBVH
In New York the State Education Department provides vocational counseling and services for New Yorkers with disabilities through the Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education-Vocational Rehabilitation. For New Yorkers who are blind, the NYS Department of Children and Family Services provides vocational counseling and services through the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH).
Common issues addressed by CAP are:
- Agreement on an Employment Objective: when ACCES-VR or CBVH do not agree with the consumer that a particular objective is achievable;
- Appropriateness of Training: disagreements on where what type of training should be pursued;
- Evaluations: contested inaccurate or incomplete evaluations, or a consumer is seeking a customized assessment;
- Denial of Services: consumer is found not eligible for services, denied specific services, offered less-than-adequate services to meet needs,
- Employment/Placement: consumer wants assistance in finding employment, an integrated placement as opposed to a sheltered workshop setting, wants to be trained for a career rather than an entry level position; and
- Technology Issues: i.e., client needs adaptive equipment or services, to be employed or benefit from vocational rehabilitation services.