the FY 2011 Annual Report
West Virginia Advocates - for the rights of people with disabilities
Fiscal Year 2011 (October 2010 - September 2011)
From the Executive Director
Every year West Virginia Advocates (WVA) faces new challenges to meet the growing
advocacy, self-advocacy and disability related legal needs of individuals with disabilities in
West Virginia as programs change, funds are cut and new needs are identified. FY 2011
was no exception. However, each new challenge brought with it wonderful opportunities to do things in new ways and reach greater levels of diversity and collaboration in our
efforts to defend the civil rights and program access needs of those we serve. While we
always stay true to one of our core functions, the investigation of abuse and neglect, we
find ourselves being called upon to do much more. We have been forced to work smarter
and to use technology to get the job done better. This year saw the launch of WVA’s first
ever Facebook page. We served more people and did more systemic advocacy than any
year in the past decade and achieved that with no significant increases in staffing or funding. Progress was made in our capacity to train people with disabilities to advocate for
themselves, increasing our institution monitoring, participating in the Hartley class action
activities focusing on increasing community based mental health services to reduce people
being hospitalized and the creation of a traumatic brain injury waiver in West Virginia.
We represented an increased number of individuals in Medicaid fair hearings, in free and
appropriated education meetings and mediations, and advocated successfully for policies
to protect students from harm in the use of restraint and seclusion in public schools.
FY 2011 saw a growth in requests to serve individuals with disabilities in jails and prisons
who believe they are not receiving adequate
disability related medical care. One of the big
challenges this year was protecting the rights
of individuals impacted by the closure of several behavioral health care provider agencies
From the Executive Director..............2
who served individuals on the Title XIX I/DD
Home and Community Based Medicaid Waiver
program. We also co-hosted a Candidates
Night on Disability Issues for the gubernatorial special election which was a first for WVA.
The area we get the most requests for services
in each year is special education advocacy. We
addressed some of that need by hosting the
nationally acclaimed Wrightslaw Boot Camp
training for families and educational advoPATBI.................................................8
cates at the Stonewall Resort. We also greatly
expanded our programs that do employment
advocacy this year.
It is my hope that as you read this report you
will discover that WVA is increasing the scope
of what we do as we strive to grow our vision
of being a recognized catalyst for expanding
opportunities and removing barriers for people
living with disabilities in West Virginia.
We are designated as West Virginia’s Protection and Advocacy System (P&A). Every
State is mandated by the Federal government to have a P&A. In FY 2011, WVA had eight
programs that are federally mandated and funded, as well as one West Virginia state
contract. Each program serves individuals with different disabilities and related rights
issues. Our services are confidential and free of charge.
We can help people by giving information and providing referrals, investigating abuse and
neglect, providing direct advocacy, providing training on self-advocacy, providing legal
representation, and engaging in systemic advocacy and litigation.
WVA sets specific priorities and objectives (P&O’s) each year for selecting cases for representation and/or advocacy services. Our P&O’s can be found on our website (wvadvocates.
org). WVA’s acceptance of direct advocacy and legal cases is determined by a variety of
criteria: disability related eligibility criteria established by our funders, our annual priorities and objectives, our budget, as well as related fiscal factors.
Fiscal Year 2011 Funding by Program
For Fiscal Year 2011, our budget was $1,700,000 funded from our programs as follows:
Systemic Advocacy Services
Activities or projects which have the potential to impact populations or systems, such as
advocacy on behalf of groups, investigations, monitoring and research. It also includes
collaboration, agency support or participation on committees, task forces, and class action/
group impact litigation.
Community Advocacy Services
Activities or projects that provide outreach and educational presentations to people with
disabilities, professionals, and the community at large. It includes training in self-advocacy, training professionals, needs assessments, publications, and media.
Information and Referral
The provision of information about the P&A, and information about additional programs
and resources external to WVA that relate to the individual’s service needs and statutory
or constitutional rights as a person with a disability.
Direct Advocacy Services
Abuse/Neglect Investigation: A systemic and thorough examination of information, records, evidence, and circumstances surrounding an allegation of abuse and neglect.
Investigations are undertaken for the purpose of determining if the allegation of
abuse or neglect can be substantiated and taking appropriate action based on the
findings. Investigations require a significant allocation of time that includes interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence, and generating reports.
Litigation: A service request is handled by an attorney using the court system for complaint resolution.
Representation at Hearings: A service request where a non-attorney advocate represents
the client in an administrative hearing.
Representation at Meetings: A service request where a non-attorney advocate represents
the client at meetings to resolve their complaint.
Short-term Assistance: Time limited assistance from an attorney or non-attorney advocate
including reviewing information, counseling a client on actions they could take, and
assisting the client in preparing letters, documents or making telephone calls to
resolve the issue.
Technical Assistance: Providing information, referral, or advice to a client by an attorney
or non-attorney advocate (e.g. coaching the client in self-advocacy, explaining service delivery system(s) available to meet needs, dissemination of information and
materials to client, etc.).
We Provided 1131 Services in Fiscal Year 2011
Technical Assistance, 45
Short-Term Assistance, 218
Representation at Meeting(s), 58
Representation at Hearing(s), 5
Protection and Advocacy for
Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (PADD)
Established by Congress under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance Bill of Rights
(DD) Act of 1975. In 1977, the PADD program was established in West Virginia. The
PADD program serves to advocate that adults and children with developmental disabilities are afforded appropriate services in accordance with their individual needs. PADD is
funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, Administration for Children
and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
A client’s parent requested WVA’s assistance when a Waiver provider terminated services
but did not complete appropriate transition planning to another provider. WVA represented the client. As a result, the client received the necessary supports and was transferred
to a new provider with the services she needed.
A large I/DD Waiver provider closed and WVA represented a client to protect their right to
services of their choice. WVA advocated for the client to have a choice of providers and for
the agency that was closing to complete all aspects of transition planning. The client chose
the new provider after visiting and meeting a potential roommate and was happy with the
new provider. The client’s guardian was also pleased with the outcome.
A parent contacted WVA because her son’s school allegedly was abusing him. A restraint
chair was being used improperly. As a result of WVA’s advocacy the client received the
following: discontinued use of the restraint chair; compensatory speech services; sensory
equipment; development of a toileting schedule; OT services and continued PT services.
Additionally, a Functional Behavioral Analysis (FBA) was conducted
PADD Problem Areas
and a behavior plan was developed.
The team agreed to have a private
consultant come into the classroom
and do some observations as well.
The client was also found eligible
for Extended School Year (ESY)
Rights Violations, 8.1%
Protection and Advocacy for
Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI)
Established by Congress under the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act of 1986. PAIMI was formed to help individuals with mental illness in both
institutional and community settings to access their rights and to investigate abuse and
neglect on their behalf. PAIMI is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental
Five hundred and eighty two (582) homeless shelter outreach kits were sent to thirty-two
(32) shelters throughout the state. Packets included: WVA combs, WVA hygiene kit (wet
ones, tooth brush, toothpaste), WVA compact first aid kit, WVA brochure, WVA work folder, WVA People with/ Disabilities Work brochure. It is hoped that many homeless veterans
as well as others with disabilities will be reached through this effort and will contact WVA
for resources and services.
A PAIMI eligible individual who had been recently discharged from a state psychiatric
hospital requested assistance in getting the community mental health service provider
to install a phone in her apartment for safety reasons. The client also asked WVA to find
out why her representative payee was paying her bills from 2007 during the time she was
hospitalized resulting in the client being required to pay back money to the Social Security
Administration (SSA). WVA was successful in getting the phone the consumer requested.
WVA found that the representative payee did not follow SSA’s rules regarding cancellation of SSI benefits while the client was in the hospital and continued to charge the client
representative payee fees. WVA
filed a complaint on the client’s bePAIMI Problem Areas
half and the representative payee
reimbursed the client $290 for the
Rights Violations, 46.9%
erroneously charged fees. WVA
assisted the client in filing an application with SSA for an overpayment re-payment waiver. SSA did
not grant the client a waiver but
did agree to accept small installments to repay the overpayment
rather than a large lump sum payNeglect, 20.4%
ment the client could not afford.
Failure to provide
Housing Discrimination, 6.1%
managed care issues, 2.6%
Protection and Advocacy for
Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury (PATBI)
PATBI was created in 2002 to expand advocacy services for individuals with traumatic
brain injuries and to expand the service delivery system for this group of individuals.
PATBI is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services.
WVA focused this year’s TBI outreach on educating aging West Virginians and their caregivers about the risk of traumatic brain injury associated with falls and the steps that can
be taken to prevent falls. Outreach items from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) were
sent to senior centers, residential care communities, assisted living facilities, and nursing
homes throughout the state. An estimated 15,280 people could be impacted by this information.
A parent requested WVA’s assistance when her child with a TBI was suspended from
school. She wanted information to effectively advocate for her child. WVA provided technical assistance regarding how the school system addressed the client’s behaviors, and
WV education Policy 2419, one-to-one paraprofessionals/aides, and discipline issues. As a
result, the client’s mother became a more skilled advocate for her child.
WVA provided funding for the West Virginia Brain Injury Association’s annual educational conference.
PATBI Problem Areas
Access to Records, 3.6%
Protection and Advocacy for
Individual Rights (PAIR)
PAIR was established by Congress under the Rehabilitation Act of 1993. In 1994, WVA
was designated the Protection and Advocacy System for Individual Rights (PAIR). The
PAIR program was formed to assist individuals with disabilities who are not eligible for
other advocacy programs within WVA. PAIR is funded by the Rehabilitation Services
Administration, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department
A client’s daughter-in-law requested assistance with an allegation of patient to patient
abuse at a nursing home. WVA did a face to face intake with the client and felt the allegation had merit. WVA reported the incident to the Office of Health Facility Licensure and
Certification (OHFLAC), Long Term Care Ombudsman, and Adult Protective Services.
OHFLAC investigated and substantiated the complaint. The nursing home was cited for
deficiencies on their license.
An incarcerated client requested assistance in getting appropriate medical treatment for
neck cancer. WVA advocated with the prison facility that the client be provided with medical services by an oncologist. Due to WVA’s advocacy, the client received treatment from
an oncologist including medication.
A client attending a university requested assistance in getting an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter for his classes. WVA advocated with the Dean of Students/504
Coordinator for the university to provide an ASL interpreter. As a result, the university
provided an interpreter for the client’s classes, as well as one to one
PAIR Problem Areas
tutoring, and several other classroom accommodations.
Privacy Rights , 0.7%
Client Assistance Program (CAP)
Established as a mandatory program by the 1984 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act,
the CAP Program was formed to help individuals encountering difficulties in receiving services funded under the Act. CAP is funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration,
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, U.S. Department of Education.
A client initially contacted WVA for information about applying for services from the West
Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services (WVDRS). WVA provided the client with the
requested information, and he attempted to apply for services. The client called WVA for
additional assistance because WVDRS was reluctant to let the client apply for services due
to their past experience with him. WVA advocated that the client had the right to apply
for services and should be presumed eligible because he was a Social Security Disability
Insurance (SSDI) beneficiary and wanted to work. The application was accepted, and a
plan was developed to assist the client with job placement services. A major issue for the
client was transportation; he did not have a car and did not live on a bus line. The client is
now working, and WVDRS has rented a car for his use so he can maintain his employment
until a suitable used car can be purchased.
Per the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL), the federal and some state independent
living money is contracted out to the centers for independent living (CILs) to provide home
modifications and assistive technology to assist people with disabilities to function more
independently in their homes and communities. WVA received a call from a client who had
some work done under this program to make her bathroom accessible. She felt the work
was sub-standard and wanted the program to fix it. WVA represented the client in an appeal of the decision made by the
CIL that they were not responsible
CAP Problem Areas
for damage done to her bathroom
while it was being renovated. WVA
negotiated an agreement with the
Related to Title I
of the ADA, 23.7%
CIL that they would repair the
Communication problems between
individual and counselor, 13.2%
bathroom. Repairs to the client’s
bathroom were completed to the
Conflict about services
to be provided, 7.9%
Act related problems, 2.6%
Related to IPE development/
Related to application/
eligibility process, 21.1%
Protection and Advocacy for
Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS)
Established by the Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Improvement Act of 1999 for individuals with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and want to work or return to work. PABSS is funded by
the Social Security Administration.
A client requested assistance with reversing an overpayment from the Social Security Administration of over $41,000. WVA collaborated with the Community Work Incentive Coordinator (CWIC) and was able to resolve the issue. The client’s overpayment was reduced
from over $41,000 to $4,000. The client was satisfied with the outcome.
A beneficiary contacted WVA for assistance in obtaining services from the WVDRS. The
client was told over the telephone, without an application taken, that she was not eligible
for services from the WVDRS based on her and her husband’s combined income. WVA
provided the client with information regarding her rights to services from WVDRS. WVA
advocated for the client. As a result of WVA’s advocacy, the client received financial assistance from WVDRS and completed a phlebotomy program. She also developed self-advocacy skills for a more effective working relationship with her WVDRS counselor.
WVA attended the Social Security Administration’s Work Incentive Seminar Events
(WISE) in Parkersburg, Bridgeport, Weirton, Oak Hill and Martinsburg this year. During
these events, WVA staff spoke to participants about PABSS, disability employment rights
and how WVA might assist them. Informational packets were provided to each person in
attendance. WVA staff were available to complete intakes and anPABSS Problem Areas
Assistive Technology, 1.1%
Protection and Advocacy for
Assistive Technology (PAAT)
PAAT was created in 1994 when Congress expanded the Technology-Related Assistance
for Individuals with Disabilities Act (Tech Act). This program was formed to help individuals with disabilities obtain assistive technology devices and services. PAAT is funded by
the Rehabilitation Services Administration, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative
Services, U.S. Department of Education.
A client residing in a state prison requested WVA’s assistance with getting his C-PAP
machine repaired or replaced and to use it as medically ordered. WVA advocated that the
client be evaluated for appropriate medical equipment and be permitted to use it as medically ordered. As a result, the client received a new C-PAP machine.
A parent contacted WVA to inquire about what options she had to get the client’s service
provider to use Family Support money to help the family obtain a life sustaining feeding
tube pump for the client. WVA advocated for the feeding pump to be approved for funding
through the Family Support program as quickly as possible. The client received the feeding pump with funding from the Family Support Program.
Camp Gizmo is a week-long hands-on camp where parents, professionals and students
learn how assistive technology can help young children with significant as well as multiple
developmental needs in everyday activities. The children are from birth-to-nine (9) years
of age. It is funded by the West Virginia Department of Education and West Virginia Birth
to Three program. WVA provided outreach for this event and participated in a resource
panel to share information about
WVA and accessing assistive techPAAT Problem Areas
Protection and Advocacy for
Voting Access (PAVA)
Established in 2003 as part of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), the PAVA
program seeks to ensure that individuals with disabilities have full participation in the
electoral process through voter education regarding registering to vote, casting a vote and
accessing the polling sites. Activities also include training of poll officials and polling site
accessibility surveys. PAVA is funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human
In FY 2010, WVA created a new voting rights brochure specific to who does and does not
have the right to vote in accordance with the WV State Code. This brochure called “Voting
Rights for West Virginians with Mental and Developmental Disabilities” was printed and
distributed in FY 2011. It can be found on our website at: http://wvadvocates.org/resources/publications/brochures/voting-rights/.
WVA provided rights training to patients at WV’s two (2) state psychiatric hospitals. WVA
staff included voter rights information and answered any questions attendees had about
voting. WVA staff also discussed voting issues with hospital employees/advocates increasing the opportunity for eligible residents of those facilities to receive assistance in exercising their right to access the voting process.
WVA produced and distributed two (2) editions of our “People With Disabilities Vote”
newsletter in FY 11. These newsletters include an actual voter registration form, an absentee ballot application and a
polling place survey. The newsletPAVA Problem Areas
ters included instructions about
submitting these items as well
as details about voting dates and
Accessible Polling Place/Equipment, 25.0%
times and other voting rights information.
Voting Rights and Other Info, 75.0%
A voter’s rights DVD was developed in FY 2011. The DVD will be
used in the training and education
of election officials, poll workers,
election volunteers, service providers and individuals with disabilities regarding the rights of voters
with disabilities and best practices
in working with individuals with
disabilities. It is expected to be
completed and distributed in early
Update for the Hartley Class Action Litigation (PAIMI)
The proposed conversion of West Virginia’s Medicaid plan to managed care for SSI and
SSDI recipients has been abandoned by West Virginia Department of Health and Human
Resources (WVDHHR) as a result of extensive collaboration in the advocacy community
initiated by WVA.
The report was finally issued by the consultant who studied West Virginia’s interpretation
and application of Medicaid regulations concerning the care for people with mental illness
and how it compares with utilization and use of resources in other states. A discussion of
the steps needed to implement the recommendations in the report, in conjunction with the
Judge’s Hartley Orders, are in progress, at the Meetings of the Parties, and in committee
meetings with the Court Monitor, WVDHHR, the behavioral health service providers, and
advocates from Legal Aid and WVA.
The census has remained consistently high at William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital (Sharpe).
WVDHHR identified the influx of forensic patients, and difficulty with discharging them
into the community, as a large contributing factor to this problem. At the request of Judge
Bloom, the parties filed briefs setting out their opinion as to whether Sharpe can place
these patients in diversion hospitals. He has not yet formally ruled on this question.
In August of 2011, David Sudbeck, the Court Monitor, toured the state hospitals and,
finding Sharpe Hospital still over census, issued a report to the Court asking Judge Bloom
to fine Sharpe in the amount of $1,000 per day that they remain over census. There was
much discussion of this at the Meetings of the Parties and the hearings before Judge
Bloom concerning the Court Monitor’s report and recommendations are to be held in FY
Update of the Hartley Class Action Litigation (TBI)
In 2010, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) appealed the TBI portion of Judge Bloom’s order dated August 7, 2009, which required the
State to secure funding for a TBI Trust Fund and to apply for a TBI Medicaid Waiver.
The West Virginia State Supreme Court of Appeals heard oral argument in the matter on
January 11, 2011. During the pendency of this appeal, the State was ordered to proceed to
make application for a TBI Medicaid Waiver and establish a TBI Trust Fund.
Proposed TBI funding legislation did not pass during the 2011 session of the West Virginia
Legislature. However, the Governor subsequently modified his original budget request and
included $800,000.00 for the TBI Waiver. With a federal match, that provided approximately $2.4 million for the TBI waiver program.
On April 8, 2011, the West Virginia State Supreme Court issued a Memorandum Opinion
upholding Judge Bloom’s Order regarding the TBI issues.
At an evidentiary hearing on July 19, 2011, Judge Bloom heard testimony from
DHHR regarding the status of the TBI waiver and delays in implementation. The
Court concluded that DHHR had violated the Court’s Orders and had given no justification for doing so and advised that a hearing on contempt and sanctions may be necessary.
The Court ordered DHHR to complete the full procurement process and any other work
necessary for getting waiver approval from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and to makes its final submissions regarding the TBI waiver program to CMS
by November 1, 2011. DHHR was ordered to begin enrollment in the TBI waiver program
within thirty days after receiving approval from CMS and to expedite any activities necessary to comply with this date.
Education Due Process Complaints
A parent contacted WVA because the school district was not providing reliable bus transportation resulting in the client missing school frequently. WVA filed for due process.
WVA attended a resolution meeting with the parents and negotiated a settlement. The
school district agreed to purchase a van lift and other related and necessary equipment,
have it installed on the parents’ van, and reimburse the parents mileage for providing
A parent requested information regarding the client’s rights within the school system. The
parent requested the client be evaluated for special education services and her request
was refused by the school system. WVA filed a due process complaint and a binding settlement agreement was reached. The school district agreed to evaluate the client to determine eligibility for special education services.
WVA hosted a legal intern from the WVU School of Law for the summer. He conducted
research on policies regarding seclusion and restraint of students in school in other states.
The intern also looked at what was going on at the federal level regarding seclusion and
restraints in schools, and developed a report. A joint committee made up of WVA and the
WV Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC) sent a letter to the State Superintendent
of Schools and the State Special Education Director urging them to adopt a policy for WV
and requesting to be involved in the development of a policy regarding seclusion and restraint in WV schools.
WVA dedicates significant resources to collaboration efforts, agency support, and participation on numerous committees, task forces, and projects for the purpose of reaching
systemic goals or missions based on outcomes, networking and information sharing, and
supporting self advocacy.
•American Association for Retired Persons
•Americans with Disabilities Act Coalition
•Brain Injury Association of West Virginia
•Fair Shake Network
•Families Conference Planning
•Financial Exploitation Task Force
•Legal Aid of WV
•Mountain State Justice
•National Disabilities Rights Network’s
CAP Committee and List Serves
•Northern Panhandle Treatment Court
•Northern WV Center for
•Office of the Court Monitor
•Ohio Valley TBI Advisory Council
•Parent Partnership Work Group
•Statewide Independent Living Council
•Statewide Rehabilitation Council
•WV Anti-bullying Coalition
•WV Association of Positive
Behavior Support Network
•WV Birth to Three Program
•WV Bureau of Medicaid Services
•WV Bureau of Senior Services
•WV Commission for the Deaf and
Hard of Hearing
•WV Department of Education, Office of
Special Programs Extended and Early
•WV DHHR – I/DD Waiver QA/QI Council
•WV DHHR – Office of Health Facility
Licensure and Certification
•WV DHHR - Oversight Committee for the
Development of New Behavioral Health
•WV DHHR - State Hospital Liaison/
•WV Developmental Disabilities Council
•WV Division of Rehabilitation Services
•WV Division of Rehabilitation Services
•WV Division of Rehabilitation Services
Consumer Affairs Committees
•WV Early Intervention
•WV Emergency Medical Services
Technical Support Network, Inc.
•WV Fair Housing Initiatives Program
•WV Mental Health Consumers’
•WV Mental Health Planning Council
•WV Office of Behavioral Health Services
•WV Olmstead Advisory Council
•WV State Family Support Council
•WV TBI/SCI Rehabilitation Fund Board
•WV University Center for Excellence in
Outreach and Training
In an effort to reach out to underserved populations, WVA partnered with Kroger Pharmacy to have WVA’s logo, services and contact information printed on their pharmacy
bags. The bags are currently being distributed in the following locations in West Virginia:
Charleston (west side), Danville, Princeton, Bluefield, Lewisburg and Hinton. Most of
these locations are in areas known as the “southern coal fields” which are considered to be
rural, underserved and economically disadvantaged areas of the state.
WV education policy 2419 training: WVA conducted six (6) of these trainings to individuals
from thirty-seven (37) of the fifty five (55) counties in the state.
Training about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) with a focus on
transition planning: A total of nine (9) people were trained during two (2) trainings covering 16 counties.
A WVA attorney provided “An Overview of Special Education Advocacy for Children with
Disabilities” for the 2011 Celebrating Connections conference. The purpose of WVA’s presentation was to train participants of this conference to become better informed about the
rights of children with disabilities to get a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).
This training focused on how to be an effective special education advocate for children with
disabilities. Participants received practical advocacy advice and learned about the legal
protections, advocacy tools and skills that enable parents to navigate the special education arena. The session also included a discussion of the federal and state laws and policies
that impact the education programs and services that children with disabilities receive.
As a result of WVA’s training being so well received by parents throughout the state, WVA
was invited to provide training regarding Special Education Procedural Safeguards/parental responsibilities and filing State Complaints. The training was sponsored by the Fair
Shake Network (of whom WVA is a member), along with The Arc of the Mid-Ohio Valley,
the WV Developmental Disabilities Council, the West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities (CED) and the WV Division of Rehabilitation Services. The purpose
of the event was to educate parents of their child’s right to a Free and Appropriate Public
Education (FAPE). WVA’s role was to strengthen the advocacy skills of the attendees. Attendees were primarily parents and other family members of children with disabilities.
WVA provided training on employment rights of people with disabilities to fifteen (15)
individuals at the WV Leadership Academy Conference. The WV Leadership Academy is a
self-help program implemented by the West Virginia Mental Health Consumers’ Association (WVMHCA). During that presentation, WVA also provided information about services
from Employment Networks (EN’s) including WVDRS.
WVA presented a training entitled “Rights and Responsibilities of Adults with Disabilities:
Employment, Education and Voting” at the annual Families Conference. The Families
Conference is sponsored by the West Virginia Family Support Program (WVFSP). The
WVFSP is established in the WV Code and funded by the Legislature. The intent of the
program is to provide families who have an individual with developmental disabilities living in their home with assistance in obtaining resources needed to maintain that person in
their home. The Families Conference is an annual conference held for children and
adults with disabilities and their families.
WVA was invited to present at the “IEP’s from Start to Finish” training sponsored by the
WV Family Leadership First, FSN and WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities (CED).
WVA presented a session on IEP Development including transition planning.
WVA’s Training Events
WVA offered a Continuing Legal Education training for attorneys in disability employment law. Forty-eight (48) participants attended the seminar. Participants received information about the rights of people with disabilities in the workplace and remedies available
when discrimination occurs. The presenters provided legal perspectives from individuals
with disabilities, employers, and the Office of the Attorney General. Participants also received information about WVA.
WVA hosted our second nationally acclaimed special education bootcamp by Wrightslaw
for parents and advocates of children and youth with disabilities in the school system.
Attendees were trained by special education attorney Pete Wright and psychotherapist
Pam Wright about the rights of students with disabilities. One hundred fifty-seven (157)
individuals received training and related materials at this two (2) day event. Social work
and educator Continuing Education Units as well as attorney Continuing Legal Education
hours were available. WVA collaborated with the Developmental Disabilities Council, who
provided stipends for families of children with developmental disabilities. WVA provided
stipends for additional PADD eligible families and PAIR eligible families so no family was
turned away due to cost. Another Wrightslaw event is planned for 2013.
WVA launched a Facebook page in early FY 2011. You can find information here about
upcoming events and training available to people with disabilities and other information
of interest to people with disabilities.
For the first time in many years, WVA had a regular presence at the West Virginia Legislature during the legislative session. WVA provided education and information to legislators not just about WVA, but about the issues important to people with disabilities in WV.
WVA collaborated closely with the Developmental Disabilities Council, the West Virginia
Mental Health Consumers Association and the Fair Shake Network to provide education
to legislators throughout the legislative session.
WVA collaborated with the Fair Shake Network and twelve other disability related agencies and organizations to create, sponsor and promote a Gubernatorial Debate among
candidates who were running for the office of Governor in the special gubernatorial election that was held in FY 11. This function was held prior to the primary election. A total
of six (6) candidates and five (5) representatives from candidates’ campaigns spoke and
answered questions about disability related issues.
WVA continues to be an active member of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Coalition whose primary purpose is to increase awareness of the ADA for both people with
disabilities and businesses. WVA cosponsored a training with the ADA Coalition called
“The Revised ADA Regulations Implementing Title II and Title III”. This was a full
day seminar on the new Title II and Title III regulations presented by Sally Con-
way, Deputy Chief, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice.
In FY 2011, WVA was invited to join the newly formed WV Anti-bullying Coalition. The
members represent a wide range of demographics commonly subjected to various degrees
of bullying. This Coalition was formed in the summer of 2011 and has spent the first few
months of its existence drawing up its purpose, definitions and objectives. We are planning
to hold a conference on bullying in 2012.
WVA and the Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC) have collaborated to develop an
extensive Special Education Tool Kit for Parents. This tool is to promote self-advocacy in
the area of special education. It will be provided to any family/consumer with a need for it
free of charge.
WVA continued to work toward building a working relationship between West Virginia’s
two state psychiatric hospitals and WVDRS to assist patients in applying for services,
determining eligibility and developing an Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) as part of
a discharge plan prior to leaving the hospital. WVA’s goal is to ensure that people have the
opportunity to become involved with employment when returning to their home community upon discharge from the hospital.
1207 Quarrier St Ste 400
Charleston, WV 25301
CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
PERMIT NO. 75
Fiscal Year 2011 (October 2010 - September 2011)
Funding for this publication is provided by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation
Services Administration; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and
Mental Health Service Administration; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health
Resources and Services Administration; and the Social Security Administration.