Ariana is a first-year college student who frequently had seizures during class. One of her professors found her seizures to be distracting, so he insisted that she leave every class early, sit in the hallway, and return at the end of class for the homework assignment. Ariana’s grades began to suffer as she missed more than half of every class. OCRA advised Ariana that her college must make reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. OCRA advised Ariana that she cannot be asked to leave class because she has a disability.
Mauricio’s SSI benefits were terminated. During the time that 5-year-old Mauricio did not receive his SSI check, his mother had to borrow money from acquaintances and go into debt to pay the rent and purchase basic necessities for Mauricio. Social Security eventually reinstated his benefits and paid the money owed, but a representative payee held the account for Mauricio and would not release any funds to pay the debts that Mauricio’s mother still owed.
The Westside Jam is an annual self-advocacy fair for individuals served by Westside Regional Center, which celebrates consumers and encourages self-advocacy by providing a fun evening of food, socializing, awareness and client recognition. This year’s jam brought dozens of vendors throughout Los Angeles together in one place, which gave clients the opportunity to learn more about services and providers available to them, including OCRA.
OCRA agreed to represent Hyunh at a state hearing after the county reduced his monthly IHSS hours from 195 to 29. The county’s written notice stated that because he is self-directing, according to school records that show that he can follow a set routine in his special education classroom, he is no longer eligible for protective supervision. In preparing the case for hearing, OCRA identified many different school and regional center records which showed Hyunh was actually not self-directing.
Ken was initially placed in an IMD by the regional center on an emergency basis when the regional center could not locate a community placement that met his behavioral needs. OCRA worked closely with the IPP team to identify the necessary services and supports Ken would need to successfully transition back into the community. Ken was recently discharged and is thriving, living independently in his own apartment with supported living services funded by the regional center.
Bruce’s mother contacted OCRA after being denied respite services because he was hospitalized. Bruce had been in the hospital for over a month and needed constant supervision while there. His mother could only leave his side briefly when other family members came to visit and she was overwhelmed. Respite was stopped without written notice of action. Since respite can only be provided in the home, the respite agency had thought they were not allowed to provide respite in the hospital.
The exciting new federal law titled the Stephen Beck Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (“ABLE Act”), is well on its way to being implemented in California in the next few months. For far too long, persons with disabilities have been unable to accumulate savings for much-needed expenses without jeopardizing eligibility for public benefits. This disadvantage will soon change with the implementation of the ABLE Act.
Dante’s mother had been advocating for him to receive occupational therapy services from the school, but had not been successful. OCRA helped prepare Dante’s mother for his upcoming IEP meeting. OCRA provided Dante’s mother with strategies, advice, and questions to ask related to his occupational therapy needs during the IEP meeting. Dante’s mother followed the advice OCRA provided and the IEP team agreed that Dante needed weekly 30-minute individual occupational therapy sessions at school.
Sam lived in locked institutional settings for much of his life. On his own, Sam filed a writ of habeas corpus, seeking his release from a developmental center. Although he was successful in his petition and won his release, his first community placement failed in part because the location and services were not a good match for his needs. Sam was again placed in a developmental center. OCRA and DRC’s regional office staff represented Sam at IPP meetings and advocated for an appropriate community placement and community-based services. A new enhanced behavioral home was developed in Sam
Raul needs supervision at all times and support with all of his daily living skills. Raul received some IHSS hours, but his mother questioned why he was not receiving the maximum 283 hours of IHSS per month. OCRA explained how Raul could meet the IHSS severely impaired standard and how to appeal the county’s decision. OCRA also explained the individual IHSS category definitions to Raul’s mother and showed her how to record his needs for each service in a weekly chart. Once Raul’s mother completed the chart and determined that he met the severely impaired standard, she appealed the denia