If you have a disability and want to work but are having trouble getting vocational rehabilitation services, or want a lifestyle that is more self-reliant but are having trouble getting independent living services, contact the Client Assistance Program (CAP).
CAP provides an unbiased source of information, referral, and advocacy services for people who are having difficulties obtaining vocational rehabilitation and independent living related services. It operates within MOD's Client Services Program under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Rehabilitation Services Administration, the same agency that funds the vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs in Massachusetts. A requirement of the grant is that CAP operates in an agency that is completely separate from, and independent of, any vocational rehabilitation agency or independent living center. In Massachusetts, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind and Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission administer vocational rehabilitation services and independent living programs are provided through eleven independent living centers that operate across the state.
Applicants to or clients/consumers of these programs should contact CAP if they disagree with the direction of their services or have questions about their rights. CAP is located in a completely separate agency on purpose because it allows us to be neutral when investigating complaints. Common complaints we receive include miscommunication between clients and staff, delays in service, or disagreement about types of service that should be provided.
Privacy and Independence of CAP:
All dealings with CAP are free and strictly confidential. We will not discuss anything about you without your consent.
CAP is independent of the vocational rehabilitation and independent living agencies. It is run by the Massachusetts Office on Disability, an independent state agency responsible for promoting the rights of persons with disabilities in Massachusetts. MOD is in a unique position to operate CAP because it is located outside of the Health and Human Services Secretariat where vocational rehabilitation and independent living funding is administered.
What can CAP do?
CAP provides advocacy and information services. CAP also works to ensure that clients/consumers are placed in integrated settings and receive competitive wages. It helps people get services from the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind and the Independent Living Centers in Massachusetts, all of which receive Federal money under the Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Act.
If you contact CAP to report a problem we will gather facts, answer questions, and after evaluating your issue in the context of regulation and policy we will advise you of your rights, obligations, and potential recourse. Depending on the particulars of the case, potential assistance CAP would then provide may include:
- Investigating creative and alternative ways to reach your goal
- Negotiating services, re-establishing communication, or facilitating compromise when an impasse has been reached.
- Attending meetings with you
- Representing you at appeals and hearings
- Helping you find other resources that you need
What are Rehabilitation Services?
Among other things, the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission provide vocational rehabilitation services, such as career guidance and counseling, and can provide funding for education or other training, adaptive equipment, transportation and equipment.
What are Independent Living Services?
There are eleven Independent Living Centers located across the Commonwealth. Among others, they provide 4 core services: information and referral, advocacy, independent living skills training and peer counseling.