3. Client Assistant Program

The Illinois Client Assistance Program (CAP), established as part of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, is a federally funded program designed to help persons with disabilities understand and use rehabilitation services.

CAP Serves as an Integral Part of the Rehabilitation System by:

  • Informing and advising individuals of the services and benefits available through programs authorized under the Rehabilitation Act and Title 1 of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).
  • Advocating and providing assistance for people in their pursuit of programs and services within the Rehabilitation Act.
  • Helping identify and resolve problems that may arise during the rehabilitation process.
  • Identifying problem areas within rehabilitation services and offering suggestions for improvement.

CAP Benefits Individuals by Offering:

  • Help with understanding their rights and services from the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services (IDHS/DRS) or from Centers for Independent Living (CILs)
  • Help with resolving problems or disagreements with their rehabilitation programs
  • Answers to questions about rehabilitation services and CILs
  • Help with understanding client/customer responsibilities and choices that may be available
  • Help with appealing decisions if individuals have been denied eligibility or if they are dissatisfied with their services
  • Referrals for legal representation if necessary

CAP Can Also:

  • Recognize service delivery problems and recommend positive changes in rehabilitation program rules/policies.
  • Provide outreach to individuals and groups representing individuals with disabilities from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds.
  • Explain the nature of the various services available to people with a wide range of disabilities from the different state agency rehabilitation programs.
  • Refer people with non-rehabilitation needs to other appropriate resources.

Program Highlights

During FY21, CAP served individuals as young as 18 years of age entering college to age 60 seeking job placement and/or retention.  Outreach and assistance are pivotal components of the CAP.  The CAP serves as an integral part of the rehabilitation system and has immersed itself in the following ways:

  • Launched a Public TV/Radio Awareness Broadcast initiative to provide awareness and information about CAP's role and services. As a result, 539,000 TV impressions were delivered in the Chicago area, 657,000 listeners were reached through WSEC radio (though this number is most likely higher, as only 9 of 39 counties collected listener data), approximately 11 million viewers were reached via WSEC TV, and WILL TV/Radio provided coverage across the State.
  • Distributed 1,300 mailers and participated in virtual public conferences across the state.
  • Created an informational video on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvCBVamYtlA in English and in Polish https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2fV9JzDNh0&t=1s in an effort to reach the large percentage of Polish-speaking individuals residing in Illinois.
Summary of CAP Closures Customers % of Total
Withdrew Complaint/No further Intervention Needed 6 15%
All Issues Resolved in Customer's Favor 14 35%
Some Issues Resolved in Customer's Favor 3 8%
Customer Unresponsive/Uncooperative 5 13%
Case Lacks Merit for CAP Intervention 8 20%
VR Decision Determined Appropriate 4 10%
Total 40