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Innovation and Expansion Grant: Contract 6616: Quarterly Progress Report October 1, 1977 - December 31, 1977
During the second quarter of the 1977/78 fiscal year, pay raises based on job performance and duration of employment were granted to several I&E Grant employees. These raises are consistent with the general payroll policies of CIL. Budget revisions were not necessary in order to effect the raises, since some anticipatory increases had been included in the original budget submitted on Contract 6616. It has been necessary to exceed the budgeted line items in some cases, but in each case the amount exceeded is less than 10% of the line item budget, and is offset by "savings" in other line items. The raises were given to the Bookkeeper, both Machinists, the Biller/Trainer, and the Grant Administrator.
Possibilities for continued funding of the wheelchair prototype program are being investigated.
The statistics included with this report include a correction of figures submitted with the previous report (1st quarter, 1977/78) for "Wheelchair Repair - Number of Clients Served", since the statistics as reported inadvertently included some clients who had been served during the last quarter of 1976/77.
Wheelchair Prototype Development
Development of the prototype for the past quarter has dealt primarily with design changes as our initial test period got under way. Particular attention in this time has been given to the electronics and primary drive train. Response of the electronic system seems to be much more sensitive than any with which we are familiar. This sensitive system gives the user much better control over speed as well as a more precise manuverability than with existing systems.
The friction drive system is also being evaluated. Different drive wheels are being tested in both dry and wet weather to insure that the drive wheel used will not cause loss of power due to slippage between the driving and driven components.
The CIL Prototype Machine Shop has recently completed fabrication of 6 sets of prototype design caster forks which will be installed on clients' wheelchairs for their use and performance evaluation. Although six clients is not a very large sample, the selection criteria have resulted in a list of
― 2 ―individuals who vary with respect to size and weight, life style, type of wheelchair (electrical and push), and amount of wheelchair use in terms of miles traveled per day. Pending satisfactory performance of the prototype forks during this evaluation, which will be of six weeks duration, CIL plans to assemble and market the forks separately. This has become acutely necessary in order to meet the demands and needs of the clients of the Wheelchair Repair Shop, as the current E&J forks generally do not withstand heavy duty use, and the Davis fork, which is acceptable although somewhat heavy, is not available in the quantities required by the Repair Shop.
In the coming quarter a new foot rest system will be tested, along with a sliding seat to compensate for people of differing frame sizes.
Machine Shop and Van Modification
Of the four persons employed in the machine shop, only two remain on the I&E Grant, Contract 6616. The other two, one of whom had been covered by the I&E Grant, were integrated into the Equipment Evaluation Project funded by the Veteran's Administration, effective October 1, 1977.
The machine shop has continued working on wheelchair parts, particulary new designs for drive wheels, and production of the caster forks.
CIL's transportation vehicles, most having passed the 50,000 mile mark of hard driving, are requiring more extensive repair time. The shop is being called upon to do much of this work. Shop personnel continue to provide important information to state and local agencies that deal with the disabled community, and to hospitals and individuals in need of assistance. The shop also has been proceeding with the work of modifications to clients' vehicles, including lifts, hand controls, automatic doors and windows, extended steering columns, etc.
Job Development Program
The Job Development Program was able to expand into a Development and Placement Program on November 1, 1977, with the hiring of additional staff made possible by CETA Title I funding and an Establishment Grant through the Department of Rehabilitation. Three separate grants now fund the program which is currently staffed with 9 people, 2 of whom are Antioch College/West interns. The former I&E Job Development Specialist was hired as the Coordinator of the Program, and Bob Allamand was hired under the I&E Grant to replace her. The current Program staff consists of:
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The responsibilities of the Job Development Specialist and the Job Placement Specialists are essentially the same. Although each counselor has his or her own caseload, responsibilities for employer outreach will be shared, with the Coordinator assuming primary responsibility for that activity. The I&E Job Development Specialist is primarily responsible for non-Berkeley residents who are not deaf, and all his clients will continue to be only those considered severely disabled by DR standards. The CETA and other counselors will serve the severely disabled, but also some moderately disabled individuals who have substantial vocational handicaps because of their disability. Statistics included with this report include all clients served by the program. The Coordinator of the program will continue to prepare the I&E Quarterly Progress Reports on the Job Development Program.
Five of the nine staff people have physical disabilties, including the new I&E Job Development Specialist.
The program remained on client-hold until mid-November. Most of the placements were of continuing clients rather than of clients new this quarter, more so than in any other quarter. In spite of disruptions to the program's available work time, due to staff recruitment, interviewing, and hiring during October, staff orientation and training during November, and the traditional slowness of the holiday season during December, we still served 37 new clients, and placed 21. The placement rate for the quarter is 56%, again fairly high and something we are proud of.
Other new activities of this period include: