What is the Client Assistance Program (CAP)?

The Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires that a state or territory establish a Client Assistance Program (CAP) to assist individuals who apply for or receive vocational rehabilitation or independent living services under the Act, 29 U.S.C. Section 732. The purpose of the CAP is to advise and inform clients, client applicants, and other individuals with disabilities of all the available services and benefits under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and of the services and benefits available to them under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In addition, the CAP may assist and advocate for clients and client applicants in relation to projects, programs, and services provided under the Rehabilitation Act. Under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act, the CAP may provide assistance and advocacy with respect to services that are directly related to employment for the client or client applicant.

The Iowa Client Assistance Program was created to satisfy the federal mandate. The CAP advocates for clients with disabilities in Iowa who are seeking or receiving services through Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Iowa Department for the Blind, and all Independent Living Programs and projects funded under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. 

The Iowa Client Assistance Program exists to:

  • advise clients of their rights and responsibilities in the process of obtaining rehabilitation services funded under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended;
  • explain specific rehabilitation services and benefits available to an individual with a disability;
  • help clients with the appeal process when requested if a client disagrees with the rehabilitation services being provided or if services are denied;
  • refer clients to other agencies (public or private) when a client may not be eligible for rehabilitation services;
  • identify problem areas in the delivery of rehabilitation services to clients with a disability and suggests methods and means of making systemic changes; and
  • assist clients with questions regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title I. Services: The Client Assistance Program (CAP) is a federally mandated program designated to assist individuals with disabilities. The CAP provides information and referral services to individuals with disabilities. Additional services are available to individuals who are seeking or receiving services from an agency funded under the Rehabilitation Act. Examples of such agencies are:

  • Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services

  • Iowa Department for the Blind

  • Centers for Independent Living

  • Other agencies funded under the Rehabilitation Act Additional services may include:

  • Advice

  • Interpretation of laws, regulations and policies 

  • Negotiation between clients and service providers 

  • Administrative review of decisions 

  • Assistance at fair hearings or legal procedure

CAP also provides services under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to eligible individuals. Clients who are having problems with employment due to their disability are encouraged to inquire about their rights under Title I of the ADA.

Goals and Expectations

Staff of the Client Assistance Program (CAP) understands that you may want various services from CAP. We listen to what you tell us and let you know what we can do to help. Not all problems can have the solution you would like but our staff can explain to you the law, regulations, policies and procedures that influence decisions made in your situation. If you want CAP staff to provide specific assistance or intervention with your problem, a release form will be needed. All records of services are confidential and are provided in accordance with Civil Rights laws.
Individuals seeking services are asked to sign a release form. Specific recommendations will be made after review of available records. No services are provided except at your request.

CAP helps people with disabilities receive quality services by advocating for their interests and helping them identify resources, understand procedures, resolve problems, and protect their rights in the rehabilitation process, employment, and independent living services.  To help resolve conflicts, the CAP advocate may use:

  • Negotiation
  • Mediation
  • Conflict Resolution
  • At times, legal means 

Contact CAP

Phone: 800-652-4298 

Fax: 515-242-6119 

Email: dhr.disabilites@iowa.gov