RSA-509 - Protection & Advocacy of Individual Rights (PAIR) Program Performance Report

Arkansas (Disability Rights Arkansas, Inc) - H240A110004 - FY2011

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameDisability Rights Center of Arkansas
Address1100 N. University Suite 201
Address Line 2
CityLittle Rock
StateArkansas
Zip Code72207
E-mail Addressjanbaker@arkdisabilityrights.org
Website Addresshttp://arkdisabilityrights.org
Phone501-296-1775
TTY 501-296-1775
Toll-free Phone800-482-1774
Toll-free TTY800-482-1774
Fax501-296-1779
Name of P&A Executive DirectorNan Ellen D. East
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorJan Baker
Person to contact regarding reportJan Baker
Contact Person phone501-296-1775
Ext.108

Part I. Non-Case Services

A. Individual Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Individuals receiving I&R within PAIR priority areas170
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas788
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)958

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff18
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)1,076

(1) October 6, 2010 10:30 AM Employer Conference/Can Do Lecture Training Topic: Sensitivity Awareness Audience: Employers & HR Staff Total Trained: 16

(2) October 6, 2010 1:30 AM Employer Conference/Can Do Lecture Training Topic: Sensitivity Awareness Audience: Employers & HR Staff Total Trained: 12

(3) October 18, 2010 Homeless Conference Lecture/Q&A/Handouts Training Topic: DRC, IDEA and Mckinny Vento Act Audience: Service Providers/State Agencies/People w/Disabilities Total Trained: 30

(4) October 18, 2010 Lion’s World Lecture/Q&A/Handouts Training Topic: DRC Overview Audience: People who are Blind, Staff Total Trained: 8

(5) October 22, 2010 VA Hospital-LR Lecture/Q&A/Handouts Training Topic: DRC Overview Audience: Veterans Total Trained: 30

(6) October 26, 2010 Ask the Advocate, Benton Lecture/Q&A/Handouts Training Topic: DRC Overview Audience: PWD, Parents and Family Members Total Trained: 18

(7) January 11, 2011 Ask the Advocate, Arkansas Support Network-Springdale Training Topic: DRC Overview Audience: People w/Disabilities and Family Members Total Trained: 17 Collaboration: The DRC Board O&E Committee developed these forums to take intake out

(8) February 22, 2011 ARS Office of Deaf & Hard of Hearing Advisory Council Training Topic: Disability Rights Center of AR Audience: Persons with hearing loss and professionals Total Trained: 11

(9) February 23, 2011 McClellan Magnet High School Transition Conference Training Topic: DRC Transition/Overview Audience: HS Students w/Disabilities, Family Members, and Teachers Total Trained: 172

(10) March 2, 2011 West Memphis Transition Fair Training Topic: DRC Transition/Overview Audience: HS Students w/Disabilities, Family Members, and Teachers Total Trained: 120

(11) March 12, 2011 Pine Bluff Transition Fair Training Topic: DRC Transition/Overview Audience: HS Students w/Disabilities, Family Members, and Teachers Total Trained: 130

(12) March 25, 2011 DDC Family Leadership Training Training Topic: DRC Overview Audience: People w/Disabilities and Family Members Total Trained: 45

(13) June 6, 2011 UCA OT Department Training Topic: DRC Overview Audience: UCA OT Students and Professors Total Trained: 52

(14) June 9, 2011 Albert Pike Hotel Training Topic: DRC Overview Audience: People w/Disabilities Total Trained: 17

(15) July 7, 2011 Arkansas Association of the Deaf/AR Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Training Topic: DRC Overview Audience: Interpreters and People who are Deaf Total Trained: 100

(16) July 15, 2011 Family to Family Health Care Centers Training Topic: DRC Overview Audience: F2F Coordinators Total Trained: 8

(17) August 3, 2011 Life Enrichment And Development (L.E.A.D.) Training Topic: DRC Overview/Self Advocacy Audience: Elderly PWD/Service Providers/Family Members Total Trained: 275

(18) August 18, 2011 Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission Training Topic: DRC Overview/ADA-Accessible Parking Audience: PWD/Service Providers Total Trained: 15

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff0
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles10
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website96,673
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated6,086
6. Other (specify separately)0

Narrative

There were numerous articles printed in the statewide newspaper, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, with 192,564 subscribers, as well as articles appearing in periodicals, and two P&A Briefs produced by Disability Rights Center of Arkansas.

May 12, AR Online, Review finds more wrong at kid unit, May 21, AR Online, Hospital unit cited again as possible danger to kids, May 28, AR Online, Hospital clears up unit’s ills-But U.S. warns: More work to do June 7, AR Online, Last patients leave center June 9, AR Online, Judge favors state’s center for disabled June 18, AR Online, State Hospital again found lacking-2quit

May 1, 2011, TASC Update, Why I’m My Own Best Advocate, Elizabeth Eskew and Barry Vuletich,

Arkansas Legislative Digest Subscribers: 155 total August 26, The Interim Digest, Arkansas Children’s Hospital/Wal-Mart Pro Bono Partnership, 300 total viewership

P&A Brief- December 2010, Mock 2010 Legislative session for PWDs, FYAN, DD Network, and TBI Conferences, Juvenile Justice Reform update Snail Mail: 3,018 sent; Email: 983; Published on DRC website; handed out 150+ at conferences and sent out to callers contacting DRC for assistance P&A Brief - August 2011, 1250 emailed, 200 printed for distribution, and published on DRC website,

Part II. Individuals Served

A. Individuals Served

Count individual once per FY. Multiple counts not permitted for lines A1 through A3.

1. Individuals still served as of October 1 (carryover from prior FY)4
2. Additional individuals served during the year54
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)58
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)4

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 8

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility18
2. Employment8
3. Program access5
4. Housing16
5. Government benefits/services1
6. Transportation0
7. Education11
8. Assistive technology0
9. Voting0
10. Health care3
11. Insurance1
12. Non-government services0
13. Privacy rights0
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse0
16. Neglect0
17. Other1

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor30
2. Other representation found1
3. Individual withdrew complaint11
4. Appeals unsuccessful2
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.0
6. PAIR withdrew from case2
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources0
8. Individual case lacks legal merit5
9. Other1

Please explain

The client wanted several items that were personal and for which there was no legal remedy.

E. Intervention Strategies Used in Serving Individuals

List the highest level of intervention used by PAIR prior to closing each case file.

1. Technical assistance in self-advocacy16
2. Short-term assistance34
3. Investigation/monitoring0
4. Negotiation0
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution2
6. Administrative hearings0
7. Litigation (including class actions)0
8. Systemic/policy activities0

Part III. Statistical Information on Individuals Served

A. Age of Individuals Served as of October 1

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. 0 - 41
2. 5 - 2212
3. 23 - 5933
4. 60 - 646
5. 65 and over6

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females26
2. Males32

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race5
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian1
4. Black or African American6
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander1
6. White45
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown0

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent41
2. Parental or other family home15
3. Community residential home0
4. Foster care0
5. Nursing home0
6. Public institutional living arrangement0
7. Private institutional living arrangement0
8. Jail/prison/detention center0
9. Homeless1
10. Other living arrangements1
11. Living arrangements not known0

E. Primary Disability of Individuals Served

Identify the individual's primary disability, namely the one directly related to the issues/complaints

1. Blind/visual impairment2
2. Deaf/hard of hearing3
3. Deaf-blind0
4. Orthopedic impairment22
5. Mental illness1
6. Substance abuse0
7. Mental retardation0
8. Learning disability10
9. Neurological impairment1
10. Respiratory impairment5
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment1
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment4
13. Speech impairment0
14. AIDS/HIV2
15. Traumatic brain injury1
16. Other disability6

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

1. Number of policies/practices changed as a result of non-litigation systemic activities1

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes2,000

Describe your systemic activities. Be sure to include information about the policies that were changed and how these changes benefit individuals with disabilities. Include case examples of how your systemic activities impacted individuals served.

Much of PAIRs successful systemic work was in the area of housing and homelessness. PAIR advocate served on a number of homeless coalitions in order to encourage the City of Little Rock to create a permanent homeless shelter and; furthermore, the shelter would be accessible to people with disabilities.

What happened this year is that the Union Rescue Mission (URM) decided to build a new building and agreed to lease/sell their old building to the City for use as a permanent Resource Center for the Homeless (Resource Center). This is to be a permanent site for the Day Resource Center that was temporarily located in North Little Rock. There was no real opposition to this plan due to the fact that the URM has already been in this location for many years and is accepted by the community/neighborhood. The environmental surveys showed no insurmountable problems (lead paint, asbestos, etc), and so by the end of the fiscal year the City was in the process of getting the facility ready to use (heat and air are being installed, some other needed work to bring building completely up to code). The purpose of the AR Homeless Coalition (AHC) is to address whatever problems and barriers exist to helping the homeless. For several years the AHC has been working on pressuring the City to establish a permanent Homeless Resource Center. It was difficult for the Little Rock Mayor to deal with the inevitable fallout from a neighborhood everytime he found a potential site. The potential number of people impacted is estimated between 1500 and 2000 per year, which is an estimate of how many individuals come to the Day Resource Center. Many are repeat customers, but this is total number of people.

PAIR also met weekly with people with disabilities at the Day Resource Center to provide needed assistance regarding information/referral and technical assistance. Although there were no actual written policies changed as a result of PAIR advocacy efforts this fiscal year, the Mayor of Little Rock and the City Board of Directors, finally, after pressure from the various coalitions PAIR was involved with, approved the permanent site for a homeless shelter. (See narrative under PAIR 2011 Plan - Priority 4, Goal 2, Objectives 2, 3 and 4).

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts0
2. Number of individuals named in class actions0

Describe your litigation/class action activities. Explain how individuals with disabilities benefited from your litigation activities. Be sure to include case examples that demonstrate the impact of your litigation.

Issues presented to PAIR during this fiscal year did not involve having to resort to litigation/class action remedies. PAIR individual cases were resolved through short term assistance, mediation/negotiation and technical assistance to support and encourage client’s ability to advocate on their own behalf. Additionally, PAIR spent a great deal of time educating people with disabilities who are homeless on the benefits they were entitled to apply for and the process for completing a successful application.

Part V. PAIR'S Priorities and Objectives

A. Priorities and Objectives for the Fiscal Year Covered by this Report

For each of your PAIR program priorities for the fiscal year covered by this report, please:

  1. Identify and describe priority.
  2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority.
  3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority.
  4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration.
  5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions.
  6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority.

PAIR - 2011 PLAN

I. AREA OF EMPHASIS: Formal and Informal Community Supports — People with disabilities are provided services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. PAIR Priority 1. Community Integration — Services and supports for people with disabilities should be integrated within the community to the maximum extent possible, as required by state and federal law.

NEED, ISSUE, OR BARRIER: Arkansas continues to maintain a service system for people with disabilities which is institutionally biased making it difficult for people to move into the community and receive appropriate supports and services.

PAIR Priority 1. Goal 1: PAIR will assist people with disabilities in advocating access to home and community based services.

PAIR P1. Goal 1. Objective 1. Provide technical assistance or representation to 1 PAIR eligible person to receive services or supports to live in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.

NOT MET Under this objective, although no cases were opened, 14 PAIR eligible callers presented issues and were assisted by the PAIR I&R advocate providing information and/or referral.

PAIR Priority 2. Housing and Access — People with disabilities should have full programmatic and physical access to programs and services of local and state government, to housing, jobs and to places of public accommodation as provided by state and federal law.

NEED, ISSUE, OR BARRIER: People with disabilities continue to encounter barriers in obtaining accessible and affordable housing, accessing goods and services from local businesses, applying for employment and/or seeking reasonable accommodations and participating in the programs, services and activities of state and local government.

PAIR Priority 2. Goal 1. PAIR will assist people with disabilities to advocate removal of barriers to housing, places of public accommodation, and state and local government in order for them to have equal access under the law.

PAIR P2. Goal 1. Objective 1. Represent or provide technical assistance to 3 PAIR eligible people regarding failure to accommodate their disabilities in housing.

MET/Exceeded PAIR opened 9 cases under this objective.

CLOSED CASE EXAMPLE: MM was referred to the PAIR advocate by a former client successfully assisted by DRC. MM has orthopedic impairments and uses a wheelchair for mobility. He hauls his wheelchair and other items around in a 16’ trailer attached to his vehicle. Management of the apartment complex where MM lives refused to allow him to park his trailer close to his apartment. MM sought PAIR assistance to obtain a reasonable accommodation from his apartment complex to park his trailer close to his apartment to make it easier to load and unload his wheelchair. PAIR advocate contacted the apartment complex manager and set up a meeting to discuss MM’s situation. At the meeting, the PAIR advocate presented several reasonable scenarios that would accommodate MM. After much discussion, an accommodation was agreed to. E.g. MM would be provided a designated parking space for his trailer (he already had a designated parking space for his vehicle), the space for the trailer would be close to his apartment and the apartment manager would send out a notice to all tenants informing them not to block the trailer parking space. MM’s issue was successfully resolved after the PAIR advocate intervened. PAIR P2. Goal 1. Objective 2. Represent or provide technical assistance to 3 PAIR eligible people regarding rental denial, eviction, or retaliation for exercising their legal rights in housing.

MET/Exceeded PAIR opened 5 cases under this objective.

CLOSED CASE EXAMPLE: JH met with the PAIR advocate at the Day Resource Center for the Homeless (Resource Center). JH was seeking PAIR assistance with a housing matter. JH claimed an apartment complex turned him away because he was not using a wheelchair, although he does have a physical disability. PAIR spoke with the manager of the complex who stated the requirements for the complex are that an applicant be 62 years old or older, unless he/she uses crutches, cane, a wheelchair or a walker. PAIR told the manager about being told by JH that he was turned away because he wasn’t using a wheelchair.

The manager said she recently turned someone away, but it was because of his “attitude”, not because he wasn’t using a mobility device. After further discussion, the manager agreed to send PAIR an application packet for JH to fill out and return immediately. The manager said JH’s application would be accepted but he needed to get it in immediately since a vacancy was coming up. PAIR received the packet and was to provide it to JH at the Resource Center; however, JH failed to show up so the packet was given to the director of the Resource Center to give to JH. A few days later, JH came to the Resource Center and the director informed JH about the vacancy, gave him the packet to fill out and submit to the complex manager. On follow up several weeks later at the Resource Center (because JH was showing up at the Resource Center only sporadically), JH indicated he had not submitted the application packet, even though PAIR had secured the manager’s assurance she would accept it. PAIR had no further contact with JH because he stopped coming to the Resource Center altogether. PAIR P2. Goal 1. Objective 3. Represent or provide technical assistance to 2 PAIR eligible people regarding problems with subsidized housing.

MET PAIR opened 2 cases under this objective.

CLOSED CASE EXAMPLES: Unfortunately, both PAIR cases opened under this objective were closed unsuccessful. In one of the cases PAIR spent a significant amount of time researching the merits of the case (in this case, doing research on toxic mold and consulting with the PAIR Managing Attorney and Director of the AR Fair Housing Commission), but ultimately the case did not have merit and so PAIR could not pursue it. In the other case, PAIR again spent time investigating the client’s claim, and in-consult with the PAIR Managing Attorney, it was decided this client’s case did not have merit.

PAIR P2. Goal 1. Objective 4. Represent 4 PAIR eligible clients alleging that architectural barriers prevent them from having equal access to government services, programs and activities.

MET/Exceeded PAIR opened 5 cases under this objective.

CLOSED CASE EXAMPLE: LP contacted DRC via email. LP is a person with a disability who uses a wheelchair for mobility. He lives on Lake Poinsett, which is owned by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC). In his email, LP said he would be in Court in Harrisburg on Tuesday over the AGFC ticketing him for starting construction on a boathouse and pier that was to be wheelchair accessible. He said last year, AGFC replaced a new boat launch/dock and fishing pier but did not make either accessible. The fishing pier is the only one on the lake, there is no walk-way down to it, only unlevel grass, plus access is limited to either crossing a ditch or climbing over a cable.

LP took matters into his own hands and started building his own dock and pier in front of his house. The AGFC ordered him to knock it down, even though he had applied for a permit. After reviewing LP’s email, the PAIR advocate called LP and asked him to send pictures of the problem, which he did. The pictures were reviewed and PAIR sent LP an advocacy representation agreement to sign and return so PAIR could contact AGFC to advocate on behalf of LP. LP’s objective contained in the representation agreement was for removal of the barriers and construction of a pier that complied with the Americans with Disabilities Accessible standards. Once the advocacy agreement was returned to DRC, PAIR contacted the AGFC and explained the problem.

AGFC agreed the recently built pier was not accessible. AGFC agreed to not only remove the barriers at the pier but to install a roof over part of the pier so people can fish in shade, to resurface the parking lot and construct a path of travel from the parking lot to the pier that complied with the ADAAG. AGFC gave itself 60 days to complete all work. Additionally, AGFC agreed to install a temporary ramp to the pier while work was being completed. PAIR followed up this conversation with a confirmation letter to AGFC. Shortly after informing LP of AGFC’s agreement, LP called back and informed PAIR that he went to the pier and talked to a couple of the guys who were working on it, and they commented that they don’t know what happened, but apparently someone "lit a fire" under AGFC, because they were told they had to get out here today to work on the pier, and they needed to be working on the parking lot very quickly, etc. At the end of 60 days, PAIR contacted LP again to confirm the work was completed. LP said the pier being made accessible had benefited a number of other people besides himself and he was most appreciative of the work the PAIR advocate did to make this happen.

PAIR P2. Goal 1. Objective 5. Represent 8 PAIR eligible clients alleging that architectural barriers prevent them from having equal access to businesses.

MET/Exceeded PAIR opened 10 cases under this objective

CLOSED CASE EXAMPLE: TT, a person who uses a wheelchair for mobility, called DRC complaining that he couldn’t get into the front entrance of M&M Metal Mart, Jonesboro, Arkansas, because there were steps at the front entrance and no accessible entrance anywhere. PAIR conducted an ADA access survey of the Mart and documented a number of barriers to front-door access e.g. parking lot not striped or marked with above ground signage, steps at front entrance, and a heavy entrance door. After conducting the ADA survey, TT was sent a DRC legal representation agreement to sign, date and return so that PAIR could send a demand letter to the owner of M&M Metal Mart. TT returned the agreement and a demand letter was sent. After months of back and forth negotiation with the company’s representative, the barriers were finally removed. A ramp was built to the front entrance, the parking lot was paved, striped and painted with the International Symbol of Access (ISA) and above ground signs were erected with the ISA and van accessible signage. After being notified the work was completed, PAIR contacted TT to go take a look. He did, got back with the PAIR advocate and said he was very satisfied with the work. The company representative sent a picture of the work and TT’s case was closed as successful intervention.

PAIR P2. Goal 1. Objective 6. Represent 3 clients who are deaf or hard of hearing alleging that a medical service provider has failed to provide effective communication so that client can participate knowledgeably in the treatment process and provide informed consent.

NOT MET Under this objective, although no cases were opened, 11 callers who are deaf or hard of hearing presented issues and were assisted by the PAIR I&R advocate providing information, referral and materials.

PAIR P2. Goal 1. Objective 7. PAIR will review and investigate complaints of employment discrimination in regard to harassment, reasonable accommodations, wages, and other employment discrimination against 4 PAIR eligible individuals.

MET PAIR opened 4 cases under this objective.

CLOSED CASE EXAMPLE: CT emailed DRC because she wanted to request a workplace accommodation. CT is a 64 year old African American woman with mobility issues caused by cancer. She asked the PAIR advocate to assist her with writing an accommodation request. The PAIR advocate emailed CT a sample accommodation request and asked CT to let the PAIR advocate review it before she submitted it to her CEO. The accommodation requested was for the Arkansas Workers Compensation Commission (AWCC) to designate an accessible parking space for CT that was located in the parking lot nearest the front entrance. CT agreed to copy PAIR when she emailed the request to her CEO. After the CEO received CT’s email, he arranged a meeting between himself and human resources. The AWCC denied CT’s request but offered CT shuttle services to and from her car. AWCC also offered the shuttle services to any other staff that had disabilities. AWCC also requested that their employees do not occupy both accessible parking spaces at the nearest entrance of the building - it is a first come first serve situation. Although CT was somewhat satisfied with the result, she now believes that she was not given her preferred accommodation due to her race. PAIR advocate informed CT that she has the option of filing an EEOC employment discrimination complaint based on race and gave her the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s contact information.

II. AREA OF EMPHASIS: Education- Students with disabilities reach their education potential.

PAIR Priority 3. Education - Disability rights advocacy will be provided for infants and toddlers/students with disabilities to enforce and protect their rights to special education and related services through Early Intervention Services, Part C, and Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and Section 504 through individual and systemic advocacy, state complaints, due process and collaboration with organizations and agencies. NEED, ISSUE, OR BARRIER: Students with disabilities continue to encounter barriers to their access to a free appropriate public education in Arkansas. Issues of timely, appropriate evaluations, (including assistive technology), denial of access to a continuum of placement in the least restrictive environment and a general lack of understanding of IDEA and students’ rights, demonstrate the need to continue work in this area. Students with multiple, intellectual, emotional/behavioral disorders have been seen to be especially challenging to schools and, as a result, are often subjected to unlawful exclusion or even referral to juvenile court.

PAIR Priority 3. Goal 1. PAIR will assist students with disabilities to advocate access to a continuum of placement options in the least restrictive environment.

PAIR P3. Goal 1. Objective 1. Investigate 1 claim of denial of access to a continuum of placement options, including suspension, expulsion and manifestation determination, which result in a change of placement due to disability related behaviors.

MET/Exceeded PAIR opened 2 cases under this objective.

CLOSED CASE EXAMPLE: WS, a student with a diagnosis of ADHD, was attending his first year of middle school. He had a history of suspensions and being bullied. PAIR advocate was asked by the parent of WS to attend a conference to possibly prevent suspension/expulsion. PAIR was expecting the meeting to be a manifestation determination; however, when the PAIR advocate arrived at the meeting, it appeared that the school district was unaware WS had previously received special education services because they had received no such records. It was determined that a re-evaluation was needed, but not until WS, who had broken his glasses, got new glasses. Several months passed and the parent had not purchased the glasses; therefore, no re-evaluation. In the meantime, WS was waiting on the school bus with a group of students who were caught with possession of marijuana. Even though WS was not smoking or in possession, he was with them; therefore, he was expelled. He received homebound services until the re-evaluation could be completed. A month after WS was expelled, the PAIR advocate attended another conference where an Individual Education Program (IEP) was completed and successfully advocated for the development of a Behavior Support Plan for WS. Additionally, this time, PAIR was able to persuade the school district to conduct a manifestation determination and the IEP team determined that there was a substantial relationship between WS’s disability and the act of misconduct. WS was returned to school on a partial day schedule awaiting placement in day treatment.

COLLABORATION: PAIR continued to work closely with the Centralized Intake and Referral/Consultant Unified Intervention Teams (CIRCUIT) by referring cases to CIRCUIT’s behavior intervention consultants (BIC) when IEP teams needed assistance in developing appropriate interventions for students with behavior issues. CIRCUIT is a state funded service delivery system that has consultants who provide expertise in the areas of behavior intervention and Autism, vision education and mobility, classroom programming, communication, sensory integration and assistive technology. There is also a POISE team that focuses on Post-school Outcome Intervention for Special Education. Our collaboration with CIRCUIT consultants has been extremely helpful in getting professional recommendations for appropriate services that PAIR can then advocate for when an IEP team is fleshing out the goals and objectives for our clients.

PAIR P3. Goal 1. Objective 2. Represent 4 students with disabilities who are referred and/or placed inappropriately into an alternative learning environment.

MET PAIR opened 4 cases under this objective.

CLOSED CASE EXAMPLE: AA, a student with a diagnosis of Learning Disability and ADHD had a 504 Plan in place but no Behavior Support Plan (BSP). Due to being disruptive in the classroom, AA had been in an In-School-Suspension (ISS) since the end of March (60 days). After the PAIR advocate spoke with the special education/504 C coordinator it was determined that AA was being placed in ISS which was also considered an Alternative Learning Environment (ALE). The PAIR advocate attended a 504 conference. Because of PAIR’s input, the 504 Plan was amended and a BSP was developed with positive interventions and rewards. Also, a referral for an evaluation to determine possible eligibility for special education services was agreed upon. When AA returned to school in the fall his schedule was changed putting his Math and Science classes—where he was really struggling—first thing each morning. He had mostly male teachers who he seemed to respond to in more positive ways. Through PAIR intervention AA was not expelled from school and was transitioned from ALE into regular classes with modifications. Also, the school agreed to evaluate AA.

PAIR P3. Goal 1. Objective 5. DRC will contract with Arkansas Disability Coalition to represent 1 PAIR eligible student with disabilities in the public school system receiving special education services that are in need of representation at IEP conferences related to suspension or other issues as referred.

MET/Exceeded PAIR opened 5 cases under this objective

CLOSED CASE EXAMPLE: RR is a 6 y/o female student with a diagnosis of Dyslexia. She was in the 1st grade with no plan or services. RR’s parent had been trying to get the school to evaluate for services for two years and finally decided to get outside testing done at the University of Arkansas for Medical Services (UAMS) and at the University of Arkansas/Little Rock (UALR). RR’s parent gave the testing reports to the school. However, the school determined that RR didn’t qualify for services. She scored proficient on her tests. RR’s parent had a meeting with the school and was under the impression that it was a 504 meeting. The 504 team told the parent that the meeting was to determine if RR tested eligible for IDEA services. The school stated that they would reschedule and have another meeting to discuss 504. RR was failing in Spelling & Reading. The team felt RR didn’t need a plan. RR’s parent contacted DRC and was referred per our agreement, to ADC for assistance. RR’s parent met with ADC staff and was provided technical assistance to prepare for the up-coming meeting with the school district. The district reluctantly wrote a poor 504 plan and determined it might be better to meet at the beginning of 11-12 school year to re-vamp. RR’s parent requested time to review the developed plan and stated that she would get back with the school. RR’s parent called the ADC office a few days later and left a voice mail relating her disappointment in the schools lack of interest to assist his daughter and that she would simply wait until 11-12 year to pursue a better 504 plan and would again contact ADC for assistance.

COLLABORATION: This objective involved collaboration with the Arkansas Disability Coalition (ADC). ADC operates the statewide federally funded Arkansas Parent Training and Information Center and staff consists of trained parent advocates working in special education advocacy. On August 1, 2010, DRC entered into a contract with ADC to be completed in FY 2011. Callers contacting the DRC PAIR I&R advocate requesting representation at Individual Education Program (IEP) conferences regarding suspension and expulsion or other related issues are referred to ADC to provide the requested representation. The contract also included both organizations cross training each other’s advocates and developing procedures to ensure quality advocacy and collection of data for reporting purposes. The performance of the initial contract with ADC was evaluated at the end of FY 2011 and the results were so significant that the contract was extended for another year.

III. AREA OF EMPHASIS: Information Strategies: People with disabilities will have access to information that would enable them to lead valued, proactive lives.

PAIR Priority 4. Outreach, training, information and policy advocacy — People with disabilities, their families, support networks, providers, and the community at large should be informed about relevant rights and about the services of Disability Rights Center. Additionally, policy-makers should be educated about issues of importance to individuals with disabilities.

NEED, ISSUE, OR BARRIER: Because of the rural nature of our state, hard to reach diverse cultural and racial populations, high illiteracy rate, and high poverty rate people with disabilities continue to be uninformed of their rights. The lack of public awareness of disability rights, and services prevents people with disabilities from leading valued, proactive lives. Collaborative approaches improve success of informing policy makers and people with disabilities about rights and services.

PAIR Priority 4. Goal 1. DRC will inform people with disabilities of their legal rights at trainings conducted by DRC and other organizations. Training may also be provided to service providers and other organizations.

PAIR P4. Goal 1. Objective 2. Conduct 16 community trainings on the services DRC provides, sensitivity awareness and on specific topics related to DRC priorities as requested by other agencies.

MET See Part I. B.1 and 2 — Training activities.

PAIR P4. Goal 1. Objective 2. Conduct 5 trainings and other activities in collaboration with AR Can Do, Inc. AR Can Do is made up of other non-profits, state agencies and people with disabilities to change perceptions of how society perceives people with disabilities and educate on appropriate ways to communicate and interact with people who have disabilities.

PARTIALLY MET Only 2 trainings were conducted under this objective. However, a considerable amount of time was spent developing the AR Can Do training DVD which highlights Common Courtesies toward People with Disabilities. The training video would be sent out to the areas in the state for viewing when trainers were not available. The DVD includes people with disabilities diverse in age and disability and is approximately 30 minutes in length. The DVD will be ready for distribution once captioned. The DVD will also be posted on the DRC website. See also Part I. B.1 and 2 — Training activities.

COLLABORATION: AR Can Do is a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization and its members are other non-profits, including DRC, state agencies and people with disabilities. Its mission is to promote positive perceptions about people with disabilities regarding the value, vitality and importance of what people with disabilities can do and to educate people on appropriate ways to communicate and interact with people who have disabilities. DRC was a founding member of AR Can Do and PAIR has been instrumental in promoting its mission by conducting statewide trainings and assisting in the production of the training DVD.

PAIR Priority 4. Goal 2. DRC will raise issues that affect the lives of people with disabilities at meetings attended by policy makers and/or people with disabilities.

P4. Goal 2. Objective 1. Maintain a collaborative working relationship with Arkansas Fair Housing Commission and reinforce that people with disabilities have a right to accessible and affordable housing free from discrimination.

MET PAIR advocate met with the Executive Director of the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission (AFHC) on a monthly basis to discuss cases referred by the AFHC to DRC and those involving discrimination based on race referred by DRC to the AFHC. Ways DRC can work with the AFHC to inform people with disability of the Fair Housing Act provisions were also discussed during these informal meetings. In April, Fair Housing month, PAIR promoted the 10th Annual Arkansas Fair Housing Conference on the DRC website. These meetings have been mutually beneficial and will continue during the next fiscal year, but not highlighted as an objective.

PAIR P4. Goal 2. Objective 2. Attend monthly meetings of the Arkansas Homeless Coalition to advocate for homeless people with disabilities.

MET The Arkansas Homeless Coalition consists of people and agencies active in addressing the concerns of the homeless population in Central Arkansas. The primary focus of the group for the past several years has been the establishment of a permanent day resource center for the homeless (Resource Center). The coalition successfully advocated for a temporary Resource Center until a permanent site could be found. The permanent site was announced in 2011, and is expected to open in January 2012. The temporary site has operated for almost three years, despite the City of North Little Rock limiting the operation (via a special permit) to two years. The coalition has experienced a loss of leadership during the past year (two co-chair resignations), but there are efforts to increase membership and revitalize the coalition. The PAIR advocate has been an active member of this coalition for the past several years and has been involved in advocating for both the temporary and the permanent Resource Center operations. This has raised DRC’s profile in the homeless service provider community considerably, since DRC was not a known entity in the community previously. In addition to increasing DRC’s profile, being a member of the coalition has also been a way for DRC to keep abreast of homelessness issues and advocate for people with disabilities who are experiencing homelessness. The Central Arkansas Team Care for the Homeless (CATCH) released the numbers from the homeless count conducted on January 25, 2011, which showed a decrease in homeless from 1,425 to 1,276. The area defined as "central Arkansas" is Pulaski, Saline, Lonoke and Prairie counties. Homeless service providers hoped people did not interpret this decrease to mean that homelessness is diminishing, as there are so many people who are not counted who are homeless. This includes people staying with friends and relatives, people staying in their cars and people who find other places to sleep besides shelters. Of the 1,276 counted earlier this year, 487 reported living on the streets, 409 reported staying in shelters and 380 were in transitional living programs; 303 reported being veterans.

P4. Goal 2. Objective 3. Attend bimonthly meetings of the Interagency Council on Homelessness to provide information to service providers of homeless people about disability issues

MET The Interagency Council on Homelessness (IAC) was created by the Department of Human Services, Division of County Operations. The Division of County Operations distributes federal grants to homeless shelters in the state. The IAC met monthly and its primary focuses in fiscal 2011 were, 1) to keep up with the changes in funding to shelters and the change from Emergency Shelter Grants to Emergency Solutions Grants, and 2) to track the Homeless Prevention/Rapid Rehousing (HPRP) funding that was allotted to various service providers in the state over the past 18 months. The PAIR advocate attended the monthly meetings to keep up with the federal funding that goes to the homeless shelters so that DRC could post relevant information on the DRC website. Additionally, PAIR attended these meetings to get information out to homeless shelters about DRC and how we assist people with disabilities who are homeless who may have experienced discrimination.

PAIR P4. Goal 2. Objective 4. Attend scheduled public meetings of the Mayor’s Commission on Homelessness in Little Rock to better provide information to homeless people with disabilities at the Day Resource Center.

PARTIALLY MET For the past two years, the PAIR advocate has been attending meetings of the Mayor’s Commission on Homelessness, when they were held. The role of the Mayor’s Commission on Homelessness was to advise the Mayor of Little Rock on how to provide appropriate services to people who were homeless. The Commission came under fire last fiscal year for not doing much and this fiscal year saw no improvement. In fact, most meetings this fiscal year were cancelled for various reasons. However, on June 29, 2011, Little Rock City Directors approved the Mayor’s plan for “A Permanent Day Resource Center for the Homeless,” allowing Mayor Stodola and City Manager Moore to negotiate with the Union Rescue Mission for the lease and eventual purchase of Mission’s Shelter at 3000 Confederate Boulevard. Under the current arrangement, the Mission and the Day Resource Center will share the space while the Mission works on raising the $2 million it will need to build a new facility across the street from the facility now being used. While there has been significant opposition to any previous potential site for a permanent Day Resource Center, there does not appear to be opposition to this proposal. This is due in large part to the fact that the Day Resource Center will be located where the Mission has operated a program since 1957, and the fact that this location is situated away from neighborhoods and the city’s business district. It is projected the Day Resource Center will begin operations by the start of 2012, although many details still have to be worked out.

PAIR P4. Goal 2. Objective 5. DRC will serve on the Division of Youth Services (DYS) Oversight Committee at its quarterly meetings to ensure that DYS is meeting the deadlines of the DYS Comprehensive Juvenile Justice Reform Plan 2009-2014.

MET The DYS Oversight Committee met sporadically this fiscal year with the PAIR advocate attending those meetings which were actually held. In April, the Committee met and reviewed the DYS Comprehensive Juvenile Justice Reform Plan 2009-2014 to make sure the plan continued to be implemented at an acceptable speed. The Director of DYS was recognized nationally for the changes implemented in Arkansas toward better care and treatment and less confinement of juveniles. DYS also held a statewide retreat April 12-13, but PAIR was unable to attend because the Family Youth Assistance Network (FYAN) conference was going on at the same time and the PAIR advocate was a trainer at the conference. In September, the PAIR advocate participated in a press conference with Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF) and DYS. The press conference highlighted the major achievements accomplished to date with the implementation of the 5 year plan and recognized members of the oversight committee, including the PAIR advocate, for their work in changing the juvenile justice system in Arkansas.

PAIR P4. Goal 2. Objective 6. DRC, a partner and founding organization in the Family and Youth Assistance Network (FYAN) will attend monthly meetings, plan a parent/family training — April 2011, serve as a monitor for the new FYAN website which launched in FY 2010 and other activities.

MET The focus of the FYAN group last year was on WRAP around facilitator trainings conducted by the PAIR advocate, the FYAN curriculum developer, staff from the Division of Behavioral Health Services and a family member of a teenager with co-occurring disabilities. The facilitator trainings were conducted in all 75 counties in Arkansas. The focus this fiscal year for FYAN has been on preparing for and hosting two conferences for families and youth. The first conference was the first annual 2 day conference at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the 2nd conference was held at the end of this fiscal year. Both conferences were a big success with a few over 100 people attending each one. FYAN also continued to update its website that was designed last fiscal year and implement this fiscal year. The PAIR advocate served on the FYAN steering committee and was instrumental in planning the conferences and providing input on the FYAN web design and its continued updates.

PAIR P4. Goal 2. Objective 7. DRC will serve on ACED (Arkansas Coalition for the Education of Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing) at its quarterly meetings to develop a seamless system of services to stop discrimination against children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

NOT MET ACED meetings for 2011 were not held because the ACED members were invited to attend the new Legislative Interim Committee meetings on Developing Coordinated Service System for Children with Hearing Loss. The Legislative Interim Committee had the same mission and purpose as ACED and many of the same members, so ACED did not meet as a group. Most members spent their time and resources instead on the Interim Committee. The ACED Chairperson, DRC Executive Director, continued distributing relevant information to the Coalition during the year via the ACED list serve.

See PAIR P4. Goal 2. Objective 10 for the Interim Committee details.

COLLABORATION: ACED remains a good network for communication and future activities of individuals, organizations and families representing the needs of children who are deaf or hard of hearing in AR.

PAIR P4. Goal 2. Objective 8. DRC will continue the Arkansas Parent Information Exchange (ArPIE) list serve to share information with parent advocacy groups/Parent Training Information Centers about education advocacy, rights issues and training.

MET All year, parent groups and agencies serving parents benefited from the ARPIE Listserve keeping them informed of parent support and training activities and sharing by each parent organization. On August 10, DRC facilitated an ArPIE meeting at its office and provided lunch for the 16 individuals who represented eleven separate organizations and agencies. They participated and shared information about needs, special education issues, waiver and funding problems, new websites, resources, new groups and training opportunities. Plans were begun to collaboratively address an upcoming Federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) monitoring visit to the AR Department of Education/Special Education Division in 2013.

P4. Goal 2. Objective 9. DRC serves on the Arkansas Advisory Council for the Education of Individuals with Disabilities at its quarterly meetings to advise the Council on ways to stop discrimination against children with disabilities in public schools.

MET The Advisory Council is statutorily mandated and is composed of individuals involved in, or concerned with, the education of children with disabilities. It is advisory only. Its purpose is to advise the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) of unmet needs within the state; comment publically on any rules or regulations proposed by the state regarding the education of children with disabilities; advise ADE in developing evaluations and reporting on data to the Secretary of Education; advise ADE in developing corrective action plans to address findings identified in federal monitoring reports; and, to advise ADE in developing and implementing policies relating to the coordination of services for children with disabilities. The PAIR advocate is an official member of the Council and attends all quarterly meetings, and any significant action taken by the Council is posted on the DRC website and disseminated to parents of children with disabilities through the ArPIE listserve, at conferences and by the PAIR I&R advocate.

PAIR P4. Goal 2. Objective 10. DRC will serve on the Legislative Interim Committee on Coordinated Services for Children with Hearing Loss and serve on its Sub-Committee to research service systems in other states by participating in scheduled meetings to develop a coordinated services plan by April 2011.

MET The Interim Committee met monthly from August until December 15th, and DRC served on the Interim Committee as well as on its Sub-Committee to review the information in other states and identify a way to track and serve children with hearing loss in Arkansas. The Sub-Committee also researched other state service systems, reviewed the Interim Committee minutes where each agency described its service system for infants and children with hearing loss, and also included the recommendations made to the 2005 Deaf Education Task Force that set up the AR Coalition for the Education of Students who were Deaf or Hard of Hearing (ACED) and any results of that effort. The information was documented and reported to the Interim Committee chaired by Representative Richard Carroll.

The Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) Early Intervention (EI) Coordinator, Traci Harris. recommended using one of its EI case facilitators who was a knowledgeable parent of a young adult with hearing loss, and assign all children at DDS/First Connections (the EI program called First Connections) to her. Other details were planned and a new tracking system within DHS was presented to the Interim Committee. It was a welcomed report and the outcome was a seamless service system agreed upon by all parties that included current resources and staff. The group agreed to meet quarterly to collaborate and communicate, coordinating services for this population and their families. Follow-through did not happen unfortunately during FY 2011 after the Legislative Interim Committee Chairman, Representative Carroll, was not re-elected and DDS decided not to hire an extra service facilitator. When the specific DDS service facilitator was assigned to serve all children with hearing loss on her case load, more Hospitals and providers began to refer their deaf and hard of hearing infants and toddlers to DDS First Connections program, anticipating that these DDS EI services would finally be appropriate for children with hearing loss. This influx of children increased the need for DDS to hire another service provider. Rather than hire another person, DDS moved the services facilitator newly assigned for the hearing impaired children back to serving general clients. Afterwards the Hospitals and other providers ceased referring their clients to DDS First Connections program, so it was status Quo for the time being.

COLLABORATION The Interim Committee (same as the ACED Coalition) included the following collaborators: the University of Arkansas at Little Rock/University of AR for Medical Sciences, Dept. of Audiology & Speech Pathology, & the UALR Interpreter Training Program; AR Children’s Hospital, Pediatric Audiology and Speech Program; UCA; Dept of Health Infant Hearing Screening program; DHS/Developmental Disabilities/First Connections; AR Dept of Education/Special Education; AR Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf; AR Rehab. Services, Off for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired & Tech Assistance Program; AR School for the Deaf; AR Head Start; AR Hands Private Speech Paths; DHS/Division of Behavioral Health; AR Dept of Corrections; AR Assoc of the Deaf; Parents and individuals who are deaf/hard of hearing; Teachers of the Deaf; Audiologists; Transition Services and a member of the AR House of Representatives.

PAIR Priority 4. Goal 3. DRC will inform people with disabilities of their rights through the publication and dissemination of pertinent information. PAIR P4. Goal 3. Objective 1. DRC will publish and distribute 3 DRC newsletters to people on the DRC mail list, the e-mail list, and will publish each on the DRC website in accessible formats to inform the public on ways to stop discrimination against people with disabilities and the services DRC provides.

MET 1st newsletter published in December. Topics — mock legislative session for people with disabilities, DD Network and TBI conferences, FYAN, juvenile justice reform and ACTI updates. 3018 copies mailed, 900 emailed, published on DRC website. 125 copies to be handed out at conferences. In lieu of a 2nd newsletter due to financial constraints, in June, DRC distributed 1203 public input packets via regular mail to gather comments on our proposed priorities and goals for 2012. The input document was also published on our website with a section to provide comments via our website. Over 150 comments were received. In August, a 2nd newsletter was published. The newsletter was posted on the DRC website and sent out to the public via email to 1250 people on the DRC email list and 300 copies were printed in color to be handed out on monitoring visits and sent to callers requesting Information or Referral. All DRC newsletters can be viewed on the DRC website at www.arkdisabilityrights.org/publications

PAIR P4. Goal 3. Objective 2. DRC will print and distribute 1000 “A Parent’s Guide, Civil Rights/Education” (Bluebooks) to inform persons how to stop discrimination against students with disabilities.

PARTIALLY MET 877 Bluebooks were distributed. Waiting on Bluebook updates/changes and publishing prevented DRC from completely meeting this objective. The Bluebook is posted on the DRC website; however, we are unable to determine how many individuals may have viewed or copied the Bluebook.

PAIR P4. Goal 3. Objective 3. DRC will distribute 1000 “IDEA, a Parent’s Booklet” (companion to the Bluebook) to inform persons how to stop discrimination against students with disabilities.

PARTIALLY MET 348 Booklets were distributed. Due to publishing delays, DRC was unable to meet this objective. The Booklet is posted on the DRC website; however, we are unable to determine how many individuals may have viewed or copied the Booklet.

PAIR P4. Goal 3. Objective 4. Provide the DRC display and materials in at least 8 conferences to inform the public about DRC activities to stop discrimination against people with disabilities

MET See Part I.B.6 other

PAIR P4. Goal 3. Objective 5. Timely information will be posted on the DRC website on each DRC program, upcoming events, cases, investigations, legislation, etc.

MET See DRC website — www.arkdisabilityrights.org. The site received 99,116 page views and 51,144 total visitors this year.

PAIR P4. Goal 3. Objective 6. DRC will maximize its electronic outreach by creating a weblog by September 30, 2011.

MET A DRC weblog was begun and hosted by livejournal at http://d-r-c.livejournal.com and it received 14,015 views by 4,564 guests this year.

B. Priorities and Objectives for the Current Fiscal Year

Please include a statement of priorities and objectives for the current fiscal year (the fiscal year succeeding that covered by this report), which should contain the following information:

  1. a statement of each prioirty;
  2. the need addressed by each priority; and;
  3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority.

PAIR 2012 PAIR

I. AREA OF EMPHASIS: Formal and Informal Community Supports — People with disabilities are provided services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. PAIR Priority 1. Community Integration — Services and supports for people with disabilities should be integrated within the community to the maximum extent possible, as required by state and federal law.

Need, Issue, or Barrier: Arkansas continues to maintain a service system for people with disabilities which is institutionally biased making it difficult for people to move into the community and receive appropriate supports and services

PAIR Priority 1. Goal 1: PAIR will assist people with disabilities in advocating access to the services and supports, including assistive technology, needed to live in the community.

PAIR P 1. Goal 1. Objective 1. Provide technical assistance or representation to 1 PAIR eligible person to receive services or supports or assistive technology to live in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.

PAIR Priority 2. Housing and Access — People with disabilities should have full programmatic and physical access to programs and services of local and state government, to housing, jobs and to places of public accommodation as provided by state and federal law.

Need, Issue, or Barrier: People with disabilities continue to encounter barriers in obtaining accessible and affordable housing, accessing goods and services from local businesses, applying for employment and/or seeking reasonable accommodations and participating in the programs, services and activities of state and local government

PAIR Priority 2. Goal 1. PAIR will assist people with disabilities to advocate removal of barriers to housing, places of public accommodation, and state and local government in order for them to have equal access under the law.

PAIR P2. Goal 1. Objective 1. Represent or provide technical assistance to 6 PAIR eligible persons regarding failure to accommodate their disabilities in housing.

PAIR P2. Goal 1. Objective 2. Represent or provide technical assistance to 3 PAIR eligible persons regarding rental denial, eviction, or retaliation for exercising their legal rights in housing.

PAIR P2. Goal 1. Objective 3. Represent or provide technical assistance to 1 PAIR eligible persons regarding problems with subsidized housing.

PAIR P2. Goal 1. Objective 4. Represent 4 PAIR eligible clients alleging that architectural barriers prevent them from having equal access to government services, programs and activities.

PAIR P2. Goal 1. Objective 5. Represent 8 PAIR eligible clients alleging that architectural barriers prevent them from having equal access to businesses.

PAIR P2. Goal 1. Objective 6. Represent or provide technical assistance to 3 PAIR eligible clients who are deaf or hard of hearing alleging that a medical service provider has failed to provide effective communication so that client can participate knowledgeably in the treatment process and provide informed consent.

PAIR P2. Goal 1. Objective 7. Review and investigate complaints of employment discrimination in regard to harassment, reasonable accommodations, wages, and other employment discrimination against 4 PAIR eligible individuals.

II. AREA OF EMPHASIS: Education - Students with disabilities reach their education potential.

PAIR Priority 3. Education - Disability rights advocacy will be provided for infants and toddlers/students with disabilities to enforce and protect their rights to special education and related services through Early Intervention Services, Part C, and Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and Section 504 through individual and systemic advocacy, state complaints, due process and collaboration with organizations and agencies. Need, Issue, or Barrier: Students with disabilities continue to encounter barriers to their access to a free appropriate public education in Arkansas. Issues of timely, appropriate evaluations, (including assistive technology), denial of access to a continuum of placement in the least restrictive environment and a general lack of understanding of IDEA and students’ rights, demonstrate the need to continue work in this area. Students with multiple, intellectual, emotional/behavioral disorders have been seen to be especially challenging to schools and, as a result, are often subjected to unlawful exclusion or even referral to juvenile court.

PAIR Priority 3. Goal 1. PAIR will assist students with disabilities to advocate access to a continuum of placement options in the least restrictive environment.

PAIR P3. Goal 1. Objective 1. Investigate 1 claim of denial of access to a continuum of placement options, including suspension, expulsion and manifestation determination, which result in a change of placement due to disability related behaviors.

PAIR P3. Goal 1. Objective 2. Represent 4 PAIR eligible students who are referred and/or placed inappropriately into an alternative learning environment.

PAIR P3. Goal 1. Objective 3. DRC will contract with Arkansas Disability Coalition to represent 1 PAIR eligible student in the public school system receiving special education services that are in need of representation at IEP conferences related to suspension or other issues as referred.

III. AREA OF EMPHASIS: Information Strategies - People with disabilities will have access to information that would enable them to lead valued, proactive lives. PAIR Priority 4. Outreach, training, information and policy advocacy — People with disabilities, their families, support networks, providers, and the community at large should be informed about relevant rights and about the services of Disability Rights Center. Additionally, policy-makers should be educated about issues of importance to individuals with disabilities.

Need, Issue, or Barrier: Because of the rural nature of our state, hard to reach diverse cultural and racial populations, high illiteracy rate, and high poverty rate people with disabilities continue to be uninformed of their rights. The lack of public awareness of disability rights, and services prevents people with disabilities from leading valued, proactive lives. Collaborative approaches improve success of informing policy makers and people with disabilities about rights and services.

PAIR Priority 4. Goal 1. PAIR will inform people with disabilities of their legal rights at trainings conducted by DRC and other organizations. Training may also be provided to service providers and other organizations.

PAIR P4. Goal 1. Objective 1. Conduct 16 community trainings on the services DRC provides, sensitivity awareness and on specific topics related to DRC priorities as requested by other agencies.

PAIR P4. Goal 1. Objective 2. Conduct 5 trainings and/or other activities in collaboration with AR Can Do, Inc. AR Can Do is made up of other non-profits, state agencies and people with disabilities to change perceptions of how society perceives people with disabilities and educate on appropriate ways to communicate and interact with people who have disabilities.

PAIR Priority 4. Goal 2. DRC will raise issues that affect the lives of people with disabilities at meetings attended by policy makers and/or people with disabilities.

PAIR P4. Goal 2. Objective 1. Attend 10 meetings of the Arkansas Homeless Coalition to advocate for homeless people with disabilities.

PAIR P4. Goal 2. Objective 2. Attend bimonthly meetings of the Interagency Council on Homelessness to provide information to service providers of homeless people about disability issues.

PAIR P4. Goal 2. Objective 3. DRC will serve on the Division of Youth Services (DYS) Oversight Committee at its quarterly meetings to ensure that DYS is meeting the deadlines of the DYS Comprehensive Juvenile Justice Reform Plan 2009-2014.

PAIR P4. Goal 2. Objective 4. DRC, a partner and founding organization in the Family and Youth Assistance Network (FYAN) will meetings, including 1 family training.

PAIR P4. Goal 2. Objective 5. DRC serves on the Arkansas Advisory Council for the Education of Individuals with Disabilities at its quarterly meetings to advise the Council on ways to stop discrimination against children with disabilities in public schools.

PAIR P4. Goal 2. Objective 6. DRC will continue the Arkansas Parent Information Exchange (ArPIE) list serve to share information with parent advocacy groups/Parent Training Information Centers about education advocacy, rights issues and training.

PAIR P4. Goal 2. Objective 7. DRC will finalize the Legislative Interim Study Committee Report on Coordinated Services for Children with Hearing Loss and submit to policy makers and AR Early Intervention Services.

PAIR Priority 4. Goal 3. DRC will inform people with disabilities of their rights through the publication and dissemination of pertinent information.

PAIR P4. Goal 3. Objective 1. DRC will print and distribute 1000 A Parent’s Guide, Civil Rights/Education Bluebooks to inform persons how to stop discrimination against students with disabilities.

PAIR P4. Goal 3. Objective 2. DRC will distribute 1000 IDEA, a Parent’s Booklet (companion to the Bluebook) to inform persons how to stop discrimination against students with disabilities.

PAIR P4. Goal 3. Objective 3. DRC will maximize its electronic outreach by continuing a weblog.

PAIR P4. Goal 3. Objective 4. Provide the DRC display and materials in at least 8 conferences to inform the public about DRC activities to stop discrimination against people with disabilities.

PAIR P4. Goal 3. Objective 5. DRC will maximize its electronic outreach by publishing video on YouTube and will improve DRC Facebook with timely posts and pictures.

PAIR P4. Goal 3. Objective 6. DRC will produce three P&A Newsletters and one Annual Report.

PAIR P4. Goal 3. Objective 7. Timely information will be posted on the DRC website on each DRC program, upcoming events, cases, investigations, legislation, etc.

PAIR P4. Goal 3. Objective 8. DRC will attend six transition conferences/fairs to inform students and staff about DRC transition services and disseminate DRC information, brochures, posters, etc.

Part VI. Narrative

At a minimum, you must include all of the information requested. You may include any other information, not otherwise collected on this reporting form that would be helpful in describing the extent of PAIR activities during the prior fiscal year. Please limit the narrative portion of this report, including attachments, to 20 pages or less.

The narrative should contain the following information. The instructions for this form outline the information that should be contained in each section.

  1. Sources of funds received and expended
  2. Budget for the fiscal year covered by this report
  3. Description of PAIR staff (duties and person-years)
  4. Involvement with advisory boards (if any)
  5. Grievances filed under the grievance procedure
  6. Coordination with the Client Assistance Program (CAP) and the State long-term care program, if these programs are not part of the P&A agency

FY 2011 PAIR NARRATIVE

A. Sources of funds received and expended: Provide the amount of funds the PAIR program received from each of the sources indicated during the fiscal year covered by this report. In addition, specify the total amount expended, from each of the sources of funds, in providing services to PAIR-eligible individuals. Provide this information even if the PAIR’s only source of funding is the Federal formula grant under section 509 of the Act. The following chart is recommended when providing this information:

Source of Funding Amount Received Amount Spent Federal (section 509) $175,632.00 $126,799.47 State $- $- Program Income $- $- Private $- $- All other funds (carry over from previous FY) $54,950.00 $54,950.00 Total (from all sources) $230,582.00 $181,749.47

B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by the report: Outline the budget for the fiscal year covered by the report (prior fiscal year), as well as a projection for the current fiscal year. Category Prior Fiscal Year 2011 Current Fiscal Year 2012 Wages/salaries $110,745.46 $114,210.21 Fringe benefits (FICA, unemployment , etc.) $33,817.91 $32,302.27 Materials/supplies $1,055.50 $1,215.87 Postage $799.05 $660.00 Telephone $2,080.06 $1,333.44 Rent $8,967.64 $8,563.56 Travel $4,955.90 $5,006.20 Copying $1,234.93 $1,104.00 Bonding/insurance $1,226.01 $1,326.00 Equipment (rental/purchase) $2,804.22 $2,568.00 Legal & Audit services $645.06 $669.12 Indirect Cost $- 0 $- 0 Miscellaneous $13,417.73 $14,527.76 Total Budget $181,749.47 $183,486.43

C. Description of PAIR staff (duties and person-years)

STAFF NAME JOB TITLE FY2011 WAGES % PAIR % OF YEAR FILLED PERSON/ YEARS PAIR WAGES AMT BAKER ATTORNEY $79,435.07 28% 100% 1.00 $22,191.10 BANKS ADMIN ASST $27,375.74 11% 100% 1.00 $3,099.53 BLAKLEY ADVOCATE $52,494.48 3% 100% 1.00 $1,825.41 BROWN INFO SYSTEMS ADMIN $35,932.24 12% 100% 1.00 $4,311.87 EAST EX DIR $79,602.29 5% 100% 1.00 $4,283.86 ESKEW ADVOCATE $39,750.74 2% 100% 1.00 $990.10 FREEMAN ADVOCATE $50,018.27 6% 100% 1.00 $3,153.38 HOLLOWAY FINACIAL ASST $28,123.45 12% 100% 1.00 $3,374.85 MARKS INFO SRVCS TEAM $33,627.60 35% 100% 1.00 $11,623.11 MCCLAIN ATTORNEY $67,690.28 12% 100% 1.00 $8,122.83 MCKINNEY OUTREACH $30,616.80 3% 100% 1.00 $930.06 MILBURN OFC ADMIN $32,838.50 12% 100% 1.00 $3,940.56 MORRISON FINANCIAL MGR $38,652.77 12% 100% 1.00 $4,638.40 PIERCE ADVOCATE $43,645.41 54% 100% 1.00 $23,435.69 RAYFORD ED TEAM INTAKE $31,852.00 22% 100% 1.00 $7,007.34 RODGERS OUTREACH $37,097.20 6% 100% 1.00 $2,225.82 VULETICH ADVOCATE $35,431.79 7% 100% 1.00 $2,372.71 TOTALS: $744,184.63 14.45% 17 $107,526.62 CLERICAL TOTAL $162,922.70 11.89% 500.00% 5.00 $19,365.21 PROFESSIONAL TOTAL $581,261.93 15.17% 1200.00% 12.00 $88,161.41

Type of Position FTE % of year filled Person-years Professional: 12.00 Full-time 15.17% 100% 12.00 Part-time 0.00% 0% 0.00 Vacant 0.00% 0% 0.00 Clerical 5.00 Full-time 11.89% 100% 5.00 Part-time 0.00% 0% 0.00 Vacant 0.00% 0% 0.00 TOTAL 27.06% 100% 17.00 D. Involvement with advisory boards: Identify in what ways, if any, is PAIR involved with Advisory boards. Include here any information regarding PAIR’s involvement with the P&A’s advisory board (if applicable).

PAIR does not have an Advisory Board.

E. Grievances filed: DRC has a grievance procedure to handle any complaints by clients regarding the services received/not received from PAIR.

PAIR had no grievances in FY 2011.

F. Coordination with the CAP and the State long-term care program. CAP is a part of the P&A that administers the PAIR. CAP and PAIR staff share office space and work closely together on Teams. P&A collaborative activities include management of services, planning, governing board of directors, intake, outreach/education/training and legal services.

The State long-term care program is not a part of the P&A; however, PAIR makes referrals to and receives referrals from the State’s long-term care program. In some DRC cases DRC filed complaints with the long term care office for investigation.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByNan Ellen East
TitleExecutive Director
Signed Date12/26/2011