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

Arizona (Arizona Center for Disability Law) - H240A110003 - FY2011

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameArizona Center for Disability Law
Address5025 E. Washington Street
Address Line 2Suite 202
CityPhoenix
StateArizona
Zip Code85034
E-mail Addresscenter@azdisabilitylaw.org
Website Addresshttp://www.azdisabilitylaw.org
Phone602-274-6287
TTY 602-274-6287
Toll-free Phone800-927-2260
Toll-free TTY800-927-2260
Fax602-274-6779
Name of P&A Executive DirectorPeri Jude Radecic
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorJ. J. Rico
Person to contact regarding reportJ. J. Rico
Contact Person phone800-922-1447
Ext.331

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 areas21
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas257
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)278

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff20
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)400

1) 15-Oct-10. Training. “Legislative Activity,” Topics included legislative advocacy. University of Arizona Marriott, Tucson. 20 people attended. 2) 18-Oct-10. Training. “Overview of Title I.” Topics included ADA Title I. State Building, Tucson. 30 people attended. 3) 12-Nov-10. Presentation. Life Planning Workshop. Topics included special needs and Legal Options for Guardianship manual. Disability Empowerment Center, Phoenix. 13 people attended. 4) 20-Jan-11. Presentation. Outreach to Congressman Trent Franks District Office. Topics included DBTAC, ADA, Vocational Rehabilitation, Special Education, and the Center’s programs, Congressman Franks’ District Office, Glendale. Four people attended. 5) 26-Jan-11. Training. Providing an overview of the types of services offered by ACDL. Topics included Center’s services and programs. ASU Law School, Phoenix. 21 people attended. 6) 10-Mar-11. Training. Title I, II, III and Special Education. Topics included ADA Title I, II, and III and IDEA. University of Arizona class, Tucson. 30 people attended. 7) 06-Apr-11. Presentation. Accommodations under Title III, Interpreters, Tax Incentives and Service Animals. Topics included ADA Title III, ASL interpreters, service animals, tax incentives, Rehabilitation Act Section 510. St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center Breakfast Series, Phoenix. 32 people attended. 8) 09-Apr-11. Presentation. Overview of Title III. Topics included ADA Title III and Center’s services and programs. Polio Epic Conference, Tucson. 27 people attended. 9) 15-Apr-11. Presentation. Providing Services to Vulnerable Populations in Tough Economic Times. Topics included Center’s services and programs. Arizona State Bar Minority Convention, Phoenix. 30 people attended. 10) 21-Apr-11. Training. Legal Advocacy in Disability Rights. Topics included ADA, special education, housing, health care, mental health and voting. ASU School of Social Work, Tucson. 30 people attended. 11) 17-May-11. Training. Overview of Medicaid and AHCCCS Services and Appeal Rights. Topics included Medicaid, AHCCCS, AZ state budget, waiver request to Federal government for AHCCCS coverage. Disability Empowerment Center, Phoenix. 21 people attended. 12) 27-May-11. Presentation. Outreach to Congressman Raul Grijalva District Office. Topics included Center’s programs and services, priorities, DBTAC ADA Center info. Congressman Grijalva’s office, Tucson. Five people attended. 13) 15-Jun-11. Training. Overview of Medicaid and AHCCCS Services and Appeal Rights. Topics included Medicaid, AHCCCS, AZ state budget, waiver request for AHCCCS program. Disability Empowerment Center, Phoenix. 11 people attended. 14) 06-Jul-11. Training. AHCCCS Public Training on the Childless Adult Transition Plan. Topics included AHCCCS program and AZ budget cuts. Disability Empowerment Center, Phoenix. 35 people attended. 15) 07-Jul-11. Presentation. Update on Current State of AHCCCS. Topics included AHCCCS, AZ state budget, waiver request to Federal government for AHCCCS program. Tempe Public Library, Tempe. 10 people attended. 16) 14-Jul-11. Training. ADA Requirements for Polling Places and the Election Process. Topics included voter rights laws, accessible polling places, problem solving techniques to make polling sites more accessible. Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center, Phoenix. 40 people attended. 17) 21-Jul-11. Presentation. Priorities Forum for FY2012. Topics included the Center’s priorities and goals for Fiscal Year 2012. Hilton Garden Inn, Yuma. eight people attended. 18) 28-Jul-11, Presentation. Priorities Forum for FY2012. Topics included the Center’s priorities and goals for Fiscal Year 2012. Disability Empowerment Center, Phoenix. 10 people attended. 19) 09-Aug-11. Presentation. Priorities Forum for FY2012. Topics included the Center’s priorities and goals for Fiscal Year 2012. DIRECT Center for Independence, Tucson. 16 people attended. 20) 24-Aug-11. Training. Overview of Medicaid and AHCCCS Services and Appeal Rights. Topics included Medicaid, AHCCCS and AZ state budget, waiver request to Federal government for AHCCCS program. Disability Empowerment Center, Phoenix. Seven people attended.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff2
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles0
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website216,448
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated4,958
6. Other (specify separately)12

Narrative

ACDL also participated in the following 12 Outreach Events:

1) 12-Oct-10. Booth/Table. Disability Expo, Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, 250 people attended. 2) 15-Oct-10. Booth/Table. Building An Inclusive Tucson Conference 2010, University of Arizona Marriott, Tucson. 100 people attended. 3) 09-Nov-10. Booth/Table. Phoenix School of Law Conference. 100 people attended. 4) 12-Nov-10. Booth/Table. Independent Living Resource Fair, Disability Empowerment Center, Phoenix. 100 people attended. 5) 18-Nov-10. Booth/Table. Southern AZ Association for the Visually Impaired (SAAVI) Family Awareness Day, Tucson. 40 people attended. 6) 25-Jan-11. Booth/Table. East Valley Transition Fair, Mesquite High School, Gilbert. 150 people attended. 7) 16-Feb-11. Booth/Table. Career Services Fair, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU, Tempe. 10 people attended. 8) 09-Apr-11. Booth/Table. 2nd Annual Health and Wellness Fair. Disability Empowerment Center, Phoenix. 260 people attended. 9) 23-Jun-11. General Outreach. AHCCCS Public Session on Benefit Changes. Disability Empowerment Center, Phoenix. 150 people attended. 10) 27-Jun-11. General Outreach. Arion Care Solutions LLC Office, Chandler. 20 people attended. 11) 10-Sep-11. Booth/Table. Special Needs Day at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, 200 people attended. 12) 24-Sep-11. Booth/Table. Deaf Fest 2011, Tucson. 990 people attended.

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)15
2. Additional individuals served during the year420
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)435
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)23

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 22

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility21
2. Employment191
3. Program access15
4. Housing66
5. Government benefits/services6
6. Transportation13
7. Education30
8. Assistive technology2
9. Voting0
10. Health care57
11. Insurance0
12. Non-government services42
13. Privacy rights0
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse4
16. Neglect4
17. Other10

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor426
2. Other representation found1
3. Individual withdrew complaint0
4. Appeals unsuccessful0
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.3
6. PAIR withdrew from case0
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources6
8. Individual case lacks legal merit1
9. Other2

Please explain

Issue Not Resolved in Client’s Favor

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-advocacy428
2. Short-term assistance4
3. Investigation/monitoring0
4. Negotiation0
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution5
6. Administrative hearings0
7. Litigation (including class actions)1
8. Systemic/policy activities1

Part III. Statistical Information on Individuals Served

A. Age of Individuals Served as of October 1

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. 0 - 40
2. 5 - 228
3. 23 - 59320
4. 60 - 6452
5. 65 and over55

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females252
2. Males183

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race52
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native8
3. Asian3
4. Black or African American22
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander1
6. White341
7. Two or more races8
8. Race/ethnicity unknown0

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent328
2. Parental or other family home78
3. Community residential home7
4. Foster care0
5. Nursing home5
6. Public institutional living arrangement3
7. Private institutional living arrangement3
8. Jail/prison/detention center7
9. Homeless4
10. Other living arrangements0
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 impairment24
2. Deaf/hard of hearing43
3. Deaf-blind0
4. Orthopedic impairment132
5. Mental illness22
6. Substance abuse3
7. Mental retardation3
8. Learning disability22
9. Neurological impairment61
10. Respiratory impairment13
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment10
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment88
13. Speech impairment1
14. AIDS/HIV7
15. Traumatic brain injury2
16. Other disability4

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

1. Number of policies/practices changed as a result of non-litigation systemic activities2

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes1,000,300

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.

Training on the Reasonable Accommodation Provisions of the ADA Title I:

The Center negotiated a successful settlement of an employment discrimination complaint. The Center provided representation at mediation. The client and Center requested training for the Company’s supervisory and management employees on the Americans with Disabilities Act. The employer will provide two hours of training annually in perpetuity.

State Budget Crisis:

Arizona again faced a serious budget deficit in state history. As a result, lawmakers moved to cut programs and services for individuals with disabilities. ACDL staff educated lawmakers about the impact of cuts to critical health and human services; however, some programs were impacted. For example, lawmakers froze medical benefits for eligible individuals without children in violation of an Arizona proposition (204) which was approved by Arizona voters in the year 2000 and provides that all individuals with incomes at or below 100% of the federal poverty level are eligible for AHCCCS (Medicaid). Proposition 204 further provided that neither the legislature nor the executive branch of state government could impose any caps on eligibility. As a voter-approved initiative, Proposition 204 should have been protected from amendment or repeal by the Voter Protection Act. ACDL staff educated lawmakers that the freeze of medical benefits was unlawful.

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts239,319
2. Number of individuals named in class actions10

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.

Systemic Litigation includes the following:

Ball v. Rodgers:

This federal class action lawsuit was filed in 2000 against the Arizona Medicaid program (AHCCCS) on behalf of individuals from around the state who receive home and community based services (HCBS), particularly attendant care, personal care and respite. HCBS is provided to plaintiffs under the Arizona Long Term Care Services (ALTCS) program as an alternative to institutionalization. The suit challenged the failure of AHCCCS to provide adequate attendant care workers to meet the needs of plaintiffs, as prescribed in their HCBS care plans.

Judgment was issued in favor of the plaintiffs on August 13, 2004 after a four-day trial. The judge found that the Arizona Medicaid program had failed to assure that recipients of Home and Community Based Services receive their prescribed services and ordered the program to make extensive reforms to assure that it “provide[s] each individual who qualifies for its services with those services for which the individual qualifies without gaps in service” and to fill any gaps in services within two hours. Defendants appealed this decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In FY 07, the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, finding that the “free choice” provisions of the Medicaid Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1396n(c) & (d), which provide beneficiaries with the right to choose to receive care in a nursing home or in the community, are privately enforceable by Medicaid beneficiaries under § 1983. This decision is the first appellate court decision in country, post-Gonzaga, to rule that such provisions are privately enforceable.

The case was remanded to the District Court for determination of the following issues: (1) whether Arizona has waived its defense that the Freedom of Choice provisions do not apply to the Arizona Medicaid program; (2) if Arizona has not waived this defense, whether the Freedom of Choice provisions apply to the Arizona Medicaid program; (3) appropriate findings of fact and conclusions of law with respect to the Plaintiffs’ ADA and Rehabilitation Act claims; and (4) modification of the terms of the injunction pursuant to any statutory or regulatory violations found on remand.

The parties concluded fully briefing the remanded issue in February 2008 and obtained an order extending the injunction for six months pending Court’s final ruling. In April 2009, the District Court again ruled in the Plaintiffs’ favor, finding that the Medicaid freedom of choice provisions apply to Arizona and that AHCCCS violated the freedom of choice provisions, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act by failing to provide all authorized attendant care services. The ruling also included order for attorneys’ fees and costs. After filing multiple pleadings on issue of compliance, including numerous class member declarations and extensive analysis of the gap reports and AHCCCS policies, plaintiffs obtained a ruling that injunction is permanent. The Plaintiffs also secured an expert witness to write a report on compliance issues, which was submitted to the Court. Currently, we are awaiting the Court’s order on the Plaintiff’s motion to appoint a master and modify the injunction due to Defendants’ lack of compliance with the injunction.

The state again appealed the case to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on April 24, 2010. The state filed a Preliminary Injunction Appeal per Ninth Cir. Rule 3-3, rather than a regular appeal under FRAP 3 and 4. We filed a Motion to Dismiss the Appeal on May 30, 2009 because the injunction is not preliminary; this stayed the expedited briefing schedule. On September 17, 2009, Ninth Circuit converted the appeal to a regular appeal and set briefing schedule. The defendant’s Opening brief was filed on Oct. 14; the plaintiff’s response brief was filed on Nov. 20; and defendant’s reply brief was filed on Dec. 12. On February 9, 2010, the 9th Circuit notified us that the original panel who heard the first appeal will hear this appeal as well. On December 10, 2010, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments. Following the oral argument, the parties were contacted by the 9th Circuit Mediation Department. All parties agreed to participate in mediation. On April 8, 2011, the parties exchanged initial settlement demands. As of this reporting date, the parties continue to discuss the possibility settlement.

State of Arizona & Lindstrom v. Harkins

Five years ago the State of Arizona Attorney General’s office (the State) filed a class action lawsuit against Harkins Movie Theaters (Harkins) for failing to provide assistive technologies to provide closed captioning to the deaf and hearing impaired and visual description for the blind and visually impaired. The State’s complaint alleged a violation of the Arizonans with Disabilities Act (“AzDA”). ACDL intervened and represented the three individuals (Plaintiffs-Intervenors). The Center’s complaint alleged violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the AzDA. The State sought class-wide relief to address Harkins’ alleged violations of the AzDA’s auxiliary aids and services provision, including declaratory relief and injunction(s) to require Harkins to install equipment to provide auxiliary aids and services in the auditoriums of their existing, newly-built, or acquired theaters; to implement an effective training program and evaluation of their employees regarding assisting customers with auxiliary aids and services; and to provide information about the availability of auxiliary aids and services during movies in a format that is accessible to people with sensory disabilities. The ACDL sought similar relief on behalf of the Plaintiffs-Intervenors.

After five years of litigation and a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision ruling that Harkins had to provide auxiliary aids and services to persons who are deaf, hearing impaired, blind and visually impaired unless Harkins could prove it was undue hardship to do so. In August 2011, the parties began negotiations in earnest which did not conclude before the end of the federal fiscal year. However, the substance of the agreement is that Harkins has agreed to provide closed captioning devices to its deaf and hard of hearing customers and provide video description headsets for the blind and visually impaired in almost all of its movie theaters in Arizona.

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.

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

PRIORITY NO. 1: Increase access by persons with disabilities

1. Increase access by persons with disabilities to services, programs, and facilities open to the public. 2. The need addressed by this priority is to ensure that places of public accommodation, including state and local governmental entities, not refuse services or treatment on the basis of disability; auxiliary aids and services are provided when needed for effective communication; and governmental entities and public accommodations remove physical barriers to accessibility and make reasonable modifications in policies to avoid discrimination. 3. The Center used three indicators to determine whether the outcome of its activities under this priority were successful: (1) the number of policies changed as a result of Center intervention; (2) the number of individuals with disabilities potentially affected by such changes; and (3) the number of facilities, services, and programs (public accommodations or public entities) with increased accessibility due to Center intervention.

4. Pursuing this priority did not involve collaborative efforts with other entities.

5. Center staff handled 49 cases under Priority No. 1.

6. The following (3) case summaries demonstrates the impact of this priority.

CC is a student at Arizona State University (ASU). In her spring semester 2011, CC needed reasonable accommodations for her course work due to her disability. CC had been identified as a student with a disability, but her accommodation plan and letter were ineffective to address her needs during the spring semester. Furthermore, one of CC’s professors would not honor her accommodation plan and failed to provide accommodations. CC was unable to achieve a satisfactory grade because of this failure. CC contacted our office for assistance. The Center was able to resolve CC’s complaint. CC received the necessary assistance from the Disability Resource Center. Specifically, she received a more effective accommodation plan and a letter regarding her disability that she now provides to her professors at the beginning of each semester.

The Center assisted HT who was seeking a remedy against a hospital who provided an ineffective mode of communication (video remote interpreter, VRI) during his hospital stay. The hospital’s VRI system was ineffective because the screen was too small, located too far away, and the video connection failed a number of times. The Center discussed the legal issues with caller and researched information on the ADA Title III’s auxiliary aids and services requirement. The Center contacted the hospital and informed them of HT’s experience and requested a monetary settlement. The hospital agreed and provided HT with his requested dollar amount.

CK is a recent law school graduate. CK is a person with a learning disability for which she received testing accommodations during law school. CK received double time on her exams. CK applied for accommodations (double time) for the July 2011 AZ bar exam. The AZ bar responded to CK’s request by granting CK with 25% extra time. CK rejected this accommodation because of her doctor’s recommendation that she needed double time. The Center offered to provide legal research on how CK could appeal the AZ bar’s decision. The Center advised CK that she needed to file a petition with the AZ Supreme Court to review the AZ bar’s decision. The Center reviewed and edited CK’s petition. The AZ Supreme Court reviewed the petition and granted CK an additional 25% of time for a total of 50% additional time. Although this was not the amount of time CK was requesting, she decided to take the July bar exam with the additional 50% of time. CK did not pass the bar exam, and the Center has advised her to obtain and submit additional medical documentation to further support her need for double time.

PRIORITY NO. 2: Ensure access to comprehensive and medically necessary healthcare services for individuals who are beneficiaries of Medicaid and/or Medicare.

1. Ensure access to comprehensive and appropriate healthcare services for individuals with disabilities who are beneficiaries of Medicaid and/or Medicare. 2. The need addressed by this priority is to ensure that individuals with disabilities who are beneficiaries of Medicaid and/or Medicare have access to appropriate healthcare services that is often the key to living independently at home and in their communities. When seeking healthcare services, individuals with disabilities are often denied critical healthcare services that affect their ability to be as healthy and independent as possible. 3. Center staff used five indicators to judge the successful outcome of their activities in this priority area: (1) the number and significance of changes in policies and procedures that improve access to services; (2) the estimated number of individuals who may be positively affected by changes in policies and procedures; (3) the number of services obtained; (4) the number of individuals represented and advised; and (5) the number of outreach activities. 4. Collaborative effort — The Center coordinated and attended meetings of the Southern Arizona Health Care Advocates, which provides a local group of health care attorneys a forum to discuss ongoing and systemic issues. The meetings were attended by staff of the Center, Southern Arizona Legal Aid, Tucson Family Advocacy Program, and the Center for Medicare Advocacy.

5. Center staff handled 57 cases under Priority No. 2 6. The following (2) case summaries demonstrates the impact of this priority.

Fogliano v. Arizona The Center, along with the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest and the William E. Morris Institute for Justice (collectively, “Plaintiffs”), filed a special action petition in the Arizona Supreme Court. The petition challenged the Arizona State Legislature and Governor Jan Brewer’s unlawful repeal of Arizona Medicaid program (AHCCCS) coverage for hundreds of thousands of individuals. The suit sought to maintain coverage and enrollment for individuals up to 100% of the Federal Poverty Level, as required by Proposition 204, an Arizona voter approved proposition passed in 2000.

The Plaintiffs subsequently filed a motion for expedited relief and a request for oral argument. The motion for expedited consideration was granted, but our requests for oral argument and injunctive relief were denied on June 24, 2011.

Plaintiffs then filed a motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in the Superior Court of Maricopa County. Plaintiff’s motion for temporary restraining order was considered on June 30, 2011, by Judge Mark H. Brain. Judge Brain denied the motion at that hearing, but scheduled another hearing to consider our motion for a preliminary injunction on August 3, 2011. Plaintiffs amended the complaint to include additional plaintiffs harmed by the freeze on enrollment that had gone into effect on July 8, 2011. On August 3, 2011, Judge Brain considered our motion for preliminary and permanent injunction. On August 10, 2011, Judge Brain issued an order denying the motions. Judge Brain’s ruling stated that the Legislature does not have an enforceable duty to fund Proposition 204.

On August, 18, 2011, Plaintiffs appealed to the Arizona Court of Appeals in a special action petition. The appeal was considered by the Court of Appeals on September 14, 2011 and oral argument was held on October 19, 2011. Plaintiffs are now waiting for the Court of Appeals to rule.

The Center provided short-term assistance to GW. GW’s guardian, JB, called on her behalf. GW has Alzheimer’s and had a fair hearing regarding her AHCCCS housing placement. JB wanted a gradual transition from their home to a particular placement, as was deemed necessary given GW’s deteriorating condition. AHCCCS was trying to make an agreement before the hearing for a proper placement, but wanted to move GW immediately, rather than gradually. The Center advised JB on how best to present their case at the hearing, including getting proper documentation from the doctor demonstrating GW’s medical and personal need for a gradual transition. The Center also recommended JB prepare a written transition plan. After some back and forth, AHCCCS orally accepted JB’s recommendation for placement and timing. JB faxed the Center the written agreement he had typed up, which the Center reviewed. The Center advised JB to bring what JB had typed to the hearing and request the resolution be accepted. JB informed the Center after the hearing that the hearing officer had the written agreement read into the record and agreed to by both sides.

PRIORITY NO. 3: Promote equal employment opportunities

1. Reduce the discriminatory barriers which prevent qualified people with disabilities from maintaining employment, obtaining reasonable accommodations and working in a workplace free of unlawful harassment, retaliation and intimidation. 2. The need addressed by this priority is to advocate for: (1) non-discriminatory hiring procedures; (2) the provision of reasonable accommodations to employees and job applicants; (3) non-discriminatory policies and procedures; and (4) the prevention and redress of unlawful harassment, retaliation, intimidation and termination. 3. The Center used six indicators to determine whether the outcome of its activities under this priority were successful: (1) the number of people with disabilities who obtain reasonable accommodations following Center intervention; (2) the number and size of employers that adopt or revise an employment policy or practice related to the reasonable accommodation process following Center intervention; (3) the number of people with disabilities who successfully reapplied for a position after having been denied the opportunity to apply or having experienced an unequal application process following Center intervention; (4) the number and size of the employers that change their hiring procedures to increase access to people with disabilities or change a policy or practice to safeguard against unlawful disability-related inquiries or medical examinations following Center intervention; (5) the number of people who successfully challenge a termination or withdrawal of a job offer following Center intervention; and (6) the number of employers required to provide training to their staff regarding disability awareness or ADA rights of employees and applicants with disabilities following Center intervention. 4. Pursuing this priority did not involve collaborative efforts with other entities. 5. Center staff handled 197 cases under Priority No. 3 6. The following (2) case summaries demonstrates the impact of this priority.

The Center represented CU. CU’s employment contract was not renewed because she spoke out at a Center special education training. CU asked how she could determine whether Native American students with disabilities were disproportionately enrolled in an alternative school. CU was retaliated against for advocating for persons with disabilities. The Center wrote a letter to CU’s employer outlining the applicable laws and CU’s request to remain employed. The Center was unable to get CU’s employment contract renewed. The Center advised CU to file a complaint of discrimination against her employer. CU followed the Center’s legal advice and filed a complaint of discrimination.

The Center represented CW. CW was employed by an auto dealership. CW worked for this company for almost four years until she was unlawfully terminated on April 8, 2011. CW disclosed her disability to her supervisor and dealership manager. Following her disclosure and request for accommodations, CW was terminated. Following her termination, CW filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on April 12, 2011. The EEOC contacted CW and the company to ask if the parties were interested in mediation. Both parties agreed to participate in mediation. In June 2011, the Center agreed to represent CW during mediation. The Center exchanged offers of settlement with the company. In July 2011, the parties were able to reach an agreement. The company agreed to provide CW with a monetary settlement ($15,000), injunctive relief (training and a neutral reference), and attorney fees ($1000).

PRIORITY NO. 4: Promote equal housing under the Fair Housing Act

1. Promote equal opportunity to housing under the fair housing act for people with disabilities. Bring about this awareness through trainings, dissemination of rights information and technical assistance. 2. This priority addresses the discriminatory practices that decrease the amount of available housing for people with disabilities and ensure that these individuals and their housing providers are aware of the FHA. 3. The Center used two indicators to determine whether the outcome of its activities under this priority was successful: 1) The number of individuals provided information and referrals about disability rights protected by the FHA and how to enforce them and (2) number of consumers provided informal advocacy by the Center. 4. Pursuing this priority did not involve collaborative efforts with other entities. 5. Center staff handled 66 cases under this Priority. 6. The following (2) case summaries demonstrates the impact of this priority.

The Center represented TK. TK is a person with a disability who has a service animal. TK’s housing provider learned of TK’s service animal and unlawfully demanded that TK remove her service animal and provide medical documentation beyond the legal requirements. The housing provider’s reasoning was that TK’s disability documentation was insufficient to prove that she needed a service animal. TK filed a complaint of discrimination with the Arizona Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division (ACRD). In June 2011, the Center agreed to represent TK and attempt to settle her complaint of discrimination. The Center wrote a letter to TK’s housing provider outlining the applicable laws and requesting a remedy. The Center was unable to resolve TK’s complaint of discrimination.

The Center represented LP. LP is a person with a disability who had a service animal. LP’s apartment management learned of LP’s service animal and unlawfully demanded that LP remove her service animal. The apartment management’s reasoning was that LP’s disability documentation did not meet their policy’s standard. LP was forced to place her service animal in a kennel. LP decided to seek alternate housing because of the apartment management’s discriminatory conduct. When LP removed her service animal from the kennel her service animal’s temperament had changed dramatically forcing LP to give her service animal up for adoption. LP filed a complaint of discrimination with the Arizona Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division (ACRD). The ACRD contacted LP and apartment management to ask if the parties were interested in mediation. Both parties agreed to participate in mediation. In May 2011, the Center agreed to represent LP during mediation. The Center was able to resolve LP’s complaint of discrimination. The terms of the settlement agreement included a service animal policy change and LP will receive monetary compensation in the amount of $30,000.

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.

B. Priorities and Objectives for the Current Fiscal Year

The following objectives and priorities will be followed by the Center in conducting our PAIR activities during the fiscal year 2012.

PRIORITY NO. 1: Increase access by persons with disabilities to services, programs and facilities open to the public. Participate in Arizona Emergency Planning and Preparedness activities that relate to issues involving persons with disabilities.

1. Ensure that places of public accommodation, including state and local governmental entities, do not refuse services or treatment on the basis of disability, that auxiliary aids and services are provided when needed for effective communication, and governmental entities and public accommodations remove physical barriers to accessibility and make reasonable modifications in policies to avoid discrimination. The focus for FY2012 will be on Southern Arizona. 2. The need addressed by this priority is to ensure that places of public accommodation, including state and local governmental entities, do not refuse access to programs or services on the basis of disability, that auxiliary aids and services are provided when needed, and governmental entities and public accommodations remove physical barriers to accessibility and make reasonable modifications in their policies to avoid discrimination. Furthermore, this priority will ensure that individuals with disabilities will have the necessary information and are involved with Arizona’s Emergency Planning and Preparedness activities. 3. The Center plans to engage in the following activities to accomplish this goal:

a. File two (2) administrative complaints with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office of Civil Rights and/or the U.S. Department of Justice to challenge discrimination by places of public accommodations including state and local governmental entities, which refuse to modify its policies/procedures or refuse to provide auxiliary aids or services.

b. Provide representation at mediation or conciliation with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for cases which present systemic issues and where the legal issues promise to be far-reaching and have high-impact.

c. Monitor and provide rights information on transportation issues for individuals with disabilities when applicable federal regulations apply.

d. Develop and provide training on the Revised ADA Regulations implementing Title II and Title III of the ADA.

PRIORITY NO. 2: Ensure access to comprehensive and medically necessary healthcare

1. Ensure comprehensive and medically necessary health care services for individuals with disabilities who are beneficiaries of Medicaid and/or Medicare. 2. The need addressed by this priority is to ensure that individuals with disabilities who are beneficiaries of Medicaid and/or Medicare have access to appropriate healthcare services which is often the key to living independently at home and in their communities. When seeking healthcare services, individuals with disabilities are often denied critical healthcare services that allow them to be as healthy and independent as possible. 3. The Center plans to engage in the following activities to accomplish this goal:

a. Litigation that promotes systemic change aimed at increasing access to medically necessary services and/or challenging restrictions to AHCCCS/ALTCS.

b. Conduct four outreach events and four trainings of individuals with disabilities and advocates in the various steps involved in accessing publicly funded health care services, including how to initiate requests for medically necessary services and how to challenge denials of requested services. Two of the trainings and two of the outreach events must occur in Southern Arizona per ACDL’s strategic plan.

c. Develop direct representation in four administrative appeals and/or judicial review actions in state court of AHCCCS denials, terminations, or reductions in services.

d. Provide timely and accurate rights information to individuals and their guardians on AHCCCS/ALTCS/DDD.

PRIORITY NO. 3: Promote equal employment opportunities.

1. People with disabilities continue to face barriers to employment, including but not limited to, physical obstacles in the workplace, communication barriers, discriminatory policies and procedures and attitudinal barriers based on stereotypes, misconceptions and fears. This objective addresses the discrimination caused by these barriers by providing advocacy and legal services in order to promote: (1) the provision of reasonable accommodations to employees and job applicants, and (2) the prevention and redress of unlawful harassment, retaliation, intimidation and termination. 2. This priority addresses employment discrimination by providing advocacy and legal services in order to promote: (1) non-discriminatory hiring procedures; (2) the provision of reasonable accommodations to employees and job applicants; (3) non-discriminatory policies and procedures; and (4) the prevention and redress of unlawful harassment, retaliation, intimidation and termination. 3. The Center plans to engage in the following activities to accomplish this goal:

a. Provide representation at mediation or conciliation with the EEOC or Arizona Attorney General’s Office for cases that deal with the prevention and redress of unlawful harassment, retaliation, intimidation and/or termination.

b. Litigation which presents systemic issues and where litigation promises to be far-reaching and have high impact.

c. Provide four outreach and four training activities to persons with disabilities about employment rights protected under federal and state law. Two of the trainings and two of the outreach events must occur in Southern Arizona per ACDL’s strategic plan.

d. Provide timely and accurate rights information.

PRIORITY NO. 4: Promote equal housing opportunities for people with disabilities under the Fair Housing Act.

1. People with disabilities continue to face barriers to equal opportunity in housing. Housing providers discriminate against people with disabilities by failing to provide reasonable accommodations and physically accessible housing and by failing to reasonably modify discriminatory policies and practices. Housing providers also discriminate by including discriminatory terms and conditions in housing agreements. 2. This priority addresses the discriminatory housing practices which: (1) affect the amount of available and accessible housing for people with disabilities, and (2) ensure that these individuals and their housing providers are aware and trained on the provisions of the Fair Housing Act as it applies to people with disabilities. 3. The Center plans to engage in the following activities to accomplish this goal:

a. Provide at least two outreach activities about rights protected by the FHA and how to enforce them.

b. Provide timely and accurate rights information to individuals about their rights under the FHA.

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

A. Sources of funds received and expended

Federal Funds Received: $315,476 Funds Spent: $315,476 Interest Income Funds Received: $106 Funds Spent: $0 Program Income Funds Received: $36,330 Funds Spent: $53,199 (Attorney Fees) B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by this report Income Federal Grant Income: $315,476 Interest Income: $0 Attorney Fees: $53,199 Other: $0 Total Income: $368,675

Expenses

Salaries $226,765 Health & Dental Insurance $48,983 Rent/Parking $24,606 Employer FICA $16,533 Office Supplies $4,236 Telephone $4,144 Reference Materials $4,109 Office Furniture and Fixtures $3,862 Pension $3,542 Consulting/Interpreting Fees $2,941 Travel — Out-of-State $2,625 Computer Consulting $2,320 Accounting Fees $2,281 Travel — In-State $2,019 Insurance — Professional Liability $1,753 Equipment Rental $1,732 Board/Staff and Other Meetings $1,704 Postage $1,638 Prof. Development & Seminars $1,625 Long-Term Disability Insurance $1,591 Professional Dues $1,509 Equipment Repair $1,480 Payroll Processing $1,290 Litigation Expenses $1,095 NDRN Database $837 Staff Accommodations $730 Trainings — Facilities & Supplies $717 Copying/Printing $525 State Unemployment $504 Worker Compensation Ins. $404 Insurance — General Liability $292 LRAP $215 Advertising $68 Total $368,675

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

Description of Pair Staff Person Years Total Hours Percentage

Attorneys Kader .408 849.53 40.84% Myers .067 140.19 6.74% Nye .037 77.87 3.74% Radecic .064 133.27 6.41% Rico .680 1415.28 68.04% Sheperd .005 10.73 .52% Total Attorneys 1.263 2627 1.26% Advocates Fischer .003 5.80 .28% Fowler .001 1.22 .06% Goldsand .223 463.55 22.29% Gutierrez .005 9.95 .48% Haas .268 557.98 26.83% Leon .083 172.07 8.27% Powers .270 562.13 27.03% Roberts .258 536.75 25.81% Total Advocates 1.110 2309.45 1.11% Clerical Davis .002 4.53 .22% Dedrick .001 2.95 .14% Freyer .023 47.15 2.27% Goyette .213 442.23 21.26% Lauritzen .155 322.37 15.50% Starling .124 257.04 12.36% Stocking .002 4.32 .21% Timmins .068 140.51 6.76% Van Horne .119 248.18 11.93% Total Clerical .706 1469.28 .71% Total Hours for PAIR Staff 3.080 6405.60 3.08%

Description of PAIR Staff

Attorneys Arizona Center for Disability Law’s (ACDL) attorneys provided direct representation, technical assistance, and short-term assistance to PAIR clients during fiscal year 2011. Two of the attorneys, Peri Jude Radecic and Edward L. Myers III, are key directors of the organization, and they provided project supervision for the PAIR program as well as supervision of the PAIR staff. Ms. Radecic is ACDL’s Executive Director, and Mr. Myers is ACDL’s Deputy Executive Director and supervises Managing Attorney J.J.Rico who is the PAIR program coordinator and shares responsibility for supervising attorneys for systemic litigation.

Advocates All advocates participated in ACDL’s intake process, and all advocates encountered PAIR clients during FY 2011. In addition, several advocates were assigned PAIR clients for representation and technical assistance. Additionally, ACDL’s Information and Referral Supervisor, Kathy Roberts, supervises the Short-term Assistance Team (STAT) advocates.

Support Staff The support staff allocates their time to the PAIR program during FY2011 in proportion to their work in the program. Support staff provided clerical support to the PAIR advocates and attorneys.

Other The financial staff, the Information Systems and Grants Manager, and the Office Managers provided support to the PAIR program. The financial staff was charged with budget preparation, day-to-day accounting duties, and financial reporting requirements for the PAIR program. The Information Systems and Grants Manager provided website and DAD data entry support. ACDL’s Phoenix and Tucson Office Managers supported the PAIR program by supplying the necessary resources and equipment to perform the routine functions related to the PAIR program as well as supervising the support staff.

D. Involvement with advisory boards (if any) The PAIR program is not involved with any advisory boards.

E. Grievances Files Under the Grievance Procedure: 3

Caller: K.D. Primary Disability: Physical/Orthopedic Impairments Issue: Wanted legal representation for a denial of services from the Arizona Healthcare Cost Containment Services (AHCCCS) for a toxic poisoning issue. Request was declined since case was in fair hearing stage, and Center did not have the resources to handle the case. Client filed a grievance with the Center because of a letter sent to her declining representation in this healthcare matter. Grievance Filed with Litigation Director: Letter was sent to client explaining that since the Center has only one attorney to handle healthcare cases, we were unable to represent her in her case against AHCCCS. Client was referred to legal services in Phoenix. Since the client did not file an appeal of our decision by September 29, 2010, the case was closed.

Caller: E.F. Primary Disability: Neurological Disorder Issue: Client wanted representation in her EEOC / Department of Justice case for employer discrimination in her termination. Client filed a grievance with the Center when her case was declined because of lack of resources. Grievance Filed with Litigation Director: Letter was sent to client on October 7, 2010 explaining that due to lack of resources the Center was unable to provide direct representation in her employment discrimination matter. Decision upheld not to represent client due to lack of resources.

Caller: J.M. Primary Disability: Physical/Orthopedic Impairment Issue: Client is incarcerated in a prison in Tucson. He wanted our assistance in filing a grievance with the Arizona Department of Corrections for not providing adequate healthcare. Since the Center does not have the resources to handle this type of case, the client was sent a list of attorneys in Tucson who might be able to assist him. The client filed a grievance with the Center because of a letter sent to him on October 5, 2010 denying representation due to lack of resources. Grievance Filed with Litigation Director: Decision upheld not to represent client in employment discrimination lawsuit due to lack of resources.

F. Coordination with the Client Assistance Program and the State long-term care program, if these programs are not part of the P&A agency. CAP is part of our P&A agency.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByPeri Jude Radecic
TitleExecutive Director
Signed Date11/21/2011