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

Illinois (EQUIP FOR EQUALITY, INC.) - H240A110014 - FY2011

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameEquip for Equality Inc.
Address20 North Michigan Avenue
Address Line 2Suite 300
CityChicago
StateIllinois
Zip Code60602
E-mail Addresscontactus@equipforequality.org
Website Addresshttp://equipforequality.org
Phone312-341-0022
TTY 800-610-2779
Toll-free Phone800-537-2632
Toll-free TTY800-610-2779
Fax312-341-0295
Name of P&A Executive DirectorZena Naiditch
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorBarry Taylor
Person to contact regarding reportDeborah Kennedy
Contact Person phone312-341-0022
Ext.7304

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 areas0
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas690
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)690

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff169
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)4,172

EFE’s Training Institute on Disability Rights provided self-advocacy training to 2,296 people with disabilities and their families. Training seminar topics included the Americans with Disabilities Act, Employment Rights, Special Education, Guardianship and Advance Directives, Self-Advocacy, Legislative Advocacy, Transportation Rights, Voting Rights and Transitioning from High School to the Adult World. 73% of all of the participants were people of color. A total of 85 training seminars were provided, each tailored to meet the unique needs of the participants attending. Participant interaction is encouraged with hands-on activities designed to help people with disabilities generalize what they’ve learned about their rights to their everyday lives. These interactive sessions include practice and strategies to help participants become more confident in using their advocacy skills to meet their goals and dreams. In addition, EFE provided 84 training seminars to 1,876 people representing employers, businesses, service providers and other interested in the legal rights of people with disabilities.

Webcasts In FFY 2011, Equip for Equality continued to partner with the Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) on producing webcasts of EFE’s self-advocacy trainings. ILAO broadcasted 48 of EFE’s self-advocacy trainings and people could watch the trainings live or later via an archive on Illinois Legal Aid Online’s website located at www.illinoislegalaid.org. ILAO reports that there were 116,170 “hits” on its website for the EFE webcast trainings. This partnership will continue in FFY 2012 and will greatly expand the reach of EFE’s self-advocacy trainings.

In addition to these formal trainings, EFE staff attended numerous fairs, conferences and exhibitions for people with disabilities in which information about the organization was distributed and individual questions about the legal rights of people with disabilities were addressed. In total, EFE engaged in 47 outreaches reaching approximately 7,997 people.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff38
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles128
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website45,276
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated105
6. Other (specify separately)4

Narrative

In FFY 2010 EFE issued 4 press releases.

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)161
2. Additional individuals served during the year484
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)645
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)35

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 144

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility22
2. Employment112
3. Program access30
4. Housing29
5. Government benefits/services47
6. Transportation12
7. Education222
8. Assistive technology3
9. Voting0
10. Health care41
11. Insurance1
12. Non-government services25
13. Privacy rights0
14. Access to records4
15. Abuse25
16. Neglect24
17. Other17

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor256
2. Other representation found6
3. Individual withdrew complaint20
4. Appeals unsuccessful0
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.2
6. PAIR withdrew from case53
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources151
8. Individual case lacks legal merit25
9. Other18

Please explain

3=Prohibited; 15=Client’s Request Provided, but issue NOT resolved in client’s favor; 18=Total

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-advocacy291
2. Short-term assistance141
3. Investigation/monitoring41
4. Negotiation55
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution0
6. Administrative hearings5
7. Litigation (including class actions)1
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 - 48
2. 5 - 22245
3. 23 - 59290
4. 60 - 6453
5. 65 and over49

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females298
2. Males347

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race91
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native9
3. Asian7
4. Black or African American187
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White347
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown26

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent287
2. Parental or other family home268
3. Community residential home3
4. Foster care2
5. Nursing home36
6. Public institutional living arrangement3
7. Private institutional living arrangement8
8. Jail/prison/detention center33
9. Homeless2
10. Other living arrangements2
11. Living arrangements not known1

E. Primary Disability of Individuals Served

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

1. Blind/visual impairment29
2. Deaf/hard of hearing75
3. Deaf-blind3
4. Orthopedic impairment140
5. Mental illness7
6. Substance abuse0
7. Mental retardation3
8. Learning disability176
9. Neurological impairment82
10. Respiratory impairment11
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment33
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment17
13. Speech impairment9
14. AIDS/HIV5
15. Traumatic brain injury3
16. Other disability52

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 changes169,000

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.

Discriminatory Employment Questionnaire Changed EFE learned from a woman with HIV/AIDS that a company was requiring its employees to complete a very detailed medical history questionnaire. EFE, in collaboration with the Disability Rights Bureau at the Illinois Attorney General’s office, successfully resolved the issue for the woman with HIV/AIDS and also got the company to commit to discontinuing the questionnaire so future employees will not be subjected to the same intrusive questioning about health and disability issues.

Disability Rights Consortium Since 1997, EFE has chaired and hosted the Disability Rights Consortium, a group of disability advocacy groups that meets on a monthly basis to share information and work on issues of common concern. In FFY 2011, EFE coordinated speakers on a number of critical topics including: Supreme Court Interpretations of the ADA, Housing Discrimination, Addressing Medical Issues for Students with Disabilities, Update on Special Education Class Action Focusing on Least Restrictive Environment, Criminal Justice System and People with Disabilities, Confidentiality in the Workplace, and Response to Intervention in Education. Additionally, the Commissioner for the City of Chicago Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, the Chief of the Disability Rights Bureau for the Illinois Attorney General, the Chicago Transit Authority’s ADA Compliance Officer and the Chief Regional Counsel for the Office of Civil Rights for Health and Human Services also made presentations at Consortium meetings in FFY 2011.

Chicago Police Department Employees with Disabilities Initiative In previous years, EFE litigated several ADA employment discrimination cases on behalf of police officers that use assistive devices. The Chicago Police Department has a policy that all sworn police officers must be able to independently ambulate and cannot use external assistive devices. Although EFE was able to achieve favorable resolutions to the cases for individual clients, the policy still exists. Since there is no pending litigation, EFE approached the Commissioner for the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities requesting that we work collaboratively to change this discriminatory policy. Subsequently, EFE prepared a detailed written analysis of this issue for the Mayor’s Chief of Staff and had several strategy sessions with the MOPD Commissioner. A new Police Commissioner was appointed in FFY 2011 and at the end of FFY 2011, the MOPD Commissioner was working to meet with him to discuss this issue. If these internal policy efforts are not successful, EFE will entertain litigating this issue again if we are contacted by another police officer adversely impacted by the policy.

Policy with Disparate Impact on People with Epilepsy Changed EFE assisted a student with epilepsy who was being denied wearing her epilepsy alert bracelet during volleyball games because of a “no jewelry” policy. The student’s parent was unsuccessful in getting the school district staff to address the situation. EFE wrote the school superintendent a letter demanding that the school modify its policy as a reasonable modification under the ADA. A meeting was held and the school district agreed to modify its policy, and as a result, not only will our client be able to play volleyball with her epilepsy alert bracelet, but other students with disabilities will not face this same barrier in the future.

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts461,875
2. Number of individuals named in class actions15

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.

1. Colbert v. Maram In FFY 2007, EFE and its co-counsel filed a class action lawsuit against state officials for failing to provide community services for people living in nursing homes in Cook County Illinois, who are people with physical disabilities and/or people with mental illness. Suit was brought under the ADA and pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision, which stated that unjustified institutionalization is discrimination under the ADA. It is estimated that 21,000 people live in nursing homes in Cook County. Up to 60% of non-elderly nursing home residents, all of whom are people with disabilities, in Cook County, and nearly one-third of elderly residents, have expressed a preference to receive long-term care services in their own homes, apartments, and communities instead of a nursing facility. In FFY 2008, the case was certified as a class action and in FFY 2009, the parties engaged in extensive discovery. In FFY 2011, the parties reached an agreement and a proposed Consent Decree received preliminary approval at the end of the fiscal year. A Fairness Hearing is scheduled for FFY 2012, and we are hopeful that the Consent Decree will then be given final approval and put in place a process for thousands of people with disabilities in nursing homes to move into the community. (Note: Due to limited PAIR funding, this matter is now being funded by PAIMI.)

2. Holmes v. Godinez Over the years, EFE has received numerous complaints from deaf inmates living in prisons administered by the Illinois Department of Corrections. Complaints include insufficient access to ASL interpreters and TTYs. Efforts to address these issues through individual advocacy have not resolved the broader problem. Accordingly, EFE, in conjunction with another public interest organization and a pro bono law firm, a class action suit was filed in FFY 2011 seeking a systemic solution to these issues. At the end of the fiscal year, the parties had begun settlement negotiations.

3. Melissa Jay Craig v. Columbia College Chicago EFE represents a woman who is hard of hearing who alleges that her employer Columbia College discriminated against her on the basis of her disability by failing to provide reasonable accommodations, denying her a promotion to an open tenure-track position, and terminating her employment due to her disability and need for accommodations. In FFY 2010, EFE filed suit in federal court and engaged in extensive discovery. Discovery closed in FFY 2011 and the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment that has been fully briefed. It is anticipated that the judge will rule on the motion in FFY 2012, and if it is denied, then the parties will proceed to trial.

4. Andrew Kelly v. Illinois State Police EFE represented a man who was denied entry into the Illinois State Police (ISP) Academy because he failed a post-offer medical test, specifically the hearing test. He would have passed the test aided, but ISP would not allow him to do so. There was some evidence (which became stronger during discovery) that the policy allowed for aided testing, but ISP was adamant that it did not. EFE filed suit under the ADA in federal court, and shortly thereafter, EFE advised DOJ of this matter and its potential systemic implications, and DOJ opened up its own case with ISP. In FFY 2011, a settlement was reached with ISP. Under the terms of the settlement, Mr. Kelly will be granted admittance to the next academy class (subject to a background and medical test, which will include an aided hearing test), seniority dating back to 9/2010 (which is significant for pension purposes, as the state pension system was significantly revamped/reduced effective 1/2011), and was awarded back pay, emotional distress damages and attorneys’ fees. DOJ is in settlement negotiations with ISP on the broader systemic issues. (Note: Due to limited PAIR funding, this matter is now being funded by PAAT.)

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 Priority 1 1. Identify and describe the priority. Personal safety, basic health and fundamental liberty 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. People with disabilities have a right to be safe and be treated with respect. Unfortunately, children and adults with disabilities often are at risk for abuse or neglect as well as having basic rights denied them. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. EFE will respond to allegations of abuse and neglect and rights violations to ensure that people with disabilities are safe, receive quality care and their rights respected. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE will often collaborate with others who are charged with investigating abuse and neglect, such as the Office of Inspector General. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 76 investigations were handled under this priority; none were class actions 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. The daughter of person eligible for services under the PAIR program contacted EFE because she was concerned about the care that her father received at a nursing home before he died. The caller she wanted to report what she thought was a poor standard of care. EFE assisted the caller with making a complaint to the State Medicaid Survey Agency requesting an investigation into the circumstances of the death and the quality of the care provided prior to the person’s death. An investigation by the State Medicaid Survey Agency did not result in any deficiencies being cited against the nursing home. EFE’s review of the State Agency investigation and the circumstances of the death did not reveal any information suggesting that further action was warranted. The caller was provided with information regarding resources through which the services of a private attorney could be retained.

A person eligible for services under the PAIR program contacted EFE and requested that we negotiate with her housing provider which maintains an apartment building for people with disabilities living in the community because the provider had prohibited some of her friends from coming on the property because of their conduct towards staff at the apartment building. The friends were not allowed to drive their car onto the property to drop the person with a disability off at the front door. Due to her physical disability, she is unable to walk the length of the parking lot to the door. EFE successfully negotiated with the housing provider to protect the individual’s rights to safe access to her building.

A person eligible for services under the PAIR program contacted EFE and advised that the staff of the facility where she resided were not arranging or paying for transport in an ambulance to an offsite doctor’s appointment. EFE advised the person of her rights and of the facility’s responsibility for arranging the appropriate transportation to offsite doctor’s appointments and their obligation to coordinate with the State Medicaid/Medicare agency for payment of transportation costs. The person was able to use the advice provided by EFE to successfully self-advocate for her rights and the facility arranged and paid for transportation services so that the person was able to receive appropriate medical services.

PAIR Priority 2 1. Identify and describe the priority. Challenges to P&A Access Authority 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. For Protection and Advocacy organizations to be effective and to adequately fulfill its charge from Congress, the organizations need to be given physical access to facilities that serve people with disabilities, access to the individuals served and the staff and also be given access to requisite documents. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. EFE must respond quickly and decisively whenever its access is compromised, including filing litigation if the dispute cannot be resolved otherwise. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE is part of a nationwide network of Protection and Advocacy agencies and frequently information and strategies are shared among the network on P&A access issues. TASC/NAPAS also collaborates with the P&A network on P&A access issues. Additionally, at times professional associations or governmental agencies may be asked if they want to intervene prior to access litigation being filed. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. There was one case handled under this priority. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. A caller requested assistance negotiating with the nursing home where her father, a person eligible for services under the PAIR program, resided to replace objects that were thrown out by the nursing home as a result of a bed bug infestation. EFE went to the nursing home to meet with the individual whose items had been discarded. EFE staff were not allowed access to the areas of the building were. The facility also refused initially to allow EFE staff to review the individual’s records even though EFE had a signed authorization from the individual. After negotiating with the nursing home and providing information related to Protection and Advocacy state and federal authority, EFE was granted full access to the facility and to the individual’s records.

PAIR Priority 3 1. Identify and describe the priority. Monitoring of State/Federal Investigatory Systems and Implementation of Recommendations to Enhance the Safety of Children and Adults with Disabilities. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority People with disabilities have a right to be safe and be treated with respect. Unfortunately, children and adults with disabilities often are at risk for abuse or neglect as well as having basic rights denied them. Current state and federal investigatory systems do not provide coverage for all settings and populations. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. AIU has presented its report entitled "Ensuring the Safety of Children and Adults with Disabilities: Filling the Gaps in Illinois; System that Investigates Allegations of Abuse and Neglect" to the affected state agencies and has called upon them to work with EFE in pursuing the strategies outlined in the report. The report has been widely distributed and is available on EFE’s website. AIU has also engaged in efforts to educate policy makers on the problems uncovered through its activities so that appropriate regulatory changes can be considered. A legislative resolution directed the creation of a task force to develop strategies to address the problems identified by the report. EFE served on that task force and participated in the development of a report to the legislature to address the gaps identified by EFE. A task force report with recommendations addressing gaps and problems identified by AIU was submitted to the Illinois legislature in January 2011. AIU continues to work with affected agencies and individuals and pursue opportunities to facilitate implementation of the recommendations. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE will often collaborate with others who are charged with investigating abuse and neglect, such as the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Department of Human Services Office of Inspector General. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. Not applicable. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Not applicable.

PAIR Priority 4 1. Identify and describe the priority. Monitor implementation of Illinois’ Medicaid Managed Care Plan 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Illinois is currently implementing a Medicaid Managed Care Pilot program in the northern part of the state. Significant concerns have been raised by the disability community regarding the impact that this plan will have on the quality and availability of needed services. Illinois’ plan now includes acute care, and will eventually include residential services. Significant concerns related to choice of providers as well as access to providers and hospitals have been raised. Potential for adverse consequence for people with disabilities arising from the implementation must be addressed. 3. Description of the activities. EFE, in collaboration with other organizations and people with disabilities, has worked with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the single state Medicaid agency, to raise concerns associated with the implementation of the Medicaid Managed Care Plan, including the adverse consequences associated with lack of sufficiency of the current provider network offered by the Managed Care Plans. EFE communicates these concerns at periodic stakeholder meetings held by the state, as well as directly to the Managed Care Plans as part of various advocacy meetings which the Managed Care Plans attends. In addition, EFE serves as part of the Evaluation Advisory Committee and communicates these concerns at that time as well. EFE is working with various groups of advocates including Centers for Independent Living to collect stories from individuals with disabilities who have encountered difficulty and to communicate those to the state. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE is part of a coalition of disability advocates formed to address significant issues facing people with disabilities in Illinois, including issues related to the Medicaid managed care pilot program. The Community for All Coalition has participated in stakeholder meetings with the managed care organizations and has met separately with the Director of the State Medicaid agency to report concerns and develop solutions. These efforts will continue, especially as the state moves its efforts statewide. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. Not applicable. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Not applicable.

PAIR Priority 5 1. Identify and describe the priority. Right to receive services in the most integrated, least restrictive setting 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. When the ADA was passed, Congress found that people with disabilities have been historically isolated and segregated from the general population, and that this segregation was inherently discriminatory and a social ill that needed to be addressed by the ADA. However, because Illinois still provides a majority of its disability funding to institutional settings, significant barriers still exist with respect to community living for people with disabilities. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Securing placements in the most integrated setting with the necessary support services. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE collaborated on community integration cases with the different Centers for Independent Living participating in the Community Reintegration Project funded by the Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Services 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 10; one was a class action. (See priority 6 below) 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. EFE assisted a nursing home resident with neurological and orthopedic disabilities. The state is serving as her guardian and refused to assist the client with identifying a more integrated setting. Although the client did not have sufficient support to warrant EFE filing a petition to restore her rights, EFE did believe that the guardian was not fulfilling its responsibility to effectuate the client’s wishes to live somewhere other than a nursing home. EFE worked with the client to identify an alternative placement and then advocated with her guardian to follow the client’s wishes. This advocacy resulted in the client being moved into a less restrictive setting.

PAIR Priority 6 1. Identify and describe the priority. Implementation of Illinois of U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision for people living in traditional nursing homes 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. When the ADA was passed, Congress found that people with disabilities have been historically isolated and segregated from the general population, and that this segregation was inherently discriminatory and a social ill that needed to be addressed by the ADA. However, because Illinois still provides a majority of its disability funding to institutional settings, significant barriers still exist with respect to community living for people with disabilities. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Securing placements in the most integrated setting with the necessary support services. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE is co-counseling this case with Access Living (the Center for Independent Living in Chicago), the ACLU of Illinois, attorney Steve Gold and the law firm of SNR Denton. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 1; this case is a class action. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. In FFY 2007, EFE and its co-counsel filed a class action lawsuit against state officials for failing to provide community services for people living in nursing homes in Cook County Illinois, who are people with physical disabilities and/or people with mental illness. Suit was brought under the ADA and pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision, which stated that unjustified institutionalization is discrimination under the ADA. It is estimated that 31,000 people live in nursing homes in Cook County. Up to 60% of non-elderly nursing home residents, all of whom are people with disabilities, in Cook County, and nearly one-third of elderly residents, have expressed a preference to receive long-term care services in their own homes, apartments, and communities instead of a nursing facility. In FFY 2008, the case was certified as a class action and in FFY 2009, the parties engaged in extensive discovery. In FFY 2011, the parties reached an agreement and a proposed Consent Decree received preliminary approval at the end of the fiscal year. A Fairness Hearing is scheduled for FFY 2012, and we are hopeful that the Consent Decree will then be given final approval and put in place a process for thousands of people with disabilities in nursing homes to move into the community. For people living outside of Cook County, EFE will continue to accept individual community integration cases involving people. (See Priority 2 above) Note: Because of limited PAIR funds, during FFY 2009 the funding for the case was changed from PAIR to PAIMI.

PAIR Priority 7 1.Identify and describe the priority Monitor Community First Choice Option 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Illinois remains one of the most highly institutionalized states in the nation. The Community First Choice Option of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act allows states to provide home and community-based services (HCBS) through Medicaid, enabling more people with disabilities to access long-term care services in the setting they choose. Unlike HCBS waivers, states choosing this option may not cap services, have waiting lists or impose geographic restrictions on services. 3. Description of Activities EFE monitored Illinois’ decision-making process regarding the Community First Choice Option by attending various meetings held by both the state Medicaid agency and the state’s Healthcare Reform Implementation Council. In addition, EFE conducted further research regarding the Community First Choice Option to determine what other states were doing and the implications of implementing it in Illinois. At the meetings attended by EFE, the state clearly indicated that it was not going to pursue the Community First Choice Option due to the state’s current fiscal crisis, and because the Option bans capping services. As a result, there was no occasion for EFE to make any formal recommendations to policy makers regarding the option, beyond inquiring as to whether they considered pursing it. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE consulted with the Chicago regional Center for Independent Living and healthcare advocacy groups to learn more about the CFCO and the state’s position. EFE also consulted with national organizations, such as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the National Senior Citizens Law Center, and SEIU to learn more about the CFCO and how other states were proceeding. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. Not applicable. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Not applicable.

PAIR Priority 8 1. Identify and describe the priority. Employment Discrimination 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. The unemployment rate of people with disabilities is extremely high. Without equal access to employment, many people with disabilities are unable to support themselves or live independently. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Removing barriers to obtaining and maintaining employment, including assisting clients with obtaining reasonable accommodations in the workplace. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. Yes, Equip for Equality collaborates with other groups focusing on employment issues including the National Employment Lawyers Association and the Great Lakes ADA Center sharing information about ADA employment developments and making appropriate referrals. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 144; none were class actions 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. EFE assisted a person with learning disability who worked for hotel as a banquet manager. He contacted EFE after he’d been placed on unpaid leaving following the results of a psychological examination. He sought to return to work with accommodations and the employer refused. EFE worked with the client’s psychiatrist to make clear that the psychiatrist felt that the client could perform essential functions with accommodations for his learning disability. EFE also provided extended assistance to the client by giving him advice on self-advocating for accommodations. The client reported that the requested accommodations were provided and he is back at work and doing well.

PAIR Priority 9 1. Identify and describe the priority. Discrimination in Transportation 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Public and private transportation services are important for many people with disabilities as a means of access to employment, food, health care, social and cultural opportunities, and government services. Unfortunately, in Illinois, many aspects of the public transportation system and many private transportation services are inaccessible to people with physical or sensory disabilities. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Removal of barriers to public and private transportation: physical, communication and attitudinal. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. Equip for Equality is currently on the ADA Advisory Committees for the Regional Transit Authority, the Chicago Transit Authority and Pace (Suburban Cook County bus provider and paratransit provider for all of Cook County.) Also, previously, Equip for Equality worked in collaboration with Centers for Independent Living, the American Council for the Blind, as well as grass roots groups Suburban Access Squad and Chicago ADAPT, in identifying barriers to accessible transportation before filing systemic litigation against the Chicago Transit Authoirty. Equip for Equality co-counseled its systemic transit litigation with Access Living, the Chicago Center for Independent Living and private attorneys. Since the lawsuit was settled, we have collaborated and consulted with the following groups on the implementation of the settlement and other transit issues: Progress Center for Independent Living, Council for Disability Rights, Anixter Center, The Chicago Lighthouse for People who are Blind or Visually Impaired, Chicago ADAPT, IMPRUVE Chicago Transit Coalition, AIDS Legal Council of Chicago, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Metro Seniors In Action, National Multiple Sclerosis Society - Greater Illinois Chapter, City of Chicago Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, City of Chicago Department of Consumer Services, Blue Line Transit Task Force, Break the Gridlock, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Hyde Park Transit Task Force, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, Lawndale Neighborhood Organization, Pilsen Alliance, and Rogers Park Community Action Network. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 15; none were class actions 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. EFE assisted a caller living with scoliosis and arthritis, who had difficulty walking/standing but did not need a cane. The client was having problems with other passengers not getting up when she needs priority seating. EFE spoke with the Chicago Transit Authority’s ADA Coordinator who confirmed that people are not required under the ADA to give up the seat, but are encouraged to do so. However, the Coordinator advised about CTA’s plans to increase awareness of priority seating. (EFE is now serving on the Committee to raise awareness of the priority seating issue.) EFE gave the client the information about CTA’s plans and provided tips on self-advocacy. The client was happy to have new tools for self advocacy.

PAIR Priority 10 1. Identify and describe the priority. Discrimination in public accommodations 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Private businesses provide many essential services to people with disabilities. Unfortunately, many businesses fail to ensure that their facilities are accessible which denies people with disabilities equal access to the services. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Removal of barriers to accessibility and providing reasonable modifications 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. Not applicable. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 68; none were class actions 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. EFE assisted a caller with multiple sclerosis who uses a cane and a walker. He has been playing with the volunteer orchestra at a theater located on the grounds of a private college during the summer. Due to his disability, he was parking near the service entrance because the parking lot is very far from the front door. Subsequently, he was told that he could no longer do so and contacted EFE for assisted. EFE conducted legal research and wrote a sample letter for the client to use in requesting a reasonable modification of its parking policy. The client used the letter and worked out with the school to park near the service entrance instead of the regular parking lot.

PAIR Priority 11 1. Identify and describe the priority. Discrimination in government services and programs 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Some of the most important services to people with disabilities are provided by governmental entities. Accordingly, ensuring program access to these services is crucial. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Removal of physical and attitudinal barriers along with the implementation of reasonable modifications to ensure program access. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. Not applicable. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 12; none were class actions. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Client contacted EFE for assistance in obtaining the reasonable accommodation of double time for the Illinois Bar Exam, for his disability, dyslexia. Previously, the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar had granted him some accommodations that were insufficient and he failed the bar exam. EFE worked with the client on preparing his materials and expert support for a renewed request for double time. As a result, he was granted double time as he had requested and took the February 2011 Bar Exam and passed.

PAIR Priority 12 1. Identify and describe the priority. Discrimination in housing 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. For many people with disabilities, access to accessible and affordable housing is a critical component to living independently. Historically, many public housing authorities and private landlords have failed to make reasonable housing accommodations and modifications for people with disabilities. This priority is particularly important in downstate Illinois where there are few legal advocacy services to address housing discrimination for people with disabilities. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Removing physical and attitudinal barriers, along with the implementation of reasonable modifications to ensure equal access to housing. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. Not applicable. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 26; none were class actions 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. EFE assisted a client with sarcoidosis and neuro-sarcoidosis. She had 1/3 of her lung removed and consequently had mobility difficulty. She applied for housing with the local housing authority, but they would not allow her to move in with her service dog because the dog was on the list of banned dogs. EFE conducted legal research and assisted her with a submitting a letter to the housing authority citing legal and medical support for the service animal. Thereafter, she was approved for housing and allowed to bring her service dog.

PAIR Priority 13 1. Identify and describe the priority. Access to facilities that sell lottery tickets 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Many people with disabilities, especially those living in poorer areas, depend upon local convenience stores for basic necessities — such as food and medicine. Most of these facilities also sell lottery tickets. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Implementation by the State of Illinois of regulations that would ensure that people with disabilities have access to the State of Illinois Lottery, and thereby access to other items sold in these facilities. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE had been collaborating with the State to reach a mutually agreeable solution to this problem. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 1 case — but it will assist thousands of people with disabilities across the state who seek access to the 8,000+ facilities that sell lottery tickets. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. In prior fiscal years, discussions with representatives of the Illinois Lottery Commission led to an informal agreement that the state would voluntarily adopt regulations to ensure that the state lottery complies with requirements of the ADA. If successful, this initiative will ensure the accessibility of the 8,000+ convenience stores and local businesses that sell lottery tickets. Due to changes in personnel at the Illinois Lottery Commission, a reorganization of the Commission following the election of a new Governor, and the uncertainty of enforcing this agreement in light of recent ADA immunity decisions, this initiative did not progress as quickly as anticipated. Subsequently, EFE re-opened dialogue with the general counsel at the Illinois Lottery Commission, who expressed a desire to reach a mutual agreement on program access to the Illinois Lottery. However, when EFE sought to move forward with implementing the agreement, the State was unresponsive despite repeated contacts. EFE sent a final demand letter advising the State that it intended to litigate the case if it did not respond by a certain date. The State did not respond and thus, EFE filed a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General’s office. The Attorney General’s office advised that the Lottery Commission has drafted proposed regulations that will incorporate accessibility requirements into the lottery licensing process. EFE reviewed and provided comments to the State about the proposed regulations. In FFY 2011, the Lottery Commission agreed to roll out a pilot project in the fall of 2011 and if successful, all lottery vendors will be required to ensure accessibility as part of its initial licensing or licensing renewal process starting in FFY 2012.

PAIR Priority 14 1. Identify and describe the priority. Communication Access in Professional Services 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Over the years, Equip for Equality has received numerous complaints from people with communication disabilities about difficulty in obtaining access to professional services, including the failure of the medical and legal professions to provide sign language interpreters to people who are deaf. Equip for Equality has successfully handled many individual cases, but the problems are still pervasive. Because of this widespread problem, one idea is to advocate for a fund for professionals to access for communication accommodations, such as sign language interpreters that would be paid for by an increase in professional licensing fees. The challenge has been to convince the entities in charge of licensing the respective professionals to establish and support such funds through licensing fees. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. EFE will establish a dialogue with licensing authorities and professional groups regarding the creation of such funds. To support this effort, EFE will use data gathered in FFY 2009 from a survey of individuals who are deaf regarding their experiences with professional services. In addition, EFE will work to raise awareness regarding the need for such funds. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE collaborated with the Midwest Center on Law and the Deaf (“MCLD”) and the Illinois Association of the Deaf (“IAD”) to create awareness within the licensing authorities and professional groups. EFE also worked with various deaf services coordinators at some Centers for Independent Living (“CILs”) in Illinois to raise awareness with the state public health agency regarding communication access with respect to the medical profession. EFE also collaborated with the Illinois Supreme Court, its Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, and the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts to assess strategies for communication access with respect to the legal profession. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. Not applicable as this priority does not involve case handling. However, over 350 surveys were collected in FFY 2009. In addition, at least a dozen cases were brought to our attention respectively in FFY 2010 and FFY 2011 alleging denial of communication access by doctors and lawyers. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. There are no case summaries that demonstrate the impact of the priority in this section because this priority focuses on developing data and a strategy to address a systemic problem. During FFY 2010 and FFY 2011, EFE with the assistance of MCLD and IAD have discussed with professional medical and legal groups as well as licensing authorities regarding the communication access problems posed by the medical and legal professions. EFE worked with deaf services coordinators at a few CILs to discuss with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (“IDFPR”) regarding recurring problems with the medical profession. EFE discussed the legal profession’s resistance to providing communication access with the Chicago Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Foundation, the Illinois State Bar Association (and its newly reconvened Disability Law Committee), the Illinois Supreme Court, the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, and the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (“IARDC”). In addition, to increase awareness of this concept, EFE submitted to the Valparaiso Law Journal a law review article on the need for and basic operating principle of communication access funds to increase the accessibility of professional services for individuals who are deaf. Discussions on creating communication access funds are ongoing, particularly with the IARDC and the IDFPR.

PAIR Priority 15 1. Identify and describe the priority. Research state statute to ascertain the intent of the definition of blindness for qualifying for a Class 2a disability identification card 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Based upon concerns brought to EFE by the blind community regarding the language of 15 ILCS 355/4A, which tied the definition of blindness to lack of mobility, EFE initially researched the statute and determined that the definition did not appear to have an impact on the ability to secure benefits. However, the group that raised this concern found the provision offensive and requested that EFE work with the state to ascertain whether the definition could be amended. 3. Description of Activities The Illinois Secretary of State has indicated that he is open to an amendment of the language of the statute. EFE Public Policy staff further discussed this opportunity with the Secretary of State. EFE communicated with other advocacy groups to discuss the implications of amending the statute to eliminate the tie to mobility, as well as adjusting other definitions used in the Act. EFE reviewed the draft of the amendment offered by the Secretary of State and consulted other advocates and individuals with disabilities to obtain their opinions. The Secretary of State indicated that he would be pursuing the amendment in the Spring Session of the Illinois Legislature in FY 2012. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE worked closely with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office to discuss possible amendment, as well as explain the concerns raised by the blind community. Once a draft was obtained, EFE collaborated with the regional Centers for Independent Living, the Chicago Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, and the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind to ascertain their feedback on the draft. This feedback was shared with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. Not applicable. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Not applicable.

PAIR Priority 16 1. Identify and describe the priority. Right to self-determination, including guardianship defense and restoration of rights 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Many adults with disabilities have a guardian even though they may be capable of making decisions for themselves. Since a guardianship can take away from a person even the most basic decisions, it is critical for people with disabilities to understand how to challenge an unwarranted restriction of their personal freedom. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Either defeating an inappropriate guardianship petition or eliminating or reducing an existing guardianship 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. Not applicable. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 10; none were class actions 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. EFE assisted a woman with a stroke who had concerns about her guardian improperly using her money. EFE reviewed her probate file and discovered that previously a guardian ad litem had been appointed by the court. (Client was not aware of the appointment of the GAL.) Because of the client’s difficulty in speaking, EFE assisted with communication with the GAL regarding the client’s concerns about her guardian exploiting her financially. The GAL was very receptive to the client’s concerns and scheduled a hearing to require an accounting and to raise these concerns with the judge. The client was pleased with the GAL’s response and said she would contact EFE if she needed any further assistance.

PAIR Priority 17 1. Identify and describe the priority. Involving People with Disabilities in the Public Policy Process 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. For many years, people with disabilities and disability advocacy groups have been frustrated by the lack of response by policy makers to their public policy initiatives. To a great extent, this has resulted from insufficient numbers of people with disabilities who are interested in and have the confidence to self-advocate at a systemic level. People with disabilities also identified the lack of resources to identify current issues, research the impact of policy proposals, and finance systemic self-advocacy efforts as barriers to their involvement in public policy making. While previously EFE employed a Disability Community Organizer to provide training and technical assistance in public policy advocacy to people with disabilities, disability groups and disability advocates, in FFY 2008 a fiscal crisis resulted in the elimination of that position. EFE lacks the resources to resume that position. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. EFE will directly involve more people with disabilities in the public policy making process by providing them with self-advocacy training and technical assistance on an ad hoc basis and disseminating, through the Internet, up to date legislative and other policy-related information. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, please describe this collaboration. Yes. Some training sessions provided by EFE are co-sponsored by Centers for Independent Living (CILs), disability advocacy groups or service providers. The co-sponsor provides the space and publicizes the training to its constituents and EFE provides the trainer and training materials. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. There were no cases because this was not a case priority, but 20 individuals with disabilities other than mental illness or developmental disabilities were trained in public policy self-advocacy. In addition, EFE provided technical assistance upon request and, during the Illinois legislative session, weekly updates on pending disability-related legislation and public policy initiatives via e-mail. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. No cases were handled under this priority and fiscal limitations prevented EFE from providing technical assistance for any specific projects in FFY 2011.

PAIR Priority 18 1. Identify and describe the priority. Training Institute 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. In a previous strategic planning session, the disability community identified that people with disabilities needed access to quality self-advocacy education. Without legal rights information and self-advocacy skills, people with disabilities are unable to effectively achieve their life goals, such as employment and independent living. Accordingly, EFE established the Training Institute for Disability Rights to provide self-advocacy training seminars to people with disabilities and their family members across the State of Illinois on a variety of topics including the ADA, employment discrimination, voting, transportation, guardianship, and special education 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. After each self-advocacy training, EFE distributed seminar evaluations for the participants and the co-sponsoring agency to determine the effectiveness of the training. In the last year, 96% of the surveys collected indicated that the training was “good” or excellent” and 94% of participants reported that they had a better understanding of their legal rights following the training. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. The model of the Training Institute is to conduct trainings in the community and we co-sponsor self-advocacy trainings with other disability advocacy groups, community providers, and state and local government entities. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. This priority does not involve cases, but EFE conducted 85 self-advocacy training seminars in FFY 2011 for 2,296 people with disabilities and their family members. Additionally, EFE provided 84 trainings to 1,876 people that included others (such as staff, employers, etc.) EFE also conducted 48 webcasts of its trainings on Illinois Legal Aid Online, and there were 116,170 “hits” on those webcasts in FFY 2010. (For more specific information about EFE’s training activities, see Section I. B. above.) 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. As noted above, this priority does not involve cases. However, self-advocacy training seminars were co-sponsored with the following organizations serving PAIR-eligible individuals: Access Living, Core Center (HIV/AIDS), Dystonia Research Conference, Columbia College Deaf Awareness Day, Deaf Nation, Illinois Department of Rehabilitation Services, Heartland Alliance, Mayors Office for People with Disabilities Call to Work Summit and Youth Summit, National ADA Symposium, and WHOA Breast Cancer Event.

PAIR Priority 19 1. Identify and describe the priority. Develop Self-Advocacy Materials on Discrimination issues 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Many people with disabilities do not know their legal rights and thus, they are unable to identify and address discrimination issues that may arise. As part of its annual priority setting process, EFE consistently receives input that the disability community needs more legal rights self-advocacy information and that EFE should take the lead on developing these materials. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. The number of EFE’s self-advocacy materials on discrimination disseminated. This number would be calculated by combining the number distributed by EFE staff and the number of “hits” on these fact sheets on EFE’s website. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE collaborates with many organizations and entities on helping get these self-advocacy materials to people with disabilities and their family members. This is done primarily with co-sponsors of the seminars provided by EFE’s Training Institute. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. Not applicable. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Not applicable as this priority is not case related. However, fact sheets have been developed and/or updated on the following discrimination-related topics: ADA Coverage Beyond Actual Disabilities: Regarded As, Record Of and Associational Disability, Hot Topics in ADA Title III Litigation, Impact of the Supreme Court’s ADA Decisions, Invisible Disabilities and the ADA, Service Animals and the ADA, Postsecondary Education and Licensing under the ADA, Drugs, Alcohol and Conduct Rules under the ADA, Advising People with Disabilities about the Disabilities Inquiry and Medical Examinations Provisions of the ADA; Employee Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation, Reassignment as a Reasonable Accommodation, Disability Harassment, Retaliation and Discipline: Three Emerging ADA Issues, Reasonable Accommodations for People with Psychiatric Disabilities, Direct Threat Under the ADA, Barriers and Requirements in ADA Litigation, and ADA Amendments Act Update. See: www.equipforequality.org/resourcecenter/advocacybytopic.php

PAIR Priority 20 1. Identify and describe the priority. Special education cases where the primary issue is inclusion in the neighborhood school with needed services, a less restrictive setting, transition from high school, suspension or expulsion, or inappropriate use of restraint or seclusion, including locked time out, and appropriate transition. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, students with disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. Access to educational services is a critical component for independent living and self-determination. In addition, students should receive educational services in a safe environment. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Putting in place appropriate individual education programs that ensure that students receive services in the least restrictive environment with the necessary supports, including appropriate behavioral intervention plans. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. Not applicable. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 251; none were class actions 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. EFE represented a court-involved student with a learning disability who faced expulsion due to a fight at school. EFE assisted the parent in securing a dismissal of the expulsion proceedings and a safety transfer to the student’s preferred school. EFE recently attended an IEP meeting on behalf of the student and his new school said he is doing incredibly well and has become a model student for his peers.

EFE represented a 14 year-old freshman in high school with severe learning disabilities that could not read. A review of the student’s educational records showed that over the years the school district had not provided the student with appropriate supports and services to address his severe learning disabilities. The parents, not being native English speakers and as a result not well informed by the school as to what was being done to address their son’s learning disability, had recently began to question whether the school district could do more. EFE requested an IEP meeting for the purposes of drafting an appropriate IEP and discussing the type of placement the student would need, moving forward. It was evident that the student required intensive remediation. At the parents’ request, the school agreed to place the student in a program for student’s with severe learning disabilities. At the end of the last school year, the parents reported that their son was making great progress in his ability to read independently.

PAIR Priority 21 1. Identify and describe the priority. Special Education Advocacy Clinic 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Many students with disabilities and their families need access to legal rights’ information and education, self-advocacy assistance and legal representation, but are unable to navigate the current special education advocacy system and/or do not have sufficient funds to retain a private attorney. In FFY 2007, EFE launched its Special Education Clinic to provide better access to special education services. Components of the Clinic include: a. a telephone Helpline to provide advice, self-advocacy assistance, information and referrals; b. an accessible website with special education resources; c. special education training seminars; d. written materials with legal rights information; and e. legal representation in selected individual cases through EFE staff and a pro bono network. In FY2011 the Clinic increased the number of law firm partnerships to 14 and continued to work with law student interns and in-house pro bono lawyers to increase the capacity for legal information and representation.. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Continue to grow Statewide Special Education providing comprehensive special education training, self-advocacy and legal advocacy services. Also, incorporate pro bono attorneys, law students and law firm partnerships into the Clinic to increase its level of assistance to clients, as well as the number of clients it serves. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE’s Special Education Clinic has pro bono partnerships with fourteen major law firms, who are handling 77 new cases and helpline calls and continued to support 51 cases with pro bono law firm partners opened the previous year and still pending during the most recent year, and trained over 100 law firm partner attorneys, in-house attorney volunteers and law student interns. The Clinic also utilizes in-house volunteer attorneys, not affiliated with our law firm partners, and law student volunteers. Through outreach efforts, the Clinic has recruited, trained and utilized four volunteer attorneys on the Helpline on a regular basis, as well as 20 law students on a year-round basis. Many law student interns remain with the Clinic for more than one semester, thereby, providing even greater benefit to EFE and our clients. The Clinic continues to partner with Loyola Law School’s Child Law and Education Institute and has law students volunteer as part of their practicum each semester. The Clinic also utilized additional law student volunteers from other area law schools. Clinic staff are members of and regularly attend the following monthly meetings with other leaders in the special education community to discuss special education topics, areas of concern, and needed areas of involvement: Attorney General’s Committee on Special Education, Parent-Side Special Education Attorney’s Group, CBA Legal Aid Committee, and the Disability Rights Consortium of area public interest organizations. In addition to these meetings, Clinic staff have had individual meetings or ongoing collaboration with these organizations: Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, Health and Disability Advocates, The Ounce of Prevention Fund, Cook County Probation, Albany Park Community Center, Civitas ChildLaw Clinic at Loyola School of Law, Health Justice Project at Loyola School of Law, Bluhm Legal Clinic at Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, UIC Child & Family Development Department, Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation to discuss our programs and collaboration efforts. We recently received a Mansfield Institute scholar from Roosevelt University to assist with our Juvenile Justice Project. The Latino Project also has ongoing collaborations and satellite offices at the University of Illinois Family Clinic, El Valor, Erie Health Center, Beth Lacey Center in Cicero, the Fantus Health Center at the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, and Rush University Hospital. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 251; none were class actions 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. This case exemplifies collaboration with the Special Education Clinic and our pro bono law firm partner initiative. The guardian of a nine-year-old student with a learning disability contacted EFE because her grandson was not receiving any special education services. EFE secured pro bono attorneys at Kirkland & Ellis to represent the family. The pro bono attorneys negotiated with the District and successfully secured the student an IEP to address his learning disability. The guardian reported to the pro bono attorneys that her grandson is finally doing better at school and she is happy with the services he is receiving.

PAIR Priority 22 1. Identify and describe the priority. Public Education and Outreach to Under-Served Populations. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Equip for Equality continues to strive to be more visible to the general population so that eligible individuals know where to turn when they require advocacy resources and rights-related resources. This is also important because it builds public understanding and support for the rights of people with disabilities to live independent and productive lives in the community. Because Chicago and many other parts of Illinois have a very diverse population, culturally appropriate strategies need to be used to reach out to and serve the many ethnic communities with their own culture, language and approach/perspective on disability and the role of the government and the family. This makes the provision of PAIR services especially challenging along with the fact that the federal P&A System is responsible for providing advocacy services to the largest segment of the disability community. Given resource limitations, PAIR has conducted targeted outreach to three populations that have their own unique culture and language-Latinos, the blind community and the deaf community. Given the dramatic advances in technology, there are new opportunities to reach out to and serve certain segments of the disability community who are able to use the internet to secure information and resources as well as to provide input into our planning and evaluation processes. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Equip for Equality has a database that enables us to monitor numbers of calls, how they heard about us and whether we take the case as well as track training participants, etc. This helps us assess which outreach strategies are working. In terms of the media, we subscribe to a media monitoring service that documents when we appear in the print and electronic media in major markets and the viewership of these publications/shows. This enables us to assess how successful our outreach via the media has been. Our achievement of other objectives under this general category of public education and outreach to underserved populations can be more readily assessed by monitoring our completion of tasks, such as translation of brochures, redesigning our website to improve accessibility and content, maintaining a presence in specific communities via satellite offices, etc. We review hits to our website by substantive website area which helps us assess interest and strategize about who we are not reaching. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE collaborates with many grass-roots community-based groups, statewide/local advocacy groups, local/state government and the business community, by chairing such groups as the Disability Rights Consortium and the Illinois ADA Project. EFE’s Latino Advocacy Project operates out of several satellite offices in Latino communities around the Chicagoland area, and through its Training Institute (set forth in more detail in Priority 17) EFE frequently co-sponsors self-advocacy training seminars and conducts outreach at community events, conferences, etc. Howard Rosenblum, a deaf attorney on EFE’s staff who was instrumental in reaching out to the deaf community and increasing our service delivery to this underserved group left EFE in FY 2011 to become the Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of the Deaf. (Mr. Rosenblum’s efforts in FFY 2011 are set forth in more detail in Section 6 below.) Fortunately, EFE was able to hire Rachel Arfa, who is also a deaf attorney, to continue EFE’s efforts to outreach to the deaf community. EFE also holds semi-annual meetings with the blind community to get their input on issues EFE should address for that community. EFE’s website is collaborative in the sense that it includes a Disability Resource Directory with links to 732 other sites, many of whom also provide a link to our site. EFE also develops joint publications, including a Resource Guide for People with Disabilities with the Chicago Bar Association. Finally, EFE regularly serves on task forces of local/state/federal government-executive and legislative-such as the Mayor’s Employment Task Force on Employment of People with Disabilities, and Equip for Equality is a founding member of the Executive Committee of the Chicagoland Business Leadership Network (CBLN), which is promoting the hiring of workers with disabilities and adoption of best practices. Equip for Equality provides ADA trainings to CBLN members. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. Not applicable (cases examples are elsewhere in this report; this priority was about outreach/visibility only) However, in addition to the outreach accomplished from its training seminars outlined in Priority 17 above, EFE staff also participated in 47 outreach events reaching approximately 7,997 people. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Since this priority is about visibility/outreach, there are no case summaries that demonstrate the impact of this priority in this section. However, examples of the impact include the fact that 73% of the approximately 2,296 individuals who attended a self- advocacy seminar through our Training Institute on Disability Rights in FFY 2011 were people of color. Hits to the EFE website totaled 45,276, another sign that a significant number of people are learning about EFE and the resources offered to the community.

In connection with EFE’s continuing role administering the Illinois ADA Project (for the Great Lakes ADA Center at UIC-Chicago), EFE is doing a significant number of ADA and other trainings and presentations for businesses, nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies which demonstrates our credibility in the public and private sectors. In FFY 2011, EFE conducted 84 of these trainings for 1,876 people. (See Section I. B. above.)

In FFY 2011, EFE continued to devote resources to support the Latino Advocacy Project. The Staff Attorney for the Latino Advocacy Project is bilingual/bicultural, and has developed close ties to the Latino community. EFE also has on contract another bilingual/bicultural attorney who provides self-advocacy trainings to Latinos with disabilities and their families. EFE has contracted with a professional translation company called Teleinterpreters for over-the-phone translations as well as material translation into Spanish to ensure that EFE’s materials and written and oral communications are accessible to the Latino community. The Latino Project’s outreach efforts have also been enhanced by the establishment of several satellite offices that are housed in Latino community agencies in the Chicago area. Currently, the Latino Project has satellite offices in the following locations: the University of Illinois at Chicago Family Clinic, El Valor, Erie Health Center, through a partnership with the Health Justice Project at Loyola University’s School of Law, The Beth Lacey Center for Family Support in Cicero, The Fantus Clinic at Stroger Hospital, and Rush University Hospital. In FFY 2011, EFE handled 369 total cases on behalf of Latinos with disabilities (269 were new cases and 102 were cases that were opened prior to FFY 2011). Using a bilingual/bicultural attorney, EFE also conducted numerous legal rights trainings in Spanish on a variety of topics.

(Continued)

Note: PAIR Priority 21 and 22 continued in Part IV: Narrative Item G.

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.

I. INTRODUCTION

This document highlights the priorities and plan Equip for Equality has established for its Federal Fiscal Year 2012 advocacy efforts. If circumstances warrant, additions or deletions to this document may be made during the year.

Equip for Equality is the independent, private, not-for-profit organization designated by the Governor to administer the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System to safeguard the rights of children and adults with developmental disabilities, mental illnesses, and other disabilities for Illinois. Equip for Equality is the only comprehensive, statewide, cross-disability advocacy organization providing self-advocacy assistance, legal services, information and referral, and training in disability rights. It also has a public policy program that is active in Springfield and conducts in-depth policy studies. Our Abuse Investigation Unit examines deaths or other serious allegations of abuse or neglect of people with disabilities in facility and programs throughout Illinois and our Special Education Clinic ensures better access to special education services. Finally, systems changes that benefit the broader disability community are accomplished through high impact litigation, public policy advocacy, and the Abuse Investigation Unit.

Notice that Equip for Equality was seeking input on its annual priorities was posted on EFE’s website, distributed in person and via e-mail to people on EFE’s mailing list, distributed at various community meetings and during outreach and training sessions. The notice included a description of EFE’s programs and priority areas. The notice was also provided to members of Equip for Equality’s various councils and advisory groups (e.g. PAIMI Advisory Council, Special Education Parent Council, Disability Rights Consortium, Blind Community Group, Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Counsel, etc.) who were encouraged to participate in the priority setting and also encouraged to disseminate the notice to other people with disabilities and their families. People could provide input on the organization’s website by using a “Survey Monkey” tool. Also, EFE staff forwarded the electronic version to their various e-mail lists and list serves.

In addition to the grant we receive for Protection & Advocacy for Individual Rights (PAIR), we also receive funding from private foundations and other non-federal sources for specific program initiatives noted below.

II. EQUIP FOR EQUALITY’S SERVICES AND PROGRAMS

Equip for Equality believes that a fundamental change for people with disabilities in our society will occur when they become effective advocates on their own behalf and informed and active participants in the community. Equip for Equality supports individuals in these efforts through its Self-Advocacy Programs, which provides advice and technical assistance to individuals advocating on their own behalf or on behalf of a family member. While self-advocacy by individuals with disabilities is critical to their advancement, public and private entities must also be held accountable for complying with civil rights statutes and other legal mandates intended to ensure full equality for people with disabilities. Through its programs, Equip for Equality’s attorneys provide direct representation to a significant number of individuals every year in negotiations and mediation, administrative hearings, and federal and state court.

Due to extremely heavy demand and limited resources, we must provide short-term advice or technical assistance in self-advocacy to the vast majority of people with disabilities seeking our help. In selecting cases for litigation, we have tried to reach a balance between individual advocacy and systems change litigation. Additional funding for providing self-advocacy and legal services to our clients comes from the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois.

These services are provided through three Equip for Equality programs: Civil Rights Team (formally the Community Living Program), Abuse Investigation Unit and Special Education Clinic.

1. Civil Rights Team: The Civil Rights Team focuses on three major legal areas for people with disabilities: anti-discrimination, community integration and self-determination. Under anti-discrimination, EFE handles cases in which people with disabilities have been treated differently because of their disabilities in such areas as employment, transportation, voting, state and local government programs, access to private businesses and housing. In community integration, EFE works with people with disabilities seeking to live in more integrated settings with the supports they need to be successful. In self-determination, EFE represents people with disabilities to help them achieve their goals and limit any unnecessary restrictions to make choices, particularly within the context of adult guardianship.

2. Abuse Investigation Unit: The Abuse Investigation Unit focuses its activities on systemic issues by examining deaths, serious incidents of abuse or neglect and quality of care issues. AIU addresses those issues by working with state and federal investigatory agencies and facilities to change policies and practices in an effort to prevent further tragedies. While continuing to work on systemic issues, AIU also handles individual cases of abuse, neglect, quality of care and deprivation of fundamental liberties.

3. Special Education Clinic: EFE launched its Special Education Clinic in April 2007 to provide better access to special education services. Components of the Clinic include: 1) A telephone Helpline to provide advice, self-advocacy assistance, information and referrals; 2) An accessible website with special education resources; 3) Special education training seminars for parents and students; 4) Written materials with legal rights information; and 5) Legal representation in selected individual cases through EFE staff and a pro bono network.

III. PUBLIC POLICY PROGRAM Equip for Equality’s Public Policy Program has a significant positive impact on the broader disability community by educating state decision-makers, developing state legislative initiatives, serving on executive and legislative task forces, and working in coalition with a broad spectrum of consumer and family organizations, not-for-profit agencies, and professional associations. The Public Policy Program also conducts in-depth research projects on issues of importance to people with disabilities. Legislative advocacy is undertaken with non-federal funds.

IV. DISABILITY RIGHTS EDUCATION AND TRAINING (funding from state government; private foundations; and PAIMI, PADD, PAIR, PABSS, TBI and Voting P&A) Equip for Equality’s Training Institute on Disability Rights provides people with disabilities and their family members substantive self-advocacy training in their local communities. The substantive priority areas for the Training Institute are as follows: -Rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act; -Challenging Employment Discrimination; -Special Education Rights; -Guardianship and Advance Directives; -Employment Rights of Beneficiaries of Social Security; -Transportation Rights; -Voting Rights. This year, contributions to the Scholarship Fund at our Training Institute will enable Equip for Equality to train approximately 3000 people with disabilities and their families statewide with full scholarships. The Illinois Department of Human Services and the Illinois Foundation for Equal Justice are contributing to the Scholarship Fund. In addition, PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, PABSS, TBI, the Voting P&A cover the tuition for additional participants during the year. We typically provide training to service providers, professionals, and businesses for a fee.

V. Case Selection Priorities and Special Initiatives

1. Case Selection Priorities:

PAIR Priority 1 1. Identify and describe the priority. Personal safety, basic health and fundamental liberty 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. People with disabilities have a right to be safe and be treated with respect. Unfortunately, children and adults with disabilities often are at risk for abuse or neglect as well as having basic rights denied them. 3. Description of the activities. Provide self-advocacy and legal assistance to PAIR-eligible individuals and conduct systemic investigations in response to: A) Failure to provide adequate and individualized supports and services resulting in harm B) Deaths, including deaths resulting from restraint or seclusion C) Misuse of physical holds, mechanical and chemical restraints, seclusion and time-out. D) Challenge to P&A Access Authority

PAIR Priority 2 1. Identify and describe the priority. Challenges to P&A Access Authority 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. For Protection and Advocacy organizations to be effective and to adequately fulfill its charge from Congress, they need to be given physical access to facilities that serve people with disabilities and also be given access to requisite documents. 3. Description of Activities Defend any challenges to EFE’s P&A authority.

PAIR Priority 3 1. Identify and describe the priority. Monitoring of State/Federal Investigatory Systems and Implementation of Recommendations to Enhance the Safety of Children and Adults with Disabilities 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. People with disabilities have a right to be safe and be treated with respect. Unfortunately, children and adults with disabilities often are at risk for abuse or neglect as well as having basic rights denied them. Current state and federal investigatory systems do not provide coverage for all settings and populations. 3. Description of the activities. Enhance the safety of children and adults with disabilities through oversight and monitoring of state/federal investigatory systems and implementation of the recommendations contained in its report on gaps in Illinois investigatory system entitled Ensuring Safety: Filling the Gaps in Illinois’ System that Investigates Abuse and Neglect of Children and Adults with Disabilities. A task force report with recommendations addressing gaps and problems identified by AIU was submitted to the Illinois legislature in January 2011. AIU continues to work with affected agencies and individuals and pursue opportunities to facilitate implementation of the recommendations.

PAIR Priority 4 1. Identify and describe the priority. Monitor implementation of Illinois’ Medicaid Managed Care Plan 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority Illinois is currently implementation a Medicaid Managed Care Pilot program in the northern part of the state. Significant concerns have been raised by the disability community regarding the impact this plan is having on the quality and availability of needed services. Illinois’ is currently developing the second and third phases of the pilot which will included residential services. Issues with independence and choice continue to be raised, as well as potential for adverse consequences. In addition, the state is moving forward with a plan to move 50% of individuals on Medicaid statewide to coordinated care by soliciting provider proposals. Issues with independence, choice, and the potential for adverse consequences arise in that plan as well. 3. Description of Activities EFE will continue to work in collaboration with other organizations and people with disabilities to address the State’s efforts to implement Medicaid Managed Care in Illinois. EFE, in collaboration with other organizations and people with disabilities, will identify areas of the Medicaid Managed Care plan likely to result in adverse consequences affecting health, safety, independence and choice and develop appropriate recommendations and effective solutions to prevent such consequences.

PAIR Priority 5 1. Identify and describe the priority. Right to receive services in the most integrated, least restrictive setting 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. When the ADA was passed, Congress found that people with disabilities have been historically isolated and segregated from the general population, and that this segregation was inherently discriminatory and a social ill that needed to be addressed by the ADA. However, because Illinois still provides a majority of its disability funding to institutional settings, significant barriers still exist with respect to community living for people with disabilities. 3. Description of Activities Provide self-advocacy and legal advocacy services to PAIR-eligible individuals who have experienced problems related to community integration.

PAIR Priority 6 1. Identify and describe the priority. Implementation in Illinois of U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead Community Integration Mandate for People living in Traditional Nursing Homes 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. When the ADA was passed, Congress found that people with disabilities have been historically isolated and segregated from the general population, and that this segregation was inherently discriminatory and a social ill that needed to be addressed by the ADA. However, because Illinois still provides a majority of its disability funding to institutional settings, significant barriers still exist with respect to community living for people with disabilities, including people living in nursing homes in Cook County. 3. Description of Activities Represent class at Fairness Hearing, and if the Judge grants Final Approval, work on the implementation of the Consent Decree.

PAIR Priority 7 1. Identify and describe the priority. Employment Discrimination 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. The unemployment rate of people with disabilities is extremely high. Without equal access to employment, many people with disabilities are unable to support themselves or live independently. 3. Description of Activities Provide self-advocacy and legal advocacy services to PAIR-eligible individuals who have experienced employment discrimination.

PAIR Priority 8 1. Identify and describe the priority. Discrimination in Transportation 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Public and private transportation services are important for many people with disabilities as a means of access to employment, food, health care, social and cultural opportunities, and government services. Unfortunately, in Illinois, many aspects of the public transportation system and many private transportation services are inaccessible to people with physical or sensory disabilities. 3. Description of Activities Provide individual self-advocacy and legal assistance to people with disabilities seeking access to transportation.

PAIR Priority 9 1. Identify and describe the priority. Discrimination in public accommodations 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Private businesses provide many essential services to people with disabilities. Unfortunately, many businesses fail to ensure that their facilities are accessible which denies people with disabilities equal access to the services. 3. Description of Activities Provide self-advocacy and legal advocacy services to PAIR-eligible individuals who have experienced discrimination by public accommodations.

PAIR Priority 10 1. Identify and describe the priority. Discrimination in government services and programs 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Some of the most important services to people with disabilities are provided by governmental entities. Accordingly, ensuring program access to these services is crucial. 3. Description of Activities Provide self-advocacy and legal advocacy services to PAIR-eligible individuals who have experienced discrimination in government services and programs.

PAIR Priority 11 1. Identify and describe the priority. Discrimination in housing 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. For many people with disabilities, access to accessible and affordable housing is a critical component to living independently. Historically, many public housing authorities and private landlords have failed to make reasonable housing accommodations and modifications for people with disabilities. This priority is particularly important in downstate Illinois where there are few legal advocacy services to address housing discrimination for people with disabilities. 3. Description of Activities Provide self-advocacy and legal advocacy services to PAIR-eligible individuals who have experienced housing discrimination.

PAIR Priority 12 1. Identify and describe the priority. Access to facilities that sell lottery tickets 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Many people with disabilities, especially those living in poorer areas, depend upon local convenience stores for basic necessities — such as food and medicine. Most of these facilities also sell lottery tickets. 3. Description of Activities Work with the state to oversee the implementation of the Illinois Lottery’s new program to require accessibility as a condition for initial licensing and license renewal.

PAIR Priority 13 1. Identify and describe the priority. Right to self-determination, including guardianship defense and restoration of rights 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Many adults with disabilities have a guardian even though they may be capable of making decisions for themselves. Since a guardianship can take away from a person even the most basic decisions, it is critical for people with disabilities to understand how to challenge an unwarranted restriction of their personal freedom. 3. Description of Activities Provide self-advocacy and legal advocacy services to PAIR-eligible individuals who have experienced issues related to guardianship and other self-determination issues.

PAIR Priority 14 1. Identify and describe the priority. Involving People with Disabilities in the Public Policy Process 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. For many years, people with disabilities have complained to Equip for Equality regarding their frustration with the lack of response by policy makers to their public policy initiatives. Among the barriers to effective public policy advocacy they have identified are insufficient numbers of public policy self-advocates and the lack of coordination between disability groups. Previously, EFE hired a Disability Community Organizer to conduct outreach to people with disabilities and disability groups to advocate for people with disabilities to become involved in public policy advocacy and learn what public policy issues were of the greatest importance to them. However, a loss of state funds and several years of level federal funding resulted in a fiscal crisis which necessitated the elimination of the Disability Community Organizer position (and others). 3. Description of Activities EFE Policy staff will continue to offer ad hoc technical assistance and training as requested. Policy staff will also regularly disseminate, through the Internet, legislative and other public policy initiatives updates to people with disabilities and disability advocates in order to provide them with the opportunity to directly participate in the public policy process. However, proactive support for people with disabilities in systemic self-advocacy is no longer possible due to lack of resources.

PAIR Priority 15 1. Identify and describe the priority. Training Institute 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. In a previous strategic planning session, the disability community identified that people with disabilities needed access to quality self-advocacy education. Without legal rights information and self-advocacy skills, people with disabilities are unable to effectively achieve their life goals, such as employment and independent living. Accordingly, EFE established the Training Institute for Disability Rights to provide self-advocacy training seminars to people with disabilities and their family members across the State of Illinois on a variety of topics including the ADA, employment discrimination, voting, transportation, guardianship, and special education. 3. Description of Activities Provide disability rights trainings statewide to people with disabilities and their families, as well as professionals, service providers and businesses on discrimination issues including: ADA, employment, Ticket to Work, transportation, special education, guardianship and voting.

PAIR Priority 16 1. Identify and describe the priority. Develop Self-Advocacy Materials on Discrimination issues 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Many people with disabilities do not know their legal rights and thus they are unable to identify and address discrimination issues that may arise. As part of its priority setting process, EFE continues to receive input that the disability community needs more legal rights self-advocacy information and that EFE should take the lead on developing these materials. 3. Description of Activities Develop and update consumer friendly fact sheets to provide information to assist people with disabilities with a better understanding of their legal rights under anti-discrimination laws.

PAIR Priority 17 1. Identify and describe the priority. Special education cases where the primary issue is inclusion in the neighborhood school with needed services, a less restrictive setting; transition from high school; suspension or expulsion; inappropriate use of restraint or seclusion, including locked time out; assistive technology; and eligibility for special education services. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, students with disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. Access to educational services is a critical component for independent living and self-determination. In addition, students should receive educational services in a safe environment. 3. Description of Activities Provide self-advocacy and legal advocacy services to PAIR-eligible individuals who have experienced special education related problems.

PAIR Priority 18 1. Identify and describe the priority. Special Education Clinic 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Many students with disabilities and their families need access to legal rights’ information and education, self-advocacy assistance and legal representation, but are unable to navigate the current special education advocacy system and/or do not have sufficient funds to retain a private attorney. 3. Description of Activities Continue to grow Statewide Special Education providing comprehensive special education training, self-advocacy and legal advocacy services. Also, incorporate pro bono attorneys, law students and law firm partnerships into the Clinic to increase its level of assistance to clients, as well as the number of clients it serves.

PAIR Priority 19 1. Identify and describe the priority. Public Education and Outreach to Under-Served Populations. 2.Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Equip for Equality continues to strive to be more visible to the general population so that eligible individuals know where to turn when they require advocacy resources and rights-related resources. This is also important because it builds public understanding and support for the rights of people with disabilities to live independent and productive lives in the community. Because Chicago and many other parts of Illinois have a very diverse population, culturally appropriate strategies need to be used to reach out to and serve the many ethnic communities with their own culture, language and approach/perspective on disability and the role of the government and the family. This makes the provision of PAIR services especially challenging along with the fact that the federal P&A System is responsible for providing advocacy services to the largest segment of the disabled population. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Equip for Equality has a database that enables us to monitor numbers of calls, how they heard about us and whether we take the case as well as track training participants, etc. This helps us assess which outreach strategies are working. In terms of the media, we subscribe to a media monitoring service that documents when we appear in the print and electronic media in major markets and the viewership of these publications/shows. This enables us to assess how successful our outreach via the media has been. Our achievement of other objectives under this general category of public education and outreach to underserved populations can be more readily assessed by monitoring our completion of tasks, such as translation of brochures, redesigning our website to improve accessibility and content, maintaining a presence in specific communities via satellite offices, etc. We review hits to our website by substantive website area which helps us assess interest and strategize about who we are not reaching.

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

Source of Funding / Amount Received / Amount Spent Federal (section 509) / $629,068 / $626,698 State / -0- / -0- Program income / $6,000 / $38,900 Private / -0- / -0- All other funds / -0- / -0- Total (from all sources) / $635,068 / $665,598

B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by this report

Category / Prior Fiscal Year (2011) / Current Fiscal Year (2012) Wages-salaries / $403,303 / $398,460 Fringe benefits (FICA, unemployment, etc.) / $114,115 / $103,218 Materials-supplies / $3,590 / $2,955 Postage / $1,727 / $1,538 Telephone / $11,653 / $10,820 Rent & Other Occupancy Costs / $72,211 / $67,150 Consultants-Professional Fees / $6,043 / $5,825 Travel / $6,043 / $5,825 Printing / $1,227 / $1,850 Bonding-insurance / $9,472 / $8,785 Equipment (rental-purchase) / $20,916 / $17,475 Legal services / $20,916 / $17,475 Miscellaneous / $3,145 / $2,392 Total Budget / $665,598 / $637,438

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

1. Duties.

Most staff divide their time between PAIR, PADD and PAIMI. A list of each job title is presented below along with a brief description of staff duties.

PAIR program responsibilities are performed by the following staff:

Attorneys-provide legal advice and representation in negotiations, administrative hearings, and federal and state court; make presentations to variety of audiences and venues about legal rights of people with disabilities and their families; and work in coalition with other advocacy organizations to promote the rights of people with disabilities.

Advocates and investigators provide information, advice and technical assistance in self advocacy as well as representation in negotiations and administrative hearings by some staff; make presentations to variety of audiences and venues about legal rights of people with disabilities and their families; work in coalition with other advocacy organizations to promote the rights of people with disabilities, and engage in investigative activities.

Latino Advocacy Project staff attorney-primarily funded by PAIR and focusing on outreach to Latinos through satellite offices in Chicagoland area, self advocacy training in Spanish and special education cases.

Policy Analysts-monitor and analyze pending regulations and bills, conduct studies and issue recommendations, and work in coalition with other advocacy organizations to promote the rights of people with disabilities.

Program Directors for legal advocacy services, abuse investigations, public policy initiatives as well as the Managing Attorneys-spend most of their time on program-related activities, including planning, design of new initiatives, and monitoring progress in meeting program objectives and outcomes. They also spend some of their time on administration. They also build coalitions, engage in public speaking, testifying, and serving as a resource for media and are spokespersons for the agency on select issues.

President and C.E.O.-splits her time between administration and program-related activity, leads and manages the agency, functions as its spokesperson, and provides support to Board of Directors and advisory committees. The President and C.E.O. also promotes awareness of organization, builds public support for its mission and the rights of people with disabilities.

Chief Financial Officer-oversees agency finances, technology, human resources and operations.

Administrative assistants and other support staff-split their time between administrative duties and program-related activities.

2. Person-years

Type of Position / FTE / % of year filled / Person-years* Professional: Full-time / 37 / 100 / 7.9 Part-time / 0.5 / 0 / 3.8 Vacant / 0 / 0 / 0 Clerical: Full-time/ 6 / 100 / 4.5 Part-time / 1.5 / 100 / 6.1 Vacant / 0 / 0 / 0

*As indicated above, agency staff divides their time between programs, including PAIR, PADD and PAIMI. In FY2011, the figure used in determining the person-years was calculated using FTEs.

D. Involvement with advisory boards (if any)

The PAIR program does not have an advisory board.

E. Grievances filed under the grievance procedure

There were two PAIR grievances in FFY 2011. Below are summaries:

1. EFE was contacted by a woman who is deaf requesting representation in a lawsuit against her physician for refusing to provide her with a live interpreter rather than the Video Relay Interpreter (VRI) service when explaining x-ray results. EFE advised the caller that we could not provide the legal representation requested because we did not have sufficient resources. In response to that decision, the caller filed a grievance with the Director of the Civil Rights Team. A written response was provided within the requisite 15 business days. In the response, the caller was advised that EFE receives many more requests from PAIR-eligible clients than can be met, and that we did not have sufficient resources to provide representation in court for this matter. It was also explained to the caller that it was unclear whether the facts of the case would result in a positive result on the VRI vs. live interpreter issue, as it could be argued that it is not necessary to have a live interpreter for a doctor to explain results of x-ray. In addition, there were concerns about the case because of claims by the treating doctor that the caller had been sending the threatening texts. Based on all of these factors, it was determined that the decision to not accept the case for litigation was appropriate. The caller was provided with referrals if she still wanted to pursue the matter and was also provided with information on how to request a review of the grievance decision by EFE’s Board of Directors. The caller did not file an appeal her grievance to the Board and the matter was closed.

2. EFE was contacted by a man who uses a wheelchair because of a spinal cord injury requesting assistance to obtain a waiver of the family volunteer requirements at a local club. Equip for Equality declined to provide assistance because of limited resources and because the facts were not sufficient to warrant our involvement. In response to that decision, the caller filed a grievance with the Director of the Civil Rights Team. A written response was provided within the requisite 15 business days. In the response, the caller was advised that EFE receives many more requests from PAIR-eligible clients than can be met, and there were not sufficient resources to provide the requested assistance. It was also explained to the caller that when deciding how to use our limited resources, one factor EFE considers is the strength of the legal arguments in each case. EFE determined that there was not a strong legal position to support advocacy to obtain a waiver of the volunteer requirements given that the family had fulfilled the volunteer requirements in the past and had not identified anything that had changed within the family to prevent them from again meeting this requirement. The caller was also advised that EFE was willing to assist with other legal issues with the club that had been raised during intake, including a possible employment discrimination claim by the caller’s daughter based on her association with the caller as a person with a disability. (Ultimately, EFE agreed to assist the caller’s daughter with the employment discrimination issue, as well provide advocacy on an issue regarding physical access to the club. Those matters remain pending.) The caller was provided with information on how to request a review of the grievance decision by EFE’s Board of Directors. The caller did not file an appeal his grievance to the Board and the matter was closed.

F. 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.

Equip for Equality regularly informs individuals who are CAP-eligible about this advocacy resource and makes appropriate referrals. And we accept referrals from CAP of individuals who are eligible for our programs.

Primarily through our Abuse Investigation Unit, we accept for referrals from local ombudsman programs and work collaboratively with the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program on issues of mutual interest as they arise. G. Continued from Part V. Section A.:

Howard Rosenblum, in addition to having been a member of EFE’s legal staff for the past nine years, expanded the organization’s services and outreach to people who are deaf and hard of hearing, and created a model program of service to the deaf and hard of hearing community for Protection and Advocacy organizations, as well as the broader disability community. Mr. Rosenblum was the one of two deaf attorneys in Illinois and is one of the few deaf attorneys in the country. He is a nationally known speaker and recognized as an expert on legal issues facing the deaf community. As noted above, in FFY 2011, Mr. Rosenblum left EFE to become the Chief Executive Officer at the National Association of the Deaf. Some of his work at EFE in FFY 2011 includes the following:

1) National Association of the Deaf, Public Policy Committee Chair - Appointed to Chair of Public Policy Committee in October 2006, reappointed as Chair in October 2008 for the period of 2008-2010, and reappointed temporarily for period of 2010-2011. - Continued to work with chairs for the following subcommittees: Bioethics, Civil Rights, Education, International, Media, Mental Health, and Technology. - Continued to work with all subcommittees to identify areas that need to be addressed and proposed resolutions. - Achieved highest ever level (100%) of captioning (not including the game itself) during 2011 Super Bowl by working with Civil Rights Chairperson, NFL, and FOX to educate advertisers on importance of captioning and ensuring the captioning of most of the network promos. Some difficulties occurred in the pass through of captions in some markets, and this technical glitch will be corrected in future Super Bowls. - Achieved highest ever level (100%) of captioning (not including the game itself) during 2011 Super Bowl by working with Civil Rights Chairperson, NFL, and FOX to educate advertisers on importance of captioning and ensuring the captioning of most of the network promos. Some difficulties occurred in the pass through of captions in some markets, and this technical glitch will be corrected in future Super Bowls. - Continued to work with Media subcommittee to develop action plans with respect to improper portrayals of deaf people and culture in the media as well as lack of opportunities for deaf actors in various forum of acting. - Continued working with consumer members of the Technology subcommittee to develop a position statement on functional equivalence with respect to telecommunications services for deaf and hard of hearing people.

2) U.S. Senate Commitee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) — Special Taskforce on Employment of People with Disabilities - Participated in meetings with national leaders in Washington, DC on how to improve employment of people with disabilities. - Created recommendations and proposal to positively impact employment rates of people with disabilities. - Ongoing listserv discussions of strategies and implementation of task force goals.

3) Illinois State Bar Association — Disability Law Committee, Vice Chair - Participated in Disability Law Committee meetings to prioritize goals and strategies for the 2010-2011 year. - Participated in Diversity Committee (under which Disability Law Committee is grouped) to discuss common goals and strategies for improving diversity.

4) Michael Reese Health Care Project on Medical Awareness within Deaf and Hard of Hearing Population - Presented at and participated in peer review of Michael Reese Health Care Project involving Sinai Medical Center and Lutheran General Hospital regarding educating deaf and hard of hearing people about medical information and awareness. - Worked with various leaders in medical health fields in Chicagoland regarding access to medical information and literature for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

5) Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) ADA Advisory Committee - Served on newly reconvened advisory committee to review ADA compliance for CTA buses, trains and other transportation issues.

6) Chicago Public Schools Deaf Education Coalition - Helped put together coalition of city and state leaders interested in improving education of deaf and hard of hearing children within the Chicago Public Schools system. - Worked with coalition leaders to establish dialogue with Chicago Public Schools leaders including Richard Smith, head of special education services. - Advocated to ensure that Chicago Public Schools hire a staff person dedicated to improving education for deaf and hard of hearing students city-wide.

7) Illinois Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf — Legal Interpreting Committee - Participated in newly formed Legal Interpreting Committee to assist in creating standards for legal interpreting within Illinois courts. - Met with Administrator of Illinois court system to discuss implementation of such standards.

8) ITAC (Illinois Telecommunications Access Corporation) - Consumer Representative on board of directors, representing interests of state’s deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired telephone users. - Worked with ITAC to change focus of services in response to technological innovations in telephone industry including but not limited to mass exodus of consumers from using TTYs to preferring VideoPhones.

9) Make Medicare Work Coalition - Represented EFE during discussions with coalition that seeks to educate deaf and hard of hearing community about Medicare options. - Participated on community peer advisory group to discuss what deaf and hard of hearing community needs in terms of education about health care issues including but not limited to Medicare.

10) Illinois Association of the Deaf - Representative for EFE as outreach to deaf community of Illinois - Provided advocacy support to organization. - Assisted the organization in its push for accessible movie theaters.

11) Deaf Social Service Providers (DSSP) [Chicagoland chapter] - Representative for EFE at meetings - Ongoing meetings of various social service organizations in Chicago area serving deaf and hard of hearing individuals. 12) Chicagoland Black Deaf Advocates - Representative for EFE as outreach to black deaf consumers - Ongoing provision of bylaws and structure support to organization. - Provided workshop on advocacy and legal rights at local meeting.

13) Illinois Deaf Latinos Association - Representative for EFE as outreach to deaf Latinos - Ongoing provision of bylaws and structure support to organization. - Provided advocacy support to organization.

Note: Part III A. - Ages of Individuals Served - In 11 of the cases, the age of the individual is not reflected. This section does not contain an "unknown" category. Consequently the identified age categories include those 20 individuals distributed proportionately in relation to the known ages.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByDeborah M. Kennedy
TitleAbuse Investigation Unit Director
Signed Date12/22/2011