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

Maine (MAINE ADVOCACY SERVICES, INC. -- DISABILITY RIGHTS CENTER) - H240A110020 - FY2011

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NamePeter Rice
AddressDisability Rights Center
Address Line 2PO Box 2007
CityAugusta
StateMaine
Zip Code04338
E-mail Addressprice@drcme.org
Website Addresshttp://www.drcme.org
Phone207 626 2774
TTY 207 626 2774
Toll-free Phone800 452 1948
Toll-free TTY800 452 1948
Fax207 621 1419
Name of P&A Executive DirectorKim Moody
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorPeter Rice
Person to contact regarding reportKim Moody
Contact Person phone207 626 2774
Ext.215

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 areas4
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas247
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)251

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff84
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)2,378

DRC staff bill their time to program they are working under. For example, if a case is opened under the PAIR program, the advocate or attorney will bill his or her time to PAIR. Whenever DRC conduct trainings, the individual conducting the training discusses all programs and includes materials from all our programs. All trainings therefore have a PAIR component and all trainings are also conducted by PAIR staff. Listed below is a representative sample of the trainings conducted by DRC staff that was at least partially paid for by the PAIR program.

Training Targeted Case Manager DRC education team offered special education regulations and rights training sessions to 106 children’s targeted case managers throughout Maine.

COPAA Part C Presentation DRC presented a workshop on IDEA’s Part C Early Intervention Services for children ages birth through two. The presentation included: an explanation of the program, legal requirements, the concept of early intervention services and between Parts C and B of the IDEA, the Individual Family Service Plan, national trends in delivery models, and case law and guidance. Approximately 30 advocates, parents and attorneys from across the nation attended the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) presentation.

Housing Rights Training for Social Workers The DRC, in collaboration with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, created a 3 hour training targeted to social workers who work with individuals with mental illness. The training focused on how the social workers can ensure that their clients obtain needed assistance in securing housing as well as what their client’s legal rights are after obtaining the housing. The trainings were held in Bangor, Augusta and South Portland and attended by over 200 social workers. The State Board of Social Work approved the training for 3 continuing hours of education for social workers.

Guardianship Training A total of 163 people received training on Guardianship and Alternatives to Guardianship. The trainings took place in 5 different locations in Maine. 68 were people with developmental disabilities (17 were students in transition), 51 were supporters and 44 were parents. The subject matter of the trainings included the rights maintained while under guardianship, how to challenge a guardianship, the court procedure for awarding and removing guardianships, and the alternatives to guardianship. Training for University of Maine Human Resource Managers and Supervisors As a result of an employment training provided by the Disability Rights Center, human resources personnel at all campuses of the University of Maine Systemwere trained regarding their obligations to University employees with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Maine Human Rights Act. DRC attorney provided detailed PowerPoint presentation and handouts to all participants.

Community Trainings A DRC staff attorney along with the DD Council Executive Director, presented a 3 hour training hosted by a local college. Over 30 certified public school staff (regular ed teachers and ed techs) from throughout Maine chose to attend this intensive 5 day workshop on serving students with developmental disabilities.

Kelly’s Rules Rights Trainings A DRC Advocate along with a Speaking Up For Us co-trainer provided a rights trainings for 75 people with developmental disabilities and 64 supporters in 3 different locations. All attendees also received DRC materials.

EEOC Regulations Implementing the ADAAA Training for Maine Employment Lawyers Association A DRC attorney presented an update to Maine civil rights attorneys on the newly released EEOC Regulations and Interpretive Guidance implementing the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008.

Maine Human Rights Commission Housing Training A DRC staff attorney provided training on reasonable accommodations in housing cases at an annual Maine Human Rights Commission housing training.

Mental Health Advance Directives Training A DRC attorney training on Mental Health Advance Directives at the annual Maine Association of Peer Support and Recovery Centers retreat.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff12
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles38
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website54,782
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated4,753
6. Other (specify separately)0

Narrative

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)43
2. Additional individuals served during the year54
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)97
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)5

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 30

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility3
2. Employment33
3. Program access1
4. Housing9
5. Government benefits/services10
6. Transportation0
7. Education3
8. Assistive technology0
9. Voting0
10. Health care8
11. Insurance0
12. Non-government services22
13. Privacy rights0
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse3
16. Neglect5
17. Other1

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor23
2. Other representation found2
3. Individual withdrew complaint22
4. Appeals unsuccessful0
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.0
6. PAIR withdrew from case4
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources0
8. Individual case lacks legal merit19
9. Other2

Please explain

One case involved involved a conflict One case the client was advised of their rights

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-advocacy0
2. Short-term assistance45
3. Investigation/monitoring0
4. Negotiation7
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution1
6. Administrative hearings8
7. Litigation (including class actions)5
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 - 40
2. 5 - 2213
3. 23 - 5968
4. 60 - 6410
5. 65 and over6

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females55
2. Males42

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race0
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native2
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American3
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White83
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown9

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent69
2. Parental or other family home19
3. Community residential home4
4. Foster care0
5. Nursing home1
6. Public institutional living arrangement1
7. Private institutional living arrangement1
8. Jail/prison/detention center0
9. Homeless2
10. Other living arrangements0
11. Living arrangements not known0

E. Primary Disability of Individuals Served

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

1. Blind/visual impairment6
2. Deaf/hard of hearing4
3. Deaf-blind0
4. Orthopedic impairment47
5. Mental illness2
6. Substance abuse1
7. Mental retardation0
8. Learning disability3
9. Neurological impairment21
10. Respiratory impairment5
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment3
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment2
13. Speech impairment1
14. AIDS/HIV1
15. Traumatic brain injury0
16. Other disability1

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

1. Number of policies/practices changed as a result of non-litigation systemic activities7

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes7,860

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.

LD 339 Workgroup FY 2011 DRC actively participated on a legislatively mandated work group that examined whether individuals were discharged from nursing facilities to hospitals inappropriately. The committee developed an process to assess the medically necessary physical, cognitive and behavioral needs of adult MaineCare members living in out-of-state facilities to see if they could return home. The committee similarly developed a processes to assess individuals living in state nursing or hospital facilities, including psychiatric hospitals and units, to see if they could benefit from a less restrictive level of care but have been unable to locate appropriate services because they have complex medical needs such as ventilator care or behavioral health needs. The committee developed a transfer protocol for individuals being transferred from nursing facilities to psychiatric hospitals. After that the primary focus shifted to developing instate alternatives for individuals residing in out of state facilities. The committee continued to meet, the object being to bring Maine residents living in out-of-state facilities home; to prevent dumping of nursing facility residents with challenging needs into hospitals; to develop alternative placements; and to provide quality specialized and other services in nursing facilities. As a result of the committee’s efforts and DRC’s particpation and work, a number of individuals placed out of state returned home to Maine. With the new administration, the project is no longer being pursued.

Maine Human Rights Commission Case Processing Improvement Project The 124th Legislature asked the MHRC to evaluate ways of reducing time for investigating complaints. The resolve required the MHRC to report back to the 125th Legislature concerning case processing revisions, planned case processing revisions and recommendations for legislative action, all to reduce the time for investigating complaints. The Commission solicited DRC’s input on this process. The DRC attorney provided input on ways to resolve cases more expeditiously. Resolving cases more expeditiously is of concern to DRC because people with disabilities who have been discriminated against have had very lengthy delays in having their discrimination cases heard. During the meeting, Commission counsel noted that as a result of the DRC’s suggestion to utilize volunteer law students through the University of Maine’s School of Law externship program, efficiencies in expediting cases has been realized. During the meeting, the Commission also credited the P&A for its leadership on amending the Maine Human Rights Act statute of limitations, which now contains a statutory requirement that the Commission’s process not last more than two years. Commission counsel will be providing all input to the 124th Legislature, who has requested this information.

MaineCare Advisory Committee FY 2011 The P&A continues to sit on the statutorily mandated MaineCare Advisory Committee that advises the state Medicaid agency on matters relating to MaineCare services. This is an ongoing committee of advocates, MaineCare members and providers who advise DHHS on policies relating to MaineCare. Advice has been provided on prior approval, pharmacy, citizenship verification, state response to federal regulatory changes (Rehabilitation, targeted case management, etc.), estate recovery, rate changes, budget impact and billing systems conversion. 3000

LD 199 - An Act To Strengthen Maine’s Election Laws by Requiring Photograph Identification for the Purpose of Voting The DRC testified against this bill which would require that a voter provide proof of identity with photograph identification approved by the Secretary of State by rule for the purpose of voting. The bill was carried over to the next session.

LD 203 - An Act To Assist Municipal Clerks by Providing Adequate Time To Register Voters The DRC testified against this bill which would repeal the current law that authorizes citizens of the State to register to vote on election day. This bill requires that citizens of the State register to vote no later than the Tuesday preceding the election in order to vote in that election. This bill passed the legislature and was signed by the Governor.

L.D. 683 An Act To Enhance Long-term Care Services for Maine Citizens L.D. 1461 Resolve, To Implement the Recommendations of the Report on Services for Elders and Other Adults Who Need Long-term Home-based and Community-based Care The DRC testified in favor of both bills that would reorganize the provision of long-term care services for Maine citizens. The bill proposed the consolidatioin of long-term care services and provided a framework for consolidated in-home and community support services and nursing facility services with combined funding and integrated service delivery. One of the bills required the state Department of Health and Human Services to administer long-term care accounts as one account with one budget. The DHHS is also required to report to the Legislature on the progress of implementing consolidation of long-term care services in November 2012. The bill also requires a report about the inclusion of services for persons with mental health needs and intellectual disabilities needs in the consolidation of long-term care services in fiscal years 2013-14 and 2014-15. The bills were enacted by the legislature and signed by the Governor.

LD 1426 An Act Concerning Notification to an Employer of Misrepresented Medical Information under the Maine Human Rights Act The DRC testified against this bill and tried to help to ensure that important medical confidentiality protections under the Maine Human Rights Act were maintained. The bill proposed to expand strict confidentiality provisions in the MHRA which permitted employers to disclose medical information in very limited circumstances including when there were work restrictions and necessary accommodations by authorizing disclosure of medical information for the additional purpose of informing supervisors, managers and members of an employer’s management team of any misrepresentation, untruthful statement or omission of information by the applicant or employee on any medical form, record or file. The P&A testified to the committee that eroding the confidentiality provision in the MHRA was a bad idea because the proposed legilation conflicts with the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12112(d)(3) (as well as Section 504, EEOC Regulations and interpretive guidances) compelling policy reasons allow very limited exceptions to confidentiality in the post-offer, pre employment stage of employment when employers are permitted to conduct medical examinations and inquire about all disabilities, including those that carry social stigma, regardless of whether they are related to the essential job functions at issue; and the bill would create a confusing and inconsistent standard for many Maine employers and would expose them to liability under federal law if they relied on the proposed Maine standard. The committee voted unanimously "ought not to pass" which killed the bill.

Comments to CMS Proposed Regulations The DRC submitted comments supporting proposed Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) regulations defining for the first time what home and community based settings would mean. The DRC also supported consolidating the waivers but expressed concern about how cost neutrality would be calculated under such a program. The DRC supported person centered plans (PCP) for all waiver participants, pointing out that the State of Maine has successfully used the PCP process in its intellectual disabilities programs for many years. CMS has not yet promulgated rules.

Comments to Proposed OMS DME Regulations The DRC submitted comments on behalf of itself and 6 other disability related organizations opposing regulations proposed by the Office of MaineCare Services that would rely on propriety information that would not be available to the public, when making individual determinations about eligibility for particular pieces of durable medical equipment. The DRC also threatened suit, along with another civil legal service provider, if the regulations were promulgated as written. The state eventually promulgated the regulations without the offending language.

NDRN CESA Committee A DRC advocate sat on the National Disability Rights Network’s Community Education and Self-Advocacy Committee and works to develop resources and materials for P & A’s on Self-Advocacy, Self-Determination, plain language and access to P & A services. The DRC advocate worked on a resource document for P & A’s: Promising Practices in supporting Self-Advocacy in P & A work and on Priority Setting’, ’Intake’, ’Outreach’ and ’Training.

NDRN Legal Committee A DRC attorney sat on the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) Legal Committee, reviewing amicus briefs submitted by the national Disability Rights Network and guiding and setting policies for the P&A network.

School Civil Rights Team A DRC staff attorney was designated as a local elementary school’s civil rights team advisor and assists the team with projects that promote civil rights for students and adults with disabilities. The attorney educated the kids about the rights of children and adults with disabilities and about civil rights in general. The team focused on a student at the school with spina bifida and hosted the student’s mother to come to a meeting to discuss his everyday life. The attorney discussed the student’s right to be educated at the local school.

100 Pine Street Resource Fair DRC exhibited and a lawyer and an advocate met with members of the club and other visitors and answered questions regarding rights and DRC services and discussed potential joint future projects.

Disability Awareness Day Disability Rights Center planned, organized and hosted a Disability Awareness day at the Statehouse Hall of Flags for 40 disability organizations to educate legislators. DRC staffed the exhibit, distributed informational materials and answered questions. Individuals visiting the exhibit at the Hall of Flags have increased awareness of issues affecting people with disabilities, of the availability of advocacy services through DRC

Consumer Forum A DRC avocate held a consumer forum at a community support program in nothern Maine to tell people about DRC and to get information and feedback about community support services clients receive and share that feedback to encourage more client involvement in planning and changing services and to encourage self-advocacy and self-determination.

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts6,500
2. Number of individuals named in class actions0

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

DRC handled no class actions in this fiscal year. DRC filed suit in a number of cases that potentially could have resulted in litigation, but settled prior to filing. However, those cases settled.

DRC successfully represented a 58 year old woman with a neurological disability who was able to stay in her own apartment and avoided an eviction due to DRC’s intervention. As a result of the symptoms of her disease, the woman would drop cigarettes in her apartment which would then cause a fire. One instance led to total evacuation of the building and fire department intervention. This led to her landlord filling an eviction action. DRC negotiated with landlord’s attorney for an accommodation based upon her disability. The agreement reached was that if she smoked it would be outside and that she would do so at least 25 feet from the building in a safe area. However, the landlords would be entitled to a judgment of eviction if she continued to smoke in her apartment. The eviction action was then taken off the docket and client was allowed to stay in her apartment.

DRC successfully resolved an employment discrimination complaint for a 42-year-old man who was struggling with alcoholism. The man had been employed by a steel manufacturer for over 12 years. After going through a divorce with his wife and losing his home, he began drinking alcohol again. He took a leave of absence from work, but when he was scheduled to go back, he realized that he had a problem and needed to seek help. He contacted his employer and told them that he was enrolling in an outpatient program to deal with his alcoholism. Instead of granting him time off to get treatment, his employer fired him for being absent. DRC assisted the client in filing a charge of discrimination against his employer. The parties agreed to mediation to see if they could resolve the case. A settlement agreement was reached that compensated the client for his lost wages. DRC was also able to obtain attorney fees as a result of the settlement.

DRC vindicated the rights of a woman who was discriminated against and harassed in employment on the basis of physical and mental disabilities. The woman who worked at the front counter of a coffee shop was diagnosed with a congenital hand deformity, carpel tunnel syndrome, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. During her employment, the employer yelled obscenities at client and when client asked for reasonable accommodation for her carpel tunnel syndrome, the owner said, "this is your job, not a doctor’s office" and "that’s gay." The owner refused her request to stop yelling at her. On her last day, the owner yelled at her, "good luck finding another job with that f--king hand!" DRC filed a charge of discrimination at the Maine Human Rights Commission, which found reasonable grounds to believe she was discriminated against based on physical and mental disability. DRC attempted to resolve the case through the MHRC conciliation process, but employer refused to participate. DRC, joined by the Maine Human Rights Commission, then filed suit on client’s behalf, alleging violations of the MHRA and the ADA based on both physical and mental disabilities. The defendants defaulted and judgment was entered by the court against the corporate defendant and against the owners personally for emotional distress, other compensatory damages and lost back pay and attorney fees.

DRC vindicated the rights of a woman who was terminated from her job because of an eye impairment. The woman, who worked as a waitress, was scheduled to have eye surgery due to a deviated septum. There were complications of surgery, and she experienced double vision as a result. Although she only expected to be out of work for two weeks, her vision problems required her to undergo more surgery. She came back to work after a few weeks to try out her waitressing job, and everything went well. After a few more weeks, she went back to the restaurant to ask if she could come back. The owner replied, "oh, honey, no" and gave her a termination note stating that she could no longer perform her job due to the vision impairment. Client attempted to negotiate a settlement with employer but was unsuccessful. The DRC attorney filed suit in state Superior Court on client’s behalf and subsequently negotiated a settlement, including attorney’s fees.

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.

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.

1. Statement of the priority People with disabilities will be safe from abuse and neglect.

2. The need addressed by the priority

People with disabilities are often vulnerable and dependent upon others for basic necessities such as food, care and safety. Often people with disabilities cannot defend themselves or fear reporting instances of abuse and neglect because of a fear of retaliation. They are also often subject to financial exploitation.

3. A description of the activities to be carried out under the priority.

DRC investigate allegations of abuse, neglect or exploitation. If the individual seeks an investigation that would be more appropriately performed by another agency, such as law enforcement, licensing or protective, then DRC will make a supervised referral. DRC may also investigate the allegations and represent individuals with disabilities who report instances of abuse, neglect or deprivation of basic rights by staff of a facility or by any other individual who has an affirmative duty to the individual such as a teacher, case worker or other professional.

Abuse, neglect and deprivation of personal rights are -- -failure to provide appropriate treatment or evaluations including the use of appropriate assistive technology -deprivation of basic necessities -providing an unsafe physical environment -financial exploitation, physical or sexual abuse or failure to protect an individual from physical or sexual abuse by others -improper use of seclusion, restraint, medication or other aversive intervention -interference with basic rights of access to the following: the outdoors, visitors, free communication, recreation, the exercise of religion, voting, family members, and legal rights information and representation.

4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration.

DRC has collaborated with the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program and other state enforcement agencies in the past, including law enforcement. The collaboration with the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program has been successful and DRC continues to foster relationships with LTCOP and other agencies responsible for investigating allegations of this sort.

5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions. DRC handled 3 abuse case and 5 neglect cases under this priority for a total of 8 cases.

6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. The parent of a 6-year old boy with life threatening allergies sought the DRC’s assistance with the implementation of safety precautions at school. The advocate determined that one difficulty was the lack of a single, agreed to 504 plan. Over time, a number of 504 plans, health plans and crisis plans had been written but different parties were referring to various documents. The 504 Team convened and agreed to a single document that included the child’s 504 accommodations, health interventions and crisis response protocols.

1. Identify and describe priority.

People with disabilities will have access to employment without being subject to unlawful, disability based discrimination.

2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority.

In Maine, in 2009, the most recent year that we have data,the employment rate for people with disabilities was around 34% while the employment rate for people without disabilities was 80%. Household income for people with disabilities was still $30,000 while household income for people without disabilities grew to $60,500. These rates are consistent with national statistics. People with disabilities are disproportionately poor. They are systematically excluded from the workplace. They are excluded from the workforce because of stereotyping, fears of increased cost, inflexibility in considering accommodations and outright prejudice. Even though an employee may only need a reasonable accommodation in order for her or him to maintain or secure employment, employers are reluctant to provide individuals with disabilities with any accommodations. People with disabilities sometimes need assistance in making a request for a reasonable accommodation and representation when the request is denied. People with disabilities are often terminated from employment because of disabilities or they are at serious risk of termination or they have been subject to other serious adverse employment action. Sometimes people with disabilities are harassed on the job or subject to retaliation. Members of the private bar have been reluctant to take employment cases because of the difficulty of proving employment claims, the hostility of the courts and the high cost of prosecuting cases. As a result of this reluctance, P&As are often the only source of representation for people with disabilities in employment cases.

3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority.

DRC represented individuals who, because of their disability: -need accommodations in the workplace; -have been subjected to adverse job action in the workplace; -have been subjected to a hostile work environment all because of disability, or who have been subjected to retaliation.

4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. At the close of FY 2010, DRC lost a staff attorney due to a funding issues. Late in FY 2011, another DRC staff attorney left to go into private practice. This staff attorney handled many of the employment discrimination cases, leaving DRC with one attorney handling employment cases. She is a member of the Maine Employment Lawyers Association and the National Employment Lawyers Association. She works closely with other MELA member attorneys across the state and with NELA attorneys across the country. They regularly consult and collaborate with members of the private bar about the merits of cases, potential causes of action and pending cases. DRC also works with legislators, providers, government officials and employers to increase the employment of people with disabilities. These efforts are described elsewhere. A DRC advocate is also the chair of the Governors Committee on Disability and Employment, a subcommittee of the Maine Jobs Council, and is also a member of the Jobs Council. 51% of Jobs Council members are employers, the balance being advocates, union representatives and government agencies.

5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions.

DRC handled 33 Employment cases, none of them class actions

6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority.

DRC successfully resolved an employment discrimination complaint for a 42-year-old man who was struggling with alcoholism. The man had been employed by a steel manufacturer for over 12 years. After going through a divorce with his wife and losing his home, he began drinking alcohol again. He took a leave of absence from work, but when he was scheduled to go back, he realized that he had a problem and needed to seek help. He contacted his employer and told them that he was enrolling in an outpatient program to deal with his alcoholism. Instead of granting him time off to get treatment, his employer fired him for being absent. DRC assisted the client in filing a charge of discrimination against his employer. The parties agreed to mediation to see if they could resolve the case. A settlement agreement was reached that compensated the client for his lost wages. DRC was also able to obtain attorney fees as a result of the settlement.

DRC vindicated the rights of a woman who was discriminated against and harassed in employment on the basis of physical and mental disabilities. The woman who worked at the front counter of a coffee shop was diagnosed with a congenital hand deformity, carpel tunnel syndrome, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. During her employment, the employer yelled obscenities at client and when client asked for reasonable accommodation for her carpel tunnel syndrome, the owner said, "this is your job, not a doctor’s office" and "that’s gay." The owner refused her request to stop yelling at her. On her last day, the owner yelled at her, "good luck finding another job with that f--king hand!" DRC filed a charge of discrimination at the Maine Human Rights Commission, which found reasonable grounds to believe she was discriminated against based on physical and mental disability. DRC attempted to resolve the case through the MHRC conciliation process, but employer refused to participate. DRC, joined by the Maine Human Rights Commission, then filed suit on client’s behalf, alleging violations of the MHRA and the ADA based on both physical and mental disabilities. The defendants defaulted and judgment was entered by the court against the corporate defendant and against the owners personally for emotional distress, other compensatory damages and lost back pay and attorney fees.

DRC vindicated the rights of a woman who was terminated from her job because of an eye impairment. The woman, who worked as a waitress, was scheduled to have eye surgery due to a deviated septum. There were complications of surgery, and she experienced double vision as a result. Although she only expected to be out of work for two weeks, her vision problems required her to undergo more surgery. She came back to work after a few weeks to try out her waitressing job, and everything went well. After a few more weeks, she went back to the restaurant to ask if she could come back. The owner replied, "oh, honey, no" and gave her a termination note stating that she could no longer perform her job due to the vision impairment. Client attempted to negotiate a settlement with employer but was unsuccessful. The DRC attorney filed suit in state Superior Court on client’s behalf and subsequently negotiated a settlement, including attorney’s fees.

A 44-year-old female employed by a large national department store with a degenerative disk disease needed some time off for treatment due to flare-ups from her degenerative disk disease. She requested leave but her employer did not approve it. A DRC attorney spoke with client, explaining that she had a right to reasonable leave under the ADA and the MHRA. Client then went to her supervisor and explained her need for leave, and that she believed she had a right to leave, and the request was granted.

1. Identify and describe priority.

Individuals with disabilities will receive services, including healthcare, in the most integrated setting appropriate and where possible, will direct their own services

2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority.

In 2009, more than one quarter of all working-age adults with a disability were living below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). More than half were poor or near-poor, which means they had income below 200 percent of the FPL. Adults with a disability in Maine are more than three times as likely to live in poverty relative to adults without a disability. People with disabilities earn about half of what people without disabilities earn. As a result people with disabilities are more dependent on public benefits, including health insurance (Medicaid) than people without disabilities.

Whenever possible, people with disabilities should be able to self-direct their own services, including choosing where they live. Individuals with disabilities are often required to enter or remain in living situations that are more restrictive than what the client wants or what is necessary in order to address legitimate safety or medical considerations. Often, this happens because they are not afforded reasonable accommodations, modifications, assistive aids or services that enable them to reside where they choose. Medicaid waivers allow individuals with disabilities to receive services in the community rather than in institutions but they are subject to caps. Sometimes, hospital or service agency personnel, state agency representatives or other professionals exert undue pressure on people with disabilities to stay in a facility or not live on their own. Other times, this can be the result of budget cutbacks, where departments are asked to cut spending in certain programs, such as personal care services, and in order to achieve those cutbacks, individuals are threatened with institutionalization.

3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority.

DRC receives referrals from the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program and represents individuals with disabilities on waivers in administrative hearings who are in danger of being institutionalized. DRC also represents individuals in court who are in danger of being institutionalized. DRC continues to participate in legislative study groups that focuses on bringing individuals with disabilities who are placed out of state, back to Maine.

4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration.

DRC regularly meets with the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) and Legal Services for the Elderly (LSE) to discuss case strategies, trends and other issues of common concern. LTCOP refers DRC waiver cases involving individuals with disabilities living in the community who were threatened with institutionalization because they were assessed as needing fewer personal care attendant hours. DRC and LSE share legal briefs and other memoranda where appropriate. As noted, DRC participated in a legislative study groups that focused on bringing individuals with disabilities placed out of state, home. Study group members included Maine Equal Justice (unrestricted legal services), LTCOP, LSE, the Developmental Disabilities Council, the Alzheimers Assn, United Cerebral Palsy, nursing home providers, service providers and hospitals.

5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions.

DRC handled 8 healthcare cases, none of them class actions

6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority.

A 50-year-old woman with multiple sclerosis will get a new in-home care assessment to accurately assess her need for services due to DRC’s advocacy. The woman appealed her most recent assessment for services because her condition had worsened and she was not able to perform all of her daily activities without assistance. DRC represented the client at a hearing challenging the assessment. The hearing officer found that while the assessment may have been accurate at the time it was completed, her condition had changed so dramatically that a new assessment was needed. The department’s representative also agreed that a new assessment was needed to evaluate the client’s needs. The client was able to arrange for a new assessment based on her changed needs, and is now receiving appropriate services.

1. Identify and describe priority.

People with disabilities in Maine are entitled to accessible housing.

2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority.

Shelter is an essential human need. Maine has a relatively older housing stock, so inaccessible housing exists in all communities throughout the state. People with disabilities, who are often clients of DRC, often do not own their own homes, but rent their homes. They have a much more difficult time obtaining and keeping suitable housing because of their disability. They are also much more likely to be subject to eviction because of their disability or because of their association with individuals with disabilities. Tenants with disabilities are entitled to reasonable modifications or reasonable accommodations but are often denied those accommodations because of their disabilities.

3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority.

DRC represented tenants with disabilities who were being discriminated against on the basis of disability, by: -being evicted; -who needed reasonable modifications or accommodations in order for them to maintain or obtain suitable housing and their requests to their landlords had been denied; or -when they needed direct representation in order to make the request.

4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration.

DRC collaborates with the Maine Human Rights Commission (MHRC). In return for receiving federal funds, the MHRC must prosecute housing cases where it finds reasonable grounds to believe that disability based housing discrimination occurred. DRC has discussed co-counseling cases with the MHRC.

5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions.

DRC handled 9 housing cases, none of them class actions

6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority.

A 58 year old woman with a neurological disability was able to stay in her apartment and avoid eviction due to DRC’s intervention. As a result of the symptoms of her disease, the woman would drop cigarettes in her apartment which would then cause a fire. One instance led to total evacuation of the building and fire department intervention. This led to her landlord filing an eviction action. DRC negotiated with landlord’s attorney for an accommodation based upon her disability. The agreement reached was that if she smoked it would be outside and that she would do so at least 25 feet from the building in a safe area. However, the landlords would be entitled to a judgment of eviction if she continued to smoke in her apartment. The eviction action was then taken off the docket and client was allowed to stay in her apartment.

A 45-year-old woman with PTSD contacted DRC because her local housing authority was not responding to her requests for accommodation. The woman had requested that the housing authority permit her to keep a privacy fence in front of her apartment because of her PTSD. After the housing authority tore it down, she requested to move to a different apartment due to her own disabilities and the disabilities of her twin sons. The housing authority failed to respond to her requests for accommodation for a 3-bedroom housing voucher, so DRC wrote a demand letter. Within days, the housing voucher was approved and the client was able to move to an apartment that better suited her family’s needs and made her feel more secure.

A 53-year-old woman with physical disabilities contacted DRC because her personal care attendants were having difficulty getting to her apartment due to her landlord’s delinquency in plowing her driveway. DRC discussed the issue with the client and wrote a demand letter to the landlord asking that he be prompt in his plowing so that the client would be able to receive the services she needed to live safely in her home. After the letter was sent, the landlord was more diligent about plowing in a timely fashion. 1. Identify and describe priority. Public accommodations and governmental services will be accessible to people with disabilities.

2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. This priority covers both public accommodations and governmental services. Individuals with disabilities are often denied access to public accommodations because of architectural barriers or because of policies, practices or procedures. Requests for modifications or accommodations are often denied, as are requests to discontinue discriminatory policies, practices or procedures. Often discrimination in governmental benefits occurs through denial of benefits or services, or by offering benefits or services that are unequal to or less effective than those offered to persons without disabilities or by offering or providing different or segregated benefits or services when such action is not necessary in order to make the benefit or service effective. Direct representation is often the best mechanism to produce change.

3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. DRC successfully represented individuals with disabilities seeking reasonable accommodations or modifications in order to access critical services either before the Maine Human Rights Commission or in court whose request for a modification or accommodation had been denied.

4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. We workwith governmental agencies and private non-profits around enforcement.

5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions. DRC handled 10 governmental benefits/services cases, 1 transportation case and 22 non-governmental services cases and 3 architectual accessibility cases, for a total of 36 cases.

6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority.

The agency that serves a 59 year old woman who is blind now provides the client with an effective accommodation. Client contacted DRC seeking to have the agency that provides benefits to her provide written materials to her on disc rather than on paper due to her blindness. DRC contacted the client’s caseworker to explain the agency’s obligations to provide the client with an effective accommodation.

A 59-year-old woman with physical disabilities contacted DRC after she was asked to leave the offices of an eye doctor because of her service animal. The woman had no plans to return to the eye doctor in the future, but wanted the office to be educated about discrimination against individuals with disabilities who use service animals. DRC wrote to the doctor’s office describing the requirements of the ADA and the MHRA and asking that they modify their policies to comply with the law. The doctor contacted DRC with a number of questions, but indicated that he would review the legal standards and modify their policies accordingly.

A homeless shelter will institute a policy of nondiscrimination, post a notice of the policy institute a client grievance policy, compensate the client and pay attorneys’ fees to DRC because a 43 year old woman and domestic abuse survivor was terminated from a homeless shelter due to her disability. Client has a neurological disorder, obesity and mental illness. Prior to her admission to the shelter, client was assured that it was fully accessible, however, the handicap accessible areas lacked heat and the shelter failed to keep entry ways free of barriers, which caused unsafe conditions for client. The shelter refused to allow the client back in the shelter after she was discharged from the hospital and physical rehabilitation. The shelter personnel informed her that she was terminated and that they could not take care of her 24/7. Client requested reconsideration, but the shelter refused and they had no grievance policy to allow client to appeal. DRC represented client at the Maine Human Rights Commission and negotiated a confidential settlement agreement that allows DRC to disclose the terms of the settlement to its federal funders as long as the parties are not identified. The language says that "the DRC may disclose the terms of the release to the board of directors as well as the agencies and organizations who oversee the funding of DRC’s activities and other organizations to whom DRC reports its activities, so long as the identity of [the shelter] is kept confidential."

A national bank will ensure that reasonable modifications are provided to individuals with disabilities at their Maine branches due to DRC’s advocacy. A woman who uses a wheelchair for mobility contacted DRC to complain that at two different bank locations she tried to cash a check at the drive through window. The tellers told her that she would have to come inside the bank in order to use a fingerprint identification system required to cash the checks. The woman tried to explain that she uses a wheelchair and it is very difficult for her to park her van, get out, and get inside the bank to cash a check. The tellers informed her that it was the bank’s policy that she would have to come inside. DRC wrote a letter to the branch managers reminding them of their obligations to provide reasonable modifications in policies, practices and procedures if necessary to permit a person with a disability equal access to their services. An executive at the bank’s national office contacted DRC, indicating that the bank does have a policy to come out to the vehicle of the person trying to cash a check if necessary because of a disability. The executive sent a clarifying memo to all of the branches in the state to assure that they are providing equal service to people with disabilities.

The parents of a 5 year old with a new diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes called DRC because staff at their child’s school were not trained to administer glucagon and were not educated on his medical needs to keep him safe at school. In addition, the district also said that these services were only offered in a school which is significantly further away than their child’s neighborhood school. DRC advised parents that the school is responsible to comply with their son’s 504 plan, which required training for staff to allow a safe environment for their child at his neighborhood school. Thereafter, the parents contacted the school, advocated for training and the school held a training for staff including gym teacher, cafeteria monitor, bus driver and recess person who will be with client. The child remained at his neighborhood school and the staff were trained to keep him safe.

A 47-year-old man who is deaf contacted DRC because he had been denied an ASL interpreter for his appointment with an optometrist. DRC assisted the client in filing a charge of discrimination with the Maine Human Rights Commission. The MHRC found reasonable grounds to believe that the client was discriminated against based on his disability when the doctor failed to provide him an interpreter, after the client requested one for his appointment. After the reasonable grounds finding, the parties were able to reach a settlement agreement that included a change in policy, plus damages for the client and attorney fees for DRC.

A local restaurant is now accessible to individuals using wheelchairs thanks to DRC’s advocacy. A man with physical disabilities had recently experienced a decline in his mobility, and he began using a wheelchair to get around. Unfortunately, he found that a restaurant he frequently visited was inaccessible to him because he could not get into the restaurant due to a concrete step at the entrance. DRC sent a letter to the restaurant asking that they voluntarily make accessibility improvements so that individuals using wheelchairs could access their establishment. Within a week, DRC heard back from a contractor who had been hired to make improvements. Soon thereafter, the contractor confirmed that improvements to the entrance had been completed so that individuals using wheelchairs would be able to get into the restaurant.

A Maine summer camp has better practices in place for dealing with children with food allergies due to DRC’s intervention. The parents of a young girl contacted DRC after the summer camp the girl was planning to attend failed to make appropriate accommodations for her severe food allergies. The summer camp also insisted that the parents sign a waiver of liability stating that they were not responsible if the girl ingested any dangerous food at camp. After negotiations prior to the start of summer camp failed to persuade the camp to eliminate the waiver and take appropriate steps to accommodate the girl, DRC assisted the parents in drafting and filing a charge of discrimination with the Maine Human Rights Commission. During the MHRC process, the parties engaged in mediation and were able to come to a resolution that required the camp to establish policies and practices for accommodating children with food allergies, prohibited the camp from using a waiver or release that was not generally applicable to all campers, and required the camp to pay the girl a small amount of damages, as well as attorney fees for DRC.

A woman with severe anxiety contacted DRC with issues related to her service animal. The woman took care of her mother, who also had disabilities. The mother’s landlord, however, did not want to allow the client to bring her service animal with her when she assisted her mother. The client asked for more information about service animals and her rights. The attorney provided the client with more information and advice about her rights as a person with a disability using a service animal.

A 64-year-old white male who uses a wheelchair contacted DRC because he wanted to take a gun safety training course at a local trading post that was not accessible. After DRC spoke with client about the trading post’s obligations and about possible next steps, client indicated that he was going to give it one more try and request that they offer the course in an accessible location. Client expressed reservations about taking formal action against the local trading post and then lost contact with DRC.

A 56-year-old man with physical disabilities contacted DRC because he needed an accommodation from his town for more time to clean up his property. The man had received notice from the town that it was going to take enforcement action against him if he did not clean up junk and debris in his yard within the next month. Because of his physical limitations, the client was having difficulty complying with the town’s request. DRC wrote to the town asking that they grant him an accommodation of more time to clean up his property because of his disabilities. After some negotiation, the town agreed to give him additional time. The man was then able to make satisfactory progress in cleaning up his yard.

B. Priorities and Objectives for the Current Fiscal Year

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

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

B. Priorities and Objectives for the Current Fiscal Year 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 priority; 2. the need addressed by each priority; and; 3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority.

1. a statement of the priority

People with disabilities will be safe from abuse and neglect.

2. the need addressed by each priority

People with disabilities are often more vulnerable than the general population because they are more dependent upon others for food, care and safety and often cannot defend themselves or fear reporting instances of abuse or neglect because they fear retaliation. They are also often subject to financial exploitation.

3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority.

DRC will investigate allegation of abuse, neglect or exploitation and, if appropriate, represent the individual. If the individual seeks an investigation that would be more appropriately performed by another agency, such as law enforcement, licensing or protective services, then we will make a supervised referral. DRC will represent individuals with disabilities who report instances of abuse, neglect or deprivation of basic rights by staff of a facility or by any other individual who has an affirmative duty to the individual such as a teacher, case worker or other professional. Abuse, neglect and deprivation of personal rights are: -failure to provide appropriate treatment or evaluations, including the use of appropriate assistive technology; -deprivation of basic necessities; -providing an unsafe physical environment; -financial exploitation, physical or sexual abuse for failure to protect an individual from physical or sexual abuse by others; -improper use of seclusion, restraint, medication or other aversive intervention; and -interference with basic rights of access to the following: the outdoors, visitors, free communication, recreation, the exercise of religion, voting, family members and legal rights information and representation.

1. a statement of the priority;

Individuals with disabilities will receive services, including healthcare and housing, in the most integrated setting appropriate and, where possible, direct their own services.

2. the need addressed by each priority;

Often, individuals with disabilities must remain or enter into living situation that are more restrictive than what the client wants, or what is necessary in order to address legitimate safety or medical considerations. Often this happens because they are not afforded reasonable accommodations, modifications, assistive aids or services that enable them to reside where they choose. Medicaid waivers allow individuals to receive services in the community rather than in institutions but they are limited. Sometimes, hospital or service agency personnel, state agency representatives or other professionals exert undue pressure on people with disabilities to stay in a facility or not liv eon their own. Other times this can be the result of budget cutbacks, where departments are asked to cut spending in certain programs, such as personal care services, and in order to achieve those cutbacks, individuals are threatened with institutionalization. Whenever possible, individuals with disabilities should be able to live in communities of their choice as well as direct their own services. Healthcare is covered by this priority and is particularly important to people with disabilities. This priority also covers housing. Shelter is an essential human need. Maine has a relatively older housing stock, so inaccessible housing exits in all communities throughout the state. People with disabilities usually do not own their own home, but rent where they live. They have a much more difficult time obtaining and keeping suitable housing because of their disability. They are also much more likely to be subject to eviction because of their disabilities. Tenants with disabilities are entitled to reasonable modifications or reasonable accommodations but are often denied those accommodations because of their disabilities

3. a description of the activities to be carried out under the priority.

DRC will represent individuals with disabilities in administrative hearings and in court, where service cutbacks either force them to go into an institution or remain in an institution. DRC participated in a legislative study groups that focused on bringing individuals who are placed out of state, back to Maine and as a result of our participation, individuals living out of state have been brought back to Maine. That effort has been halted. DRC will also represent tenants with disabilities who are being discriminated against on the basis of disability by being evicted. DRC will provide technical assistance to those who need reasonable modifications or accommodations in order for them to maintain or obtain suitable housing and their requests to their landlords have been denied. DRC will review the need for direct representation in housing cases seeking reasonable accommodation or modifications. However, since losing two staff attorneys within the last year, DRC’s ability to provide direct representation in housing cases is severely limited.

1. a statement of the priority; People with disabilities will not be subject to unlawful disability based discrimination in employment. 2. the need addressed by the priority;

In Maine, in 2009, the most recent year that we have data, the employment rate for people with disabilities was around 34% while the employment rate for people without disabilities was 80%. Household income for people with disabilities was still $30,000 while household income for people without disabilities grew to $60,500. These rates are consistent with national statistics. People with disabilities are disproportionately poor. They are systematically excluded from the workplace. They are excluded from the workforce because of stereotyping, fears of increased cost, inflexibility in considering accommodations and outright prejudice. Even though an employee may only need a reasonable accommodation in order for her or him to maintain or secure employment, employers are reluctant to provide individuals with disabilities with any accommodations. People with disabilities sometimes need assistance in making a request for a reasonable accommodation and representation when the request is denied. People with disabilities are often terminated from employment because of disabilities or they are at serious risk of termination or they have been subject to other serious adverse employment action. Sometimes people with disabilities are harassed on the job or subject to retaliation. Members of private bar are reluctant to take employment cases because of the difficulty of proving employment claims, the hostility of the courts and the high cost of prosecuting cases. As a result of this reluctance, P&As are often the only source of representation for people with disabilities in employment cases.

3. a description of the activities to be carried out;

DRC will represent individuals who, because of their disability: -need accommodations in the workplace; -have been subjected to adverse job action in the workplace; have been subjected to a hostile work environment because of their disability; or -who have been subjected to retaliation.

DRC is interested in an employment class action and is always looking for a good case.

1. a statement of the priority;

Public accommodations and governmental services will be accessible to people with disabilities.

2. the need addressed by the priority;

This priority covers both public accommodations and governmental services. Individuals with disabilities are often denied access to public accommodations because of architectural barriers or because of policies, practices or procedures. Requests for modifications or accommodations are often denied, as are requests to discontinue discriminatory policies, practices or procedures. Often discrimination in governmental benefits occur through denial of benefits or services, or by offering benefits or services that are unequal to or less effective than, those offered to persons without disabilities or by offering or providing different or segregated benefits or services when such action is not necessary in order to make the benefit or service effective. Direct representation is often the best mechanism to produce change.

3. a description of the activities to be carried out;

DRC will also provide technical assistance to individuals who have been subjected to discrimination in the provision of public accommodations or governmental services because of disability. In select case, based on resources available, DRC will represent individuals with disabilities seeking reasonable accommodation or modifications in order to access public accommodations or governmental benefits before the Maine Human Rights Commission or in court where the request for a modification or accommodation has been denied.

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

Source of Funding Amount Received Amount Spent Federal (section 509) 160,238 160,238 State 0 0 Program income 15,459 16,940 Private 0 0 All other funds 0 0 Total (from all sources) 177,178 175,697

B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by the report: Outline the budget for the fiscal year covered by the report (prior fiscal year), as well as a projection for the current fiscal year. Be sure to include a breakdown of dollars expended/allotted for: administrative costs (i.e., personnel salaries, equipment, etc.); services to individuals; and other expenses (i.e., staff training, travel, etc.). The following chart is recommended:

Category Prior Fiscal Year Current Fiscal Year Wages/salaries 120,354 111,284 Fringe benefits (FICA, unemployment, etc.) 31,325 30,358 Materials/supplies 998 953 Postage 791 581 Telephone 1,825 1,743 Rent 13,112 12,518 Travel 3,346 3,195 Copying 852 813 Bonding/insurance 1,716 1,540 Equipment (rental/purchase) 1,764 1,684 Legal services 487 116 Indirect costs 0 0 Miscellaneous 17,021 16,461 Total Budget 193,872 181,246

C. Description of PAIR staff: Provide a description of the PAIR staff in terms of "person-years" and duties. "Person-years" refer to the actual time that positions (both professional and clerical) were filled during the period covered by this annual report. If a position was filled throughout the year, it counts as one person-year. For those positions that were filled for only a fraction of the year, you will have to calculate the "person-year" for that position by first calculating the "full-time equivalents (FTEs)" for that position. Person-years should be reported for all PAIR personnel whose salaries are paid fully or partially by section 509 funds. Be sure to include an explanation of the number of full-time part-time, and vacant positions.

The following chart is recommended:

Type of Position FTE % of year filled Person-years Professional Full-time 1.95 100 1.95 Part-time 0 0 0 Vacant 0 0 0 Clerical 0 0 Full-time .57 100 .57 Part-time 0 0 0 Vacant 0 0 0

D. Involvement with advisory boards (if any) PAIR staff are involved with the PADD and PAIMI programs, including the PAIMI Advisory Committee on a regular basis through management, case review and development of priorities, etc. Our intake process assures that callers ineligible for PADD and PAIMI services are referred directly to the PAIR program because our intake process is fully integrated.

DRC sits on the following boards or workgroups: Assistive Technology Consortium Acquired Brain Injury Advisory Committee MaineCare (Medicaid) Advisory Council Maine Advisory Council for the Education of Children with Disabilities, the IDEA mandated Special Education Advisory committee Commission on Disability and Employment Committee on Transition Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault Consumers for Affordable Healthcare Coalition Community Intervention Program Coalition LD 339 An Act to Prevent Inappropriate Transfers of Residents of Nursing Facilities Workgroup Maine Developmental Disabilities Council (and various subcommittees and workgroups) Maine Can Do Better Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, Community Advisory Committee

E. Grievances filed under the grievance procedure None

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

In Maine, the CAP and the LTCOP are not part of DRC. We coordinate with the Client Assistance Program (CAP) by making certain that we cross-refer cases on a regular basis. We regularly consult with the CAP to make sure that we coordinate cases in which the individual with a disability is eligible for and seeking both CAP and PAIR services CAP services in a case involving vocational rehabilitation and PAIR services in a case unrelated to VR. We also work with the CAP on clients who are or were receiving social security benefits.

We have an ongoing relationship with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) and provide legal consultation to their staff and cross-refer cases regularly. DRC and LTCOP developed a protocol regarding the referral of cases between DRC and the LTCOP. Periodically, DRC meets with LTCOP, Legal Services for the Elderly and others to discuss cases, strategies, upcoming rule changes and other issues of common concern. We also involved LTCOP in our nursing home project. We have also collaborated with LTCOP on long term care issues and certain legislative initiatives.

DRC has a long-standing relationship with Alpha One, Maine’s only Independent Living Center. We have referred clients to them and worked with them on disability access issues. We are working with them around proposed cuts in the states Medicaid program. We have developed a close working relationship with a number of private and public programs to protect and advocate for people with disabilities. For example, we work with Maine Equal Justice, an unrestricted civil legal services provider in the state, on a variety of issues such as health care. We actively participate on the Acquired Brain Injury Advisory Committee.

G. Other G. Other Money Follows the Person - Demonstration Project P&A staff are participating in a planning process for the successful application of a Money Follows the Person Demonstration Project. Although grant monies were awarded, the State is in the process of staffing this program, and therefore the Demonstration Project has not yet commenced. The P&A will continue to monitor and participate in the development and implementation of Money Follows the Person Project.

LD 199 - An Act To Strengthen Maine’s Election Laws by Requiring Photograph Identification for the Purpose of Voting The DRC testified against this bill which would require that a voter provide proof of identity with photograph identification approved by the Secretary of State by rule for the purpose of voting. The bill was carried over to the next session.

Juvenile Justice The DRC filed a complaint with the state Department of Education about the two juvenile justice detention centers in Maine. The Maine DOE issued an administrative letter to all school districts clarifying that school districts must implement the student’s IEP within 10 days of a student’s placement at Longcreek or Mountainview or must contract for the purchase of those services from the State, from the facilities school program. DRC plans to monitor to ensure that this requirement is being implemented and that students are receiving services.

Restraint and Seclusion in Public Schools FY 2011 — DRC has long advocated for strong legislation/regulation in Maine and nationally to protect the rights of children with disabilities from unlawful and harmful seclusion and restraint. As a result of DRC’s advocacy, a comprehensive stakeholder group met over the course of almost a year and deveolped a consensus based rule. The proposed rules are superior to the current rules in many ways, including by removing permission for a designated time out room, preventing the planned use of restraint or seclusion, and providing a complaint process for parents. Through legislative advocacy and judicious use of the media, DRC plans to work to ensure that the proposed rules are fully adopted. Systemic Complaint against a School Department DRC advocate filed a systemic complaint with the Maine Department of Education on behalf on unnamed children who were currently enrolled in a local high school who were eligible for special education services and required specialized instruction for Language Arts and/or Math. The complaint was based on a letter sent to all parents/guardians of students attending the high school who required specialized instruction for Language Arts and/or Math informing them that the student would not be participating in mainstream social studies in order for the students to receive specialized intruction in the above areas. DRC claimed this administrative decision was made outside of the IEP team process and denied the parents/guardians their right to participate in meetings with respect to provision of FAPE and their involvement in placement decisions. As a result of the investigation conducted by Maine Department of Education, no violations of the special education regulations were found. The Department maintained that the decision as to which block of a student’s schedule should be used for the student’s specialized instruction is not necessarily a decision impacting the student’s special education needs, and therefore may appropriately be made administratively.

Complaint Behavioral Intensive Care Unit (BICU) at a local hospital Through ongoing monitoring visits to a local hospital, a DRC advocate identified that the Behavioral Intensive Care Unit (BICU) Patient Rules developed by the hospital violated both state and federal regulations regarding patient rights. The DRC advocate, working with a staff attorney, notified the Director of Adult Inpatient Services in writing of the concerns. Whereas DRC did not receive a timely response, the DRC filed a complaint pursuant to the state Rights of Recipients of Mental Health Services. DRC received an initial response from the hospital that included minimal changes to the BICU rules and practices, so DRC appealled to hospital’s chief administrative officer who agreed to no longer use the "BICU" rules and ensured that if any restrictions on patient’s rights occur they will be individualized, and done pursuant to the Rights of Recipients of Mental Health Services, and placed in the patient’s treatment plan. DRC will continue to monitor this issue.

Complaint about the Adolescent Unit at a local hospital For the past year, DRC has been conducting monitoring visits and outreach to adolscents at a local hospital. As a result, the DRC advocate has identified numerous violations of patients rights through the hospital implementing a broad levels system and a behavior management program (BMP). The levels program tied certain basic core rights to a certain level. Therefore, the facility was placing limitations on patient’s rights and liberties outside of the process outlined in the children’s rights of recipients rules. In addition, the hospital imposed a BMP after a patient received 3 written warnings or 1 instance of a serious behavior regarding safety. A BMP generally included a patient being placed in their room or seclusion room for 24 hours without requiring a medical order. DRC successfully negotiated significant changes to the levels program that align with the children’s rights and the discontinuation of the BMP.

Access to Quality Community Services The intensive case managment program has changed from serving recipients of mental health services in the community to only serving those with mental illness who are preparing for release from jail/prison. The DRC advocate met with the ICM supervisor to discuss barriers to access of ICM services, eligibilty for the program and issues that have been identified through individual cases. These cases were resolved as the problems did not stem from lack of in house ICM services, but rather from problems in the community.

Kennebec County Co-Occuring Disorders Court Steering Committee A DRC staff attorney continues to represent DRC on the steering committee of a mental health court. The DRC provides assistance with rights issues and monitors the process to ensure that rights of individual with mental illness are being protected.

National Association of Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA) Board Member A DRC staff attorney is a board member on the board of NARPA, an advocacy organization whose main constitutency are individuals who are psychiatric survivors. Behavior Regulations Workgroup A DRC advocate and staff attorney worked with the state developmental services office and and the state office of advocacy to review and revise Maine’s behavior regulations. The workgroup reviewed best practice from around the country and re-wrote the regulations to reduce systemic use of restraint and to ensure that positive supports were required to be present in all behavior support plans.

Ensuring that Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Receive Medically Necessary Services A DRC attorney learned that the Department of Health and Human Services had determined that children with Asperger’s diagnosis were no longer entitled to receive Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) services. The DRC attorney researched the issue and discovered that the state had limited the number of persons that could receive ABA based on their diagnoses. In making this limitation, the state failed to follow Maine law requiring the proper promulgation of regulations — making this limitation legally invalid. As a result of this meeting, state agreed to promulgate regulations setting forth the criteria the state uses in determining what diagnoses are eligible to receive these services.

Collaboration to increase capacity for working with people with DD and TBI who are sexually assault victims. A DRC attorney collaborated with sexual assault centers to increase knowledge and capacity for supporting people with DD and Brain Injury who have been sexually abused. The group applied for Office of Violence Against Woman grant to develop a plan for cross-training sexual assault support centers, disability service providers, DHHS, law enforcement and clinical professionals. The project was not funded The DRC anticipates working with these partners to continue this effort.

Maine Developmental Services Oversight and Advisory Board A DRC advocate chairs this board that focuses on systemic issues affecting the rights of persons with intellectual disabilities or autism, including but not limited to issues surrounding health and safety, inclusion, identification of needs and desires of persons eligible for services by the department, the timely meeting of the identified needs and effective and efficient delivery of services and supports. The board provides advice and systemic recommendations to the commissioner, the Governor and the Legislature regarding policies, priorities, budgets and legislation affecting the rights and interests of persons with intellectual disabilities or autism.

Waiver Advisory Group A DRC advocate and attorney represented the DRC on the advisory group set up to look at issues related to the state’s two developmental disabilities waivers. The group met quarterly to discuss issues related to the waivers and give input and feedback, inlcuding quality assurance, future waiver applications and amendments to improve the services people receive.

Dual Diagnosis Task Force A DRC advocate and attorney worked with the state developmental disabilities council to improve the quality of mental health services for adults with developmental disabilities by assessing services in the state of Maine and providing dual diagnosis training. Two trainings on Dual Diagnosis were designed and conducted. The committee is gathering information to find out what self-advocates and families know and want to know about dual diagnosis in order to develop a training for supporters.

A Hospital’s Alternative Program and Discharge Focused Individualized Treatment Programs Through ongoing monitoring visits at a freestanding psychiatric facility, a DRC advocate identified violations of both the federal and state seclusion regulations. Based on reports by patients at this facility and review of a patient’s record, the advocate notified the facility of the violations and demanded that the facility immediately suspend the use of both programs until a comprehensive review was undertaken to ensure the practices were in accordance with all governing regulations. The facility immediately agreed to suspend the practices and requested a meeting with DRC to further discuss the issue. The advocate and the legal director participated in a meeting with administration from the facility and successfully negotiated the facilities acknowledgement that the restriction of a patient to their room, those times when the patient is alone, is seclusion. As a result, the facility agreed to not continue to use of the programs.

Class Action To Move Persons with Other Related Conditions (ORC) Out of Nursing Facilities The Disability Rights Center, along with co-counsel from Maine Equal Justice Partners, National Health Law Program, and a private law firm, settled an Olmstead class-action lawsuit against the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on behalf of persons with developmental disabilities unlawfully confined in nursing facilities. The parties are awaiting the Court’s approval of this settlement agreement. The lawsuit, Van meter, at. al. v. Mayhew, alleged that DHHS, in the operation of its Medicaid program, violated Federal law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA). Plaintiffs asserted that DHHS has failed to offer people with Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy and other related conditions opportunities to live outside of nursing homes. The Plaintiffs also claimed that for those who do live in nursing homes, DHHS failed to properly determine their need for services in nursing facilities as required under the Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR) provisions of the NHRA. Under the settlement, the state agreed to change the MaineCare program to allow those who formerly had no choice other than to live in nursing homes to live in the community and still receive services. The state applied to create a new Home and Community Based Waiver program, which will allow Maine to receive Medicaid funding to provide services outside of nursing homes.

Bates v. DHHS DRC’s General Counsel remains involved in institutional litigation that provides broad based relief on behalf of approximately 3,000 individuals who are current or former residents of Augusta Mental Health Institute, now known as Riverview Psychiatric Center. The case was settled in 1990. Class members are entitled to community services. Reforms at RPC are also required. This case is an ongoing class action. Judgment was entered in 1990 and the consent judgment is being implemented.

Court Ordered Monitoring of Guardianship A DRC attorney represented a young woman with a cognitive disability in a guardianship proceeding. Several years ago, she was placed under guardianship with her parents as her guardians. Her father, however, was convicted of a sexual assault against her as a child. Based on this, the State sought to have the parents removed as guardians. The court awarded guardianship to the mother, with numerous conditions. Among the conditions, the Court required that the DRC attorney contact the client to make sure she continued to want her mother to remain her guardian.

Unified Early Childrens Services A DRC advocate participated in meetings with various policy makers and other stakeholders to improve effective delivery of children’s services birth to age 5 and monitor related legislation before the 125th, first session, Legislature.

Psychiatric Work Group Before making decisions with regard to psychiatric drug utilization, the state’s Medicaid Drug Utilization Review committee solicits the opinions of a committee consisting of psychiatrists and consumer advocates. The DRC General Counsel represents DRC on this committee. The medications reviewed by this group are are all psychoactive medications, used in the treatment of mental illness, autism, dementia, and other conditions manifesting behavioral symptoms.

Comments on PTP Regulations The DRC’s General Counsel submitted comments on the proposed regulations governing operation of the expanded outpatient commitment program, the progressive treatment planning (PTP) program. The adult mental health authority revised the proposed regulations governing Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams that provide PTP services. DRC’s comments were responded to favorably, and as a result, the requirements under the rule better assure that PTP ACT teams will meet statutory requirements and that the public, clients and providers, can better understand the requirements that ACT teams must meet.

Level IV PNMI Monitoring P&A staff conducted 5 site visits and met with 33 individuals living in Level IV Private Non-Medical Institutions and provided information about DRC and its programs. The issues identified by the individuals were specific to each individual.

Mental Health Parity Coalition The DRC General Counsel represented DRC on this coalition of advocates committed to mental health parity. The GC reserached parity laws in other states and the potential impact that health insurance related bills pending before the state legislature could effectively have on current mental health parity. The GC attended a legislative breakfast where legislators were educated to the issues of mental health parity. A bill to require the Bureau of Insurance to prepare a report on benefits and costs of mental health parity came on for hearing before the Insurance Committee. The GC drafted written testimony on behalf of DRC for the hearing but ultimately the bill failed to pass, and the coalition effectively disbanded until possibly the next legislative session

Managed Care: Specialized Services The specialized services committee is a subcommittee formed to make recommendations to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services with respect to development of a managed care waiver. This subcommittee is charged with addressing issues specific to individuals with disabilities, elders, individuals in long term care, and dual eligibles. The new commissioner disbanded the specialized services sub-committee to advise on development of a Medicaid Managed Care proposal. Although the specialized services sub-committee made several recommendations along the way that were adopted by the former commissioner in design of a managed care program, with the change in direction with the installation of the new administration those recommendations now have no impact.

Prison Special Management Unit DRC participated on a panel of stakeholders to review a draft report on reviewing the due process procedures and the policies regarding the placement of special management prisoners within its facilities, specifically with regard to prisoners with mental illness and provided the Department of Corrections with recommendations for changes. Some of these recommendations were adopted in the final draft. When the final report was issued, DRC worked with a state legislator and the American Civil Liberities Union-Maine in drafting a resolve that would require the DOC to report out progress it made in implementing recommendations. The resolve did not pass.

DDC Disability Leadership Institute At the maine Developmental Disabilities Council’s Disability Leadership Institute, DRC provided an introduction to the Disability Rights Center and areas of the P&A’s focus and discussed special education regulations and Maine’s restraint and seclusion (timeout) regulations. DRC also provided a list of recent changes to Maine’s Special Education Regulations. Presentation included a description of the events that have taken place to lead up to the recent creation of a stakeholders’ group reviewing Chapter 33, the restraint and timeout regulations for public schools.

WCSH Listening Session After a long time mental health advocate and member of DRC’s PAIMI Advisory Council received a community service award, she asked that the station managers meet with individuals involved in the mental health field in a listening session, so that local televaison station could be educated to issues and thus, through their broadcasts and other activities, assist in the reduction of stigma associated with mental illness and will be more sensitive in their reporting and active collaborators in efforts to reduce stigma.

Mental Health Block Grant The Consumer Council System of Maine requested and received a briefing from DRC’s PAIMI Coordinator on the issues DRC felt were raised by legislation pending regarding the application process for federal mental health block grant funding.

Mental Health Consumer Councils The PAIMI coordinator met with members of a local chapter of a statewide consumer organization of individuals with mental illness who advise DHHS in the development of public policy and resource allocation for adult mental health services. The PAIMI coordinator presented on what DRC does, generally; described current PAIMI priorities and solicited their input for FY 2012 priorities; educated members on key projects the PAIMI program is conducted and solicited the council’s collaboration; and answered questions members had on specific rights issues. A DRC PAIMI advocate met with members of a local consumer council regarding DRC’s priorities and objectives, as well as sought input into next year’s activities. Discussed ACT Team issues and sought input regarding ACT Team issues. Provided information regarding Advance Directives. A DRC advocate met with the statewide consumer council and discussed DRC, it’s activities under the PAIMI grant including projects, to seek input on projects and systemic issues and network with members of the Council such as ACT Team issues and sought input regarding ACT Team issues.

Consumer Agenda Action Committee A DRC advocate presented general information regarding DRC related to it’s priorities and objectives, project activities within the PAIMI program and brainstormed regarding systemic advocacy to address ACT Team issues. Also sought input into next year’s priorities.

Public Forums with MDDC DRC, along with Maine’s Developmental Disabilities Council, staffed public forums around the state for the purpose of receiving input on PADD program priorities.

Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities Living with Dementia A DRC advocate met with related service providers and agencies met on 3 occasions to discuss issues of concern relating to individuals with ID and the high rate of Dementia.

Monitoring of Emergency Department The DRC PAIMI Team developed a survey tool and distributed it to patients on psychiatric units to gather data and information regarding patient’s experience and wait time in the emergency department. The survey was conducted at two free standing psychiatric facilities on two occasions.

Monitoring of adolescents on psychiatric The DRC PAIMI team is conducting outreach and monitoring to adolescents on units at 2 hospital psychatric units. The advocate completed structured interviews utilizing a survey with adolescents on the units to gather information on Restraint and Seclusion, knowledge of rights, education and treatment plans/discharge plans on a monthly basis. Ongoing issues include include the treatment planning process and lack of any outdoor activities and the lack to provide appropriate educational services. 100% of individuals surveyed reported that the school work provided by the facility is not the work at their regular school.

Monitoring of adult units at local hospitals DRC provided outreach including rights training 10 times at a psychatric unit of a local hospital and 12 times at a free standing psychatric hospital.

Monitoring of Children in Residential Treatment A DRC PAIMI advocate conducted outreach to adolescents at children’s private non-medical institutions. The advocate completed structured interviews utilizing a survey with individuals on the units to gather information on Restraint and Seclusion, knowledge of rights, education and treatment plans/discharge plans on a monthly basis. The advocate provided general rights information to 28 individuals and conducted surveys with 12 individuals one facility and four individual cases regarding various issues were open as a result of this monitoring visit. Residents also expressed concerns regarding the level/privilege system used at the facility. The advocate is in the process of reviewing the facility’s policies and procedures to ensure they are consistent with governing regulations. The advocate provided general rights information and conducted surveys with 13 individuals at another facility. One individual case was open as a result of this monitoring visit. Additionally numerous rights violations were identified at this facility and DRC is currently pursuing resolution. The Children’s Team met with a representative from DHHS who oversees the PNMI Program Standards to identify areas of collaboration. The representative has agreed to share reports generated from the Department’s monthly site visits to help guide DRC’s future project work.

Monitoring of Children under public guardianship Through the monitoring of several residential treatment facilities for children, DRC has identified five individuals under public guardianship who have no permanency plan and have languished in treatment facilities. Individual cases were opened and assigned to an advocate. Issues identifed have been related to the lack of discharge planning, not being permitted or encouraged to participate in treatment planning process, and lack of permanency plan. Advocate has also reached out to the Youth Leadership Advisory Council (YLAT) and had developed a plan to meet with each region before the end of the next fiscal year.

Level IV PNMI Monitoring A DRC advocate met with 33 individuals living at 5 Level IV Private Non-Medical Institution homes. Information regarding DRC and it’s programs were provided to all of these individuals. Issues identified appear to be client-specific.

Systemic Complaint for Educational Services for Children who are Blind or have Visual Impairments DRC continues to monitor the implementation of the Corrective Action Plan resulting from the Systemic Complaint against the Maine Department of Education regarding failure to provide educational services to children who are blind or have visual impairments that was issued more than 18 months ago. T he remaining outstanding item is completion of the statewide training of special education directors and IEP meetings for all children who receive educational services for the blind and visually impaired following the training (required in the fall of 2011).

O&M Services Systemic Complaint Orientation and Mobility services for blind and visually impaired students services in rual Maine are not consistent with children’s IEPs. The state hiring freeze has obstructed the Department of Labor’s ability to hire to fill a position vacated due to retirement. However, the Department of Education continues to hold the FAPE obligation and the obligation to provide these services. For children who are blind or have significant visual impairments, adequate O&M services are a matter of safety and access. The Commissioner of Education dismissed the systemic complaint arguing that unmet needs regarding O&M services were covered under a prior systemic complaint regarding teachers of the visually impaired. DRC requested a reconsideration of the dismissal which was refused by the Commissioner. DRC is in the process of determining its next steps including litigation.

Maine Partnership for Values Based Practice The Maine Partnership for Values Based Training, a collaboration between DRC, DDC, provider agencies and DHHS to bring Values-Based (SRV related) training to Maine and develop leadership among support staff, sponsored and organized 2 workshops in northern and southern Maine on the Power of Social Roles with over 100 supporters attending from agencies all over the state

Maine Developmental Disabilities Council The DRC’s Advocacy Director and a DRC advocate continues to represent DRC on the Maine Developmental Disabilities Council. See also subcommittees on Children’s Issues, Adult Issues and Dual Diagnosis.

Rights Manual Workgroup A DRC advocate worked with the state DHHS, Speaking Up For Us, a self advocacy organization, the DDC and the Office of Advocacy to develop a rights manual for people receiving Developmental Services. The graphics for the manual have been designed by artists with disabilities and the manual is in final draft form. DRC will hire a client of Developmental Services to do an audio version of the manual.

Support to SUFU Board A DRC advocate continues to provide support and technical assistance to and collaborate with Speaking Up For Us, self advocacy organization. The advocate provided technical assistance to SUFU on advisor hiring, board organization, provided TA to Advisors and BOD in developing Goals and Objectives. The advocate elicited feedback from SUFU members on DRC projects and got input for FY ’12 Priorities. The advocate and the SUFU board identified projects that DRC and SUFU can collaborate on together.

Employment First Summit DRC co-sponsored an employment first summit hosted by Maine APSE to discuss, define and launch an Employment First Vision that unites Maine’s disability, advocacy, service, and business communities. DRC staff attended the summit and gave input for the future of employment supports in Maine, making policy recommendations for Maine to continue moving toward being an ’Employment First’ state.

Supports Intensity Scale as Resource Allocation Tool A DRC advocate met with consultants the state contracted to discuss the implementation of a resources allocation tool to be used for people receiving Developmental Services, the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS), which was designed by AAIDD.

IDEA Monitoring and Enforcement A DRC attorney continues sit on the IDEA mandated advisory committee, The Maine Advisory Committee on the Education of Children with Disabilties (MACECD). The DRC attorney is concerned with whether or not Maine’s current system of IDEA monitoring and enforcement passes federal muster and to make recommendations for improvement to it.

Annual review of children’s eligibility by CDS Opportunities A DRC advocate researched the use of annual eligibility determinations and drafted a letter for a DRC staff attorney to review which is to be sent to Child Development Services outlining the DRC’s concerns about the potential for the unnecessary expenditure of public funds and the potential of an inadequate reevaluation of these children that in turn results in incorrect changes in eligibility based on inadequate information.

Privatizing Public Guardianships A DRC attorney and an advocate are working with others as part of a legislative work group to investigate a plan for separating the guardianship and case management functions of public guardians for persons with developmental disabilities serviced by DHHS. As part of this investigation, the work group will obtain and review information from other states that have independent guardianship programs, make recommendations to the legislature about the independent model that would work best in Maine, develop a plan for transitioning the current system to an independent system of guardianship, and identify necessary statutory changes.

ADD Regional Self Advocacy Summit The DRC’s Executive Director and a staff attorney attended an Administration on Developmental Disabilities Regional Self Advocacy Summit in RI along with partners from Speaking Up For Us, the Developmental Disabilities Council, the Center for Community Inclusion and Disabilities Studies, and Maine DHHS Developmental Services. The purpose of this summit was to strengthen and enhance self-advocacy efforts in Maine. As part of the summit, the Maine team developed a four-part plan which included the following goals: (1) developing an employment advocacy plan; (2)strengthening the self-advocacy movement/network in Maine; (3)developing an accessible transportation plan for advocates to attend local and statewide meetings and serve on councils, boards and committees; and (4) engaging policymakers and community organizations at the local level as active participants in efforts to achieve equal opportunities for self-determination and community inclusion.

Consumer Forum A DRC avocate held a consumer forum at a community support program in nothern Maine to tell people about DRC and to get information and feedback about community support services clients receive and share that feedback to encourage more client involvement in planning and changing services and to encourage self-advocacy and self-determination.

Outreach at SUFU Conferences A DRC advocate and sttorney attended regional SUFU Conferences and displayed information about DRC, talked with many self-advocates about their lives and experiences and was available for field intakes. The advocate also discussed DRC priorities.

Outreach to Case Managers A DRC Advocate met with Deveolpmental Services case managers in 2 separate areas of the state and discussed DRC services, the PADD program and held mini-workshops on rights and guardianship issues.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByPeter M. Rice
TitleLegal Director
Signed Date12/30/2011