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

Iowa (IOWA P and A SERVICES, INC.) - H240A120016 - FY2012

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameDisability Rights Iowa
Address400 East Court Avenue
Address Line 2Suite 300
CityDes Moines
StateIowa
Zip Code50309
E-mail Addressinfo@disabilityrightsiowa.org
Website Addresshttp://www.disabilityrightsiowa.org
Phone515-278-2502
TTY 515-278-0571
Toll-free Phone800-779-2502
Toll-free TTY866-483-3342
Fax515-278-0539
Name of P&A Executive DirectorJane Hudson, Executive Director
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorCynthia A. Miller
Person to contact regarding reportCynthia A. Miller
Contact Person phone515-278-2502
Ext.

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 areas3
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas19
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)22

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff6
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)367

The following were trainings conducted by staff that was at least partially paid by the PAIR program:

Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS): DRI trained DHS Targeted Case Managers about Special Education law so they in turn can help parents of students in special education identify issues that may be a violation of procedural safeguards and the federal and state regulations. This knowledge may also help them problem spot and contact our agency for assistance as needed.

Point/Counterpoint Workshops - What Attorneys Have to Say About IDEA: This was a training collaboration with the Developmental Disabilities Council, ASK Resource Center and Disability Rights Iowa. The training objective was to educate parents, school personnel, community providers and others about rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and special education laws. Foundation presentations included school to prison pipeline, 30 myths of special education and the 6 principles of IDEA. This was followed by a panel of attorneys who took questions from the audience about special education issues. The panel consisted of an Iowa Department of Education attorney, parent attorneys from DRI and NDRN, and a school attorney. These trainings were provided in Coralville, Dubuque and Waterloo, Iowa.

Parent training in Special Education and Section 504: DRI educated parents, staff and providers on a student’s rights in special education. Topics included eligibility for special education, IEP components and team members, procedural safeguards and dispute resolution and Section 504.

Elementary student training on disability rights and bullying: DRI conducted training for 3rd and 4th grade students at an Iowa City, Iowa elementary school. The purpose of this training was to educate these elementary students about disability, disability laws including the American’s With Disabilities Act, and bullying. The training was presented in a way to give them an idea of what discrimination feels like and to give them an example of what are some challenges people with disabilities face.

Employment law trainings:

DRI conducted two (2) separate trainings for the Iowa Epilepsy Foundation on epilepsy and employment rights. Each training discussed what laws cover employment rights, medical information under the American’s with Disabilities Act, and reasonable accommodation issues.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff1
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles0
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website16,700
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated6,559
6. Other (specify separately)1

Narrative

DRI produced one electronic newsletter that addressed rights of individuals with disabilities.

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)0
2. Additional individuals served during the year79
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)79
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)3

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 13

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility3
2. Employment21
3. Program access8
4. Housing6
5. Government benefits/services6
6. Transportation2
7. Education15
8. Assistive technology1
9. Voting0
10. Health care2
11. Insurance0
12. Non-government services2
13. Privacy rights1
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse3
16. Neglect2
17. Other9

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor47
2. Other representation found5
3. Individual withdrew complaint9
4. Appeals unsuccessful4
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.0
6. PAIR withdrew from case0
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources1
8. Individual case lacks legal merit1
9. Other2

Please explain

1 case closed due to no contact from the client. 1 case closed because issue was not disability related.

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-advocacy10
2. Short-term assistance55
3. Investigation/monitoring0
4. Negotiation1
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution2
6. Administrative hearings0
7. Litigation (including class actions)0
8. Systemic/policy activities1

Part III. Statistical Information on Individuals Served

A. Age of Individuals Served as of October 1

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. 0 - 41
2. 5 - 2225
3. 23 - 5942
4. 60 - 647
5. 65 and over4

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females39
2. Males40

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race3
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American4
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White68
7. Two or more races4
8. Race/ethnicity unknown0

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent50
2. Parental or other family home20
3. Community residential home1
4. Foster care0
5. Nursing home4
6. Public institutional living arrangement0
7. Private institutional living arrangement2
8. Jail/prison/detention center1
9. Homeless0
10. Other living arrangements1
11. Living arrangements not known0

E. Primary Disability of Individuals Served

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

1. Blind/visual impairment5
2. Deaf/hard of hearing4
3. Deaf-blind0
4. Orthopedic impairment14
5. Mental illness16
6. Substance abuse0
7. Mental retardation11
8. Learning disability1
9. Neurological impairment10
10. Respiratory impairment0
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment2
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment1
13. Speech impairment0
14. AIDS/HIV0
15. Traumatic brain injury2
16. Other disability13

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

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

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes0

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.

Quality Education Alliance: DRI formed the Iowa Quality Education Coalition to address systemic issues that affect the quality of education for students in Iowa, particularly those with disabilities. Members of the coalition share information and focus on changing and improving policies and practices that support high achievement for all students. The coalition is an ongoing project and they will be focusing on bullying and harassment issues and restraint and seclusion in the next fiscal year.

Safe School Coalition: DRI participates on the Safe School Coalition which is a pilot project funded by the Department of Education through a federal grant. The Iowa Department of Education has focused on the safe school certification program which is addressing bullying and harassment and reviewing what tools schools need to be a safe school.

School Based Harassment/Bullying of Students with Disabilities: In order to better understand the issues of reporting and investigation of bullying and harassment of students with disabilities, DRI researched the process of reporting incidents and the lack of uniformity across the school districts as to the process and forms used. The Iowa Department of Education has established a data base to more effectively track issues of bullying and harassment. DRI provided comments on the data base and training points for administrators. DRI also recommended having a standard form for all districts and understand the Iowa Department of Education will introduce a uniform form sometime in 2013.

Iowa Special Education Advisory Panel: DRI sits on the IDEA mandated statewide advisory panel that provides advice/recommendations to the DOE. DRI staff participates in the meetings held six (6) times a year and advocates in internal subcommittees at the meetings.

ADA Coalition: DRI created a new coalition to review and address issues within the American’s with Disabilities Act in Iowa. Collaborators attending include the DBTAC—Great Plains ADA Center, staff from Senator Harkin’s office, Iowa Department of Human Rights, University of Iowa Law Clinic, and six (6) local human rights commissions from metropolitan areas around the state. The coalition began drafting factsheets outlining the Iowa resources and a legal avenue to pursue claims under Titles I, II and III of the ADA. The coalition will be identifying a project to complete in FY13 and continues to meet.

Advocacy for Section 811 Funding: DRI monitored the Iowa Finance Authority and Iowa Olmstead Task Force for activities that would increase affordable housing for persons with disabilities. DRI strongly advocated that the State apply for the HUD Section 811 grant to expand the resources available for community based affordable housing and coordinated meetings and discussions on applying for the grant. Unfortunately, the State did not apply for the Section 811 grant stating it could not meet the application criteria.

MHDS Redesign: In early 2012, the Iowa Legislature passed a bill that made changes in the state’s mental health and disability service system. DRI’s concerns with the redesign included the short fall in funding for the new system and if Iowans with disabilities will be able to access needed services regardless of where in the state they live. DRI conducted a survey for individuals with disabilities to identify what services were being cut and what issues they were having with the service delivery during this transition with the state’s change in the system. DRI also participated in the judicial workgroup to review issues related to individuals with disabilities. DRI also participated in meetings with collaborators to exchange information, discuss recommendations made to the legislature by the six redesign workgroups, track various versions of the redesign bills as they were introduced, tracked amendments to the bill, and to make recommendations to Iowa representatives, senators, governor and director of the Department of Human Services along with other disability stakeholders. Olmstead Task Force: DRI continues to sit on this legislatively created task force designed to advocate for the state system to provide appropriate community supports for people who are threatened with being institutionalized or who require additional services to remain in their own home or in the least restrictive environment in the community. In FY12, the Olmstead Task Forced focused on the Redesign of Mental Health and Disability Services issues in Iowa. The intent of the legislation is to develop a community-based person-centered system that provides locally delivered services, a regionally managed system and statewide standards. The committee also reported that the legislature changed the term mental retardation to intellectual disabilities. A third bill focused on the judicial system and persons with mental illness and substance abuse, including training of law enforcement officers on mental health.

Iowa Disability Action Network: DRI sits on the IDAN committee which is made up of several agencies who come together to discuss policy, legislative priorities and issues related to the disability community including persons diagnosed with developmental disabilities, TBI, physical and mental health disabilities. Issues are typically related to medical, transportation, housing, employment, and community services, choice, and Olmstead. This year the committee focused its efforts to review the State’s proposed redesign of the service system. The number of individuals potentially impacted is estimated at 336,139 (all Iowans with disabilities).

Emergency Preparedness: DRI signed a statement of understanding with the Iowa Disaster Human Resource Council (IDHRC) and participates as an active member of the Council. As a member of IDHRC, DRI ensured that Iowans with disabilities access and functional needs were addressed in the state’s emergency planning efforts. DRI attended meetings of IDHRC regularly and shares information regarding the requirement to provide information and emergency services in accessible formats. DRI scheduled a meeting with Iowa Center for Disabilities and Development, Iowa Department of Public Health and The DD Council to discuss collaborative efforts in advancing inclusive emergency management in Iowa. DRI addressed the issue of the accessibility of weather radios that are being distributed in Iowa under a project of IDHRC. There is concern amongst disability advocates that the radios do not come provided with adaptive equipment that would make them usable. DRI advocated at this collaborative meeting that we would provide legal expertise and information on ADA questions and issues to state, county and municipal emergency management officials. Additional ideas for future collaboration included development of accessible materials for distribution before, during and after disaster, providing legal representation for rights and access violations for victims of disaster, developing monitoring protocols for mass shelters, collaborating on social medial to get the word out about emergency preparedness to persons with disabilities, developing training on emergency preparedness for persons with disabilities, and including reviews of facility emergency plans in DRI’s ongoing monitoring of facilities. Estimated number of individuals impacted was 1000.

B. Litigation/Class Actions

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

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

DRI did not bring any class action lawsuits in FY 12.

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.

Education: 1. Priority: Students with disabilities will have the right to enforce and protect their rights to special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Rehabilitation Act Section 504 programs. 2. Description of Need Addressed by the Priority: Students with disabilities are at risk of not being educated, being restrained or secluded, or subjected to the use of law enforcement for disciplinary purposes. 3. Description of Activities under the priority: DRI will pursue administrative or legal remedies for students with disabilities who have been inappropriately or discriminatorily disciplined, suspended or expelled from school as a result of behaviors related to mental illness, developmental disabilities, or other disabilities. DRI will continue to advocate for systemic change in Iowa schools’ special education programs. 4. Describe any collaborative efforts: The school to prison pipeline project is an ongoing collaborative project between Disability Rights Iowa (DRI) and the Iowa Department of Education (DE). The project is examining police reports to determine if students with Individual Education Plan’s that include behavior plans or goals to support positive behavior are referred more frequently to the police by their local school district. Three school districts were chosen by DRI (based on perceived problems from calls and reports to the agency) and three were chosen by the DE as comparison districts. During FY12, the DE continued to work on breaking down the data and also reviewing information based on poverty, race and ethnicity. DRI and the DE plan to use the information to produce a paper on the prevalence of the use of police in Iowa school districts and the impact on students with disabilities. This project is ongoing into FY13. 5. Number of cases handled by the priority and indicate if any were class actions: 6 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority: Client is a 6 year old male with fetal alcohol syndrome and reactive attachment disorder. He was being educated in a classroom with no other students and attended school on a shortened day. He had been isolated in a small closet like room before being moved to the small class room. There was no furniture in the room and he was sitting on the floor for all instruction. DRI advocated for this client at an IEP meeting and the client was returned to school for full days, he was also integrated into PE and lunch. A transition plan was created to reintegrate client into the general education classroom. DRI also advocated for extended school year services be reviewed due to the rare and unusual circumstances to help the student progress in his curriculum.

Abuse and Neglect: 1. Priority: Individuals with disabilities shall be free from abuse and neglect. 2. Description of Need Addressed by the Priority: Individuals with disabilities are often vulnerable and dependent upon others for basic necessities such as food, care and safety. Individuals with disabilities may not be able to defend themselves or fear reporting incidents of abuse and neglect because of a fear of retaliation. 3. Description of Activities under the priority: DRI will ensure that reports of abuse/neglect incidents in institutions and/or facilities are investigated. DRI will maintain a monitoring presence in public and private facilities in Iowa in which there are individuals with disabilities and/or mental illness. 4. Describe any collaborative efforts: The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) provides citations to DRI that they issued to residential facilities. DRI then reviews the citations for patterns within facilities, and any current neglect and abuse issues at these facilities. DRI then will follow up with a monitoring and/or an investigation when appropriate. DRI also collaborated with the Long Term Care Ombudsman (LTCO) and together monitored facilities and interviewed residents. DRI, LTCO and DIA also began to meet regularly during FY12 to review what facilities we can collaborate with our investigations so not to duplicate services but work towards the safety of residents in these facilities. 5. Number of cases handled by the priority and indicate if any were class actions: 10 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority: DRI monitored a nursing/skilled nursing facility in Council Bluffs, Iowa that serves Iowans with various types of disabilities. DRI monitored this facility along with the presence of the local long term care ombudsman to ensure that residents are free from abuse and neglect. The Administrator was interviewed and DRI staff spoke with five residents. DRI staff reviewed the grievance policy for the facility and made recommendations. Outlined in the recommendations was the concern of residents identifying that they are prevented from participating in community events if they are in a wheelchair. The concern was resolved as the issue presented as a communication issue with staff and residents. In addition, DRI recommended the facility find an appropriate transportation provider that can accommodate power wheelchairs and allow these residents equal access to participate in community events.

Community Integration: 1. Priority: Iowans with disabilities have the right to live in integrated and least restrictive settings appropriate to their choice and needs. 2. Description of Need Addressed by the Priority: Individuals with disabilities should be able to live as independently as possible and in the setting they desire. Barriers appear when the living situations are more restrictive than what is necessary to address safety or medical concerns, or considerations are not given to the use of reasonable accommodations, aids or services that could enable individuals to reside where they choose. 3. Description of Activities under the priority: DRI will continue to advocate and participate in legal interventions that promote the state’s provision of appropriate community based services for individuals that decrease institutionalization and increase availability of accessible and affordable community based services. DRI will advocate or provide legal representation for Iowans who are at risk of institutionalization due to reduction or termination of services. 4. Describe any collaborative efforts: DRI continues to collaborate with the Money Follows the Person grant program and other state resources to review the numbers of transitioning consumers to the community in order to advocate for transition to community living resources when appropriate. DRI also worked closely with the Long Term Care Ombudsman and other state agencies in reviewing two (2) counties that were consistently cutting county funds which then put individuals in danger of institutionalization in order to receive appropriate services. 5. Number of cases handled by the priority and indicate if any were class actions: 8 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority: Individual is a 48 year old single unemployed Caucasian male diagnosed with multiple sclerosis who was threatened with institutionalization due a denial for the Home and Community Based physical disability waiver. He appealed the decision and requested legal representation from DRI. Prior to the hearing, the individual resubmitted information to Iowa Medicaid Enterprise who reversed their decision and approved the waiver funding allowing the individual to remain in the community with appropriate services.

Outreach/Training: 1. Priority: To conduct training and outreach activities that promotes awareness and education about individual rights and remedies for Iowans with disabilities. 2. Description of Need Addressed by the Priority: Education and training are important to develop self-advocacy skills and also provide systemic change versus individual representation when resources are limited. There is also a need to increase the awareness of disabilities and services available. 3. Description of Activities under the priority: Provide disability rights trainings and participate in statewide outreach activities for individuals with disabilities and their families, as well as professionals and service providers, on disability awareness and rights issues. DRI will publish and disseminate information on disability related issues and rights of Iowans with disabilities. 4. Describe any collaborative efforts: DRI collaborated with private and state agencies to provide disability rights information and awareness of DRI’s activities. 5. Number of cases handled by the priority and indicate if any were class actions: No individual cases were handled under this priority. DRI conducted 6 trainings (see Section 2) on substantive disability rights and participated in 15 outreach activities. DRI also published one electronic newsletter during FY12. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority: See description of trainings in Part I, B. DRI exhibited at the Iowa State Fair Building Bridges Day, Autism Society Annual Conference, Latino Heritage Festival, Iowa General Assembly Legislative Day, Brain Injury Alliance’s annual conference, Iowa Youth Leadership Forum, Iowa Special Education Law Conference, and the Celebraisan Festival. DRI also provided outreach informational trainings about disability services to the West Polk Rotary Club, Optimae Life provider, central Iowa county case managers, State Long Term Care Ombudsman, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Iowa Rural Health Association.

Employment: 1. Priority: To promote and utilize state and federal laws on behalf of Iowans with disabilities who are discriminated against in employment. 2. Description of Need Addressed by the Priority: Individuals with disabilities may be excluded from the workplace due to fear and inflexibility with accommodation requests, and are likely to be terminated from employment because of the disability. There may also be discrimination in governmental benefits if the benefits or services are not equally accessible. 3. Description of Activities under the priority: DRI will advocate and/or provide legal representation for individuals who encounter barriers in gaining, maintaining, or termination of employment or failure to provide reasonable accommodations due to their disability. 4. Describe any collaborative efforts: DRI consults with and refers cases with the members of the Iowa Bar Association when appropriate. 5. Number of cases handled by the priority and indicate if any were class actions: 14 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority:

Individual is a 39 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis and an orthopedic impairment. She disclosed her disabilities and asked for accommodations from her employer as she was having issues standing for long periods of time and doing repetitive motions. The employer provided some accommodations but they were ineffective and they discussed transferring her to another position. She called DRI inquiring what are her legal options were under the ADA with regards to accommodations and transferring to a vacant position. She also had some general questions about FMLA leave. DRI met with the individual and provided information on rights under FMLA and the ADA. After a second meeting with her employer where they discussed her concerns and new accommodation requests, she moved into a new position and was back to work. Accessibility: 1. Priority: DRI will advocate to remove barriers that prevent access to state/local government services and places of public accommodation. 2. Description of Need Addressed by the Priority: Individuals with disabilities may be denied access to public accommodations due to discriminatory policies, procedures or practices. 3. Description of Activities under the priority: DRI will advocate and/or provide legal representation for individuals denied public access or services under Titles II and III of the ADA or the Iowa Civil Rights Act. Iowans with disabilities will be integrated into the State’s emergency planning, ensuring that their accessibility and functional needs are addressed and they have equal access to emergency programs and services. 4. Describe any collaborative efforts: See Section IV for systemic collaboration descriptions of ADA Coalition and Emergency Preparedness. DRI also collaborated with Iowa Department of Human Rights and the University of Iowa law clinic on accessibility issues and possible resolutions. 5. Number of cases handled by the priority and indicate if any were class actions: 7 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority: Individual is a 63 year old female with severe allergies and scleroderma. She has a service animal (dog) and was eating in a B-Bops restaurant when the manager approached and demanded to see the certification number for the service animal. The individual produced an ADA card describing the rights of a service animal. The manager became rude and intimidating stating she needs a certification number before she can enter the location in the future. The individual contacted DRI and wants to make sure this does not happen again. DRI sent a letter to B-Bops Corporate offices and the manager of the local restaurant outlining the violations of the American’s with Disabilities Act and the regulations on service animals. DRI requested B-Bops educate their franchise employees on the ADA and service animal regulations. The local restaurant manager called DRI to acknowledge receipt of our letter and indicated he was unaware he could not ask for certification. DRI educated the restaurant regarding ADA and service animals.

Guardianship: 1. Priority: To advocate for and represent individuals with disabilities to prevent unnecessary or abusive guardianships/conservatorships and promote the individual’s right to less restrictive alternatives to guardianships/conservatorships. 2. Description of Need Addressed by the Priority: Individuals with disabilities may be subjected to unnecessary guardianships (and conservatorships) and have the right to have an appropriate guardianship that is as narrowly tailored as possible. 3. Description of Activities under the priority: DRI will advocate and/or provide legal representation to prevent, modify, and/or terminate inappropriate guardianships/conservatorships. DRI will provide advocacy and protect the rights of individuals with disabilities to pursue alternatives to guardianships/conservatorships and address concerns regarding decisions made by a substitute decision maker. 4. Describe any collaborative efforts: See trainings provided in Part I. 5. Number of cases handled by the priority and indicate if any were class actions: 9 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority: Individual is a 22 year old female with a learning disability and seizures. She states she has an organizational representative payee for SSI benefits but does not feel she needs a rep payee. She called SSA and was told she needs a report from her physician before she can become her own payee. She wanted verification on this information. DRI advised the individual that SSA does require either a physician’s report, court order or other documentation of her ability to take care of herself before they will terminate the appointment of a rep payee. As a result of DRI assistance, individual should better understand her rights as a beneficiary with a rep payee and how to proceed in terminating the appointment of her representative payee.

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.

Education: 1. Priority: Students with disabilities have the right to enforce and protect their rights for special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Rehabilitation Act Section 504. 2. Description of Need Addressed by the Priority: Students and youth with disabilities are at risk of not being educated, being restrained or secluded, or subjected to the use of law enforcement for disciplinary purposes. 3. Description of Activities under the priority: DRI will advocate for students who are suspended, expelled, constructively expelled, restrained or secluded, arrested or forced to have a shortened school day for behavior related to their disability; investigate lack of transition planning and services for youth with disabilities and advocate for those not receiving appropriate transition services; advocate to prevent and stop bullying and harassment based on disability that contributes to a denial of free and appropriate public education or constitutes illegal harassment under state or federal law; provide outreach, education and legally-based advocacy for families of students with disabilities who are underserved due to economic and/or cultural factors; provide training and information to individuals with disabilities, parents, pro bono attorneys and law students to increase their skills and knowledge with respect to the enforcement of the IDEA and Section 504; investigate and issue a public report on the barriers foster children with disabilities face in receiving Medicaid and other health services when they age out of children’s health system.

Abuse and Neglect: 1. Priority: Individuals with disabilities shall be free from abuse and neglect. 2. Description of Need Addressed by the Priority: Individuals with disabilities are often vulnerable and dependent upon others for basic necessities such as food, care and safety. Individuals with disabilities may not be able to defend themselves or fear reporting incidents of abuse and neglect because of a fear of retaliation. 3. Description of Activities under the priority: DRI will collaborate with the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals (DIA), the Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Iowa Ombudsman to investigate the deaths of individuals with disabilities in facilities. DRI will conduct an investigation and issue a public report on whether providers are under-reporting abuse/neglect to state registries and licensing boards, and whether the registries and licensing boards are effective in stopping repeat offenders.

Community Integration: 1. Priority: Iowans with disabilities have the right to live in integrated and least restrictive settings appropriate to their choice and needs. 2. Description of Need Addressed by the Priority: Individuals with disabilities should be able to live as independently as possible and in the setting they desire. Barriers appear when the living situations are more restrictive than what is necessary to address safety or medical concerns, or considerations are not given to the use of reasonable accommodations, aids or services that could enable individuals to reside where they choose. 3. Description of Activities under the priority: DRI will provide individual and systemic legally-based advocacy to individuals who 1) are under age 60, 2) have a disability 3) are inappropriately placed in overly-restrictive nursing facility settings. DRI will provide legally-based advocacy to ensure that individuals with disabilities, including, but not limited to, individuals with disabilities living in rural communities, have the community services to which they are entitled under federal and state law. DRI will collaborate with other veterans’ organizations and provide legally-based advocacy to veterans with disabilities who are at risk of institutionalization because of barriers in accessing services or because of termination or reduction of services.

Employment: 1. Priority: DRI will provide legally-based advocacy for the disability rights of Iowans who are experiencing disability-based discrimination in employment. 2. Description of Need Addressed by the Priority: Individuals with disabilities may be excluded from the workplace due to fear and inflexibility with accommodation requests, and are likely to be terminated from employment because of the disability. There may also be discrimination in governmental benefits if the benefits or services are not equally accessible. 3. Description of Activities under the priority: DRI will provide legally-based advocacy for individuals requesting accommodations related to their disability in the hiring process or during employment. DRI will provide legally-based advocacy for individuals who encountered disability discrimination in gaining or maintaining employment.

Accessibility: 1. Priority: Individuals with disabilities have the right to full participation of programs, services and activities of public entities and public accommodations. 2. Description of Need Addressed by the Priority: Individuals with disabilities may be denied access to public entities, programs and public accommodations due to discriminatory policies, procedures or practices. 3. Description of Activities under the priority: DRI will investigate and provide legally-based advocacy concerning physical or architectural accessibility issues involving both public entities and public accommodations. DRI will provide legally-based advocacy for qualified individuals with disabilities who are excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of the services, programs or activities of public entities because of their disability, including, but not limited to, the failure to allow service animals as required by law and the failure of public entities to provide reasonable accommodations in the process of applying for services. DRI will provide legally-based advocacy to individuals who are discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation. DRI will provide legally-based advocacy to ensure Iowans with disabilities will be integrated into the State’s emergency planning, ensuring that their accessibility and functional needs are addressed and that they have equal access to emergency programs and services. DRI will provide legally-based advocacy to post-secondary students who are not receiving reasonable accommodations from their educational institutions. DRI will investigate whether the ACT (the college admissions and placement test) has failed to provide reasonable accommodations to test-takers with disabilities and DRI will provide legally-based systemic advocacy if the ACT fails to provide such reasonable accommodations.

Guardianship and other legal decision makers: 1. Priority: DRI will provide advocacy for the disability rights of Iowans to pursue alternatives to guardianship/conservatorship, to end guardianship/ conservatorship when it is no longer necessary, to change guardians/ conservators in cases of abuse or neglect, and hold other legal decision makers accountable for violating the rights of the person with a disability. 2. Description of Need Addressed by the Priority: Individuals with disabilities may be subjected to unnecessary guardianships (and conservatorships) and have the right to have an appropriate guardianship that is as narrowly tailored as possible. 3. Description of Activities under the priority: DRI will provide legally-based advocacy for individuals who want to challenge imposition of a guardianship/conservatorship when it is unnecessary, including promoting alternatives. DRI will provide legally-based advocacy to terminate guardianships/ conservatorships for those who are no longer in need of a guardian/conservator. DRI will provide legally-based advocacy to individuals whose representative payees are failing to act in their best interests as required by the Social Security Administration. DRI will provide legally based advocacy services to individuals who are aging out of foster care or transitioning in education and where the systems are promoting or attempting to impose guardianship/conservatorship as the only option.

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. Amount Received: $175,300 - Amount Spent: $176,594 B. Budget for fiscal year covered by this report: Category Prior Fiscal Year Current Fiscal Year Wages/Salaries $ 77,612 $110,111 Fringe Benefits $17,851 $21,890 Materials/Supplies $703 $775 Postage $344 $490 Telephone $1,380 $1,264 Rent $14,837 $15,207 Travel $2,294 $1,187 Copying $1,038 $1,557 Bonding/Insurance $2,411 $1,959 Equip(Purch, Rental) $1,869 $ 0 Legal Svcs $ 0 $1,144 Indirect Costs $0 $ 0 Miscellaneous $8,771 $10,292 Professional Svcs $26,021 $3,519 Total Budget $155,131 $169,395

C. Description of PAIR staff (duties and person-years) Professional Full Time 94% 100% 94% Part Time 2% 100% 2% Clerical: Clerical 2% 100% 2%

D. Involvement with advisory boards (if any)

DRI sits on the following boards or workgroups:

Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council Iowa Special Education Advisory Panel Iowa Disability Action Network Money Follows the Person workgroup Olmstead Task Force Corrections Task Force Mental Health Conference Planning Committee Judicial workgroup for Redesign

E. Grievances filed under the grievance procedure

None for FY12

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

In Iowa, the CAP and LTCOP are not part of DRI. DRI coordinates with the CAP by making certain that we cross-refer cases. Cases related to vocational rehabilitation program issues are referred to CAP. In addition, the CAP coordinator regularly invites DRI to trainings regarding the ADA and other CAP or PAIR related topics. DRI met in person with the CAP to review caseloads and what cases could be cross-referenced between our agencies.

DRI has concentrated on building a collaborative relationship with the LTCOP this fiscal year. We have met every quarter to discuss how the agencies can coordinate on investigations, monitoring and advocacy for individuals in facilities within the state. We are working on developing a protocol regarding referral of cases between DRI and the LTCOP. We each have provided cross-trainings to each other’s staff; DRI presented on our access statutes and priority goals under the federal mandates and LTCOP trained on Aging Disability Resource Center. We also worked together on issues involving funding cuts by counties that put individuals in danger of not receiving adequate services and threatened some with institutionalization. LTCOP coordinated a series of calls with other state agencies to identify solution and DRI directly represented some individuals in appeal hearings to regain funding for appropriate services. The LTCOP also has provided some guidance on guardianship law issues as technical assistance.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByJane Hudson and Cynthia Miller
TitleExecutive Director; Senior Staff Attorney
Signed Date12/19/2012