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

Florida (Disability Rights Florida) - H240A130010 - FY2013

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameDisability Rights Florida, Inc.
Address2728 Centerview Dr Suite 102
Address Line 2
CityTallahassee
StateFlorida
Zip Code32301
E-mail Addressinfo@DisabilityRightsFlorida.org
Website Addresshttp://www.DisabilityRightsFlorida.org
Phone850.488.9071
TTY 800.348.4127
Toll-free Phone800.342.0823
Toll-free TTY800.348.4127
Fax850.488.8640
Name of P&A Executive DirectorRobert E. Whitney
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorCarol Stachurski
Person to contact regarding reportCarol Stachurski
Contact Person phone850.488.9071
Ext.9727

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 areas2,099
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas0
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)2,099

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff9
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)369

PAIR staff presented a thirty minute training on the 10 Steps to Effective Advocacy at Florida Family Education Day held by the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. Forty five attendees received education on self-advocacy techniques. PAIR staff presented on Special Education Law for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related disorders at the 20th Annual Statewide Center for Autism and Related Disorders Conference. Attendees gained knowledge on advocating for special education services, the rights vital to navigating the special education system and the law and what that means for their children. The 70-75 attendees gained the knowledge necessary to empower the families of students with autism to advocate for appropriate services and supports. Participants received strategies for effective negotiation and dispute resolution. PAIR staff provided education and training at the Jacksonville Public Library Staff Development Day on disability sensitivity. The 30 participants received information on ADA guidelines and interacting with library patrons using mobility devices. PAIR staff presented on Dispute Resolution ESE Broward Reform. The training covered IDEA IPE facilitation and problem solving. Strategies were provided on informal conflict resolution, state complaint mediation, due process 504 grievances and OCR complaints. Thirty parents and agency providers attended. PAIR staff co-presented an interactive discussion on Parent Perspective: What Parents Want DOAH to Know. Training was presented to 30 Administrative Law Judges. Attendees were provided with a parent perspective regarding navigation of the IEP system from start to end including due process. PAIR staff developed a presentation, How to Develop a Personal Budget That Works. The workshop covered how to better manage money in order to build and maintain financial independence. The 28 participants were educated on the basics of preparing and maintaining a personal budget. PAIR staff developed a presentation, When The Team Can’t Come to Consensus, What’s Next?, on meaningful dispute resolution including resolving disagreements between the parent and the school, informal conflict resolution and mediation. The 25 attendees received education on the Office of Civil Rights complaints and due process hearings. Presentation allowed for open dialogue between presenter and participants. Participants were parents, students, legal guardians, agency staff and district staff. PAIR staff developed a Disability Sensitivity Awareness presentation for training of Student Resource Officers. Training provided the necessary information regarding disability awareness in order to improve the interaction with students. The goal of the training is to decrease negative interactions between Student Resource Officers and students with disabilities. The attendees received training which increased their understanding of a student’s disability and the impact of that disability on ability to understand and communicate. PAIR staff used presentation to deliver training on Navigating The IEP Process. Staff provided information to parents, students and caregivers on IEP process, state and federal laws and advocacy strategies. The 75 attendees received the knowledge necessary to successfully navigate the IEP process.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff2
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles0
3. PSAs/videos aired1
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website63,879
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated84,000
6. Other (specify separately)0

Narrative

Radio/TV appearances: "411 Teen" radio show with Dr. Liz Holifield designed for a teenage audience. Guests provide insights into topics that concern adolescents: http://news.wfsu.org/post/411-teen-disability-rights-florida. “Equality of access to extracurricular activities in school”: http://news.wfsu.org/post/florida-disability-and-athletics-groups-praise-federal-rule-equal-access-school-sports Other: Radio PSAs were distributed to 300 of Florida’s 640 stations with an estimated listening audience of 599,700. Disability Rights Florida now has 10,082 followers on Facebook and 493 on Twitter. Disability Right Florida YouTube channel has a variety of videos on success stories and trainings. The videos had a total of 6226 total views for this fiscal year. A total of 15 Disability Rights Florida newsletters were distributed with a total of 11,492 opened.

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)102
2. Additional individuals served during the year222
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)324
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)9

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 82

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility17
2. Employment29
3. Program access45
4. Housing57
5. Government benefits/services2
6. Transportation25
7. Education80
8. Assistive technology1
9. Voting0
10. Health care30
11. Insurance0
12. Non-government services31
13. Privacy rights0
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse5
16. Neglect10
17. Other0

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor164
2. Other representation found9
3. Individual withdrew complaint31
4. Appeals unsuccessful0
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.2
6. PAIR withdrew from case5
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources0
8. Individual case lacks legal merit16
9. Other0

Please explain

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-advocacy71
2. Short-term assistance83
3. Investigation/monitoring47
4. Negotiation35
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution1
6. Administrative hearings9
7. Litigation (including class actions)2
8. Systemic/policy activities0

Part III. Statistical Information on Individuals Served

A. Age of Individuals Served as of October 1

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. 0 - 41
2. 5 - 2277
3. 23 - 59169
4. 60 - 6422
5. 65 and over55

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females173
2. Males151

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race34
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native1
3. Asian3
4. Black or African American50
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White218
7. Two or more races5
8. Race/ethnicity unknown13

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent210
2. Parental or other family home81
3. Community residential home7
4. Foster care0
5. Nursing home14
6. Public institutional living arrangement1
7. Private institutional living arrangement2
8. Jail/prison/detention center6
9. Homeless3
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 impairment25
2. Deaf/hard of hearing32
3. Deaf-blind3
4. Orthopedic impairment86
5. Mental illness24
6. Substance abuse0
7. Mental retardation2
8. Learning disability24
9. Neurological impairment59
10. Respiratory impairment8
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment12
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment20
13. Speech impairment5
14. AIDS/HIV5
15. Traumatic brain injury5
16. Other disability14

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 changes259,053

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.

PAIR collected information from parents and professionals regarding the use of assistive technology (AT) used to enhance communication for students with disabilities. PAIR is receiving requests for service due to the students not being evaluated appropriately for AT devices, not evaluated in a timely manner in accordance with IDEA and Florida Statute, schools failing to consider AT at IEP meetings, students who do have AT devices do not have full access to them during school and/or home, and staff lack knowledge and expertise to determine and implement appropriate AT devices. Based on recent case work, PAIR developed a survey and collected information from parents and professionals regarding the use of assistive technology used to enhance communication for children with disabilities. PAIR staff used the collected information to develop training and outreach for stakeholders. As a result, PAIR staff increased the appropriate securing and use of AT for 300 children. Orange County Public School District (OCPS) did not accept out of district students with McKay scholarships for entrance into charter schools contrary to Section 1002.39, Florida Statutes, The John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program, and its corresponding rule, 6A-6.0970, Florida Administrative Code. The John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program is established to provide the option to attend a public school other than the one to which assigned, or to provide a scholarship to a private school of choice, for students with disabilities who have an IEP or 504 plan. As a result of PAIR staff intervention, the policy at OCPS was changed to meet Florida Statutes. All references to the policy in printed materials and on their website were subsequently corrected and 43,539 students with disabilities not residing in Orange County are now able to use McKay Scholarships to attend Orange County School District Charter schools. The students of Pinellas County School District were required to attend a "Central" School or have a School Nurse provide diabetes care services. This policy greatly increased loss class time and was not in compliance with Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) requirements of the IDEA. PAIR staff won a 504 Due Process hearing against Pinellas County School District (PCSD) and favorably settled the District’s appeal to Circuit Court. The settlement included the district changing its policy of requiring students who do not self-manage their diabetes to attend a school with a full-time nurse in order to receive the reasonable accommodation of district-provided diabetes management services at school. The district changed its policy and reflected the change in its Health Services Manual on-line. Approximately 20,000 students of Pinellas are no longer required to attend a "Central" School or have a School Nurse provide diabetes care services thereby reducing lost class time and increasing inclusion of students in the LRE. Hernando County School District (HCSD) gave notice to PAIR staff that they would no longer accept any other release of information forms but their own and that they believed the releases used by PAIR staff were not compliant with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) compliant. PAIR staff provided HCSD with the knowledge that FERPA does not support a school district requiring written content for release of records only on a district provided form. As a result of PAIR intervention, HCSD changed their policy and now accepts release forms from PAIR staff. This change in policy will impact approximately 3700 students. PAIR staff are participants in the Florida Positive Behavioral Support (PBS) Network which has an interdisciplinary group working to apply Positive Behavioral Supports within the education system in Florida. The network is tasked with providing a forum for individuals, agencies and programs to communicate and further enhance practices leading to increased adoption and integration of PBS principles. The network works to host events, develop training and create guidelines to ensure adequate implementation of the principles of PBS. The number of individuals potentially impacted is 500. On behalf of all the Exceptional Education Students (ESE) enrolled in the Broward County School District (hereinafter District), PAIR filed a state complaint pursuant to 6A-6.03311(5). The District had changed its procedure on the closeout of the student’s previous year’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). The District closed out the IEP outside the presence of the IEP committee. PAIR believed this to be a violation of the parent’s right to have meaningful participation in the IEP process. The parent and the IEP Team were denied the opportunity to review and determine what goals had been successfully achieved based on the data collected over the school year. The school was not providing nor reviewing the data with the parents, students or IEP Team. The determination as to what goals are closed out or why the goal may need to be continued was not made by the IEP Team. This impacts the parents, students and other members of the IEP Team the ability to meaningfully participate in the IEP process. Due process coordinators and Florida Department of Education agreed to staff training, letters to parents, parental participation and provision of information to the PAIR staff every quarter. PAIR staff is collaborating with the City of Jacksonville Disabled Services to duplicate a disabled parking program that has resulted in a reduction of violations in certain areas of the city and made finding an accessible parking space easier for persons with disabilities. PAIR staff worked on developing a packet that will allow other municipalities to understand and duplicate the program in their area.

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.

Disability Rights Florida v. FINR: A private transitional living facility refused full access to Disability Rights Florida investigators and as a result a lawsuit was filed in the Middle District of Florida. At the prompting of the judge in the case, the facility agreed to provide full access for investigations, a list of current residents and guardians, and unrestricted communication between our clients residing there and our organization.

Kern v. Days Inn North Beach LLC: Florida’s 11th Judicial Circuit. Disability Rights Florida is collaborating with Florida Justice Institute in bringing this action challenging the lack of accessible accommodations at this local hotel. Florida Justice Institute was contacted by Ms. Kern after she reserved a room at what was advertised as an accessible hotel but discovered upon arrival that the room did not meet ADA standards and she could not even enter the bathroom. The case was filed August 26, 2013 in state circuit court and discussions are on-going with counsel for the defendant.

Lebron v. Wilkins: The Plaintiff, Luie Lebron, a Navy veteran, applied for financial benefit assistance for himself and his son through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) administers the program and determines eligibility for such benefits. DCF ultimately denied his application because he would not submit to the required drug test. A class action was brought against DCF challenging this newly enacted Florida statute which required applicants to submit to suspicionless drug testing as condition of eligibility for TANF benefits, alleging such testing was in violation of the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches. The U.S. District court for the Middle District of Florida granted preliminary injunction to enjoin enforcement of statute and which was upheld by the 11th Circuit. Disabilty Rights Florida participated as an amicus throughout the proceedings below and in the appeal to the 11th Circuit because of the adverse impact such testing would have on individuals with disabilities who rely on government benefits and often require medication susceptible to inaccurate results.

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.

Priority 1: Abuse and Neglect - Eliminate abuse and neglect of individuals with disabilities including use of inappropriate restraint and seclusion, in facilities and community settings, by utilizing all appropriate strategies to remedy adverse conditions.

Needs Addressed: There is a continued and constant need to adequately and appropriately serve the disability community within the State of Florida with regard to abuse and neglect and compliance with state and federal laws.

Indicators: Investigate complaints of abuse or neglect, including restraint or seclusion, of adults with disabilities in public and private facilities, including forensic programs, jails, detention centers and prisons; investigate complaints of abuse or neglect, including inappropriate restraint and seclusion, of youth with disabilities in facilities and community settings, including juvenile justice facilities, foster care, child competency restoration programs and educational settings; investigate complaints of financial abuse of individuals with disabilities by representative payees and promote economic self-sufficiency. Collaboration: PAIR worked in partnership with state councils, advocacy groups and task forces to promote system-wide reform and compliance. Number of Cases: 15 Cases of Note: SP is an adult with physical disabilities residing in a nursing home. The client was transferred from the nursing home and held in a psychiatric treatment facility. She was illegally discharged from the nursing home during her stay in the psychiatric facility. PAIR staff initiated administrative proceedings but the client was ultimately able to find a facility that met her needs and she elected to move to that nursing home so no further legal action was required. JC, an adult living in an Assisted Living Facility (ALF), asked for assistance in obtaining personal property from the ALF after being admitted to a rehabilitation facility following surgery. A PAIR advocate worked with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman to have the property moved to the new facility.

Priority 2: Individual Rights - Protect the full and equal enjoyment of rights for all individuals with disabilities.

Needs Addressed: There is a continued and constant need to adequately and appropriately serve the disability community within the State of Florida including issues regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Fair Housing Act and Florida Building Code to promote equal access to Title II, Title III, housing and post-secondary institutions.

Indicators: Investigate complaints of violations of the rights of adults with disabilities in facilities; investigate complaints of violations of rights of youth with disabilities in facilities; implement appropriate strategies to advocate for individuals with disabilities, both youth and adults, in community settings to insure full enjoyment of available rights and privileges, with focus on publicly funded benefits and supports; implement appropriate strategies to advocate for individuals with disabilities, both youth and adults, in facilities and in community settings to insure full enjoyment of available rights and privileges, focusing on a reduction of unnecessary incarceration or commitment and access to legal services; advocate for students with disabilities in community settings and facilities who are negotiating the transition process from secondary education to post-secondary education or employment to increase successful outcomes; advocate for students with disabilities in the dependency system who allege violations of educational rights in community and residential settings; advocate for students with disabilities in the juvenile justice system who allege violations of educational rights in both community settings and residential facilities; Challenge discrimination based on disability in the workplace utilizing education, outreach, legislative and legal strategies to ensure rights under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act; ensure the independence of individuals with disabilities and explore alternatives to guardianship to avoid unnecessary restrictions on their rights as a result of guardianship. Collaboration: PAIR worked in partnership with state councils, advocacy groups and task forces to promote system-wide reform and compliance. Number of Cases: 113

Cases of Note:

CJ is a deaf adult living in a nursing home who reported he was denied a reasonable accommodation because he was not provided an appropriate ASL interpreter during treatment team meetings. A PAIR advocate met with nursing home to secure the appropriate ASL interpreter when needed. Client was able to obtain a community placement shortly after this meeting.

MS is an adult who is legally blind. MS contacted Disability Rights Florida when he was determined to be ‘conditionally eligible” for ADA paratransit. Disability Rights Florida successfully negotiated additional conditions which would increase MS’ eligibility for ADA paratransit services.

SW, an adult with physical disabilities, contacted PAIR alleging an ADA Title III violation when her doctor refused to allow her service dog into the examining room with her. Eventually the doctor terminated the relationship due to this issue. PAIR staff investigated and based on the findings, provided technical assistance and clarification regarding the rights of individuals with service dogs to the doctor’s legal counsel.

KB, an adult with physical disabilities, contacted PAIR after her Medicaid Non-Emergency Transportation services were suspended. PAIR investigation discovered a lack of proper medical documentation which caused the recertification process to be halted. We provided client with technical assistance and guidance to obtain the necessary documentation that would satisfy the recertification requirements. After the documents were submitted, Medicaid transportation services were reinstated immediately.

JC, an adult with kidney failure, contacted PAIR regarding termination and denial of Transportation Disadvantaged funded transportation services. Due to several variables and conflicts, the previously arranged transportation was not available for JM’s three day per week medical treatment appointments. PAIR successfully negotiated a positive outcome so JC was able to be placed back on the transportation roster and was able to be provided the equivalent services he had been receiving.

CS is a student identified as having a learning disability but also manifests significant cognitive issues. As a result of Disability Rights Florida’s negotiations with the school district, an Individual Education Plan was developed that would allow CS to graduate on time with his peers, participate in an aggressive credit retrieval program facilitating a standard diploma tract, explore vocational opportunities and explore college experience activities.

JM is a student with a psychiatric disability in a Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Detention Center. Guardian requested assistance with appropriate transition planning for JM’s return to public school upon release. Our staff successfully advocated for in-home therapeutic support services to be started immediately upon JM’s return home. Guardian decided to place JM in previous center school. We provided input concerning Individual Education Plan (IEP) improvements and suggested strategy for IEP Team meeting in order for guardian to successfully advocate on behalf of JM. Guardian was provided with IDEA transition information and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) information.

LC is an adult with a physical disability living in a correctional facility. Client contacted Disability Rights Florida regarding an accommodation for his disability. LC is a double amputee and cannot transfer to a non-accessible toilet without putting on his prosthetic legs. Wearing the legs too much was causing him sores and he was using a wheelchair while the sores healed. The client had been in an accessible cell and without explanation, was transferred to an open bay with non-accessible toilets. Disability Rights staff successfully advocated on behalf of LC and he was relocated to an accessible cell.

EW, an adult who has high blood pressure, COPD, Asthma, and three broken neck discs that are causing numbing in the hands contacted Disability Rights Florida seeking assistance with getting his Medicaid reopened. A Disability Rights Florida advocate was assigned to investigate. An investigation into client’s Medicaid information and Access Florida account revealed that the Medicaid was closed incorrectly. Contact was made with DCF and the client’s Medicaid was reopened pending client’s SSA determination.

ML, an adult diagnosed with quadriplegia and vent-dependence contacted Disability Rights Florida for assistance with finding appropriate placement within the state of Florida upon hospital discharge. A staff attorney was assigned to assist. The attorney successfully prevented the hospital from discharging the patient to an out-of-state nursing home that would make it very difficult for family visits. There continues to be a lack of placement alternatives for individuals on ventilators in the state of Florida. The systemic issue remains as a bill in the Florida legislature that would enhance the rate for nursing homes for individuals such as ML.

WL, an adult diagnosed with physical/orthopedic impairments, had surgery for hip replacement and returned to work with the local school district in 2006 and 2007 as a paraprofessional with permanent physician-imposed physical restrictions. Client reports that the role was not physically demanding. WL continued in the same role, until May 2012 when a new job description was presented that disqualified WL from the current position as it called for lifting children—a function that was limited by doctor’s orders. Disability Rights Florida provided WL with contact information for the EEOC & FCHR and information on their respective processes. Staff maintained periodic contact with WL and confirmed that a claim against the employer was filed by the client.

MH, an adult with physical impairments relating to her back and spine, worked for a state agency as a substance abuse counselor. After the nearby facility closed, MH and other staff were transferred to a facility 100 miles from the client’s home, resulting in 200 miles of driving each day. Due to MH’s disability, this drive is extremely difficult. Other employees with the same work titles were offered "officer quarters" to stay in at the new facility to accommodate their travel. MH requested to be allowed to stay in these quarters, but was denied. MH contacted Disability Rights Florida after a reasonable accommodation request resulted in an unfavorable response by her employer. MH states she provided the employer notes detailing her disability and need for an accommodation to not travel the distance to work each day. MH states the employer continued to deny her requests. Disability Rights Florida provided MH with contact information for the Job Accommodation Network (“JAN”), EEOC & FCHR and information on their respective processes; the client filed a complaint with FCHR, which was reportedly referred to FCHR counsel. Disability Rights Florida learned that a new administrator had taken over and granted MH to move into officer quarters for the Monday-to-Friday work week.

DG, an adult diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, sought accommodations for a few months. The client’s employer had remodeled its offices, during which time DG was allowed to work from home. DG sought to have the home office become the permanent work location, as going to the office every day caused DG significant pain. The accommodation request was verbally denied. After consulting with Disability Rights Florida, the client drafted a new demand letter which included information from JAN. The revised request allowing work from home for part of the week satisfied DG’s needs and was approved by the employer.

CH, an adult diagnosed with ADD & ADHD, as well as degenerative spine and bladder issues, sought Disability Rights Florida’s assistance after receiving no response from his employer to a request for accommodations. The client works as a school teacher. CH’s physical impairments limit standing for long periods of time, pushing, and pulling. CH received no response to the request for accommodations directed to the direct supervisor, human resources, and union representative. Due to Disability Rights Florida’s involvement, CH gained knowledge of process for filing an EEOC charge and subsequently filed an EEOC complaint against the employer and an opportunity was offered for mediation between CH and the employer.

GK, an adult diagnosed with neurological disorders and occipital neuralgia, sought information regarding Title I of the ADA and reasonable accommodations. Disability Rights Florida assisted GK to draft an accommodation request and provided contact information for the EEOC, JAN, and FCHR, as well as applicable legal services agencies. The client sought to work from home or to find a more suitable position within the agency. After the request was made and discussion was had with the employer, GK was reassigned to a new position through a lateral move. DISABILITY RIGHTS FLORIDA advised the client of the implication of a lateral move and the possibility of a probationary period. GK accepted the new position and is satisfied with the current supervisor.

JM is an adult with orthopedic disability residing in a state prison. The client contacted our organization because he was denied the effective use of a wheelchair while in prison. An advocate worked with prison officials to obtain a wheelchair for the client.

MS, an adult with deafness, sought assistance from DRF when a lawyer refused to provide an accommodation of sign language interpreter to assess the merits of MS’s Social Security case. Our staff intervened and the Social Security attorney agreed to accommodate the client. In the end, the attorney did not take MS’s case based on the specifics of MS’s need for an attorney who can file in Federal Court. Due to the need for continued search for legal representation, MS was referred to the Florida Bar as well as National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) for attorney referrals.

Priority 3 — Community Integration - Utilize state and federal laws to ensure full participation of individuals with disabilities in integrated community settings through equal access to programs, transportation, recreation and housing.

Needs Addressed: There is a continued and constant need to adequately and appropriately serve the disability community within the State of Florida with regard to ensuring community integration and access to services while living in a community setting.

Indicators: Individuals with disabilities shall have equal access to physical settings and programs, including use of assistive technology; individuals with disabilities waitlisted for services from state agencies will receive those services on a reasonably timely basis in an appropriately integrated setting; individuals with disabilities, especially those with severe and persistent psychiatric disabilities, will have increased opportunity for individual choice in residential options rather than reliance on institutionalized settings; explore strategies and support initiatives to increase availability of accessible housing across disabilities; promote self-advocacy and independence in disaster planning and monitor development of appropriate and accessible shelter facilities. Collaboration: PAIR worked in partnership with state councils, advocacy groups and task forces to promote system-wide reform and compliance. Number of Cases: 12 Cases of Note: VM, who is deaf, contacted PAIR alleging an ADA Title III violation when her physician refused to provide an interpreter for appointments. The physician was provided technical assistance regarding the obligations to accommodate the patient to ensure effective communication. The physician plans to provide accommodation of Video Remote Interpreting at the next appointment. While client prefers on-site interpreters, she understands that unless the VRI is ineffective, it is an allowable reasonable accommodation under the ADA. Disability Rights Florida also provided information to VM for selecting a Medicaid HMO which can pay for an interpreter. DHm, an adult who is blind contacted Disability Rights Florida regarding an allegation that her apartment complex violated her rights under the Fair Housing Act. She requested a modification of additional signage to the property to warn drivers that there is a blind pedestrian on the property. She was initially denied this modification and told she would have to pay for it. After Disability Rights Florida advocated for reconsideration due to the inadequate path of safe travel around the property, the property installed two warning signs, one at each entrance. SD is diagnosed with a heart disorder, kidney disorder, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and contacted Disability Rights Florida seeking assistance with a reasonable accommodation for a court hearing. The hearing was scheduled at 8 AM and due to the IBS, CL was seeking an accommodation to move the hearing to a time later in the day. A Disability Rights Florida advocate had several telephone conversations with the ADA Coordinator for the county. The court permitted CL to attend the hearing via phone as this was a final hearing and the judge was only available to hear the case in the morning. CL accepted the accommodation and was very thankful for the advocate’s assistance. AB is diagnosed with LD, MS, Bipolar Disorder, and PTSD and contacted Disability Rights Florida seeking assistance with obtaining accommodations for a Certified Coding Specialist Exam. A Disability Rights Florida advocate was assigned to assist. The advocate had a phone conversation and exchanged written correspondence with the Certification Specialist at American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the organization over this exam. Client was provided with all the requested accommodations. Client passed the exam. An adult with a mental illness contacted Disability Rights Florida for assistance in obtaining re-admission to a graduate college of social work (CSW). There had been an incident a year before which caused the dismissal. A staff attorney was assigned and attempted negotiation with college personnel including attendance at a resolution conference with the CSW board but the client still was denied readmission. The attorney appealed the denial letter to the Dean who reversed the board’s decision. The attorney later attended the pre-admission conference and ensured client’s disability would not be inappropriately factored in college’s considerations in the future. WS, an adult with quadriplegia, contacted Disability Rights Florida when services were terminated by a provider under the Aged and Disabled Waiver. An advocate assisted the client in understanding his rights and how to work with the support coordinator to have other services established to ensure continued placement in the home which is the least restrictive setting for this individual. Client is now prepared to self- advocate. LB, an adult diagnosed with deafness in one ear and hearing loss in the other sought assistance with ADA access to a restaurant with her service dog. An advocate was assigned to assist. The advocate contacted the management of the restaurant in question and was informed that they did in fact ask the allowable questions under the ADA, have sought guidance from the US DOJ and seemed to have appropriate policies and practices in place. Disability Rights Florida provided assistance to explain to LB the difference between Fair Housing Act and the ADA in regards to service animals/emotional support. SP and CZ are adults who are deaf and both sought assistance from Disability Rights Florida regarding the failure of their physician to provide a sign language interpreter when requested. As a result of Disability Rights Florida advocacy, both doctors have agreed to provide an interpreter for future appointments. DS, an adult diagnosed with physical/orthopedic impairments and visual impairment (not blind), sought assistance with an accessible path of travel on city/state roads in their community. Local businesses were placing tables and chairs in the accessible path of travel in front of the restaurants. The advocate investigated the issue, and worked with risk management for the city in addressing the situation. A new permitting process was established and so far the local restaurants have been compliant. UB, an adult with physical disabilities, contacted Disability Rights Florida regarding the lack of accessible parking and path of travel to a local park. An advocate was assigned to assist and the city has hired an ADA architect who has advised them to create accessible parking, accessible route and accessible seating within the park. The consultant also has advised the city to evaluate all of their local parks and playgrounds to ensure ADA compliance. The city anticipates the park renovations project to be completed by January 2014. FJ, an adult with a neurological and physical disability, sought assistance from Disability Rights Florida after she alleged the government-funded home modifications program and administrators were unsuccessfully meeting her needs. An advocate was assigned to investigate and advocate. Disability Rights Florida successfully negotiated to have the main items in her modified kitchen re-worked at the City’s expense to improve accessibility and meet her needs. The City (also the administrator of the program) agreed to do so and hired a new consultant per FJ’s request. Disability Rights Florida continued to monitor the development to ensure the City’s continued forward progress.

Priority 4: Education - Ensure the right to quality educational opportunities for students with disabilities.

Needs Addressed: There is a continued and constant need to adequately and appropriately serve the disability community within the State of Florida regarding compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, IDEA, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Indicators: Provide representation to students with disabilities to free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment; educate parents of students with disabilities to improve access to and utilization of dispute resolution mechanisms; provide representation to students with disabilities for reasonable accommodations, supports and related services to ensure students with disabilities access to the general education curriculum, education in the least restrictive environment. Collaboration: PAIR worked in partnership with state councils, school boards, advocacy groups and task forces to promote system-wide reform and compliance. Number of Cases: 42 Cases of Note: AM is a student with a learning disability. AM’s parent called Disability Rights Florida seeking assistance with obtaining Exceptional Student Education services for AM. Initially AM was denied services and/or testing from the district. Our staff advocated for additional testing to address AM’s possible learning disability (LD). Testing indicated that AM did not qualify for an Individual Education Plan through the LD program, but did qualify for a 504 plan. We assisted with the development and implementation of a 504 plan and parent currently reports that AM is an A/B honor roll student. The parent of JS, a student with ADHD, contacted Disability Rights Florida requesting assistance with getting student back into JS’s home zoned high school with an appropriate Individual Education Plan (IEP). The Education Team negotiated with the school district subsequent to the IEP meeting, represented the parent at an IEP meeting and was successful in advocating for JS to return back into JS’s home high school. The school district also agreed to provide the student with an aide who would assist JS with redirection and focus. Additionally, the school district agreed to reimburse the parent for mileage the parent drove while transporting the student to the student’s previous school. The parent of JA, a student with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), contacted Disability Rights Florida requesting assistance with obtaining initial Exceptional Student Education (ESE) evaluations and getting a 504 plan for the student. The Education Team represented the parent at school meetings and was successful in assisting the student obtain a 504 plan and subsequent initial ESE evaluations.

MVL is a student who is hearing impaired. We had successfully advocated for MVL in the past and had obtained Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals and related services. MVL’s parents contacted Disability Rights Florida this time with concerns regarding their request for another evaluation and the lack of academic progress toward IEP goals. As a result of technical assistance provided by Disability Rights Florida, MVL’s IEP goals, objectives, outcome measures and outcome statements for progress reports were revised. The parents were also provided technical assistance regarding the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), progress monitoring, and effective advocacy.

DM is a student diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. When his mother contacted Disability Rights Florida, she was concerned that DM’s 504 plan was inadequate and not being implemented with fidelity. As a result of the Disability Rights assistance, DM was provided an appropriate 504 plan to address classroom accommodations, counseling support, a communication plan between student, school and parent, occupational therapy consultation for teachers to address handwriting issues and technical assistance to the parent regarding strategies on how to self- advocate.

The parent of BMF, a student with Specific Learning Disabilities, contacted Disability Rights Florida regarding concerns that BMF would be retained in BMF’s current grade and would not receive eligibility for Hospital Homebound services. The Education Team attended an Individual Education Plan meeting and advocated for Hospital Homebound eligibility and services. BMF received appropriate hospital homebound services. BMF past the FCAT and courses and will be matriculating to middle school.

AM is a student identified as Other Health Impaired. AM’s parent contacted Disability Rights Florida requesting assistance in obtaining exceptional student education eligibility. AM was repeating the 3rd grade. Disability Rights Florida represented AM at numerous meetings and AM was found eligible for exceptional education services under the Autism Spectrum disorder category and provided additional services to include occupational therapy, speech, counseling and intensive academic remediation. As a result of Disability Rights Florida’s negotiations with the school and district, AM made significant progress during the school year and will be promoted to the fourth grade.

The parent of JK, a student with autism, contacted Disability Rights Florida requesting assistance with a recommended expulsion for the student. The Education Team negotiated with the school district and was successful in having the superintendent of the school district agree to rescind the expulsion and return the student back to his home school. The Education Team also represented the parent at an IEP meeting where the student’s placement was changed successfully and where the school district documented its error with proposing the recommended expulsion.

Priority 5: Information, Referral and Outreach - Provide information, referral, outreach and education about Disability Rights Florida and community resources available to individuals with disabilities.

Needs Addressed: There is a continued and constant need to adequately and appropriately educate individuals and the disability community within the State of Florida who are in need of the services of the PAIR program.

Indicators: Increase direct access to skilled intake specialists who will provide prompt information and referral or team assignment; continue outreach efforts to military veterans with disabilities and their families and provide information about protection and advocacy services, especially persons with disabilities that are homeless, have psychiatric disabilities, have physical disabilities, have chronic and disabling conditions or have experienced a traumatic brain injury; implement statewide and local strategies to educate policymakers, individuals with disabilities, families and other stakeholders on disability rights and protection and advocacy systems especially where there are underserved populations; increase public awareness about Disability Rights Florida through appropriate forums, including media, networking and exhibits; increase opportunities for public input and public engagement throughout the year by implementing a process to increase dialogue at outreach and training events. Collaboration: PAIR worked in partnership with state councils, advocacy groups and task forces to promote system-wide reform and compliance. Number: 51 Examples: EVENT: Veteran Stand Down in Baker County The Baker County Veterans Stand Down was held at the University of Florida and Baker County Cooperative Extension Office is one part of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ efforts to provide services to homeless veterans. Stand Downs provide services to homeless Veterans such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, VA and Social Security benefits counseling, and referrals to a variety of other necessary services, such as housing, employment and substance abuse treatment. Stand Downs are collaborative events, coordinated between local VAs, other government agencies, and community agencies who serve the homeless. Location & Date: MacClenny, FL on October 27, 2012 Approximate Attendance: 100 Veterans and 20 organizations Outcome: PAIR staff participated in this event in which veterans within North Florida were able to receive information and resources from variety of service providers dealing with service animals, assistive services and technology devices, information on housing and durable medical equipment, as well as resources and information available through Disability Rights Florida.

EVENT: SportsAbility Ocala 2012 SportsAbility is sponsored by the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association, which encourages individuals with disabilities to live an active leisure life. Also available to participants were a resource expo, various sporting activities to participate in, music, food and fun Location & Date: Ocala, FL on October 5, 2012 Approximate Attendance: 250 Outcome: PAIR staff provided information on Disability Rights Florida and educated participants on PAIR services and resources available.

EVENT: Family Abilities Information Rally 2012 This FAIR provided individuals with disability an opportunity access resources and information to assist them to be more inclusive in their community and with daily living. Location & Date: Tampa, FL on October 6, 2012 Approximate Attendance: 500 Outcome: PAIR staff participated in the event which was held at the People’s Life Center in Tampa.

EVENT: Spirit of ADA 2012 This event celebrated October as Disability Awareness Month. The event was hosted by the City of Jacksonville’s Military Affairs, Veterans and Disabled Services Division and the ILRC of Northeast Florida at the 5th Annual SPIRIT OF THE ADA. Location & Date: Jacksonville, FL on October 14, 2012 Approximate Attendance: 1200 Outcome: PAIR staff participated in this all day event, sharing information on the resources and services provided by Disability Rights Florida.

EVENT: Disability Mentoring Day Hosted by ILRC of Jacksonville The Independent Living Resource Center in Jacksonville hosted its annual event for students with disabilities who are in or receiving transition services. Location & Date: Jacksonville, FL on October 30, 2012 Approximate Attendance: 250 Outcome: Students with Disabilities, caregivers, service providers were in attendance at the Jacksonville Downtown Library for an array of workshops dealing with transition services. PAIR exhibited at this event providing general information on Disability Rights Florida, sharing information regarding transition resources, transition plans, TIEP Meetings and Helping Youth to Prepare for Transition, How to Get the Most out of VR, voting information and other pertinent information.

Event: Florida Vision Summit at the Florida Capitol Building Location and Date: Tallahassee, FL on February 7, 2013 Attendance: Unknown Outcome: PAIR staff maintained a booth in the common area during the summit, providing information regarding Disability Rights Florida programs and using our electronic kiosk for inputting service requests and providing input into Disability Rights Florida’s service goals. Our attendees collaborated with several other individuals at the summit, including a state representative, a representative of the Lighthouse for the Blind, and other entities regarding the provision of services to the blind, which was then presented to the summit as a whole.

Event: Multiple Sclerosis support group meeting Location and Date: St. Petersburg, FL on February 27, 2013 Attendance: 30 Outcome: PAIR staff attended the New Innovative Topical Approaches for Pain Management seminar, where the featured speaker was Eric Larson, pharmacist for Premier Compounding Pharmacy discussing the subject of compounding as an alternative to customary pharmaceutical medications. Disability Rights Florida’s attendee addressed the audience and provided informed about PAIR services.

Event: The Children’s Expo. Location and Date: The Children’s Expo was held at the Fairgrounds expo hall in Tampa Florida from 10-4pm, Saturday, March 23, 2013 Attendance: There were approximately 500 people in attendance Outcome: The Children’s Expo is an annual event that provides low income families with resources and supports available within the community. This has been a very successful event which targets families with young children, low income families and children in the dependency system. They are a partner of the Children’s Board. This event was free to families and offers children a variety of fun activities, resources, and giveaways. PAIR staff provided information along with Education factsheets from the Florida Department of Education for their information stations so that families can be provided with materials about our agency and shared information on topics that would be helpful to parents.

Event: Homeless Veterans Stand Down Sponsored by: Florida Veterans Foundation, Inc. The event was organized to provide a safe, one-stop environment where homeless and at-risk veterans and their families could access VA and community services. During the three-day event at the North Florida Fairgrounds the area was transformed to a military type atmosphere that provided sleeping quarters for homeless veterans. In addition, participants were able to receive needed legal and health services and information. Location & Date: Tallahassee, April 5-7 Approximate Attendance: 319 Participants (not including vendors & sponsors) Outcome: PAIR staff exhibited providing information on PAIR services and Disability Rights Florida. In addition, participants had an opportunity to take our on-line survey using our new I-pad kiosk which provides us some good feedback.

EVENT: Family Café 15th Annual Disabilities Summit SPONSORED BY: Family Café Annual Family Café provides dozens of great sessions, interesting keynotes and a great Annual Summit on Disabilities with three special guests. Individuals with disabilities, their families, care givers and state agency representatives participated in this 3-day event hosted at the Hilton in Orlando. LOCATION & DATE: Orlando, June 6-9 ATTENDEES: Approximately 5700 OUTCOME: PAIR staff presented and exhibited at this annual event. The Summit provided a wide range of breakout sessions, dozens of exhibitors and an engaging series of Keynotes. This was an effort to connect people with disabilities and their families with collaboration, advocacy, friendship and empowerment.

EVENT: 11th Annual Fair Housing Symposium SPONSORED BY: Jacksonville Human Rights Commission Workshops tailored for individuals with disabilities and industry professionals, such as homebuilder, realtors, and property managers. The workshops will include the elements of a housing complaints, reasonable accommodations and modifications, landlord/tenant issues, and code enforcement. LOCATION & DATE: Jacksonville, April 6 APPROXIMATE ATTENDANCE: 200 OUTCOME: PAIR staff exhibited and shared information regarding PAIR services and Disability Rights Florida. Various other Housing agencies and local government representatives were on hand to answer questions and present new, upcoming changes in the subsidized housing industry.

EVENT: Sportsability Tallahassee 2013 SPONSORED BY: Florida Disabled Outdoors Association This event is about enhancing the lives of people with disabilities by promoting active living. SportsAbility provides first hand access to resources and demonstrations of activities designed to encourage participation regardless of age or ability level. People who attend SportsAbility learn about the value of recreation and active leisure for everyone — especially people with disabilities. This event provides an opportunity for people to network with people with disabilities, resource providers, and community organizations. LOCATION & DATE: April 12 WHERE: Tallahassee OUTCOME: PAIR staff attended and exhibited at this event.

EVENT: Tampa Bay Autism Speaks Walk & Resource Fair SPONSORED BY: Autism Speaks Walk Now for Autism Speaks is a fun-filled, family friendly event and is the single most powerful force to fund vital research and receive information and resources in regards to Autism. LOCATION & DATE: Tampa on April 20 ATTENDANCE: 1500 OUTCOME: PAIR staff exhibited at the Raymond James Stadium on April 20. Participants visited hundreds of vendors with variety of information, resources, goods and services. The Walk generated approximately $276,500 in donations.

EVENT: Ambassadors for Aging Day SPONSORED BY: Florida Sports and Department of Elder Affairs The official "Seniors’ Day at the Capitol," Ambassadors for Aging Day brings together elders, caregivers, and elder advocates from across the state to showcase the special contributions of older Floridians. The event is hosted by the Department of Elder Affairs and sponsored by the Florida Sports Foundation and other organizations. LOCATION & DATE: Tallahassee, April 30 ATTENDANCE: 3500 OUTCOME: PAIR staff exhibited in the Courtyard of the Capitol on April 30. Seniors from across the state of Florida participated in a host of activities and were able to visit about 30 vendors offering information and resources. Many participants were interested in the I-budget and changes to Medicare.

Event: National Federation of the Blind 2013 National Conference Sponsored by: National Federation of the Blind Location and Date: Orlando, July 1-7, 2013 Approximate Attendance: 1300 Participants (not including vendors & sponsors) Outcome: Pair staff exhibited providing information on PAIR services and Disability Rights Florida in standard and large font, Braille and the Disability Rights Florida cd. The event was organized to provide a vast array of parent seminars, the national orientation and mobility conference, technology seminars and other special meetings and events for person with visual impairments. The event was held at the Rosen Center and Orange County Convention Center. This is the first year Disability Rights Florida has participated in this event. Event: Florida State Guardianship Association 26th Annual Conference Sponsored By: Florida State Guardianship Association Location & Date: Boca Raton, July 11, 2013 Approximate Attendance: 350 Outcome: Pair staff exhibited and shared information regarding PAIR and Disability Rights Florida. There were intensive educational workshops covering all aspects of Guardianship; Alzheimer’s disease and Interventions, Assistive Technology, Medicare Issues, sensitivity training, mental health issues, and much more. Approximately 25 vendors displayed their services and products throughout the conference. Workshops tailored for state guardians, advocates and service providers. Event: Florida Association of Rehabilitative Facilities 2013 Sponsored by: Florida ARF Location & Date: Clearwater Beach, September 16-20 Attendance: 300 Outcome: The conference provided the professional industry of rehabilitation service providers information on advocacy, resources, and networking for individuals with disabilities and community agencies that serve them. • Two accessible kiosks were purchased by Disability Rights Florida to use in conjunction with outreach and training events. The system has accessible iPads in a mount that can be used for online intakes, information about Disability Rights Florida/videos or short surveys. The first kiosk was introduced at the ATIA conference in January and after some modifications has become a means of providing short surveys geared to the event theme. • Disability Rights Florida has an Intake, Information and Referral unit. During Fiscal year 2013, the Intake staff handled a total of 7166 calls with 48.8% of these being live calls. The Intake, Information and Referral team has three (3) bilingual (English/Spanish) advocacy specialists. Calls received requiring other languages are handled using a certified interpreter service. During the 2013 fical year, approximately 35-40% of the calls to Intake were PAIR callers.

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.

Priority 1 — Eliminate abuse and neglect of individuals with disabilities Needs Addressed and Activities Planned: Investigate complaints of abuse or neglect, including restraint or seclusion, of adults in community placements or public and private facilities, including forensic programs, jails, detention centers and prisons; investigate complaints of abuse or neglect, including inappropriate restraint and seclusion, of youth in community placements or public and private facilities, including juvenile justice facilities, foster care, child competency restoration programs and educational settings; investigate complaints of financial abuse by representative payees and promote economic self-sufficiency. Priority 2 - Protect the full and equal enjoyment of rights for all individuals with disabilities Needs Addressed and Activities Planned: Investigate complaints of violations of rights in adult facilities; investigate complaints of violations of rights in facilities for youth; investigate complaints from both youth and adults, in community settings and implement strategies to insure full enjoyment of available rights and privileges, with focus on publicly funded benefits and supports, including health and managed care; investigate complaints from youth and adults, in facilities and in community placements and implement appropriate strategies to insure full enjoyment of available rights and privileges, focusing on a reduction of unnecessary incarceration or commitment and access to legal services; investigate complaints regarding students who are negotiating the transition process from secondary education to post-secondary education or employment and implement appropriate strategies to increase successful outcomes; ensure the independence of individuals with disabilities and explore alternatives to guardianship to avoid unnecessary restrictions on their rights as a result of guardianship.

Priority 3 - Utilize state and federal laws to ensure full participation of individuals with disabilities in integrated community settings through equal access to programs, transportation, recreation and housing

Needs Addressed and Activities Planned: Individuals shall have equal access to places and programs, including use of assistive technology; individuals waitlisted for services from state agencies will receive those services on a reasonably timely basis in an appropriately integrated community setting; individuals, especially those with severe and persistent psychiatric disabilities, will have increased opportunity for individual choice in residential options; implement initiatives to increase availability of affordable, accessible housing for individuals across disabilities; promote and monitor development of appropriate and accessible shelter facilities by state and local emergency planners.

Priority 4 - Ensure the right to quality educational opportunities for students with disabilities

Needs Addressed and Activities Planned - Students are entitled to free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE); provide education and training to parents of students with disabilities to improve access to and utilization of dispute resolution mechanisms; students entitled to reasonable accommodations, supports and related services will have access to the general education curriculum and education in the least restrictive environment.

Priority 5 - Fully integrated employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities

Needs Addressed and Activities Planned: Challenge discrimination based on disability in the workplace utilizing education, outreach, legislative and legal strategies to ensure rights under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act or other relevant state or federal law.

Priority 6 - Individuals with disabilities shall have knowledge of available resources, rights and responsibilities

Needs Addressed and Activities Planned - Intake will continue to refine routine direct access to skilled intake specialists who will provide prompt information and referral or other appropriate assistance to callers; intake will develop an expanded one-stop centralized intake process through expanded implementation of intake technology; military veterans with disabilities and their families will receive information about protection and advocacy services, with special outreach efforts to those that are homeless, have psychiatric disabilities, or have experienced a traumatic brain injury; implement statewide and local strategies to provide training and education to policymakers, individuals with disabilities, families and other stakeholders on disability rights and protection and advocacy systems especially where there are underserved populations; increase public awareness about PAIR services and Disability Rights Florida through appropriate outreach forums, including media, networking and exhibits; increase opportunities for public input and public engagement at outreach and training events throughout the year to better evaluate the effectiveness of presentations or exhibits as well as to promote continued dialogue

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 No outside sources funds were received or expended. B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by this report C. Expenses 2013 Actual 2013 Budget Wages/Salaries 601,761.85 524,795.00 Fringe Benefits 204,871.40 180,835.00 Material/Supplies 32,357.51 41,422.00 Postage 2,895.30 3,062.00 Telephone 13,815.89 14,570.00 Rent 58,581.69 59,178.00 Travel 34,778.22 37,829.00 Bonding/Insurance 8,448.49 8,302.00 Equipment (rental/purchase) 10,035.47 9,256.00 Legal/Consulting Services 15,471.21 46,884.00 Indirect Costs 6,391.45 5,014.00 Miscellaneous 14,802.02 17,377.00 Total Expense 1,004,210.50 948,524.00

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

Position PAIR TOTAL AVERAGE % of Year Person Year Accounting Associate 16% 100.00% 1.00 Administrative Assistant 16% 100.00% 1.00 Administrative Assistant 16% 100.00% 1.00 Advocacy Specialist 16% 25.00% 0.25 Advocacy Specialist 16% 100.00% 1.00 Advocate 35% 100.00% 1.00 Advocate 17% 100.00% 1.00 Advocate 10% 100.00% 1.00 Advocate 3% 100.00% 1.00 Advocate 28% 100.00% 1.00 Attorney 34% 100.00% 1.00 Attorney 15% 100.00% 1.00 Attorney 39% 33.00% 0.33 Attorney 23% 100.00% 1.00 Bilingual Advocacy Specialist 16% 100.00% 1.00 Bookkeeper 16% 100.00% 1.00 Dir. of Finance & Admin 16% 100.00% 1.00 Dir. of Legal & Advocacy Services 16% 100.00% 1.00 Dir. Of Legislative & Public Policy 5% 100.00% 1.00 Dir. Of Legislative & Public Policy 14% 100.00% 1.00 Executive Assistant 16% 100.00% 1.00 Executive Director 16% 100.00% 1.00 External Affairs Coordinator. 14% 100.00% 1.00 Intake Coordinator 16% 100.00% 1.00 Intake Intern - Part Time 16% 100.00% 0.25 Intake Manager 17% 100.00% 1.00 Intake Outreach Coordinator 16% 100.00% 1.00 Investigator 36% 33.00% 0.33 IT & Training Manager 16% 100.00% 1.00 Managing Attorney 29% 100.00% 1.00 Managing Attorney 5% 100.00% 1.00 Managing Attorney 33% 100.00% 1.00 Managing Attorney 7% 100.00% 1.00 Paralegal 2% 100.00% 1.00 Personnel & Benefits Manager 16% 100.00% 1.00 Program Operations Manager 24% 100.00% 1.00 Sr. Advocate 3% 100.00% 1.00 Sr. Advocate 25% 100.00% 1.00 Sr. Advocate 5% 100.00% 1.00 Sr. Advocate 7% 100.00% 1.00 Sr. Advocate 38% 100.00% 1.00 Sr. Advocate 11% 100.00% 1.00 Sr. Advocate 12% 100.00% 1.00 Sr. Advocate 67% 100.00% 1.00 Sr. Advocate 22% 100.00% 1.00 Sr. Attorney 25% 33.00% 0.33 Sr. Attorney 45% 100.00% 1.00 Sr. Paralegal 23% 100.00% 1.00 Sr. Paralegal 8% 100.00% 1.00 Staff Assistant 16% 100.00% 1.00 Staff Assistant 16% 58.00% 0.58 Staff Attorney 25% 33.00% 0.33 Staff Attorney 21% 33.00% 0.33 Technology & Communications Manager 16% 100.00% 1.00 Travel Coordinator 16% 100.00% 1.00

E. Involvement with advisory boards (if any) During Fiscal Year 2013 PAIR staff served as a member of: State Advisory Committee on ESE to Department of Education - State Advisory Committee established and maintained as an advisory panel for the purpose of providing policy and guidance with respect to special education and related services for children with disabilities in the state of Florida. Florida Rehabilitation Council — Group to ensure advocacy component on the Florida Rehabilitation Council by governor appointment voting membership on Vocational Rehabilitation policies, procedures and systemic issues. Special Needs Shelter Interagency Committee — Policy subcommittee tasked to develop guidelines for county emergency managers on compliance with Functional Needs Support Services. Jacksonville Mayor’s Council on Disabilities — Purpose of council is to bring awareness of disability issues to city officials. Florida Association of Special Education Attorneys - Special education attorneys who represent parents and children throughout Florida to assist families in ensuring that their children with special needs obtain the services and accommodations necessary for them to receive a free and appropriate public education. Additionally, it is to engage in activities to educate the public about special education issues, advocate for more effective laws and regulations, and otherwise improve the field of special education. Florida Building Code Accessibility Council — PAIR staff shall have a seat on the Accessibility Advisory Council for the Florida Building Commission under the Department of Community Affairs. Tasks for council members include providing guidance and recommendations for Waiver Requests for Vertical Accessibility as well as other Florida Specific Code to be heard before the Florida Building Commission. Abilities Housing Board — PAIR staff appointed as a board member for Abilities Housing programs including Home for Independence (HFI) and the numerous Section 81 projects owned and/or operated by Abilities Housing. Disability Achievement Center — PAIR staff is a member of the board of directors of the Center for Independent Living serving Pinellas and Pasco counties in Florida. Florida Supportive Housing Coalition — PAIR staff serves on the board of directors tasked with increasing the availability of supportive housing units across disabilities and to increase the availability of affordable housing.

F. Grievances filed under the grievance procedure Two grievances filed under PAIR during FY2013 Grievance 1 — A parent filed a grievance when PAIR declined to provide services for the child. The executive director reviewed the file and returned the case to PAIR staff that provided further assistance to the client. PAIR client issues were resolved and the grievance was dismissed by the client. Grievance 2 — Client’s mother filed a grievance when PAIR declined to provide legal representation. The executive director reviewed the file and responded to the grievance. The client’s mother then requested review by the Client Grievance Committee of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors Client Grievance Committee reviewed and agreed with the decision of the executive director. G. 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 PAIR coordinates with the Client Assistance Program (CAP) as CAP is housed within Disability Rights Florida. PAIR intake has a collaborative relationship with the Florida Long-Term Care Ombudsman Office.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByBob Whitney
TitleExecutive Director
Signed Date12/27/2013