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

Illinois (EQUIP FOR EQUALITY, INC.) - H240A130014 - FY2013

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameEquip for Equality Inc.
Address20 North Michigan Avenue
Address Line 2Suite 300
CityChicago
StateIllinois
Zip Code60602
E-mail Addresscontactus@equipforequality.org
Website Addresshttp://equipforequality.org
Phone312-341-0022
TTY 800-610-2779
Toll-free Phone800-537-2632
Toll-free TTY800-610-2779
Fax312-541-7544
Name of P&A Executive DirectorZena Naiditch
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorBarry Taylor
Person to contact regarding reportDeborah Kennedy
Contact Person phone312-341-0022
Ext.7304

Part I. Non-Case Services

A. Individual Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Individuals receiving I&R within PAIR priority areas0
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas682
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)682

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff129
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)3,922

EFE’s Training Institute on Disability Rights provided self-advocacy training to 1,548 people with disabilities and their families. Training seminar topics included the Americans with Disabilities Act, Employment Rights, Self Employment Possibilities, Special Education, Post Secondary Rights, Guardianship Alternatives, Advance Directives: You’ve Got the Power, Self-Advocacy and Your Choices, Legislative Advocacy, Transportation Rights, Voting Rights and Transitioning from High School to the Adult World. 49% of all of the participants were people of color. A total of 57 training seminars were provided, each tailored to meet the unique needs of the participants attending. Participant interaction is encouraged with hands-on activities designed to help people with disabilities generalize what they’ve learned about their rights to their everyday lives. These interactive sessions include multiple practice opportunities and strategies to help participants become more confident in using their advocacy skills to meet their goals and dreams. In addition, EFE provided 73 training seminars to 2,574 people representing employers, businesses, service providers and other interested in the legal rights of people with disabilities.

Webcasts In FFY 2013, Equip for Equality continued to partner with the Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) on producing webcasts of EFE’s self-advocacy and legal rights trainings. ILAO broadcasted 62 of EFE’s trainings and people could watch the trainings live or later via an archive on Illinois Legal Aid Online’s website located at www.illinoislegalaid.org. ILAO reports that there were 2,533 “hits” on its website for the EFE webcast trainings. This partnership will continue in FFY 2014 and will greatly expand the reach of EFE’s self-advocacy trainings.

In addition to these formal trainings, EFE staff attended numerous fairs, conferences and exhibitions for people with disabilities in which information about the organization was distributed and individual questions about the legal rights of people with disabilities was addressed. In total, EFE engaged in 44 outreaches reaching approximately 11,324 people.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff12
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles63
3. PSAs/videos aired5
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website53,196
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated113
6. Other (specify separately)0

Narrative

In FFY 2013 EFE issued no press releases and held no press conferences.

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)105
2. Additional individuals served during the year504
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)609
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)47

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 128

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility9
2. Employment189
3. Program access18
4. Housing17
5. Government benefits/services27
6. Transportation11
7. Education258
8. Assistive technology2
9. Voting0
10. Health care21
11. Insurance2
12. Non-government services20
13. Privacy rights2
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse31
16. Neglect43
17. Other23

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor254
2. Other representation found4
3. Individual withdrew complaint15
4. Appeals unsuccessful2
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.1
6. PAIR withdrew from case50
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources171
8. Individual case lacks legal merit17
9. Other12

Please explain

2=Prohibited; 5=Client’s Request Provided, but issue NOT resolved in client’s favor; 5=Program Changed from PAIR; 12=Total

E. Intervention Strategies Used in Serving Individuals

List the highest level of intervention used by PAIR prior to closing each case file.

1. Technical assistance in self-advocacy273
2. Short-term assistance162
3. Investigation/monitoring50
4. Negotiation30
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution2
6. Administrative hearings5
7. Litigation (including class actions)5
8. Systemic/policy activities0

Part III. Statistical Information on Individuals Served

A. Age of Individuals Served as of October 1

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. 0 - 43
2. 5 - 22226
3. 23 - 59295
4. 60 - 6440
5. 65 and over45

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females274
2. Males335

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race88
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native3
3. Asian17
4. Black or African American193
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander2
6. White308
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown17

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent281
2. Parental or other family home247
3. Community residential home3
4. Foster care0
5. Nursing home38
6. Public institutional living arrangement0
7. Private institutional living arrangement7
8. Jail/prison/detention center25
9. Homeless2
10. Other living arrangements3
11. Living arrangements not known3

E. Primary Disability of Individuals Served

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

1. Blind/visual impairment32
2. Deaf/hard of hearing61
3. Deaf-blind2
4. Orthopedic impairment109
5. Mental illness5
6. Substance abuse1
7. Mental retardation0
8. Learning disability176
9. Neurological impairment94
10. Respiratory impairment15
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment33
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment26
13. Speech impairment18
14. AIDS/HIV3
15. Traumatic brain injury1
16. Other disability33

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

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

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes18,949

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.

Retail Store Adopts New Service Animal Policy EFE assisted a woman with low vision who was denied access to a retail store because she uses a service animal. We filed a Complaint with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations on her behalf against the retail store and the mall security company that had removed our client from the store. We also filed a Complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice. Following the filing of these Complaints, the parties reached a favorable settlement that provided: payment to our client by both parties, attorney’s fees for EFE from both parties, and the following additional relief from Burlington: adoption of policies recognizing the rights of persons with disabilities to bring their service animals into Burlington stores, training on those policies of all Burlington store employees in Illinois who deal with the public, and postings on or near the doors of all Illinois Burlington stores indicating that service animals are welcome.

Disability Rights Consortium Focuses on Systemic Legal Issues Impacting People with Disabilities Since 1997, EFE has chaired and hosted the Disability Rights Consortium, a group of disability advocacy groups that meets on a monthly basis to share information and work on issues of common concern. In FFY 2013, EFE coordinated speakers on a number of critical topics including: Medical Deportation, Commission to End Hunger, Abuse and Neglect Investigations, Learning Disabilities, Nursing Home Litigation, Ethics for Service People with Disabilities, Hate Crimes and Cyber Bullying and Voting. Additionally, the Commissioner for the City of Chicago Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities made a presentation at a Consortium meeting in FFY 2013.

Company Agrees to Implement Video Relay Interpreting EFE represented a man who was deaf. He needed an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter for certain meetings, but the employer refused. We sent a demand letter to the employer, which agreed to provide VRI (Video Relay Interpreting) for our client. The employer will now be able to implement this technology for future employees who need ASL interpreters.

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts578,472
2. Number of individuals named in class actions16

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

1. Colbert v. Maram In FFY 2007, EFE and its co-counsel filed a class action lawsuit against state officials for failing to provide community services for people living in nursing homes in Cook County Illinois, who are people with physical disabilities and/or people with mental illness. Suit was brought under the ADA and pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision, which stated that unjustified institutionalization is discrimination under the ADA. It is estimated that 21,000 people live in nursing homes in Cook County. Up to 60% of non-elderly nursing home residents, all of whom are people with disabilities, in Cook County, and nearly one-third of elderly residents, have expressed a preference to receive long-term care services in their own homes, apartments, and communities instead of a nursing facility. In FFY 2008, the case was certified as a class action and in FFY 2009, the parties engaged in extensive discovery. In FFY 2011, the parties reached an agreement and a proposed Consent Decree received preliminary approval. In FFY 2012, a Fairness Hearing was held and the Consent Decree was given final approval which will ultimately result in approximately 20,000 people with disabilities in nursing homes the opportunity to move into the community. Subsequently, the court appointed an Independent Monitor. In FFY 2013, the parties negotiated an Implementation Plan that was filed with the court and the State began to evaluate and move class members into the community. (Note: Due to limited PAIR funding, this matter is now being funded by PAIMI.)

2. Holmes v. Godinez Over the years, EFE has received numerous complaints from deaf inmates living in prisons administered by the Illinois Department of Corrections. Complaints include insufficient access to ASL interpreters and TTYs. Efforts to address these issues through individual advocacy have not resolved the broader problem. Accordingly, EFE, in conjunction with another public interest organization and a pro bono law firm, a class action suit was filed in FFY 2011 seeking a systemic solution to these issues. During FFY 2012, the parties engaged in extensive settlement negotiations. However, the negotiations were not successful, so the parties spent FFY 2013 engaging in discovery. Discovery is scheduled to close in FFY 2014 and a trial date will be scheduled if the parties are unable to reach a settlement.

3. In re Matter of Guardianship of Molly Jo Meyer Molly’s mother became her plenary guardian (personal and estate) when she went into a diabetic coma, which resulted in some brain injury. However, after Molly’s medical condition significantly improved, the guardianship remained. EFE agreed to represent her to remove the guardianship and get her rights fully restored. Restoration was particularly important to Molly, as she is in a custody battle with her ex-husband.

4. In re Matter of Guardianship of Gayle Richardson Gayle is young woman who is blind. Gayle’s grandmother had custody of her as a child and was very over-protective. When Gayle turned eighteen, she moved in with her boyfriend. The grandmother did not approve and filed a petition for guardianship, even though there was no evidence that Gayle had any cognitive impairment that affected her decisional capacity. EFE tried to negotiate with the grandmother to get her to drop the case, but she wanted to proceed. We were appointed independent counsel, and once we did that the grandmother did not pursue the case, and we were successful in getting the court to dismiss the petition.

5. Linda Kobler v. Illinois Department of Human Services Plaintiff has been employed as a Registered Nurse in Defendants’ mental health center for thirty-eight years. Plaintiff has made Defendants aware that she has asthma, which is triggered by strong or offensive perfumes and other fragrances. Plaintiff has asthmatic reactions to some of her colleagues’ scents, fragrances, lotions, and perfumes, forcing her to immediately leave her work area and use an inhaler when one of these colleagues approaches. Plaintiff has repeatedly requested from Defendants a restrictive fragrance policy as a reasonable accommodation. Without engaging in an interactive process and despite doctors’ recommendations for a restrictive fragrance policy, Defendants have repeatedly denied Plaintiff’s requests for a reasonable accommodation without providing any supporting medical evidence for their decisions. In addition to denying her requests for a reasonable accommodation in violation of the Rehabilitation Act, Defendants violated the Rehabilitation Act when they retaliated against Plaintiff for requesting accommodations by placing her on administrative leave, subsequently attempting to place her on Defendants’ night shift, and finally lowering her performance evaluation in the category of “job knowledge” despite her 36 years of experience. EFE filed suit in federal court in FFY 2012 and the State filed a Motion to Dismiss. In FFY 2013, the judge issued a very positive decision for our client denying the Motion to Dismiss. Shortly thereafter, the parties negotiated a positive settlement agreement.

6. Frederick Lange v. GCA Services Group, Inc., In FFY 2012, EFE filed an employment discrimination case in federal court on behalf of a custodial worker who is deaf to redress violations of his rights under the ADA. His employers discriminated against him by denying him reasonable accommodations, including failing to provide auxiliary aids and services; failing to provide effective communication in trainings and meetings with Plaintiff; failing to engage in an interactive process with Plaintiff; taking adverse employment actions against Plaintiff; and discharging him from his employment. The suit seeks reinstatement to his employment, back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, costs, and attorney’s fees. In FFY 2013, the parties negotiated a settlement agreement that resolved the case.

Part V. PAIR'S Priorities and Objectives

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

For each of your PAIR program priorities for the fiscal year covered by this report, please:

  1. Identify and describe priority.
  2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority.
  3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority.
  4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration.
  5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions.
  6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority.

PAIR Priority 1 1. Identify and describe the priority. Personal safety, basic health and fundamental liberty 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. People with disabilities have a right to be safe and be treated with respect. Unfortunately, children and adults with disabilities often are at risk for abuse or neglect as well as having basic rights denied them. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. EFE will respond to allegations of abuse and neglect and rights violations to ensure that people with disabilities are safe, receive quality care and their rights respected. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE will often collaborate with others who are charged with investigating abuse and neglect, such as the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Human Services, and the Illinois Department of Public Health. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 74 investigations were handled under this priority; none were class actions 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. The Equip for Equality’s Abuse Investigation Unit represented an individual with quadriplegia related paralysis from the neck down who had been living at home with his wife, and while hospitalized for an illness, reported that his wife had slapped and threatened to suffocate him. The hospital social worker contacted the local crisis center and the Abuse Investigation Unit. The crisis center filed a Petition for Emergency Order of Protection that was granted and the matter was set for hearing. A petition for a plenary order of protection seeking exclusive possession of the marital home as well as exclusive possession of his wheel chair, van and medical equipment was also filed. After hearing the evidence, the court took jurisdiction of a pending divorce action between the parties, and while not sustaining the order of protection, granted an Emergency Order giving the individual exclusive possession of the home for 6 months upon his discharge from the hospital as well as all medically related equipment and granted him exclusive possession of the van; she further ordered the wife to pay the mortgage. The Abuse Investigation Unit assisted the individual in obtaining an attorney for the divorce proceeding.

PAIR Priority 2 1. Identify and describe the priority. Right to receive services in the most integrated, least restrictive setting 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. When the ADA was passed, Congress found that people with disabilities have been historically isolated and segregated from the general population, and that this segregation was inherently discriminatory and a social ill that needed to be addressed by the ADA. However, because Illinois still provides a majority of its disability funding to institutional settings, significant barriers still exist with respect to community living for people with disabilities. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Securing placements in the most integrated setting with the necessary support services. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE collaborated on community integration cases with the different Centers for Independent Living participating in the Community Reintegration Project funded by the Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Services 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 7; none were class actions. (EFE is currently litigating a community integration class action described in the Litigation Section IV.B. above, and although that case was originally funded by PAIR, it is now being funded by PAIMI because of limited PAIR resources.) 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. EFE assisted a person with a traumatic brain injury living in a nursing home who wanted to move into the community. We reached out to the local Center for Independent Living (CIL), which has a grant to assist people with disabilities in nursing homes under the Community Reintegration Program. Ultimately, the CIL was able to assist the client with transitioning from the community into her own apartment.

PAIR Priority 3 1. Identify and describe the priority. Employment Discrimination 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. The unemployment rate of people with disabilities is extremely high. Without equal access to employment, many people with disabilities are unable to support themselves or live independently. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Removing barriers to obtaining and maintaining employment, including assisting clients with obtaining reasonable accommodations in the workplace. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. Yes, Equip for Equality collaborates with other groups focusing on employment issues including the National Employment Lawyers Association and the Great Lakes ADA Center sharing information about ADA employment developments and making appropriate referrals. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 186; none were class actions 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. EFE assisted a man with congenital spinal stenosis and glaucoma in both eyes. He brought a claim alleging that his former employer failed to accommodate his disability (reassignment from cashier to stocking position) and that he was verbally assaulted by a co-worker. We agreed to represent the client in mediation before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In the mediation, we were able to successfully resolve the client’s dispute with his former employer and entered into a settlement agreement that provided him with monetary compensation. (Client did not want to return to work at this employer.)

PAIR Priority 4 1. Identify and describe the priority. Discrimination in Transportation 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Public and private transportation services are important for many people with disabilities as a means of access to employment, food, health care, social and cultural opportunities, and government services. Unfortunately, in Illinois, many aspects of the public transportation system and many private transportation services are inaccessible to people with physical or sensory disabilities. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Removal of barriers to public and private transportation: physical, communication and attitudinal. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. Equip for Equality is currently on the ADA Advisory Committees for the Regional Transit Authority, the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra Rail and Pace (Suburban Cook County bus provider and paratransit provider for all of Cook County.) Also, previously, Equip for Equality worked in collaboration with Centers for Independent Living, the American Council for the Blind, as well as grass roots groups Suburban Access Squad and Chicago ADAPT, in identifying barriers to accessible transportation before filing systemic litigation against the Chicago Transit Authoirty. Equip for Equality co-counseled its systemic transit litigation with Access Living, the Chicago Center for Independent Living and private attorneys. Since the lawsuit was settled, we have collaborated and consulted with the following groups on the implementation of the settlement and other transit issues: Progress Center for Independent Living, Council for Disability Rights, Anixter Center, The Chicago Lighthouse for People who are Blind or Visually Impaired, Chicago ADAPT, IMPRUVE Chicago Transit Coalition, AIDS Legal Council of Chicago, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Metro Seniors In Action, National Multiple Sclerosis Society - Greater Illinois Chapter, City of Chicago Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, City of Chicago Department of Consumer Services, Blue Line Transit Task Force, Break the Gridlock, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Hyde Park Transit Task Force, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, Lawndale Neighborhood Organization, Pilsen Alliance, and Rogers Park Community Action Network. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 11; none were class actions 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. EFE assisted a woman with a seizure disorder to negotiate for a change in practice by her transit provider to give her access to the nearest hospital. Because of where she lived, she had to transfer to a bus that would result in a trip an hour long, even though the hospital was only ten minutes from her house. Although the transit company was initially resistant to providing direct transportation, after the client had a seizure on the bus during the hour-long ride, the transit company agreed to provide direct transport to the hospital for the client.

PAIR Priority 5 1. Identify and describe the priority. Discrimination in public accommodations 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Private businesses provide many essential services to people with disabilities. Unfortunately, many businesses fail to ensure that their facilities are accessible which denies people with disabilities equal access to the services. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Removal of barriers to accessibility and providing reasonable modifications 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. N/A 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 44; none were class actions 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. EFE assisted a deaf woman with scoliosis who needed an American Sign Language interpreter for her Yoga for Scoliosis class. We sent a letter explaining the law and demanding that the studio provide an interpreter. The yoga studio initially claimed that providing an interpreter would be an undue burden, but ultimately worked out an arrangement to obtain an ASL interpreter for free in exchange for giving the interpreter free yoga classes. As a result, the client now has an ASL interpreter for her yoga classes.

PAIR Priority 6 1. Identify and describe the priority. Discrimination in government services and programs 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Some of the most important services to people with disabilities are provided by governmental entities. Accordingly, ensuring program access to these services is crucial. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Removal of physical and attitudinal barriers along with the implementation of reasonable modifications to ensure program access. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. N/A 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 7; 1 is a class action. (See priority 17 below) 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Client uses a wheelchair due to paralysis. Client was expelled from the radiography program at a City of Chicago College due to his disability, being told that no facility would be accessible to him. Client contacted area hospitals and found they were accessible. We accepted the case for negotiation and wrote a letter to the head of the department who agreed to reinstate client and make sure that any necessary reasonable accommodations were provided. However, when client was about to re-enter the program, he had to be hospitalized due to complications from his disability. We then contacted the college and requested that the client’s admission be deferred for one year. The college initially stated that they do not offer anyone deferments, but then agreed to defer client’s admission as an accommodation to his disability. Client is very happy as he can now pursue his chosen career.

PAIR Priority 7 1. Identify and describe the priority. Discrimination in housing 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. For many people with disabilities, access to accessible and affordable housing is a critical component to living independently. Historically, many public housing authorities and private landlords have failed to make reasonable housing accommodations and modifications for people with disabilities. This priority is particularly important in downstate Illinois where there are few legal advocacy services to address housing discrimination for people with disabilities. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Removing physical and attitudinal barriers, along with the implementation of reasonable modifications to ensure equal access to housing. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. N/A 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 13; none were class actions 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. EFE assisted a client who uses a service animal. He was denied rental housing because of his landlord’s “no pets” policy. We provided the client with information about the law regarding service animals and the requirement that landlords must modify “no pets” policies to accommodate people with disabilities who use service animals. After the client provided the landlord with the information we provided him, the landlord relented and allowed the client to move in with his service animal.

PAIR Priority 8 1. Identify and describe the priority. Right to self-determination, including guardianship defense and restoration of rights 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Many adults with disabilities have a guardian even though they may be capable of making decisions for themselves. Since a guardianship can take away from a person even the most basic decisions, it is critical for people with disabilities to understand how to challenge an unwarranted restriction of their personal freedom. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Either defeating an inappropriate guardianship petition or eliminating or reducing an existing guardianship 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. Not applicable. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 16; none were class actions 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. EFE represented a young woman who is blind. Her grandmother had custody of her as a child and was very over-protective. When the client turned eighteen, she moved in with her boyfriend. The grandmother did not approve and filed a petition for guardianship, even though there was no evidence that our client had any cognitive impairment that affected her decisional capacity. We tried to negotiate with the grandmother to get her to drop the case, but she wanted to proceed. We were appointed independent counsel, and once we did that, the grandmother did not pursue the case, and we were successful in getting the court to dismiss the petition.

PAIR Priority 9 1. Identify and describe the priority. Special education cases where the primary issue is inclusion in the neighborhood school with needed services, a less restrictive setting, transition from high school, suspension or expulsion, or inappropriate use of restraint or seclusion, including locked time out, and appropriate transition. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, students with disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. Access to educational services is a critical component for independent living and self-determination. In addition, students should receive educational services in a safe environment. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Putting in place appropriate individual education programs that ensure that students receive services in the least restrictive environment with the necessary supports, including appropriate behavioral intervention plans. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. Not applicable. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 200 cases were opened in FY2013 and 35 cases were opened in FY2012, but remained open, for a total of 235; none were class actions. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. A Guardian contacted EFE about her 9th grade student with a Learning Disability who was being refused enrollment in his new neighborhood high school after moving into the district over the summer. The school claimed that the student could not enroll at the neighborhood school and would have to attend an alternative placement. EFE reviewed the student’s IEP and determined that the student was entitled to remain in a neighborhood school per the Least Restrictive Environment and Placement pages of the governing IEP. EFE negotiated with the school and the district’s attorney and the student was allowed to enroll in the neighborhood school.

PAIR Priority 10 1. Identify and describe the priority. Challenges to P&A Access Authority 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. For Protection and Advocacy organizations to be effective and to adequately fulfill its charge from Congress, the organizations need to be given physical access to facilities that serve people with disabilities, access to the individuals served and the staff and also be given access to requisite documents. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. EFE must respond quickly and decisively whenever its access is compromised, including filing litigation if the dispute cannot be resolved otherwise. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE is part of a nationwide network of Protection and Advocacy agencies and frequently information and strategies are shared among the network on P&A access issues. TASC/NAPAS also collaborates with the P&A network on P&A access issues. Additionally, at times professional associations or governmental agencies may be asked if they want to intervene prior to access litigation being filed. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. There were no cases handled under this priority during FFY 2013 related to individuals eligible for services under this program. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. N/A.

PAIR Priority 11 1. Identify and describe the priority. Monitoring of State/Federal Investigatory Systems and Implementation of Recommendations to Enhance the Safety of Children and Adults with Disabilities. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority People with disabilities have a right to be safe and be treated with respect. Unfortunately, children and adults with disabilities often are at risk for abuse or neglect as well as having basic rights denied them. Current state and federal investigatory systems do not provide coverage for all settings and populations. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. AIU has presented its report entitled "Ensuring the Safety of Children and Adults with Disabilities: Filling the Gaps in Illinois; System that Investigates Allegations of Abuse and Neglect" to the affected state agencies and has called upon them to work with EFE in pursuing the strategies outlined in the report. The report has been widely distributed and is available on EFE’s website. AIU has also engaged in efforts to educate policy makers on the problems uncovered through its activities so that appropriate regulatory changes can be considered. A legislative resolution directed the creation of a task force to develop strategies to address the problems identified by the report. EFE served on that task force and participated in the development of a report to the legislature to address the gaps identified by EFE. A task force report with recommendations addressing gaps and problems identified by AIU was submitted to the Illinois legislature in January 2011. Media exposure of additional serious problems within Illinois’ investigatory system led to a renewed focus by the state agencies, members of the legislature and the Governor’s office on the recommendations in EFE’s report and the task force recommendations. EFE continues to work with the Governor’s office, affected state agencies and individuals to pursue opportunities to facilitate implementation of the recommendations. A new task force was developed to make specific recommendations for the implementation of a centralized hotline for reporting abuse, neglect and exploitation of adults with disabilities as recommended in AIU’s report. EFE is represented on that task force. Recommendations for the action that needs to be taken to initiate such a hotline will be complete by December 31, 2013 with a goal for implementation in 2014. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE will often collaborate with others who are charged with investigating abuse and neglect, such as the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Department of Human Services Office of Inspector General. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. N/A. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. N/A.

PAIR Priority 12 1. Identify and describe the priority. Reducing or Eliminating the Use of Restraints 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. The Abuse Investigation Unit’s review of hundreds of episodes of restraint and its review of numerous reports of injuries and deaths have documented the immediate need to develop effective strategies to substantially reduce reliance on these dangerous interventions with a goal of eventually eliminating reliance on such practices. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Addressing misuse of restraint has remained a priority for the Abuse Investigation Unit and is being addressed in several ways. EFE, through its Abuse Investigation Unit, spearheaded a nationwide review of nearly 70 restraint-related deaths in collaboration with the National Disability Rights Network and other state protection and advocacy systems. The findings and recommendations of the study provide information that will enhance national efforts to reduce, and eventually eliminate, the use of restraints as well as fatalities from this practice. The report has been released and is being disseminated widely to bring attention to and support for its findings and recommendations. The findings and recommendations of the report have been presented at various conferences including the 2012 Southwest Disability Conference and the 2012 and 2013 World Psychiatric Association conference. EFE is working with various state agencies to strategize on effective methods to implement many of the report’s recommendation particularly as related to dangerous practices and a statewide effort to reduce reliance on restraint. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. Efforts to strategize on effective methods to implement many of the report’s recommendations and statewide efforts to reduce reliance on restraint will be done in collaboration with affected state agencies along with other stakeholders. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. N/A. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. N/A. EFE did not receive any reports of individuals with disabilities identified under the PAIR program that died while in or connected with restraints during FFY 2013.

PAIR Priority 13 1. Identify and describe the priority. Monitor implementation of Illinois’ Medicaid Managed Care Plan 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority Illinois is currently implementing a Medicaid Managed Care Pilot Program in the northern part of the state, a program in central Illinois, a program to integrate care for individuals enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid, and has announced that all long-term services will be delivered through managed care. Significant concerns have been raised by the Disability Community regarding the impact which this plan will have on the quality and availability of needed services. Significant concerns related to choice of providers as well as access to providers and hospitals have been raised. Potential for adverse consequences for people with disabilities arising from the implementation must be addressed. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. EFE, in collaboration, with other organizations and people with disabilities has worked with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the single state Medicaid agency, to raise concerns associated with the implementation of managed care, including the lack of data regarding how including long term services and supports in managed care affects health outcomes for people with disabilities. EFE has communicated these concerns and questions at periodic stakeholder meetings held by the state and has gathered information from other advocates regarding these concerns. EFE also serves as part of the Evaluation Advisory Committee for the Medicaid Managed Care Pilot Program and communicates these concerns at that time as well. EFE has researched and communicated information on rights in the managed care process to consumers and providers, especially as managed care has expanded to include more areas of state and more services. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE is part of a coalition of disability advocates formed to address significant issues facing people with disabilities in Illinois, including issues related to the Medicaid Managed Care pilot program. EFE works regularly with the managed care companies, other disability advocates and the state Medicaid agency to address concerns associated with Medicaid managed care. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions. N/A. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. N/A.

PAIR Priority 14 1. Identify and describe the priority. Access to facilities that sell lottery tickets 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Many people with disabilities, especially those living in poorer areas, depend upon local convenience stores for basic necessities — such as food and medicine. Most of these facilities also sell lottery tickets. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Implementation by the State of Illinois of regulations that would ensure that people with disabilities have access to the State of Illinois Lottery, and thereby access to other items sold in these facilities. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE had been collaborating with the State to reach a mutually agreeable solution to this problem. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 1 case — but it will assist thousands of people with disabilities across the state who seek access to the 8,000+ facilities that sell lottery tickets. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. In prior fiscal years, discussions with representatives of the Illinois Lottery Commission led to an informal agreement that the state would voluntarily adopt regulations to ensure that the state lottery complies with requirements of the ADA. If successful, this initiative will ensure the accessibility of the 8,000+ convenience stores and local businesses that sell lottery tickets. Due to changes in personnel at the Illinois Lottery Commission, a reorganization of the Commission following the election of a new Governor, and the uncertainty of enforcing this agreement in light of recent ADA immunity decisions, this initiative did not progressed as quickly as anticipated. Subsequently, EFE re-opened dialogue with the general counsel at the Illinois Lottery Commission, who expressed a desire to reach a mutual agreement on program access to the Illinois Lottery. However, when EFE sought to move forward with implementing the agreement, the State was unresponsive despite repeated contacts. EFE sent a final demand letter advising the State that it intended to litigate the case if it did not respond by a certain date. The State did not respond and thus, EFE filed a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General’s office. After the Attorney General’s inquiry, the Lottery Commission drafted proposed regulations that will be incorporated accessibility requirements into the lottery licensing process. EFE reviewed and provided comments to the State about the proposed regulations. In FFY 2012, the Lottery Commission began a pilot project in the fall for a select number renewing facilities that sell lottery ticket to conduct an accessibility self-evaluation. The Attorney General reported that the self-evaluations indicated no accessibility problems at all, which raised concerns about the viability of the self-evaluation process. In FFY 2013, EFE the Illinois Attorney General tried to work with the Lottery Commission regarding revising the process to address the problems that were identified during the review of the self-evaluations. In FFY 2014, EFE will pursue other legal options if the Lottery Commission is unwilling to address the problems identified by the Attorney General.

PAIR Priority 15 1. Identify and describe the priority. Develop Self-Advocacy Materials on Discrimination issues 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Many people with disabilities do not know their legal rights and thus, they are unable to identify and address discrimination issues that may arise. As part of its annual priority setting process, EFE consistently receives input that the disability community needs more legal rights self-advocacy information and that EFE should take the lead on developing these materials. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. The number of EFE’s self-advocacy materials on discrimination disseminated. This number would be calculated by combining the number distributed by EFE staff and the number of “hits” on these fact sheets on EFE’s website. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE collaborates with many organizations and entities on helping get these self-advocacy materials to people with disabilities and their family members. This is done primarily with co-sponsors of the seminars provided by EFE’s Training Institute. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. N/A. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Not applicable as this priority is not case related. However, fact sheets have been developed and/or updated on the following discrimination-related topics: ADA and Personality Testing, Contradictory Statements About Disability, Documenting Discrimination, Where to File Employment Discrimination Claims, Protecting Your Housing Rights: A Guide for Seniors and Their Families, ADA Coverage Beyond Actual Disabilities: Regarded As, Record Of and Associational Disability, Hot Topics in ADA Title III Litigation, Impact of the Supreme Court’s ADA Decisions, Invisible Disabilities and the ADA, Service Animals and the ADA, Postsecondary Education and Licensing under the ADA, Drugs, Alcohol and Conduct Rules under the ADA, Advising People with Disabilities about the Disabilities Inquiry and Medical Examinations Provisions of the ADA; Employee Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation, Reassignment as a Reasonable Accommodation, Disability Harassment, Retaliation and Discipline: Three Emerging ADA Issues, Reasonable Accommodations for People with Psychiatric Disabilities, Direct Threat Under the ADA, Barriers and Requirements in ADA Litigation, and ADA Amendments Act Update. See: www.equipforequality.org/resourcecenter/advocacybytopic.php (Note that EFE will be launching a new website in 2014 and the web address for the advocacy materials may change.)

PAIR Priority 16 1. Identify and describe the priority. Training Institute 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. In a previous strategic planning session, the disability community identified that people with disabilities needed access to quality self-advocacy education. Without legal rights information and self-advocacy skills, people with disabilities are unable to effectively achieve their life goals, such as community employment and independent living in the community of their choice. Accordingly, EFE established the Training Institute for Disability Rights to provide self-advocacy training seminars to people with disabilities and their family members across the State of Illinois on a variety of topics including the ADA, employment rights, voting rights, transportation, guardianship, advance directives and special education. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. After each self-advocacy training, EFE distributed participant evaluations of the training to determine the effectiveness of the training. Follow up questions for the contact at the co-sponsoring agency is used to develop additional handouts for the agency to give to participants and additional trainings to offer throughout the year. In the last year, 98% of the surveys collected indicated that the training was “good” or excellent” and 94% of participants reported that they had a better understanding of their legal rights following the training. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. The model of the Training Institute is to conduct trainings in the community and we co-sponsor self-advocacy trainings with other disability advocacy groups, community providers, and state and local government entities. The Institute has a strong partnership with the Chicago Association for Students in Transition (C.A.S.T.) and has created a number of fact sheets on high school students and their families and facilitated an annual Self Employment Fair with the members. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. This is an educational priority. EFE conducted 57 self-advocacy training seminars in FFY 2013 for 1,548 people with disabilities and their family members. Additionally, EFE provided 73 trainings to 2,574 people that included professionals and CLE workshops. EFE also has 62 different webcasts of its trainings on Illinois Legal Aid Online, and there were 2,533 “hits” on those webcasts in FFY 2013. (For more specific information about EFE’s training activities, see Section I. B. above.) 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. This is an educational priority. Self-advocacy training seminars were co-sponsored with the following organizations serving PAIR-eligible individuals: Chicago Kent Disability Law Class, Access Living, American Council of the Blind, ARC of Rockford, C.A.S.T. Self Employment Jumpstart Fair, CORE Center, Department of Human Services ADA Celebration, Daley College, Deaf Awareness Day, Disability Pride Parade, Disabled Americans Want Work Now, Illinois Network of Charter Schools, Illinois Statewide Transition Conference, Life Center for Independent Living, Loyola School of Social Work, Olive Harvey College Disability Awareness Day, Operation Access Disability Fair, Options Lake County, RAMP Center for Independent Living, Truman College Fair, Veterans Job Fair Orland Park, West Central Illinois Center for Independent Living.

PAIR Priority 17 1. Identify and describe the priority. Involving People with Disabilities in the Public Policy Process 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. For many years, people with disabilities and disability advocacy groups have been frustrated by the lack of response by policy makers to their public policy initiatives. To a great extent, this has resulted from insufficient numbers of people with disabilities who are interested in and have the confidence to self-advocate at a systemic level. People with disabilities also identified the lack of resources to identify current issues, research the impact of policy proposals, and finance systemic self-advocacy efforts as barriers to their involvement in public policy making. While previously EFE employed a Disability Community Organizer to provide training and technical assistance in public policy advocacy to people with disabilities, disability groups and disability advocates, in FFY 2008 a fiscal crisis resulted in the elimination of that position. EFE lacks the resources to resume that position. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. EFE will directly involve more people with disabilities in the public policy making process by providing them with self-advocacy training and technical assistance on an ad hoc basis as requested and disseminating, through the Internet, up to date legislative and other policy-related information. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, please describe this collaboration. No. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. N/A. There were no cases because this was not a case priority and fiscal limitations prevented EFE from providing technical assistance for any specific projects in FFY 2013. However, individuals with disabilities other than mental illness or developmental disabilities received technical assistance on public policy self-advocacy when requested. In addition, EFE provided training on public policy advocacy and civil engagement to ten individuals with disabilities other than mental illness or developmental disabilities. During the Illinois legislative session, EFE also provided weekly updates on pending disability-related legislation (including bill numbers, summaries, and sponsors, committee assignments, and hearing details) and public policy initiatives via the Internet. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. N.A. No cases were handled under this priority and fiscal limitations prevented EFE from providing technical assistance for any specific projects in FFY 2013.

PAIR Priority 18 1. Identify and describe the priority Prisoners Who Are Deaf Initiative 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Prisoners who are deaf and hard of hearing are routinely denied effective communication for participation in IDOC programs and services, including medical appointments, educational opportunities, communication with counselors and guards, religious services, and for maintaining contact with their loved ones. EFE hopes to end this discrimination and unnecessary isolation of prisoners with hearing disabilities through a court mandate. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. EFE, in conjunction with co-counsel, will litigate a class action that either by court ruling or by settlement will address the systemic discrimination identified in our class action complaint. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE filed this lawsuit in collaboration with two public interest organizations (Uptown People’s Law Center and the National Association of the Deaf), as well as with a private law firm (Winston & Strawn). We also consult with members of the deaf community and disability/deaf advocacy organizations, such as the Midwest Center for Law and the Deaf and Access Living regarding the developments in the case and possible remedies. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 1 case, which is a class action. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Over the years, EFE has received numerous complaints from deaf inmates living in prisons administered by the Illinois Department of Corrections. Complaints include insufficient access to ASL interpreters and TTYs. Efforts to address these issues through individual advocacy have not resolved the broader problem. Accordingly, EFE, in conjunction with another public interest organization and a pro bono law firm, a class action suit was filed in FFY 2011 seeking a systemic solution to these issues. During FFY 2012, the parties engaged in extensive settlement negotiations. However, the negotiations were not successful and in FFY 2013, the parties engaged in extensive discovery. If the case does not settle, it is expected that the case will go to trial in FFY 2014.

PAIR Priority 19 1. Identify and describe the priority. Special Education Advocacy Clinic 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Many students with disabilities and their families need access to legal rights’ information and education, self-advocacy assistance and legal representation, but are unable to navigate the current special education advocacy system and/or do not have sufficient funds to retain a private attorney. In FFY 2007, EFE launched its Special Education Clinic to provide better access to special education services. Components of the Clinic include: a. a telephone Helpline to provide advice, self-advocacy assistance, information and referrals; b. an accessible website with special education resources; c. special education training seminars; d. written materials with legal rights information; and e. legal representation in selected individual cases through EFE staff and a pro bono network. In FY2013 the Clinic increased the number of law firm and in-house legal department partnerships from 15 to 18 and continued to work with law student interns and in-house pro bono lawyers to increase the capacity for legal information and representation. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Continue to grow Statewide Special Education providing comprehensive special education training, self-advocacy and legal advocacy services. Also, incorporate pro bono attorneys, law students and law firm and in-house legal department attorneys into the Clinic to increase its level of assistance to clients, as well as the number of clients it serves. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE’s Special Education Clinic has pro bono partnerships with eighteen major law firms and in-house legal departments, who are handling 172 new cases and helpline calls and continued to support 25 cases with pro bono law firm partners opened the previous year and still pending during the most recent year, and trained over 130 law firm partner attorneys, in-house attorney volunteers and law student interns. The Clinic also utilizes in-house volunteer attorneys, not affiliated with our law firm partners, and law student volunteers. Through outreach efforts, the Clinic has recruited, trained and utilized five volunteer attorneys on the Helpline on a regular basis, as well as over 20 law students on a year-round basis. Many law student interns remain with the Clinic for more than one semester, thereby, providing even greater benefit to EFE and our clients. The Clinic continues to partner with Loyola Law School’s Child Law and Education Institute and has law students volunteer as part of a practicum during the school year. The Clinic also utilized additional law student volunteers from other area law schools. Clinic staff are members of and regularly attend the following monthly meetings with other leaders in the special education community to discuss special education topics, areas of concern, and needed areas of involvement: Attorney General’s Committee on Special Education, Parent-Side Special Education Attorney’s Group, CBA Legal Aid Committee, the Disability Rights Consortium of area public interest organizations, and the School Closure Workgroup. In addition to these meetings, EFE co-leads a group that meets on school discipline issues and includes the following organizations: Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, Civitas ChildLaw Clinic, The ACLU, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Cabrini Green, and the Chicago Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law. Clinic staff have had individual meetings or ongoing collaboration with the above organizations as well as with Health and Disability Advocates, Cook County Probation, and the Health Justice Project at Loyola School of Law to discuss our programs and collaboration efforts. The Latino Project also has ongoing collaborations and satellite offices at the University of Illinois Family Clinic, El Valor, Erie Health Center, Beth Lacey Center in Cicero, the Fantus Health Center at the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, and Rush University Hospital. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. 200 cases were opened in FY2013 and 35 cases were opened in FY2012, but remained open, for a total of 235; none were class actions. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. EFE and Latham & Watkins represented the family of a 14-year old student diagnosed with Fructose Mal-Absorption. This unique disorder, resulting from an overload of fructose in the system due to the body’s inability to properly process it causes severe, debilitating pain for the student. This student has been living with this disability since 2009. Because there were limited resources in the area near his home, doctors were unable to figure out from where his pain was originating. His mom was forced to spend what little money she had in order to travel to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. It was there that doctors discovered the root cause of his severe pain. Despite his need for dietary accommodations in the school setting, his school was refusing to provide him a 504 plan that would afford him the accommodations needed to have proper meals while at school. Fructose is a naturally occurring sugar, and many every day foods contain it, including some vegetables and many fruits. After obtaining pro bono representation at Latham & Watkins, attorneys attended meetings and negotiated with the school district to find EFE’s client eligible for a 504 plan that will provide accommodations so that he can now safely attend school without risk of developing severe pain.

PAIR Priority 20 1. Identify and describe the priority. Public Education and Outreach to Under-Served Populations. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Equip for Equality continues to strive to be more visible to the general population so that eligible individuals know where to turn when they require advocacy resources and rights-related resources. This is also important because it builds public understanding and support for the rights of people with disabilities to live independent and productive lives in the community. Because Chicago and many other parts of Illinois have a very diverse population, culturally appropriate strategies need to be used to reach out to and serve the many ethnic communities with their own culture, language and approach/perspective on disability and the role of the government and the family. This makes the provision of PAIR services especially challenging along with the fact that the federal P&A System is responsible for providing advocacy services to the largest segment of the disabled population. Given resource limitations, PAIR has conducted targeted outreach to three populations that have their own unique culture and language — Latinos, the blind community and the deaf community. Given the dramatic advances in technology, there are new opportunities to reach out to and serve certain segments of the disability community who are able to use the internet to secure information and resources as well as to provide input into our planning and evaluation processes. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Equip for Equality has a database that enables us to monitor numbers of calls, how they heard about us and whether we take the case as well as track training participants, etc. This helps us assess which outreach strategies are working. In terms of the media, we subscribe to a media monitoring service that documents when we appear in the print and electronic media in major markets and the viewership of these publications/shows. This enables us to assess how successful our outreach via the media has been. Our achievement of other objectives under this general category of public education and outreach to underserved populations can be more readily assessed by monitoring our completion of tasks, such as translation of brochures, redesigning our website to improve accessibility and content, maintaining a presence in specific communities via satellite offices, etc. We review hits to our website by substantive website area which helps us assess interest and strategize about who we are not reaching. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. EFE collaborates with many grass-roots community-based groups, statewide/local advocacy groups, local/state government and the business community, by chairing such groups as the Disability Rights Consortium and the Illinois ADA Project. EFE’s Latino Advocacy Project operates out of several satellite offices in Latino communities around the Chicagoland area, and through its Training Institute (set forth in more detail in Priority 16) EFE frequently co-sponsors self-advocacy training seminars and conducts outreach at community events, conferences, etc. Howard Rosenblum, a deaf attorney on EFE’s staff who was instrumental in reaching out to the deaf community and increasing our service delivery to this underserved group left EFE in FY 2011 to become the Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of the Deaf. Fortunately, EFE was able to hire Rachel Arfa, who is also a deaf attorney, to continue EFE’s efforts to outreach to the deaf community. EFE also holds semi-annual meetings with the blind community to get their input on issues EFE should address for that community. EFE’s website is collaborative in the sense that it includes a Disability Resource Directory with links to 781 other sites, many of whom also provide a link to our site. EFE also develops joint publications, including a Resource Guide for People with Disabilities with the Chicago Bar Association that was updated in FFY 2012. Finally, EFE regularly serves on task forces of local/state/federal government-executive and legislative-such as the Governor’s Employment Task Force on Employment of People with Disabilities. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many, if any, were class actions. Not applicable (cases examples are elsewhere in this report; this priority was about outreach/visibility only) However, in addition to the outreach accomplished from its training seminars outlined in Priority 16 above, EFE staff also participated in 44 outreach events reaching approximately 11,324 people. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Since this priority is about visibility/outreach, there are no case summaries that demonstrate the impact of this priority in this section. However, examples of the impact include the fact that 49% of the approximately 1,548 individuals who attended a self- advocacy seminar through our Training Institute on Disability Rights in FFY 2013 were people of color. Hits to the EFE website totaled 2,533, another sign that a significant number of people are learning about EFE and the resources offered to the community. In connection with EFE’s continuing role administering the Illinois ADA Project (for the Great Lakes ADA Center at UIC-Chicago), EFE is getting doing a significant number of ADA and other trainings and presentations for businesses, nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies which demonstrates our credibility in the public and private sectors. In FFY 2013, EFE conducted 73 of these trainings for 2,574 people. (See Section I. B. above.)

In FFY 2013, EFE continued to devote resources to support the Latino Advocacy Project. The Staff Attorney for the Latino Advocacy Project is bilingual/bicultural, and has developed close ties to the Latino community. EFE also had on contract another bilingual/bicultural attorney who provides self-advocacy trainings to Latinos with disabilities and their families. EFE has contracted with a professional translation company called Teleinterpreters for over-the-phone translations as well as material translation into Spanish to ensure that EFE’s materials and written and oral communications are accessible to the Latino community. The Latino Project’s outreach efforts have also been enhanced by the establishment of several satellite offices that are housed in Latino community agencies in the Chicago area. Currently, the Latino Project has satellite offices in the following locations: the University of Illinois at Chicago Family Clinic, El Valor, Erie Health Center, through a partnership with the Health Justice Project at Loyola University’s School of Law, The Beth Lacey Center for Family Support in Cicero, The Fantus Clinic at Stroger Hospital, and Rush University Hospital. In FFY 2013, EFE handled 312 total cases on behalf of Latinos with disabilities (244 were new cases and 68 were cases that were opened prior to FFY 2012). Using a bilingual/bicultural attorney, EFE also conducted numerous legal rights trainings in Spanish on a variety of topics.

B. Priorities and Objectives for the Current Fiscal Year

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

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

I. INTRODUCTION

This document highlights the priorities and plan Equip for Equality has established for its Federal Fiscal Year 2014 advocacy efforts. If circumstances warrant, additions or deletions to this document may be made during the year.

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

The activities Equip for Equality used in FFY 2013 to obtain public comment for its 3 Year Priorities Plan included: posting a notice on EFE’s website and Facebook page, distributing it in person, sending it via e-mail to people on EFE’s mailing list, and distributing it at various agency outreach and training sessions, including people with mental illness living in facilities. The notice included a description of our programs. Also, EFE staff forwarded the electronic version to their various e-mail lists and list serves. We held two meetings (one in Chicago and one in Springfield) to obtain public comment on our priorities and activities. We also held meetings with our PAIMI Advisory Council, Special Education Clinic Parent Council, TBI Advisory Council, Blind Community Group, Disability Rights Consortium and Deaf Community Group to get further input. In addition to the in-person comments, people could provide public comment via the organization’s website by using a “Survey Monkey” tool or by sending comments via regular mail or by fax. We also modified our intake process to add a question asking callers what is the most important legal need for people with disabilities. 627 people provided input on this question and these responses were reviewed when developing the priorities. Also, in FFY 2013, EFE conducted a telephone client satisfaction survey of 200 randomly selected former clients. The survey included asking participants to identify the most important legal need for people with disabilities. The responses of the survey participants were also reviewed when developing the priorities. All public comment was reviewed by staff and then the draft plan was posted on the website for final input. The proposed priorities plan was then approved by the EFE Board.

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

II. EQUIP FOR EQUALITY’S SERVICES AND PROGRAMS

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

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

These services are provided through three Equip for Equality programs: Community Living Program, Abuse Investigation Unit and Special Education Clinic.

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

2. Abuse Investigation Unit: The Abuse Investigation Unit, (AIU) which concluded its initial five-year national demonstration period in FFY 2007, focuses its activities on systemic issues by examining deaths, serious incidents of abuse or neglect and quality of care issues. AIU addresses those issues by working with state and federal investigatory agencies and facilities to change policies and practices in an effort to prevent further tragedies. While continuing to work on systemic issues, AIU also handles individual cases of abuse, neglect, quality of care and deprivation of fundamental liberties.

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

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

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

V. Case Selection Priorities and Special Initiatives

1] Case Selection Priorities:

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

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

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

PAIR Priority 4 1. Identify and describe the priority. Discrimination in Transportation 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Public and private transportation services are important for many people with disabilities as a means of access to employment, food, health care, social and cultural opportunities, and government services. Unfortunately, in Illinois, many aspects of the public transportation system and many private transportation services are inaccessible to people with physical or sensory disabilities. 3. Description of Activities Provide individual self-advocacy and legal assistance to people with disabilities seeking access to transportation.

PAIR Priority 5 1. Identify and describe the priority. Discrimination in public accommodations 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Private businesses provide many essential services to people with disabilities. Unfortunately, many businesses fail to ensure that their facilities are accessible which denies people with disabilities equal access to the services. 3. Description of Activities Provide self-advocacy and legal advocacy services to PAIR-eligible individuals who have experienced discrimination by public accommodations.

PAIR Priority 6 1. Identify and describe the priority. Discrimination in government services and programs 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Some of the most important services to people with disabilities are provided by governmental entities. Accordingly, ensuring program access to these services is crucial. 3. Description of Activities Provide self-advocacy and legal advocacy services to PAIR-eligible individuals who have experienced discrimination in government services and programs.

PAIR Priority 7 1. Identify and describe the priority. Discrimination in housing 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. For many people with disabilities, access to accessible and affordable housing is a critical component to living independently. Historically, many public housing authorities and private landlords have failed to make reasonable housing accommodations and modifications for people with disabilities. This priority is particularly important in downstate Illinois where there are few legal advocacy services to address housing discrimination for people with disabilities. 3. Description of Activities Provide self-advocacy and legal advocacy services to PAIR-eligible individuals who have experienced housing discrimination.

PAIR Priority 8 1. Identify and describe the priority. Right to self-determination, including guardianship defense and restoration of rights 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Many adults with disabilities have a guardian even though they may be capable of making decisions for themselves. Since a guardianship can take away from a person even the most basic decisions, it is critical for people with disabilities to understand how to challenge an unwarranted restriction of their personal freedom. 3. Description of Activities Provide self-advocacy and legal advocacy services to PAIR-eligible individuals who have experienced issues related to guardianship and other self-determination issues.

PAIR Priority 9 1. Identify and describe the priority. Special education cases where the primary issue is inclusion in the neighborhood school with needed services, a less restrictive setting; transition from high school; suspension or expulsion; inappropriate use of restraint or seclusion, including locked time out; assistive technology; and eligibility for special education services. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, students with disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. Access to educational services is a critical component for independent living and self-determination. In addition, students should receive educational services in a safe environment. 3. Description of Activities Provide self-advocacy and legal advocacy services to PAIR-eligible individuals who have experienced special education related problems.

2] PAIR Special Initiatives:

PAIR Priority 10 1. Identify and describe the priority. Reducing or Eliminating the Use of Restraints 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. The Abuse Investigation Unit’s review of hundreds of episodes of restraint and its review of numerous reports of injuries and deaths have documented the immediate need to develop effective strategies to substantially reduce reliance on these dangerous interventions with a goal of eventually eliminating reliance on such practices. 3. Description of the activities. Addressing misuse of restraint will remain a priority for the Abuse Investigation Unit and is being addressed in several ways. EFE, through its Abuse Investigation Unit, spearheaded a nationwide review of nearly 70 restraint-related deaths in collaboration with the National Disability Rights Network and other state protection and advocacy systems. The findings and recommendations of the study provide information that will enhance national efforts to reduce, and eventually eliminate, the use of restraints as well as fatalities from this practice. The report has been released and is being disseminated widely to bring attention to and support for its findings and recommendations. EFE is working with various state agencies to strategize on effective methods to implement many of the report’s recommendation particularly as related to dangerous practices and a statewide effort to reduce reliance on restraint. This effort will continue in 2014.

PAIR Priority 11 1. Identify and describe the priority Ensuring the implementation of emergency planning and response incorporates the needs of people with disabilities. 2. Indentify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. All too often in emergency situations the legitimate concerns of people with disabilities are overlooked or swept aside. In areas ranging from the accessibility of emergency information to the evacuation plans for high-rise buildings, great urgency surrounds the need for responding to people with disabilities’ concerns in all planning, preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation activities. EFE has heard from both people with disabilities and emergency planners regarding the need to provide education and information to ensure local and statewide emergency officials are fully prepared to address the needs of people with disabilities in the event of an emergency. 3. Description of Activities EFE will work with emergency managers and planners, first responders, groups that are active in emergency planning and other disability advocates to ensure that the emergency response and related plans are accessible in terms of physical location, communication access, and otherwise meet the needs of people with disabilities.

PAIR Priority 12 1. Identify and Describe the Priority Monitor Implementation of Illinois Medicaid Managed Care Plan 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority Illinois is currently implementing a variety of managed care programs throughout the state and recently expanded the plans to include long term services and supports and those who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. Significant concerns have been raised by the disability community regarding he impact managed care will have on the quality and availability of needed services. Concerns have also been raised regarding the health outcomes for people with disabilities when long term services and supports are delivered under managed care as well as the affect on consumer control. Potential for adverse consequences for people with disabilities arising from implementation must be addressed. 3. Description of Activities EFE, in collaboration with other organizations and people with disabilities, will work with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the single state Medicaid agency, to raise concerns associated with the implementation of Medicaid Managed Care, including the concerns about loss of consumer control in long term services and supports. EFE will communicate these concerns at periodic stakeholder meetings held by the state. In addition, EFE will continue to serve as part of the Evaluation Advisory Committee and communicate concerns at that time as well.

PAIR Priority 13 1. Identify and describe the priority Monitor implementation of provisions of the Affordable Care Act 2. Indentify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Illinois is currently in the process of implementing the Affordable Care Act. The state is launching the Health Insurance Marketplace, implementing Medicaid expansion and establishing a uniform public benefits eligibility assessment tool. Many decisions about essential health benefits, alternative health plans and other benchmark plans are still to be made by the state. People with disabilities who may be newly eligible for health insurance or other benefits or those who change coverage as a result of this implementation will be affected by these decisions. Concerns have been raised by people with disabilities and other advocates regarding the comprehensiveness and accessibility of the health benefits available and the way they are implemented. Given the potential for adverse consequences for people with disabilities arising from the implementation EFE will monitor the process and weigh in as needed to help ensure these issues are addressed. 3. Description of Activities EFE will monitor the implementation of the various aspects of the Affordable Care Act, including the health insurance marketplace and Medicaid expansion to ensure that they contain the benefits needed by people with disabilities. EFE will attend stakeholder meetings, including the Medicaid Advisory Committee, the Healthcare Reform Implementation Council and other meetings held by the state to gather information and to communicate concerns. EFE will also monitor regulations issued in conjunction with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and provide comments as necessary.

PAIR Priority 14 1. Identify and describe the priority. Securing services to prevent people with disabilities living in the community from being institutionalized 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Many people with disabilities who live in the community require services in the home from the State to remain in the community. Many people receiving home services are being threatened with a reduction in services, which in essence, place them at risk of becoming institutionalized. 3. Description of Activities EFE, in collaboration with other Illinois legal aid organizations, will advocate through individual cases and systemic advocacy to ensure that people with disabilities living in the community receive the services they need to remain living in the community.

PAIR Priority 15 1. Identify and describe the priority. Access to facilities that sell lottery tickets 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Many people with disabilities, especially those living in poorer areas, depend upon local convenience stores for basic necessities — such as food and medicine. Most of these facilities also sell lottery tickets. 3. Description of Activities Work with the state to oversee the implementation of the Illinois Lottery’s new program to require accessibility as a condition for initial licensing and license renewal and consider alternatives if the Illinois Lottery fails to address concerns raised during the pilot project.

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

PAIR Priority 17 1. Identify and describe the priority. Training Institute on Disability Rights Education and Training 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. In a previous strategic planning session, the disability community identified that people with disabilities needed access to quality self-advocacy education. Without legal rights information and self-advocacy skills, people with disabilities are unable to effectively achieve their life goals, such as community employment and independent living in the community of their choice. Accordingly, EFE established the Training Institute for Disability Rights to provide self-advocacy training seminars to people with disabilities and their family members across the State of Illinois on a variety of topics including the ADA, employment rights, voting rights, transportation, guardianship, advance directives and special education. 3. Description of Activities Provide disability rights trainings statewide to people with disabilities and their families, as well as professionals, service providers and businesses on discrimination issues including: ADA, employment rights, Ticket to Work, transportation, special education, advance directives, guardianship and voting rights.

PAIR Priority 18 1. Identify and describe the priority. Prisoners Who Are Deaf Initiative 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Prisoners who are deaf and hard of hearing are routinely denied effective communication for participation in IDOC programs and services, including medical appointments, educational opportunities, communication with counselors and guards, religious services, and for maintaining contact with their loved ones. EFE hopes to end this discrimination and unnecessary isolation of prisoners with hearing disabilities through a court mandate. 3. Description of Activities In conjunction with co-counsel, litigate class action seeking a judgment or settlement that will address the systemic discrimination facing deaf and hard of hearing prisoners in Illinois.

PAIR Priority 19 1. Identify and describe the priority. Entertainment Access Initiative 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Persons with disabilities face barriers at theaters that are physically inaccessible, or that do not provide audio description, captioning, and signing, and other forms of communication access. As a result, people with disabilities are not able to equally access these forms of entertainment as persons without disabilities are able to do. 3. Description of Activities EFE will investigate access barriers facing people with disabilities in entertainment venues, including live theater and movie theaters, and advocate for the removal of these barriers.

PAIR Priority 20 1. Identify and describe the priority. Involving People with Disabilities in the Public Policy Process 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. For many years, people with disabilities and disability advocacy groups have been frustrated by the lack of response by policy makers to their public policy initiatives. To a great extent, this has resulted from insufficient numbers of people with disabilities who are interested in and have the confidence to self-advocate at a systemic level. People with disabilities also identified the lack of resources to identify current issues, research the impact of policy proposals, and finance systemic self-advocacy efforts as barriers to their involvement in public policy making. 3. Describe the Activities to be carried out under this priority EFE will directly involve more people with disabilities in the public policy making process by providing them with self-advocacy training and technical assistance on an ad hoc basis as requested and disseminating, through the Internet, up to date legislative and other policy-related information.

PAIR Priority 21 1. Identify and describe the priority. Monitor implementation of the Health Information Exchange 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Illinois is in the process of implementing a statewide health information exchange which will allow healthcare providers to share patient health information electronically. The State is currently developing policies, forms and patient information/notices regarding the exchange to be followed by promulgation of administrative rules governing the exchange. Participation of patients in the exchange will be automatic unless the patient takes affirmative steps to opt out. Due to a recent and significant change in Illinois law, mental health records may be shared through the exchange without the patient’s consent (unless the patient opts out). It is anticipated that similar legislative changes will be introduced regarding the confidentiality of HIV/AIDS treatment records for purposes of the exchange. Implementation of the exchange represents a major change in health care coordination, and impacts the confidentiality of previously specially protected health information, which has potential benefits and risk for people with disabilities. 3. Description of Activities EFE will continue to monitor and participate in the development of policies, forms and patient information/notices regarding the exchange as needed to ensure that people with disabilities are provided with meaningful disclosure about the purpose and function of the exchange to allow them to make informed decisions about their participation. EFE will also develop and disseminate educational materials regarding the exchange and the impact participation in the exchange will have on the confidentiality of mental health records. EFE will monitor the rulemaking process regarding the exchange and provide comments/input as appropriate. EFE will also monitor for the introduction of legislation impacting the confidentiality of HIV/AIDS treatment records for purposes of the exchange and provide input as needed.

PAIR Priority 22 1. Identify and describe the priority. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Despite a large Latino population in Chicago and across the State, Equip for Equality historically did not receive a corresponding level of requests for service from Latinos. By implementing the Latino Outreach and Advocacy Project, EFE is addressing an apparent barrier the organization had in fully serving the needs of the Latino disability community and demonstrating a commitment to this issue. 3. Description of Activities The Latino Project will continue to build upon the coalition efforts from the first ten years of the Project. The Project will continue to work with the Latino community agencies that house EFE’s Latino satellite offices or provide referrals/meeting space, which are currently located at The University of Illinois Family Clinic, El Valor, Erie Health Center, through a partnership with the Health Justice Project at Loyola University’s School of Law, Beth Lacey Center for Family Support in Cicero, The Fantus Clinic at Stroger Hospital, and Rush University Hospital. EFE will also co-sponsor its Latino Project trainings with various organizations that serve the Latino disability population.

PAIR Priority 23 1. Identify and describe the priority. Juvenile Justice/Special Education Initiative 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Many children involved in the delinquency system disproportionately face the effects of poverty and lack of an appropriate education. Many have undiagnosed disabilities that impact their behaviors, while others have diagnosed disabilities but do not receive adequate services as required under IDEA. Without proper special education placement and services, these children run a greater risk of recidivism and a greater risk of problems in adult life, including finding employment and housing as an adult with both a disability and a criminal record. The project’s goal is to ensure that children in the criminal justice system receive appropriate special education placement and services, so that whatever other problems they face in their lifetime, their educational needs will be met. A quality education can serve as a turning point for juvenile delinquents leaving residential placement or other involvement with the court system, diverting them from the “revolving door” effect of recidivism. 3. Description of Activities EFE has identified access to special education services and reducing recidivism rates as the main area of focus for this project and will be seeking to expand its special education advocacy services to the juvenile justice population to include cases beyond the specific special education case priorities for the general population. The project’s mission is to help Chicago’s youth by reducing recidivism rates, increasing educational opportunities, and protecting legal rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Project staff provides the following services: 1) represent children with disabilities in Individualized Education Plan meetings, mediations, expulsion hearings, and due process hearings to ensure their rights under IDEA; and 2) assist children with the educational problems that they experience when exiting the court system.

PAIR Priority 24 1. Identify and describe the priority. Learning Disability Initiative 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Students with Learning Disabilities are the largest and most-overlooked category of students with special education needs. This Initiative seeks to secure legally mandated special education services for students with Learning Disabilities. Students with LD are also an extremely high impact community because typical educational interventions can produce tremendous results. 3. Description of Activities The Project provides legal assistance to parents by providing direct representation at special education meetings and hearings, conducting community outreach, and teaching parents self-advocacy strategies for the future. Using these methods, the Project seeks to improve outcomes for children with LD, empower parents, and increase the use of evidence-based academic interventions.

PAIR Priority 25 1. Identify and describe the priority. Charter School Initiative 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Students with disabilities face two primary hurdles with Charter Schools: families are counseled out of attending or applying to Charter Schools because of the Charter Schools’ perception that they cannot serve certain students with disabilities; and students with disabilities are pushed out of Charter Schools if they are having discipline or academic difficulties. The Charter School Project’s mission is to help Illinois youth by increasing their academic achievement and educational opportunities, and by protecting their legal rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 3. Description of Activities EFE has identified access to educational opportunities in Charter Schools as the main area of focus for this project and will be seeking to expand its special education advocacy services to those students wishing to attend/remain in Charter Schools to include cases beyond the specific special education case priorities for the general population. The Charter School Project’s mission is to help Illinois youth by increasing their academic achievement and educational opportunities, and by protecting their legal rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). To do so, the project provides direct legal representation in special education matters, including at eligibility meetings, special education IEP meetings, mediations, due process hearings and discipline proceedings. The Project will also teach self-advocacy skills by providing guidance, fact sheets, and trainings to parents and other stakeholders on the legal rights of students with disabilities in Illinois charter schools.

PAIR Priority 26 1. Identify and describe the priority. Public Education and Outreach to Under-Served Populations. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Equip for Equality continues to strive to be more visible to the general population so that eligible individuals know where to turn when they require advocacy resources and rights-related resources. This is also important because it builds public understanding and support for the rights of people with disabilities to live independent and productive lives in the community. Because Chicago and many other parts of Illinois have a very diverse population, culturally appropriate strategies need to be used to reach out to and serve the many ethnic communities with their own culture, language and approach/perspective on disability and the role of the government and the family. This makes the provision of PAIR services especially challenging along with the fact that the federal P&A System is responsible for providing advocacy services to the largest segment of the disabled population. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Equip for Equality has a database that enables us to monitor numbers of calls, how they heard about us and whether we take the case as well as track training participants, etc. This helps us assess which outreach strategies are working. In terms of the media, we subscribe to a media monitoring service that documents when we appear in the print and electronic media in major markets and the viewership of these publications/shows. This enables us to assess how successful our outreach via the media has been. Our achievement of other objectives under this general category of public education and outreach to underserved populations can be more readily assessed by monitoring our completion of tasks, such as translation of brochures, redesigning our website to improve accessibility and content, maintaining a presence in specific communities via satellite offices, etc. We review hits to our website by substantive website area which helps us assess interest and strategize about who we are not reaching.

Part VI. Narrative

At a minimum, you must include all of the information requested. You may include any other information, not otherwise collected on this reporting form that would be helpful in describing the extent of PAIR activities during the prior fiscal year. Please limit the narrative portion of this report, including attachments, to 20 pages or less.

The narrative should contain the following information. The instructions for this form outline the information that should be contained in each section.

  1. Sources of funds received and expended
  2. Budget for the fiscal year covered by this report
  3. Description of PAIR staff (duties and person-years)
  4. Involvement with advisory boards (if any)
  5. Grievances filed under the grievance procedure
  6. Coordination with the Client Assistance Program (CAP) and the State long-term care program, if these programs are not part of the P&A agency

A. Sources of funds received and expended

Source of Funding / Amount Received / Amount Spent Federal (section 509) / $597,361 / $552,234 State / -0- / -0- Program income / $56,889 / $56,889 Private / -0- / -0- All other funds / -0- / -0- Total (from all sources) / $654,250 / $609,123

B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by this report

Category / Prior Fiscal Year (2013) / Current Fiscal Year (2014) Wages/salaries / $354,563 / $365,779 Fringe benefits (FICA, unemployment, etc.) / $111,744 / $112,785 Materials/supplies / $ 2,954 / $ 2,895 Postage / $2,520 / $2,425 Telephone / $8,776 / $8,885 Rent & Other Occupancy Costs / $68,770 / $71,955 Consultants/Professional Fees / $19,110 / $20,110 Travel / $4,719 / $3,719 Printing / $879 / $1,879 Bonding/insurance / $9,553 / $9,853 Equipment (rental/purchase) / $3,586 / $5,186 Legal services / $18,246 / $19,233 Miscellaneous / $3,703 / $4,705 Total Budget / $609,123 / $629,409

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

1. Duties.

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

PAIR program responsibilities are performed by the following staff:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Person-years:

Type of Position / FTE / % of year filled / Person-years* Professional: Full-time / 44 / 100 / 7.9 Part-time / 1 / 0 / 4.0 Vacant / 0 / 0 / 0 Clerical: Full-time / 6 / 100 / 4.8 Part-time / 1 / 100 / 6.9 Vacant / 0 / 0 / 0

*As indicated above, agency staff divides their time between programs, including PAIR, PADD and PAIMI. In FY2013 the figure used in determining the person-years was calculated using FTE’s.

D. Involvement with advisory boards (if any)

The PAIR program does not have an advisory board.

E. Grievances filed under the grievance procedure

There were no PAIR grievances in FFY 2013.

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

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

Primarily thought our Abuse Investigation Unit, we accept for referrals from local ombudsman programs and work collaboratively with the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program on issues of mutual interest as they arise.

Note: Part II A.1. - There was a typographical error in PAIR PPR FY2012. The number listed was 145, but the correct number was 105. This is reflected in the FY2013 report.

Part III A. - Ages of Individuals Served - In 7 of the cases, the age of the individual is not reflected. This section does not contain an "unknown" category. Consequently the identified age categories include those 7 individuals distributed proportionately in relation to the known ages.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByDeborah M. Kennedy
TitleV.P. / Director, Abuse Investigation Unit
Signed Date12/20/2013