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

Arizona (Arizona Center for Disability Law) - H240A140003 - FY2014

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameArizona Center for Disability Law
Address5025 E. Washington Street
Address Line 2Suite 202
CityPhoenix
StateArizona
Zip Code85034
E-mail Addresscenter@azdisabilitylaw.org
Website Addresshttp://www.azdisabilitylaw.org
Phone602-274-6287
TTY 602-274-6287
Toll-free Phone800-927-2260
Toll-free TTY800-927-2260
Fax602-274-6779
Name of P&A Executive DirectorJ.J. Rico
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorJ.J. Rico
Person to contact regarding reportJ.J. Rico
Contact Person phone800-922-1447
Ext.331

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 areas21
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas764
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)785

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff13
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)352

1) 30-Jan-14. Training. “Emergency Preparedness.” Topics included emergency preparedness and the ADA. Kingman. 16 people attended. 2) 31-Jan-14. Training. “Emergency Preparedness.” Topics included emergency preparedness and the ADA. Lake Havasu. 28 people attended. 3) 24-Mar-14. Presentation. “The Global Landscape on Disability Rights.” Topics included voting rights, ADA Title I, I, III, IDEA, Section 504, 508, ACAA, and the UN Convention. Phoenix. 30 people attended. 4) 12-Apr-14. Training (Spanish). “Legal Options to Guardianship.” Topics included guardianship, power of attorney, living wills, designated representatives for healthcare and mental healthcare. Phoenix. 10 people attended. 5) 14-Apr-14. Training. “Safety First and Emergency Training.” Topics included emergency preparedness and the ADA. 20 people attended. 6) 12-May-14. Training. “Safety First and Emergency Training.” Topics included emergency preparedness and the ADA. Cottonwood. 18 people attended. 7) 4-Jun-14. Training. “Legal Options to Guardianship.” Topics included guardianship, power of attorney, living wills, designated representatives for healthcare and mental healthcare. Casa Grande. 14 people attended. 8) 11-Jun-14. Presentation. “The ACA: Know Your Rights.” Topics included the Affordable Care Act appeal rights. Tucson. 100 people attended. 9) 11-Jun-14. Training. “Legal Options to Guardianship.” Topics included guardianship, power of attorney, living wills, designated representatives for healthcare and mental healthcare. Safford. Six people attended. 10) 31-Jul-14. Training. “Legal Options to Guardianship.” Topics included guardianship, power of attorney, living wills, designated representatives for healthcare and mental healthcare. Tucson. 34 people attended. 11). 6-Aug-14. Training. “Legal Options to Guardianship.” Topics included guardianship, power of attorney, living wills, designated representatives for healthcare and mental healthcare. Yuma. 24 people attended. 12) 8-Aug-14. Presentation. “Overview of ACDL.” Topics included ACDL’s services and programs. Ft. McDowell Indian Nation. 15 people attended. 13) 18-Sept-14. Presentation. “Overview of ACDL.” Topics included ACDL’s services and programs, Transition, Vocational Rehabilitation and the ADA. Tucson. 37 people attended.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff0
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles0
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website133,407
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated1,115
6. Other (specify separately)2

Narrative

1) 12-Apr-14. Booth/Table. “Connecting Tucson — Disability Resource & Transition Expo.” Tucson. 100 people attended. 2) 28-Feb-14. Booth/Table. 3rd Annual African American Symposium on Disabilities. Desert Willow Conference Center, Phoenix. 130 people attended.

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)17
2. Additional individuals served during the year406
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)423
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)24

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 23

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility8
2. Employment147
3. Program access39
4. Housing82
5. Government benefits/services44
6. Transportation21
7. Education16
8. Assistive technology2
9. Voting0
10. Health care77
11. Insurance1
12. Non-government services1
13. Privacy rights1
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse1
16. Neglect7
17. Other2

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor386
2. Other representation found1
3. Individual withdrew complaint6
4. Appeals unsuccessful1
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.1
6. PAIR withdrew from case3
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources13
8. Individual case lacks legal merit9
9. Other7

Please explain

Unable to contact (3) Caller did not follow up with additional information requested (4)

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-advocacy406
2. Short-term assistance15
3. Investigation/monitoring0
4. Negotiation1
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution5
6. Administrative hearings0
7. Litigation (including class actions)0
8. Systemic/policy activities0

Part III. Statistical Information on Individuals Served

A. Age of Individuals Served as of October 1

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. 0 - 40
2. 5 - 227
3. 23 - 59294
4. 60 - 6456
5. 65 and over66

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females228
2. Males195

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race52
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native5
3. Asian3
4. Black or African American43
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander2
6. White308
7. Two or more races7
8. Race/ethnicity unknown3

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent367
2. Parental or other family home14
3. Community residential home9
4. Foster care0
5. Nursing home1
6. Public institutional living arrangement1
7. Private institutional living arrangement0
8. Jail/prison/detention center24
9. Homeless4
10. Other living arrangements3
11. Living arrangements not known0

E. Primary Disability of Individuals Served

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

1. Blind/visual impairment31
2. Deaf/hard of hearing22
3. Deaf-blind0
4. Orthopedic impairment128
5. Mental illness11
6. Substance abuse0
7. Mental retardation2
8. Learning disability20
9. Neurological impairment60
10. Respiratory impairment7
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment13
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment73
13. Speech impairment0
14. AIDS/HIV5
15. Traumatic brain injury0
16. Other disability51

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

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

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes350,000

Describe your systemic activities. Be sure to include information about the policies that were changed and how these changes benefit individuals with disabilities. Include case examples of how your systemic activities impacted individuals served.

The Arizona Center for Disability Law (hereinafter “Center”) collaborated with Disability Rights Advocates to identify a significant problem in an Arizona city’s (hereinafter “the City”) emergency preparedness plan. The Center represented three individuals with disabilities who would be injured because the plan neglected to include emergency plans for how to address the needs of persons with disabilities working and living in the City in the event of an emergency. The Center and Disability Rights Advocates submitted a demand letter to the City to advise it of the deficiencies and its legal liability related to the deficiencies and suggested a structured settlement. The City has agreed to discuss a structured settlement and has updated the plan and submitted a draft for the Center to review. The City has also created an advisory group made up of agencies that serve individuals with disabilities and has met with that group several times during the past fiscal year.

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts739,319
2. Number of individuals named in class actions10

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.

Ball v. Rodgers: This federal class action lawsuit was filed in 2000 against the Arizona Medicaid program (AHCCCS) on behalf of individuals from around the state who receive home and community based services (HCBS), particularly attendant care, personal care and respite. HCBS is provided to plaintiffs under the Arizona Long Term Care Services (ALTCS) program as an alternative to institutionalization. The suit challenged the failure of AHCCCS to provide adequate attendant care workers to meet the needs of plaintiffs, as prescribed in their HCBS care plans.

Judgment was issued in favor of the plaintiffs on August 13, 2004 after a four-day trial. The judge found that the Arizona Medicaid program had failed to assure that recipients of HCBS receive their prescribed services and ordered the program to make extensive reforms to assure that it “provide[s] each individual who qualifies for its services with those services for which the individual qualifies without gaps in service” and to fill any gaps in services within two hours. Defendants appealed this decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In FY 07, the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, finding that the “free choice” provisions of the Medicaid Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1396n(c) & (d), which provide beneficiaries with the right to choose to receive care in a nursing home or in the community, are privately enforceable by Medicaid beneficiaries under § 1983. This decision is the first appellate court decision in the country, post-Gonzaga, to rule that such provisions are privately enforceable.

The case was remanded to the District Court for determination of the following issues: (1) whether Arizona has waived its defense that the Freedom of Choice provisions do not apply to the Arizona Medicaid program; (2) if Arizona has not waived this defense, whether the Freedom of Choice provisions apply to the Arizona Medicaid program; (3) appropriate findings of fact and conclusions of law with respect to the Plaintiffs’ ADA and Rehabilitation Act claims; and (4) modification of the terms of the injunction pursuant to any statutory or regulatory violations found on remand.

The parties concluded fully briefing the remanded issue in February 2008 and obtained an order extending the injunction for six months pending the Court’s final ruling. In April 2009, the District Court again ruled in the Plaintiffs’ favor, finding that the Medicaid freedom of choice provisions apply to Arizona and that AHCCCS violated the freedom of choice provisions, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act by failing to provide all authorized attendant care services. The ruling also included an order for attorneys’ fees and costs. After filing multiple pleadings on issue of compliance, including numerous class member declarations and extensive analysis of the gap reports and AHCCCS policies, plaintiffs obtained a ruling that injunction is permanent. The Plaintiffs also secured an expert witness to write a report on compliance issues, which was submitted to the Court.

The state again appealed the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on April 24, 2010. The state filed a Preliminary Injunction Appeal per Ninth Cir. Rule 3-3, rather than a regular appeal under FRAP 3 and 4. We filed a Motion to Dismiss the Appeal on May 30, 2009 because the injunction is not preliminary; this stayed the expedited briefing schedule. On September 17, 2009, the Ninth Circuit converted the appeal to a regular appeal and set the briefing schedule. The defendant’s Opening brief was filed on October 14; the plaintiff’s response brief was filed on November 20; and defendant’s reply brief was filed on December 12. On February 9, 2010, the 9th Circuit notified us that the original panel who heard the first appeal would hear this appeal as well. On December 10, 2010, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments. Following the oral argument, the parties were contacted by the 9th Circuit Mediation Department. All parties agreed to participate in mediation. On April 8, 2011, the parties exchanged initial settlement demands.

The parties reached a settlement agreement on March 30, 2012. The Parties filed a stipulation to dismiss the 9th Circuit Appeal without prejudice. On June 11, 2012, the Parties presented the settlement agreement to the Arizona District Court for its approval. On July 12, 2012, the Judge granted our Stipulation for Preliminary Approval of Proposed Settlement of Class Action and Approval of Proposed Notice to Class. The matter was set for a fairness hearing on Monday, October 22, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. before the Honorable Cindy K. Jorgenson. On that day, Judge Jorgenson approved the settlement, and the order was filed on October 30, 2012. The State is now required to provide monthly reports for the duration (two years) of the settlement agreement to ensure that individuals with disabilities receive their attendant and respite care in a timely manner.

State (Lindstrom) v. Harkins Administrative Services On January 29, 2007, the Center filed a motion to intervene in State v. Harkins on behalf of its clients, L.W. and F.L., persons with visual or hearing impairments. State v. Harkins was a suit brought by the Attorney General’s office alleging violation of the Arizonans with Disabilities Act for failure to provide auxiliary aids and services to the blind, deaf and hard of hearing during movies screened by Harkins. When the Center intervened, it raised claims under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). On March 28, 2007, Harkins filed a Motion to Dismiss the State’s complaint.

On March 28, 2008, the Judge granted Harkins’s Motion to Dismiss. The Center filed its Notice of Appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on April 28, 2008. The Center participated in a Settlement Conference on August 22, 2008, but was unable to reach an amicable solution. The Center filed its 9th Circuit Opening Brief on December 1, 2008. The Center filed its 9th Circuit Reply Brief on June 29, 2009. On January 13, 2010, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments about whether providing auxiliary aids or services in the context of a movie screened at a movie theater was required by the ADA. On April 30, 2010, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the ADA requires movie theaters to show closed-captioned movies unless doing so would constitute an “undue burden.” The opinion further states that the ADA does require businesses to provide “auxiliary aids and services.” The case returned to the District Court. On September 20, 2010, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss or Stay. Defendant filed its most recent Motion to Dismiss under 12(b)(1) alleging that the primary jurisdiction doctrine applies. On February 8, 2011, the District Court denied Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss. The parties made initial disclosures, discovery requests, took depositions, and retained experts.

The parties entered into a Consent Decree resolving the case that was signed by Judge Silver on November 7, 2011. The Decree required Harkins to install and have in operation closed captioning and video description equipment in 50% of its auditoriums by June 15, 2012. By January 15, 2013, it was required to provide the equipment in the remaining auditoriums. The Decree also dictated the number of end-use devices required at each of Harkins’ Arizona movie theaters, provided for published instructions for use of the devices, training for employees on the devices and communication with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, improved website accessibility, marketing of the presence of the new equipment, and disbursement of nearly 300 free movie passes to organizations in Arizona that serve individuals with visual or hearing impairments. Harkins was also required to hold six promotional events to debut the installation of the auxiliary aids and services equipment in specific movie theaters throughout the state. The Consent Decree will expire on November 7, 2013.

Part V. PAIR'S Priorities and Objectives

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

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

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

PRIORITY NO. 1: Increase access by persons with disabilities to services, programs and facilities open to the public. Participate in Arizona Emergency Planning and Preparedness activities that relate to issues involving persons with disabilities.

1. Ensure that places of public accommodation and public entities, including state and local government, do not refuse services or engage in discriminatory treatment on the basis of disability, provide auxiliary aids and services when needed for effective communication, and remove physical barriers to accessibility and make reasonable modifications in policies to avoid discrimination. 2. The need addressed by this priority is to ensure that places of public accommodation, including state and local governmental entities, do not refuse access to programs or services on the basis of disability, that auxiliary aids and services are provided when needed, and governmental entities and public accommodations remove physical barriers to accessibility and make reasonable modifications in their policies to avoid discrimination. Furthermore, this priority will ensure that individuals with disabilities will have the necessary information and are involved with Arizona’s Emergency Planning and Preparedness activities. 3. The Center plans to engage in the following activities to accomplish this goal:

a. Provide technical assistance or direct representation in four (4) administrative complaints with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office of Civil Rights and/or the U.S. Department of Justice/Secretary of State’s Office to challenge discrimination by places of public accommodations and public entities, including state and local governments, that have refused to modify policies/procedures or refused to provide auxiliary aids or services. b. Monitor and provide rights information on transportation issues for individuals with disabilities when applicable federal regulations apply. c. Develop and provide one (1) training on the public accommodations laws related to service animals. d. Advocate for adequate emergency preparedness for persons with disabilities through litigation and/or mediation strategies with municipalities and/or other local bodies. 4. Collaborative Effort: In regards to the Emergency Planning and Preparedness activities, the Center collaborated with the Arizona Developmental Disability Council and the Statewide Independent Living Counsel. In regard to a City Emergency Preparedness Plan, the Center collaborated with the Disability Rights Advocates (DRA). 5. Center staff handled 133 cases under Priority No. 1. 6. The following (3) case summaries demonstrates the impact of this priority.

MD is an individual with ADHD who wants to go to law school. During his education, he received unofficial accommodations for his ADHD. He received extra time as an accommodation when he took the SAT. He utilized the Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques (SALT) Center at the University of Arizona and received accommodations, including extra time on tests, throughout his undergraduate career. The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) refused to allow him extra time on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), despite multiple evaluations from neuropsychologists and his history of accommodations. He filed a charge with the Civil Rights Division. ACDL represented him in mediation at the Arizona Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division. The LSAC agreed to allow him his requested accommodation of time and a half on one LSAT examination. He signed a mediation agreement.

CJ is an individual with respiratory disorders who utilizes a wheelchair and a service animal. CJ contacted the Center after his service animal was repeatedly denied access over several months to a local behavioral health clinic. ACDL represented CJ and drafted a letter to the clinic detailing these occurrences and explaining applicable public accommodation laws and federal regulations. After discussions with the Center, the clinic agreed to allow CJ access to the clinic location with his service animal, to review the company’s policy on service animals with staff members, and to ensure that all facility buildings throughout the area have appropriate signage indicating that service animals are welcome on clinic property.

CB was enrolled at Everest College. After CB began her attendance, she provided the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) she had been served under in high school, due to her learning disability. When Everest College received the IEP, the college informed DB that they do not allow persons with IEPs to attend Everest College and forced her to stop taking classes. ACDL represented CB. The ACDL attorneys obtained a full refund of CB’s tuition and education materials, all credits awarded that CB earned, and raised the awareness of the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary College to this discriminatory conduct.

PRIORITY NO. 2: Ensure comprehensive and medically necessary health care services for individuals with disabilities who are beneficiaries of Medicaid and/or Medicare.

1. Ensure comprehensive and medically necessary health care services for individuals with disabilities who are beneficiaries of Medicaid and/or Medicare. 2. The need addressed by this priority is to ensure that individuals with disabilities who are beneficiaries of Medicaid and/or Medicare have access to appropriate healthcare services which is often the key to living independently at home and in their communities. Priority will be given to the restoration or maintenance of critical health care services, including challenging restrictions to AHCCCS/ALTCS. 3. The Center plans to engage in the following activities to accomplish this goal: a. Conduct litigation that promotes systemic change aimed at increasing access to medically necessary services and/or challenging restrictions to AHCCCS/ALTCS. b. Provide technical assistance or direct representation in administrative appeals and/or judicial review actions in state court of AHCCCS denials, terminations, or reductions in services. c. Provide timely and accurate rights information to individuals and their guardians on AHCCCS/ALTCS/DDD. 4. Collaborative effort — Pursuing this priority involved collaboration with two legal organizations. ACDL consulted with the National Health Law Program and Assistive Technology Law Center. Both organizations provided input into the development of legal arguments in our Alvarez v. Rogers lawsuit. 5. Center staff handled 86 cases under Priority No. 2. 6. The following (2) case summaries demonstrates the impact of this priority.

ALVAREZ v. BETLACH (formerly ALVAREZ v. ROGERS): This is an ongoing lawsuit challenging the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System’s (AHCCCS) policy prohibiting coverage of incontinence briefs for preventive purposes for persons with disabilities over the age of 21. Defendant (the State of Arizona) filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings and the ACDL filed a Cross-Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings on behalf of the class. Oral argument was held on March 19, 2012. On May 21, 2012, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ Cross Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, finding that AHCCCS’s refusal to cover medically necessary incontinence briefs violates federal Medicaid law and ordered Defendant to begin covering incontinence briefs where they are medically necessary for AHCCCS recipients over the age of 21. The Court signed its Order and Judgment on May 21, 2012. The Judge also ordered that the Plaintiffs be reimbursed for the costs of their incontinence briefs dating back to the initial denial. The Defendant subsequently appealed the decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Given the appeal, the Defendant also requested a Stay of the Order requiring briefs be provided to all eligible members (the requirement to provide briefs for Plaintiffs was not stayed and briefs were provided to Plaintiffs pending the appeal). The Stay was granted by the Court on June 11, 2012. The Defendant’s Opening Brief and our Responsive briefs were filed. Oral argument was held on February 11, 2014 in San Francisco. ACDL argued before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on that day. On May 13, 2014, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for Plaintiffs, requiring AHCCCS to pay for medically necessary incontinence briefs. The State requested a stay of the mandate which was granted, pending their petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. The State filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court on September 29, 2014. (Plaintiffs filed their opposition brief on November 6, 2014 and are now awaiting a decision from the Court.)

MF is a person who had a pancreatic transplant, which was paid by Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), due to cancer. He requested dental care through AHCCCS after the transplant. MF’s request was denied. Although dental care is generally not covered under AHCCCS (except in certain cases, i.e. prior to transplant), MF’s situation required dental care because of the risk of dental infection that could negatively affect the health of the transplanted organ. ACDL accepted the case in order to assist MF in getting the requested dental care. ACDL helped MF update his letter of medical necessity and file his appeal of AHCCCS’ denial. The appeal was granted and MF received the medically necessary dental care.

PRIORITY NO. 3: Promote equal employment opportunities.

1. People with disabilities continue to face barriers to employment including, but not limited to, physical obstacles in the workplace, communication barriers, discriminatory policies and procedures and attitudinal barriers based on stereotypes, misconceptions and fears. 2. This priority addresses employment discrimination by providing advocacy and legal services in order to promote: (1) non-discriminatory hiring procedures; (2) the provision of reasonable accommodations to employees and job applicants; (3) non-discriminatory policies and procedures; and (4) the prevention and redress of unlawful harassment, retaliation, intimidation and termination. 3. The Center plans to engage in the following activities to accomplish this goal: a. Provide representation at mediation or conciliation with the EEOC or Arizona Attorney General’s Office for cases that will have a systemic impact toward the prevention and redress of failure to accommodate, unlawful harassment, retaliation, intimidation and/or termination. b. Monitor the cases accepted for representation under activity “a” above and other service requests for potential litigation that presents systemic issues and where litigation will be far-reaching and have high impact. c. Provide timely and accurate rights information. 4. Pursuing this priority did not involve collaborative efforts with other entities. 5. Center staff handled 147 cases under Priority No. 3. 6. The following (2) case summaries demonstrates the impact of this priority.

JW is an individual with respiratory disorders and a teacher. She had requested a fan or other cooling system as a reasonable accommodation, but the school district failed to provide an effective accommodation and to engage in the interactive process. JW filed a complaint of discrimination with the Arizona Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division, then JW contacted the Center for guidance on what to settlement requests to make at mediation. The Center provided her with legal advice and guidance on developing a settlement offer, as well as information on the mediation and investigation processes. JW participated in mediation. JW informed the Center that the school district had agreed to her monetary settlement offer of $15,000 dollars. The Center provided further legal advice on how to respond to their settlement demand of a “no re-hire” clause.

CW is an individual with a visual impairment. She is employed by a state agency. The state agency changed their computer system which affected CW’s computer technology. CW requested reasonable accommodations, but the state agency failed to provide an effective accommodation and engage in the interactive process which caused CW to fall behind in her work production. CW filed a complaint of discrimination with the EEOC, then CW contacted the Center for representation at mediation. The Center provided her legal representation at mediation and guidance on developing a settlement offer, as well as information on the mediation process. ACDL represented CW at mediation and the parties were able to reach an agreement. CW received effective accommodations, additional training and support, and technology and work site evaluations. The state agency was also required to provide ADA Training on Disability Awareness to all personnel within CW’s unit.

PRIORITY NO. 4: Promote equal opportunity to housing under the Fair Housing Act for people with disabilities.

1. People with disabilities continue to face barriers to equal opportunity in housing. Housing providers discriminate against people with disabilities by failing to provide reasonable accommodations and physically accessible housing, by failing to reasonably modify discriminatory policies and practices, and by including discriminatory terms and conditions in housing agreements. 2. This priority addresses the discriminatory housing practices which: (1) affect the amount of available and accessible housing for people with disabilities, and (2) ensure that these individuals and their housing providers are aware and trained on the provisions of the Fair Housing Act as it applies to people with disabilities. 3. The Center plans to engage in the following activities to accomplish this goal: a. Provide timely and accurate rights information to individuals about their rights under the FHA. b. Provide technical assistance or direct representation in administrative complaints, mediations, or litigation where a person with a disability has been denied fair housing due to a housing provider’s intentional discrimination or failure to provide reasonable accommodations or reasonable modifications. c. Develop and provide training materials on fair housing law related to service animals. 4. Pursuing this priority did not involve collaborative efforts with other entities. 5. Center staff handled 83 cases under this Priority. 6. The following (2) case summaries demonstrates the impact of this priority.

EH is a person with partial paralysis who utilizes a wheelchair and catheter. He lives in an assisted living complex, and when renovations began on his housing unit, he was kept out of his living area without access to restroom facilities and equipment needed to address his disability related symptoms. EH attempted to request accommodations, but these efforts were unsuccessful. ACDL wrote a letter on EH’s behalf, requesting that he and other tenants have access to designated open units until the renovations were completed. ACDL also provided EH with information on his rights and complaint options. In response to ACDL’s letter and EH’s advocacy efforts, the housing provider agreed to provide five open units to EH and other tenants while their units were renovated.

LE is a person who has been blind since youth, and uses a service animal. In November 2013, LE began looking for a new living environment. He contacted Kokopelli to inquire of its facilities. Through a series of email exchanges, LE was told that he would not be able to reside at Kokopelli because pets were prohibited, and his service animal violated the no-pets policy. He was further denied access because Kokopelli’s owner believed the LE could not exit the home in the event of an emergency, despite LE’s reassurances that he was completely ambulatory and entirely self sufficient. ACDL attorney filed a civil rights complaint with the Arizona Attorney General’s Civil Rights Office. ACDL represented LE at mediation. The matter was not resolved at mediation and the complaint returned to the investigation unit.

B. Priorities and Objectives for the Current Fiscal Year

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

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

PRIORITY NO. 1: Increase access by persons with disabilities to services, programs and facilities open to the public. Participate in Arizona Emergency Planning and Preparedness activities that relate to issues involving persons with disabilities.

1. Ensure that places of public accommodation and public entities, including state and local government, do not refuse services or engage in discriminatory treatment on the basis of disability, provide auxiliary aids and services when needed for effective communication, and remove physical barriers to accessibility and make reasonable modifications in policies to avoid discrimination. 2. The need addressed by this priority is to ensure that places of public accommodation, including state and local governmental entities, do not refuse access to programs or services on the basis of disability, that auxiliary aids and services are provided when needed, and governmental entities and public accommodations remove physical barriers to accessibility and make reasonable modifications in their policies to avoid discrimination. Furthermore, this priority will ensure that individuals with disabilities will have the necessary information and are involved with Arizona’s Emergency Planning and Preparedness activities. 3. The Center plans to engage in the following activities to accomplish this goal:

a. Provide technical assistance or direct representation in at least four (4) administrative complaints with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office of Civil Rights and/or the U.S. Department of Justice/Secretary of State’s Office to challenge discrimination by places of public accommodations and public entities that have refused to modify policies/procedures or refused to provide auxiliary aids or services. b. Develop and provide one (1) training on transportation and the applicable federal regulations. c. Advocate for adequate emergency preparedness for persons with disabilities through litigation and/or mediation strategies with municipalities and/or other local bodies. d. Provide timely and accurate rights information to individuals.

PRIORITY NO. 2: Ensure comprehensive and medically necessary health care services for individuals with disabilities who are beneficiaries of Medicaid and/or Medicare.

1. Ensure comprehensive and medically necessary health care services for individuals with disabilities who are beneficiaries of Medicaid and/or Medicare. 2. The need addressed by this priority is to ensure that individuals with disabilities who are beneficiaries of Medicaid and/or Medicare have access to appropriate healthcare services which is often the key to living independently at home and in their communities. Priority will be given to the restoration or maintenance of critical health care services, including challenging restrictions to AHCCCS/ALTCS. 3. The Center plans to engage in the following activities to accomplish this goal:

a. Provide technical assistance or direct representation in administrative appeals and/or judicial review/actions in state court of AHCCCS denials, terminations, or reductions in access to medically necessary services and/or challenging restrictions to AHCCCS/ALTCS. b. Provide technical assistance or direct representation in administrative appeals and/or judicial review actions in state court of AHCCCS denials, terminations, or reductions in services. c. Provide timely and accurate rights information to individuals and their guardians on AHCCCS/ALTCS/DDD.

PRIORITY NO. 3: Reduce the discriminatory barriers which prevent qualified people with disabilities from obtaining/maintaining employment, obtaining reasonable accommodations, and working in a workplace free of unlawful harassment, retaliation and intimidation.

1. People with disabilities continue to face barriers to employment including, but not limited to, physical obstacles in the workplace, communication barriers, discriminatory policies and procedures, and attitudinal barriers based on stereotypes, misconceptions and fears. 2. This priority addresses employment discrimination by providing advocacy and legal services in order to promote: (1) non-discriminatory hiring procedures; (2) the provision of reasonable accommodations to employees and job applicants; (3) non-discriminatory policies and procedures; and (4) the prevention and redress of unlawful harassment, retaliation, intimidation and termination. 3. The Center plans to engage in the following activities to accomplish this goal:

a. Provide at least (2) direct representation at mediation or conciliation with the EEOC or Arizona Attorney General’s Office for cases that will have a systemic impact toward the prevention and redress of failure to accommodate, unlawful harassment, retaliation, intimidation, and/or termination. b. Monitor the cases accepted for representation under activity “a” above and other service requests for potential litigation that present systemic issues and where litigation will be far-reaching and have high impact. c. Provide timely and accurate rights information.

PRIORITY NO. 4: Promote equal opportunity to housing under the fair housing act for people with disabilities.

1. People with disabilities continue to face barriers to equal opportunity in housing. Housing providers discriminate against people with disabilities by failing to provide reasonable accommodations and physically accessible housing, by failing to reasonably modify discriminatory policies and practices, and by including discriminatory terms and conditions in housing agreements. 2. This priority addresses the discriminatory housing practices which: (1) affect the amount of available and accessible housing for people with disabilities, and (2) ensure that these individuals and their housing providers are aware and trained on the provisions of the Fair Housing Act as it applies to people with disabilities. 3. The Center plans to engage in the following activities to accomplish this goal:

a. Provide timely and accurate rights information to individuals about their rights under the FHA. b. Provide technical assistance or direct representation in administrative complaints, mediations, or litigation where a person with a disability has been denied fair housing due to a housing provider’s intentional discrimination or failure to provide reasonable accommodations or reasonable modifications. c. Provide at least (1) training on fair housing related to service animals.

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

Federal Funds Received: $323,982 Funds Spent: $323,982 Interest Income Funds Received: $0 Funds Spent: $0 Program Income Funds Received: $0 Funds Spent: $0 (Attorney Fees) B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by this report Income Federal Grant Income: $323,982 Interest Income: $0 Attorney Fees: $0 Other: $0 Total Income: $323,982

Prior Fiscal Year Current Fiscal Year Expenses Expenses Expenses Wages/salaries $193,130 $175,327 Fringe benefits (FICA, unemployment, etc.) $61,020 $62,745 Materials/supplies $10,017 $13,257 Postage $1,466 $1,253 Telephone $3,553 $1,761 Rent/Parking $21,584 $19,218 Travel $3,693 $3,552 Copying $37 $32 Bonding/insurance $4,276 $3,353 Equipment (rental/purchase) $6,193 $6,143 Legal Services $5,524 $7,508 Indirect costs $0 $0 Miscellaneous $17,329 $12,087 Total Budget $0 $0 Total $327,822 $306,236

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

Type of Position FTE % of year filled Person Years Professional Full-time 1.94 96.00% 1.94 Part-time 0.05 100.00% 0.05 Vacant 0.00 0.00% 0 Clerical Full-time 1.23 100.00% 1.23 Part-time 0.00 0.00% 0 Vacant 0.00 0.00% 0

Description of PAIR Staff Attorneys ACDL attorneys provided direct representation, technical assistance, and short-term assistance to PAIR clients during the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014. Two of the attorneys assigned to the PAIR program, Peri Jude Radecic and Edward Myers III, were key managers of the organization and provided project supervision for the PAIR program and assigned program staff prior to leaving their positions at ACDL. Mr. Myers’ date of departure was May 16, 2014 and Ms. Radecic’s date of departure was June 6, 2014. Currently, J.J. Rico is serving as Interim Executive Director and has taken over Ms. Radecic and Mr. Myers’ duties. J.J. Rico also serves as the PAIR program coordinator. The attorneys working in the PAIR program are responsible for determining eligibility for ACDL client services within the agency policies and PAIR priorities. The attorneys provided legal services which included interviewing clients, reviewing records, conducting legal research, negotiating outcomes and representing clients in administrative hearings/mediations and in state and federal legal proceedings. UPDATE: On November 19, 2014, J.J. Rico was selected by ACDL’s Board of Directors to serve as the Executive Director. Advocates ACDL advocates provided information and referral, intake of new cases in PAIR priority areas and technical assistance and short-term advocacy service to PAIR callers. The PAIR advocates are under the direct supervision of an attorney. Advocacy services include information and referral and direct advocacy services on behalf of the client which may include providing our self advocacy materials. Support and Administrative Staff

The support staff listed provided clerical assistance to the attorneys and advocates assigned to the PAIR program. Additionally, the financial staff is responsible for budgeting, accounting, securing and working with auditors, cash management, financial reporting, grant and tax accounting, ensuring compliance with all ACDL financial policies, state and federal reporting requirements and ACDL’s funding sources. Administrative staff also included the Information and Systems and Grant Manager charged with managing ACDL’s information and data systems, including computer software. This position monitors contract and grant compliance and ensures that ACDL’s information systems are maintained and in good working order and that the data and reporting functions necessary to comply with federal and other grants as well as internal reporting needs are in place.

D. Involvement with advisory boards (if any) The PAIR program is not involved with any advisory boards. E. Grievances __3___

Caller: M.C.

Primary Disability: Physical/Orthopedic Impairments

Issue: M.C., who is a prisoner in the Arizona State Prison Complex in Yuma, Arizona, contacted ACDL in May 2014 seeking assistance with the appeal of the suspension of his benefits and an alleged overpayment from the Social Security Administration. ACDL sent him information: What Prisoners Should Know about Social Security and Entering the Community after Incarceration — How We Can Help.

Grievance Filed with Interim Executive Director: In June 2014, M.C. filed a grievance due to the denial of representation for his appeal. ACDL’s Interim Executive Director sent a letter to M.C. upholding the decision to not provide representation and explained that he had 15 days to file an appeal. The deadline for the appeal passed and the grievance file was closed.

Caller: V.S. Primary Disability: Physical/Orthopedic Impairments Issue: V.S. contacted the ACDL in June 2014 to seek assistance with difficulties and possible discrimination she experienced with the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS)l. V.S. no longer wanted to receive ALTCS services. ACDL’s Interim Executive Director sent a letter to V.S. providing her with contact information for the Office of Consumer and Family Support Services. The letter also included information about the Arizona Health Cost Containment System’s Freedom to Work coverage. The Interim Executive Director also agreed to open a service request for V.S. ACDL agreed to provide V.S. with assistance with completing the Title II ADA discrimination complaint form. An ACDL staff attorney provided this assistance. V.S. was provided her grievance options and deadline to appeal this decision. The deadline for the appeal passed and the grievance file was closed.

Caller: R.T.

Primary Disability: Other Emotional/Behavioral (PTSD; Panic Attack)

Issue: R.T. had requested an increase in benefits from DES/Family Assistance Administration (FAA) to include food and Vet expenses for his service animal. The increase had been granted, but he then received a letter from DES/FAA requesting proof that his service animal was professionally trained per FAA policy. R.T. provided FAA with information from the ADA stating only that the animal must be individually trained and that there was no language in the law requiring that the animal be professionally trained. In April 2014, Center attorney reviewed documents that were provided by R.T. and contacted the local county benefits office and arranged for R.T. to work with a supervisor to deal with his animal-related expenses. R.T. requested legal representation to file a lawsuit against DES. Because client did not provide requested documents or information regarding legal issues or pending hearings, R.T.’s case was closed. Grievance Filed with Interim Executive Director: In May 2014, R.T. grieved the decision to close his case. In June 2014, Interim Executive Director sent letter to R.T. upholding the decision to close his case due to lack of resources and staff availability. The Interim Executive Director also provided additional self advocacy materials that R.T. requested. Because R.T. did not file an appeal within the 15-day period after receiving the letter, the grievance case was closed.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByJ.J. Rico
TitleExecutive Director
Signed Date12/03/2014