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

Montana (Disability Rights Montana) - H240A140027 - FY2014

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameDisability Rights Montana
Address1022 Chestnut Street
Address Line 2
CityHelena
StateMontana
Zip Code59601
E-mail Addressbernie@disabiltiyrightsmt.org
Website Addresshttps://disabilityrightsmt.org
Phone406-449-2344
TTY 406-449-2344
Toll-free Phone800-245-4743
Toll-free TTY800-245-4743
Fax406-449-2418
Name of P&A Executive DirectorBernadette Franks-Ongoy
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorBernadette Franks-Ongoy
Person to contact regarding reportBernadette Franks-Ongoy
Contact Person phone406-449-2344
Ext.4811

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 areas143
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas43
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)186

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff14
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)1,454

10-3-13 Special Education, Kids, Families School & the law: Working Together fo Success; symposium - Kalispell, MT 97 attendees

10-24-13 Montana Department of Transportation Employment Awareness Day Helena, MT 400 attendees

1-7-14 PAK Meeting/Great Falls, MT 12 People 1-27-14 Disability Rights Montana E-Newsletter 49 People 3-4-14 PAK Meeting/Great Falls, MT 10 People 3-10-14 Montana Association of Counties/Jail Standards 25 People 3-10-14 PAK Meeting/Butte, MT 12 People 3-19-14 Legislative Forum Great Falls, MT 150 People 3-28-14 Disability Rights Montana E-Newsletter 295 People

4-9-14 Montana School Counseling Association Bozeman, MT 50 People

4-14-14 Huffington Post Interview - Disability Rights Montana vs. Dept of Corrections and DPHHS

5-13-14 PAK - Parents and Kids Meeting Butte, MT 6 People

5-19-14 Disability Rights Montana E-Newsletter 313 People

6-17-14 Legislative Forum Billings, MT 35 People

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff0
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles8
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website769,106
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated0
6. Other (specify separately)3

Narrative

To expand our social network audience we have begun playing trivia on Facebook and Twitter. The trivia questions invite our followers to become more interactive with us which allows our pages and posts to become viral. Additionally, asking trivia questions allows us to provide useful information in a fun way. For example, while posting trivia about The Americas with Disabilities Act in December we gained approximately 20 followers due to the interaction of our followers which allows others to be exposed to our page.

DRM is in the process of designing a Montana License Plate. The Montana Department of Transportation required changes to the design originally submitted so a new design is being created.

Our e-mailing list for our electronic newsletter is 399. We received great feedback again after the May e-newsletter and requests to continue to send them. A “subscribe” button has been added to our website for people to subscribe to the e-newsletter.

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)30
2. Additional individuals served during the year97
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)127
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)6

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 50

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility9
2. Employment15
3. Program access0
4. Housing9
5. Government benefits/services6
6. Transportation0
7. Education15
8. Assistive technology1
9. Voting0
10. Health care32
11. Insurance0
12. Non-government services1
13. Privacy rights0
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse13
16. Neglect6
17. Other16

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor26
2. Other representation found13
3. Individual withdrew complaint6
4. Appeals unsuccessful4
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.2
6. PAIR withdrew from case3
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources11
8. Individual case lacks legal merit7
9. Other14

Please explain

3- Requesting information/referral only. 3- Reviewed documents, attempted to assist. 1- Investigated, did not meet clear conduct requirements. 3- No Response, client did not respond. 1- Employer can’t afford the previous accommodation. 1- Advised client to file with the Human Rights Bureau. 1- Event outside of HRB timelines. 1- Medical care meets standard of care for detention facility.

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-advocacy1
2. Short-term assistance71
3. Investigation/monitoring14
4. Negotiation0
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution0
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 - 2220
3. 23 - 5982
4. 60 - 6410
5. 65 and over15

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females44
2. Males83

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race2
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native10
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American1
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White108
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown6

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent46
2. Parental or other family home23
3. Community residential home0
4. Foster care0
5. Nursing home2
6. Public institutional living arrangement0
7. Private institutional living arrangement0
8. Jail/prison/detention center47
9. Homeless2
10. Other living arrangements6
11. Living arrangements not known1

E. Primary Disability of Individuals Served

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

1. Blind/visual impairment8
2. Deaf/hard of hearing17
3. Deaf-blind0
4. Orthopedic impairment42
5. Mental illness1
6. Substance abuse0
7. Mental retardation1
8. Learning disability10
9. Neurological impairment7
10. Respiratory impairment3
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment4
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment6
13. Speech impairment0
14. AIDS/HIV2
15. Traumatic brain injury1
16. Other disability25

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

1. Number of policies/practices changed as a result of non-litigation systemic activities0

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes0

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

B. Litigation/Class Actions

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

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

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.

Core Services 1. Identify and describe priority. Provide reliable, timely information and referral services to all callers. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Individuals with disabilities can face a whole host of issues, both legal and technical, whose answer are not generally available. We can serve as the resource to direct people with disabilities to the correct resources to get the right information. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. We are successful when we respond to the individual caller promptly and provide helpful and accurate information. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. We continue to update our information to provide to callers. In the process of doing so, we contact many services providers as well as other advocacy organizations to ensure our information is accurate. Our staff attends trainings to keep current on state-wide developments and resources. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions. 183 Service Requests 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. In one case, a case manager called to tell us that one of her clients was currently living in the Men’s Shelter in Billings and they would not allow him to bring his service animal inside. We gave her our information on service animals that is available on our website so she could use it immediately. We also gave her the Rocky Mountain ADA phone number and website for further information about his rights.

1. Identify and describe priority. Provide short-term assistance for non-priority issues to eligible persons with disabilities. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Often people with disabilities need assistance with issues that do not fall within our priorities. In such circumstances, we can give assistance under this objective to help them resolve the issue presented. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. The indicators we use to determine our success are: our ability to provide accurate information and appropriate referrals should that be necessary, the outcomes we achieve for the callers, and the extent to which we have advanced our mission through our advocacy. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. We continue to update our information to provide to callers. In the process of doing so, we contact many service providers as well as other advocacy organizations to ensure our information is accurate. Our staff attends trainings to keep current on state-wide developments and resources. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions. 22 Service Requests 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. We received a call from a man inquiring how to get his driver’s license back after a car accident that resulted in a TBI. We referred him to his local Independent Living Center and to the local airport for a defensive driving class.

Abuse and Neglect 1. Identify and describe priority. Review reports of inappropriate, inadequate medical and mental health services in jails and prisons. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. At times, individuals who are impacted by abuse, neglect, the violation of their civil rights in institutions are individuals with disabilities other than psychiatric or cognitive ones. In those circumstances, we must be able to address their issues, which is why we developed this priority. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. We determine whether we have met this priority when we have thoroughly investigated and addressed issues that arise under this priority. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. N/A 4. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions. 41 Service Requests 5. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. A prisoner contacted DRM by mail and requested assistance. He had a mobility impairment and uses a walker. He wrote that he was unable to pick up his food tray and get to a seat in the lunchroom or hold any item in his hands while he tried to get from one place to another with his walker. He said when he asked for assistance, the staff told him he had to do it by himself. After obtaining the appropriate information release forms, an advocate wrote to the Warden to ask for a reasonable accommodation for this inmate. The warden was asked if he would see that an individual was assigned to help our client carry things for one place to the next. Within a week, the Assistant Warden from the prison called and told the Advocate that our client had been assigned a “pusher” who would push him in a wheelchair for meals.

Community Services 1. Identify and describe priority. Obtain appropriate Medicaid funded services for children with SED, DD, autism, physical disabilities or brain injuries in cases with the potential for systemic impact. 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. 7 Service Requests 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. We were contacted by parents of an eight year old student who was not receiving appropriate education services due to ongoing conflicts with the local school district. This student was identified for special education services under the IDEA disability category, deafness. The primary issue involved problems with his sign language interpreter. This student was informed by his sign language interpreter that he was excluded from participating in the school Christmas music program. His parents removed him from school as a result of the distrust, anxiety and depression their son experienced following this incident. DRM provided legal and advocacy support for this family through the IEP process in effort to resolve the issues involving his education placement, sign language interpreter and the delivery of homebound services. DRM worked with the family and the local education agency to develop a transition plan in an effort to return the student back to school. Formal correspondence was drafted to document the concerns, including the discrimination complaint against the student’s interpreter of record. The district agreed to change the student’s education placement to another school. The district also agreed to hire a temporary sign language interpreter that would meet outside of school with the student to help ease his transition back to school. The district also paid to have this temporary interpreter work with the student and his private therapist to establish his trust and confidence. The student was also offered homebound services in an alternative location prior to his return to school.

This student is now attending school full-time with a new interpreter. The district agreed that his former interpreter would no longer have contact with this student. A formal investigation is also being conducted on the discrimination complaint to review the district’s procedures and policies to ensure all students have equal access to school programs.

DEBA 1. Identify and describe priority. Review cases, provide short-term assistance, technical assistance, and represent individuals who have been discriminated against on the basis of disability or denied reasonable accommodations by employers, using such individualized strategies as filing administrative complaints, lawsuits, and appeals. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Unfortunately, some employers are still unaware of their responsibilities when it comes to accommodating their employees with disabilities. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. We judge our success on the basis of the effectiveness of our advocacy, including not only the outcome of any litigation but the change brought about by bringing attention to the particular discrimination issue. 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 of these, if any, were class actions. 20 Service Requests 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. We received a call from a woman outlining problems with her employer for whom she had worked for roughly 12 years. Over the years, her job description had changed from what it was when she was originally hired. She was no longer sure exactly what her duties were, or the order she was to perform them. We helped her prepare a request for reasonable accommodation. She then called back at a later date for help preparing another letter in which she requested assistance at any meetings with her employer. We wrote a letter for her and continue to monitor her situation.

1. Identify and describe priority.

Review cases, provide technical assistance, and represent individuals who have been denied or have been prohibited from using assistive technology or auxiliary aids by various entities including Medicaid, Medicare, governmental entities, public accommodations or other entities, using such individualized strategies as filing administrative complaints, lawsuits, and appeals. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. We continue to see the denial of the use of assistive technology or auxiliary aids or the failure to accommodate that use. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. We judge our success on the basis of the effectiveness of our advocacy, including not only the outcome of any litigation, but the change brought about by bringing attention to the particular discrimination issue. 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 of these, if any, were class actions.

2 Service Requests; 2 Projects

6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Under this priority, we finalized our accessibility surveys of Amtrak train stations in Montana for the publication for a national report by NDRN about the state of accessibility of those stations across the nation.

Also under this priority, we assisted a woman with a sight impairment to request reasonable accommodations from her bank in the manner in which they provided written documents. We then helped her file a discrimination complaint with the Montana Human Rights Bureau, and assisted her through the investigative process. She got a good cause finding and was then represented by a private attorney.

1. Identify and describe priority. Review cases, provide technical assistance, and represent individuals who have been denied meaningful access to benefits or services or otherwise discriminated against on the basis of disability by governmental entities, using such individualized strategies as filing administrative complaints, lawsuits, and appeals. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. State and local government does not consistently grant reasonable accommodations or otherwise offer services and benefits to people with disabilities without discrimination. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. We judge our success on the basis of the effectiveness of our advocacy, including not only the outcome of any litigation, but the change brought about by bringing attention to the particular discrimination issue. 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 of these, if any, were class actions. 16 Service Requests; 3 Projects 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority.

An inmate housed in a local jail called as he had been denied accessible transportation to and from various surgeries. He was required to physically self-transfer from his wheelchair into a prison van. The first time this was required, he was on his way to surgery for a double hernia. DRM contacted the jail, made arrangements for all records, including video records, to be preserved, obtained a copy of those records. We also assisted the client by preparing a discrimination complaint to file with the Montana Human Rights Bureau, traveled to the prison to obtain his signature and filed the complaint on the client’s behalf.

1. Identify and describe priority. Review cases, provide technical assistance, and represent individuals who have been discriminated against or denied meaningful access to the benefits or services of places of public accommodation, using such individualized strategies as filing administrative complaints, lawsuits, and appeals. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Public accommodations do not consistently grant reasonable accommodations or otherwise offer services and benefits to people with disabilities without discrimination. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. We judge our success on the basis of the effectiveness of our advocacy, including not only the outcome of any litigation, but the change brought about by bringing attention to the particular discrimination issue. 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. 23 Service Requests; 3 Projects 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. A man called us because he was unable to maneuver his wheelchair in certain areas of a local store because the racks were too close together. DRM prepared a letter and enclosed the ADA legal authority to the store manager and his staff when setting up store displays. DRM was able to get appropriate spacing in that store.

Also under this priority, we were called by a man who uses a wheelchair who was prohibited from participating in a full marathon held in Montana because of his wheelchair. He has participated in many marathons across the country, but whom decided not to participate in this marathon because it was discriminatory. Only with the threat of a negative news story did the Marathon belatedly agree to allow wheelchairs to participate, but with many discriminatory rules, including requiring all wheelchairs to cap their speed at 11 mph for the second half of the marathon, limiting it to 8 participants, and requiring them to yield at all times to runners, which would negatively affect their time.

Even though our client offered many other ways to solve the problems they sought to solve by these limitations, namely the possibility of collisions, but they were all rejected.

Outreach 1. Identify and describe priority. Provide and sponsor disability-rights-related awareness and training events throughout the state targeting minority and under-served persons with disabilities. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Often people with disabilities are not aware of the full panoply of services available to them. Outreach to the community is a good way to accomplish this. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. 4. Indicators of success include our participation in disability rights related training and awareness events. 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. 10 Projects 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Under this priority, we provided a training session for a disability job fair discussing when and whether to disclose one’s disability to an employer. The session was attended by 50 people. We also sponsored a special education symposium entitled ““Special Education, Kids, Families, School & The Law: Working Together for Success.”

1. Identify and describe priority. Produce and disseminate an electronic newsletter and publications. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Getting information to people with disabilities can be challenging but electronic media is increasingly popular as a means of communication, so we have chosen an electronic format for our newsletter. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Indicators of success include providing timely updates to our website as well as our tweet and facebook updates. We also look to feedback from our readers to judge our success. 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 of these, if any, were class actions. 1 Project 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Under this priority, we produced a bi monthly electronic newsletter about the work that we are doing. We have gotten quite a bit of positive feedback on the content and format of the newsletter. As this was a non-legislative year, a bimonthly publication was sufficient to cover the news and provide updates.

1. Identify and describe priority. Enhance DRM’s interactive electronic presence (website) to leverage technology to distribute information and receive input. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Electronic communication is a good way to contact people with disabilities with timely information. 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. 1 Project 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Disability Rights Montana has an active Facebook page and Twitter feed that are updated on a daily basis. As of July 1, 2014, we have 2,707 followers on Twitter. On Facebook we have 505 people that like our page. These figures have more than doubled over the past year. Recently we have promoted some posts, paying a minimal fee, which provided a wider reach in capturing an audience.

Policy 1. Identify and describe priority. Monitor and respond to law, policy, and rule changes affecting the rights and opportunities of people with disabilities, and affecting the ability of DRM to serve people with disabilities. 2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. People with disabilities are affected by changes in law and policy. This happens both intentionally, in measures addressing disability specific issues as well as inadvertently through measures with broad application that often have disproportionate effects upon the disability community. To help the greatest number of people with disabilities and to hopefully avoid or prevent problems brought about by policy changes, it can be advantageous to participate when these issue are being considered and debated. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. The indicators of success of the priority is the responsiveness of our actions when made aware of various changes or proposals to change policy regarding people with mobility and sensory impairments. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. We work in coalition with the independent living centers, aarp, the area agencies on aging and many other interest groups. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions. 3 Projects 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Under this priority, we participated in the long term care choices coalition, which meets to discuss policy and priorities for the senior and long term care division. This year, we advocated for and received a state wide listening session to inform the department about the issues that are being faced locally and suggestions about how to resolve them.

1. Identify and describe priority. Educate law and policy makers through oral and written communications in legislative and executive branch forums.

2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. People with disabilities are affected by changes in law and policy. This happens both intentionally, in measures addressing disability specific issues as well as inadvertently through measures with broad application that often have disproportionate effects upon the disability community. To help the greatest number of people with disabilities and to hopefully avoid or prevent problems brought about by policy changes, it can be advantageous to participate when these issue are being considered and debated. 3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. The indicators of success of the priority is the responsiveness of our actions when made aware of various changes or proposals to change policy regarding people with mobility and sensory impairments. 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. 3 Projects 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Under this priority, we participated in a legislative interim study about our state institutions and alternative methods that could be used to serve people in other settings. During this study we testified multiple times and proposed various institutional redesign proposals to the committee. This proposal various shifts of resources, including those for people with disabilities that do not meet the functional requirements for PAIMI or for PADD who are currently involved with the criminal justice system.

Civil Rights 1. Identify and describe priority. Provide advocacy and/or legal representation for people with disabilities in cases with the potential for establishing precedent, enforcing and clarifying constitutional and other rights. This can only be used with prior approval of the Executive Director. 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. Successful outcomes are determined by the outcome of litigation, advocacy and negotiation of the case. 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. 9 Service Request; 3 Projects 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Under this priority, there were multiple service requests regarding individuals with hearing impairments who allege that they were sexually victimized while going to school at the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind. We compiled the allegations from multiple victims and provided that information to private attorneys for litigation.

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.

Core Services 1. a statement of each priority; Provide reliable, timely information and referral services to all callers. 2. the need addressed by each priority; and; Individuals with disabilities can face a whole host of issues, both legal and technical, whose answer are not generally available. We can serve as the resource to direct people with disabilities to the correct resources to get the right information. 3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority. We will continue to address concerns in our intake process under this priority, which involves ensuring that we provide accurate and timely referral information that is appropriate to their particular situation.

1. a statement of each priority; Provide short-term assistance for non-priority issues to eligible persons with disabilities. 2. the need addressed by each priority; and; Often people with disabilities need assistance with issues that do not fall within our priorities. In such circumstances, we can give assistance under this objective to help them resolve the issue presented. 3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority. This priority is necessary as sometimes callers raise issues that do not fall under our other priorities, but can be addressed and resolved with short term assistance. Under this priority, we will conduct brief investigations and provide advocacy for callers to help resolve issues presented. We do not litigate under this priority.

Abuse and Neglect 1. a statement of each priority; To prevent premature death of people with disabilities as a result of the inappropriate use of Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) or Physician’s Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) orders. Review all deaths reported to the Mortality Review Committee. 2. the need addressed by each priority; and; To intervene in 100% of reported cases in which all persons with disabilities who are subject to the protection of the Montana Uniform Rights of the Terminally Ill Act are at risk of premature death.

3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority. Under this priority, we will review and investigate situations where there is an issue of inappropriate use of DNRs or POLST orders for people with disabilities, as well as review all deaths reported to the Mortality Review Committee. Often in these cases, the person with the disability is left without an advocate, and there is general confusion about the legal standard to apply.

1. a statement of each priority; Review reports of inappropriate, inadequate medical and mental health services at Montana State Prison. 2. the need addressed by each priority; and; Individuals who are impacted by abuse, neglect, and the violation of their civil rights in institutions are individuals with disabilities other than psychiatric or cognitive ones 3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority. This priority is necessary as some individuals who contact us with claims regarding medical care at MSP are not individuals with psychiatric or cognitive disabilities, but mobility impairments or sensory impairments. We will employ any appropriate intervention, including investigations, advocacy and the filing of complaints and litigation.

DEBA 1. a statement of each priority; Review cases, provide short-term assistance, technical assistance, and represent individuals who have been discriminated against on the basis of disability or denied reasonable accommodations by employers, using such individualized strategies as filing administrative complaints, lawsuits, and appeals. 2. the need addressed by each priority; and; Unfortunately, some employers are still unaware of their responsibilities when it comes to accommodating their employees with disabilities. 3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority. The issue addressed here are employers who do not treat their employees with dis- abilities in a non-discriminatory manner. The activities carried out include investigations, advocacy, filing administrative complaints, lawsuits and appeals.

1. a statement of each priority; Review cases, provide technical assistance, and represent individuals who have been denied or have been prohibited from using assistive technology or auxiliary aids by various entities including Medicaid, Medicare, governmental entities, public accommodations or other entities, using such individualized strategies as filing administrative complaints, lawsuits, and appeals. 2. the need addressed by each priority; and; There is still the denial of the use of assistive technology or auxiliary aids or the failure to accommodate. 3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority. The issue addressed here are entities that do not accommodate the use of assistive technology or auxiliary aids by people with disabilities. The activities carried out include investigations, advocacy, filing administrative complaints, lawsuits and appeals.

1. a statement of each priority; Review cases, provide technical assistance, and represent individuals who have been denied meaningful access to benefits or services or otherwise discriminated against on the basis of disability by governmental entities, using such individualized strategies as filing administrative complaints, lawsuits, and appeals. 2. the need addressed by each priority; and; State and local government does not consistently grant reasonable accommodations or otherwise offer services and benefits to people with disabilities without discrimination. 3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority. The issue addressed here are governmental entities that do not treat their customers with disabilities in a non-discriminatory manner. The activities carried out include investigations, advocacy, filing administrative complaints, lawsuits and appeals.

1. a statement of each priority; Review cases, provide technical assistance, and represent individuals who have been discriminated against or denied meaningful access to the benefits or services of places of public accommodation, using such individualized strategies as filing administrative complaints, lawsuits, and appeals. 2. the need addressed by each priority; and; We find that public accommodations do not consistently grant reasonable accommodations or otherwise offer services and benefits to people with disabilities without discrimination. 3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority. The issue addressed here are public accommodations that do not treat their customers with disabilities in a non-discriminatory manner. The activities carried out include investigations, advocacy, filing administrative complaints, lawsuits and appeals.

Education 1. a statement of each priority; Collaborate with community-based groups to improve educational and transition outcomes for students with disabilities. 2. the need addressed by each priority; and; Disability Rights Montana needs to continue their involvement with community groups to help with and educate educational and transition processes for students with disabilities.

3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority. The need addressed by this priority is the lack of coordination by community groups to advocate for services collectively with school districts. There is great potential to achieve positive change in this way.

1. a statement of each priority; Obtain appropriate Medicaid funded services for children with developmental disabilities, ASD, traumatic brain injuries, and physical disabilities in coordination with educational services. 2. the need addressed by each priority; and; To help children who are eligible for Medicaid who have been denied medially necessary services. 3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority. The need addressed by this priority is the sometimes inaccurate or inappropriate interpretation by Medicaid or by school districts as to the appropriate and medically necessary services required by students.

1. a statement of each priority; Provide advocacy and/or legal representation to students with traumatic brain injuries, developmental disabilities, ASD, and physical disabilities to obtain the supports and services they need to progress in their education. 2. the need addressed by each priority; and; To provide advocacy to students with disabilities who require or have an IEP or 504 plan. 3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority. This priority addresses the continued need for legal advocacy to ensure that students receive the services to which they are entitled.

Outreach 1. a statement of each priority; Provide and sponsor disability-rights-related awareness and training events throughout the state targeting minority and under-served persons with disabilities. 2. the need addressed by each priority; and; Often people with disabilities are not aware of the types of services available to them. Outreach to the community is a good way to accomplish this. 3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority. Often people with disabilities are not aware of the full range of services available to them. Outreach to the community is one way to overcome this.

1. a statement of each priority; Produce and disseminate an electronic newsletter and publications. 2. the need addressed by each priority; and; Getting information to people with disabilities can be challenging but electronic media is increasingly popular as a means of communication, so we have chosen an electronic format for our newsletter. 3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority. Under this priority, we compose and distribute an electronic newsletter roughly every other month. During our biennial legislative sessions, we produce a newsletter each week.

1. a statement of each priority; Enhance DRM’s interactive electronic presence (website) to leverage technology to distribute information and receive input.

2. the need addressed by each priority; and; Electronic communication is a good way to contact people with disabilities with timely information. 3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority. Under this priority, we maintain our website with timely updates as well as tweet developments and post facebook updates.

1. a statement of each priority; Provide and sponsor voter education and registration events at adult facilities for people with disabilities throughout Montana. 2. the need addressed by each priority; and; To help ensure that all people with disabilities have the education about how to vote and register. 3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority. The purpose of this priority it to continue our work to ensure that every eligible voter with a disability is registered to vote and knows how to exercise their right to vote.

Policy 1. a statement of each priority; Monitor and respond to law, policy, and rule changes affecting the rights and opportunities of people with disabilities, and affecting the ability of DRM to serve people with disabilities. 2. the need addressed by each priority; and; People with disabilities are affected by changes in law and policy. This happens both intentionally, in measures addressing disability specific issues as well as inadvertently through measures with broad application that often have disproportionate effects upon the disability community. To help the greatest number of people with disabilities and to hopefully avoid or prevent problems brought about by policy changes, it can be advantageous to participate when these issue are being considered and debated. 3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority. This priority is necessary as people with disabilities are affected by changes in law and policy. This happens both intentionally, in measures addressing disability specific issues, as well as inadvertently through measures with broad application which often have disproportionate effects upon the disability community. To help the greatest number of people with disabilities and to hopefully avoid or prevent problems brought about by policy changes, it can be advantageous to participate when these issues are being considered and debated. Under this priority, we inform administration officials and others about the impact of rules, practices and procedures on people with disabilities.

1. a statement of each priority; Educate law and policy makers through oral and written communications in legislative and executive branch forums. 2. the need addressed by each priority; and; Under this priority, we analyze and respond to proposed bills, resolutions and administrative proposals with regard to how they affect people with disabilities. We can often accomplish more with discussions with policy makers than through litigation.

3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority. This priority is necessary as people with disabilities are affected by changes in law and policy. This happens both intentionally, in measures addressing disability specific issues, as well as inadvertently through measures with broad application which often have disproportionate effects upon the disability community. To help the greatest number of people with disabilities and to hopefully avoid or prevent problems brought about by policy changes, it can be advantageous to participate when these issues are being considered and debated Under this priority, we inform policy makers of the impacts of pending legislation and inform the public of pending legislation.

Civil Rights 1. a statement of each priority; Provide advocacy and/or legal representation for people with disabilities in cases with the potential for establishing precedent, enforcing and clarifying constitutional and other rights. This can only be used with prior approval of the Executive Director. 2. the need addressed by each priority; and; This priority exists to allow us to take on cases that are not within our priorities but present significant civil rights issues. We will continue to maintain this priority for times when these issues present themselves. 3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority. There are some cases, such as constitutional claims, that may not fit under the priorities we have established each year. This priority allows us to address these issues when they have the potential to change the law in a way that will affect more persons than the client in the matter or to have other far reaching benefits for people with disabilities. We investigate, draft legal memos or reports and litigate under this priority

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) $131,410 $126,553 State $0 $0 Program income $21,800 $21,800 Private $0 $0 All other funds $0 $0 Total (from all sources) $153,210 $148,353

B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by this report

Category Prior Fiscal Year Current Fiscal Year Wages/salaries $85,788 $146,383 Fringe benefits (FICA, unemployment, etc.) $29,170 $52,184 Materials/supplies $2,574 $4,503 Postage $446 $693 Telephone $1,449 $2,251 Occupancy $12,647 $19,083 Travel $5,515 $4,400 Copying $65 $500 Bonding/insurance $1,074 $1,559 Equipment (rental/purchase) $3,937 $8,659 Legal Services $1,563 $3,000 Indirect costs $3,154 $5,064 Miscellaneous $971 $1,200 Total Budget $148,353 $249,479

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

Type of Position FTE % of year filled Person-years Professional Full-time 2.27 100 12 Part-time 0.06 100 2 Vacant Clerical Full-time 0.16 100 1 Part-time Vacant

D. Disability Rights Montana does not have an advisory board for it’s PAIR program.

E. There were 0 grievances filed under the grievance procedure.

F. Disability Rights Montana houses the CAP Program and works closely with CAP staff to resolve issues for people with disabilities. DRM has a good working relationship with the Montana Senior and Long Term Care Division and coordinates our efforts to provide assistance to seniors with disabilities.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByBernadette Franks-Ongoy
TitleAuthorized Certifying Official
Signed Date12/12/2014