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

New Mexico (NATIVE AMERICAN P and A PROJECT -- DNA - PEOPLES LEGAL SERVICES) - H240A140057 - FY2014

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameNative American Disability Law Center Inc.
Address3535 E 30th Street Suite 201
Address Line 2
CityFarmington
StateNew Mexico
Zip Code87402
E-mail Addresstyanan@nativedisabilitylaw.org
Website Addresshttp://nativedisabilitylaw.org
Phone505-566-5880
TTY
Toll-free Phone800-862-7271
Toll-free TTY
Fax505-566-5880
Name of P&A Executive DirectorTherese Yanan
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorTherese Yanan
Person to contact regarding reportTherese Yanan
Contact Person phone505-566-5880
Ext.

Part I. Non-Case Services

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

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Individuals receiving I&R within PAIR priority areas12
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas4
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)16

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff3
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)140

Hopi Disability Conference

Two presentations were submitted to the Hopi Office of Special Needs for the annual Hopi Disability Conference. The conference was reduced from two days to one, so only one presentation was accepted. On March 11, 2014, the Law Center staff attorney presented, "The Process for Applying for SSA Disability Benefits". The training included applying for Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income, both for adults and for children with a disability; the process starting with the application process and continuing through to judicial review; and what is required to establish disability, detailing SSA’s 5-step analysis. As the presentation was the last session late in the afternoon, ten people attended. Copies of the presentation materials were distributed, as well as Law Center brochures on SSA Disability Benefits, VR, and Return to Work. Law Center staff, however, were present throughout the day & talked with, provided information & distributed materials to an additional 50 individuals.

Navajo Disability Conference

The Law Center works closely with the Navajo Advisory Council on Disabilities to organize an annual Disability Conference. The Conference focuses on raising awareness about the needs of Navajos with disabilities & providing those with disabilities & their families with education & information on their rights & available services.

On October 15, 2013, the annual Disability Conference was held in Farmington, New Mexico. This Conference was attended by at least 80 participants, which was an unusually low turnout, which was attributed to the Southwest Disability Conference being held in Albuquerque the week before. During the Conference, the Law Center had an Information Table & provided information & distributed materials throughout the day. Additionally, the Law Center provided an overview of a new proposed Navajo Adult Guardianship Act & obtained input on how the draft would best meet the community’s needs.

PEAK Regional Training

The Law Center presented at the National PEAKS Parent Conference. The session addressed the general rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, with a focus on the importance of evaluations & using them to develop comprehensive Individual Education Plans. The conference is dedicated to providing information about the rights of parents & students with disabilities, best practices, & trends in special education. The session provided by the Law Center was focused specifically on providing information to parents of students with disabilities so that they could more effectively advocate for their children. The training was attended primarily by parents of children with disabilities, but some educators also attended the session.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff1
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles6
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website2,436
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated1,233
6. Other (specify separately)0

Narrative

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)11
2. Additional individuals served during the year45
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)56
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)4

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 14

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility0
2. Employment2
3. Program access0
4. Housing7
5. Government benefits/services37
6. Transportation0
7. Education13
8. Assistive technology0
9. Voting0
10. Health care0
11. Insurance0
12. Non-government services0
13. Privacy rights0
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse0
16. Neglect1
17. Other0

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor23
2. Other representation found1
3. Individual withdrew complaint7
4. Appeals unsuccessful0
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.2
6. PAIR withdrew from case1
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources6
8. Individual case lacks legal merit6
9. Other0

Please explain

E. Intervention Strategies Used in Serving Individuals

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

1. Technical assistance in self-advocacy18
2. Short-term assistance5
3. Investigation/monitoring2
4. Negotiation5
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution0
6. Administrative hearings11
7. Litigation (including class actions)5
8. Systemic/policy activities0

Part III. Statistical Information on Individuals Served

A. Age of Individuals Served as of October 1

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. 0 - 40
2. 5 - 2213
3. 23 - 5933
4. 60 - 647
5. 65 and over3

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females24
2. Males32

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race0
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native56
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American0
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White0
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown0

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent18
2. Parental or other family home37
3. Community residential home0
4. Foster care0
5. Nursing home1
6. Public institutional living arrangement0
7. Private institutional living arrangement0
8. Jail/prison/detention center0
9. Homeless0
10. Other living arrangements0
11. Living arrangements not known0

E. Primary Disability of Individuals Served

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

1. Blind/visual impairment0
2. Deaf/hard of hearing1
3. Deaf-blind0
4. Orthopedic impairment33
5. Mental illness1
6. Substance abuse0
7. Mental retardation0
8. Learning disability9
9. Neurological impairment0
10. Respiratory impairment2
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment1
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment2
13. Speech impairment1
14. AIDS/HIV1
15. Traumatic brain injury0
16. Other disability5

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

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

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes25,500

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.

In collaboration with the Advisory Council, the Law Center is advocating for increased accessibility & accommodations for Navajos with disabilities. These efforts address voter participation & access, public transportation, & public building. With the support of the Navajo Nation President, the Law Center & the Advisory Council meet regularly with representatives of the different Navajo Divisions & Departments responsible for addressing these needs. The Navajo General Service Administration has oversight of all Navajo government buildings & the Navajo Transit System. The GSA Director committed to use current maintenance requests to address some of the existing issues. Additionally, two major Navajo Nation government buildings are being renovated & we have been assured that they will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The GSA Director also assured the Law Center & the Advisory Council that all vehicles purchased by the Navajo Transit System would comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Navajo Transit System also agreed to provide sheltered bus stops around the Navajo Nation that would provide smooth covered concrete bus stops that make it easier for people with disabilities to use the transportation services. Additionally, a member of the Navajo Tribal Council, who has been working closely with the Law Center, has begun discussions with the Tribal Council to obligate Navajo Chapters to use a portion of their funds to make their local Chapter buildings accessible. The Law Center will continue monitoring these commitments & advocating for increased access to buildings & services.

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.

Identify and describe priority. Priority A: Community Based Services

Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Lack of access to public services and building is a major barrier for people with disabilities. It limits their ability to work or fully participate in their communities.

Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Objective 1: Advocate for increased access to public buildings & services.

Objective 2: Advocate for appropriate services & accommodations to increase access for people with disabilities.

Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. The Law Center worked with the Navajo Advisory Council on Disability, the Hopi Disability Advocacy Group, the Navajo Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, the Hopi Office for Special Needs, & ASSIST! for Independence & the San Juan Independent Living Center, the independent living centers that serve our client communities.

Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions. 10 clients received information & assistance under this priority; however, most of the work to achieve this priority focused on systemic policy changes.

Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. The Native American Disability Law Center (Law Center) continues to collaborate with the Navajo Nation Advisory Council on Disability (the Advisory Council) & Hoske Benally, the Law Center’s Community & Government Liaison, serves as the Advisory Council’s President.

In collaboration with the Advisory Council, the Law Center is advocating for increased accessibility & accommodations for Navajos with disabilities. These efforts address voter participation & access, public transportation, & public building. With the support of the Navajo Nation President, the Law Center & the Advisory Council meet regularly with representatives of the different Navajo Divisions & Departments responsible for addressing these needs. The Navajo General Service Administration has oversight of all Navajo government buildings & the Navajo Transit System. The GSA Director committed to use current maintenance requests to address some of the existing issues. Additionally, two major Navajo Nation government buildings are being renovated & we have been assured that they will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The GSA Director also assured the Law Center & the Advisory Council that all vehicles purchased by the Navajo Transit System would comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Navajo Transit System also agreed to provide sheltered bus stops around the Navajo Nation that would provide smooth covered concrete bus stops that make it easier for people with disabilities to use the transportation services. Additionally, a member of the Navajo Tribal Council, who has been working closely with the Law Center, has begun discussions with the Tribal Council to obligate Navajo Chapters to use a portion of their funds to make their local Chapter buildings accessible. The Law Center will continue monitoring these commitments & advocating for increased access to buildings & services.

Identify and describe priority. Priority B: Abuse and Neglect

Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. The Law Center exists primarily to prevent & address abuse & neglect.

Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Objective 1: Monitor the investigation by the appropriate agency of all reported incidents of abuse and neglect.

Objective 2: Represent children in abuse & neglect cases as appointed by relevant courts.

Objective 3: Provide information regarding rights and services to individuals living in group homes & institutions on the reservation by visiting them on a quarterly basis.

Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. The Law Center accepts reports of abuse & neglect from all entities & monitors the investigation of these cases. Additionally, the Law Center represents children who are victims of abuse & neglect when appointed to do so by the local courts.

Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions. The Law Center handled 69 cases under this priority, 1 of which were addressed using PAIR funds. Most of the work under this priority is handled using other funds.

Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Stenson Lee, one of the Law Center Advocates, made unannounced quarterly visits to 3 institutional facilities and 4 group homes in Arizona and 2 facilities and 2 group homes in New Mexico that serve individuals with disabilities. Mr. Lee spoke with residents asking them about the meals, activities and available services and giving them information about their rights and community based services. He monitored and observed each facility and group home. Mr. Lee was given free access to the residents and their living areas. He randomly spoke with them and staff in both Navajo and English, asking them about their living conditions and treatment. Many of the residents are pleased to be able to speak Navajo with Mr. Lee. Mr. Lee ensured that the residents were being treated with respect and dignity in a safe and clean environment.

The one case that was addressed using PAIR funds was not completed due to the client’s death; however, there was no indication that the death was the result was caused by any abuse or neglect. The client was an 84 year old Navajo speaking woman who was being denied release from a nursing home. With the Law Center’s assistance, including providing information in Navajo, she was discharged from the nursing home & moved home. During a follow up visit, she was well cared for & happy to be home. The Law Center planned to ensure that the report to Adult Protective Services was properly addressed, but the client passed away before it could be completed.

Identify and describe priority. Priority C: Special Education

Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. In 2011, the Law Center updated the community needs assessment by conducting several community based focus groups & surveying previous clients, advocacy groups & service providers. The needs assessment & the Law Center’s experience continually identify special education cases as the primary concern facing our client community. The community feels that providing appropriate services to children with disabilities is essential to later providing these children with the opportunity to fully participate in their communities.

Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Objective 1: Provide two (2) trainings on education rights to parent support groups or parents of children with disabilities reaching 300 individuals.

Objective 2: Provide technical assistance to the parents or guardians of twenty (20) children with disabilities to empower them to advocate for their children to obtain and receive appropriate education services in their community and in the least restrictive environment.

Objective 3: Provide direct representation in meetings and other informal settings for fifteen (15) children with disabilities who are not receiving a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.

Objective 4: Provide direct representation in administrative proceedings for ten (10) children with disabilities who are not receiving a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.

Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. The Law Center worked with the Hopi Office of Special Needs, the Navajo Advisory Council on Disability, the Hopi Disability Advocacy Group, and the regional Parent Training & Information Centers to achieve this priority.

Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions. The Law Center worked on 98 cases under this priority. Although the vast majority of these clients were eligible for PAIR funds because of the lack of PAIR funds, the Law Center has used other funds to do the vast majority of these cases; only 14 of these cases were funded by PAIR funds.

Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. The Law Center provided 3 trainings on special education issues reaching 193 parents, students with disabilities & their service providers, including a regional conference focused on reaching Native American parents of children with disabilities. The trainings provided information about the special education process, especially addressing discipline safeguards.

LA is a 9 year old Navajo girl with learning disability & a speech impairment. Her mother contacted the Law Center seeking assistance for her daughter who receives special education & related services at their local public school which is located on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico. L’s mother knew that her daughter qualified for special education & related services in years past because of her learning disabilities & speech impairment, but was concerned because L did not seem to be progressing in her speech/language therapy goals & objectives. Mom made several requests to address the speech/language services in addendum IEP meetings. The speech/language therapist explained to mom that L had “optimized” in speech/language services so the therapist recommend that she be exited from speech/language services, but L’s mother disagreed. The Law Center’s advocate attended IEP meetings with L’s mother & provided direct advocacy in the IEP meetings to help L’s mother address L’s speech/language goals & objectives. Before attending any IEP meetings, the Law Center Advocate advised L’s mother on the IEP process so she would be prepared for her daughter’s IEP meeting. In addition, the Law Center Advocate reviewed with L’s mother the Law Center’s Parent Guide on Special Education. The Law Center’s goal was for L’s mother to understand documents & address current status but also learn how to advocate for her daughter in the future so she can address concerns directly to the IEP Team members. L’s mother appreciated the Law Center’s explanation of the special education law, which resulted in giving her the confidence to advocate on her daughter’s behalf. As a result of the Law Center’s support & advocacy, L continues to qualify for speech/language services & her services were actually increased to twice a week to help her reach the IEP goals & objectives. Identify and describe priority. Priority D: Community Awareness

Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. Once government leaders & the public understand the needs of people with disabilities, public services tend to become more accessible & support community integration. Tribal governments also become more aware of the need for statutory protections to support people with disabilities & protect them from abuse & neglect.

Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Objective 1: Work with other disability advocacy organizations to address systemic discrimination toward individuals with disabilities and to increase the awareness of their needs and services.

Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. The Law Center worked with the Navajo Advisory Council on Disability, the Hopi Disability Advocacy Group, the Navajo Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, the Hopi Office for Special Needs, & ASSIST! for Independence & the San Juan Independent Living Center, the independent living centers that serve our client communities.

Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions. This priority focused on systemic change rather than individual cases.

Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Hoskie Benally, the Law Center’s Government & Community Liaison, is the President of the Navajo Nation Advisory Council for Disability & coordinates the Law Center’s activities with other disability advocacy organizations. Over the past several years, the Law Center has educated members of the Navajo Nation government, who do not generally focus on issues facing Navajos with disabilities. As a result of these efforts, the current President of the Navajo Nation, Ben Shelly, Directors of Divisions across the Navajo Nation Executive Branch, and members of the Navajo Nation Council are more aware of and supportive of the issues facing Navajos with disabilities.

One of the major conferences for Navajos with disabilities is a joint effort by the Advisory Council and the Law Center. The Conference focuses on raising awareness of the needs of people with disabilities and providing education to people with disabilities, their families and service providers. During this past year’s conference, the Law Center provided information on the Navajo Nation Vocational Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits discrimination against those with disabilities, and the Americans with Disabilities Act and its applicability to Native communities. The Conference trained 80 people.

The Law Center also provided information during the Hopi Special Needs Activity Day, the Shiprock Health Fair, & the Disability Awareness Day in Santa Fe.

Identify and describe priority. Priority E: Government Benefits

Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. In 2011, the Law Center updated the community needs assessment by conducting several community based focus groups & surveying previous clients, advocacy groups & service providers. The needs assessment & the Law Center’s experience identified financial or income security as one of the primary concerns facing our client community. Given the overall unemployment & poverty rate that is over 40%, which of course is higher for those with disabilities, for individuals with disabilities financial security is the first step to maintaining housing & independence in the community.

Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Objective 1: Assist individuals with disabilities with understanding and completing the application process for benefits provided by the Social Security Administration. Objective 2: Provide direct representation for thirty (30) individuals with disabilities in their efforts to obtain benefits provided by the Social Security Administration.

Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. The Law Center accepted referrals from other service providers & referred cases to private attorneys when we lacked the resources to assist them.

Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions. The Law Center assisted 97 clients under this priority, 49 of whom were served with PAIR funds.

Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. According to the Law Center’s 2011 Needs Assessment, over 89% of survey respondents indicated that helping people to obtain Social Security benefits was “very important” to them. One of the primary problems people have with obtaining Social Security benefits is understanding the application and appeal process. During the past year, the Law Center helped 34 people understand & complete the process to obtain Social Security benefits. Typically, these callers were either at the beginning of the application process or had not appealed earlier denials so they had to begin the process again with an initial application. The Law Center disseminated general information that explains the application process. The Law Center posted this information on its website and distributed 196 hard copies at all community education and outreach events.

The Law Center also provided direct representation during the hearing process for 15 adults with disabilities, who are eligible for PAIR services. For example, EM is a 62-year old Navajo man. He has a marginal education having only attended up the third grade & speaks Navajo as his first language. He can read and write only very basic English & struggles with more complex language & mathematic skills. EM attended his hearing on his claim for Social Security disability benefits without representation. His hearing was continued to allow him to seek representation & he asked the Law Center to help him. Even though there would likely be a short period of time to develop the case before his hearing was reset, the Law Center agreed to represent him. An additional challenge was that EM’s SSA file contained inaccurate information, due in part to the client’s language barrier. The Law Center obtained & developed evidence to establish EM has a combination of impairments, including knee pain and instability with recurrent near falls & falls, a complete tear at the junction of the posterior horn of the medical meniscus & extensive arthritic changes medially of the left knee, severe degenerative joint disease in his right knee, type 2 diabetes with related blurry vision and vision fluctuations, headaches, & short-term memory deficits, & adjustment disorder with depressed mood and anxiety. The Law Center also obtained a supportive medical source statement from EM’s treating physician. At EM’s hearing, there was an additional complication - a Social Security Administration employee was used to translate rather than a certified interpreter. Because a Navajo speaking Law Center staff member was also attending the hearing with the attorney, it quickly became clear that she was not properly interpreting & EM’s testimony needed to repeatedly corrected by the Law Center staff. Subsequently, the ALJ issued a fully favorable decision & benefits were quickly started subsequent to the hearing.

Identify and describe priority. Priority G: Housing

Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority. The lack of accessible housing is the primary reason people with disabilities are unable to live in their community & are either placed in institutional or supportive living settings or are forced to move from tribal communities to the border communities.

Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Objective 1: Advocate for simplified Navajo and Hopi housing application procedures and policies that accommodate the needs of people with disabilities.

Objective 2: Assist 5 individuals with disabilities in their efforts to obtain public housing, when they have been denied housing or reasonable accommodations because of their disability.

Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. The Law Center worked with the Navajo Advisory Council on Disability, the Hopi Disability Advocacy Group, the Navajo Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, the Hopi Office for Special Needs, & ASSIST! for Independence & the San Juan Independent Living Center, the independent living centers that serve our client communities.

Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions. The Law Center assisted 25 clients under this priority, 8 of who were served with PAIR funds. Additionally, the Law Center worked to change policies to ensure that people with disabilities receive appropriate accommodations from the Navajo & Hopi Tribal Housing Authorities.

Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority.

The Law Center previously represented WC in successfully obtaining SSI disability benefits. WC is a 60 year old Navajo gentleman with severe back & knee impairments. He contacted the Law Center for assistance because his home was substandard, lacked sanitation, & it was very difficult for him to live there because of his mobility issues. He wanted to apply for public housing through Navajo Housing Authority & asked the Law Center to write a letter of support. The Law Center drafted a letter in support of WC’s application for rental housing. The Law Center also provided technical assistance to WC regarding the application process & the process to request accommodations. LJ is a 66 year-old Navajo veteran who suffers from Guillain-Barre syndrome. In 2008, the Navajo Housing Authority began construction a home for him & his family under a veteran’s program. However, there had been numerous delays & problems until NHA stopped working on the home altogether because of a reported lack of funding. LJ was forced to live with other family members as he had no other place to live. LJ did not receive a response to his repeated requests to meet with NHA. He had also contacted two veterans’ groups, his Council Delegate, & his Chapter for help, but the house still remained unfinished. LJ requested the Law Center advocate for the completion of his home. After the Law Center sent two letters of support & a third letter to NHA with a demand for an update & a complete copy of LJ’s file, NHA completed construction of LJ’s home. LJ is now living in his new home with his family. LJ believes that it was the intervention of the Law Center that ultimately led to the completion of his home, a better quality of life, & a more independent life.

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.

A statement of each priority Priority A: Community Based Services

The need addressed by each priority Lack of access to public services and building is a major barrier for people with disabilities. It limits their ability to work or fully participate in their communities.

A description of the activities to be carried out under each priority Objective 1: Advocate for increased access to public buildings and services.

Objective 2: Advocate for appropriate services & accommodations to increase access for people with disabilities.

A statement of each priority Priority B: Abuse & Neglect

The need addressed by each priority The Law Center exists primarily to prevent & address abuse & neglect.

A description of the activities to be carried out under each priority Objective 1: Monitor the investigation by the appropriate agency of all reported incidents of abuse and neglect.

Objective 2: Represent children in abuse & neglect cases as appointed by relevant courts.

Objective 3: Provide information regarding rights and services to individuals living in group homes & institutions on the reservation by visiting them on a quarterly basis.

A statement of each priority Priority C: Special Education

The need addressed by each priority In 2011, the Law Center updated the community needs assessment by conducting several community based focus groups & surveying previous clients, advocacy groups & service providers. The needs assessment & the Law Center’s experience continually identify special education cases as the primary concern facing our client community. The community feels that providing appropriate services to children with disabilities is essential to later providing these children with the opportunity to fully participate in their communities.

A description of the activities to be carried out under each priority Objective 1: Provide two (2) trainings on education rights to parent support groups or parents of children with disabilities reaching 100 individuals.

Objective 2: Provide technical assistance to the parents or guardians of twenty (20) children with disabilities to empower them to advocate for their children to obtain and receive appropriate education services in their community and in the least restrictive environment.

Objective 3: Provide direct representation in meetings and other informal settings for fifteen (15) children with disabilities who are not receiving a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.

Objective 4: Provide direct representation in administrative proceedings for ten (10) children with disabilities who are not receiving a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.

A statement of each priority Priority D: Community Awareness

The need addressed by each priority Once government leaders & the public understand the needs of people with disabilities, public services tend to become more accessible & support community integration. Tribal governments also become more aware of the need for statutory protections to support people with disabilities & protect them from abuse & neglect

A description of the activities to be carried out under each priority Objective 1: Work with other disability advocacy organizations to address systemic discrimination toward individuals with disabilities and to increase the awareness of their needs and services.

A statement of each priority Priority E: Government Benefits

The need addressed by each priority In 2011, the Law Center updated the community needs assessment by conducting several community based focus groups & surveying previous clients, advocacy groups & service providers. The needs assessment & the Law Center’s experience identified financial or income security as one of the primary concerns facing our client community. Given the overall unemployment & poverty rate that is over 40%, which of course is higher for those with disabilities, for individuals with disabilities financial security is the first step to maintaining housing & independence in the community.

A description of the activities to be carried out under each priority Objective 1: Assist individuals with disabilities with understanding and completing the application process for benefits provided by the Social Security Administration.

Objective 2: Provide direct representation for thirty (30) individuals with disabilities in their efforts to obtain benefits provided by the Social Security Administration.

A statement of each priority Priority F: Housing

The need addressed by each priority The lack of accessible housing is the primary reason people with disabilities are unable to live in their community & are either placed in institutional or supportive living settings or are forced to move from tribal communities to the border communities.

A description of the activities to be carried out under each priority Objective 1: Advocate for simplified Navajo and Hopi housing application procedures and policies that accommodate the needs of people with disabilities.

Objective 2: Assist 5 individuals with disabilities in their efforts to obtain public housing, when they have been denied housing or reasonable accommodations because of their disability.

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 Received Expended Federal $73,600 $73,600 State 0 0 Program Income $5,982.84 25.09 Private 0 0 All Other Funds $79,482.84 $73,625.09 B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by this report Expenses Salaries & Related Expenses $54,638.71 Contract Services 6,684.23 Non-Personnel 3,118.79 Occupancy 3,997.38 Travel/Mileage 3,110.11 Miscellaneous Expenses 2,075.87 C. Description of PAIR staff (duties and person-years) Program Staff Full-Time 51.3% Part-Time 0 Vacant 0 Administrative Staff Full-Time 25.8% Part-Time 8.2% Vacant 0 D. Involvement with advisory boards (if any) The Law Center is an active member of the Navajo Advisory Council for People with disabilities. The Law Center provides technical assistantance to the Council, works with them on parallel initiatives, & the Law Center’s Government & Community Liaison is the President of the Council. The Law Center also actively works with the Hopi Disability Advocacy Group & coordinates with them on systemic issues facing Hopis with disabilities. E. Grievances filed under the grievance procedure The Law Center did not receive any grievances under its grievance procedures. F. Coordination with the Client Assistance Program (CAP) and the State long-term care program, if these programs are not part of the P&A agency There is not a CAP nor a long-term care program for an American Indian consortium with which the Law Center can coordinate. The Law Center has a collaborative relationship with the State CAP programs & refers clients to these programs as appropriate.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByTherese E Yanan
TitleAuthorized Certifying Official
Signed Date12/22/2014