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

Pennsylvania (Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania) - H240A140039 - FY2014

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameDisability Rights Network of Pennsylvania
Address1414 N. Cameron Str.
Address Line 2Second floor
CityHarrisburg
StatePennsylvania
Zip Code17103
E-mail Addressdrnpa-hbg@drnpa.org
Website Addresshttp://www.drnpa.org
Phone717-236-8110
TTY 717-346-0293
Toll-free Phone800-692-7443
Toll-free TTY877-375-7139
Fax717-236-0192
Name of P&A Executive DirectorPeri Jude Radecic
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorRocco Iacullo
Person to contact regarding reportPeri Jude Radecic
Contact Person phone717-236-8110
Ext.302

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 areas328
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas0
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)328

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff40
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)2,175

Describe the trainings presented by PAIR staff. Be sure to include information about the topics covered, the training methods used and the purpose for the training.

1. 10-4-13 PAIR staffed an information table at the Senior Health Expo sponsored by State Rep. Dan Deasey. The purpose was to raise awareness of DRN services.

2. 10-25-13 PAIR staff provided a lecture at the National Alliance for Mental Illness conference in PA on the topic of TBI and Mental Illness: how misdiagnosis can impact recovery. The purpose was to educate attendees on DRN services and on the prevalent misdiagnosis of TBI as mental illness.

3. 10-25-13 PAIR staffed an information table at the National Alliance for Mental Illness conference. The purpose was to distribute information about DRN services.

4. 10-26-13 PAIR staff provided a lecture on TBI and DRN services to Veterans’ Court mentors. The purpose was to raise awareness of DRN services and to educate attendees on symptoms of TBI to increase their awareness when working with veterans.

5. 11-14-13 PAIR staffed an information table at the Main Line Rehab TBI conference. The purpose was to distribute information about DRN services and about home and community based services.

6. 11-23-13 PAIR staff co-presented a lecture on “TBI and Post Deployment Readjustment: Separating Fact from Fiction” at a veterans outreach event. The purpose was to educate attendees on DRN services and on symptoms of TBI to increase awareness of the differences between TBI and PTSD.

7. 11-23-13 PAIR staffed an information table at a veterans’ outreach event. The purpose was to provide information about DRN services.

8. 12-4-13 PAIR staffed an information table at Senator Teplitz’s veterans committee meeting. The purpose was to provide information about DRN services.

9. 12-7-13 PAIR staffed an information table at the Yellow Ribbon Welcome Home event for returning members of the National Guard. The purpose was to provide information about DRN services.

10. 2-11-14 PAIR staff provided information at the Center for Independent Living in South Central PA on TBI and Assistive Technology. The purpose was to raise awareness of DRN services and to talk about the difficulties of accessing appropriate Assistive Technology.

11. 3-1-14 PAIR staffed an information table at the Harrisburg Stand Down, an event where services are provided to homeless veterans. The purpose was to provide information about DRN services.

12. 3-4-14 PAIR staff provided a lecture at Brain Injury Awareness Day at Kutztown University. The purpose was to raise awareness of DRN services and of the prevalence of TBI in a college setting.

13. 3-4-14 PAIR staffed an information table at the Brain Injury Awareness Day event held at Kutztown University. The purpose was to distribute Information about DRN services.

14. 3-12-14 PAIR staff provided a lecture for the Health South Rehab Brain Injury Support Group in York. The purpose was to raise awareness of DRN services and to talk about Assistive Technology.

15. 3-20-14 PAIR staff provided a lecture for the Hershey Med Center Brain Injury Support Group. The purpose was to raise awareness of DRN services and to talk about Assistive Technology.

16. 3-26-14 PAIR staff provided a lecture to staff of Misericordia University. The purpose was to raise awareness of DRN services and of home and community based services for people.

17. 3-26-14 PAIR staff provided a lecture for John Heinz Rehab Center Brain Injury Support Group. The purpose was to raise awareness of DRN services.

18. 3-27-14 PAIR staff provided information to staff of the Northeast PA Center for Independent Living. The purpose was to raise awareness of DRN services.

19. 4-3-14 PAIR staffed an information table at the Open House celebration of the Kutztown University Veterans Center. The purpose was to distribute information about DRN services.

20.4-4-14 PAIR staff provided information to staff of the Cumberland County CareerLink. The purpose was to raise awareness of DRN services.

21. 4-9-14 PAIR staff provided information to the Independent Living Director for the Center for Independent Living in Williamsport. The purpose was to raise awareness of DRN services.

22. 4-10-14 PAIR staffed an information table at the Northern Area Transition Fair. The purpose was to distribute information about DRN services.

23. 4-16-14 PAIR staff provided a lecture on Brain Injury for staff of the YWCA in Harrisburg. The purpose was to raise awareness of DRN services and of common symptoms of brain injury.

24. 4-23-14 PAIR staff provided a lecture on Brain Injury for staff of the YWCA in Harrisburg. The purpose was to raise awareness of DRN services and of common symptoms of brain injury.

25. 5-5-14 PAIR staffed an information table at the Deutsch Institute Help America Vote dance. The purpose was to provide information about DRN services and voting rights.

26. 5-6-14 PAIR staff did a presentation for staff of the Northeast PA CIL in Scranton. The purpose was to talk about partnership with the CIL in civic engagement trainings.

27. 5-15-14 PAIR staff provided information at the Pottsville Library. The purpose was to raise disability awareness.

28. 5-17-14 PAIR staffed an information table at a Veterans Information Day event. The purpose was to distribute information about DRN services and TBI.

29. 5-20-14 PAIR staffed an information table at the PA CARES training summit. The purpose was to distribute information about DRN services.

30. 5-29-14 PAIR staffed an information table at Senator Jay Costa’s Senior Fair and Expo. The purpose was to distribute information about DRN.

31. 6-7-14 PAIR staff provided a lecture on Brain Injury: Separating Fact from Fiction for the VFW in West Hanover Township. The purpose was to raise awareness of DRN services and of Traumatic Brain Injury.

32. 6-7-14 PAIR staffed an information table at the VFW’s event on PTSD, TBI and Military Sexual Trauma. The purpose was to distribute information about DRN services.

33. 6-10-14 PAIR staff provided a lecture for the Bryn Mawr Rehab Brain Injury Support Group. The purpose was to raise awareness of DRN.

34. 6-20-14 PAIR staffed an information table at the Veterans Information Fair. The purpose was to distribute information about DRN services.

35. 7-2-14 PAIR staff provided information at Aldersgate United Methodist Church. The purpose was to raise awareness of DRN services.

36. 7-7-14 PAIR staff provided information at the Human Engineering Research Lab in Pittsburgh. The purpose was to raise awareness of DRN’s services.

37. 8-6-14 PAIR staff provided a lecture on Brain Injury at the Diversity Conference in Lebanon. The purpose was to educate attendees on DRN services and on TBI.

38. 9-3-14 PAIR staff provided a lecture for the Health South Rehab Stroke Support Group. The purpose was to raise awareness of DRN services.

39. 9-7-14 PAIR staff provided a lecture for staff of Health South Rehab in Mechanicsburg. The purpose was to educate them about DRN and about home and community based services.

40. 9-29-14 PAIR staffed an information table at a Parents Information Night. The purpose was to distribute information about DRN.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff0
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles30
3. PSAs/videos aired19
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website35,194
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated45
6. Other (specify separately)0

Narrative

1. 10-11-13 Playgrounds Unwelcoming to Disabled Children By HALLE STOCKTON | PUBLICSOURCE The U.S. Department of Justice made access to play areas a civil right under the Americans with Disabilities Act when, in 2010, it adopted stringent standards that require playgrounds to have surfaces and equipment that can be used by disabled children. The requirements became effective last year.Parents and advocates want still more. They want “inclusive” playgrounds, spots that are fun and safe for both typical children and those with intellectual and physical disabilities. “Play is an important social opportunity for children,” said Jeni Hergenreder, an attorney with the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania. “To be able to play on public playgrounds with other kids … is important for their inclusion in all aspects of community life.” 2. 10-13-13 Parents push to make playgrounds accessible and inclusive By Halle Stockton PublicSource The U.S. Justice Department made access to play areas a civil right under the Americans With Disabilities Act when, in 2010, it adopted stringent standards that require playgrounds to have surfaces and equipment that can be used by disabled children. The requirements became effective last year.Parents and advocates want more. They want "inclusive" playgrounds, spots that are fun and safe for both typical children and those with intellectual and physical disabilities. "Play is an important social opportunity for children," said Jeni Hergenreder, an attorney with the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania." To be able to play on public playgrounds with other kids ... is important for their inclusion in all aspects of community life." 3. 10-22-13 New help for deaf and hard-of-hearing people Posted by Tim Darragh at 10:33:36 AM on October 22, 2013 Lehigh Valley Health News The Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania has come out with a series of fact sheets and videos to help deaf and hard-of-hearing people. According to a news release, the program is designed to explain the rights of people who are deaf or hard of hearing in medical settings such as doctor’s offices and hospitals, courts and law offices, police settings and jails, places of employment, entertainment venues and in facilities providing intellectual disability services. The services are for the hard-of-hearing as welll as their family members and service givers to increase understanding of the individuals’ rights. The series, "The Rights of Deaf and Hard of Hearing People," was partially supported with a grant from the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council. The series, along with videos and DVDs with the information presented in American Sign Language and open captioning, is available by calling the Disability Rights Network at 800-692-7443 ext. 400 or on its web site. 4. 11-15-13Pa. public notices proposal is step into dark The General Assembly is considering several bills that would relieve local governments from having to advertise meetings, solicitations for bids on contracts, ordinances, regulations and other business in newspapers of general circulation.And newspapers aren’t alone in opposing this measure. Among those joining in opposition are the AARP, the League of Women Voters, the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Council of Churches. 5. 11-20-13 Public Notices must remain in the papers Daily Local News Our View By Karen The state Legislature is considering measures that some lawmakers are trying to sell as a means of reforming local government, bringing it into the 21st Century and saving money. But the legislation will not accomplish either of those goals. And newspapers aren’t alone in opposing this measure. Among those joining in opposition are the AARP, the League of Women Voters, the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Council of Churches. 6. 12-12-13 Judge: More info needed about shelter that turned away man with dog By Brian Bowling, TribLive News A faith-based, men’s homeless shelter that turned away a blind man because of his seeing-eye dog might be exempt from federal housing and disability laws, but it still has to prove that, a federal judge ruled on Thursday. Carol Horowitz, managing attorney of the Pittsburgh office of the Disability Rights Network, said she has heard of other cases in which shelters refused people because of their service animals and wasn’t surprised that one had. “Certainly people with disabilities are discriminated against in services such as shelters on a regular basis,” she said. “Discrimination reaches all walks of life.” 7. 12-20-13 The Sacramento Bee Disability Rights Network PA, Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association Oppose Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013 HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Dec 12, 2013, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) introduced the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013. Disabilities Rights Network (DRN), Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania (MHAPA), and the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association (PMHCA) oppose this legislation. If passed, it would have a profoundly negative impact on Pennsylvanians living with mental illness, as wells as their families and communities. We find many of the bill’s provisions troubling and urge legislators not to sponsor it. Of most concern are the provisions that would essentially dismantle the efforts of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the public health agency dedicated to mental health and addiction issues, to promote recovery and community inclusion for diverse populations. 8. 1-3-14 Detractors outnumber supporters at HealthyPA hearing Jan 3, 2014, 2:41pm EST John George Senior Reporter- Philadelphia Business Journal Concerns about “arbitrary” limits on care and the impact of the proposal on patients with special needs dominated Friday’s public hearing in Philadelphia on the Corbett Administration’s “HealthyPA” plan.Chava Kintisch, staff attorney for the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, expressed concerns that people with intellectual disabilities or severe mental illness would have difficulties complying with self-assessments and other forms required to be placed properly in the state’s proposed high-risk plan for people with complex medical needs. 9. 1-8-14 State Holds Medicaid hearing By William Kibler (bkibler@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror State Department of Welfare Secretary Bev Mackereth made her pitch Tuesday at the Blair County Convention Center for the Medicaid reform portion of Gov. Tom Corbett’s Healthy PA plan, which aims to reduce Medicaid’s gargantuan share of the state budget and close insurance coverage gaps for the needy. (Healthy PA opened the floor to Blair County Convention Center for comments. Chava Kintisch is mentioned in this article along with her concerns.) 10. 1-9-14 Democrats slam Corbett’s ’Healthy PA’ proposal By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer For anyone who hadn’t heard that many advocates for the uninsured are unhappy with Gov. Corbett’s version of Medicaid expansion, a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing Wednesday shouted the news. "Healthy PA is not Medicaid expansion. Healthy PA instead pokes so many holes in Medicaid law - 23 to be exact - that it is barely recognizable as Medicaid," said Sol B. Vazquez-Otero, senior mental health advocate for the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, referring to the draft plan’s 23 requests to waive various federal regulations. 11. 1-9-14 Democrats slam Corbett’s ’Healthy PA’ proposal Anchorage Daily News For anyone who hadn’t heard that many advocates for the uninsured are unhappy with Gov. Corbett’s version of Medicaid expansion, a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing Wednesday shouted the news. "Healthy PA is not Medicaid expansion. Healthy PA instead pokes so many holes in Medicaid law - 23 to be exact - that it is barely recognizable as Medicaid," said Sol B. Vazquez-Otero, senior mental health advocate for the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, referring to the draft plan’s 23 requests to waive various federal regulations. 12. 1-9-14 Democrats slam Corbett’s ’Healthy PA’ proposal Tri City Herald For anyone who hadn’t heard that many advocates for the uninsured are unhappy with Gov. Corbett’s version of Medicaid expansion, a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing Wednesday shouted the news. "Healthy PA is not Medicaid expansion. Healthy PA instead pokes so many holes in Medicaid law - 23 to be exact - that it is barely recognizable as Medicaid," said Sol B. Vazquez-Otero, senior mental health advocate for the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, referring to the draft plan’s 23 requests to waive various federal regulations. 13. 1-9-14 Democrats slam Corbett’s ’Healthy PA’ proposal Kansas City Star For anyone who hadn’t heard that many advocates for the uninsured are unhappy with Gov. Corbett’s version of Medicaid expansion, a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing Wednesday shouted the news. "Healthy PA is not Medicaid expansion. Healthy PA instead pokes so many holes in Medicaid law - 23 to be exact - that it is barely recognizable as Medicaid," said Sol B. Vazquez-Otero, senior mental health advocate for the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, referring to the draft plan’s 23 requests to waive various federal regulations. 14. 1-31-14 Healthy PA: Wrong proposal for people with disabilities (column) Ydr.com By Kelly A. Whitcraft Kelly A. Whitcraft is a policy coordinator/advocate with the Disability Rights Network of PA. In December 2013, the Department of Public Welfare released its Healthy Pennsylvania Draft 1115 Waiver Application, Healthy PA. Healthy PA would (1) cut benefits for adults on Medicaid, and (2) use Medicaid dollars to provide private insurance coverage for uninsured adults ages 21 to 64 whose income is less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level, without the rights and protections of Medicaid. As demonstrated through testimony given at the Department’s recent public hearings across the commonwealth, Healthy PA is an unworkable proposal for all Pennsylvanians, especially Pennsylvanians with disabilities. 15. 3-25-14 Gov. Corbett’s HealthyPa plan isn’t very healthy for the disabled: Chava Kintisch Penn-Live Op Ed Gov. Tom Corbett recently proposed big changes to how Pennsylvania will administer Medicaid insurance for people like Robbie. The proposal cuts Medicaid to pay for coverage for other uninsured Pennsylvanians, which will harm people with disabilities. Last year, Corbett proposed "HealthyPa," a plan that would cover costs for uninsured Pennsylvanians by cutting Medicaid services, eliminating some programs altogether, adding premiums, and imposing other requirements. Chava Kintisch is a Staff Attorney and the Assistive Technology Project Director for the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania. She can be reached at ckintisch@drnpa.org. The organization’s website is www.drnpa.org 16. 4-6-14 Critics rap Pa. on medical rides By Bill Toland and Kate Giammarise, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette McClatchy-Tribune Information Services Rides can be hard to come by when you’re making poverty wages, which is why Medicaid subsidizes transportation for those who would otherwise have trouble keeping their medical appointments. But most private insurance policies, purchased though commercial health carriers, don’t have transportation benefits built into them. That’s one of the reasons why advocates for the Medicaid population say the state-run health insurance program is often a better fit for low-income households than private insurance. Some have opted not to participate in the expansion at all; others, such as Pennsylvania, are hoping to use the cash to revamp the original Medicaid model significantly in a manner more palatable to the state’s Republican politicians. Kelly Whitcraft, policy coordinator for the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, said Medicaid provides other benefits and rights that just aren’t available through commercial policies. "We are concerned that when someone is enrolled in the private coverage option, they do not have any of the rights and protections that they should be afforded under Medicaid," Ms. Whitcraft said. 17. 5-1-14 Are all candidates for governor guilty of marginalizing the disabled and elderly? By Donald Gilliland | dgilliland@pennlive.com What happens if you host a governor candidates’ forum and no one shows? Even though some said they would? For the Disability Voting Coalition of Pennsylvania and Liberty Resources, an independent living center in Philadelphia, it’s a cold dose of water. They co-sponsored and organized a forum for all the candidates to address disability issues in Philadelphia on Tuesday, and not one candidate - Democrat or Republican - could find the time to attend. Other groups involved in the event included Disabled In Action of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania’s Consumer Workforce Council, Delaware Valley Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, United Cerebral Palsy of Philadelphia, Mental Health Association of Southeastern PA and Temple University’s Institute on Disabilities 18. 5-28-14 My Experience With Captions at the Beth Moore Conference in Hershey, PA I had the most wonderful experience at the Beth Moore conference, courtesy of Drew Dillon, the ADA Coordinator for Hershey Entertainment. Drew contacted 2 captioners to provide captions for the deaf and hard of hearing whose first language is English, not ASL. The first evening, Terri Avis was our captioner, and Lori Dulls from Silver Spring, Maryland of Vital Signs LLC provided captions the second day. When Lori began to set up the second day, she had different colors on the screen, black background with yellow texts. Terri used the standard blue and white. I’m used to the blue screen with the white texts since that is what is used at our PUC Telecommunications Relay Advisory Board meetings at the PA State Capitol Complex in Harrisburg, as well as our Hearing Loss Association of America, Pennsylvania Advisory Board meetings. A huge thank you to our Disability Right’s Network here in Pennsylvania, especially Carol Horowitz for standing up for us and being our voice. 19. 6-28-14 Supporters rally for funding for people with disabilities TimesLeader.com Frank Bartoli talked about his daughter, Ellie, who has Down syndrome, and how important state funding is to many programs she benefits from, as well as thousands of other people with intellectual and physical challenges. Bartoli was one of several speakers at a rally Friday afternoon on Public Square sponsored by The Arc that urged state legislators to provide — even increase — funding for critical programs for the disability community. About 100 people attended the rally. Also offering comments were: Mike Zimmerman, chief executive officer at Family Service Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania; Karen Pasqualicchio from Disability Rights Network of PA; Bob Fox and Ed Ryan from the North East Pennsylvania Center for Independent Living; Audrey Gozdiskowski, representing the National Alliance on Mental Illness- NAMI- Wilkes Barre Chapter; Glenda Joy Race, member of NAMI and local educator; and several current and former students and self advocates from The Arc of Luzerne County’s TRACE Program who spoke on behalf of their peers. 20. 7-21-14 Boost in state budget will keep disabled at home $7.2M to eliminate waiting list of 300 needing daily living care By Kate Giammarise / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau The state will be able to eliminate a waiting list of nearly 300 people with physical disabilities who need care, allowing them to remain in their homes rather than nursing homes, because of an additional $7.2 million that’s being steered to the program in this year’s recently enacted budget. The state faces a pending federal lawsuit from the Disability Rights Network over the waiting list because, the lawsuit states, forced institutionalization is a form of discrimination against people with disabilities. 21. 7-24-14 Pennsylvania’s disabled worker program will continue By Tim Darragh, Of The Morning Call The Corbett administration is rescinding its plan to end a program that provides low-cost health insurance to working people with disabilities.The Medical Assistance for Workers With Disabilities program was to be terminated Jan. 1 under Gov. Tom Corbett’s Healthy Pennsylvania Medicaid reform plan, saving $7 million. The program serves about 34,000 people across the state. Advocates for the disabled were happy and relieved to learn that the program would be saved."For the people that we represent, we’re pleased that this program is going to be preserved," said Chava Kintisch, director of Civic and Government Affairs for the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania. The program "is very important for competitive employment and participation in community life." 22. 7-26-14 Westmoreland celebrates Americans with Disabilities Act’s anniversary By Greg Reinbold TribLive News The courtyard in front of the Westmoreland County Courthouse was packed on Friday with people gathered to celebrate the 24th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Rob Oliver, a Disability Rights Network advocate, author and public speaker, said events such as the celebration and his own speaking engagements can help shift public perception of people with disabilities. 23. 9-24-14 Unregistered Voters: The federal government requires the state to ask social-service clients if they want to register to vote; so how come so many are left out in the cold? Pittsburgh City Paper By Alex Zimmerman @AGZimmerman Paul O’Hanlon calls it his "A-ha!" moment. It came around 2002, just as he was starting work as a voting-rights lawyer and learning about the National Voter Registration Act, a law designed to expand access to the ballot box by requiring places like DMVs, welfare offices and disability agencies to double as voter-registration centers. The question the law requires these agencies to ask is simple: "If you are not registered to vote where you live now, would you like to register to vote here today?" "As a person with a disability ... I wasn’t seeing anybody asking the mandatory question," recalls O’Hanlon, who works for the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania. "I sort of realized that’s never happened to me."

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)66
2. Additional individuals served during the year789
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)855
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)41

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 38

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility21
2. Employment89
3. Program access110
4. Housing177
5. Government benefits/services225
6. Transportation31
7. Education172
8. Assistive technology3
9. Voting1
10. Health care37
11. Insurance39
12. Non-government services0
13. Privacy rights0
14. Access to records1
15. Abuse27
16. Neglect16
17. Other61

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor379
2. Other representation found0
3. Individual withdrew complaint41
4. Appeals unsuccessful0
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.0
6. PAIR withdrew from case0
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources0
8. Individual case lacks legal merit0
9. Other0

Please explain

Advice only - 589 Resolved unfavorably - 5

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-advocacy650
2. Short-term assistance188
3. Investigation/monitoring2
4. Negotiation5
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution0
6. Administrative hearings5
7. Litigation (including class actions)2
8. Systemic/policy activities0

Part III. Statistical Information on Individuals Served

A. Age of Individuals Served as of October 1

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. 0 - 44
2. 5 - 22224
3. 23 - 59471
4. 60 - 6491
5. 65 and over65

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females421
2. Males434

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race32
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native4
3. Asian3
4. Black or African American217
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White569
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown30

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent478
2. Parental or other family home263
3. Community residential home1
4. Foster care1
5. Nursing home28
6. Public institutional living arrangement48
7. Private institutional living arrangement3
8. Jail/prison/detention center8
9. Homeless12
10. Other living arrangements13
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 impairment35
2. Deaf/hard of hearing55
3. Deaf-blind0
4. Orthopedic impairment176
5. Mental illness5
6. Substance abuse1
7. Mental retardation0
8. Learning disability75
9. Neurological impairment185
10. Respiratory impairment9
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment71
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment22
13. Speech impairment7
14. AIDS/HIV8
15. Traumatic brain injury5
16. Other disability201

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

1. Number of policies/practices changed as a result of non-litigation systemic activities8

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes604,578

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.

Accessibility in Business District — DRN is enforcing ADA compliance by assessing accessibility barriers in the business district of the Oakland neighborhood in Pittsburgh where many businesses have one-step entrances. We will be identifying both the individual businesses’ accessibility issues and any systemic issues in the area (such as sidewalk accessibility). DRN is working with other interested parties (representatives from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Science, the Oakland Business Improvement District, and city planners) to develop a marketing approach to encourage businesses to increase their accessibility. Affordable Care Act Implementation and Healthy PA — DRN advocated and will continue to advocate for full Medicaid Expansion. Using, when necessary, non-federal funds, we disseminated information to the disability community concerning the Healthy PA Proposal, submitted written comments, and testified at a DPW hearing. We also developed testimony and DRN’s Policy Coordinator worked on a statewide campaign for Medical Assistance expansion. In addition, DRN wrote an Op-Ed article that has been published in two Pennsylvania newspapers, had another Op-Ed published in the Patriot-Times, and participated in a press call with other advocates at which DRN addressed the concerns of people with disabilities about Healthy PA. We have also been meeting with advocates in southeastern Pennsylvania to develop strategies at the federal level, including contacting NDRN for advocacy strategies and contacting a member of Congress about it. Under the federal affordable care act (ACA), states were entitled to expand Medical Assistance benefits to cover individuals earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Rather than take advantage of that opportunity, Governor Corbett submitted a request to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for an 1115 Waiver for a program called “Healthy PA” to: (1) “reform” Medical Assistance to reduce benefits for current beneficiaries who earn less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level; and (2) expand access to private insurance (not Medical Assistance) for individuals earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (although “medically fragile” individuals in that group would be able to access “traditional” Medical Assistance). As proposed, Healthy PA would create only two benefit groups for traditional Medical Assistance — high risk and low risk — and benefits for both would be reduced. DPW (the Department of Public Welfare which is being renamed the Department of Human Services, abbreviated DHS) submitted comments on the proposal to CMS, raising our concerns about the proposed benefit cuts for those in traditional Medical Assistance, DPW’s plan to eliminate Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities, the lack of Medical Assistance protections for those who will be eligible for the private option, and the imposition of work requirements and premiums. While DPW continues to negotiate with CMS about the private option aspect of the waiver request, it is our understanding that CMS may not allow DPW to use the 1115 Waiver to amend its traditional Medical Assistance program, but instead will require DPW to submit state plan amendments.. When DPW submitted the Healthy PA Waiver request to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in February, it did make several changes to the proposal, including eliminating some benefit limits (e.g., primary care physician visits, some mental health services, radiology services, and durable medical equipment). Despite these coverage improvements, we remain concerned about the impact of Healthy PA on people with disabilities and continue to oppose it. Allegheny County Public Transit — DRN continues to address issues that impact people with disabilities who use the Allegheny County public transit system, including alleged plans to remove buses from downtown Pittsburgh and a proposal for “bus rapid transit” from the Oakland area to downtown Pittsburgh. We are monitoring potential plans to create an advisory group on transit issues. DRN staff participated in a panel that asked to address the Urban Land Institute Advisory Group on transit issues of concern to people with disabilities. We participated with the Committee for Accessible Transportation in a meeting with the Port Authority and with staff of a City Council member to discuss transit issues. City of Reading Accessibility Issues — DRN is reviewing the Berks County ADA Transition Plan and discussing next steps after a DRN attorney attended a meeting with Reading’s engineer and attorney concerning its ADA Transition Plan. The Plan identifies 735 locations that need curb cuts as well as public facilities (including a library, recreation center, and City Hall) that need additional accessibility modifications. The plan, however, proposes to install the 735 curb cuts over 14-year period and does not address whether there are non-compliant curb cuts that must be remediated. This advocacy is being done with Abilities in Motion, the Center for Independent Living in Berks County, a.. COMMCARE Waiver Waiting List —Nine clients — who either had no services or were receiving services in another waiver that did not fully meet their needs — are now enrolled in the COMMCARE Waiver.DRN has been advocating to assure that DPW’s Office of Long Term Living (OLTL) appropriately and promptly process individuals who had been on the waiting list for the COMMCARE Waiver since the Legislature appropriated funding to end that waiting list. The waiting list for that Waiver is now resolved, and OLTL is processing new applicants. OLTL also continues to review whether participants in the Independence Waiver who have traumatic brain injury would be better served by the COMMCARE Waiver. Comments on OLTL Waiver Appeals Process — OLTL incorporated some of DRN’s suggested changes issued the final version of the OLTL Waiver appeals process. DRN had submitted comments on the proposed bulletin governing appeals of service decisions for participants in the OLTL Waivers as well as the notice form.. Court Accommodation Form — DRN successfully persuaded the Common Pleas Court in Buck County to amend its Accommodation Request Form, which the AOPC (Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts) requires and must be used to request accommodations. The form requires individuals to certify that an accommodation is required and also includes the statement that false statements are subject to criminal penalties. In a letter to AOPC, DRN expressed our concern that the statement concerning criminal penalties is intimidating and potentially violates the ADA. . that Court ADA Coordinator and Accommodation — DRN successfully advocated a County Court make an accommodation for our client and modify its website to include instructions for accommodation requests. We intervened on behalf of a woman with an orthopedic disability, resulting in the placement of titanium rods in her legs. The woman, a foster mother, was required to periodically appear in court at the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas, but going through the security check caused pain due to the rods in her legs. When we intervened, the court agreed to work out an accommodation for the client. At the same time, we noted that the court’s website did not include required information about how individuals could request accommodations or contact the ADA coordinator. When we raised that issue, the court agreed to make the necessary changes to its website. Court Interpreters — DRN successfully intervened to assure that individuals who are deaf are not unlawfully denied access to sign language interpreters in Pennsylvania courts. After a deaf litigant in a landlord-tenant case contacted DRN and informed us that the court refused his request for an interpreter, we investigated and found that the court’s website explicitly stated that it does provide interpreters in civil cases. Moreover, we found that the website of the AOPC (which oversees all Pennsylvania courts) had posted incorrect information about the subject that could have led the courts to conclude that they need not provide sign language interpreters in civil cases. DRN contacted a lawyer for the AOPC who intervened to assure both that our client had an interpreter for his rescheduled landlord tenant case and that the websites were corrected. The AOPC attorney also advised DRN that the AOPC is doing training on these issues and will make sure this issue is clarified at the trainings. Discriminatory Extracurricular Activity Policy — As a result of DRN’s intervention, a school district allowed our client to play sports this year.DRN assisted a 17-year-old Allegheny County youth with a learning disability and ADHD who was denied the right to participate in extracurricular activities, including sports, at his school due to a policy that requires participants to have at least a 2.0 grade point average. While our client has had an IEP, he has not had a 2.0 grade point average, barring him from participating in football and baseball. We contacted the school district, advising it that the policy violated the ADA and should be modified to accommodate students with disabilities. The school district held an IEP meeting, and agreed to revise the student’s IEP so that he can earn a 2.0 grade point average. At the same time, we are negotiating an agreement to revise the policy. Hearing Accessibility in State Prisons — DRN attorneys are working to investigate and address concerns about accessibility issues in state prisons for inmates who are deaf and hard of hearing, including assuring they have access to effective communication in classes (including necessary classes to qualify for parole) and to notify them when the prison count occurs. Implementation of Integration Regulations — We are working with DRN’s Policy Coordinator and PAIR Team to assure that DPW properly implements new federal regulations regarding standards for person-centered planning and appropriate integrated settings in home and community based services waivers. The regulations require DPW to adopt transition plans for implementation of the regulations when it seeks to renew waivers, and to adopt a statewide transition plan for all of its waivers within 120 days after that. DPW’s Office of Long Term Living (OLTL) issued a “transition plan” for its Aging, Attendant Care, and Independence Waivers. After DRN expressed concern about the lack of adequate public notice, OLTL stated at the MAAC meeting that it would allow a further comment period. DRN issued alerts to the disability community about the comment period and submitted its own comments to OLTL (copied to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Our comments identified several concerns with its transition plan, including: its failure to assess settings in the person-centered planning process; its failure to show compliance with all of the federal regulations; the lack of adequate detail and content that precludes meaningful input; the lack of input by people with disabilities and their families; and the lack of a public comment period after OLTL issues its more comprehensive transition plan. The Director of CMS subsequently publicly stated that states must allow another public comment period after the draft plan is submitted before it submits to CMS the more comprehensive transition plan. We also wrote to DPW concerning the overall transition plan that it must submit shortly. OLTL Hearings and Appeals Policy — DRN influenced OLTL’s hearing and appeals policy. DRN submitted comments on OLTL’s draft policy on hearings and appeals related to its services. When OLTL issued its final policy, it included many of our recommendations, including the requirement that it issue notice when services are reduced and that Service Coordinators provide assistance to participants to file appeals. OLTL Waiting List Bulletin — DRN successfully influenced DPW policy. We submitted comments on OLTL’s draft revision to its bulletin governing administration of waiting lists for its Medical Assistance waivers and the Act 150 Program. DPW’s final bulletin incorporated some of our suggestions including provisions relating to monitoring the waiting lists. OVR Denials — We are investigating decisions by OVR to deny services to two individuals. OVR denied the request of one client, a college-educated man who eats compulsively due to a brain injury, on the basis that he is unable to work. OVR reportedly denied the request of a second client, who is deaf, on the basis that there was no funding to provide an interpreter with job support efforts. Philadelphia Nursing Home Transition to Community — DRN Staff is working internally as well as collaborating with Liberty Resources (the Center for Independent Living in Philadelphia) to develop strategies to facilitate the transition of Philadelphia Nursing Home residents to the community. Philadelphia Nursing home is run by the City of Philadelphia and has had a low rate of community transitions. Philadelphia Nursing Home Communication Policy — DRN Staff sent comments on Philadelphia Nursing Home’s communication policy and the lack of auxiliary aids and services to the Nursing Home’s Administrator. PNH agreed to consider the comments, and arranged for PAIR advocates to meet with PNH to discuss the policy and other issues. Philadelphia Visitability Committee — DRN continues to work with the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, the City of Philadelphia, the Penn-sylvania Community Development Corporation, Liberty Resources, Inc., architects, and others to advocate for visitability legislation in Philadelphia. The Committee is working to expand support for visitability. Public Dissemination of Waiver Amendments — An attorney worked with DRN’s Policy Coordinator to successfully advocate that OLTL circulate proposed amendments to its waivers to allow public comment before their submission to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Segregated Day Services — DRN attorneys have been working with the DD, PAIR, and PABSS Teams to investigate whether individuals with disabilities are unlawfully segregated in vocational and non-vocational day services. We received significant additional information concerning the use of non-vocational day programs in the ODP and OLTL Waivers, and we will be reviewing that data. Segregated Day Services — DRN attorneys have been working with the DD, PAIR, and PABSS Teams to investigate whether individuals with disabilities are unlawfully segregated in vocational and non-vocational day services. We received some information through the Right to Know Law and submitted another Right to Know request concerning non-vocational day programs. We are also investigating three school districts that operate their own sheltered workshops. Segregated Vocational Options — In June, DRN learned that United Rehabilitation Services (URS), a provider that operated three sheltered workshops in northeastern Pennsylvania, was closing those workshops and that the Luzerne/Wyoming Joinder planned to transfer the 220 individuals who attended the URS workshops to newly-developed sheltered workshops. We contacted DPW and the Joinder, advising them that this plan violated federal law. The Joinder responded, and has agreed to make sure that all Waiver participants meet with their Supports Coordinators to determine if they want more integrated employment options. The Legal, DD, PAIR, and PABSS Teams continue working together to investigate the inappropriate use of sheltered workshops elsewhere. We plan to conduct additional site visits soon. Services My Way —DRN submitted a Right to Know request to obtain data from OLTL on the number of participants in its Waivers who use the “Services My Way” option available in a few of its Medical Assistance Waivers that allows participants to exercise budget authority. We received information that showed a very small number of participants (33) use that option. We distributed the information at the MAAC Long Term Care Subcommittee, and advocated that OLTL investigate the low utilization of the option. Transportation Alliance — DRN is a member of the Transportation Alliance. Previously, the Alliance joined the Disability Budget Coalition to urge that the Commonwealth pass the pending transportation bill and increase funding for transportation programs that serve individuals with disabilities, including Medical Assistance Transportation and the Rural Shared Ride Program. The transportation bill passed, and we are studying its impact on programs for people with disabilities. The Alliance also met with PennDOT to discuss concerns about the new scheduling system for the Share Ride program for people with disabilities, and PennDOT stated that it will investigate our concerns. Valley View — The PAIR and Legal Teams successfully advocated for people who are deaf who have been living at a facility located on the campus of Elwyn in Delaware County to remain there if they chose to. Following DPW’s rescission of its Adult Training Facility license, Elwyn announced that it would be closing the facility. We subsequently had numerous meetings with officials from DPW, the Department of Aging, and the Pennsylvania Ombudsman’s Office as well as the Pennsylvania Society for the Deaf (PASD) to address planning for the residents. Ultimately, it was decided that individuals who chose to do so could continue to live at Elwyn under individual lease agreements if they agreed to receive services through MercyLIFE program. At this time, all residents have agreed to remain. Walgreens Accessibility — DRN is working with a Walgreens location in Center City Philadelphia to assure that it promptly repair a mechanical lift which is the only means of accessible entrance to the facility. Walgreens assured us that the lift will be repaired.

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts87,288
2. Number of individuals named in class actions7

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.

Mosley v. Alexander — DRN continues to monitor implementation of the settlement agreement in this case, which requires that DPW assure that individuals who apply for the AIDS Waiver, Attendant Care Waiver, COMMCARE Waiver, Independence Waiver, and OBRA Waiver (OLTL Waivers) receive eligibility determinations within 90 days and receive appropriate, written notice of those determinations. DPW’s reports continue to show substantial non-compliance with timelines for making eligibility determinations and with the notice requirements. In July, we informed DPW that we intended to file a motion for specific performance on those issues. In response, DPW apprised us that it had undertaken systemic changes to address the timeline problems, including: (1) OLTL staff will review all applications that are still open 85 days after the application date and will check to see the cause of the delay and intervene as appropriate; (2) OLTL staff will review all open applications weekly to assure that the process is moving forward in a timely manner; (3) OLTL staff will be reorganized from geographic units to functional units, including a unit dedicated to enrollment processing; and (5) the Philadelphia County Assistance Office (which processes nearly 50 percent of all applications) now has assigned staff dedicated to processing these applications. DPW also stated that it intended to revise the form notices used by OLTL, and agreed that DRN could have input into those revisions. Cope v. Nat’l Railroad Passenger Corp. — DRN reached a settlement agreement with Amtrak to resolve this lawsuit filed in 2012 to challenge Amtrak’s failure to make the Paoli Station fully accessible to people with mobility disabilities as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The terms of the settlement agreement are confidential. A press release about the settlement is posted on DRN’s website. Smith v. Dep’t of Public Welfare — DRN is co-counsel in this class action lawsuit (formerly known as Gleason v. Dep’t of Public Welfare), which challenges the validity under the ADA’s and RA’s integration mandates of the waiting list for the Act 150 Program, which provides community-based attendant care services for individuals whose income makes them ineligible for the Medical Assistance Attendant Care Waiver. In July, DPW announced that it had identified $7.2 million available to serve individuals on the waiting list for the Act 150 Program. DPW has begun a process to re-qualify individuals on the waiting list for eligibility and to provide them with services. We anticipate that this funding will provide the relief we sought when we filed this class action lawsuit in September 2013, i.e., attendant care services for approximately 300 people on the waiting list. Keller v. City of Lancaster — DRN filed this case in 2005. The settlement in this case required Lancaster to install 600 new curb ramps and to correct curb ramps that did not comply with ADA standards. While the City complied with its obligation to install the new curb ramps, it did not develop an adequate time line to correct non-compliant curb ramps. We have been trying to negotiate an agreement to remedy this problem, but counsel for Lancaster has been non-responsive. Disabled in Action of Pennsylvania v. SEPTA — DRN continues to monitor implementation of the consent decree that resolved this ADA lawsuit and required SEPTA to assure the installation by December 31, 2014 of five elevators as part of the massive renovation of Dilworth Plaza in Center City Philadelphia, including elevators that will provide access to the platforms of the 15th Street Subway-Surface Station and 15th Street Station of the Market-Frankford Line. The renovated Dilworth Plaza reopened in September, and the elevators were completed and operational in late October, 2014. Schaid v. Mackereth — DRN resolved this lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s policy that barred out-of-state residents from applying for home and community-based services until they actually moved to Pennsylvania. The client, a Wisconsin resident with muscular dystrophy, wanted to relocate to the Commonwealth, but needed attendant care services to do so. He receives Medical Assistance-funded attendant care services in Wisconsin. He could not risk moving to Pennsylvania without knowing he would be approved for such services and have such services in place when he arrived. S.A. v. City of Greensburg — DRN successfully settled this federal lawsuit under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (RA) on behalf of an 8-year-old boy who is deaf and was unable to fully participate in the city’s soccer program because the city refused to provide sign language interpreters. The settlement requires the city to pay for sign language interpreters for the child to participate in the program. Fair Housing Council of Suburban Philadelphia v. Wagner Enterprises, Ltd. — DRN filed this Fair Housing Act (FHA) lawsuit in August 2014, alleging that a condominium development in Northampton County violates the FHA’s accessibility requirements for new construction. Fair Housing Rights Center in Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Post Goldtex GP, LLC — DRN filed this FHA lawsuit in July 2014, alleging that the developer and architect of a Philadelphia apartment building violated the FHA’s accessibility requirements when it designed and constructed the apartments. In re E.W. — DRN filed a due process complaint under the IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act on behalf of an 18-year-old student with a seizure disorder to challenge the school district’s failure to hire a nurse so that the student could the student could participate in a work-based learning program.

Part V. PAIR'S Priorities and Objectives

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

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

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

Priority I

1. Priority:

Protect and advocate for persons with disabilities who are victims of abuse, neglect, and rights violations.

2. Need Addressed:

Individuals residing in institutions and in community settings are at risk of being abused and neglected, and of having their rights violated.

3. Indicators:

A. Incidents of abuse or neglect and rights violations will be responded to using technical assistance, follow-up, monitoring, investigation, and/or litigation.

B. Improve, expand, and monitor systems for reporting, investigating and responding to abuse in state-licensed facilities and unlicensed residential facilities.

C. Work to ensure the appropriate implementation of an Adult Protective Services System in Pennsylvania for persons aged 18-59.

D. Advocate for the implementation of regulations and policies that protect persons with disabilities living in personal care homes and assisted living facilities.

E. In all cases of systemic incidents of abuse, neglect, and rights violations in licensed facilities, PAIR had no challenges to our authority to access facilities, residents, and/or their records.

4. Collaborations:

In conjunction with the Social Security Administration (SSA), DRN staff conducted a total of 25 representative payee site review visits across the state. Most of the payees were operating properly. Staff found several issues among the representative payees including several beneficiaries were still receiving paper checks, beneficiaries’ checks were delayed after Hurricane Sandy and a representative payee had problems in organizing their paperwork but was able to show records for all of the transactions that needed to be accounted for during our visit. These issues were reported to SSA and the State Licensing Board.

DRN staff met with the DPW Secretary to discuss budget issues in conjunction with the Disability Budget Coalition activities. DRN staff were able to secure a verbal agreement from the Secretary that APS funds were still in play and ready to be used. Further discussion included next steps in the APS process.

DRN staff met with Department of Public Welfare (DPW) staff to discuss constructing a protocol to insure a better disposition for clients we refer to APS.

DRN Staff have been working with the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) to establish a protocol for how DPW’s Adult protective Services system will share information and updates about APS cases that DRN refers to the system. The protocol will address our need to promptly obtain necessary information that will verify that an investigation is underway and that a person’s need for protective services have been met. We expect the protocol to be finalized before the end of the calendar year.

DRN staff continues to monitor and advocate for the implementation of the Adult Protective Services (APS) program in Pennsylvania. DPW is going through the vendor selection process phase and the selected vendor announced in the coming months. Draft regulations are on hold until the vendor is in place. Presently, DPW is using an interim process for implementing APS across the state using a combination of DPW program office staffs, county Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) and staff from Behavioral Health Services Licensing (BHSL) central office. DRN has a pending Protocol with DPW for them to share APS information with us when we make referrals to APS.

5. Number of Cases:

Cases: 44 Class action: 0

6. Case summaries:

DRN staff assisted with the final steps of Nursing Home Transition (NHT) for a client. The client was living in a Nursing Facility because he was moved out of an abusive environment through APS (Adult Protective Services.) He had a history of returning to his abuser and abandoning the home and community-based services that were supporting him. As a result, service providers were reticent to work with him. Through extended advocacy, DRN staff was able to make arrangements for a service provider to support him in the community. The process was also slowed by difficulty in finding accessible housing for the client. The NHT process culminated in the client leaving the facility and moving into an accessible home where he will be supported by waiver services.

DRN staff assisted an elderly Montgomery County woman who is deaf and was placed in a nursing facility over the objection of her partner with whom she had lived for 30 years. An emergency guardian was appointed over their objections, and the guardian insisted that she needed to remain in a nursing facility. After a DRN attorney spoke with the attorney appointed by the court to represent the woman in the guardianship proceeding, the appointed attorney agreed to and did petition to change the guardian. Her new guardian is the Arc Alliance, which will review the situation to see if the woman can return home with supports and services.

DRN staff successfully assisted an Allegheny County man who is deaf and at the end of life, to secure an interpreter at a county nursing home. The client did not understand what was happening because no interpreter had been provided. After we intervened, the nursing home provided an interpreter for the last few weeks of his life.

Priority II

1. Priority:

Eliminate the unnecessary institutionalization of persons with disabilities.

2. Need Addressed:

Integration is preferred and too often people with disabilities are put in or directed to institutional settings. Changing the attitudes of policy makers, involvement of persons with disabilities in the design and implementation of services, and rebalancing appropriation of funding is necessary to achieve integration.

3. Indicators:

A. Advocate for community alternatives for persons institutionalized or at risk of institutionalization.

B. Limit the growth of Medicaid funding for congregate care.

C. Develop plans for community integration.

4. Collaboration:

DRN staff, in conjunction with Temple staff, developed a draft of a Community First Webpage and a Person Driven Services and Supports (PDSS) Coalition, to be included on the DRN website. The Person Directed Services and Supports Coalition has become the coalition heaviest in activity. A preliminary work plan is in the process of development and will continue to be a working plan, evolving to respond to the political climate. PDSS is focused on strengthening consumer control of the services received through Home and Community Based Services.

DRN staff were able to convince the state to reconvene the Money Follows the Person (MFP) Stakeholder Work Group. DRN staff will continue to monitor the regular scheduled meetings of this group, however, more pressure may be needed to get the meetings back on a regular schedule. MFP is essential in Nursing Home Transition. It allows the money that would pay for the individual to reside in a Nursing Facility to be used for the individual once they move out of the Facility in to the Community.

In discussion with DPW Secretary, DRN staff discussed the need to get one unified Olmstead plan for PA. DRN staff pointed out that an Olmstead plan for people with intellectual disabilities and one for people with mental health disabilities is not a completed Olmstead plan. Staff pointed out to the Secretary that there is a very strong need to reconvene a cross disability workgroup focused on Olmstead compliance, across all disabilities. The Secretary stated that the State is aware of our request but before convening another workgroup they want to determine how to achieve input without so many workgroups.

DRN staff attends the LTC Subcommittee meetings. Agenda topics include: OLTL proposed budget, Balancing Incentive Program, federal HCBS regulations, Healthy PA, LTC Commission, Services My Way, SC rate review, Individualized Service Plan (ISP) process review, focused case reviews. Staff asked for clarification on the increased budget amounts and these would avoid waiting lists for OBRA, COMMCARE and Independence waivers, but does not include additional funding for Act 150. Staff also requested updates on ISP process delays as this is becoming problematic again, particularly in the southeastern part of Pennsylvania.

The PAIR and Legal Teams advocated for people who are deaf who have been living at the Valley View facility, located on the campus of Elwyn in Delaware County. Following DPW’s rescission of its Adult Training Facility license, Elwyn announced that it would be closing the facility. We subsequently had numerous meetings with officials from DPW, the Department of Aging, and the Pennsylvania Ombudsman’s Office as well as the Pennsylvania Society for the Deaf (PASD) to address planning for the residents. Ultimately, it was decided that individuals who chose to do so could continue to live at Elwyn under individual lease agreements if they agreed to receive services through MercyLIFE program. At this time, all residents have agreed to remain.

DRN has been advocating to ensure that DPW’s Office of Long Term Living (OLTL) appropriately and promptly process individuals who had been on the waiting list for the COMMCARE Waiver since the Legislature appropriated funding to end that waiting list. To date, about 50 individuals have been enrolled in that Waiver, and five of our clients were enrolled. The waiting list for that Waiver is now resolved, and OLTL is processing new applicants. OLTL also continues to review whether participants in the Independence Waiver who have traumatic brain injury would be better served by the COMMCARE Waiver.

DRN staff attended the Governor’s newly formed LTC Commission. The first meeting was an introduction by all Commission members and their background. The afternoon session was used to review the group’s charge, deadline for comments is still January 1, 2015, and the group broke into workgroups that the group felt would cover all the areas they will need to comment on. We will look for committee assignments either in the minutes or other handout that is provided for commission members. DRN staff will continue to monitor this group’s progress.

DRN staff used a media opportunity to discuss with members of the ID and MH Community and the grassroots groups, the importance of a complete Olmstead plan. DRN staff will work with community collaborators to ensure there is a clear understanding of what is included in a comprehensive Olmstead plan that leaves no one out. No matter what their disability, if they are found eligible for services that will assist them in staying in the community, they will receive services based on those assessed and agreed upon service plan needs.

DRN Staff was invited to testify at the hearings regarding changes in the Home and Community Based Services regulations in the state of Pennsylvania. The testimony was predicated on the fact that individuals with disabilities need to have opportunities to live in the community, interact with their community, be included in their community and be known by their community to whatever level they desire. This testimony was also submitted in written form.

DRN Staff’s monitoring of the Philadelphia Nursing Home improved the care being received in the facility as well as the discharge process. There were 4 areas of concern: the behavioral unit on 2 North, the communications policy, residents understanding of their rights and the number of individuals being discharged to the community. During the visit we found that the individuals in the behavioral unit are being treated with more respect, made aware of their rights and are being better supported in participating in their care planning process. We found improvements in the way that staff communicated with residents using touch boards and other forms of assistive technology but feel that there is still room for progress. Staff is holding regular meetings with the residents to inform them about their rights. Although there were several discharges to the community, we met individuals who were interested in returning to the community but had not received any information about home and community-based services or nursing home transition.

DRN continues to work with the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, the City of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Community Development Corporation, Liberty Resources, Inc., architects, and others to advocate for visitability legislation in Philadelphia. In July, the Philadelphia Visitability Committee invited new participants to join, and approximately four new people expressed interest in the project. (DD/PAIR/AT)

5. Number of Cases:

Cases: 287 Class Action: 0

6. Case Summaries:

DRN Staff assisted an elderly Montgomery County woman who is deaf and was placed in a nursing facility over the objection of her partner with whom she had lived for 30 years. An emergency guardian was appointed over their objections, and the guardian insisted that she needed to remain in a nursing facility. After a DRN attorney spoke with the attorney appointed by the court to represent the woman in the guardianship proceeding, the appointed attorney agreed to and did petition to change the guardian. Her new guardian is the Arc Alliance, which will review the situation to see if the woman can return home with supports and services.

DRN Staff successfully intervened on behalf of a Philadelphia woman with a physical disability who had begun to use a motorized wheelchair. The individual lived in a public housing unit with several steps to the front door, which she could not navigate in her motorized wheelchair. After we contacted the Philadelphia Housing Authority, it agreed to install a ramp at the entrance to the client’s home.

DRN Staff successfully intervened on behalf of an 82-year-old Mercer County man with visual and orthopedic impairments that made it difficult for him to navigate stairs. He requested permission from his condominium board to install at his own expense a railing at the two-steps at the front of his home. The board denied that request. After we sent a letter advising that the FHA allowed condominium owners to make reasonable modifications to their homes at their own expense, the board reversed its decision and allowed the client to install a railing.

DRN successfully intervened on behalf of a Philadelphia woman with a physical disability who had begun to use a motorized wheelchair. She lived in a public housing unit with several steps to the front door, which she could not navigate in her motorized wheelchair. After we contacted the Philadelphia Housing Authority, it agreed to install a ramp at the entrance to the client’s home.

DRN successfully assisted a Bucks County woman with a spinal injury, to secure approval for a reasonable modification to her trailer home. After she installed a ramp, the management company threatened to evict her. It rescinded its eviction threat and approved the ramp after we intervened.

DRN successfully intervened on behalf of an 82-year-old Mercer County man with visual and orthopedic impairments that made it difficult for him to navigate stairs. He requested permission from his condominium board to install at his own expense a railing at the two-steps at the front of his home. The board denied that request. After we sent a letter advising that the FHA allowed condominium owners to make reasonable modifications to their homes at their own expense, the board reversed its decision and allowed the client to install a railing.

Priority III

1. Priority:

Promote an array of quality consumer-controlled and/or consumer-driven services to enable adults and children with disabilities to live and thrive in their own homes, schools, workplaces, and communities.

2. Need addressed:

People want to live in their homes and communities. In order to do so, they need state-funded services and supports. Especially in tight budget times, and given competition with institutions, it’s critical to engage in focused budget advocacy.

People with disabilities need to lead in the designing of service delivery systems, and have control over the provision and implementation to ensure satisfaction and full community inclusion.

3. Indicators:

A. Advocate for consumer control and direction in the delivery of services, including the development of participant-directed services across all ages and all disabilities.

B. End waiting lists for and other barriers to community services for people with intellectual and other disabilities who are unserved or underserved.

C. Assure access to Medicaid services.

D. Advocate to assure implementation of Affordable Care Act to support persons with disabilities.

E. Identify and work with unserved and underserved communities.

4. Collaborations:

DRN staff collaborated with veterans organizations in Berks County to host a veteran outreach event called “Get Back and Give Back”. DRN staff provided an information table as well as co-presented with a veteran a workshop with a veteran titled “Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Deployment Adjustment: Separating Fact from Fiction.”

DRN Staff met with the PDSS Coalition. A strategic working plan is developing with focus on steps to be achieved over the next 90 days. DRN staff met with some legislative leadership to keep them apprised of the PDSS project progress and to discuss future activities including public hearings on PDSS services.

DRN staff have networked among grassroots groups to engage them in the PDSS project goals. In doing so, DRN staff have provided technical assistance to groups preparing to engage in future advocacy activities. Seven locations have been identified that want to participate in ongoing video conferencing once a month to discuss the ongoing progress of the PDSS efforts. Participants will be engaged to assist in the push for PDSS to be available in all home and community based service waivers.

DRN staff facilitated and convened two meetings of the Disability Budget Coalition, DBC and initiated and participated in two legislative leadership and one administrative leadership meeting to share DBC concerns in the current budget and educate policymakers about DRN issues. DRN staff completed sections of the 2014-2015 DBC Agenda book, edited contents, copied and distributed initial 2014-15 DBC Agenda books.

Under the Disability Budget Coalition activities, DRN staff, along with other DBC members and initiated by PA SILC DBC members, met with Office of Vocational Rehabilitation to educate them about the impact of additional funding for PA SILC and CILs.

DRN staff, along with other DBC members met with DPW Secretary to discuss the current budget needs of people with physical, sensory and other disabilities served by the Office of Long Term Living waivers. Among those programs, express concern was voiced for the state funded only Act 150 program and waiting list and the fear that if this program ends, people will not be able to seek employment, housing or independence.

DRN staff have engaged members of the Mental Health Community in developing specific activities that MH consumers can participate in while trying to achieve their highest level of independence possible. MH advocates continue to participate in ongoing PDSS and Community First Coalition (CFC) activities to ensure participation by recipients or potential consumers of home and community based services.

DRN staff was invited to meet with faculty and staff of Misericordia University in Dallas, PA (just outside of Wilkes-Barre) to discuss their interest in creating a program for veterans with TBI. DRN staff provided information about DRN services and about Assistive Technology as well as providing input about creating a consumer/veteran majority advisory panel.

DRN staff met with the Person Driven Services and Supports Coalition members. The group assisted in the formation of materials and "the message" as we will use more and more social media for outreach. DRN staff met with leaders within the MH community to ensure alignment of messages developed by this group and whatever the MH group distributes. The messages will not be identical, but we should make every attempt to make sure we are all using the same "jargon".

DRN staff has been approved for membership on the PA Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) but is waiting for the governor to make the appointment official.

DRN staff worked with a small group of stakeholders in developing detailed feedback and recommendations to the Department of Public Welfare on the Balancing Incentive Program, which is included as a cost savings in the Governor’s proposed budget and reportedly “funds” the additional capacity allocated for the programs. Feedback developed in the main areas of BIP, no wrong door/single entry point, conflict-free service coordination and standardized assessment. DRN staff met with Department representatives to present recommendations.

DRN staff drafted comments on Philadelphia Nursing Home’s communication policy and the lack of auxiliary aids and services. PNH agreed to consider the comments, and PAIR advocates will meet with PNH to discuss the policy and other care and treatment issues outlined in our monitoring report to the facility.

DRN Staff is working with stakeholders to identify the major barriers that exist for individuals with multiple disabilities. The identification of the barriers will guide the next steps by identifying the problems within the State Offices, among the providers, throughout the system and will be the basis for a road map to removing these obstacles.

5. Number of Cases:

Cases: 537 Class action: 0

6. Case Summaries:

DRN Staff assisted a client with TBI who wanted to get waiver services restarted. Although she had previously been on the COMMCARE waiver, this client was evaluated and accepted for the Independence waiver. Because of a lot of cognitive confusion, the client requested advocacy assistance to communicate clearly with the service coordination agency and with other service providers. The requested advocacy assistance was provided and client began to receive services again. The client thanked DRN for helping her to understand what was being said to her.

Denial of Assistive Technology — We successfully represented E.P., a 21-year-old Washington County young adult with an intellectual disability and cerebral palsy, who became unable to use her augmentative communication device (ACD) when she lost use of her hands following surgery. The school district had previously agreed to purchase (and agreed that E.P. will own) a new eye gaze ACD, agreed to provide training, and agreed to certain other remedies (including, extended school year services, in-home instruction, therapies, an extra year of education, assessments of her independent living needs, assistive technology needs, and transition needs). Subsequently, we resolved outstanding issues regarding training on the device.

Priority IV

1. Priority:

Eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability.

2. Need Addressed:

Laws protecting equal access by people with disabilities are not always enforced; and are not always known by attorneys and people with disabilities. Education, self-advocacy and rights training, and enforcement are needed.

3. Indicators:

A. Ensure access to government and public services and public accommodations.

B. Promote and expand employment of persons with disabilities.

C. Assure that persons with disabilities have equal opportunity to vote.

D. Promote accessible transportation.

4. Collaborations:

DRN Staff are working to address concerns about accessibility issues in state prisons for inmates who are deaf and hard of hearing, including assuring they have access to effective communication in classes (including necessary classes to qualify for parole) and to notify them when the prison count occurs.

DRN Staff met with staff of the Northeast PA Center for Independent Living (NEPACIL) who are working on voting issues. NEPACIL provided an article for our newsletter and also provided copies of their documentary called “Vote” that addresses attitudinal and architectural barriers faced by individuals with disabilities when they are engaged in voting activities. DRN Staff was invited to have an information table at a voting event held in Luzerne County for adults with intellectual disabilities. DRN Staff continue to collaborate with NEPACIL staff on voting concerns.

DRN staff provided a training for the Sickle Cell support group regarding section 1 of the ADA, employment. Staff empowered to group by explaining who was covered by the ADA, the implications of the ADA amendments act and what defines a reasonable accommodation. There were 17 people with Sickle Cell who attended the training.

DRN staff participated in the Senior Expo for State Representative Dan Deasy. Staff shared information regarding voting, Home and Community Based Services, Power of Attorney, Assistive Technology, advocacy and the services offered by DRN. Staff interacted with over 100 individuals during the course of the event.

DRN staff presented at the Disability and Employment breakfast of Life’s Work of Western Pennsylvania. The presentation focused on the population of individuals with disabilities being viewed as a potential source of employees. Other presenters at the breakfast included the diversity manager from Ben and Jerry’s ice cream as well as DPW Sec. Mackereth. There were approximately 150 people in attendance.

DRN staff presented to 2 Human Resources Associations regarding Title I of the ADA: Disability & Employment. The trainings were attended by approximately 60 individuals representing the human resources departments of a wide variety of employers. The emphasis of the training was creating an employment environment where individuals were able to utilize their abilities. Additional information was provided regarding the cost of hiring an individual with a disability and tips for how to make the employment process more "disability friendly" from beginning to end.

DRN is a member of the Transportation Alliance. The Alliance joined the Disability Budget Coalition to urge that the Commonwealth pass the pending transportation bill and increase funding for transportation programs that serve individuals with disabilities, including Medical Assistance Transportation and the Rural Shared Ride Program. The transportation bill passed and we are studying its impact on programs for people with disabilities.

DRN staff is investigating whether individuals with disabilities are unlawfully segregated in vocational and non-vocational day services. We received significant additional information concerning the use of non-vocational day programs in the ODP and OLTL Waivers, and we will be reviewing that data.

DRN staff provided 2 “Employment and Disability” trainings in collaboration with the Society for Human Resource Managers (SHRM). The attendees were from the Human Resources departments of area businesses. There were over 50 attendees between the two trainings. The trainings provided an overview of title I of the ADA. Staff provided definitions of disability, reasonable accommodation and discrimination as laid out by the ADA.

DRN staff participated in the meetings of the Disability Voting Coalition. We discussed the parameters of the Developmental Disabilities Council grant on Civic Engagement and began to formulate plans for the consumer trainings we will conduct under this grant.

DRN Staff are providing support to Abilities in Motion, the Center for Independent Living in Berks County, in their monitoring of Reading’s ADA Transition Plan, including its curb cut plan.

DRN Staff assisted Social Security beneficiaries with employment discrimination matters. Issues include employment discrimination in firing and client not being provided needed reasonable accommodations to remain in employment. As a result of DRNs intervention, clients learned of rights under the ADA and employment opportunities increased.

As part of the activity of the Developmental Disabilities Council grant on Voting and Civic Engagement, DRN Staff facilitated a Civic Engagement discussion in cooperation with the Northeast PA Center for Independent Living (NEPACIL). An audience of about 20 people listened to a panel discussion about how to advocate effectively with local legislators. Attendees then met in small groups to discuss ideas for civic projects. One group will be working with DRN Staff to develop a survey on transportation.

5. Number of Cases:

Cases: 142 Class action: 0

6. Case Summaries:

DRN staff successfully advocated on behalf of a client who has TBI who was incarcerated. He wanted to leave the facility but could not live with his mother/legal guardian. His mother wanted technical assistance to help him apply for the COMMCARE Waiver. At first his mother was told by MAXIMUS that the client could not be evaluated because he was incarcerated. However, because of the technical assistance provided by DRN, this client was evaluated and was approved to receive services through the COMMCARE Waiver when he returns to the community.

DRN is working with a man who is deaf and seeks to be licensed as a diving instructor. He passed all of the courses to be certified, but the association refused to license him unless he agrees to have a hearing assistant with him at all times when he provides instruction in the water.

DRN is assisting a Pittsburgh woman whose request for a dedicated residential parking space was denied. At the time of her request, the client was awaiting a lung transplant. Although she recently underwent a transplant, we are continuing to represent her to seek a remedy and to challenge the city’s unlawful policy of denying accessible parking spaces to people with disabilities.

We successfully intervened on behalf of a Philadelphian with a spinal cord injury resulting in limited mobility, to whose condominium refused her request for a reserved parking space near her unit. Since walking exacerbated her disability, the client was afraid to leave her house and lose the parking space near her unit. After we intervened, the condominium agreed to install a sign to reserve the parking space.

DRN successfully intervened on behalf of J.V., a woman with orthopedic disabilities, whose request for a dedicated residential parking space was denied. After we intervened, the city agreed to provide her with the requested accommodation.

Priority V

1. Priority:

Conduct outreach, training, and education activities.

2. Need Addressed:

Increase consumer’s knowledge of their rights and available services to enable them to live independent and productive lives.

3. Indicators:

A. Identify and work with unserved and underserved communities.

B. Develop and distribute fact sheets and other materials on issues of importance to people with disabilities, including alerts via the DRN electronic mailing list.

4. Collaborations:

DRN staff had two presentations in Dauphin County, information tables in Luzerne, Cumberland, Lebanon and Allegheny, and Franklin County. DRN Staff presented information on DRN services in Lebanon, Delaware, Allegheny, Westmoreland and Franklin County.

DRN attorneys gave a Continuing Legal Education training on Understanding the Basics of the ADA for 12 attorneys in Mechanicsburg.

DRN staff gave a presentation on the ADA’s transportation provisions to a Parkinson’s disease support group of 15 self-advocates and family members in Dauphin County.

DRN staff gave a presentation to about 65 students at Widener Law School on DRN and disability law.

DRN attorneys gave a Continuing Legal Education course for 16 attorneys in Pittsburgh on Understanding the Basics of the ADA. We distributed an outline on that topic.

DRN staff presented a Continuing Legal Education course on Educational Transition Planning for Youth with Disabilities in the Child Welfare System to about 70 attorneys in Mechanicsburg. We distributed a PowerPoint, the Basic Education Circular on Graduation Requirements for Students with Disabilities, and a List of Top 10 Advocacy Tips.

DRN participated in a Special Education 101 Training hosted by Parent Advocates for Learning Supports (PALS) in Allegheny County attended by 7 parents.

DRN staff gave an update on our litigation to about 20 board members of the State Independent Living Advisory Council in Harrisburg.

DRN staff gave a presentation on for 10 Spanish-speaking parents in Reading on special education in conjunction with the Arc Alliance. We distributed The Right to Special Education in Pennsylvania: A Guide for Parents and Advocates (Spanish language) and DRN Intake brochures (Spanish language).

DRN staff gave a presentation on trends under the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act to 10 attorneys at a meeting of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Committee on the Legal Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We distributed our Summary of 2008 Amendments to ADA fact sheet.

DRN staff gave a presentation on hot topics in disability law to 6 consumers at Liberty Resources, Inc.’s Consumer Connection meeting.

DRN gave a presentation on important recent special education cases at a meeting of the Western Pennsylvania Coalition of Education Advocates attended by 20 parents and advocates in Allegheny County.

DRN is finalizing a comprehensive guide for transition-age youth with disabilities, which will address issues relating to education, medical care, and employment.

DRN is updating and revising “The Right to Special Education in Pennsylvania: A Guide for Parents and Advocates,” which is a comprehensive manual outline the educational rights of children with disabilities.

DRN staff is Chair of the Legislative and Advocacy Subcommittee of the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Committee on Persons with Disabilities.

DRN staff testified at a public hearing sponsored by the National Coalition of Voting Rights concerning polling place accessibility.

DRN staff gave a presentation to 15 health care professionals at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia on Medical Assistance, the ADA, and advocacy for children with disabilities.

DRN staff met with a person with TBI who is a doctoral candidate in Educational Psychology and the 2014 Special Education Lend Fellow at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to discuss DRN’s AT and TBI work and how we can work together. We gave her a DRN brochure and copies of AT: How to Pay for the Device or Service that You Need; AT for Persons with Brain Injury; Accessible Instructional Materials for Students with Disabilities; AT for Children with Disabilities; and ACD Funding for Children.

DRN staff participated in the Resource Fair at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf attended by about 35 people. We distributed DRN and DASH brochures and fact sheets on the rights of people who are deaf.

DRN staff gave a presentation on to about 40 staff at United Cerebral Palsy-Pittsburgh (now known as CLASS, Community Living and Support Services) concerning their obligations under the National Voter Registration Act and voter outreach to people with disabilities.

DRN staff participated in a statewide webinar on Getting Your Equipment Repaired Under Medical Assistance Managed Care with the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, in which 100 individuals participated, including people with disabilities, AT professionals, healthcare professionals, staff from Centers for Independent Living, and a Nursing Home Transition advocate.

DRN staff gave a presentation on to 20 transition coordinators at the Bucks County Intermediate Unit concerning Medicaid home and community-based services waivers for transitioning youth.

DRN staff spoke to 8 members of the Social Justice Group, comprised of the chief executive officers of nonprofit organizations in the Pittsburgh area, about the National Voter Registration Act and voting outreach to people with disabilities.

DRN staff gave a presentation to 50 staff of the Healthsouth Harmarville Rehabilitation Center in Allegheny County concerning DRN and how we can support staff and clients at the facility.

DRN’s finalized a comprehensive guide for transition-age youth with disabilities, which will address issues relating to education, medical care, and employment.

DRN finalized a fact sheet on the Adult Protective Services (APS) System.

DRN assisted Temple University’s Institute on Disabilities to prepare training modules on the APS Act for APS agency staff.

DRN staff worked internally to assure that all publications on DRN’s website and through CIS are in accessible formats.

DRN launched the DRNPA (@drnpa) Twitter page.

DRN Staff gave a presentation 65 people at the Hearing Loss Association in King of Prussia concerning the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, augmentative communication devices, and accommodations in transportation.

DRN staff trained approximately 15 volunteers at five Pittsburgh hospitals to assist patients to use emergency absentee ballots to vote during the primary election. As a result of this effort, 52 applications for emergency absentee ballots were submitted.

DRN staff gave a presentation on Medical Assistance home and community-based waivers and Healthy PA to 14 individuals at the WIPA Advisory meeting. We distributed of DRN brochures, Intellectual Disabilities Waiver Services in Pennsylvania, AT: How to Pay for the Device or Service that You Need, Medical Assistance and Medicaid Waivers: Appeals, Complaints, and Grievances.

DRN hosted the Western Pennsylvania Coalition of Education Advocates meeting for 10 participants at Achieva in Pittsburgh concerning Pennsylvania’s Common Core Standards.

DRN and Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT) staff who work on assistive technology issues met to discuss our respect work and the roles of each staff person.

DRN staff participated in an outreach event at Disability Pride Philadelphia in June, 2014, which was attended by about 500 people. We distributed 150 DRN brochures, 40 DASH brochures, and 40 PABSS brochures, as well as 40 copies of AT for Persons with Disabilities: An Overview and 20 copies each of The Power of the Disability Vote, the Role of Disability Service Organizations, Your Right to an Accessible Polling Place, and Your Right to Get Assistance in voting.

DRN staff participated in an outreach event attended by about 100 people at the Penn Asian Jubilee Center, an older adult day program that serves lower income older adults of southeast Asian descent located in Philadelphia.

In September 2014, DRN staff published an article in the Legal Intelligencer concerning the intersection of student rights under the IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the ADA in secondary and post-secondary education.

DRN staff participated in a conference call with approximately 10 advocates to discuss strategies that have been used in Newcastle and Scranton to expand polling place accessibility.

DRN staff gave a presentation to 20 graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work on the National Voter Registration Act and the role of social service agencies in registering voters.

DRN staff gave a presentation concerning DRN and its assistive technology work to 14 assistive technology professionals at a statewide conference in Dauphin County sponsored by Access to Assistive Technology Resource Center.

DRN staff gave a presentation to a class of 35 health care and social work students at Millersville University in Lancaster County concerning the ADA.

5. Number of Cases:

Cases: 0 Class action: 0

6. Case Summaries: as this priority is informational, we do not have case reports.

B. Priorities and Objectives for the Current Fiscal Year

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

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

Priority I 1. Priority: Protect and advocate for persons with disabilities who are subject to abuse and neglect. 2. Need Addressed: Advocacy focused on the need for protection from abuse, neglect, and rights violations. 3. Activities: A. Respond to individual and systemic reports of abuse or neglect through technical assistance, follow-up, monitoring, investigation and/or litigation, including enforcing DRN’s authority to access facilities, residents, and records. B. Improve, expand, and monitor systems for reporting, investigating and responding to abuse or neglect in state-licensed facilities, unlicensed residential facilities, and other locations, including ensuring full implementation of an adult protective services system. C. Provide monitoring and advocacy services to persons with disabilities using representative payees as required by contract with National Disability Rights Network, including referrals to other DRN services as appropriate. Priority II 1. Priority: Eliminate the unnecessary institutionalization and segregation of persons with disabilities. 2. Need Addressed: Integration is preferred and too often people with disabilities are put in or directed to institutional settings. Changing the attitudes of policy makers, involvement of persons with disabilities in the design and implementation of services, and rebalancing appropriation of funding is necessary to achieve integration. 3. Activities: A. Advocate for integrated community alternatives for adults institutionalized, at risk of institutionalization, or otherwise in segregated settings, including reducing the use of Medical Assistance and other funding in such settings; B. Advocate to reduce the unnecessary placement of persons in nursing facilities and to decrease the number of nursing facility beds across the state. C. Promote the expansion of affordable, integrated, accessible housing. D. Advocate for full implementation of and funding for Olmstead Plans. Priority III 1. Priority: Promote an array of quality consumer-controlled, consumer-driven, person-centered, and recovery-oriented services to enable adults and children with disabilities to live and thrive in their own homes, schools, workplaces, and communities. 2. Need Addressed: People want to live in their homes and communities. In order to do so, they need state-funded services and supports. Especially in tight budget times, and given competition with institutions, it’s critical to engage in focused budget advocacy. 3. Activities: A. Advocate for consumer control and direction in the delivery of services, including the development of participant-directed services across all disabilities. B. Advocate to end waiting lists and remove other barriers to community services for people with intellectual and other disabilities who are unserved or underserved. C. Assure access to Medicaid services. D. Advocate to assure that people with disabilities have non-discriminatory access to comprehensive and coordinated health care, including implementation of provisions of the Affordable Care Act that affect persons with disabilities. E. Advocate for removal of barriers that exist in OMHSAS, ODP, OLTL, and DOH that prevent access to coordinated and effective services and treatment for persons dually diagnosed and in support of initiatives that proactively serve individuals with multiple disabilities. Priority IV 1. Priority: Eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability. 2. Need Addressed: Laws protecting equal access by people with disabilities are not always enforced; and are not always known by attorneys and people with disabilities. Education, self-advocacy and rights training, and enforcement are needed. 3. Activities: A. Assure access to government and public services and public accommodations. B. Promote and expand employment of persons with disabilities, including advocating for competitive and supported employment opportunities for individuals in segregated employment. C. Assure that persons with disabilities have equal opportunity to vote, including advocating for increased accessibility of polling places and non-discriminatory voting procedures. D. Promote and expand accessible transportation, including for individuals who live in rural areas. E. Advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities who are incarcerated, at risk of incarceration, or released from incarceration. Priority V 1. Priority: Conduct outreach, training, and education activities. 2. Need Addressed: Increase consumer’s knowledge of their rights and available services to enable them to live independent and productive lives. 3. Activities: A. Identify and work with unserved and underserved communities.

Part VI. Narrative

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

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

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

A. Sources of funds received and expended: Federal funds: Amount received - $568,333 Amount spent - $568,333 Program Income: Amount received - $55,361 Amount spent: $55,361 Total received: $623,694 Total spent: $623,694 B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by the report: Prior Fiscal Year, 2013-2014: Wages/Salaries - $366,275 Fringe Benefits - $158,116 Materials/Supplies - $7,056 Postage - $1,680 Telephone - $8,652 Rent - $49,102 Travel - $7,700 Copying - $1,275 Bonding/Insurance - $4,822 Equipment - $5,630 Legal Services - $0 Indirect Costs - $0 Misc. - $32,640 Total Budget - $642,948 Current Fiscal Year, 2014-2015: Wages/Salaries - $339,247 Fringe Benefits- $135,851 Materials/Supplies - $7,056 Postage - $1,680 Telephone - $8,652 Rent - $47,545 Travel - $9,700 Copying - $1,275 Bonding/Insurance - $4,822 Equipment - $4,130 Legal Services - $0 Indirect costs - $0 Miscellaneous - $35,490 Total Budget - $595,448 C. Description of PAIR staff (duties and person-years) FTE % of year filled person years Professional - Full-time (25) 6.54 100% 6.54 Part-time (1) 0.06 100% 0.06 Clerical - Full-time (9) 1.06 100% 1.06 Part-time (1) 0.09 100% 0.09 Description of PAIR Staff Duties: Provide individual, systemic and legal advocacy to persons with disabilities who are eligible under the PAIR grant. Perform individual, systemic, and legal advocacy services to expand community capacity to serve persons with disabilities. Provide individual and systemic advocacy services for persons with physical and sensory disabilities. Provide specialized advocacy activities necessary for clients transitioning from an institutional to a community service system. Perform information and referral services. Ensure that advocacy services meet the requirements of all federal regulations. Manage assigned caseload. Initiate caseload reports. Provide resources and expert support services for the operation and development of the advocacy team. Develop and implement specific projects to meet emergent issues and the goals and objectives of the PAIR grant and DRN priorities. Submit reports on PAIR advocacy activities, including material necessary for grant and team reports. Conduct outreach and training activities to unserved and underserved populations as defined by the PAIR Act. Participate, as appropriate, on task forces, advisory boards, and other policy making bodies as a representative of DRN. Network with agencies and advocates to create coalitions to response to systemic issues identified that negatively impact people with physical and sensory disabilities. Provide internal and external leadership and guidance as required to ensure the implementation of the PAIR grant and DRN priorities. Monitor and keep the CEO, Board of Directors, and staff informed of major state and federal issues at the legislative and administrative levels. Develop a plan with strategies to implement the Priorities of the DRN Board of Directors. Assure consistent application of DRN policies and procedures. Meet with DRN Team Leaders to assure adherence to DRN advocacy positions and advocacy efforts. Work with other DRN teams to support the various types of service provision including information and referral, technical assistance, short-term assistance, litigation, negotiation, etc. Work with grass roots advocacy organizations across Pennsylvania to initiate and coordinate systemic advocacy initiatives. Meet with state officials, legislators, and testify at public hearings to promote inclusiveness and equality in public policy-making. D. Involvement with advisory boards (if any) PAIR is represented on the following advisory boards: Allegheny County Committee for Accessible Transportation Philadelphia Bar Association Committee on legal rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Civil Rights Committee, and Delivery of Legal Services Committee Pennsylvania Council on Independent Living Policy Committee. Governor’s Advisory Committee on Persons with Disabilities Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council HealthChoices Behavioral Health Advisory Committee Pennsylvania State Independent Living Council’s Action Committee Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Council and various Committees Allegheny County-City of Pittsburgh Task Force on Disabilities Department of Health Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Board. PA CARES (Pennsylvania Americans showing Compassion, Assistance and Reaching out with Empathy for Service members) Dauphin County Diversity Forum Person Driven Services and Supports (PDSS) Coalition Disability Voting Coalition Pennsylvania Voters Coalition Behavioral Health Task Force for People who are Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing Deaf Behavioral Health Consortium of Southeastern Pennsylvania Philadelphia Bar Association’s Committee on Legal Services to Persons with Disabilities. E. Grievances filed under the grievance procedure There were no grievances filed during this fiscal year. 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. DRN informs callers, as appropriate, about the services provided by the CAP. We are also available as a resource to CAP and its clients. DRN and CAP staff discussed ways to for the organizations to collaborate as well as improve case referrals between the organizations to better assist people with disabilities. The DRN CEO met with the CAP to discuss systemic issues and trends and how to collaborate to resolve systemic problems in VR.

DRN maintains a lead advocacy role in the work of the community in its attempts to be a part of the administrative process and design of long term services and supports. DRN maintains individual assistance for many clients through our intake department, while other staff work on providing input through the federally mandated Medical Assistance Advisory Committee or MAAC, and its subcommittees. Throughout the year, DRN staff also participated in several “coalitions” with similar missions of enhancing or expanding home and community based services and supports. Some examples include but are not limited to; the Disability Budget Coalition; the Adult Protective Services Coalition, which came together to create protective services for recipients of home and community based services; the Person Driven Services and Supports (or PDSS) Coalition, which is intent on developing, expanding and promoting consumer-directed service models; and the Cover the Commonwealth campaign, which came together to promote the expansion of Medicaid as envisioned in the Affordable Care Act. DRN staff continue to provide input when possible on proposed regulations and policy directives through the direct submission of written comments and through legal actions and settlements when necessary.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByPeri J Radecic
TitleAuthorized Certifying Official
Signed Date12/23/2014