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

Arizona (Arizona Center for Disability Law) - H240A150003 - FY2015

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameArizona Center for Disability Law
Address5025 E. Washington Street
Address Line 2Suite 202
CityPhoenix
StateArizona
Zip Code85034
E-mail Addresscenter@azdisabilitylaw.org
Website Addresshttp://www.azdisabilitylaw.org
Phone602-274-6287
TTY 602-274-6287
Toll-free Phone800-927-2260
Toll-free TTY800-927-2260
Fax602-274-6779
Name of P&A Executive DirectorJ.J. Rico
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorJessica Jansepar Ross
Person to contact regarding reportJ.J. Rico
Contact Person phone520-327-9547
Ext.331

Part I. Non-Case Services

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

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Individuals receiving I&R within PAIR priority areas49
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas766
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)815

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff23
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)1,124

1) 13-Oct-14. Presentation. Employment Protections under the Law.” Topics included the rights of employees under Title 1 of the ADA. Phoenix. 3 people attended. 2) 14-Mar-15. Presentation. Autism United Spanish Conference. Topics included ACDL Services. Phoenix. 250 people attended. 3) 9-Apr-15. Presentation. “ACDL: How We Can Help.” Topics included the ADA and ACDL Services. Sun Lakes. 40 people attended. 4) 10-Apr-15. Presentation. “Disability Rights.” Topics included the PAIR Program. Phoenix. 40 people attended. 5) 22-Apr-15. Presentation. “ACDL: How We Can Help.” Topics included the ADA, ACDL Services and Issues regarding Service Animals. Fountain Hills. 40 people attended. 6) 4-Jun-15, Presentation. Arizona Partners in Leadership. Topics included ACDL and how to access our services. Tempe. 30 people attended. 7) 16-Jun-15, Presentation. “Housing and Service Animals.” Adult Loss of Hearing Association (ALOHA) Tucson. 20 people attended. 8) 17-Jun-15. Presentation. “State and Federal Disability Law.” Topics included the ADA Title 1 and the Arizona Civil Rights Act. Phoenix. 20 people attended. 9) 25-Jun-15. Presentation. “Overview of ACDL and Protection and Advocacy Agencies.” Topics included ACDL and P & As. Phoenix. 40 people attended. 10) 26-Jun-25. Presentation. “Housing, Employment and Disability Law. Topics included the ADA, the Fair Housing Act, and service animals. Prescott. 14 people attended. 11) 14-Jul-15. Training. “Health Care Appeals Under Medicaid.” Topics included Medicaid appeals. Phoenix. 150 people attended. 12) 16-Jul-15. Training. “ADA Requirements for Polling Places and the Election Process.” Topics included the ADA and the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Secretary of State’s Office, Phoenix. 100 people attended. 13) 19-Jul-15. Presentation. “Civil Rights Laws that affect LGBT people with Disabilities.” Topics included the ADA, the IDEA, and Medicaid. 150 people attended. 14) 21-Jul-15. Presentation. “ACDL Services.” Topics included ACDL Services. Office of Human Rights, Phoenix. 16 people attended. 15) 22-Jul-15. Presentation. “Muscular Dystrophy Association General Adult Education and Support Meeting.” Topics included medical accessibility for people with disabilities, the ADA Title II and III. VMI Mobility Center, Phoenix. 10 people attended. 16) 26-Aug-15. Presentation. Arizona Civil Rights Commission. Topics included Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Mental Health, Developmental Disability & Law Enforcement. Phoenix. 15 people attended. 17) 27-Aug-15. Presentation. “The Intersection of Fair Housing Law and Code Enforcement.” Topics included an overview of fair housing claims, highlights of cases and settlements involving code enforcement. Glendale. 50 people attended. 18) 1-Sep-15. Presentation. “United Cerebral Palsy’s Workability Mixer.” Topics included employment discrimination, reasonable accommodations, and discrimination in hiring. Tucson. 25 people attended. 19) 8-Sep-15. Presentation. “Your Rights as a Passenger with a Disability on Public Transportation.” Topics included policies for passengers with a disability in fixed route and Dial-a-Ride. Phoenix. 8 people attended. 20) 18-Sep-15. Presentation. “Accessibility Update 2015.” Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA). Topics included an update of legal decisions regarding accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing in concerts and sports venues. Scottsdale. 30 people attended. 21) 28-Sep-15. Presentation. “ACDL Services.” Arizona Bridge to Independent Living — Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) and Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC) programs. Topics included ACDL and PABSS services. Phoenix. 12 people attended. 22) 29-Sep-15. Presentation. “Legal Representation of Workers During the Charge Process.” Topics included the ADA/ACRD charge procedures, complaint, investigation and mediation processes. Tucson. 10 people attended. 23) 21-Jul-15, Presentation/Training, ACDL Presentation for Office of Human Rights, Phoenix, AZ. 16 people attended.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff0
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles0
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website144,118
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated3,413
6. Other (specify separately)12

Narrative

1) 21-Oct-14. Booth/Table. Arizona Bridge to Independent Living — Fair. Disability Empowerment Center, Phoenix, AZ. 50 people attended. 2) 14-Nov-14. Booth/Table. ACES College & Career Fair. Avondale, AZ. 40 people attended. 3) 16-Nov-14. Booth/Table. Disability Connection Fair. Sahuarita, AZ. 30 people attended. 4) 27-Feb-15. Booth/Table. 4th Annual African-American Symposium on Disabilities. Desert Willow Conference Center, Phoenix, AZ. 220 people attended. 5) 18-Mar-14. Booth/Table. Hopi Nation Awareness Day. Winslow, AZ. 125 people attended. 6) 26-Mar-15. Booth/Table. American Indian Disability Summit. Phoenix, AZ. 150 people attended. 7) 18-Apr-15. Booth/Table. Connecting Tucson — Disability Resource & Transition Expo. Tucson, AZ. 200 people attended. 8) 24, 25-Apr-15. Booth/Table. Health & Wellness Fair, Disability Empowerment Center, Phoenix, AZ. 120 people attended. 9) 7-Jun-15. Booth/Table. Diamondback’s Disability Awareness Day. Phoenix, AZ. 35 people attended. 10) 13-Jul-15. Booth/Table. Assistive Technology Conference. Scottsdale, AZ. 200 people attended. 11) 30, 31-Jul-15. Booth/Table. 2015 U.S. Autism & Asperger World Conference. Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Tucson, AZ. 500 people attended. 12) 25-Aug-15. Booth/Table. ADE 15th Annual Transition Conference. Talking Stick Resort, Scottsdale, AZ. 250 people attended.

Part II. Individuals Served

A. Individuals Served

Count individual once per FY. Multiple counts not permitted for lines A1 through A3.

1. Individuals still served as of October 1 (carryover from prior FY)22
2. Additional individuals served during the year334
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)356
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)24

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 65

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility6
2. Employment135
3. Program access34
4. Housing93
5. Government benefits/services2
6. Transportation10
7. Education12
8. Assistive technology0
9. Voting0
10. Health care59
11. Insurance0
12. Non-government services26
13. Privacy rights4
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse2
16. Neglect0
17. Other4

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor303
2. Other representation found1
3. Individual withdrew complaint2
4. Appeals unsuccessful7
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.0
6. PAIR withdrew from case2
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources3
8. Individual case lacks legal merit2
9. Other0

Please explain

E. Intervention Strategies Used in Serving Individuals

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

1. Technical assistance in self-advocacy24
2. Short-term assistance288
3. Investigation/monitoring0
4. Negotiation3
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution5
6. Administrative hearings0
7. Litigation (including class actions)0
8. Systemic/policy activities0

Part III. Statistical Information on Individuals Served

A. Age of Individuals Served as of October 1

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. 0 - 40
2. 5 - 223
3. 23 - 59249
4. 60 - 6443
5. 65 and over61

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females217
2. Males139

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race52
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native4
3. Asian2
4. Black or African American27
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander2
6. White264
7. Two or more races5
8. Race/ethnicity unknown0

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent327
2. Parental or other family home18
3. Community residential home1
4. Foster care0
5. Nursing home0
6. Public institutional living arrangement0
7. Private institutional living arrangement0
8. Jail/prison/detention center8
9. Homeless2
10. Other living arrangements0
11. Living arrangements not known0

E. Primary Disability of Individuals Served

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

1. Blind/visual impairment23
2. Deaf/hard of hearing31
3. Deaf-blind0
4. Orthopedic impairment95
5. Mental illness10
6. Substance abuse1
7. Mental retardation4
8. Learning disability7
9. Neurological impairment54
10. Respiratory impairment4
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment11
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment74
13. Speech impairment0
14. AIDS/HIV3
15. Traumatic brain injury2
16. Other disability37

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

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

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes354,922

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.

Emergency Preparedness Plan: The Arizona Center for Disability Law (hereinafter “Center”) collaborated with Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) to identify a significant problem in an Arizona city’s (hereinafter “the City”) emergency preparedness plan. The Center represented three individuals with disabilities who would be injured because the plan neglected to include emergency plans for how to address the needs of persons with disabilities working and living in the City in the event of an emergency. The Center and DRA submitted a demand letter to the City to advise it of the deficiencies and its legal liability related to the deficiencies and suggested a structured settlement. The City, ACDL, and DRA entered into a settlement agreement and the City is in the ongoing process of updating the plan and implementing changes. The City also created an advisory group made up of agencies that serve individuals with disabilities and previously met with the group several times for input on plan changes. This fiscal year, DRA, ACDL, and the City held a press conference announcing that the City was implementing changes to the plan. The parties agreed to an expert consultant to assist the City in making changes, and the Center continues to work collaboratively with the City and provide oversight and monitoring as ongoing changes to the plan occur and are implemented. (350,000 individuals potentially impacted.) L.S. v. County L.S. is a person with a physical impairment who utilizes a service animal to fetch dropped items, assist with bracing, and perform other tasks. County has an option where an individual can register their dog as a service animal. One benefit is that the service animal is not subject to registration fees. When L.S. attempted to register her dog as a service animal, she was told she would have to show that the dog was professionally trained to perform a disability-related task. PAIR Attorney sent a letter to the County explaining that, under the ADA and state law, service animals only have to be individually trained. County agreed to register L.S.’s service animal without the fee, stop enforcing the policy, update their website to reflect the correct definition, and update County code to reflect the correct standard. L.S.’s service animal is now registered, the County has stopped enforcing the fee, and the website has been updated. (County has committed that the code will be updated in FY 2015-2016.) (4,922 individuals potentially impacted.).

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts27,103
2. Number of individuals named in class actions10

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

ALVAREZ v. BETLACH (formerly ALVAREZ v. ROGERS): . This was an ongoing lawsuit challenging the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System’s (AHCCCS) unlawful policy prohibiting coverage of incontinence briefs for preventive purposes for persons with disabilities over the age of 21. Of the ten named Plaintiffs, one was PAIR-eligible. Defendant (the State of Arizona) filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings and the ACDL filed a Cross-Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings on behalf of the class. Oral argument was held on March 19, 2012. On May 21, 2012, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ Cross Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, finding that AHCCCS’s refusal to cover medically necessary incontinence briefs violates federal Medicaid law and ordered Defendant to begin covering incontinence briefs where they are medically necessary for AHCCCS recipients over the age of 21. The Court signed its Order and Judgment on May 21, 2012. The Judge also ordered that the Plaintiffs be reimbursed for the costs of their incontinence briefs dating back to the initial denial. The Defendant subsequently appealed the decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Given the appeal, the Defendant also requested a Stay of the Order requiring briefs be provided to all eligible members (the requirement to provide briefs for Plaintiffs was not stayed and briefs were provided to Plaintiffs pending the appeal). The Stay was granted by the Court on June 11, 2012. The Defendant’s Opening Brief and our Responsive briefs were filed. Oral argument was held on February 11, 2014 in San Francisco. ACDL argued before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on that day. On May 13, 2014, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for Plaintiffs, requiring AHCCCS to pay for medically necessary incontinence briefs. The State requested a stay of the mandate which was granted, pending their petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. The State filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court on September 29, 2014. Plaintiffs filed their opposition brief on November 6, 2014 and the United States Supreme Court denied the petition for review on December 15, 2014. Briefs can now be applied for by anyone who requires them as medically necessary. ACDL has worked collaboratively with AHCCCS to ensure a smooth transition. ACDL developed a letter to send to individuals inquiring about their rights as a result of the lawsuit and guidance on how to write a letter of medical necessity for briefs. The Short-Term Assistance Team (STAT) continues to provide information to callers on the result of the case and their rights following the success of the lawsuit.

Part V. PAIR'S Priorities and Objectives

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

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

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

PRIORITY NO. 1: Increase access by persons with disabilities to services, programs, and facilities open to the public. ACDL will participate in Arizona Emergency Planning and Preparedness activities that relate to issues involving persons with disabilities. 1. Ensure that places of public accommodation and public entities do not refuse services or engage in discriminatory treatment on the basis of disability, provide auxiliary aids and services when needed for effective communication, and remove physical barriers to accessibility and make reasonable modifications in policies to avoid discrimination. 2. The need addressed by this priority is to ensure that places of public accommodation, including state and local government entities, do not refuse access to programs or services on the basis of disability, that auxiliary aids and services are provided when needed, physical barriers to accessibility are removed and reasonable modifications in their policies are made to prevent discrimination. Furthermore, this priority will ensure that individuals with disabilities will have the necessary information and are involved with Arizona’s Emergency Planning and Preparedness activities. 3. Center staff used four indicators to judge the successful outcome of their activities in this priority area: a. Provide technical assistance or direct representation in four (4) administrative complaints with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office of Civil Rights and/or the U.S. Department of Justice to challenge discrimination by places of public accommodations and public entities that have refused to modify policies/procedures or refused to provide auxiliary aids or services. b. Develop and provide one (training) on transportation and the applicable federal regulations. c. Advocate for adequate emergency preparedness for persons with disabilities through litigation and/or mediation strategies with municipalities and/or other local bodies. d. Provide timely and accurate rights information to individuals. 4. Collaborative Effort: In regards to Emergency Planning and Preparedness activities, the Center collaborated with the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. In regards to accessibility to doctor’s offices and state licensed facilities, the Center collaborated with the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, The Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the Statewide Independent Living Council. In regard to a City Emergency Preparedness Plan, the Center collaborated with the Disability Rights Advocates (DRA). 5. Center staff handled _94_ cases under Priority 1. 6. The following _3_ case summaries demonstrate the impact of this priority. J.K. v. Certification Program J.K. is an individual who is deaf. J.K. contacted ACDL for assistance in requesting a sign language interpreter for a workshop that she needed to attend in order to obtain a certification for her job as a personal trainer. PAIR Attorney provided J.K. with guidance on requesting an interpreter after registering for the workshop. Additionally, PAIR Attorney assisted client in registering for the workshop and in drafting a letter requesting an interpreter, which was approved by the Certification Program. With ACDL's assistance, J.K. successfully advocated for herself and the Certification Program provided an interpreter for the workshop. Emergency Preparedness ACDL learned that the City’s emergency preparedness plan was extremely lacking as it relates to persons with disabilities. The plan neglected to include plans for how to address the needs of persons with disabilities working and living in the City, should an emergency occur. ACDL is working with Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), out of Berkeley, California to address these issues. Three individual clients were retained to serve as representatives for the disability community on this matter. A demand letter was sent to the City proposing structured negotiations to resolve this issue and the City agreed to enter into negotiations. The agreement sets out changes the City must make, including using a mutually agreed upon expert, and a timeline to do so. In May 2015, the City, ACDL, and DRA held a press conference to announce the City’s plan to update its emergency preparedness plan. DRA and ACDL are monitoring the changes made by the City pursuant to the agreement, and these changes are ongoing. Additional information is provided in Part IV, A. SE v. County Jail S.E. is an individual with a physical impairment who utilizes a wheelchair. He contacted ACDL regarding several accessibility issues at the County jail. PAIR Attorney met with client in County jail and saw some of the barriers S.E. sought to address. PAIR Attorney wrote a letter to the County on S.E.’s behalf advocating that the County address client’s inaccessible cell, as well as inaccessible transportation, visitation area, and health care facility. As a result of ongoing communications with the County’s attorney, client was moved to an accessible cell, an accessible van was procured, and client was given access to an accessible visitation area. PRIORITY NO. 2: Ensure comprehensive and medically necessary healthcare services 1. Ensure comprehensive and medically necessary healthcare services for individuals with disabilities who are beneficiaries of Medicaid and/or Medicare. 2. The need addressed by this priority is to ensure that individuals with disabilities who are beneficiaries of Medicaid and/or Medicare have access to appropriate healthcare services which is often the key to living independently at home and in their communities. Individuals with disabilities are often denied critical healthcare services that allow them to be as healthy and independent as possible. Given the continued state budget crisis, priority will be given to the restoration or maintenance of critical healthcare services, including challenging restrictions to Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System/Arizona Long Term Care System. 3. Center staff used two indicators to judge the successful outcome of their activities in this priority area: a. Provide technical assistance or direct representation in administrative appeals and/or judicial review actions in state court of AHCCCS denials, terminations, or reductions in services, including but not limited to, access to medically necessary services and/or challenging restrictions to AHCCCS/ALTCS. b. Provide timely and accurate rights information to individuals and their guardians on AHCCCS/ALTCS/Division of Developmental Disabilities. 4. Collaborative Effort: ACDL worked collaboratively with AHCCCS to ensure proper implementation of the new policy following the Court’s ruling. 5. Center staff handled __78__ cases under Priority 2. 6. The following __1__ case summary demonstrates the impact of this priority. ALVAREZ v. BETLACH (formerly ALVAREZ v. ROGERS): This was an ongoing lawsuit challenging the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System’s (AHCCCS) policy prohibiting coverage of incontinence briefs for preventive purposes for persons with disabilities over the age of 21. Defendant (the State of Arizona) filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings and the ACDL filed a Cross-Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings on behalf of the class. Oral argument was held on March 19, 2012. On May 21, 2012, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ Cross Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, finding that AHCCCS’s refusal to cover medically necessary incontinence briefs violates federal Medicaid law and ordered Defendant to begin covering incontinence briefs where they are medically necessary for AHCCCS recipients over the age of 21. The Court signed its Order and Judgment on May 21, 2012. The Judge also ordered that the Plaintiffs be reimbursed for the costs of their incontinence briefs dating back to the initial denial. The Defendant subsequently appealed the decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Given the appeal, the Defendant also requested a Stay of the Order requiring briefs be provided to all eligible members (the requirement to provide briefs for Plaintiffs was not stayed and briefs were provided to Plaintiffs pending the appeal). The Stay was granted by the Court on June 11, 2012. The Defendant’s Opening Brief and our Responsive briefs were filed. Oral argument was held on February 11, 2014 in San Francisco. ACDL argued before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on that day. On May 13, 2014, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for Plaintiffs, requiring AHCCCS to pay for medically necessary incontinence briefs. The State requested a stay of the mandate which was granted, pending their petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. The State filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court on September 29, 2014. Plaintiffs filed their opposition brief on November 6, 2014 and the United States Supreme Court denied the petition for review on December 15, 2014. Briefs can now be applied for by anyone who requires them as medically necessary. ACDL has worked collaboratively with AHCCCS to ensure a smooth transition. ACDL developed a letter to send to individuals inquiring about their rights as a result of the lawsuit and guidance on how to write a letter of medical necessity for briefs. ACDL’s Short-Term Assistance Team (STAT) continues to provide information to callers on the result of the case and their rights following the success of the lawsuit. PRIORITY NO. 3: Promote equal employment opportunities. 1. People with disabilities continue to face barriers to employment, including but not limited to, physical obstacles in the workplace, communication barriers, discriminatory policies and procedures, and attitudinal barriers based on stereotypes, misconceptions and fears. 2. This priority addresses employment discrimination by providing advocacy and legal services in order to promote: (1) the provision of reasonable accommodations to employees and job applicants, and (2) the prevention and redress of unlawful harassment, retaliation, intimidation, and termination. 3. Center staff used four indicators to judge the successful outcome of their activities in this priority area: a. Provide at least two (2) direct representations at mediation or conciliation with the EEOC or Arizona Attorney General’s Office for cases that will have a systemic impact toward the prevention and redress of failure to accommodate, unlawful harassment, retaliation, intimidation, and/or termination. b. Monitor the cases accepted for representation under Objective 1 of this Priority and other service requests for potential litigation that present systemic issues and where litigation will be far-reaching and have high impact. c. Provide one (1) outreach and one (1) training event. d. Provide timely and accurate rights information. 4. Pursuing this priority did not involve collaborative efforts with other entities. 5. Center staff handled _135_ cases under Priority 3. 6. The following __ 2__ case summaries demonstrate the impact of this priority. J.B. v. Fire Department J.B. is an individual with a visual impairment. He applied for a firefighter position with the City Fire Department and was given provisional employment. He later went through medical tests through the City and they determined that his vision impairment precluded him from being hired because he did not meet the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) minimum standards. The City’s own policy stated that if the potential employee disagreed with the City’s decision, he or she could seek an evaluation from a doctor of their choosing. J.B. did so, and his doctor stated his vision was adequate to meet the NFPA standards and be a firefighter for the City. The City did not accept J.B.'s doctor's evaluation. The City’s policy indicated that if there was conflict between the City’s doctor and the potential employee’s doctor, a third independent evaluation must be sought, and the three doctors must come to a consensus. The City failed to comply with its own policy, and his provisional employment was rescinded. During this time, J.B. had been working as a firefighter for another city. J.B. filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and PAIR Attorney represented him in coordinating mediation and assisted him in providing written information to the EEOC. PAIR Attorney also provided him with guidance for mediation and had communications with opposing counsel in preparation for mediation. However, the City indicated that they would offer nothing at mediation and backed out of mediation hours before it was scheduled to begin. As a result, the charge went to investigation and ACDL recently was notified that that the EEOC found reasonable cause to believe that the City violated the ADA when it denied J.B. employment due to a perceived disability. Attorney has agreed to represent client in conciliation with the EEOC and these efforts are ongoing. M.G. v. Home care staffing agency M.G. is a former employee of a home care staffing agency who was terminated shortly after disclosing her disability to her employer. Her employer allowed her to go to disability-related doctor’s appointments, but her absences were alluded to as justification for her termination. Specifically, at the time of termination, she was told that the employment was not working out in part because she was having disability-related problems and because she is the caregiver of a child with disabilities. M.G. contacted the Center to request assistance at mediation. PAIR Attorney attended mediation and the home care staffing agency agreed to conduct training for management and staff and to provide M.G. with a neutral reference. M.G. was also able to secure a monetary settlement for M.G. PRIORITY NO. 4: Promote equal opportunity to housing under the fair housing act for people with disabilities. 1. People with disabilities continue to face barriers to equal opportunity in housing. Housing providers discriminate against people with disabilities by failing to provide reasonable accommodations and physically accessible housing, by failing to reasonably modify discriminatory policies and practices, and by discriminatory terms and conditions in housing agreements. 2. This priority addresses the discriminatory housing practices which: (1) affect the amount of available and accessible housing for people with disabilities, and (2) ensure that these individuals and their housing providers are aware and trained on the provisions of the Fair Housing Act as it applies to people with disabilities. 3. Center staff used three indicators to judge the successful outcome of their activities in this priority area: a. Provide timely and accurate rights information to individuals about their rights under the federal and state Fair Housing Act. b. Provide technical assistance or direct representation in administrative complaints, mediations, or litigation where a person with a disability has been denied fair housing due to a housing provider’s intentional discrimination or failure to provide reasonable accommodations or reasonable modifications. c. Provide at least one (1) training on fair housing law related to service animals. 4. Pursuing this priority did not involve collaborate efforts with other entities. 5. Center staff handled __93__ cases under this Priority. 6. The following _2_ case summaries demonstrate the impact of this priority. DD v. Public Housing Authority DD is an individual with multiple chemical and environmental sensitivities who experienced difficulty attaining a two bedroom housing voucher from the Public Housing Authority (PHA) as a reasonable accommodation when moving to Arizona from another state. DD contacted the Center because there had been significant delay and lack of response from the PHA regarding whether they would fund the second bedroom DD needed to store medical equipment as well as house a live-in aide. PAIR Attorney researched Housing Choice Voucher Program regulations and drafted a letter to the PHA requesting the accommodation. As a result, the PHA responded with an explanation of the steps to qualify for voucher administration at the PHA and what accommodations would be provided. PAIR Attorney also provided guidance to client regarding her complaint options and reviewed doctors’ letters and other case-related documents. Concerned that communication would continue to stall, client filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. PAIR Attorney provided guidance to DD during negotiations, and client advocated on her own behalf, resulting in the PHA agreeing to provide her with the requested accommodations. ND v. Apartment Complex: ND is a person with a disability who requires a service animal as a result of her disability. ND recently moved into an apartment complex and requested that the property manager allow her service animal to live in ND’s apartment without charging a pet deposit. The property manager told ND that she would have to pay a $500 pet deposit and a monthly pet fee for her service animal to live in the apartment. ND did not pay the pet deposit or pet fee, and the property manager subsequently gave her a notice of eviction. ND then called ACDL for our assistance. PAIR Attorney wrote a letter on client’s behalf to the property manager and apartment complex owner to inform them of their obligations under the Fair Housing Act regarding service animals and request that ND be given approval to live in her apartment with her service animal without payment of a pet deposit or pet fee. As a result of the letter and subsequent communications with apartment complex’s attorney, client was given an extension on the 10-day eviction notice to allow her to obtain a letter from her physician, the property manager’s employment was terminated, and the service animal was allowed to live in ND’s apartment without payment of a pet deposit or pet fee.

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 1: Increase access by persons with disabilities to services, programs, and facilities open to the public. 1. Ensure that places of public accommodation and public entities do not refuse services or engage in discriminatory treatment on the basis of disability, provide auxiliary aids and services when needed for effective communication, and remove physical barriers to accessibility and make reasonable modifications in policies to avoid discrimination. 2. The need addressed by this priority is to ensure that places of public accommodation, including state and local government entities, do not refuse access to programs or services on the basis of disability, that auxiliary aids and services are provided when needed, physical barriers to accessibility are removed, and reasonable modifications in their policies are made to prevent discrimination. 3. The Center plans to engage in the following activities to accomplish this goal. a. Provide technical assistance or direct representation in at least four (4) negotiations and/or administrative complaints with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office of Civil Rights and/or the U.S. Department of Justice to challenge discrimination by places of public accommodation and public entities that have refused to modify policies/procedures or refused to provide auxiliary aids or services. b. Provide direct representation in settlement negotiations and/or litigation to ensure access to transportation services. c. Advocate for reasonable accommodations and/or removal of physical and architectural barriers at medical treatment facilities, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, and behavioral health treatment centers. d. Provide timely and accurate rights information to individuals. PRIORITY 2: Ensure comprehensive and medically necessary health care services for individuals with disabilities who are beneficiaries of Medicaid and/or Medicare. 1. For many people with disabilities who are beneficiaries of Medicaid and/or Medicare, access to medically necessary health care services is often the key to living independently at home and in their communities. Priority will be given to the restoration or maintenance of critical health care services, including challenging restrictions to AHCCCS/ALTCS. 2. The need addressed by this priority is to ensure that individuals with disabilities who are beneficiaries of Medicaid and/or Medicare have access to appropriate healthcare services which is often the key to living independently at home and in their communities. Individuals with disabilities are often denied critical healthcare services that allow them to be as healthy and independent as possible. Given the continued state budget crisis, priority will be given to the restoration or maintenance of critical healthcare services, including challenging restrictions to AHCCCS/ALTCS. 3. The Center plans to engage in the following activities to accomplish this goal. a. Provide technical assistance or direct representation in negotiations and/or administrative appeals and/or judicial review/actions in state court of AHCCCS denials, terminations, or reductions in services, including, but not limited to, access to medically necessary services and/or challenging restrictions to AHCCCS/ALTCS. b. Provide timely and accurate rights information to individuals and their guardians on AHCCCS/ALTCS. PRIORITY 3: To reduce the discriminatory barriers which prevent qualified people with disabilities from obtaining/maintaining employment, obtaining reasonable accommodations, and working in a workplace free of unlawful harassment, retaliation and intimidation. 1. People with disabilities continue to face barriers to employment, including but not limited to, physical obstacles in the workplace, communication barriers, discriminatory policies and procedures, and attitudinal barriers based on stereotypes, misconceptions and fears. 2. This priority addresses employment discrimination by providing advocacy and legal services in order to promote: (1) the provision of reasonable accommodations to employees and job applicants, and (2) the prevention and redress of unlawful harassment, retaliation, intimidation, and termination. 3. The Center plans to engage in the following activities to accomplish this goal. a. Provide at least (2) direct representations at mediation or conciliation with the EEOC or Arizona Attorney General’s Office for cases concerning discriminatory hiring and/or employee promotion practices and failure to accommodate. b. Provide technical assistance or direct representation in negotiations or mediation involving any private entity that offers examinations or courses related to applications, licensing, certification, or credentialing for secondary or postsecondary education, professional, or trade purposes to ensure non-discriminatory treatment. c. Provide one (1) outreach and one (1) training event regarding discriminatory hiring practices and unlawful medical evaluations. d. Provide timely and accurate rights information. PRIORITY 4: Promote equal opportunity to housing under the fair housing act for people with disabilities. 1. People with disabilities continue to face barriers to equal opportunity in housing. Housing providers discriminate against people with disabilities by failing to provide reasonable accommodations and physically accessible housing by failing to reasonably modify discriminatory policies and practices, and by including discriminatory terms and conditions in housing agreements. 2. This priority addresses the discriminatory housing practices which: (1) affect the amount of available and accessible housing for people with disabilities, and (2) ensure that these individuals and their housing providers are aware and trained on the provisions of the Fair Housing Act as it applies to people with disabilities. 3. The Center plans to engage in the following activities to accomplish this goal. a. Provide timely and accurate rights information to individuals about their rights under the federal and state Fair Housing Act. b. Provide technical assistance or direct representation in negotiations, administrative complaints, mediations, or litigation where a person with a disability has been denied fair housing due to a housing provider’s intentional discrimination or failure to provide reasonable accommodations or reasonable modifications. c. Develop and provide at least (1) training on fair housing, Section 8, and reasonable accommodations.

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

Part VI. Narrative A. Sources of funds received and expended Federal Funds Received: $256,847 Funds Spent: $256,847 Interest Income Funds Received: $0 Funds Spent: $0 Program Income Funds Received: $83,992 Funds Spent: $83,992 Total $340,839 $340,839 B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by this report Income Federal Grant Income: $308,499 Interest Income: $0 Attorney Fees: $47,863 Other: $0 Total Income: $356,362 Prior Fiscal Year Current Fiscal Year Expenses Expenses Wages/Salaries $193,130 $196,239 Fringe benefits (FICA, unemployment, etc.) $61,020 $60,116 Materials/supplies $10,017 $7,915 Postage $1,466 $5,547 Telephone $3,553 $4,210 Rent/Parking $21,584 $23,645 Travel $3,693 $4,751 Copying $37 $264 Bonding/Insurance $4,276 $4,599 Equipment (rental/purchase) $6,193 $4,931 Legal Services $5,524 $3,654 Indirect Costs $0 $0 Miscellaneous $17,329 $24,968 Total Budget $327,822 $340,839 C. Description of PAIR staff (duties and person-years) Type of Position FTE % of year filled Person Years Professional Full-time 2.24 96% 2.24 Part-time 0.28 100% 0.28 Vacant 0.00 0% 0.00 Clerical Full-time 1.11 99% 1.11 Part-time 0.00 0% 0.00 Vacant 0.00 0% 0.00 Attorneys ACDL attorneys provided direct representation, technical assistance, and short-term assistance to PAIR clients during the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015. Executive Director J.J. Rico and Litigation Director Rose Daly-Rooney provided direct supervision for the attorneys and staff working on the PAIR program. Attorney Jessica Jansepar Ross served as the PAIR program coordinator. The attorneys working with the PAIR program were responsible for determining eligibility for ACDL client services based on the agency’s policies and PAIR priorities. After determining eligibility, the attorneys provided appropriate services, to include: interviewing clients, reviewing records, conducting legal research, negotiating outcomes, and representing clients at administrative hearings/mediations and in state and federal legal proceedings. Advocates ACDL advocates and the Short Term Assistance Team (STAT) advocates provided assistance to individuals who contacted the agency. This assistance included providing information and referrals, direct advocacy services on behalf of the caller (which included providing self-advocacy materials), the intake of new cases in PAIR priority areas, and providing short-term advocacy and technical assistance to PAIR callers. The PAIR advocates were under the direct supervision of an attorney. The information and referral supervisor directed the STAT advocates, conducted initial intake interviews, recorded information in the agency’s database and screened callers for eligibility and priority issues. Support and Administrative Staff The support staff listed provided clerical assistance to the attorneys and advocates assigned to the PAIR program. The financial staff was responsible for budget preparation, the day-to-day accounting duties, securing and working with auditors, and ensuring compliance with all financial reporting requirements. The grants manager developed and maintained all data systems necessary to comply with all grant (federal and other) and internal reporting requirements. The grants manager also monitored contract and grant compliance. The office managers in ACDL’s Phoenix and Tucson offices facilitated the distribution of support services and served as liaisons to coordinate workload between attorneys/advocates and support staff. D. Involvement with advisory boards (if any) The PAIR program is not involved with any advisory boards. E. Grievances _5____ Caller: P.H. Primary Disability: Neurological Disorder/Impairment Issue: P.H. requested assistance to get his wheelchair back because he was unable to walk due to a broken ankle and to be able to see an eye doctor to get the prescription for his glasses renewed while detained at the Saguaro Correctional Center. Service Provided: Attorney wrote to the Hawaii Department of Public Safety and Saguaro Correctional Center requesting that client receive treatment for his alleged ankle injury. Attorney sent letter informing client he had not yet filed a grievance with the prison and needed to do so. Attorney sent closing letter to client advising him that the physician at the Saguaro Correctional Center was unable to find a current injury to his ankle and explaining the Center could not advocate for him due to an unproven injury. Grievance Filed with Executive Director: Grievance denied due to lack of resources/lack of merit. Because P.H. did not file an appeal within the 15-day period after receiving the letter, the grievance was closed. Caller: F.M. Primary Disability: Visual Impairment (Not Blind) Issue: Requested assistance regarding medical issues while detained at the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADOC). Service Provided: Provided information regarding the ongoing class action lawsuit against the ADOC that the Center is involved with the ACLU and the Prison Law Office which is addressing inadequate medical, health care, dental care and challenges inhumane conditions in the SMU units at ADOC. Explained that individual could use the prison grievance process to request medical and dental care. Grievance Filed with Executive Director: Grievance denied due to lack of resources. Grievance Filed with the Board of Directors: Grievance denied due to lack of resources. Grievance closed. Caller: R.P. Primary Disability: Blindness (Both eyes) Issue: Requested assistance regarding medical issues while detained. RP wanted Center to file personal injury lawsuit based on his loss of sight. Service Provided: Explained via letter that Center does not handle legal issues related to personal injury and provided contacts to other non-profit law firms that specialize in prison issues. Grievance Filed with Executive Director: Closed because grievance was received after deadline had passed. Grievance closed. Caller: C.S. Primary Disability: Muscular/Skeletal Impairment Issue: Client believes she was discriminated against by McDonald’s and wanted the Center’s help to provide an attorney to file a complaint of discrimination. Service Provided: Attorney attended mediation services regarding service dog accommodations at McDonald’s. No agreement was reached and client decided not to continue with complaint. Grievance Filed with Executive Director: Executive Director spoke with Client regarding reason for case closure. Grievance withdrawn and closed. Caller: G.W. Primary Disability: Auto-Immune (Non-HIV/AIDS) Issue: Requested assistance regarding access to medical treatment while detained, specifically regarding treatment for Hepatitis C. Requested Center’s legal services on a contingency-fee basis. Service Provided: Provided information regarding the settlement in the class action lawsuit against the Arizona Department Of Corrections (ADOC) that the Center is involved with, along with the ACLU and the Prison Law Office which is addressing inadequate medical, health care, dental care and challenges inhumane conditions in the SMU units at ADOC, and provided contacts to obtain additional information. Explained that individual could use the prison grievance process regarding any untreated health care needs. Grievance Filed with Executive Director: Grievance is still pending.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByJ.J. Rico
TitleExecutive Director
Signed Date12/03/2015