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

Minnesota (MINNESOTA DISABILITY LAW CENTER) - H240A150024 - FY2015

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameMid-Minnesota Legal Assistance
Address430 First Ave. N.
Address Line 2Suite 300
CityMinneapolis
StateMinnesota
Zip Code55401
E-mail Addressmndlc@mylegalaid.org
Website Addresshttp://www.mndlc.org
Phone6123321441
TTY 6123324668
Toll-free Phone8002924150
Toll-free TTY
Fax6123345785
Name of P&A Executive DirectorCathy Haukedahl
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorBrenda Jursik
Person to contact regarding reportBrenda Jursik
Contact Person phone6127463768
Ext.

Part I. Non-Case Services

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

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Individuals receiving I&R within PAIR priority areas239
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas21
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)260

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff21
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)827

PAIR staff delivered 21 presentations that provided 827 participants with information on an array of advocacy-, service-, and rights-related topics. Of these presentations, three focused on health care issues impacting persons with disabilities. Six presentations were Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-focused and were provided at various conferences and events as part of the year-long celebration of the passage of the ADA. Two presentations focused on special education topics. Three presentations addressed legislative issues, process and advocacy. Participants at Minnesota Disability Law Center’s (MDLC) training sessions included persons with disabilities and their family members, social service and other public agency staff, legal aid attorneys, public defenders, university students and teaching staff, health care providers, business owners, and staff from other disability advocacy organizations. In addition to these 21 presentations, PAIR staff staffed tables at and otherwise participated in eight outreach and resource events that provided information to 1,385 community members. PAIR staff distributed MDLC’s information at a school in Duluth, a legal aid office in northeast Minnesota, two social service agencies, an annual multi-agency statewide conference, and an annual two-day Veterans Stand-Down Event, which is a resource fair and appreciation event for veterans and service members.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff0
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles2
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website2,300
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated8
6. Other (specify separately)0

Narrative

Part II. Individuals Served

A. Individuals Served

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

1. Individuals still served as of October 1 (carryover from prior FY)111
2. Additional individuals served during the year145
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)256
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)8

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 102

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility11
2. Employment5
3. Program access7
4. Housing11
5. Government benefits/services23
6. Transportation6
7. Education21
8. Assistive technology1
9. Voting0
10. Health care55
11. Insurance3
12. Non-government services81
13. Privacy rights0
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse0
16. Neglect0
17. Other41

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor101
2. Other representation found1
3. Individual withdrew complaint11
4. Appeals unsuccessful2
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.24
6. PAIR withdrew from case0
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources12
8. Individual case lacks legal merit21
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-advocacy38
2. Short-term assistance63
3. Investigation/monitoring0
4. Negotiation22
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution0
6. Administrative hearings16
7. Litigation (including class actions)23
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 - 42
2. 5 - 2235
3. 23 - 59168
4. 60 - 6430
5. 65 and over21

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females121
2. Males135

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race4
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native4
3. Asian13
4. Black or African American47
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White174
7. Two or more races5
8. Race/ethnicity unknown9

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent176
2. Parental or other family home31
3. Community residential home6
4. Foster care1
5. Nursing home9
6. Public institutional living arrangement6
7. Private institutional living arrangement3
8. Jail/prison/detention center16
9. Homeless3
10. Other living arrangements0
11. Living arrangements not known5

E. Primary Disability of Individuals Served

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

1. Blind/visual impairment13
2. Deaf/hard of hearing92
3. Deaf-blind0
4. Orthopedic impairment42
5. Mental illness7
6. Substance abuse1
7. Mental retardation2
8. Learning disability5
9. Neurological impairment26
10. Respiratory impairment5
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment14
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment5
13. Speech impairment1
14. AIDS/HIV2
15. Traumatic brain injury1
16. Other disability40

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

1. Number of policies/practices changed as a result of non-litigation systemic activities4

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes6,600

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.

Effort 1: CADI Waiting List Urgency of Need Work Group: As part of Minnesota’s development of an Olmstead Plan, PAIR program staff served on a work group convened by the Department of Human Services (DHS) to develop a new protocol for defining the “urgency of need” for individuals placed on state waiting lists to obtain home and community-based waiver services. The work group developed a new 4-category system that weighs various personal and environmental factors to determine how to prioritize individuals waiting for services. The proposal was submitted to the state’s Olmstead Plan subcabinet in late 2014 and adopted in 2015 as part of the recently approved Olmstead Plan. At the time of the plan’s adoption, Minnesota had approximately 5,000 people waiting for waiver services, 1,500 of whom were waiting for the Community Access to Disability Inclusion (CADI) waiver, which offers community-based service alternatives to nursing facility care. Approximately 1,000 of these individuals are people who have physical disabilities and would qualify for PAIR advocacy. Effort 2: GR14 Metro Transit/DPS Driver’s License Advocacy: PAIR program staff identified a systemic issue involving the Twin Cities’ bus system (Metro Transit) and Minnesota’s Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) agency. Individuals with disabilities can apply for a Metro Transit “limited mobility” reduced fare pass for bus and light rail services. Metro Transit has a policy of sending these applications to DVS. DVS would then send individuals a letter, stating that they needed to get and submit a doctor’s letter documenting their ability to drive within 30 days or they would lose their driving privileges. Obtaining such a letter can be extremely difficult, especially if the doctor has not evaluated the individual’s driving abilities, and also hard to get and provide within such a limited time frame. MDLC wrote to and met with Metro Transit and DVS managers and legal counsel to advocate for a change in policy and better notice to applicants. As a result of MDLC’s negotiations, Metro Transit changed their limited mobility application form to provide a clear warning to individuals that their information was going to be sent to DVS. DVS agreed to stop automatically sending out letters requiring a doctor’s letter to maintain driving privileges (and to a process by which they would re-evaluate the criteria for assessing drivers’ with disabilities ability to drive). Data requested from the agencies showed 3,181 individuals applications were processed in a recent two-year time period, indicating that nearly 1,600 individuals who would qualify for PAIR advocacy seek “limited mobility” reduced fare passes each year. Effort 3: Safe Harbor Statewide Model Protocol Work Group: PAIR staff continued its work on behalf of people with disabilities who have been sexually exploited. PAIR staff participated in a work group of legal services staff, public defenders, and prosecutors convened by the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office and the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault to develop a Safe Harbor Statewide Model Protocol that will improve the identification and support of young victims of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. PAIR staff’s role was to provide a disability perspective that was included in the protocol. The work on the protocol was completed in FY 2015, and the protocol will be issued in January 2016. Effort 4: St. Paul Saints Ball Park Accessibility Advisory Committee: A PAIR attorney continued to work on an advisory committee focusing on accessibility needs for the new minor league ball park being built in St. Paul. PAIR staff pressed for increased accessibility for persons with disabilities as construction of the facility was underway. As a result of MDLC’s advocacy, the St. Paul Saints ball club agreed to include 30 more accessible seats throughout the ball park than what the ADA technically required. The downtown ball park opened this year. With 30 more accessible seats available for each of the Saints’ 50 home games, this positive development will help an additional 1,500 PAIR-eligible individuals with physical disabilities obtain accessible seating each season at this popular, frequently sold out minor league baseball venue.

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts23
2. Number of individuals named in class actions0

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

PAIR’s litigation activities fell within two of MDLC’s priority areas during this report period: Priority 3 (Community-Based Supports, Services, and Health Care) and Priority 4 (Accessibility and Discrimination). An example from each of these priority areas is included below. Priority 3 Litigation Example: PAIR staff represented a 35-year-old woman whose right leg is a few inches shorter than her left leg. Arthritis in her hips also severely limits the function of her right leg. She uses crutches for mobility. She requested in-home personal care assistant (PCA) services and was found ineligible for such support. MDLC represented her in an administrative appeal, presenting evidence that her disability resulted in dependencies in multiple activities of daily living, including dressing, grooming, bathing, and mobility. Unfortunately, in a factually and legally flawed decision, the Minnesota Department of Human Services upheld the assessment and found our client ineligible for PCA services. MLDC appealed the administrative decision to District Court, where the Court determined that the agency failed to adopt appropriate factual and legal findings and remanded the case for further consideration. On remand, the administrative agency judge ordered a reassessment, which correctly found our client eligible for PCA services to help her with dressing, grooming, bathing, and mobility. Through PAIR staff’s dogged advocacy, our client ultimately went from “ineligible” for assistance to receiving three hours of PCA services per day. Priority 4 Litigation Example: PAIR staff represented two individuals who are deaf in a lawsuit against a Twin Cities metro-area county, alleging that the county did not provide American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters (and, therefore, did not provide “equal access to communication” with people within and outside the Jail) while the two individuals were incarcerated in the county jail. The county’s failure to provide interpreters and other communication devices has been a repeated problem at its jail. In fact, the county had previously settled similar claims and signed settlement agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, promising to take actions to ensure other deaf detainees would receive ASL interpreters and other auxiliary aids, as the law requires. The county’s failure to take its legal responsibility towards people with hearing impairments seriously resulted in the problems of MDLC’s current clients. Through court-ordered mediation, MDLC was able to settle the lawsuit, with the county agreeing to take extensive corrective actions. These actions included designating a communication access coordinator responsible for tracking the needs of all deaf detainees at the jail; ensuring compliance with county policies and procedures concerning communication access; and reporting what happens to each deaf detainee and the county is required to keep those reports. The county also agreed to re-train jail staff. In addition, the county agreed to pay substantial amounts to compensate MDLC’s clients for the emotional harm they experienced as well as attorneys’ fees and costs to MDLC.

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.

Note: MDLC’s priorities are organized by issue rather than by program. This section includes all of MDLC’s priority issues that designate PAIR as a possible advocacy source. This report highlights PAIR work under Priority III. (Community-Based Services, Supports, and Health Care) and Priority IV (Accessibility and Discrimination). 1. ABUSE/NEGLECT GOAL: People with disabilities will be free from abuse and neglect. Abuse/Neglect: A person with a disability needs legal advocacy because his/her health or safety is at risk due to abuse or neglect. PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, TBI. • Assault: A person with a disability needs legal advocacy to be free from physical and sexual assault. PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, TBI. • Restraint and Seclusion: A person with a disability needs legal advocacy because he/she is subject to excessive or otherwise inappropriate aversive and deprivation practices, including restraint or seclusion. PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, TBI. 2. SELF-DETERMINATION GOAL: Persons with disabilities obtain the maximum feasible control over decisions affecting their lives and over the exercise of their civil rights. Voluntary Treatment and Services: A person with a disability needs legal advocacy to protect their right to make decisions about their living situations, treatment and services. Preference for voluntary treatment as a resolution, but least restrictive imposition on patients’ rights where involuntary treatment or guardianship ordered. (PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, TBI). Civil Rights: A person with a disability needs legal advocacy to protect their civil rights, including individual privacy, community integration, and substantive/procedural due process rights. Case Example: PAIR program staff represented a 66-year-old, former military veteran, who is paraplegic and has a speech impairment from a brain injury incurred in her mid-20s. She had been receiving personal care assistance to help her live in her own home in a small rural Minnesota town. Due to some significant staffing problems, the county adult protection office decided to move her to a nearby assisted living facility to keep her safe. However, she did not want to remain in that facility; she wanted to return to her own home to live in her community, with her two cats, and with appropriate community-based care. As is too often the case, county social services and adult protection offices were overly concerned with vague “safety” issues and not supportive of developing a plan to help our client move back home. Such opposition from the county made finding an available and willing provider difficult as well. Nevertheless, MDLC’s northwest Minnesota PAIR advocate called providers from neighboring counties; found a willing provider; drafted an appropriate care plan; and convened a full team service planning meeting (including county managerial staff and staff from the Veteran’s Administration). After multiple meetings and negotiations, PAIR program staff helped our client move back home with proper services. 3. COMMUNITY-BASED SUPPORTS, SERVICES and HEALTH CARE GOALS: a) Ensure the development, maintenance, and funding of an adequate network of community based services and supports to enable all persons with disabilities to live in the community of their choice; b) Ensure the development, maintenance, and funding of an adequate network of culturally competent medical care and community based services and supports for all persons with disabilities; and c) Ensure that health care coverage is sufficiently affordable, available and appropriate to meet the needs of persons with disabilities statewide. Service Access: A person with a disability needs legal advocacy because he/she is being denied the level of service needed in order to stay in the community or to move to a less restrictive setting. (PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, CAP). Health Care: A person with a disability needs legal advocacy to obtain necessary health care through public health care programs without being impoverished, including managed care programs, waiver services, and Medical Assistance coverage through the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) and Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities (MA-EPD) options. (PAAT, PADD, PAIMI, PAIR). Appropriate Housing Choices: A person with a disability needs legal advocacy to obtain appropriate community-based housing. (PADD, PAIMI, PAIR). Case Example: A 62-year-old with Multiple Sclerosis had been living in a rural Minnesota nursing facility for five years when she contacted MDLC for advocacy assistance. She did not like living in the nursing facility and wanted assistance to find a less institutional, more community-based residence. The facility itself refused to assist her with any discharge planning because she did not have a specific place in which to move. The county social services agency was also improperly refusing to do a screening for a Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid waiver (HCBS Waiver), which would provide the staffing and supports she needed to live in a community-based setting. PAIR program staff met with the client, outlined her needs and residential preferences, and contacted assisted living providers in the area. After MDLC found an opening in a nearby town, PAIR staff arranged for our client to tour it, and she loved it. PAIR staff requested and scheduled a discharge planning meeting with the nursing facility and county, arranged for a screening for a HCBS Waiver, and requested and obtained relocation funds to help pay for the move. Within one month, MDLC’s client had moved back into the community and into her new apartment. 4. ACCESSIBILITY and DISCRIMINATION GOAL: Persons with disabilities are free from discrimination in public accommodations and public services as a result of the removal of physical and program access barriers. Public Accommodations: Persons with disabilities who need legal advocacy to have physical and program access to services, programs and activities provided by public accommodations (e.g., businesses, professional offices, entertainment facilities, day care centers, private schools and colleges, private transportation companies, and private hospitals). (PAIR, PAIMI, PAAT). Public Services: Persons with disabilities who need legal advocacy to have physical and program access to programs and services provided or subsidized by municipal, county or state government, including communication access issues in correctional facilities. In addition to specific programs administered by such agencies, public services also include appropriate paratransit and public transportation services, and physical and program access to post-secondary education in universities and state colleges and state technical colleges in Minnesota. (PAIR, PAIMI, CAP, PAAT). Voting: Persons with disabilities that need legal advocacy in order to register to vote, access polling places and equipment, and/or utilize the Secretary of State’s complaint process because they experienced unfair and discriminatory election practices. (PAVA, PAIR). Housing Issues: Persons with disabilities that need legal advocacy in order to be free from physical and program barriers in housing. (PAIR, PAIMI). Case Examples: Case Example 1: Parents of a 7-year-old boy with epilepsy contacted MDLC after experiencing problems when they tried to enroll him in a city-run school release day program. The family requested that day program staff at each program site be trained to administer Diastat, a common “no harm” anti-seizure medication that comes in a pre-mixed plastic syringe designed for use by nonmedical personnel. The city refused to agree to this basic safety precaution. PAIR program staff filed a complaint with the city’s Human Rights Department, which offered to mediate the case. At the mediation, MDLC was able to persuade the city to agree to a creative solution: hire a staff person with emergency responder training who could be trained to administer Diastat and then assigned on an “as needed” basis to whichever program location our client registered for on any school release day. Cost to the city was minimal, staffing concerns were eliminated, and our client is now able to obtain the disability-related accommodation he needed to safely attend the program that many of his friends also attend. Case Example 2: MDLC represented a deaf man who was denied American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting services when he was receiving short-term rehabilitation care at a Twin Cities-area nursing home. The nursing home is one of several facilities in Minnesota owned and operated by a large national company. While a patient at a local hospital, MDLC’s client had obtained effective ASL interpreting services. When transferring him to the nursing home, the hospital informed the facility that he needed an ASL interpreter, but upon his arrival, there was no interpreter. During most of his stay at the nursing home, the facility failed to provide an interpreter to assist his communications with staff. A senior PAIR attorney sued the nursing home in federal court. Through a court-ordered settlement process, MDLC was able to obtain a favorable settlement for our client, persuading the defendant to agree to make significant changes in its policies and procedures for ensuring effective communications with deaf patients in the future. The nursing home agreed both to provide ASL interpreters when deaf patients specifically request one and to enter into contracts with ASL interpreter agencies to ensure interpreter availability when needed. The nursing home also agreed to designate a management-level employee to coordinate deaf and hard of hearing services, and to train facility staff on providing interpreters and communicating effectively with persons who are deaf. The settlement agreement also included payment to the client as compensation for the harm caused by the failure to provide an interpreter, as well as payment to MDLC for attorneys’ fees and costs. This particular client’s case was the first of three similar cases MDLC handled against the same nursing home chain. The settlement in this case served as a model for subsequent settlement agreements obtained in the other two clients’ cases. 5. SPECIAL EDUCATION GOAL: Students with disabilities receive educational services, including special education and related services, based on individual needs and are educated in the least restrictive environment. Abuse and Neglect: An infant, child or youth with a disability needs legal advocacy to be free from physical and sexual assault, is not subjected to inappropriate aversive or deprivation procedures, including restraint and seclusion, in his/her home, educational setting, treatment setting, or juvenile facility. PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, TBI. An infant, child or youth with a disability needs legal advocacy because she/he is being excluded from day care; pre-school or K-12 school for conduct related to her/his disability, subjected to inappropriate discipline procedures, or is not receiving appropriate positive behavior interventions and accommodations. PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, TBI. Free and Appropriate Public Education: A student with a disability needs legal advocacy because she/he is not receiving the special education and related services required to make progress in the general curriculum. (PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, TBI). Full Array of Services: A student with a disability needs legal advocacy to obtain and coordinate services between schools, counties and other service providers in order to live, work and play as independently as possible in her/his community. (PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, TBI, CAP). Case Example The parent of a teenage girl in twelfth grade with then-unspecified disabilities contacted MDLC because the student was experiencing significant academic struggles despite spending multiple hours each day with homework. The parent requested a special education evaluation, but the school district determined that the student did not qualify for special education services. The parent contacted MDLC for information about her rights and options. MDLC’s PAIR advocate reviewed the student’s records and assessed the family’s goals, noting that the student did not have a Section 504 plan. MDLC persuaded the district to have an independent educational evaluation (IEE) completed (by a well-qualified evaluator recommended by MDLC). The IEE found that the student had auditory and processing limitations and related service needs and proposed a Section 504 plan with specific accommodations and supports. The district adopted the proposal. With services now in place, the student is on track to graduate and plans to attend college next year. 6. EMPLOYMENT GOAL: Adults with disabilities have opportunities to obtain, maintain, and regain employment consistent with their interests, abilities and needs. Full Array of Services: Persons with disabilities who are recipients of Rehabilitation Services, State Services for the Blind and/or clients of Independent Living Centers and who need legal advocacy to receive the full array of available services to achieve their vocational or independent living goals. CAP, PADD, PAIMI, PAIR. Integrated Training and Employment: Students during transition and adults served within state service systems for persons with disabilities who need legal advocacy in order to participate in independent or supported employment to the maximum extent feasible. (CAP, PABSS, PADD, PAIMI, PAIR).

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.

1. ABUSE/NEGLECT GOAL: People with disabilities will be free from abuse and neglect. • Abuse/Neglect: A person with a disability needs legal advocacy because his/her health or safety is at risk due to abuse or neglect. PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, TBI. • Assault: A person with a disability needs legal advocacy to be free from physical and sexual assault. PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, TBI. • Restraint and Seclusion: A person with a disability needs legal advocacy because he/she is subject to excessive or otherwise inappropriate aversive and deprivation practices, including restraint or seclusion. PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, TBI. 2. SELF-DETERMINATION GOAL: Persons with disabilities obtain the maximum feasible control over decisions affecting their lives and over the exercise of their civil rights. Voluntary Treatment and Services: A person with a disability needs legal advocacy to protect their right to make decisions about their living situations, treatment and services. Preference for voluntary treatment as a resolution, but least restrictive imposition on patients’ rights where involuntary treatment or guardianship ordered. (PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, TBI). Civil Rights: A person with a disability needs legal advocacy to protect their civil rights, including individual privacy, community integration, and substantive/procedural due process rights. 3. COMMUNITY-BASED SUPPORTS, SERVICES and HEALTH CARE GOALS: a) Ensure the development, maintenance, and funding of an adequate network of community based services and supports to enable all persons with disabilities to live in the community of their choice; b) Ensure the development, maintenance, and funding of an adequate network of culturally competent medical care and community based services and supports for all persons with disabilities; and c) Ensure that health care coverage is sufficiently affordable, available and appropriate to meet the needs of persons with disabilities statewide. Service Access: A person with a disability needs legal advocacy because he/she is being denied the level of service needed in order to stay in the community or to move to a less restrictive setting. (PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, CAP). Health Care: A person with a disability needs legal advocacy to obtain necessary health care through public health care programs without being impoverished, including managed care programs, waiver services, and Medical Assistance coverage through the TEFRA and MA-EPD options. (PAAT, PADD, PAIMI, PAIR). Appropriate Housing Choices: A person with a disability needs legal advocacy to obtain appropriate community-based housing. (PADD, PAIMI, PAIR). 4. ACCESSIBILITY and DISCRIMINATION GOAL: Persons with disabilities are free from discrimination in public accommodations and public services as a result of the removal of physical and program access barriers. Public Accommodations: Persons with disabilities who need legal advocacy to have physical and program access to services, programs and activities provided by public accommodations (e.g., businesses, professional offices, entertainment facilities, day care centers, private schools and colleges, private transportation companies, and private hospitals). (PAIR, PAIMI, PAAT). Public Services: Persons with disabilities who need legal advocacy to have physical and program access to programs and services provided or subsidized by municipal, county or state government, including communication access issues in correctional facilities. In addition to specific programs administered by such agencies, public services also include appropriate paratransit and public transportation services, and physical and program access to post-secondary education in universities and state colleges and state technical colleges in Minnesota. (PAIR, PAIMI, CAP, PAAT). Voting: Persons with disabilities that need legal advocacy in order to register to vote, access polling places and equipment, and/or utilize the Secretary of State’s complaint process because they experienced unfair and discriminatory election practices. (PAVA, PAIR). Housing Issues: Persons with disabilities that need legal advocacy in order to be free from physical and program barriers in housing. (PAIR, PAIMI). 5. SPECIAL EDUCATION GOAL: Students with disabilities receive educational services, including special education and related services, based on individual needs and are educated in the least restrictive environment. Abuse and Neglect: An infant, child or youth with a disability needs legal advocacy to be free from physical and sexual assault and to not be subjected to inappropriate aversive or deprivation procedures, including restraint and seclusion, in his/her home, educational setting, treatment setting, or juvenile facility. PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, TBI. An infant, child or youth with a disability needs legal advocacy because she/he is being excluded from day care; pre-school or K-12 school for conduct related to her/his disability, is subjected to inappropriate discipline procedures, or is not receiving appropriate positive behavior interventions and accommodations. PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, TBI. Free and Appropriate Public Education: A student with a disability needs legal advocacy because she/he is not receiving the special education and related services required to make progress in the general curriculum. (PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, TBI). Full Array of Services: A student with a disability needs legal advocacy to obtain and coordinate services between schools, counties and other service providers in order to live, work and play as independently as possible in her/his community. (PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, TBI, CAP). 6. EMPLOYMENT GOAL: Adults with disabilities have opportunities to obtain, maintain, and regain employment consistent with their interests, abilities and needs. Full Array of Services: Persons with disabilities who are recipients of Rehabilitation Services, State Services for the Blind and/or clients of Independent Living Centers and who need legal advocacy to receive the full array of available services to achieve their vocational or independent living goals. CAP, PADD, PAIMI, PAIR. Integrated Training and Employment: Students during transition and adults served within state service systems for persons with disabilities who need legal advocacy in order to participate in independent or supported employment to the maximum extent feasible. (CAP, PABSS, PADD, PAIMI, PAIR).

Part VI. Narrative

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

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

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

A. Sources of funds received and expended: Source of funding and expenditures Federal funds: $229,984 received; $229,984 spent State funds: $0.00 received; $0.00 spent Program income: $196,000 received; $196,000 spent Other sources: $0.00 received; $0.00 spent Total: $425,984 received; $425,984 spent B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by the report Wages and salaries: $233,910 Fringe benefits: $84,794 Materials/supplies: $3,340 Postage: $1,027 Telephone: $2,746 Rent: $22,182 Travel: $1,500 Copying: $738 Insurance: $1,122 Equipment rental/repair: $3,353 Legal services/research: $20,556 Indirect costs: $42,248 Training and miscellaneous: $5,468 Total costs = $425,984 C. Description of PAIR staff Full-time case handlers (professional): 3.42 FTEs worked 100% of the year (3.42 person years) Full-time clerical: 0.19 FTEs worked 100% of the year (0.19 person years) D. Involvement with advisory boards MDLC’s Legal Director also served on a Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) work group to propose a new structure for the MSBA’s Diversity Committee and its diversity initiatives. MSBA sought MDLC’s participation to help ensure that individuals with disabilities — including attorneys with physical disabilities and a history of chemical dependency - would come within the ambit of the MSBA’s diversity efforts. With MDLC’s involvement, the workgroup established a new “Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council” at the MSBA. A PAIR program staff attorney has also been appointed as the Disability representative on the new Council. E. Grievances filed: MDLC has a written grievance policy. One (1) PAIR clients filed a grievance during this report period. F. Coordination with the CAP and the State long-term care program: Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance is the designated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System for Minnesota and fulfills these functions through its statewide project, the Minnesota Disability Law Center. In addition to PAIR, the agency also receives federal funds for the Client Assistance Program (CAP) and all other federal P&A program funding. Collaboration and coordination of CAP and other P&A services occurs among MDLC’s case handlers on a daily basis, at weekly MDLC work team meetings and at quarterly staff meetings. PAIR staff have access to the expertise and experience of staff working in all other MDLC programs. Project staff will use other available resources whenever possible, so as to maximize their own resources. As previously mentioned, staff have a close working knowledge of the CAP, PADD and PAIMI systems and will refer persons to those projects whenever appropriate. PAIR staff also confer with other non-P&A Legal Aid co-workers on housing, immigration, benefits, and family law matters, when appropriate. MDLC has excellent contacts and working relationships (but no formal agreements) with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman’s office.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByCathy Haukedahl
TitleExecutive Director
Signed Date12/21/2015