|Name||Disability Rights MS|
|Address||210 E. Capitol St. Suite 600|
|Address Line 2|
|Name of P&A Executive Director||Ann Maclaine|
|Name of PAIR Director/Coordinator||Ann Maclaine|
|Person to contact regarding report||Ann Maclaine|
|Contact Person phone||601-968-0600|
Multiple responses are not permitted.
|1. Individuals receiving I&R within PAIR priority areas||224|
|2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas||5|
|3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)||229|
|1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff||1|
|2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)||2|
Spoke about individual legal rights at monthly call for Epilepsy Support Group. Involved oral presentation, via conference call, and questions and answers. Although only 2 people attended, this led to the agency opening at least one case, which is ongoing in FY 2016.
|1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff||2|
|2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles||6|
|3. PSAs/videos aired||5|
|4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website||10,380|
|5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated||2,600|
|6. Other (specify separately)||11,000|
These figures are for the agency as a whole, as many efforts are jointly funded by different protection and advocacy sources, and apply to multiple programs. The 11,000 figure represents social media followers, friends, members, etc. DRMS' reach via social media has expanded considerably in the past year.
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)||20|
|2. Additional individuals served during the year||34|
|3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)||54|
|4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)||4|
Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 19
|1. Architectural accessibility||1|
|3. Program access||10|
|5. Government benefits/services||2|
|8. Assistive technology||0|
|10. Health care||3|
|12. Non-government services||0|
|13. Privacy rights||0|
|14. Access to records||0|
|1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor||28|
|2. Other representation found||2|
|3. Individual withdrew complaint||2|
|4. Appeals unsuccessful||0|
|5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.||0|
|6. PAIR withdrew from case||3|
|7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources||1|
|8. Individual case lacks legal merit||1|
Client unresponsive to agency despite multiple contact attempts.
List the highest level of intervention used by PAIR prior to closing each case file.
|1. Technical assistance in self-advocacy||5|
|2. Short-term assistance||18|
|5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution||3|
|6. Administrative hearings||1|
|7. Litigation (including class actions)||4|
|8. Systemic/policy activities||0|
|1. 0 - 4||0|
|2. 5 - 22||24|
|3. 23 - 59||20|
|4. 60 - 64||4|
|5. 65 and over||6|
Multiple responses not permitted.
|1. Hispanic/Latino of any race||0|
|2. American Indian or Alaskan Native||0|
|4. Black or African American||25|
|5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander||0|
|7. Two or more races||0|
|8. Race/ethnicity unknown||3|
Multiple responses not permitted.
|2. Parental or other family home||29|
|3. Community residential home||0|
|4. Foster care||0|
|5. Nursing home||3|
|6. Public institutional living arrangement||0|
|7. Private institutional living arrangement||0|
|8. Jail/prison/detention center||5|
|10. Other living arrangements||1|
|11. Living arrangements not known||0|
Identify the individual's primary disability, namely the one directly related to the issues/complaints
|1. Blind/visual impairment||6|
|2. Deaf/hard of hearing||6|
|4. Orthopedic impairment||7|
|5. Mental illness||2|
|6. Substance abuse||1|
|7. Mental retardation||0|
|8. Learning disability||5|
|9. Neurological impairment||14|
|10. Respiratory impairment||1|
|11. Heart/other circulatory impairment||1|
|12. Muscular/skeletal impairment||6|
|13. Speech impairment||0|
|15. Traumatic brain injury||0|
|16. Other disability||5|
|1. Number of policies/practices changed as a result of non-litigation systemic activities||4|
|2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes||37,300|
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.
1. City of Biloxi and local power company had located lightpoles in the middle of sidewalks leading to new stadium, rendering the sidewalks inaccessible to people in wheelchairs. DRMS advocated for this to be addressed. Sidewalks were widened to permit passage of wheelchairs. All broken sidewalks were fixed and improved curb cut access provided. This is estimated to impact 2000 people with mobility impairments who may wish to use these sidewalks. 2. DRMS made extensive comments to Mississippi Division of Medicaid's proposed transition plan for implementation of new Home and Community Based Settings rules. The substance of the plan, as well as deficiencies in the public input process, were detailed. The plan was not approved but sent back to MS for further elaborations. The implementation of these rules is expected to impact approximately 11,000 people who receive home and community based waiver services. 3. DRMS filed a complaint against a local school system regarding its policy of requiring students returning to school from expulsion, alternative school/training school program, and/or jail to spend a transitional period in the district's alternative school. As a result of DRMS advocacy, the policy, which is estimated to affect 3000 students, was changed. 4. DRMS worked collaboratively to draft revisions to the Code of Conduct for Jackson Public schools to insure inclusion of appropriate Behavior Intervention Policies. The Handbook Policy was adopted by the district and could potentially affect the 20,000 students served by the district. Note: All of these projects were funded in part by PAIR, and in part by other protection and advocacy funders.
|1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts||2,000|
|2. Number of individuals named in class actions||9|
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.
Continued to monitor compliance with the Consent Decree Crawford v. City of Jackson, a suit filed to improve accessibility of the City of Jackson's public transit system, known as JATRAN.
For each of your PAIR program priorities for the fiscal year covered by this report, please:
Priority 1. Education Statement of priority: PAIR eligible children with disabilities receiving or in need of special education services will receive a free appropriate public education. The need addressed by priority: School systems often fail to provide appropriate services to PAIR eligible students with disabilities. Indicators and Outcomes: Indicator: Provide individual representation in at least twenty-five (25) cases in the following areas: (a) Meaningful education benefit in the least restrictive environment (LRE) (b) Discipline (c) Testing/evaluation (d) Transition (d) childcare/early intervention (e) accessibility. Outcome: DRMS represented 25 PAIR eligible students in these areas. Indicator: Continue Systems advocacy related to the following issues: a)Transition: Continue work on Transition Project and file an Individual with Disabilities Education Act State Complaint with the Mississippi State Department of Education against a school district which has been found to have systemically failed to provide appropriate Transition Services to enable children with disabilities in special education to transition into employment and a life in the community upon completion of their education. Outcome: Did not pursue this systemically due to inability to find appropriate complainants. Did advocate for appropriate transition services in several individual cases. b)Monitor compliance with state complaint findings and remedy in Rankin County (LRE issue). Outcome: Continued to monitor; reminded district of IDEA obligations. c) Monitored changes in Lee County school district arising from state complaint regarding automatically sending students to alternative schools when exiting treatment facilities. Outcome: District changed its policy. Indicator: Begin new systems advocacy projects on the following issues:a) Media campaign with local reporter on School to Prison Pipeline Issues. Outcome: This project was included in the plan for 2015 in error, as efforts concluded in 2014. b) Systemic Department of Justice Complaint (with the MS Center for Justice) against the MS School for the Deaf for discriminatory admissions policy which screens out students who have physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities and/or mental illness co-occurring with their hearing impairments/deafness. Outcome: Complaint filed and reviewed, but the Department of Justice chose not to pursue. Working with co-counsel to seek review in another way during FY 2016. Collaboration: DRMS collaborates on education issues with the Parent Training and Information Center, the MS Center for Justice, the Southern Policy Law Center, and various Youth Court administrators, prosecutors, judges and public defenders. It has also collaborated with media interested in education issues. Number of Cases Handled: 25. No class actions. Case examples: a) DRMS represented a 21 year old student with cerebral palsy and other physical impairments who had been kept in limbo for two years by a local school district regarding receipt of a regular high school diploma. The advocate attended meetings, reviewed records, and assisted in filing a state complaint. As a result, the client received his diploma based upon his ACT score. b) DRMS represented an 8 year old with learning disabilities, including dyslexia who was failing reading despite having an Individualized Education Program. (IEP). The Advocate attended many IEP meetings and finally obtained dyslexia therapy for the client at school. Priority 2: Community Integration Statement of priority --Individuals with disabilities will live in integrated and inclusive settings in the community with appropriate services and supports. The rights of individuals with disabilities who reside in facilities will be protected and advanced. Needs --PAIR eligible individuals in Mississippi are often not aware of their right to live in the community, or are discriminated against or denied appropriate services when they choose to do so. Individuals residing in facilities in Mississippi often experience abuse, neglect and discrimination, and are not encouraged to transition to less restrictive settings. Indicators and Outcomes Indicator: Monitor conditions and provide rights trainings and outreach in a minimum of 12 different group homes and nursing homes, and 20 different sheltered workshops, personal care homes, clubhouse programs, and other settings that provide services to people with disabilities. Outcome: No rights trainings or monitoring of these types of facilities were conducted using PAIR funds or on behalf of PAIR eligible clients. The numerical goals were for five different protection and advocacy programs rather than just PAIR. Indicator: Conduct investigations of all reported and/or discovered allegations of abuse, neglect or inappropriate use of seclusion or restraints, serious injuries, and deaths of individuals with disabilities in any setting where they received services and supports. Outcome: Two investigations were conducted, one against a personal care home that resulted in closure of the home by the Attorney General, and one involving quality of care at a nursing home that the resident involved denied. Indicator: Coordinate all DRMS outreach and public relations activities, and maintain the agency website, facebook group and page. Outcome: This activity was ongoing, using PAIR as well as other programs’ funding. Indicator: Individual advocacy: Provide individual representation in at least thirty-five (35) cases in the following areas: Community Integration and Healthcare, which includes freedom of choice to live independently in the least restrictive environment in the community; freedom from abuse, neglect and exploitation; access to community-based services such as Medicaid, Medicare, mental health services, medical services, long-term care, transportation, and home-based services; full and equal physical access to buildings, sidewalks, and transportation in accordance w/ ADA; housing discrimination based on disability; employment discrimination and reasonable accommodations in the workplace related to disability; access to necessary medications while in jail or prison; transitioning to less restrictive residential and service settings. Outcome: DRMS represented PAIR eligible clients in 28 cases related to Community Integration issues. Indicator: Continue with Ongoing Systems Advocacy in the following areas: (i) JATRAN lawsuit—Continue to represent the plaintiffs in this case against the city to enforce their rights to a fully accessible transportation system by seeking remedies for items not yet fully complied with. Outcome: Continued to monitor compliance. (ii) Crisis services for vulnerable adults in MS. Outcome: Due to limited resources, activities under this project were funded exclusively with non-PAIR funds. (iii) CARES lawsuit and resulting rights trainings and monitoring. Outcome: Due to limited resources, activities under this project were funded exclusively with non-PAIR funds. Indicator: New systems advocacy projects in the follow areas: (i) Seek prompt evaluations for people facing criminal charges whose mental competency is in question. Outcome: Unsuccessful due to lack of follow through by collaborative partners. (ii) Monitor state’s implementation of the new Medicaid waiver rules about community settings and programs. Outcome: DRMS testified at public hearings and submitted extensive comments regarding both the substance of two proposed transition plans and the process for obtaining meaningful public input. The federal oversight agency rejected both plans and asked the state to improve them, to address several of the issues raised by DRMS and other commenters. (iii) Advocate for improved services for veterans with disabilities. Outcome: Conducted outreach to VA hospital staff and veterans at two job fairs. Access to VA hospitals continues to be a challenge; project will continue in 2016. (iv) Jackson street and sidewalk accessibility. Continue efforts to insure that public streets and sidewalks in Jackson MS meet ADA standards, and that efforts to improve them proceed according to a plan that prioritizes high usage areas. Outcome: Began dialogue with the City of Jackson re: need for improvements, lack of official transition plan, and related issues. This project will carry over into 2016 with litigation likely. Collaboration: In its Community Integration work, DRMS collaborates with LIFE, the independent living center for MS, the US Department of Justice, the MS Attorney General, various state agency stakeholder and advisory committees, The Arc of MS, and the City of Jackson’s Disability Advisory Committee. Number of Cases Handled: 28 Case examples: 1) DRMS advocated for an inmate in state prison with physical and orthopedic impairments to obtain crutches and an orthopedic shoe. Client has been requesting the needed items for over a year with no success before DRMS became involved. After DRMS corresponded with the prison, the necessary items were provided. 2) DRMS assisted a client who had been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at age 41 in obtaining accommodations to take the MS Bar Exam. The client’s previous requests had been denied because the Board of Bar Admissions was skeptical of his need with such a late diagnosis and previous successes. DRMS retained an expert in Autism Spectrum Disorders to interview client, review all medical records and write a report to be submitted with the request for accommodations on the Bar Exam which was prepared by DRMS attorney. An administrative request filed and the Board entered an Order granting client's request for accommodations in taking the Bar Exam. 3) DRMS assisted a client who was refused accommodations at work and threatened with “medical termination” after she requested to use a walker or wheelchair at her job in a hospital. Ultimately, the client was offered a different job that required less walking and was allowed to return to work after surgery with accommodations.
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:
Priority: Education — Children, ages 3-21, with disabilities who are receiving or are in need of special education services will receive a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. Need: School systems often fail to provide appropriate services to PAIR eligible students with disabilities. Description of the activities to be carried out under each priority: Activities: (1) Provide individual representation in at least twenty-five (25) cases in the following areas: (a) Meaningful education benefit in the least restrictive environment (LRE) (b) Discipline (c) Testing/evaluation (d) Transition (d) childcare/early intervention (e) accessibility (2) Continue Systems advocacy related to the following issue: Dyslexia Project: research systemic denials of a FAPE to children with Dyslexia and determine the appropriate means for remedying this systemic issue Priority: Community Integration Individuals with disabilities will live in integrated and inclusive settings in the community with appropriate services and supports. The rights of individuals with disabilities who reside in facilities will be protected and advanced. Need: eligible individuals in Mississippi are often not aware of their right to live in the community, or are discriminated against or denied appropriate services when they choose to do so. Individuals residing in facilities in Mississippi often experience abuse, neglect and discrimination, and are not encouraged to transition to less restrictive settings. Activities: (1) Monitor conditions and/or provide rights trainings and outreach in a minimum of 2 different group homes and nursing homes where PAIR eligible people reside, and 2 different sheltered workshops, personal care homes, clubhouse programs, and other settings that provide services to PAIR eligible people with disabilities. (2) Conduct investigations of all reported and/or discovered allegations of abuse, neglect or inappropriate use of seclusions or restraints, serious injuries, and deaths of PAIR eligible individuals with disabilities in any setting where they received services and supports. (3) Coordinate all DRMS outreach and public relations activities, and maintain the agency website, facebook group and page. (4) Individual advocacy: Provide individual representation in at least twenty-five (25) cases in the following areas: (a) allegation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a person with a disability residing in a facility; (b) advocacy on behalf of a persons living in facilities, including nursing homes, who want to transition into the community, focusing on the need for proper discharge plans and community services; (c) issues related to proper medication for a person with a disability who is residing in a jail or prison; (d) allegations of violations of the rights of a person who is living in a community or residential facility setting; (e) housing discrimination based on disability; (f) physical access for individuals with disabilities in accordance with the ADA to buildings, sidewalks, and transportation (where the case will have broad impact or vindicate essential rights); (g) employment discrimination in hiring practices based on disability or refusal to grant reasonable accommodations on the job; (h) denial of eligibility for and/or termination of eligibility for Medicaid waiver programs which would allow the person to live independently in the community. 5) Systems advocacy in the following areas: Monitor state’s implementation of new Medicaid waiver rules about community settings and programs. Review and provide input and oversight to in Mississippi’s development and implementation of its transition plan for comforming to new CMS guidelines for waiver services. Advocate for improved services for veterans with disabilities, especially traumatic brain injuries. (PAIR, TBI) (Beth, Amelia, Veronica) Work to improve P&A access and relationship with the VA informing staff and patients about our services. Observe VA’s internal process in handling appeals. City of Jackson Sidewalks: Negotiate with the City of Jackson to upgrade its sidewalks to be in compliance with the ADA. Prepare for litigation if negotiations are not successful. WINGS Guardianship Steering Committee: serve as a member of the steering committee which is examining Mississippi's guardianship/conservatorship statutes. JATRAN Lawsuit —Continue to represent the Plaintiffs in this case against the City of Jackson to enforce the Plaintiffs’ rights to a fully-accessible transportation system.
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.
Introduction and Overview of Agency Accomplishments Disability Rights Mississippi (DRMS) had a successful PAIR program in FY 2015. It continued its efforts to work effectively and strategically and to collaborate with other agencies to obtain maximum impact with limited resources. Many activities benefiting PAIR eligible people were funded by other programs with more resources. During fiscal year 2015, Disability Rights Mississippi (DRMS) continued its leadership in cross-agency collaborative projects, including the Fourth Annual MS disAbility Megaconference, which was attended by over 500 people and celebrated the anniversaries of the IDEA and ADA. Another multi-year project, funded by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, focused on systems change to improve competitive employment outcomes for youth and young adults with developmental disabilities. This project is managed jointly by DRMS, the Council on Developmental Disabilities and the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). In its fourth year, it built upon the work of the first three years to encourage and support inter-agency communication and collaboration, and to promote Employment First as an initiative for Mississippi. In early 2015, a bill was passed and subsequently signed which requires all state agencies that serve people with any type of disability, or which provide employment services, to make integrated competitive employment the first and priority option when planning services and supports. While this effort was not funded by PAIR, if successful, it will positively influence people with all types of disabilities, including many who are PAIR eligible. DRMS staff contributed heavily to all these efforts while maintaining high levels of individual and systems advocacy. DRMS also completed the fourth year of a Five Year Strategic Plan. Many PAIR projects, in particular outreach, training, and systems advocacy projects, were funded by other programs such as PADD and PAIMI in addition to PAIR. Again this year, DRMS and its DD network partners sponsored a series of public forums to obtain input from the community about issues and concerns affecting people with all types of disabilities, including PAIR-eligible residents. Input was sought via a variety of other methods, including social media, surveys, and discussions with key collaborators. A. Sources of funds received and expended PAIR work was funded by the grant from RSA, which totaled $196,915.50. B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by this report See charts below for the 2015 PAIR Budget and Actual amounts. 2015 PAIR funds budgeted REVENUE PAIR Award 185,841.16 EXPENSES Salaries 111,700.00 Sub-Contract Supp Srvcs 240.00 FICA Tax 6,930.00 Medicare 1,620.00 MESC Tax 1,600.00 SIRA ER 3,350.50 Insurance - Group 18,500.00 Insurance - General 1,330.00 Worker's Compensation 500.00 Instate Travel 4,213.00 Out of State Travel 700.00 Professional Development 633.00 Furniture and Equipment 1,240.00 IT Support Services 855.00 Equipment Maintenance-Support 270.00 Office Supplies 950.00 Online Law Subscriptions 1,100.00 Legal Consultants 750.00 Consultants 500.00 Printing 38.00 I/S Travel - Board 430.00 O/S Travel - Board - Training - Board 55.00 Production Expenses 32.00 Public Awareness/Outreach 370.00 Accounting Services 2,700.00 Membership Fees and Dues 1,200.00 Telephone 1,500.00 Postage/Shipping 150.00 Rent & Utilities 12,000.00 Parking 200.00 Conference-Cosponsor 220.00 Miscellaneous 125.00 Bank Fees 186.00 Legal Expenses 110.00 Staff Morale 55.00 Total 176,352.50 Difference 9,488.66 2015 PAIR Actuals (pending audit) ACTUAL REVENUE PAIR Award 196,915.50 ACTUAL EXPENSES Salaries 108,312.29 Sub-Contract Supp Srvcs 183.68 FICA Tax 7,255.80 Medicare 1,697.11 MESC Tax 2,036.15 SIRA ER 3,752.79 Insurance - Group 21,685.65 Insurance - General 1,283.78 Worker's Compensation 308.88 Instate Travel 2,268.16 Out of State Travel 593.04 Professional Development 332.10 Furniture and Equipment 1,677.47 IT Support Services 97.46 Equipment Maintenance-Support - Office Supplies 897.62 Online Law Subscriptions 1,146.77 Legal Consultants - Consultants 680.00 Printing 91.86 I/S Travel - Board 677.83 O/S Travel - Board - Training - Board 50.18 Production Expenses - Public Awareness/Outreach 53.23 Accounting Services 2,033.10 Membership Fees and Dues 1,660.61 Telephone 1,252.95 Postage/Shipping 264.39 Rent & Utilities 13,453.64 Parking 317.77 Conference-Cosponsor 300.00 Miscellaneous 107.68 Bank Fees 187.48 Legal Expenses 3.47 Staff Morale 95.44 Total 174,758.38 Difference: $22,157.12 As this demonstrates, PAIR expended approximately $1594 less than budgeted during FY 15, which amount, combined with the increase in grant award, resulted in a carryover of $22,157.12 into FY 2016 (subject to audit adjustments). It is projected that DRMS will carry over approximately the same amount from FY 16 into FY 2017. C. Description of PAIR staff: The agency has two teams — Education and Community Integration -- and members of those teams handle cases that fall within case selection criteria for PAIR eligible clients. The PAIR coordinator monitors this work, and the time charged, to insure that priority goals are being met and that resources used for PAIR clients stay within the available budget. The list below is a compilation of the staff time spent on PAIR activities. DRMS spent a total of 1.96 FTE’s working for PAIR eligible clients, a slight decrease from the previous year. DRMS did not find it necessary to turn away any PAIR eligible clients whose issues fit within case selection criteria due to lack of resources. Actual staff time per program continues to be monitored each pay period, and the program coordinator will closely review that data and seek corrections in new cases and projects to ensure that funds last throughout the year. The PAIR program had a total of 1.96 FTE staff working for it in 2015. This included: eleven (11) full time and one part- time (80%) Advocates for a total of 1.34 FTE; three (3) full time attorneys for a total of .44 FTE’s; and five full and part-time administrative staff (including the ED/Program Coordinator) for .18 FTE. D. Involvement with advisory boards PAIR does not currently have an advisory panel/board. The Board of Directors and PAIMI Advisory Council hold a joint meeting annually to approve priorities for the coming year for all programs. E. Grievances filed There were no grievances filed by PAIR clients or prospective PAIR clients during Fiscal Year 2015. F. Coordination with the CAP and the State long-term care program: The CAP program is not housed within DRMS. Efforts continue to coordinate efforts with that program. DRMS has begun to make more referrals to CAP and asked clients to report back to us if their needs are not met by the CAP program. CAP is a member of the MS Partnerships in Employment (MSPE) Project funded by AIDD; however, DRMS continues to have serious concerns about both the Vocational Rehabilitation and CAP services provided in Mississippi. It is seeking to provide input into improving those systems through the MSPE project. The state Long Term Care Ombudsman served on the DRMS Board from November 2009 through December 2014. DRMS makes appropriate referrals to ombudsmen for issues that do not require individual representation, and receives referrals from it. DRMS continues to communicate with the Long Term Care Ombudsman program through other methods now that this person is no longer on the Board.
|Signed By||Ann Maclaine|