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

New Jersey (Disability Rights New Jersey) - H240A150031 - FY2015

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameDisability Rights New Jersey
Address210 S. Broad Street 3rd Floor
Address Line 2
CityTrenton
StateNew Jersey
Zip Code08608
E-mail Addressadvocate@drnj.org
Website Addresshttp://www.drnj.org
Phone609-292-9742
TTY 609-633-7106
Toll-free Phone800-922-7233
Toll-free TTY
Fax609-777-0187
Name of P&A Executive DirectorJoseph B. Young
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorMary A. Ciccone
Person to contact regarding reportMary A. Ciccone
Contact Person phone609-292-9742
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 areas768
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas2,034
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)2,802

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff21
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)886

Trainings DRNJ staff conducted 21 education and training programs attended by approximately 886 individuals. These programs included issues such as special education, including transition services, employment, the Americans with Disabilities Act, housing, voting and health care. Underserved Populations Among other outreaches, DRNJ staff met with a parent group at Casa Freehold, and another parent group in Trenton, New Jersey. The attendees of these two outreaches were primarily Spanish-speaking individuals. DRNJ’s presentation and materials were provided in Spanish. DRNJ staff participated in ten veteran’s resources and job fairs throughout the state. These events were sponsored by the American Legion and Atlantic City Mayor; Joint Military & Assessment Center; Rider University; Department of Military and Veterans Affairs; Community Hope and Hope for Veterans Program, Stockton College Office of Veterans Affairs, Mental Health Association of Morris, American Legion and Dept. of Labor, Gloucester County Workforce Investment Board, and Hiring Our Heroes.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff3
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles11
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website1,566,284
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated43,604
6. Other (specify separately)3

Narrative

DRNJ continues to disseminate information to the public in several formats. DRNJ staff appeared in newspapers and spoke on TV regarding a number of topics including the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. DRNJ's website serves as a resource for many people for information and publications. In addition, DRNJ sent out a few EBlasts highlighting activities of DRNJ. DRNJ will continue to use all forms of media to disseminate information to the public.

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)159
2. Additional individuals served during the year401
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)560
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)7

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 188

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility8
2. Employment20
3. Program access0
4. Housing33
5. Government benefits/services2
6. Transportation3
7. Education368
8. Assistive technology14
9. Voting0
10. Health care73
11. Insurance0
12. Non-government services0
13. Privacy rights0
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse4
16. Neglect4
17. Other31

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor269
2. Other representation found14
3. Individual withdrew complaint67
4. Appeals unsuccessful5
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.9
6. PAIR withdrew from case1
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources3
8. Individual case lacks legal merit15
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-advocacy170
2. Short-term assistance62
3. Investigation/monitoring83
4. Negotiation26
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution6
6. Administrative hearings18
7. Litigation (including class actions)18
8. Systemic/policy activities1

Part III. Statistical Information on Individuals Served

A. Age of Individuals Served as of October 1

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. 0 - 413
2. 5 - 22366
3. 23 - 59111
4. 60 - 6426
5. 65 and over44

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females219
2. Males341

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race101
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian10
4. Black or African American118
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander1
6. White302
7. Two or more races7
8. Race/ethnicity unknown21

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent121
2. Parental or other family home416
3. Community residential home5
4. Foster care1
5. Nursing home10
6. Public institutional living arrangement1
7. Private institutional living arrangement1
8. Jail/prison/detention center3
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 impairment13
2. Deaf/hard of hearing15
3. Deaf-blind0
4. Orthopedic impairment54
5. Mental illness29
6. Substance abuse2
7. Mental retardation1
8. Learning disability143
9. Neurological impairment186
10. Respiratory impairment5
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment13
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment24
13. Speech impairment14
14. AIDS/HIV0
15. Traumatic brain injury28
16. Other disability33

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

1. Number of policies/practices changed as a result of non-litigation systemic activities3

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes450,000

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.

Voting DRNJ continued its efforts to conduct systemic activities in the area of voting. DRNJ collaborated with the Division of Elections, the New Jersey League of Women Voters, and the American Civil Liberties Union New Jersey chapter to ensure that disabled voters had access to voting. Additionally, DRNJ continued its outreach to individuals with disabilities regarding their rights and to encourage voting by collaborating with the Boggs Center and the Council on Developmental Disabilities to continue its distribution of, Voting: It’s Your Right, a voter’s guide for persons with disabilities. DRNJ also conducted a voting hotline during the general election and the primary to assist individuals with disabilities on voting day. Special Education Besides assisting individual clients, DRNJ has pursued systemic issues affecting children in special education. DRNJ staff participates in several work groups and committees dealing with systemic issues, such as the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities Education Taskforce and the Special Education Practitioner’s Group. During 2015, one of the issues that this collaboration focused on was NJDOE’s independent evaluation regulation. Specifically, the regulation conflicted with federal law by allowing school districts to conduct additional assessments before agreeing to a parental request for an independent evaluation. After raising this issue with NJDOE and the US Department of Education, NJDOE agreed to revise its regulation to comply with the language in the federal law. In addition, DRNJ participated in the Coalition for Special Education Funding Reform, a group formed to ensure that school funding reform addresses issues important to special education. In addition, DRNJ participated in several stakeholders meetings sponsored by the NJ Department of Education to provide comments on the Office of Special Education’s State Performance Plan. DRNJ also collaborated with a task force convened by the New Jersey Education Association to address issues regarding special education reform. DRNJ is a member of the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Reform Coalition (NJJJRC). The NJJJRC is a collaborative organization which is led by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. Other member agencies include the NJ ACLU, the Rutgers Law School Justice Clinic, the NJ Public Defenders Office, the pro bono division of Lowenstein Sandler, the NJ Parents Caucus, and numerous others. The NJJJRC’s goal is to raise awareness in communities about issues in the juvenile justice system such as the school to prison pipeline, conditions of confinement, and alternatives to incarceration, and engage in dialogue with policymakers to enact change. DRNJ has signed up to be a part of two working groups (the school to prison pipeline group and the conditions of confinement group) and over the next several months will meet with the other members of the working group to fully outline the issues in these areas and formulate plans to address them Transportation DRNJ staff continues to monitor New Jersey Transit’s compliance with the Americans with Disability Act through participation on New Jersey Transit’s ADA advisory committee, the North Jersey Transit Planning Authority, and the New Jersey Transit ADA Task Force. In addition, DRNJ staff attended meetings of the NJ Transit Local Programs Support Citizen’s Advisory Committee and the New Jersey Council on Special Transportation during the past year. DRNJ continues to distribute its Consumers Transportation Handbook.

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts250,000
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.

DRNJ et al. v. New Jersey Department of Education et al. DRNJ, along with the Education Law Center, SPAN, and the ARC of New Jersey, filed suit in federal court against DOE in 2007. The complaint alleged that DOE failed to address the systemic problem that New Jersey children with disabilities are not being educated in the least restrictive environment as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In February 2014, the parties settled the complaint. The settlement required the following activities: • Completion of a Needs Assessment by 75+ school districts with the worst track record in inclusion; • District site visits by the DOE, including classroom observations and staff interviews; • Extensive training and technical assistance for district staff, and regular assessment of the trainings and technical assistance; • Training of state complaint investigators; • Specially designated state and local inclusion facilitators; • Annual compliance monitoring; • Parental input regarding district failures to appropriately include students with disabilities; and • Oversight by a stakeholder committee comprised of disability advocates. The settlement became effective upon the judge’s February 19, 2014 signing of the Order, and with implementation beginning immediately, and continuing for three years. DRNJ staff was named to the stakeholder committee that oversees the needs assessment and training schedule. The committee met three times during the past year and reviewed the completed needs assessments of all 75+ districts and provided comments regarding the proposed training schedule. DRNJ will continue to monitor the settlement for the remainder of the time it is in effect. Complaint Investigation Against Camden City School District DRNJ intervened on behalf of four-year-old resident of Camden County who has a traumatic brain injury. The parent contacted DRNJ because she had requested initial evaluations, but the Camden City School District refused to conduct the evaluations even though the child had significant disabilities. Eventually, the district agreed to conduct the evaluations, but delayed obtaining consent from the mother. As a result, the parent waited approximately six months from her initial written request for the evaluations to be conducted. In addition, even though the district was aware of the child’s significant educational needs, the district did not actually begin services until four months after the evaluations were begun. DRNJ filed a complaint investigation with the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) alleging that Camden City School District violated IDEA by failing to timely evaluate and implement an IEP for the student. DRNJ requested that OSEP order corrective action including compensatory educational services to the child. OSEP investigated the complaint and found that the district had delayed the initial evaluation planning meeting by two months; the district had delayed obtaining consent from the parent by two months; and the district had delayed implementation of the IEP by one month. As a result, OSEP found that the district was non-compliant with the required timelines for the implementation of educational services which resulted in the child experiencing a delay of five months of educational services. OSEP ordered corrective action. Specifically, OSEP ordered that Camden City develop procedures to ensure that when a referral for special education services is made, the initial evaluation meeting is held within 20 days after referral; that the all child study team members are trained regarding these new procedures; that the district provide staff training to ensure that parents are provided request for consent timely once determination is made to evaluate the student; and that the district shall provide compensatory education to address the districts five-month delay in the provision of special education services. Complaint Investigation Against Jersey City School District DRNJ intervened on behalf of a five-year-old resident of Hudson County who has a hearing impairment. The child’s parent contacted DRNJ regarding the child’s special education services. When DRNJ requested a copy of the child’s latest Individualized Education Plan (IEP), the mother advised that she never received a final copy of the IEP from the district. She advised that she was told at the IEP meeting that she would not receive a final copy until it had been signed by the district administrators. DRNJ filed a complaint investigation with the Office of Special Education Programs requesting that OSEP investigate Jersey City’s practice of failing to provide a final copy of the IEP to parents at the conclusion of an IEP meeting. OSEP investigated the district and determined that the district did not provide a final copy of the IEP to the parent at the conclusion of the IEP meeting as required by IDEA. OSEP ordered that the district draft a memorandum to all relevant staff explaining the requirements that all parents are to receive a copy of the IEP or written notes at the conclusion of an IEP meeting, and that if an IEP is not provided at the end of a meeting, it must be provided to all parents within 15 days. OSEP also ordered that the district was to provide contact information for five other students to ensure that the parents received final copies of the IEP. Complaint Investigation Against Cherry Hill Township School District DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 17-year-old resident of Camden County who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and behavioral issues. The student’s parents contacted DRNJ because the student’s school had suspended him indefinitely due to juvenile charges that he received for activities that occurred off school grounds. DRNJ filed for due process and emergent relief in order to have him returned to school. After DRNJ filed the petition, the school district immediately agreed to allow the student to return to school. DRNJ withdrew the request for due process and emergent relief, but then filed a complaint investigation with the New Jersey Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) alleging that the school district had improperly suspended the student. OSEP investigated the complaint and found that the district had violated the student’s disciplinary rights and ordered corrective action. Specifically, OSEP ordered the district to develop procedures to ensure that principals and administrative personnel immediately notify case managers of student suspensions and ordered the district to provide training to child study team staff to ensure that discipline procedures in IDEA are followed.

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.

ISSUE 1 — ABUSE AND NEGLECT GOAL 15-1X ABUSE AND NEGLECT — To ensure that individuals with disabilities living in institutions and the community are free from abuse and neglect. OBJECTIVE 1X.1 To address complaints of abuse and neglect living in institutions or community residential programs in at least one (1) matter. DRNJ assisted a 35-year-old resident of Monmouth County who has paraplegia from the chest down. The individual’s aunt contacted DRNJ because she believed the individual was being abused in the nursing home where she resided. Her aunt reported that the individual had been pushed, scratched, and had the phone snatched out of her hand by a nurse. Her aunt wanted her placed in another facility with younger adults. DRNJ requested an interdisciplinary team meeting to address these issues. The nursing home agreed to investigate and address her concerns. However, in the meantime, the individual was hospitalized and the nursing home did not want her to return. DRNJ advocated with the hospital social worker that the client be transferred to another facility with younger adults and that could address her issues. The hospital social worker referred her to another facility that specialized in care for individuals with paraplegia. The client and her aunt were pleased with the new facility. 7 cases were handled under this priority. ISSUE 2 — DISCRIMINATION GOAL 15-2A HOUSING: To ensure that people with disabilities have greater access to accessible, affordable housing and experience decreased housing discrimination. OBJECTIVE 2A.1 To participate in at least one (1) coalition, task force, advisory, or work group seeking to increase accessible, affordable housing. DRNJ is an active participant in the Supportive Housing Association, which is a statewide, nonprofit organization that promotes and maintains a strong supportive housing industry in New Jersey serving persons with special needs through information, training, and collaboration, promoting systems change to provide more flexible funding and increased mainstream housing opportunities, and educating policy makers, elected officials, and the public on the use and benefits of the supportive housing model. OBJECTIVE 2A.2 To pursue individual and/or systems advocacy in at least one (1) housing matter addressing discriminatory barriers to accessible, affordable housing. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 77-year-old resident of Burlington County who has orthopedic impairments. The individual contacted DRNJ because she was living in a housing complex that had had unassigned parking spaces, but the housing complex changed the policy and randomly assigned parking spaces. The individual was assigned a parking space that was far from the front door to her building. DRNJ requested the housing complex reassign a space closer to her unit. As a result of DRNJ’s intervention, the housing complex reassigned a parking space to the individual that was close to her unit. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 63-year-old resident of Hunterdon County who uses a walker for mobility. She contacted DRNJ because her apartment has two steps outside the front door. Although she can use the steps, she has balance issues and needs a railing to prevent her from falling. Her landlord refused to install the railings. DRNJ investigated her complaint and learned that the landlord had installed railings for other units. DRNJ negotiated with the landlord, and the landlord agreed to install the railings. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a resident in Camden County who has orthopedic impairments. The individual contacted DRNJ because she requested that her housing complex provide her with an apartment with grab bars in the bathroom, a threshold ramp for the front door, and a curb cut to access the parking lot. Her apartment complex provided her with these accommodations, but the accommodations were in poor condition. The grab bars were rusty; the threshold ramp was wooden and rotting, and the curb cut was cracked and crumbling. DRNJ wrote to the manager of the complex requesting that the apartment replace or repair these accommodations. The manager agreed (1) to replace the tub surround and install new grab bars; (2) to install new grab bars near the sink and toilet; (3) to replace the ramp; and (4) to repair the curb cuts. 29 cases were handled under this priority. GOAL 15-2B EMPLOYMENT: To ensure that people with disabilities experience decreased discrimination and gain increased employment opportunities. OBJECTIVE 2B.1 To address through individual and/or systems advocacy employment discrimination issues or complaints in at least fifteen (15) matters DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 47-year-old resident of Mercer County who has an autoimmune disorder. This individual contacted DRNJ because her employer would not accommodate her disability. DRNJ filed a complaint with the Division of Civil Rights alleging that her employer failed to accommodate her disability and that she was at risk of being terminated from her employment. DCR investigated her allegations for over a year. After conducting its investigation, DCR began settlement discussions between the client and her employer. After months of negotiations, the employer agreed to provide a list of accommodations to the client. These accommodations included an adjustment in her work schedule to attend to her health needs; a voice amplifier to use when she teaches a class; the ability to rest in a lounge when needed during her work day; and the use of an ergonomic chair. 22 cases were handled under this priority. GOAL 15-2C VOTING: To ensure that people with disabilities have the opportunity and can exercise the right to register and vote. OBJECTIVE 2C.1 To participate in at least three (3) activities promoting and protecting the right to vote of people with disabilities. DRNJ participated in meetings with the Secretary of State, Director of the Division of Elections, the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey before the primary and the general election to discuss potential voter issues during the elections. DRNJ operated a hotline for the general election of November 4, 2014. DRNJ received approximately two calls throughout the day. DRNJ received a call from an individual residing in a state institution who was not being given the opportunity to vote. DRNJ provided information to the individual and referred him to his patient advocate who resolved the matter. DRNJ also received a phone call from a resident in Bergen County who was unable to vote with the audio component as it was not working properly. DRNJ contacted the Board of Election to complain about the improperly working machine. The Board of Election agree to send an individual out to the polling location to examine the equipment and to also provide assistance to the poll workers who may not know how to operate the machine properly. DRNJ also operated a hotline for the primary election on June 2, 2015, but DRNJ did not receive any voting-related calls that day. DRNJ continues to distribute its voter guide, Voting: It’s Your Right, to individuals, advocacy groups, and election officials. DRNJ staff spoke to consumer groups about the right of people with disabilities to vote and the process of voting in New Jersey. GOAL 15-2D PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS AND GOVERNMENT SERVICES: To ensure that people with disabilities have non-discriminatory access to public accommodations and public entities. OBJECTIVE 2D.1 To undertake individual and/or systems advocacy in at least ten (10) matters addressing discrimination against people with disabilities in public accommodations and services. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 56-year-old resident of Gloucester County who has mobility impairments and COPD, which prevents her from walking long distances. She contacted DRNJ because the city council denied her a reserved parking space in front of her house that had been recommended by the Chief of Police. The city council denied the space because her neighbor was a councilman, and he did not want to lose street parking spaces on his street. Instead, they offered a parking spot around the corner, which was too far for her to walk. She had filed a complaint with the Division on Civil Rights (DCR), but DCR had not completed the investigation. DRNJ filed an appearance on her behalf with DCR and attempted to get DCR to make a finding. However, DCR refused to issue a decision. DRNJ requested that the matter be transferred to the Office of Administrative Law for a fair hearing. After the transfer, the city council reversed its parking decision and agreed to grant her a reserved parking space in front of her house. However, the client wanted to proceed as she had been denied the parking space for over four years, and she wanted damages. At the fair hearing, the defense moved for summary decision claiming that the initial complaint was beyond the statute of limitations. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) granted the summary decision; however, the Director of DCR reversed the decision of the ALJ because DCR had held the matter for so long, it prevented the client from proceeding in Superior Court. The matter was remanded to the ALJ for a hearing. Following remand, Defendant offered the client $15,000 in damages, which the client accepted. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 19-year-old resident of Mercer County who has a chronic gastro-intestinal disease and panic attacks. The individual’s mother contacted DRNJ because the individual was not receiving the housing accommodations she needed at her college. The college originally offered to provide her with a single room that would accommodate her need for a personal bathroom. However, the student requested that she have a roommate as the roommate would provide her with emotional support to help her with panic attacks. The college refused. DRNJ contacted the school and negotiated with the school for a dorm room that fully accommodated the student’s housing needs. Following DRNJ’s intervention and negotiations, the college agreed to provide her with a double room that has a private bathroom, air conditioning, a window facing the outside and a refrigerator. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 71-year-old resident of Ocean County who uses a wheelchair for mobility. He contacted DRNJ because he has attended concerts at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, and the concert officials had roped off the reserved parking for individuals with disabilities. As a result, he had to park far away from the entrance. DRNJ contacted the ownership of the venue to raise the concerns about the lack of accessible parking for those who need it. Following DRNJ’s intervention, the individual attended another concert at the PNC Bank Arts Center and advised that there was a large sign stating “ADA Parking” and that the accessible parking spaces were opened to the public who needed them. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 52-year-old resident of Passaic County who is deaf and communicates through American Sign Language. The individual contacted DRNJ because he was seeking legal assistance from a worker’s compensation attorney, but the attorney refused to provide a sign language interpreter for his in-person meetings. Instead, the attorney requested that his daughter interpret for him. DRNJ contacted the attorney and requested that the attorney provide a sign language interpreter as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The attorney agreed to provide a sign language interpreter for future meetings with DRNJ’s clients as well as other deaf individuals seeking legal assistance. 51 cases were handled under this priority. ISSUE 3 — COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES GOAL 15-3A COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES AND SUPPORTS — To ensure that people with disabilities have access to appropriate community-based supports and services to promote integration and independence. OBJECTIVE 3A.1 To provide individual and/or systems advocacy in at least three (3) matters promoting or addressing access to community supports and services. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 39-year-old resident of Ocean County who has morbid obesity, learning disabilities, a right knee injury and diabetes. He had been residing in a care facility for a year and a half in order to lose weight to prepare for knee surgery. His mother contacted DRNJ because she was concerned about the care he was receiving in his facility. She believed that he was not in a proper sized bed, which resulted in bed sores. In addition, she also was concerned that the staff was not respecting his privacy and was not providing nutritionally adequate meals. DRNJ referred her complaints to the Department of Health for investigation. The Department of Health agreed to investigate the complaints. 4 cases were handled under this priority. GOAL 09-3B - ACCESSIBLE TRANSPORTATION: To improve the availability of accessible transportation for people with disabilities. OBJECTIVE 3B.1 - To participate in at least one (3) individual and systems matters addressing lack of accessible transportation services for people with disabilities. DRNJ staff continues to monitor New Jersey Transit’s compliance with the ADA, through participation on New Jersey Transit’s ADA advisory committee, the North Jersey Transit Planning Authority, and the New Jersey Transit ADA Task Force. In addition, DRNJ staff attended meetings of the NJ Transit Local Programs Support Citizen’s Advisory Committee and the New Jersey Council on Special Transportation, an organization of consumers and professionals that focuses on local county paratransit systems. DRNJ assisted a Mercer County resident with orthopedic impairments. The client contacted DRNJ because the elevators on the eastbound platform at the New Brunswick train station were out of order, and, as a result, he had to travel to the next stop and transfer to a westbound train to exit the train at New Brunswick. He was then charged for the return trip. DRNJ contacted NJ Transit to discuss the problems with elevators at New Brunswick. The New Brunswick train station has two eastbound elevators, but one is regularly inoperable. However, the second elevator is relatively new, and has been regularly working. NJ Transit advised that when an elevator is not working, a passenger must then travel to the next station and return, but that they should not be charged for the trip. He also advised that if the elevator is not working, the passenger should notify NJ Transit's customer service as soon as possible so it can be repaired. DRNJ provided this information to the client, who advised that he hasn't had any further issues. 2 cases were handled under this priority. ISSUE 4 — HEALTH CARE GOAL 15-4A HEALTH CARE: To ensure that people with disabilities have access to appropriate health care services. OBJECTIVE 4A.1 To provide individual assistance and advocacy in at least five (5) matters promoting access by people with disabilities to health care. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 68-year-old resident of Bergen County who has multiple sclerosis. She has had one of her legs amputated. She is wheelchair-dependent and cannot bathe, dress, toilet, or prepare meals on her own. In order to live independently in her own home, she needs assistance with these daily living activities. She had been receiving 49 hours of Personal Care Assistance (PCA) through the Medicaid managed care organization (MCO). However, the MCO sought to reduce her PCA hours to 35 hours a week, which would not have allowed for all of the care she needs. DRNJ agreed to represent the individual in a fair hearing. Subsequently, the MCO reversed its decision to reduce her PCA hours. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 50-year-old resident of Morris County who has Crohn’s disease and short bowel syndrome. She contacted DRNJ because her Medicaid managed care organization (MCO) denied her request to pay for her medication. Her doctor had prescribed Saizen, a somatropin, for treatment of her Crohn’s disease. However, the MCO would only approve a different somatropin, Zorbitive. She had tried using Zorbitive, but it did not relieve her pain, whereas when she had used Saizen, her pain and symptoms were significantly reduced. DRNJ filed an internal appeal and provided additional medical documentation supporting her medication request. In addition, DRNJ filed a request for a fair hearing with the Office of Administrative Law. After the MCO reviewed the additional documentation, they agreed to provide the requested medication prior to the hearing. 75 cases were handled under this priority. GOAL 15-4B INFORMED DECISION MAKING — To ensure that the rights of individuals with disabilities are protected through informed individual and /or surrogate decision making. OBJECTIVE 4B.1 To promote individual rights and informed decision making through at least one (1) educational and systems advocacy activities related to advance directives and end-of-life activities. DRNJ has targeted consumer and family education and training programs centering on end-of-life decision making for individuals with developmental disabilities and advance directives for mental health care. During each of these programs an effort is made to include information on medical advance directives and informed consent applicable to people with disabilities who are not eligible for PADD or PAIMI services and are present, or whose family members are present, at these programs. DRNJ has also collaborated with the Office of the Public Guardian to promote joint decision making for individuals receiving guardianship services. ISSUE — EDUCATION GOAL 15-5A EDUCATION: To promote inclusive education for children with disabilities in least restrictive environments consistent with and appropriate to their needs. OBJECTIVE 5A.1 To engage in individual advocacy in at least fifty (50) matters addressing inclusive education and least restrictive environment. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a four-year-old resident of Mercer County who has learning disabilities and a speech impairment. His mother contacted DRNJ because the district wanted to declassify the child and remove all services including occupational therapy (OT). The mother filed for mediation. DRNJ represented the child in mediation. At mediation, the district agreed to provide two sessions of OT per week. The district also agreed to hold a 504 meeting within the first two weeks of school to determine the length of the sessions. Unfortunately, the district failed to hold the 504 meeting, so DRNJ had to seek enforcement of the mediation agreement from the Department of Education. After DRNJ filed for enforcement, the district held the meeting, and the child is receiving 30 minutes of OT per week. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 14-year-old resident of Burlington County who has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and impulsive behavior issues. His mother contacted DRNJ because the school had suspended him for bringing a controlled substance to school. DRNJ investigated and learned that the district had failed to provide the proper notices for a long-term suspension, and it appeared that the behavior that led to his suspension was disability-related. DRNJ filed a Petition of Appeal and a Request for Emergent Relief in order to return the child to his school. After filing the petition, the district and the parent agreed to a placement, and DRNJ requested that the child be evaluated for special education services. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 14-year-old resident of Mercer County who has behavioral disabilities. The child’s mother contacted DRNJ because he was placed at an out-of-district school at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year, but was removed and placed at a different school at the beginning of the second marking period. The child’s mother wanted him returned to the prior placement and sought initial evaluations to have him classified. The district agreed to complete the evaluations but refused to provide the mother with the results. DRNJ intervened and obtained the evaluations from the district’s lawyer. DRNJ then reviewed the evaluations and provided the mother with technical assistance before she attended the IEP meeting. At the IEP meeting, the district agreed to return the child to the school he was attending at the beginning of the school year. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 17-year-old resident of Camden County who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and behavioral issues. The student’s parents contacted DRNJ because the student’s school had suspended him indefinitely due to juvenile charges that he received for activities that occurred off school grounds. DRNJ filed for due process and emergent relief in order to have him returned to school. After DRNJ filed the petition, the school district immediately agreed to allow the student to return to school. DRNJ withdrew the request for due process and emergent relief, but then filed a complaint investigation with the New Jersey Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) alleging that the school district had improperly suspended the student. OSEP investigated the complaint and found that the district had violated the student’s disciplinary rights and ordered corrective action including the revision of policies and training of staff regarding the discipline rights of students with disabilities. DRNJ intervened on behalf of an 18-year-old resident of Ocean County who has a cognitive impairment and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The student’s mother contacted DRNJ because the district advised during an IEP meeting in February 2015 that the district planned to graduate the student. The student’s mother believed that the district had failed to provide needed additional transition services. The mother complained that the district had failed to provide adequate vocational services. DRNJ agreed to represent the student at mediation. At mediation, the district agreed to conduct a vocational assessment. Following the vocational assessment, the district agreed to send the student to a 2-year vocational program. DRNJ intervened on behalf of an eight-year-old resident of Union County who is diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, central auditory processing disorder, and sensory processing disorder. The mother contacted DRNJ because she wanted to have her son placed in a general education classroom with his typically developing peers. He had been placed a self-contained classroom for most of his classes. However, he was in the general education classroom for math and had been doing well. She wanted to expand the time he was in the general education classroom, but the district refused to change his placement. DRNJ agreed to represent the child in due process. A settlement conference was held before an Administrative Law Judge. At the settlement conference, the district agreed to begin transitioning the child to the general education classroom with appropriate supports and services including an aide subjects. The district agreed that the student would be fully transitioned and in the general education classroom for all subjects by the second semester. 181 individual cases were handled under this priority. OBJECTIVE 5A.2 - To monitor settlement of litigation addressing the disproportionate number of children with a diagnosis of mental illness or severe emotional disorder eligible for special education services who receive educational services in segregated placements. DRNJ, along with the Education Law Center, SPAN, and the ARC of New Jersey, filed suit in federal court against DOE in 2007. The complaint alleged that DOE failed to address the systemic problem that New Jersey children with disabilities are not being educated in the least restrictive environment as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In February 2014, the parties settled the complaint. The settlement required the following activities: • Completion of a Needs Assessment by 75+ school districts with the worst track record in inclusion; • District site visits by the DOE, including classroom observations and staff interviews; • Extensive training and technical assistance for district staff, and regular assessment of the trainings and technical assistance; • Training of state complaint investigators; • Specially designated state and local inclusion facilitators; • Annual compliance monitoring; • Parental input regarding district failures to appropriately include students with disabilities; and • Oversight by a stakeholder committee comprised of disability advocates. The settlement became effective in February 2014 with implementation beginning immediately and continuing for three years. DRNJ staff was named to the stakeholder committee that oversees the needs assessment and training schedule. The committee met three times during the past year and reviewed the completed needs assessments of all 75+ districts and provided comments regarding the proposed training schedule. DRNJ will continue to monitor the settlement for the remainder of the time it is in effect. In addition, DRNJ staff participates in several work groups and committees dealing with systemic issues, such as the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities Education Taskforce and the Special Education Practitioner’s Group. In addition, DRNJ participated in the Coalition for Special Education Funding Reform, a group formed to ensure that school funding reform addresses issues important to special education. In addition, DRNJ participated in several stakeholders meeting sponsored by the NJ Department of Education to provide comments on the Office of Special Education’s State Performance Plan. DRNJ also collaborated with a task force convened by the New Jersey Education Association to address issues regarding special education reform. GOAL 15—5C — BULLYING: To ensure that children with disabilities do not experience bullying in educational settings. OBJECTIVE 5C.1 To provide individual advocacy and representation in at least one (1) matter addressing bullying. DRNJ assisted a 10-year-old resident of Middlesex County who has a learning disability and emotional issues. Her mother contacted DRNJ because she was being bullied at school, and the school had not properly addressed it. As a result, the student was experiencing anxiety about attending school. DRNJ reviewed the student’s records and provided technical assistance to the mother. The mother attended an IEP meeting and successfully advocated for the student to be placed in an in-district program at another school. 13 individual cases were handled under this priority. GOAL 15-5D - SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE: To ensure that children with disabilities receive appropriate services and supports to oppose policies and practices that promote the school-to-prison pipeline. OBJECTIVE 5D.1 - To collaborate with community and advocacy organizations, and court personnel, including local public defenders, to ensure that children with disabilities receive appropriate services and supports to oppose policies and practices that promote the school-to-prison pipeline. DRNJ is a member of the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Reform Coalition (NJJJRC). The NJJJRC is a collaborative organization which is led by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. Other member agencies include the NJ ACLU, the Rutgers Law School Justice Clinic, the NJ Public Defenders Office, the pro bono division of Lowenstein Sandler, the NJ Parents Caucus, and numerous others. The NJJJRC’s goal is to raise awareness in communities about issues in the juvenile justice system such as the school to prison pipeline, conditions of confinement, and alternatives to incarceration, and engage in dialogue with policymakers to enact change. DRNJ has signed up to be a part of two working groups (the school to prison pipeline group and the conditions of confinement group) and over the next several months will meet with the other members of the working group to fully outline the issues in these areas and formulate plans to address them. No individual cases were handled under this priority. ISSUE 6 — ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY GOAL 15-6D ADVOCACY - To increase access to and funding for assistive technology through individual advocacy and legal representation. OBJECTIVE 6D.1 Provide short term assistance, advocacy services, or legal representation to at least ten (10) people with disabilities to assist them to obtain access to or funding for assistive technology. DRNJ intervened on behalf of 30-year-old resident of Ocean County who has a spinal cord injury. Her family contacted DRNJ because the Medicaid managed care organization (MCO) denied prior authorization for an exercise bicycle for individuals with paralysis. The family had requested a fair hearing before the Office of Administrative Law, and DRNJ agreed to represent the individual through the fair hearing process. DRNJ contacted the MCO to request discovery and negotiate with the MCO. Following this intervention, the MCO reversed its decision and agreed to authorize the exercise bicycle. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 13-year-old resident of Passaic County who had muscular dystrophy. The child’s parents contacted DRNJ because the Medicaid managed care organization (MCO) denied the child access to a standing frame. The MCO stated that the standing frame was “investigational.” DRNJ filed a request for a fair hearing with the Office of Administrative Law. During the fair hearing, the attorney representing the MCO agreed to settle the case and provide the child with the standing frame. 12 individual cases were handled under this priority. ISSUE 7 — WORK & VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION GOAL 15-7B WORK-RELATED OVERPAYMENTS - To assist beneficiaries of Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income who receive notices of work-related overpayments to challenge disputed overpayment claims and to obtain waivers of repayment as appropriate. OBJECTIVE 7B.1 To provide advocacy and legal representation for beneficiaries with overpayments related to efforts to secure, retain, or regain employment. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 59-year-old resident of Somerset County who has multiple sclerosis. The individual contacted DRNJ because she received a letter of overpayment from the Social Security Administration (SSA) stating that she was overpaid for 23 months in the amount of $25,441. She did not have the money to repay SSA. Subsequently, as a result of this overpayment, SSA stopped her Social Security Disability payments. DRNJ negotiated with SSA to set up a repayment plan of $25 a month, and the client began to receive her SSDI checks again. 1 case was handled under this priority. ISSUE 8 — CONSUMER EDUCATION AND TRAINING GOAL 15-8A UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS: To increase services to historically underserved urban, rural and minority persons with disabilities. OBJECTIVE 8A.1: OUTREACH - Conduct at least six outreach/education presentations on disability rights, issues and services in underserved communities. DRNJ staff conducted 19 outreach, public awareness, and training events targeted to the elderly and residents of nursing homes, deaf and hard of hearing, urban minority, women with disabilities, African American, Latino and rural Latino, and the military. DRNJ presented information to approximately 220 seniors at the New Jersey Foundation for Aging’s Annual Conference. In addition, DRNJ staff presented information about assistive technology, voting, special education and transition services as well as DRNJ's services at five different events focused on urban minorities. Approximately 223 consumers and family members attended these events. DRNJ presented on topics regarding special education and DRNJ’s services to three different Spanish speaking groups. Approximately 260 consumers and family members attended these events. Finally, DRNJ continued its efforts to outreach to the military. During the year, DRNJ provided information about special education and health care in addition to its services at 10 events which focused on military consumers and their families. Approximately 880 family members and consumers attended. OBJECTIVE 8A.3: WORKGROUP ON CULTURAL DIVERSITY: Participate on the State’s Workgroup on Cultural Diversity. DRNJ continues to be an active participant on the Statewide Network for Cultural Competence, a network of about 30 core public and private agencies and programs whose mission is to increase the ability of all agencies and programs to serve and meet the needs of people with disabilities from culturally diverse populations. The Network, which meets quarterly, has an annual conference, and sponsors webinars, also regularly updates its internet-based resource guide that identifies service providers, what they do, who they serve, and their capacity to serve people with disabilities. The Network also now serves as a clearinghouse for training and information. GOAL 15-8B EDUCATION AND TRAINING: To promote the education of consumers and their families regarding disability rights and issues. OBJECTIVE 8B.1: Conduct at least five (5) consumer education and training programs on disability rights issues and services for people with disabilities including rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. DRNJ staff conducted 21 education and training programs attended by approximately 886 individuals. These programs included issues such as special education, including transition services, employment, the Americans with Disabilities Act, housing, voting and health care.

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.

ISSUE 1 — ABUSE AND NEGLECT GOAL 15-1X ABUSE AND NEGLECT — To ensure that individuals with disabilities living in institutions and the community are free from abuse and neglect. OBJECTIVE 1X.1 To address complaints of abuse and neglect living in institutions or community residential programs in at least one (1) matter. ISSUE 2 — DISCRIMINATION GOAL 15-2A HOUSING: To ensure that people with disabilities have greater access to accessible, affordable housing and experience decreased housing discrimination. OBJECTIVE 2A.1 To participate in at least one (1) coalition, task force, advisory, or work group seeking to increase accessible, affordable housing. OBJECTIVE 2A.2 To pursue individual and/or systems advocacy in at least one (1) housing matter addressing discriminatory barriers to accessible, affordable housing. GOAL 15-2B EMPLOYMENT: To ensure that people with disabilities experience decreased discrimination and gain increased employment opportunities. OBJECTIVE 2B.1 To address through individual and/or systems advocacy employment discrimination issues or complaints in at least fifteen (15) matters GOAL 15-2C VOTING: To ensure that people with disabilities have the opportunity and can exercise the right to register and vote. OBJECTIVE 2C.1 To participate in at least three (3) activities promoting and protecting the right to vote of people with disabilities. GOAL 15-2D PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS AND GOVERNMENT SERVICES: To ensure that people with disabilities have non-discriminatory access to public accommodations and public entities. OBJECTIVE 2D.1 To undertake individual and/or systems advocacy in at least ten (10) matters addressing discrimination against people with disabilities in public accommodations and services. ISSUE 3 — COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES GOAL 15-3A COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES AND SUPPORTS — To ensure that people with disabilities have access to appropriate community-based supports and services to promote integration and independence. OBJECTIVE 3A.1 To provide individual and/or systems advocacy in at least three (3) matters promoting or addressing access to community supports and services. GOAL 09-3B - ACCESSIBLE TRANSPORTATION: to improve the availability of accessible transportation for people with disabilities. OBJECTIVE 3B.1 - To participate in at least one (3) individual and systems matters addressing lack of accessible transportation services for people with disabilities. ISSUE 4 — HEALTH CARE GOAL 15-4A HEALTH CARE: To ensure that people with disabilities have access to appropriate health care services. OBJECTIVE 4A.1 To provide individual assistance and advocacy in at least five (5) matters promoting access by people with disabilities to health care. GOAL 15-4B INFORMED DECISION MAKING — To ensure that the rights of individuals with disabilities are protected through informed individual and /or surrogate decision making. OBJECTIVE 4B.1 To promote individual rights and informed decision making through at least one (1) educational and systems advocacy activities related to advance directives and end-of-life activities. ISSUE — EDUCATION GOAL 15-5A EDUCATION: To promote inclusive education for children with disabilities in least restrictive environments consistent with and appropriate to their needs. OBJECTIVE 5A.1 To engage in individual advocacy in at least fifty (50) matters addressing inclusive education and least restrictive environment. OBJECTIVE 5A.2 - To monitor settlement of litigation addressing the disproportionate number of children with a diagnosis of mental illness or severe emotional disorder eligible for special education services who receive educational services in segregated placements. GOAL 15—5C — BULLYING: To ensure that children with disabilities do not experience bullying in educational settings. OBJECTIVE 5C.1 To provide individual advocacy and representation in at least one (1) matter addressing bullying. GOAL 15-5D - SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE: To ensure that children with disabilities receive appropriate services and supports to oppose policies and practices that promote the school-to-prison pipeline. OBJECTIVE 5D.1 - To collaborate with community and advocacy organizations, and court personnel, including local public defenders, to ensure that children with disabilities receive appropriate services and supports to oppose policies and practices that promote the school-to-prison pipeline. ISSUE 6 — ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY GOAL 15-6D ADVOCACY - To increase access to and funding for assistive technology through individual advocacy and legal representation. OBJECTIVE 6D.1 Provide short term assistance, advocacy services, or legal representation to at least ten (10) people with disabilities to assist them to obtain access to or funding for assistive technology. ISSUE 7 — WORK & VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION GOAL 15-7B WORK-RELATED OVERPAYMENTS - To assist beneficiaries of Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income who receive notices of work-related overpayments to challenge disputed overpayment claims and to obtain waivers of repayment as appropriate. OBJECTIVE 7B.1 To provide advocacy and legal representation for beneficiaries with overpayments related to efforts to secure, retain, or regain employment. ISSUE 8 — CONSUMER EDUCATION AND TRAINING GOAL 15-8A UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS: To increase services to historically underserved urban, rural and minority persons with disabilities. OBJECTIVE 8A.1: OUTREACH - Conduct at least six outreach/education presentations on disability rights, issues and services in underserved communities. OBJECTIVE 8A.3: WORKGROUP ON CULTURAL DIVERSITY: Participate on the State’s Workgroup on Cultural Diversity. GOAL 15-8B EDUCATION AND TRAINING: To promote the education of consumers and their families regarding disability rights and issues. OBJECTIVE 8B.1: Conduct at least five (5) consumer education and training programs on disability rights issues and services for people with disabilities including rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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. In addition to funds received from the U.S. Department of Education, DRNJ received a $36,720 grant from New Jersey’s Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts program for legal and advocacy assistance in special education cases for individuals with low income. A portion of this grant is allocated to the PAIR program. B. Budget for Fiscal Year Covered by this Report The following are the actual expenses for FY 2015. Payroll 289,098.22 Fringe Benefits 72,798.56 Advertising 25.50 Advisory and Governing Board 445.79 Audit 4,805.26 Auto 83.23 Conference 0.00 Consultants - Administration 647.64 Consultants — Programs 5,287.49 Copier 1,823.09 Equipment/Furniture 1.423.51 Insurance 4,937.85 Interns 0.00 Legal 0.00 Library 4,735.08 Litigation 10,823.25 Membership 1,705.34 MIS 6,776.89 Office Expense 3,121.45 Office Supplies 1421.60 Other Personnel 2,461.71 Outreach 47.33 Postage 241.38 Printing 261.83 Staff Training 2,076.90 Subcontractors 14,512.86 Telephone 280.05 Travel 3,221.38 Volunteers 0.00 Total 433,063.19 Notes: The State of New Jersey provides in-kind support for rent, telephone, and postage. Because of rounding the total may not equal the sum of the budget lines. C. Description of PAIR staff (duties and person-years) During the year 2014, the PAIR program had the following staff assigned directly to program activities, a Managing Attorney responsible for coordinating the activities of the program and supervising the staff; six Staff Attorneys assigned part-time to the PAIR program; two Staff Advocates assigned part-time, and one secretary assigned part-time. For FY 2015, the PAIR program received approximately 2.95 person-years of staff time. D. Involvement with Advisory Boards The PAIR program is responsible to DRNJ’s Governing Board, which meets four times a year. DRNJ staff invites the Governing Board to participate in consumer-driven activities such as our priority review focus groups and identification of barriers to accessibility throughout the state. E. Grievances Filed Under the Grievance Procedure All individuals requesting assistance from DRNJ are sent a copy of the grievance policy and procedure along with the letter from the Intake Coordinator advising whether their request for assistance has been assigned to a member of the staff for further action. Individuals are also advised of their right to appeal whenever a decision is made to close a file or not file an appeal contrary to the individual’s wishes. Any disputes that cannot be resolved by the program’s managing attorney are reviewed by the Director of Administration in consultation with the Executive Director. An individual may appeal a decision of the Executive Director to a committee of the Board of Directors. DRNJ processed thirteen formal appeals during FY 2015, and three were for clients of the PAIR program. F. Coordination with the Client Assistance Program (CAP) and the State Long-Term Care Program The Client Assistance Program (CAP) is one of nine programs within New Jersey Protection and Advocacy, Inc. The two programs share many activities including outreach, technical assistance and training, staff development, information and referral, and cooperation, consultation, and collaboration in the handling of cases. Shared priorities include the transition of students in special education, quality assurance, public awareness, and information and referral. DRNJ collaborates with the Long Term Care Ombudsman and referrals are made between the two agencies. During the past year, the Ombudsman and DRNJ have been involved with ensuring access to hospice services for persons living in residences contracted or operated by the Division of Developmental Disabilities. The Ombudsman has also been involved with DRNJ and the mental health coalition in working toward upgrading the conditions in boarding houses and residential health care facilities.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByJoseph B. Young
TitleExecutive Director
Signed Date12/18/2015