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

New Mexico (Disability Rights New Mexico) - H240A150032 - FY2015

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameDisability Rights New Mexico
Address1720 Louisiana Blvd. NE
Address Line 2Ste. 204
CityAlbuquerque
StateNew Mexico
Zip Code87110
E-mail Addressinfo@drnm.org
Website Addresshttp://www.drnm.org
Phone505-256-3100
TTY 505-256-3100
Toll-free Phone800-432-4682
Toll-free TTY800-432-4682
Fax505-256-3184
Name of P&A Executive DirectorJames Jackson
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorJames Jackson
Person to contact regarding reportBernadine Chavez
Contact Person phone505-256-3100
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 areas33
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas239
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)272

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff12
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)225

PAIR staff provided two trainings to 22 new staff persons working for the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the New Mexico Commission for the Blind, and the Section 121 Native American Vocational Rehabilitation programs at the Rehabilitation Academy. The training topics included the programs at DRNM, and an overview of ADA provisions related to employment. We also provided training on employment and ADA to a support group for individuals with brain injuries. This is a very active group in southern New Mexico and most of the 25 participants are engaged in return to work activities. Reasonable accommodation was a big topic of conversation since most of the partipants have experienced discrimination in employment. We also did a presentation on Fair Housing with this group since they also had difficulty maintaining housing. Staff provided training participants at self-advocacy conference southern New Mexico. The training focused on self—determination and self—advocacy and was provided in both Spanish and English. This was part of outreach to underserved and rural areas. DRNM provided training to the Department of Labor Workforce staff on the Rehabilitation Act, VR services, “Disability Awareness”, and also training on ADA and Title I. There were two sessions and 23 participants at each session for a total of 46 participants. DRNM/PAIR staff provided training 3 trainings to Albuquerque Transit drivers on disability awareness, ADA requirements and how to provide quality services to individuals with disabilities. There were 20 participants at each training. DRNM/PAIR staff provided 4 trainings to parents and students on special education law and the rights under IDEA. Two of these trainings were in rural areas and provided in Spanish to monolingual Spanish speaking families. In summary, PAIR staff at DRNM conducted a total of 12 trainings with a total of 225 participants. DRNM/PAIR also participated in 14 informational fairs in which we distributed CAP brochures and provided information to participants. Of the 14 fairs, 6 were targeted outreach to minorities and underserved populations.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff3
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles0
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website12,500
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated565
6. Other (specify separately)0

Narrative

N/A

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)4
2. Additional individuals served during the year25
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)29
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)0

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 6

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility0
2. Employment1
3. Program access0
4. Housing3
5. Government benefits/services1
6. Transportation0
7. Education12
8. Assistive technology0
9. Voting0
10. Health care11
11. Insurance0
12. Non-government services0
13. Privacy rights0
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse0
16. Neglect0
17. Other1

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor15
2. Other representation found1
3. Individual withdrew complaint5
4. Appeals unsuccessful1
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.0
6. PAIR withdrew from case0
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources0
8. Individual case lacks legal merit0
9. Other0

Please explain

N/A

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-advocacy4
2. Short-term assistance10
3. Investigation/monitoring0
4. Negotiation7
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution0
6. Administrative hearings1
7. Litigation (including class actions)1
8. Systemic/policy activities0

Part III. Statistical Information on Individuals Served

A. Age of Individuals Served as of October 1

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. 0 - 40
2. 5 - 2214
3. 23 - 598
4. 60 - 643
5. 65 and over4

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females12
2. Males17

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race18
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native3
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American2
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White6
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown0

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent8
2. Parental or other family home15
3. Community residential home1
4. Foster care1
5. Nursing home1
6. Public institutional living arrangement1
7. Private institutional living arrangement1
8. Jail/prison/detention center0
9. Homeless1
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 impairment3
2. Deaf/hard of hearing2
3. Deaf-blind0
4. Orthopedic impairment8
5. Mental illness2
6. Substance abuse0
7. Mental retardation0
8. Learning disability8
9. Neurological impairment2
10. Respiratory impairment1
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment0
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment0
13. Speech impairment0
14. AIDS/HIV0
15. Traumatic brain injury1
16. Other disability2

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

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

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes24,000

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.

1. Long term Services. A key systemic issue that PAIR staff worked on throughout the year was adequate access to long term services under the state’s new Medicaid managed care program. Although the design and intent of the program is to offer a variety of long term services to elders and persons with disabilities (other than persons with developmental disabilities, who are served through a separate program), without having to be in one of the limited number of “slots” in the previous home/community-based waiver program, it became clear early on that there were significant barriers to accessing needed services. In FY 2014, PAIR staff attempted to address this problem by pressing for an effective state program to assist consumers and families to navigate the long term service system. Such a program was required by CMS as condition for approving the state’s Medicaid managed care system, but the program implemented by the state was inadequate for this purpose and CMS chose not to enforce the requirement despite vigorous advocacy by PAIR/DRNM staff. So in FY 2015, PAIR staff focused its efforts on making legislative and executive branch policy makers aware of the problems and limitations of the long term services system. At the request of the legislature’s interim Health and Human Services Committee, PAIR staff arranged, coordinated and participated in an expert panel presentation to the Committee to address problems in the Medicaid long term services system. In addition, PAIR staff identified a number of consumers who had experienced such problems, and organized a presentation to the committee by these individuals and their families. We subsequently met with the director of the state Medicaid program to further clarify and elaborate upon the problems in this system. Unfortunately, there appeared to be little official acknowledgement of the problems other than an effort by the state to require more training for the care coordinators used by the managed care organizations to arrange services for their members. Throughout the year, PAIR staff continued to work with service provider agencies to identify individuals in need of advocacy assistance to obtain the level of services they need, and in the process we continued to identify the systemic causes of their problems. It became clear that the most significant barrier is the individual assessment system. While it is intended to be a “comprehensive” needs assessment, in reality consumers are only assessed for their need for assistance with personal care services related to their Activities of Daily Living. Very few consumers end up receiving anything other than personal care assistance in spite of the extensive menu of services that purports to be available. We were unable to bring about a systemic change in this area in FY 2015 but we expect to continue these efforts in 2016 and we are optimistic that our advocacy efforts will be successful. 2. Medicaid. Since Medicaid remains the major program in the state providing supports and services for persons with disabilities, PAIR staff also provided information to legislators during FY 2015 about the importance of the program and the value of adequately funding it so that eligibility and services are not reduced. These efforts included meeting with the top staff of the Legislative Finance Committee as well as legislators. Fortunately, the legislature approved sufficient funds to support the program. New Mexico has benefited tremendously from the eligibility expansion in Medicaid that was made possible by the Affordable Care Act and embraced by the state’s political leadership. By the end of FY 2015, over 200,000 individuals — about 10% of the state’s population — had signed up as newly eligible for Medicaid, producing a very substantial drop in the percentage of residents who lack health insurance. 3. Special education/Juvenile Justice. Throughout FY 2015, DRNM worked with several partner agencies to develop a coordinated, systemic approach to advocacy on behalf of children who are not receiving the special education services necessary to be able to access public education. The primary focus of this effort has been children other than those with developmental disabilities or a diagnosed serious emotional impairment but rather children with brain injury, attention deficit disorder, behavioral problems that are not at the level of mental illness, etc — i.e. PAIR eligible children with disabilities who are frequently suspended, expelled, or ignored and unserved or underserved. We hope to hold the state’s Public Education Department accountable when Local Educational Agencies fail to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education to children with disabilities. In this effort DRNM has been working with the Native American Disability Law Center, Pegasus Legal Services for Children, DNA (Navajo) Legal Services and a few private attorneys. We identified several key issues of concern: a. School exclusion for children, including shortened school days and being sent home, for children with disabilities whose disabilities manifest in challenging behaviors b. Schools failing to engage in comprehensive child find activities, leaving students who may be eligible for special education services not having access to those services. c. Undiagnosed disabilities leading to behaviors that lead to suspension or expulsion d. Improper default to ADHD as a catch-all diagnosis without further assessment of other possible disorders such as specific language disorder, past trauma, autism. e. Failure to provide adequate communication accessibility for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. f. Use of seclusion and restraint in schools, including use of restraint and seclusion with children who are deaf or hard of hearing who do not have adequate communication access. g. Failure to ensure DVR transition services are provided. We recognized there may be case intakes at the partner agencies involving children in which the primary issue presented by the parent is not about special education, but where the lack of such services may be contributing to the initial issue raised by the parent. We decided it was necessary to collect some data to inform our systems advocacy, including any legislative and administrative advocacy we might choose to undertake. We agreed to collect additional information during each agency’s intake process, using questions that might elicit information about unmet special education needs. We hope this information will bolster our systemic advocacy work on this issue in FY 16. 4. Youth with disabilities in foster care. We have begun to explore the educational challenges facing children in foster care, a very significant portion of whom are children and youth with disabilities. We provided information to legislators about the beneficial effect of a bill that would require the state Medicaid program to cover former foster children, and this bill later passed and was signed into law. We participated in a conference call with the National Center for Youth Law (National Center) which is beginning a project in New Mexico to design programs that will lead to better outcomes for youth in foster care in New Mexico. We learned that there is a significant problem in a lack of data sharing between the New Mexico Public Education Department and the Children Youth and Families Department related to such children which is causing a lack of coordination and a lack of adequate support services or even basic understanding of some of the issues these students are facing. A bill was introduced in the 2015 legislature to address this issue, but it did not pass. If the bill is reintroduced in 2016, PAIR will be involved again in explaining the intent of the legislation. 5. Seclusion/restraint. Children with disabilities are at far greater risk of being restrained or put into seclusion than children without disabilities, and these practices can be harmful and dangerous. If legislation to address this issue is introduced in the coming year, DRNM intends to inform families and to educate legislators about this issue.

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts100
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.

A 34-year-old Hispanic man from a small central New Mexico community contacted us when his Medicaid long term services, provided through the Self Directed Community Benefit (SDCB), were reduced. The client has multiple sclerosis, and his mother has taken on his care ever since she discovered him in urine-soaked sheets at the nursing facility entrusted to care for him. In the past, the Client had qualified for 42 hours per week, and was at 40 hours during the last budget year. United Healthcare, the client's Medicaid managed care organization (MCO), told the care coordinator that the Client’s Personal Care Service (PCS) hours would be cut down to 25 hours a week. The family and the Client were never directly notified. The Client’s mother filed for appeal with HSD, but there was no denial in writing. Mother has been needing to get up with the Client during the nights because Client has serious seizures, resulting in the loss of more skills. His ability to speak and cognitive skills appear to have declined. She strongly felt that Client still needed the 40 hours per week he had been receiving. In addition, Client recently began using a g-tube, and United Health Care is obligated to provide g-tube care over and above the 40 hours the Client should receive in homemaker services. We prepared our Client’s mother for the fair hearing by reviewing testimony and medical records. A DRNM attorney outlined arguments supporting the need for 40 hours. The Client’s mother determined that with this preparation assistance she could represent the family in the hearing without legal representation from DRNM and she proceeded to do so. On September 11, 2015, our client received a hearing decision restoring the 40 hours of PCS. This will ensure that the Client’s hygiene and personal care needs are met. We discussed with the mother that the client was entitled to continuation of benefit payment for the full 40 hours per week pending the hearing decision, and that Client should receive those funds retroactively. This case is one example of the impact of the faulty assessment process approved by the state Human Services Department (HSD), which is the state Medicaid agency, through which the annual budget and care plan for an individual are based solely upon the PSC hours they require for assistance with Activities of Daily Living and which does not take into account other assistance the clients may need. Clients who need such additional services must pay for them by forgoing some of their PCS services, resulting in an inadequate level of PCS services. We are concerned that in this particular client's case, the Client’s need for g-tube care will mean a reduction to his PCS hours in order to avoid exceeding the annual budget limitations. We believe that he is entitled to receive this service from UHC in addition to the budget for PCS hours he was awarded. The client will advise us if this becomes an issue. We will continue monitoring this situation. Meanwhile, our Client is safe and he has enough Personal Care Service hours to meet his daily needs.

Part V. PAIR'S Priorities and Objectives

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

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

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

Priority A. 1. Priority: Investigate allegations of abuse/neglect 2. Rationale: Individuals with disabilities are subject to abuse or neglect at a higher rate than non-disabled individuals, and addressing allegations of abuse or neglect is a core function of protection and advocacy agencies. 3. Indicator: the number of investigations of alleged or suspected abuse or neglect where there appears to be a pattern or recurrence of significant abuse or neglect, where there has been a death or life-threatening injury, or where the alleged abuse or neglect is particularly egregious. 4. Collaboration: DRNM encourages other agencies and organizations to make referrals to us. We typically conduct investigations on our own, but in some circumstances we attempt to collaborate with Children’s Protective Services or Adult Protective Services. 5. The referrals we received and the investigations we conducted in FY 2015 involved persons with developmental disabilities or mental illness who were not eligible for PAIR services. We did not have any PAIR cases in this priority this year. 6. Case summary: N/A Priority B. 1. Priority: Facilitate access to community-based services 2. Rationale: Medicaid-supported community-based services allow persons with significant disabilities to live in and interact with their communities and avoid nursing home placement, but the level of services offered is often inadequate for the needs of the client. 3. Indicator: The number of cases in which PAIR assisted individuals in need of long term services, including those who choose to self-direct services, who have been denied access to such services, or for whom the level of services offered or provided is grossly inadequate. 4. Collaboration: DRNM collaborated with many other agencies in conjunction with this priority. We informed other legal service agencies and other disability advocacy organizations about our work and accepted referrals from them. This was reinforced by our collaborative efforts with other disability groups to promote systemic changes related to these services. 5. Number of cases handled within this priority: 10 6. Case example: We have a client with C6-C7 quadriplegia who has been helped by DRNM in prior years when his Personal Care (PC) hours were proposed to be reduced. In FY 2015, this client was once again facing a reduction in personal care services, from 57 hours of services each week to only 45 hours per week, which was the standard maximum allowed through the assessment process used by United Healthcare, the client’s Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO). The client appealed the MCO’s decision and requested an Administrative Fair Hearing. The DRNM/PAIR attorney met with the client and his sister to prepare for the hearing. Consistent with agency policy encouraging resolution at the lowest level when possible, the DRNM/PAIR attorney contacted United Healthcare's attorney prior to the day of the hearing to offer to negotiate a possible settlement of the case. The opposing counsel indicated she would consider this. The day before the scheduled hearing, the MCO attorney contacted DRNM to indicate that the client was receiving the maximum allowable amount of service based on the standard assessment. DRNM argued forcefully for a truly individual assessment, reflecting the exceptional level of service needed by our client. We explained the history of service hours and care needs and reviewed all of the exhibits, including the client’s current provider's findings and recommendations on his level of care. We explained in detail the risks to the client's health if his personal care hours were reduced from 57 to 45, such as the distinct possibility of bed sores, accidents or infections. Ultimately, opposing counsel indicated that she found our argument persuasive and agreed to reinstate the full 57 hours, effective immediately. Our client was relieved and happy with this outcome, though the client understands that a year later another annual assessment will be conducted and may again result in a proposed reduction in service hours. However, the MCO attorney helpfully suggested that our client prepare a letter in advance of his next assessment, explaining his needs in each assessment category and why a reduction would be detrimental. She said that a letter from the client would be useful in determining if he has an exceptional need for more care hours that take the individual over the established maximum. Our client, his sister and his caregiver are relieved that client has the services he needs to maintain his health and live in the community as he desires. Priority C. Public Policy Changes 1. Priority: Provide input into public policies that affect individuals with disabilities 2. Rationale: State regulations and other policies establish policies and procedures that have a major impact on persons with disabilities, and unfortunately very few other disability organizations monitor and comment on proposed changes so the community depends on DRNM to do so. 3. Indicator: the number of comments submitted on proposed regulatory changes in Medicaid or other public programs that would have a significant effect on eligibility, benefits, or procedural protections for persons with disabilities. 4. Collaboration: DRNM worked closely with The Disability Coalition to track and disseminate information about proposed changes to Medicaid regulations. We also worked with other organizations such as the Senior Citizens’ Law Office. 5. Number of cases: This priority does not involve individual casework but we submitted comments on three proposed state regulations affecting persons eligible for PAIR services. 6. Case summary: Pursuant to a bill that passed the 2015 legislature and was signed into law, the state Medicaid agency proposed changes to state rules that will provide for the continuation of Medicaid eligibility for persons who enter county detention centers (jails), and to assure the availability of assistance in applying for Medicaid for detainees who are not yet eligible. Although Medicaid generally does not cover health care provided in jails or prisons, the proposed rules would facilitate access to Medicaid-covered services as soon as the individual is released from a facility. Our comments noted the significant benefit of the rule to persons with various disabilities. DRNM also submitted comments with respect to proposed rule changes regarding the state’s proposed transition plan for assuring that long term services are provided in integrated settings, and regarding expanding eligibility guidelines for Applied Behavioral Analysis services. Priority D. Health Care Coverage 1. Priority: Promote public awareness, and implementation in New Mexico, of new opportunities for health care coverage and services under federal health care reform. 2. Rationale: Access to health care through Medicaid or the Exchange plays a critical role in maintaining the health of people with disabilities and their capacity for independent and integrated community living. 3. Indicator: the extent to which individuals access the health insurance exchange through on-line applications, use of accessible walk-in offices, and with effective assistance by Healthcare Guides. 4. Collaboration: DRNM worked with the Medicaid Coalition, the Disability Coalition and other groups to provide public information about health coverage opportunities. 5. This priority did not involve individual casework. However, enrollment in Medicaid as a result of eligibility expansion established under the Affordable Care Act dramatically exceeded expectations, with over 200,000 individuals enrolling — about 10% of the state’s population. Enrollment in the Health Insurance Exchange in 2015 was also up significantly from 2014. The Exchange established a number of walk-in offices around the state this year, which DRNM and other advocates had suggested from the beginning. In 2014 there had only been one such office. 6. A typical example of DRNM work this year was a joint presentation with The Disability Coalition at a regional conference in Farmington, NM which provided an update on opportunities for health care coverage through Medicaid or the Health Insurance Exchange. Priority E: Self-determination 1. Priority: Persons with disabilities have control over the decisions that affect them. 2.The decision-making process and the right to self-advocacy for many individuals with disabilities is negatively impacted by restrictive or unnecessary substitute decision-making. Persons with disabilities often become more capable of making their own choices as they get older and gain more experience, but once a substitute decision-maker has been appointed it is often a difficult and arduous process to change the arrangement. Also a substitute decision maker that is non-responsive can hinder the decisions and impair the quality of life for the protected person. 3. Indicators of success: number of individual cases taken, number of cases closed successful. 4.Collaboration with other groups: In addressing this priority area, DRNM collaborates with the DDPC Office of Guardianship, the NM Guardianship association, and with other civil legal service provider agencies which are involved in this area. We also collaborate with centers for independent living. 5. Number of cases in this priority: 1. [DRNM served many other clients under this priority but was able to use resources other than PAIR to do so due to the disability]. 6.Case example: A 33 year old woman with TBI and lupus contacted DRNM to assist her with removing her parents as her guardian. She feels that they making decisions based on their needs and not hers. They have selected her community services providers based on their preferences not hers. The client states that her memory is getting better all the time. She has maintained a job for the past year ans wishes to move to an apartment on her own. She has the support of her physician and case manager. Both professionals say that she will need some minor supports but is capable of making these decisions for herself. This case is ongoing. Priority F: Special education 1. Priority : Assist children with disabilities whose IEPs are not implemented or who are excluded from appropriate special education services and placements. 2. Barrier: Children with disabilities are not always provided a free and appropriate public education 3. Indicators: Number of children with disabilities who, with DRNM assistance, receive the full array of educational opportunities available to non-disabled peers 4. We have collaborated with the state's parent training center and several other special education advocates and programs. 5.Number of cases under this priority: 7 6. Case example: Client is an 8-year-old girl with Learning Disability and behavioral issues. She was placed into foster care while under state custody and the foster parent attempted to enroll her into this new school district. The district refused to allow her to attend school because her previous IEP stated that she was placed into a “home-bound” setting. A DRNM advocate worked with the Client’s foster mother to convince the school district to hold an IEP meeting to discuss Client’s needs. Through the advocate’s education of the IEP team about the child's individual needs and her right to an appropriate education, Client was allowed to attend school full-time in a general education setting with a variety of services to support her: Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Social Work, and other support services. She is now in a position to take advantage of the educational opportunities available to her non-disabled peers.

B. Priorities and Objectives for the Current Fiscal Year

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

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

Priority A 1. Investigations of alleged abuse or neglect 2.Individuals with disabilities are subject to abuse or neglect at a higher rate than non-disabled individuals, and addressing allegations of abuse or neglect is a core function of protection and advocacy agencies. 3. Conduct investigations of alleged or suspected abuse or neglect where there appears to be a pattern or recurrence of significant abuse or neglect, where there has been a death or life-threatening injury, or where the alleged abuse or neglect is particularly egregious, and produce reports/recommendations as appropriate. Priority B 1. Facilitate access to long-term community-based services 2. Many individuals with disabilities do not receive the level of appropriate community-based services they need to maintain their independence, and many recipients have experienced reductions or proposed reductions in services. 3. Assist individuals in need of long term services, including those who choose to self-direct services, who have been denied access to such services, or for whom the level of services offered or provided is grossly inadequate. Priority C 1. Provide input into proposed public policy changes affecting services to persons with disabilities. 2. State laws and regulations and other policies establish policies and procedures that have a major impact on persons with disabilities, and unfortunately very few other disability organizations have the capacity and expertise to comment on proposed changes. 3.A. Review and comment on proposed statutory or regulatory changes in Medicaid or other public programs that would have a significant effect on eligibility, benefits, or procedural protections for persons with disabilities. 3.B. Administer and participate in the Disability Coalition to support collaborative public policy advocacy across multiple disability organizations. Priority D 1. Promote self-determination. 2. The decision-making process and the right to self-advocacy for many individuals with disabilities is negatively impacted by restrictive or unnecessary substitute decision-making. Persons with disabilities often become more capable of making their own choices as they get older and gain more experience, but once a substitute decision-maker has been appointed it is often a difficult and arduous process to change the arrangement. 3. Promote the least restrictive level and form of substitute decision-making necessary, and provide assistance to protected persons with a Representative Payee or under guardianship, including treatment guardianship, where the Representative Payee or guardian appears to be arbitrary or non-responsive to the reasonable preferences of the protected person, or appears to abuse their authority. Priority E 1.Facilitate access to appropriate special education services 2. Many children with disabilities have IEPs that are not properly and reasonably implemented. Many school districts demonstrate a pattern of inadequate compliance with state and federal special education requirements that result in children not receiving the educational services they are entitled to. 3.A. Advocate for students with IEPs that are wholly or substantially inadequate or whose substantial lack of implementation by their local school districts keeps the student from benefiting from special education. 3.B. Pursue systemic change strategies such as supporting family organizing efforts and pursuing group complaint strategies against school districts with a pattern of violations of state and/or federal law. 3.C. Provide technical assistance, self-advocacy assistance or limited advocacy for students who may be eligible for special education services, but may have been denied evaluations due to their placement in a prolonged SAT process.

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. Source of Funding In FY 2015, the PAIR award to DRNM was $171,598. In FY 2015, PAIR expenditures totaled $134,438, of which $34,600 was the balance of FY 2014 PAIR funding and $99,838 of which was from the FY 2015 PAIR award. B. Expenditures/Budget Expenditures in FY 2015, and the corresponding amounts budgeted for expenditure in FY 2016, are as follows: Salaries $84,015 / $118,719 Fringe Benefits $18,745 / 30,722 Travel $2,830 / $3,638 Supplies/Materials $825 / $1,023 Rent $8,939 / 9,691 Telephone $1,686 / $1,331 Printing/copying $1,616 / $1,208 Other Operating costs $5,243 / $6,664 Administrative $10,538 / $15,602 TOTAL $134,437 / $188,598 C. PAIR Staff positions in FY 2015: Advocate staff 0.99 FTE Attorney staff 0.33 FTE Support staff 0.26 FTE Supervisory staff 0.16 FTE TOTAL PAIR Staff 1.74 FTE D. DRNM does not maintain an advisory board or committee for the PAIR program, but staff work closely with a number of consumer and family groups and advocacy organizations involved with the constituencies served by PAIR. Our agency Director serves as the Chair of the Steering Committee for the Disability Coalition, a statewide group of organizations and individuals advocating for persons with disabilities. The Steering Committee includes representation from two of the state’s Independent Living Centers as well as the Governor’s Commission on Disability, the state DD Planning Council, The Arc of New Mexico and DRNM. E. Grievances filed under the grievance procedure There were no grievances filed in the PAIR program in FY 2015. F. Coordination: DRNM is the state’s designated CAP program, so collaboration between PAIR and CAP occurs routinely within the agency. DRNM also collaborates with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, which is housed in the state Aging and Long-Term Services Department, but we received no referrals from that office this year.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByJames Jackson
TitleExecutive Director
Signed Date12/24/2015