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

New Mexico (NATIVE AMERICAN P and A PROJECT -- DNA - PEOPLES LEGAL SERVICES) - H240A150057 - FY2015

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameNative American Disability Law Center Inc.
Address3535 E 30th Street Suite 201
Address Line 2
CityFarmington
StateNew Mexico
Zip Code87402
E-mail Addresstyanan@nativedisabilitylaw.org
Website Addresshttp://www.nativedisabilitylaw.org
Phone505-566-5880
TTY
Toll-free Phone800-862-7271
Toll-free TTY
Fax505-566-5880
Name of P&A Executive DirectorTherese Yanan
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorTherese Yanan
Person to contact regarding reportTherese Yanan
Contact Person phone505-566-5880
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 areas72
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas10
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)82

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff7
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)553

On May 15, 2015, 121 students with disabilities, their parents & educators attended the Steps to Success Conference. The Law Center used a volunteer organizing committee to plan and conduct the Steps to Success Conference. The committee was comprised of three parents of children with disabilities, three students with disabilities, and one school social worker. There were an additional twelve volunteers who helped run the conference. The conference agenda included sessions selected by the organizing committee and covered areas ranging from special education services, to anti-bullying, to a legislative update. The Conference was conducted with cooperation of local school districts & parent advocacy organizations. All attendees were given surveys to assess the conference’s effectiveness. For those who answered the questions, all indicated that they understood their rights better, felt that they had more choices and could do more things in their community. The surveys indicated that 100% of those surveyed indicated that they Strongly Agreed or Agreed with the statement that they were Satisfied with the Conference. The Law Center also provided presentations at the National Native American Special Education Conference, the National Native American TBI Summit, & regional conferences, such as the annual Hopi Disability Conference & the annual Navajo Disability Conference.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff1
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles3
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website3,572
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated1,908
6. Other (specify separately)1

Narrative

The Law Center also submitted an entry as a "guest blogger" for the Disability Blog sponsored by the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy. The entry focused on the unique challenges facing Native Americans with disabilities & their strengths. It has been viewed 1007 times.

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)12
2. Additional individuals served during the year39
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)51
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)2

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 1

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility0
2. Employment2
3. Program access0
4. Housing0
5. Government benefits/services36
6. Transportation0
7. Education11
8. Assistive technology0
9. Voting0
10. Health care2
11. Insurance0
12. Non-government services0
13. Privacy rights0
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse0
16. Neglect0
17. Other0

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor13
2. Other representation found0
3. Individual withdrew complaint3
4. Appeals unsuccessful0
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.0
6. PAIR withdrew from case1
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources26
8. Individual case lacks legal merit9
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-advocacy31
2. Short-term assistance3
3. Investigation/monitoring0
4. Negotiation0
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution1
6. Administrative hearings15
7. Litigation (including class actions)2
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 - 41
2. 5 - 2213
3. 23 - 5928
4. 60 - 647
5. 65 and over2

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females22
2. Males29

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race0
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native51
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American0
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White0
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown0

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent14
2. Parental or other family home37
3. Community residential home0
4. Foster care0
5. Nursing home0
6. Public institutional living arrangement0
7. Private institutional living arrangement0
8. Jail/prison/detention center0
9. Homeless0
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 impairment1
2. Deaf/hard of hearing2
3. Deaf-blind0
4. Orthopedic impairment30
5. Mental illness0
6. Substance abuse0
7. Mental retardation0
8. Learning disability13
9. Neurological impairment1
10. Respiratory impairment0
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment2
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment1
13. Speech impairment1
14. AIDS/HIV0
15. Traumatic brain injury0
16. Other disability0

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

1. Number of policies/practices changed as a result of non-litigation systemic activities1

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes25,500

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.

The Law Center continued advocating for increased access to public buildings & services. As a result of this advocacy, the Navajo Nation President issued an Executive Order to all Divisions & Departments mandating that they comply with the Navajo Vocational Rehabilitation Act & ensure full access to individuals with disabilities. Following up on the Executive Order, the Law Center collaborated with the Navajo Nation Advisory Council on Disability to meet with various Navajo Nation Departments & the Navajo Nation Resource & Development Committee to discuss ways to comply with the Executive Order. Representatives from the Navajo Nation Tribal Council asked for the Law Center’s assistance in developing ways to improve access to services for people with disabilities. Several methods were discussed, including setting aside a portion of the budget to renovate existing buildings to improve access & requiring businesses on the Navajo Nation to provide full access for people with disabilities. Ultimately, the Navajo Nation government decided to strengthen the existing Navajo VR Act so that it clearly prohibits discrimination based on a person’s disability, mandates access & accommodations, & provides for an enforcement mechanism.

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts0
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.

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.

1. Identify & Describe Priority Priority A: Community Based Services 2. Identify the Need, Issue or Barrier Addressed by this Priority Lack of access to public services and building is a major barrier for people with disabilities. It limits their ability to work or fully participate in their communities. 3. Identify & Describe Indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Objective 1: Advocate for increased access to public buildings and services. Objective 2: Advocate for appropriate services & accommodations to increase access for people with disabilities. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. The Law Center worked with the Navajo Advisory Council on Disability, the Hopi Disability Advocacy Group, the Navajo Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, the Hopi Office for Special Needs, & ASSIST! for Independence & the San Juan Independent Living Center, the independent living centers that serve our client communities. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions. 5 — none were class actions This priority was focused on more systemic changes in the community, but the Law Center did provide direct services to 5 clients as well. 6, Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. The Law Center continued advocating for increased access to public buildings & services. As a result of this advocacy, the Navajo Nation President issued an Executive Order to all Divisions & Departments mandating that they comply with the Navajo Vocational Rehabilitation Act & ensure full access to individuals with disabilities. Following up on the Executive Order, the Law Center collaborated with the Navajo Nation Advisory Council on Disability to meet with various Navajo Nation Departments & the Navajo Nation Resource & Development Committee to discuss ways to comply with the Executive Order. Representatives from the Navajo Nation Tribal Council asked for the Law Center’s assistance in developing ways to improve access to services for people with disabilities. Several methods were discussed, including setting aside a portion of the budget to renovate existing buildings to improve access & requiring businesses on the Navajo Nation to provide full access for people with disabilities. Ultimately, the Navajo Nation government decided to strengthen the existing Navajo VR Act so that it clearly prohibits discrimination based on a person’s disability, mandates access & accommodations, & provides for an enforcement mechanism. 1. Identify & Describe Priority Priority B: Abuse & Neglect 2. Identify the Need, Issue or Barrier Addressed by this Priority. The Law Center exists primarily to prevent & address abuse & neglect. 3. Identify & Describe Indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Objective 1: Monitor the investigation by the appropriate agency of all reported incidents of abuse and neglect. Objective 2: Represent children in abuse & neglect cases as appointed by relevant courts. Objective 3: Provide information regarding rights and services to individuals living in group homes & institutions on the reservation by visiting them on a quarterly basis. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. The Law Center accepts reports of abuse & neglect from all entities & monitors the investigation of these cases. Additionally, the Law Center represents children who are victims of abuse & neglect when appointed to do so by the local courts. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions. 0 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. The Law Center maintains this priority for PAIR funding so that relevant cases can be addressed; however, most issues are addressed using non-PAIR funds. The congregate care facilities usually provide services to clients who are eligible for other P&A funding. 1, Identify & Describe Priority Priority C: Special Education 2. Identify the Need, Issue or Barrier Addressed by this Priority. In 2011, the Law Center updated the community needs assessment by conducting several community based focus groups & surveying previous clients, advocacy groups & service providers. The needs assessment & the Law Center’s experience continually identify special education cases as the primary concern facing our client community. The community feels that providing appropriate services to children with disabilities is essential to later providing these children with the opportunity to fully participate in their communities. 3. Identify & Describe Indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Objective 1: Provide two (2) trainings on education rights to parent support groups or parents of children with disabilities reaching 100 individuals. Objective 2: Provide technical assistance to the parents or guardians of twenty (20) children with disabilities to empower them to advocate for their children to obtain and receive appropriate education services in their community and in the least restrictive environment. Objective 3: Provide direct representation in meetings and other informal settings for fifteen (15) children with disabilities who are not receiving a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. Objective 4: Provide direct representation in administrative proceedings for ten (10) children with disabilities who are not receiving a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. The Law Center worked with the Hopi Office of Special Needs, the Navajo Advisory Council on Disability, the Hopi Disability Advocacy Group, and the regional Parent Training & Information Centers to achieve this priority. 5. Provide the Number of Cases Handled under the Priority. Indicate how many of these, if any were class actions. 11 — none were class actions The bulk of the cases handled under this priority were addressed with non-PAIR funds. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. J is a 10 years old Navajo student who attends a Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) school on the Navajo reservation in the State of Arizona. J’s grandmother has been J’s legal guardian since she was 5 years old. J’s grandmother contacted the Law Center seeking assistance for her granddaughter who needed to be evaluated for special education services. J’s grandmother explained she would like a better understanding of the evaluation process. J was previously evaluated two years ago for special education when she was enrolled in a state public school. The evaluation determined J did not qualify for special education services. J’s grandmother shared her granddaughter was having trouble academically, socially & emotionally. When J was evaluated, her grandmother did not understand why her granddaughter did not qualify for special education services. J’s grandmother knew her granddaughter was struggling. The Law Center Advocate, J and J’s grandmother sat down together to understand their procedural safeguards under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). J’s grandmother would listen to J on how it was difficult for her to understand the assignment given by the teacher. The Law Center Advocate explained to J’s grandmother the evaluation process & the need for an assessment to determine what kind of extra help she may need in school. The Law Center Advocate assisted J’s grandmother at the initial meeting to discuss the evaluation results. It was determined J qualified for special education services as a student with learning difficulties in math, and reading. The IEP team decided to keep J integrated in the regular classroom because she was doing well with her peers. The IEP team decided to modify her class assignments in math. As for reading J was placed in a small group reading session so she received the one-to-one focused attention. J’s grandmother started to hear her granddaughter talk about school in a positive way and her self-esteem improved at home and in school. As of today, J continues to enjoy school with her friends. 1. Identify & Describe Priority Priority D: Community Awareness 2, Identify the Need, Issue or Barrier Addressed by this priority. Once government leaders & the public understand the needs of people with disabilities, public services tend to become more accessible & support community integration. Tribal governments also become more aware of the need for statutory protections to support people with disabilities & protect them from abuse & neglect 3. Identify & Describe Indicators PAIR used to Determine Successful Outcome of activies pursued under this priority. Objective 1: Work with other disability advocacy organizations to address systemic discrimination toward individuals with disabilities and to increase the awareness of their needs and services. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. The Law Center worked with the Navajo Advisory Council on Disability, the Hopi Disability Advocacy Group, the Navajo Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, the Hopi Office for Special Needs, & ASSIST! for Independence & the San Juan Independent Living Center, the independent living centers that serve our client communities. 5. Proved the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions. 0 This priority focused on systemic change rather than individual cases. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. The Native American Disability Law Center (Law Center) continues to collaborate with and provide Technical Assistance to the Navajo Nation Advisory Council on Disabilities (the Advisory Council). The Advisory Council, comprised primarily of people with disabilities & their family members, advises the Navajo Nation on all policies that impact Navajos with disabilities. In collaboration with the Advisory Council, the Law Center continues to address several systemic issues, including accessibility and accommodations for Navajos with disabilities in the areas of Voter Participation, Public Housing, Public Transportation, Public Buildings, and Employment. For the past year, the Law Center has continued to work with various Navajo Nation Divisions & Departments to persuade them to revise policies and procedures to provide accommodations & access. As a result of these conversations, the Navajo Nation suggested revising the existing Navajo Vocational Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits discrimination but has been viewed by some as a policy statement not a mandate. Rather than revised policies for each Division or Department, the Navajo Nation asked the Law Center to help it revise the Navajo VR Act so that it clearly prohibits discrimination based on a person’s disability, requires all entities to provide access & accommodations, & provides for an enforcement agency to address grievances & complaints. Conferences and Out Reach: In collaboration with other disability advocacy organizations, the Law Center organizes & participates in the annual Navajo Disability Conference. The Conference focuses on raising awareness of the issues facing people with disabilities & educating those with disabilities, their families & service providers about available services. This past year’s conference was held on December 3, 2014, with 215 people attending & ten other disability organizations providing information. Additionally, the local Navajo Radio Station, KNDN, broadcast from the Conference & interviewed attendees about their needs, concerns, resources & services. The Law Center provided session on self-advocacy & the legal rights of people with disabilities at the federal, state & tribal level. Over 90% of those who responded to the survey indicated that the conference increased their knowledge & understanding & that they learned skills they will be able to use. 1. Identify & Describe Priority Priority E: Government Benefits 2, Identify the Need, Issue or Barrier Addressed by this priority. In 2011, the Law Center updated the community needs assessment by conducting several community based focus groups & surveying previous clients, advocacy groups & service providers. The needs assessment & the Law Center’s experience identified financial or income security as one of the primary concerns facing our client community. Given the overall unemployment & poverty rate that is over 40%, which of course is higher for those with disabilities, for individuals with disabilities financial security is the first step to maintaining housing & independence in the community. 3. Identify & Describe Indicators PAIR used to Determine Successful Outcome of activies pursued under this priority. Objective 1: Assist individuals with disabilities with understanding and completing the application process for benefits provided by the Social Security Administration. Objective 2: Provide direct representation for thirty (30) individuals with disabilities in their efforts to obtain benefits provided by the Social Security Administration. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. The Law Center accepted referrals from other service providers & referred cases to private attorneys when we lacked the resources to assist them. 5. Proved the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions. 35 — none were class actions 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. According to the Law Center’s 2011 Needs Assessment, over 89% of survey respondents indicated that helping people to obtain Social Security benefits was “very important” to them. One of the primary problems people have with obtaining Social Security benefits is understanding the application and appeal process. During the past year, the Law Center helped 22 people understand & complete the process to obtain Social Security benefits. Typically, these callers were either at the beginning of the application process or had not appealed earlier denials so they had to begin the process again with an initial application. The Law Center disseminated general information that explains the application process. The Law Center posted this information on its website and distributed 345 hard copies at all community education and outreach events. MM is now a 40-year old male, who reports to be a member of the Kickapoo Tribe. MM initially contacted the Law Center in December of 2013 regarding the denial his claim for DIB/SSI benefits. At that time, the Law Center declined representation based on the refusal of his then treating physician to provide documentation on his limitations, insufficient documentation of MM’s limitations in his medical records or otherwise, and MM’s young age. The Law Center encouraged MM to obtain a continuance of his hearing in order to establish care with new primary care physician and a specialist. MM followed the Law Center advice, obtained a continuance of his hearing and established care with both a new primary care physician and a specialist. However, MM returned to the Law Center only one month prior to the reset of his hearing, requesting representation at his hearing. Even though that was a very short timeframe to obtain the evidence needed, the Law Center was able to obtain substantial documentation of his limitations and new diagnoses prior to the hearing, including disc herniation, severe canal stenosis, uncontrolled chronic topahceous gout, bursitis, polyarthralgia, knee degenerative joint disease, rotator cuff injury, obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, echogenic liver, lymphadenopathy, and a non-healing wound. The Law Center submitted a hearing brief and represented MM at his hearing. The ALJ had a very high denial rate (70 to 80%); however, the Law Center obtain a fully favorable bench decision from this ALJ, especially significant given MM's relatively young age and the ALJ's very high denial rate. The bench decision allowed MM to more quickly start receiving benefits rather than having to wait for a written decision. This was particularly important to the client as his living situation was not sustainable. MM also received very substantial back benefits, which would allow him to obtain new housing, continue his education, and pay back overdue child support. 1. Identify & Describe Priority Priority F: Housing 2, Identify the Need, Issue or Barrier Addressed by this priority. The lack of accessible housing is the primary reason people with disabilities are unable to live in their community & are either placed in institutional or supportive living settings or are forced to move from tribal communities to the border communities. 3. Identify & Describe Indicators PAIR used to Determine Successful Outcome of activies pursued under this priority. Objective 1: Advocate for simplified Navajo and Hopi housing application procedures and policies that accommodate the needs of people with disabilities. Objective 2: Assist 5 individuals with disabilities in their efforts to obtain public housing, when they have been denied housing or reasonable accommodations because of their disability 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. The Law Center worked with the Navajo Advisory Council on Disability, the Hopi Disability Advocacy Group, the Navajo Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, the Hopi Office for Special Needs, & ASSIST! for Independence & the San Juan Independent Living Center, the independent living centers that serve our client communities. 5. Proved the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions. 0 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Since 2010, representatives the Law Center, the Navajo Nation Advisory Council on Disabilities, and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services have had numerous meetings with NHA, have submitted repeated requests for information, and repeatedly entered submissions regarding NHA policy and procedure amendments, all with the goal of improving access to housing for Navajo persons with disabilities. Unfortunately, we have seen very little progress. On December 15, 2014, a new eight-member NHA Board of Commissioners took office, members of which were confirmed by the Navajo Nation Tribal Council NABI Committee. In February 2015, Law Center staff met with Ervin Chavez, NHA BOC member. Mr. Chavez recommended we send a letter to NHA CEO Yazzie and all BOC members regarding our concerns, along with a history of our prior efforts. This letter was submitted to NHA on March 2, 2015. As a result, the Law Center was invited to attend the next NHA BOC meeting. On March 23, 2015, Law Center staff attend the NHA BOC meeting in Kayenta, AZ. Several BOC members spoke in support of our efforts, as well as former President Peterson Zah. The BOC also instructed NHA staff to address our concerns. On June 24, 2015, NHA sent a letter to the Law Center, responding to the Law Center’s letter dated April 18, 2011. However, NHA failed to effectively address any of our concerns in their response. Throughout the fiscal year, Law Center staff tried to work cooperatively with NHA to address individual concerns of those denied housing or reasonable accommodations because of their disability. As with our efforts to address these inequities systemically, NHA has been extremely resistent to our efforts to address individual concerns. Therefore the Law Center has deteremined, the best way to address these concerns is now through litigation. Hopi Tribal Housing Authority (HTHA) Due to the numerous personnel changes in the position of HTHA Executive Director, little progress has been made in addressing systemic issues. However, the continued to maintain contact with HTHA staff and address concerns on an individual basis.

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.

A Statement of Each Priority Priority A: Community Based Services The Need Addressed by each Priority People with disabilities continue to face discrimination, which frequently manifests itself as a lack of access to public services & building, lack of employment opportunities & other civil rights violations. Without adequate civil rights protections, this type of discrimination will continue & prohibit people with disabilities from living, working & fully participating in their communities. A Description of the Activities to be Carried Out under Each Priority. Objective 1: Advocate for improved civil right protections that guarantee access to community services. Objective 2: Work with other disability advocacy organizations to address systemic discrimination toward individuals with disabilities and to increase the awareness of their needs and services. Objective 3: Pass a Hopi Adult Protection Act that addresses abuse & neglect of adults with disabilities. A statement of each priority Priority B: Abuse & Neglect The need addressed by each priority The Law Center exists primarily to prevent & address abuse & neglect. A description of the activities to be carried out under each priority Objective 1: Monitor the investigation by the appropriate agency of all reported incidents of abuse and neglect. Objective 2: Represent children in abuse & neglect cases as appointed by relevant courts. Objective 3: Provide information regarding rights and services to individuals living in group homes & institutions on the reservation by visiting them on a quarterly basis. A statement of each priority Priority C: Special Education The need addressed by each priority In 2011, the Law Center updated the community needs assessment by conducting several community based focus groups & surveying previous clients, advocacy groups & service providers. The needs assessment & the Law Center’s experience continually identify special education cases as the primary concern facing our client community. The community feels that providing appropriate services to children with disabilities is essential to later providing these children with the opportunity to fully participate in their communities. A description of the activities to be carried out under each priority Objective 1: Provide one (1) training on education rights to students with disabilities and their parents reaching 80 individuals. Objective 2: Provide 20 seminars &/or clinics in Gallup area for students with disabilities and their parents to provide training & support in smaller group setting. Objective 3: Provide technical assistance to students or their parents or guardians of twenty-five (25) children with disabilities to empower them to advocate for their children to obtain and receive appropriate education services in their community and in the least restrictive environment. Objective 4: Provide direct representation in meetings and other informal settings for fifteen (15) children with disabilities who are not receiving a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. Objective 5: Provide direct representation in administrative proceedings for ten (10) children with disabilities who are not receiving a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. A statement of each priority Priority D: Government Benefits The need addressed by each priority In 2011, the Law Center updated the community needs assessment by conducting several community based focus groups & surveying previous clients, advocacy groups & service providers. The needs assessment & the Law Center’s experience identified financial or income security as one of the primary concerns facing our client community. Given the overall unemployment & poverty rate that is over 40%, which of course is higher for those with disabilities, for individuals with disabilities financial security is the first step to maintaining housing & independence in the community. A description of the activities to be carried out under each priority Objective 1: Provide technical assistance to individuals with disabilities to increase their understanding of the process for benefits provided by the Social Security Administration. A statement of each priority Priority E: Housing The need addressed by each priority The lack of accessible housing is the primary reason people with disabilities are unable to live in their community & are either placed in institutional or supportive living settings or are forced to move from tribal communities to the border communities. A description of the activities to be carried out under each priority Objective 1: Advocate for Navajo and Hopi housing that accommodates the needs of people with disabilities. Objective 2: Assist 5 individuals with disabilities in their efforts to obtain public housing, when they have been denied housing or reasonable accommodations because of their disability.

Part VI. Narrative

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

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

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

A. Sources of funds received and expended Received Expended Federal $73,600 $73,600 State 0 0 Program Income $23,039 $ 7,954 Private 0 0 B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by this report Expenses Salaries & Related Expenses $62,899 Contract Services $ 3,027 Non-Personnel $ 3,003 Occupancy $ 4,490 Travel/Mileage $ 5,128 Miscellaneous $ 3,060 C. Description of PAIR staff (duties and person-years) Program Staff Full-Time 50% Part-Time 0 Vacant 0 Administrative Staff Full-Time 41% Part-Time 0 Vacant 0 D. Involvement with advisory boards (if any) The Law Center’s Community & Government Liaison, Hoskie Benally, is the President of the Navajo Nation Disability Advisory Council. Other Law Center staff participate in the Advisory Council’s activities & provide technical assistance to the Council on parallel initiatives. Mr. Benally is also a member of the New Mexico Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. E. Grievances filed under the grievance procedure The Law Center did not receive any grievances under its grievance procedures. F. 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 The Tribal Communities served by the Law Center do not have a long-term care program with which the Law Center can coordinate services.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByTherese E. Yanan
TitleExecutive Director
Signed Date12/21/2015