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

New York (Disability Rights New York) - H240A150064 - FY2015

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameDisability Rights New York
Address725 Broadway, Suite 450
Address Line 2
CityAlbany
StateNew York
Zip Code12207
E-mail Addresselizabeth.grossman@drny.org
Website Addressdrny.org
Phone(518)4327861
TTY (518)5123448
Toll-free Phone(800)9938982
Toll-free TTY
Fax(518)4276561
Name of P&A Executive DirectorTimothy A. Clune
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorElizabeth Grossman
Person to contact regarding reportElizabeth Grossman
Contact Person phone(518)5124959
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 areas118
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas276
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)394

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff34
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)1,100

Formal training: At the Self Advocacy Association of New York State Capital/Upper Hudson Valley Region, DRNY trained individuals with disabilities about their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). DRNY conducted a webinar hosted by CipherHealth for New York City hospital personnel on changes to state law requiring hospitals to provide large print and audio versions of medical information to visually impaired patients and family members. DRNY trained staff members and local advocates at the North Country Center for Independent Living, with a focus on addressing the inaccessibility of the City of Plattsburgh. At a Stroke Support Group at Ellis Hospital, DNRY educated individuals who had experienced strokes and their family members about the rights of people with disabilities under the ADA. DRNY trained staff at Access to Independence of Cortland County about reasonable accommodation under the ADA. At an American Bar Association Conference, DRNY participated in a panel that educated attorneys about ADA litigation. We educated consumers with deafness on their rights, particularly with regard to effective communication and service animals, as well as the Protection & Advocacy (P&A) system. DRNY conducted training on housing and employment issues to staff members and advocates at the Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley. At the Damien Center, DRNY educated individuals with HIV on their right to service animals and emotional support animals. DRNY provided training to attendees of the Schenectady County Parkinson’s Support Group. The focus of the training was health care rights and the right to receive services in the community. DRNY educated the Albany County Long Term Care Advisory Council on the right of individuals with food allergies to receive Meals on Wheels, and the illegality of the current policy that prohibits anyone with food allergies from the program. As a result, the County is reconsidering the policy. Educational Outreach: Through the Rochester Disability Law Roundtable, DRNY met with attorneys from other disability rights organizations to explain the work of the P&A System, and to discuss current projects and shared areas of concern. We met with staff and volunteers from Helping Hands for the Disabled of NYC and provided information about the P&A system. DRNY met with the Cornell School of Industrial Relations to discuss DRNY's work. DRNY met with Disability Rights Advocates to discuss the role of DRNY and the P&A system. In response to an inquiry from the United States Senate Office of Compliance, DRNY conducted a phone conference to explain the P&A system. DRNY discussed the underemployment of people with disabilities and DRNY's mission with Job Path. We educated the Gender Equality Law Center about P&A work and discussed coverage of pregnancy under the ADA. DRNY met with Nassau-Suffolk Legal Services to discuss the P&A system and mutually beneficial referrals. Monitoring: DRNY conducted nursing home monitoring visits and trained staff and residents on the work of DRNY and laws protecting people with disabilities. These trainings took place at Hudson Park Nursing Home, Northeast Center for Special Care, Haven Manor Nursing Home, Jewish Home Lifecare, Bay Park Nursing Home, Union Plaza Care Center, and Linden Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. We conducted prison and jail monitoring visits and trained staff and inmates on the work of DRNY and laws protecting people with disabilities. These trainings took place at Albion Correctional Facility, Sullivan Correctional Facility, Wende Correctional Facility, and Rikers Island Correctional Facility (3 visits.) DRNY conducted monitoring visits and trained staff and clients of sheltered workshops. These trainings took place at the ARC of Steuben County, Universal Industries, and SubCon Industries.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff0
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles2
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website0
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated1,000
6. Other (specify separately)1

Narrative

PAIR issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit described in Section IV B.

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)74
2. Additional individuals served during the year525
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)599
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)20

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 120

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility41
2. Employment132
3. Program access23
4. Housing83
5. Government benefits/services58
6. Transportation28
7. Education61
8. Assistive technology14
9. Voting0
10. Health care74
11. Insurance12
12. Non-government services22
13. Privacy rights9
14. Access to records2
15. Abuse22
16. Neglect23
17. Other2

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor290
2. Other representation found14
3. Individual withdrew complaint75
4. Appeals unsuccessful9
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.6
6. PAIR withdrew from case6
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources8
8. Individual case lacks legal merit84
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-advocacy203
2. Short-term assistance253
3. Investigation/monitoring2
4. Negotiation20
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution0
6. Administrative hearings1
7. Litigation (including class actions)2
8. Systemic/policy activities35

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 - 2255
3. 23 - 59396
4. 60 - 6455
5. 65 and over93

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females306
2. Males293

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race56
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native1
3. Asian6
4. Black or African American117
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White341
7. Two or more races9
8. Race/ethnicity unknown69

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent398
2. Parental or other family home69
3. Community residential home3
4. Foster care0
5. Nursing home35
6. Public institutional living arrangement0
7. Private institutional living arrangement0
8. Jail/prison/detention center85
9. Homeless6
10. Other living arrangements3
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 impairment39
2. Deaf/hard of hearing51
3. Deaf-blind2
4. Orthopedic impairment181
5. Mental illness14
6. Substance abuse2
7. Mental retardation12
8. Learning disability29
9. Neurological impairment104
10. Respiratory impairment16
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment19
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment41
13. Speech impairment3
14. AIDS/HIV1
15. Traumatic brain injury32
16. Other disability53

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

1. Number of policies/practices changed as a result of non-litigation systemic activities32

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes5,500

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.

Service Animal Campaign:  After creating a link on the PAIR Section of the DRNY website with fact sheets and other material, we wrote to businesses that displayed signs banning dogs from their stores to advise them of the right of individuals with disabilities who have service dogs to bring them into public accommodations. In response, eight businesses advised their employees that service animals are allowed in their stores, and changed their "No Dogs" signs to include an exception for service animals. This change in policy will help to prevent individuals with service animals from being unlawfully excluded from public places. We additionally contacted the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation indicating that the “No Dogs” signs posted in some of its parks violated both the ADA and the Department’s own regulations. In response to our request, the Department of Parks and Recreation ordered over 150 "No Pets" signs to replace the signs reading "No Dogs." This change will help to prevent individuals with service animals from being unlawfully excluded from public parks. Online Accessibility:  DRNY wrote to businesses with websites that were out of compliance with a common metric of online accessibility for individuals with visual impairments to advise them of their obligation to ensure their websites are accessible. In response, three national companies agreed to review their procedures, correct any errors they found in assessing their websites, and ensure that future updates to the websites are ADA-compliant. This change in policy will allow individuals with visual disabilities to access the services offered by businesses online. Architectural Accessibility:  DRNY wrote to a business that regularly left items on the sidewalk in front of its store, preventing people with mobility devices from using the sidewalk. In response, the business agreed to modify its practice, ensuring that individuals who use mobility devices can pass the store on the sidewalk.  DRNY contacted a law school whose wheelchair accessible bathrooms did not comply with the requirements of the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design. In response, the law school modified its bathrooms to bring them into compliance. This change will allow individuals who use mobility devices to use those restrooms safely and comfortably.  DRNY contacted a post office to request that it clearly delineate its wheelchair accessible parking spaces. In response to our request, the post office agreed to restripe the accessible parking spaces to ensure that individuals with disability parking permits could use those spaces. The post office also agreed to introduce directional signage in Braille so that people with visual impairments who use Braille can better navigate the building. We contacted a banquet hall with an inaccessible second floor and an accessible entrance that could not be used in inclement weather or during the winter. In response to our request, the banquet hall agreed to install an elevator connecting the first and second floors and a new accessible entrance.  Now, all visitors are able to travel freely throughout the facility. We contacted two international companies that run websites for people to list, find, and rent lodgings, advising them that most of the lodgings listed as “wheelchair accessible” on its site did not appear to be accessible. They agreed to update their policies for the listing of rentals that are wheelchair accessible, and one agreed that we would draft the policy for them. These changes will help to ensure that the rentals listed on the website are in fact suitable for travelers who use mobility devices, increasing their enjoyment of their vacations. Accessibility — City of Albany:  We contacted the City of Albany regarding its lack of an ADA Transition Plan, an ADA Coordinator, and ADA Notices and Grievance Procedures in its city departments and on its website. In response, the City of Albany appointed an ADA Coordinator and posted an ADA Notice and Grievance Procedure in every city department and on its website. It also agreed to put together an ADA Transition Plan. These changes will increase the responsiveness of the City to the accessibility concerns of people with disabilities and speed the process of its compliance with the ADA. Accessibility — City of Mechanicville:  We contacted the City of Mechanicville to request that it repair its downtown sidewalks to make them accessible to users of mobility devices. In response to our request, Mechanicville appointed an ADA Coordinator and agreed to draft an ADA transition plan and begin necessary street and sidewalk repairs to increase accessibility. This change in policy will increase the City's responsiveness to the accessibility concerns of people with disabilities and speed the process of its compliance with the ADA. Jail and Prison Accessibility:  DRNY requested that Albion Correctional Facility construct a ramp leading to its State Shop and commissary. The prison agreed to do so, and now individuals who use mobility devices have access to those areas.   DRNY negotiated with Wende Correctional Facility to change its policy regarding law library access for prisoners in its medical unit.  The policy was previously restricted the number of cases an inmate in the medical unit could receive per day, and did not allow these inmates access to research computers.  As a result of DRNY's efforts, inmates in the medical unit now have the same library access as the general population. We negotiated with lawyers about conditions at Rikers Island Correctional Facility, resulting in elimination of indoor and outdoor tripping hazards, improvement to the accessibility of bathrooms, distribution of working wheelchairs, and installation of a ramp at the visitors center. The facility repaired most of the tripping hazards and plans to eliminate the rest by the end of 2015. It also installed an ADA-compliant ramp at the visitors center. These changes will help to reduce injuries resulting from slips and falls, especially among inmates with mobility impairments.   New York State Building Code Amendments: We wrote a letter to New York State and appeared at the Codes Council’s January 2015 meeting to speak against reducing accessibility requirements for newly built apartments and access aisles for parking spaces from the State Building Code. New York State did not alter those requirements, preventing the increased segregation of individuals with disabilities in New York. Employment Advertising:  We contacted businesses with job advertisements that included physical requirements that tend to screen out individuals with disabilities and discourage them from applying for positions for which they are in fact qualified. In response, five businesses removed the offending language from their job descriptions and three businesses removed their advertisements. Now, these entities are using advertisements and job descriptions that will allow qualified people with disabilities to compete for employment. Transportation:  DRNY contacted a ferry service which was using inaccessible buses to transport passengers to and from its ferry terminal.  After correspondence and a meeting, the company agreed to replace all of its buses with those that are fully accessible. Now all passengers will be able to ride all shuttle buses. PAIR helped to establish the New York Special Education Task Force affiliate in Syracuse, New York. The Task Force promotes participation and collaboration among all special education stakeholders, including parents, advocates, attorneys, school personnel, service provides, educators, government representatives, and individuals with disabilities.

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts2
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.

DRNY filed and resolved a lawsuit on behalf of a client who is a retired New York State employee with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The client was denied insurance coverage of a standing device by the New York State Department of Civil Service, although this was a necessary health benefit required by his insurance contract. When our client's condition progressed to the point that he used a wheelchair, four physicians and two physical therapists recommended use of a standing device to mitigate the symptoms of his disability. The Department of Civil Service nonetheless refused to provide him with a standing device until after the lawsuit was filed. Under the public settlement agreement, the Department of Civil Service will pay in full for a standing device, supplies, accessories, replacements, adjustments, and service, including necessary replacement. Not only does the plaintiff now have the benefit of a covered standing device, but others will see this settlement agreement and be able to make the same argument. We also participated in the filing of an amicus brief in New York Supreme Court Appellate Division.  We urged reversal of a decision upholding a nursing home's refusal to discharge a patient in accordance with her wishes because, without factual support, the nursing home deemed her husband an unacceptable caregiver. The court accepted the brief.

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 1 Promote the integration of people with disabilities into the community, especially in regard to transitions away from nursing facilities and institutions. Individuals with disabilities have been subjected to unnecessary institutionalization, including placement in nursing homes, due to lack of access to services within the community. We will address the need for community-based services within our state by advocating for individualized support to meet the needs of our clients. We do so in a variety of ways, including by representing clients who are denied home and community based services under the Medicaid waiver programs and state and local services as well as representing clients who want to, but have not been, discharged from nursing homes.  PAIR collaborates with the other P&A programs on nursing home monitoring. Number of cases handled under the priority:  29 (no class actions) Case examples: DRNY received a favorable decision following a fair hearing, which resulted in a County's restoration of home care hours for a client who had experienced two strokes. The decision enabled her to continue to live in her own home. We defended a client with blindness, mental illness and arthritis against a guardianship and forced placement, and assisted her in choosing an alternative to hospitalization. Priority 2 Maximize autonomy of people with disabilities to make their own decisions and to control their own lives, including their finances. This priority recognizes the importance of the rights of people with disabilities to make critical decisions impacting their lives, especially regarding finances. We will advocate for the rights of people with disabilities to control decision-making by representing those who have been denied these rights and providing information and technical assistance to people involved in self-advocacy.  PAIR did not engage in collaborative efforts regarding this priority. Number of cases handled under the priority:  35 (no class actions) Case examples: DRNY assisted a client with dementia in resisting the attempt of an assisted living facility to discharge her against her wishes to a distant nursing facility. We assisted a client with multiple sclerosis in regaining control of how her money is spent by a trust. DRNY obtained a reduction of a $9000 Social Security overpayment for a client who has a developmental disability. Priority 3 Attain systemic access to public accommodations for people with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities are afforded the protection of both state and federal laws which allow them equal access to and enjoyment of public places. Many individuals, unaware of their rights, cannot access businesses, public attractions, and community programming, all of which increase their enjoyment of life and promote their integration into the community. We will address this need by providing information, technical assistance, and representation to clients who seek access to public places.  PAIR did not engage in collaborative efforts regarding this priority. Number of cases handled under the priority:  53 (no class actions) Case examples: We represented a client with deafness who had been denied an accommodation in taking the exam for a Fire Instructor course. After DRNY intervened, the client was provided the accommodation. DRNY worked with the owner of a restaurant to install signage indicating its accessible entrance. Priority 4 Ensure systemic access to government facilities and programs for people with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities are afforded the protection of both state and federal laws which allow them equal access to and enjoyment of government facilities and services. Many individuals, unaware of their rights, cannot access government facilities and services, which increase their enjoyment of life and promote their integration into the community. We will address this need by providing information, technical assistance, and representation to clients who seek access to government facilities and services.  PAIR did not engage in collaborative efforts regarding this priority, Number of cases handled under the priority:  36 (no class actions) Case examples: DRNY successfully advocated that a client with physical and mental disabilities receive accommodations in probate court. On behalf of a client with deafness, DRNY worked with her local SSA and DSS office to ensure that she would be provided an interpreter in the future. Priority 5 Obtain equal access to transportation for people with disabilities. Integration into a community is often impacted by an individual’s access to public transportation. Many people with disabilities are unable to access medical care, support, food, entertainment, and other activities due to a lack of reliable, accessible public transportation. Public transportation ensures that individuals with disabilities have access to community supports, businesses, and services. We will address this need by providing information, technical assistance, and representation to clients who seek access to accessible public transportation.  PAIR engaged in collaboration with the PABSS program regarding this priority. Number of cases handled under the priority:  15 (no class actions) Case examples: After a client with orthopedic impairments had been denied continuing paratransit service, DRNY successfully advocated that she remain in the program. When a client with orthopedic impairments who uses a walker complained that he could not access a college softball field from the parking lot, DRNY negotiated with the college to provide shuttle transportation from the parking lot to the field. After a paratransit company repeatedly sent a client with osteoarthritis a car rather than a van with an appropriate lift, DRNY obtained assurances that client would be provided a van in the future. Priority 6 Protect people with disabilities in facilities and programs from abuse and neglect. Individuals with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect in both community and institutional settings. We will address the need to prevent and remedy the abuse of people with disabilities by providing information, technical assistance, and representation to clients subject to abuse and neglect, as well as exercising our monitoring authority to assess institutional settings.  PAIR collaborates with the other P&A programs on nursing home, prison/jail, and sheltered workshop monitoring. Number of cases handled under the priority:  70 (no class actions) Case examples: After DRNY intervened, a client in prison was provided a new prosthetic leg, DRNY successfully advocated for a client with diabetes in prison to keep with her the necessary supplies to monitor her blood glucose levels. Priority 7 Remove barriers to education for people with disabilities, particularly segregation of students with disabilities and inappropriate removal of students from school. This priority recognizes the importance of ensuring that individuals with disabilities have access to schooling in integrated settings and with the accommodations necessary to provide them with equal access to and the equal benefits of education. We will address this need by providing information, technical assistance, and representation to clients facing barriers to education. Number of cases handled under the priority:  46 (no class actions) Case examples: A client who has autism and social anxiety was removed from her college dormitory after she had several panic attacks relating to disability harassment from her roommates. The letter informing her of the decision to remove her from the dorm cited her "violent" and "disturbing" behavior. DRNY successfully negotiated an agreement in which the client was allowed to move back into the dorms and the letter was removed from her file. DRNY successfully requested a 504 Plan for a high school student with severe migraines. Priority 8 Prevent discrimination in housing for people with disabilities, especially the unavailability of accessible housing/inaccessible design, refusal to make reasonable modifications to rules, policies and practices, and the use of exclusionary land use practices. Integration into a community is often impacted by an individual’s ability to obtain appropriate housing from community-based landlords or other housing providers. Access to housing within the community increases the ability of individuals with disabilities to access to community supports, businesses, and services. We will address this need by providing information, technical assistance, and representation to clients facing housing discrimination.  PAIR did not engage in collaborative efforts regarding this priority. Number of cases handled under this priority:  60 (no class actions) Case examples: A client's pulmonary issues were aggravated by her neighbor's smoking in their non-smoking building. DRNY negotiated with client's landlord to install additional insulation between the apartments, purchase a smoke detector which will work outside of the neighbor's apartment, and to work with the neighbor to move to the other side of the building. When a client with a heart condition moved out of state, she was denied the ability to transfer her housing choice voucher to another state. DRNY arranged for an exception to be made and she was allowed to transfer the voucher. DRNY negotiated with the landlord of a client with traumatic brain injury to move the sign indicating her accessible parking so that it would not be knocked down by drivers. Priority 9 Eliminate barriers to employment for people with disabilities, particularly in regard to the application process, requests for reasonable accommodation, harassment, and retaliation. Individuals with disabilities have been subject to employment discrimination. Integration into a community is often impacted by an individual’s ability to obtain and maintain employment. We will address the need of individuals with disability to have access to employment by providing information, technical assistance, and representation to clients facing employment discrimination.  PAIR engaged in collaboration with the PABSS program regarding this priority. Number of cases handled under this priority:  113 (no class actions) Case examples: After a client with sleep apnea was terminated because of her disability, DRNY represented her before the New York State Division of Human Rights and obtained a $7500 settlement. A client who has an amputated leg and uses a prosthetic had asked her employer to transfer her to a location closer to home as a reasonable accommodation, but her request was rejected. DRNY assisted her in drafting a new request and engaging in the interactive process. She successfully obtained a transfer to a location closer to her home. DRNY obtained the reasonable accommodation of a modified work schedule for a client with diabetes who worked at a retail store. Priority 10 Remove communication, architectural and equipment barriers to heath care services. Individuals with disabilities face difficulties in obtaining health care services, impacting their ability to live in integrated settings. We will address the need for individuals with disabilities to obtain access to health care by providing information, technical assistance, and representation to clients who face difficulties accessing appropriate health care services.  PAIR did not engage in collaborative efforts regarding this priority. Number of cases handled under this priority:  10 (no class actions) Case examples: DRNY successfully advocated that a client with Parkinson's receive an out of network consultation with a hospital that best suited his medical needs. After a client with cerebral palsy terminated her YMCA membership because her disability was not accommodated, DRNY successfully advocated for a reduced price personal trainer. Priority 11 Assure the provision of auxiliary aids and services to ensure the availability of effective communication for people with disabilities. This priority recognizes the importance of ensuring that individuals with disabilities can communicate effectively with service providers of all kinds. We will address the need for individuals with disabilities to obtain access to health care by providing information, technical assistance, and representation to clients who are being denied the auxiliary aids and services to which they are entitled under state and federal law. PAIR engaged in collaboration with the PAAT program regarding this priority. Number of cases handed under this priority:  23 (no class actions) Case examples: When a client with deafness was denied an interpreter by a doctor conducting a mammogram, we filed a successful complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services, which determined that the doctor had been out of compliance and would receive technical assistance. When DRNY intervened, a hospital agreed to provide our client with deafness an interpreter instead of video remote interpreting (VRI) which did not ensure effective communication for the client. Priority 12 Conduct outreach and education to ensure that individuals throughout New York State know about the P&A system, know their rights, and can access appropriate PAIR services. Outreach and education are effective ways to ensure the protection of our clients’ rights. We will educate individuals with disabilities and others by conducting public awareness activities, promoting self-advocacy skills, and educating the availability of PAIR services to qualified individuals. We will also provide training and technical assistance to health care professionals, health administrators, employers, service providers, individuals with disabilities, their advocates, and their family members.  PAIR engaged in collaboration with the P&A and CAP Programs regarding this priority. See Training Activities Section I B for detailed information about work conducted under this prioroty.

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.

As a new P&A, DRNY adopted the PAIR priorities for a period of three years, from fiscal year 2105 through fiscal year 2018.  After that period, they will be reassessed.  See Section V A for a discussion of the DRNY PAIR priorities, the needs addressed, and the description of activities carried out.

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. DRNY received Federal (Section 509) funds under Grant award number H240A140064 in the amount of $912,997 and spent $322,897 in 2014 and $590,100 in 2015.  During Fiscal Year(FY)15 DRNY received $18,194 in program income. DRNY received Federal (Section 509) funds under Grant award number H240A150064 in the amount of $910,236 and spend $397,256.  DRNY did not receive state, private or any other type of funds.  DRNY spent $987,356 of the $1,500,336 available during the year.

B. PAIR Grant Program FY 2014 Funds

Personnel Salaries $ 514,298

Fringe Benefits $179,203

Travel $20,581

Rent/Utilities/Furnishings $81,815

Telephone $7,872

Equipment $15,759

Supplies $10,003

Postage $3,258

Printing/Copies $1,673

Conferences/Workshops $2,884

Malpractice Insurance $17,255

Dues, Subscriptions, and Memberships $2,498

Westlaw and Other Library Fees $4,402

Business Owners Insurance $770

Payroll Services $3,451

Training (Includes CLEs) $6,550

Audit Fees $4,168

Professional Services Costs $834

Miscellaneous Expenses $2,954

Alterations & Renovations (LH Improvements) $32,769

Budget for FY 2014 funds $912,997

PAIR Grant Program FY 2015 Funds

Personnel Salaries $518,172

Fringe Benefits $176,626

Travel $31,530

Occupancy $78,507

Equipment & Furnishings $9,662

Supplies $1,602

Postage $9,931

Printing/Copies $3,145

Contractual Costs $6,270

Malpractice Insurance $17,607

Dues, Subscriptions, and Memberships $3,199

Westlaw and Other Library Fees $4,446

Business Owners Insurance $983

Payroll Services $3,426

Training (includes CLEs) $8,390

Audit Fees $6,621

Litigation Costs $7,665

Professional Services Costs $12,891

Miscellaneous Expenses $2,979

Budget for FY 2015 Funds $910,236

PAIR Grant Program 2016 Funds

Personnel Salaries $521,378

Fringe Benefits $201,268

Travel $25,708

Occupancy $74,366

Telephone $12,139

Supplies $6,424

Postage $1,492

Printing/Copies $3,215

Conferences/Workshops $5,854

Malpractice Insurance $8,340

Dues and Subscriptions $8,100

Ref Materials & Library $3,641

Business Owners Insurance $1,404

Payroll Services $2,275

Training (Includes CLEs) $1,306

Audit Fees $6,859

Litigation Costs $10,603

Professional Services Costs $15,364

Miscellaneous Expenses $500

Budget for FY 2016 Funds $910,236

C. PAIR staff included attorneys, who provided legal advice and representation; intake specialists who took the initial calls from clients and provided some information and referrals; other administrative staff, who provided a variety of support services; and supervisory and managing attorneys.

DRNY paid 25 employees from Section 509 funds. The analyses of the FTE numbers are as follows:

Professional FTE: DRNY paid 15 professional staff in the 2015 fiscal year from Section 509 funds. Allowing for the timing of hires during the year as well as the percentage of indirect staff time allocated to Section 509 funds the fifteen professional EE's equate to 5.62.  During FY15 96.8% of the full time professional positions were filled for 12 months equating to 5.45 person years.  The vacancies for FY15 equate to 3.2% of the positions unfilled which equals 0.18 FTE’s totaling 0.16 person years.

Clerical FTE: DRNY paid 10 clerical staff in the 2015 fiscal year from Section 509 funds.  Allowing for the timing of hires during the year as well as the percentage of indirect staff time allocated to Section 509 funds the 10 EE’s equate to 1.24 FTE.  During FY15 95% of the full time positions were filled for 12 months equating to 1.18 person years.  The vacancies for FY15 equate to 5% of the positions unfilled which equals 0.33 FTE’s totaling .06 person years.  DRNY did not have any part time clerical employees during FY15.

D. A PAIR attorney served on the Albany County Long Term Care Advisory Council, which assists Albany County in making the long term care system responsive to the needs of people with disabilities for services to enable them to remain in their own communities. The Council consists primarily of service providers, consumers and advocates. The PAIR representative has sought, with success, to ensure that the Council's priorities and recommendations are consistent with promoting dignity and choice for people with disabilities in Albany County.

 E.  PAIR received nine grievances, each requesting additional representation.  Six were outside of priorities, and three had already retained other counsel. Two grievances were granted by the first level reviewer. Seven were denied by the first level reviewer and not pursued further by the client.  Two were reviewed by the second level reviewer and also denied.

F.  CAP is part of DRNY.  DRNY coordinates with the New York State long- term care ombudsperson program on a variety of matters, including through the Albany County Long Term Care Advisory Council.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed By/s/Elizabeth Grossman
TitleDirector, PAIR
Signed Date12/15/2015