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

Pennsylvania (Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania) - H240A150039 - FY2015

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameDisability Rights Network of Pennsylvania
Address301 Chestnut Street
Address Line 2Suite 300
CityHarrisburg
StatePennsylvania
Zip Code17101
E-mail Addressdrnpa-hbg@drnpa.org
Website Addresshttp://www.drnpa.org
Phone717-236-8110
TTY 717-346-0293
Toll-free Phone800-692-7443
Toll-free TTY877-375-7139
Fax717-236-0192
Name of P&A Executive DirectorPeri Jude Radecic
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorRocco Iacullo
Person to contact regarding reportPeri Jude Radecic
Contact Person phone717-236-8110
Ext.302

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 areas137
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas173
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)310

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff68
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)3,197

1. 10/3/14 DRN staff provided information and resources to high school aged students at a Transition Fair to prepare them for employment and provide connections and support for them in their pursuit of employment. 2. 10/14/14 DRN staff provided a lecture on civic engagement and voting to individuals with disabilities in Greensburg, Pa to encourage them to remain civically active and engaged. 3. 10/15/14 DRN staff provided a lecture on civic engagement and voting to individuals with disabilities in New Castle, Pa to encourage them to remain civically active and engaged. 4. 10/15/14 DRN staff provided a lecture on advocacy rights to attendees of a Human Services Day Trainings in Franklin County, Pa. 5. 10/16/14 DRN staff provided a lecture on civic engagement and voting to individuals with disabilities in St. Mary’s, Pa to encourage them to remain civically active and engaged. 6. 10/17/14 DRN staff provided information and resources at Main Line Rehab’s Cognitive Therapy Symposium in Berks County to raise awareness of DRN services. 7. 10/20/14 DRN staff provided a lecture on civic engagement and voting to individuals with disabilities in Philadelphia to encourage them to remain civically active and engaged. 8. 10/23/14 DRN staff provided a lecture on civic engagement and voting to individuals with disabilities in Erie, Pa to encourage them to remain civically active and engaged. 9. 10/27/14 DRN staff provided a lecture to clients and staff of Acadia Rehab in Lancaster County, Pa. to increase awareness of DRN services and educate them about traumatic brain injury and assistive technology. 10. 11/5/14 DRN staff provided a lecture on employment rights under the ADA and employment resources for people with disabilities to students, staff, and advocates at Cedarhurst College in Lehigh County. 11. 11/6/14 DRN staff provided information to parents of students with disabilities during an outreach event at the Bucks County Intermediate Unit to raise awareness of DRN services and to raise awareness of the rights of students with disabilities. 12. 11/8/14 DRN staff provided information at the Moss Rehab TBI Conference in Philadelphia, Pa to raise awareness of DRN services. 13. 11/12/14 DRN staff provided lectures to students and staff at the Hiram G Andrews Center to raise awareness of DRN services and to raise awareness of the rights of individuals with disabilities to receive services in the manner and setting of their choosing. 14. 11/14/14 DRN staff provided a lecture to members of a brain injury support group in Blair County, Pa to raise awareness of DRN services. 15. 11/14/14 DRN staff provided a lecture on DRN’s Harry M. litigation and the right to effective communication to individuals with who are deaf and hard of hearing at the Hearing Loss Expo in Dauphin County sponsored by the Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing. 16. 11/20/14 DRN staff provided information to individuals attending a Senior Expo to raise awareness of DRN services and to raise awareness of home and community based services, assistive technology, employment rights and access to health care. 17. 12/4/14 DRN staff provided a lecture to students at a Central Penn College Civics class in Dauphin County, Pa to raise awareness of DRN services, the rights of people with disabilities, and to educate them about traumatic brain injury and assistive technology. 18. 12/10/14 DRN staff provided a lecture to a support group of parents of students with disabilities in Allegheny County to raise awareness of exercising their rights under the IDEA. 19. 12/10/14 DRN staff provided lectures to attorneys as part of a panel presentation at a Continuing Legal Education Course concerning communicating with clients who have disabilities and language issues. 20. 12/20/14 DRN staff provided the keynote lecture for the fall Graduation of the Hiram G Andrews Center in Johnstown on community involvement and personal empowerment for individuals with disabilities. 21. 1/9/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to residents of the Lebanon County area at the January meeting of the Lebanon County Human Services Council, a collaboration of social service organizations, to raise awareness about DRN services and traumatic brain injury. 22. 1/14/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to students at Temple University’s Inn of Court as part of a presentation on “The Good, the Bad, and the ADA” to raise awareness of the requirements of Title III of the ADA. 23. 2/3/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to an Epilepsy Foundation support group in Hershey to raise awareness of DRN services and the rights to reasonable accommodations in the workplace under the ADA. 24. 2/3/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to attorneys at the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Legal Rights of People with Disabilities Committee to raise awareness of DRN services. 25. 2/6/15 DRN staff provided information to homeless veterans at the Harrisburg Stand Down about DRN services and advocating for their rights. 26. 2/13/15 DRN staff provided a webinar lecture on ADA reasonable accommodations in employment for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater Delaware Valley Chapter. 27. 2/20/15 DRN staff provided a lecture on DRN services, employment rights, and Social Security for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. 28. 3/9/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to health care professionals at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia concerning Medical Assistance and advocacy for children with disabilities. 29. 3/9/15 DRN staff provided information to youth, parents, and education professionals at the Central Pennsylvania Transition Fair at the Harrisburg Area Community College on DRN services and the rights of students with disabilities. 30. 3/10/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to attorneys at a Continuing Legal Education course on IDEA due process hearings in Philadelphia. 31. 3/17/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to participants in a Muscular Dystrophy Association support group in Montgomery County on self-advocacy and DRN’s services. 32. 3/20/15 DRN staff provided information at an outreach event sponsored by the Disability Voting Coalition at United Cerebral Palsy in Pittsburgh on DRN services and voting rights. 33. 3/20/15 DRN staff facilitated a Civic Engagement discussion held at UCP CLASS in Pittsburgh in collaboration with the Consumer Health Coalition and PA Connecting Communities. 34. 3/24/15 DRN staff provided a lecture in Mechanics¬burg on Legal Interventions to investigators hired by the state to investigate allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation under the Adult Protective Services Act at a training sponsored by the Temple Institute on Disabilities and the Department of Human Services. 35. 3/24/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to attorneys at a Continuing Legal Education course on IDEA due process hearings in Pittsburgh. 36. 3/31/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to students at the Luzerne County Community College to raise awareness of ADA and RA rights in secondary education and employment. 37. 3/31/15 DRN staff provided information to members of the Latino community at a local Center for Independent Living to raise awareness of DRN services and to raise awareness of how to advocate for their rights. 38. 4/1/15 DRN staff provided a training for people with disabilities at Liberty Resources in Philadelphia to raise awareness of voting rights and opportunities for community activism. 39. 4/2/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to individuals at the Gettysburg Epilepsy Support Group to raise awareness of DRN services and ADA employment rights. 40. 4/8/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to students at Edinboro University concerning their employment and secondary education rights under the ADA and RA. 41. 4/20/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to high school students at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf to raise awareness of DRN services and how to advocate for their rights. 42. 5/7/15 DRN staff provided information to active duty military members, veterans, civilians, and military connected families at the Behavioral Health Summit held at Fort Indiantown Gap to raise awareness of DRN services and traumatic brain injury. 43. 5/13/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to professionals working with children with disabilities at KidsPeace in Berks County to raise awareness of DRN services and traumatic brain injury. 44. 5/16/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to transition aged youth and their parents/caregivers at Peal Center Youth Leadership Summit in Allentown to raise awareness of DRN services and traumatic brain injury. 45. 6/6/15 DRN staff provided a lecture on ADA employment rights to young adults with disabilities at the Transition Fair and Training at the Lehigh Valley CIL in Allentown. 46. 6/17/15 DRN staff provided a lecture with an attorney from the Education Law Center on special education rights of youth in the children and youth system to school district administrators and attorneys at the Samuel Francis School Law Symposium in Pittsburgh. 47. 6/24/15 DRN staff provided a lecture on special education law to undergraduate students at Robert Morris University in Allegheny County to raise awareness of the rights of students with disabilities. 48. 6/27/15 DRN staff provided a lecture on due process hearings to special education teachers taking masters’ level classes at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia to raise awareness of the rights of students with disabilities. 49. 7/17/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to staff of the Lebanon County Sexual Assault Resources Center to raise awareness of DRN services, traumatic brain injury, and assistive technology. 50. 7/23/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to attorneys and human resources staff on employment discrimination under the ADA at an EEOC sponsored conference in Philadelphia to raise awareness of the employment rights of individuals with disabilities. 51. 7/24/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to attendees of the Westmoreland County ADA 25 anniversary celebration to discuss the progress that has been made since the passage of the ADA as well as the ADA Amendments Act. 52. 7/25/15 DRN staff participated in and critiqued mock special education mediation sessions with graduate special education students at Chestnut Hill College and provided a lecture to raise awareness of the voting rights of students with disabilities. 53. 8/5/15 DRN staff provided lectures at two workshops at the annual Diversity Conference held in Annville to raise awareness of DRN services and traumatic brain injury. 54. 8/20/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to direct service providers in Butler County to raise awareness of DRN services and traumatic brain injury. 55. 8/20/15 DRN staff provided a lecture on voter registration to participants of Mind Matters, a brain injury support group in Butler. 56. 8/20/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to students at Cedar Crest College to raise awareness of ADA and Section 504 rights in higher education. 57. 8/21/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to residents of Inglis House to raise awareness of DRN services and of their rights under the ADA. 58. 9/10/15 DRN staff provided a lecture on Nursing Facility Transition (NFT) to Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC) staff at the Pennsylvania Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT) meeting to raise awareness of the importance that Assistive Technology can play in making sure that individuals with disabilities have the supports in place for transitioning to community living. 59. 9/10/15 DRN staff provided a lecture and resources on Special Education 101 to parents and advocates at Vision for Equality in Philadelphia to increase awareness of DRN services and the rights of students with disabilities. 60. 9/10/15 DRN staff participated in a parent-lawyer roundtable discussion about special education issues in Quakertown to increase awareness of the rights of students with disabilities. 61. 9/11/15 DRN staff provided a lecture and resources on Special Education 101 and transition issues to parents and advocates in Camp Hill to increase awareness of DRN services and the rights of students with disabilities. 62. 9/16/15 DRN staff provided a lecture and resources on Special Education 101 and transition issues to parents and advocates at the Arc of Lehigh County to increase awareness of DRN services and the rights of students with disabilities. 63. 9/17/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to attendees of a meeting of the Partnership for a Disability Friendly Community, a collaboration of individuals with disabilities and advocates in Lehigh and Northampton County to raise awareness of DRN services, traumatic brain injury, and voting access for voters with disabilities. 64. 9/21/15 DRN staff provided information and resources to the Army National Guard Family Assistance Center specialist in Venango County to raise awareness about DRN services, assistive technology, and civilian community based services for people with traumatic brain injury. 65. 9/23/15 DRN staff provided a lecture to staff and advocates at the Voices for Independence CIL in Erie on how to conduct a polling place accessibility survey to increase voting access for voters with disabilities. 66. 9/24/15 DRN staff met with staff of Community Resources for Independence, a CIL in Erie to increase awareness about DRN services, traumatic brain injury, and voting rights for people with disabilities. 67. 9/25/15 DRN staff participated in a discussion group at the Disabled Philly Film Series to raise awareness about voting issues impacting people with disabilities. 68. 9/25/15 DRN staff provided a lecture and resources to education professionals in St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania on Special Education 101 and transition to increase awareness of DRN services and the rights of students with disabilities.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff3
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles18
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website41,356
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated4,355
6. Other (specify separately)0

Narrative

1. New Elevators Dedicated at City Hall’s Dilworth Park November 12, 2014 1:22 PM By Steve Tawa Filed Under: Americans With Disabilities Act, Dilworth Park, Dilworth Plaza, Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, Disabled in Action, German Parodi, KYW Newsradio 1060, Philadelphia City Hall, Rocco Iacullo, Steve Tawa Dilworth Park, which recently replaced the old Dilworth Plaza on the west apron of Philadelphia City Hall, is trying to be more user-friendly. Two new elevators allow for easier access between the plaza at street level and the transit concourse below. “It is fundamental that everyone has the right to access everything,” said German Parodi of the handicapped-advocacy group Disabled in Action. Rocco Iacullo, of the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, says that nearly 25 years after passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act, universal access is becoming the rule rather than the exception. “This park represents the full integration and equality of people with disabilities,” he said. 2. Harrisburg, York and Lancaster represented on Gov.-elect Tom Wolf's transition review teams By Christian Alexandersen | calexandersen@pennlive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on December 15, 2014 at 3:40 PM, updated December 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM Everyone from business owners and environmentalists to union leaders and lawyers will help prepare Gov.-elect Tom Wolf to take office in January. On Monday, Wolf announced the names of more than 250 people that will review state agencies, commissions and various issue areas as part of his transition team. A number of people tapped for the review team spots work in York, Lancaster and Dauphin Counties. Joan Benso, president of the Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children in Harrisburg, Peri Jude Radecic, CEO of Disability Rights Network Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, and Sari Stevens, executive director of Planned Parenthood PA Advocates in Harrisburg, will review human services. 3. Woman files ADA suit against Pittsburgh over parking LocalLabs News ServiceJan. 20, 2015, 9:55am PITTSBURGH - A Pittsburgh woman is suing the city for discrimination after it allegedly didn't allow her to apply for a disability parking space in front of her home. Marie Sheriff filed the lawsuit against the city on Jan. 14. Sheriff said in the lawsuit she recently underwent a double-lung transplant after suffering from scleroderma. A live-in caregiver helps Sheriff to and from her vehicle every day. However, a lack of accessible, on-street parking near her home has put her safety at risk, the lawsuit claims. “Sheriff's safety has been and is being compromised because Ms. Sheriff's caregiver must double-park near Ms. Sheriff's home due to lack of accessible, on-street parking very near (her) home,” the lawsuit said. “Under certain circumstances, (the) city designates accessible, on-street parking upon application of a person with disabilities.” Sheriff's caregiver contacted the city's public works department requesting accessible parking in front of Sheriff's home. The department didn't allow Sheriff to apply for the parking change, the lawsuit claims. The department said Sheriff needed a disabled license plate in order to apply for accessible parking change. Sheriff's caregiver said she had a state-issued accessible parking hanging placard, but the department said that a license plate was needed, according to the lawsuit. After sending a letter to the city's attorney, a response stated the city denied the request believing that “hundreds” of people with disabilities could come forward to apply for a similar accommodation, the lawsuit said. Sheriff is seeking compensatory damages in the suit. She is represented by Jeffrey M. Skakalski and Carol A. Horowitz, of Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania. United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania case number 2:15-cv-00059. those opportunities to work in the community. 4.Challenge to Pittsburgh's handicapped parking rules dropped By Brian Bowling Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, 7:39 p.m. The lawyer for a woman challenging Pittsburgh's handicapped parking regulations filed a motion Wednesday to dismiss the federal lawsuit because his client died. Jeff Skakalski, a lawyer with the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, said in the motion that Marie Sheriff, 60, of Oakland died Monday. Sheriff had undergone a double lung transplant and had difficulty walking more than short distances, the lawsuit said. She wanted a handicapped parking space near her home so that her daughter would have a place to park when she picked her up for doctor's appointments, church services and other things. The city will only designate parking spaces for residents who have handicapped license plates. Sheriff didn't own a car, so although she had a handicapped placard, she didn't have a license plate. Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/7661244-74/handicapped-parking-sheriffixzz3qj10V9XN 5. Jobs that pay people with disabilities: Jean Searle with Tyra Virden By PennLive Op-Ed on May 04, 2015 at 10:00 AM, updated May 04, 2015 at 10:31 AM By Jean Searle, with assistance from Tyra Virden All of my life, I have been told what I can and cannot do. My name is Jean Searle, and I am a person with a disability. My brothers, sisters and I have moved around since we were children because my parents could not take care of me, and there were no community supports. I spent part of my childhood and my young adult years in an institution. All I ever wanted was to live a happy and independent life, which included working and being a contributing member of society. Last year, I celebrated my 20th anniversary at my current place of employment, the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania. I was recently promoted to a new position in the organization. I feel happy, independent and empowered. I still need help occasionally, but I feel like I can do anything that I put my mind to. 6. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday, June 17, 2015 Contact: Peri Jude Radecic, Chief Executive Officer Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania Phone: (800) 692-7443, Ext. 302 E-Mail: pradecic@drnpa.org Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania Statement on Pennsylvania Administration Appointments Harrisburg, PA — The Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN) welcomes the appointment of Nancy Thaler as the Deputy Secretary of the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), Jen Burnett as the new Deputy Secretary of the Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL), and Steve Suroviec as Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Special Advisor Suroviec brings many years of experience in advancing the employment of persons with disabilities. Prior to serving as the Executive Director of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Special Advisor Suroviec was the Executive Director of The Arc of Pennsylvania. In those roles, he gained valuable experience and insight that will serve him in his new role as he focuses on the employment of people with disabilities for the Secretary of the Department of Human Services. “I congratulate our newly appointed government officials,” said Peri Jude Radecic, Chief Executive Officer of DRN. “We look forward to working with them on a range of proposals including increasing home and community-based services, the closure of state institutions, and the full and equal employment of people with disabilities.” Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh 1-800-692-7443 www.drnpa.org 7. 6-18-15 DISABILITY BUDGET COALITION CHAMPIONS HOME AND COMMUNITY SERVICES By Eric A. Failing A diverse group of organizations comprising the Disability Budget Coalition held a rally in the Main Capitol this morning to tell their individual stories about how home and community based services have helped them while saving the Commonwealth money. Disability advocate Linda Anthony explained more than eighty organizations have joined forces to champion the fact that community support for the disabled saves money and makes sense. Anthony championed the fact that people with disabilities are like everyone else and are able to work and want to work. 8. People in the News - June 23, 2015 - DRN Nominated for Award The Legal Intelligencer June 23, 2015 The attorneys representing Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania in DRN v. Wetzell were nominated as a finalist for the Public Justice Foundation's 2015 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award. Read more: http://www.thelegalintelligencer.com/id=1202730133797/People-in-the-News--June-23-2015--DRN-Nominated-for-Awardixzz3qiy2pMUh 9. Americans with Disabilities Act turns 25 By Stephen J. Pytak Even though she’s been wheelchair-bound since a car accident in 1983, Linda M. Anthony, Pottsville, will fight for her wheelchair-accessibility rights even if it means ending up in handcuffs. And she has, a few times. This year, she’s taking a look back at local efforts to make communities more accessible as the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 turns 25. “The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation and telecommunications,” according to www.ada.gov. Without advocates like Anthony, the ADA wouldn’t have much of an impact, according to John M. Tassone, 54, of Auburn. For the past decade, Anthony has worked as an advocate for the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania. 10. Bill Of Rights Proposed For People With Disabilities By Emma Gross • Jul 24, 2015 Pittsburgh’s NPR News Station The Americans with Disabilities Act marks its 25th anniversary this month, and a Pennsylvania lawmaker says a bill of rights for those with disabilities is “long overdue.” Legislation filed by State Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery, Philadelphia) would institute a bill of rights, promising people with disabilities the necessary support to live as independently and actively within their communities as possible, including making their own decisions on living arrangements and other support services. The Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, a non-profit advocacy group, has worked with the legislators on the bill and supports its approval. “It’s really important that people get services so that they can live in the community in integrated settings and not have to be institutionalized,” said Chava Kintisch, the group's director of civic and government affairs. 11. Worker Stories 7-24-15 US Department of Labor The Americans with Disabilities Act works to open doors of opportunity for America's more than 50 million people with disabilities — including in the workplace. These are just a few of their stories. Jean Searle — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania I spent many years in an institution. All I ever wanted was to live a happy and independent life. An advocate helped me to leave the institution. I spent many years in sheltered workshops, though. I was unhappy and wanted a real job. Finally, a job coach helped me to find employment. I was happy in making my own decisions and earning a living wage in several different jobs. Last year, I celebrated my 20th work anniversary. I was recently promoted. I feel independent and empowered. With supports and accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, all people with disabilities can feel the same way that I do. People with disabilities want to work and earn a living wage. We want what everyone else wants, to be happy, to make decisions, and to live an inclusive and productive life. 12. Fight for equal access continues 25 years after ADA signed By Debra Erdley Saturday, July 25, 2015, 9:00 p.m. People with disabilities make up America's largest minority group, so some have called the ADA — aimed at protecting the rights of citizens with everything from mobility issues and blindness to mental illness — the most sweeping civil rights legislation of the 20th century. Because of the law, curb cuts on public roads and sidewalks, buses with wheelchair lifts, handicapped parking spaces and Braille signs have become more commonplace, helping the disabled participate in public life. The law also helped in the workforce, where employers must make reasonable accommodations for employees with impairments. Although disability claims made up just 5.2 percent of all EEOC complaints nationally, they made up nearly 32.5 percent of those filed in Pennsylvania last year. Grant acknowledged that officials at IUP made changes, but he's not sure anything would have happened if he hadn't been persistent. Peri Jude Radecic, chief executive officer of the Disability Rights Network of PA, said it is not uncommon to hear such complaints. “I really believe there are two stories about the ADA: one, we've made incredible progress. The second is (that) we've got a long way to go. “It is still shocking 25 years after the passage of the ADA that we still face architectural barriers,” Radecic said. “Some people may not understand the regulations and some people may not know about them. We still have a lot of work to do.” Read more: http://triblive.com/state/pennsylvania/8704973-74/grant-ada-disabilityixzz3qivGplu7 Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook 13. Disabled celebrate milestone in Philly By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer Posted: July 27, 2015 philly.com Colleen Devaney started kindergarten at the right time. Had she tried to enter the year before - 1975 - Colleen, who has autism and cannot speak, might well have been rejected. But the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act had just passed, guaranteeing services to children with disabilities. The milestone Americans With Disabilities Act would follow in 1990. On Saturday, events began at Dilworth Park with a series of speakers and continued with a parade along Market Street to the National Constitution Center. Retired Sen. Tom Harkin (D., Iowa), the primary author of the ADA; former Gov. Ed Rendell; and many leaders of advocacy groups spoke on the warm day as children played in the fountains nearby. Dynah Haubert, 32, who lives near 11th and Callowhill Streets, attended the festivities with a sign taped to her motorized chair that read "P- on Pity." Haubert, an attorney who works for the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, recently moved from Chinatown and said finding accessible bars and restaurants has been difficult. "If I go with a group of nondisabled friends, and we try to go to a restaurant and we find it's inaccessible, it often can feel like it's my fault. But at events like this, where I see so many other awesome disabled people, I realize it's the fault of the businesses and this society that, when it was constructed, did not prioritize disabled access," she said. 14. Letters: Disabled & denied organ transplant BY CHRISSY RIVERA Posted: July 30, 2015 philly.com My daughter, Amelia, was diagnosed at 3 days old with Wolf-Hirshhorn syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. Almost three years later, Amelia was denied a lifesaving kidney transplant - even though I was donating my kidney - because of her intellectual disability. Incredibly, I was told she was "mentally retarded" and therefore not a suitable candidate for such a sensitive piece of surgery. I was outraged at this decision. Apparently, so were a good number of Americans, for the firestorm of bad publicity forced hospital administrators to re-examine their cold-hearted decision. Not so fortunate, however, are those families across the river in Pennsylvania that still lack such protection. Pennsylvania State Sen. John Sabatina Jr. introduced a similar piece of legislation, but lawmakers in the Keystone State have seen no urgency in passing House Bill 585. Also known as Paul's Law for a Pottsville resident who suffers intellectual disabilities and was refused a much needed transplant, Sen. Sabatina continues to work with groups like ARC, the Disabilities Rights Network and the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network to promote the bill, but even with bipartisan support lawmakers have given it a cold shoulder. They refuse to even schedule a hearing on the bill. 15. Wheelchair-dependent consumer sues store to ensure ADA compliance Carol Ostrow Aug. 4, 2015, 1:18pm A disabled Philadelphia resident is suing a downtown establishment claiming disability discrimination. Joyce Farria sued Smak Parlour in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on July 24, claiming violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to the suit, Farria relies on a wheelchair for mobility, volunteers for Liberty Resources Inc. (LRI) to help provide resources for people with disabilities, and avers that she is able to travel citywide to shop, visit friends, and attend school. Farria seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, compensation for attorneys’ fees, and court costs. She is represented by Dynah Haubert and Rocco Iacullo of Disability Rights Network of PA in Philadelphia. 16. 8/10/2015ADVOCATES MARK ANNIVERSARY OF VOTING RIGHTS ACT By Matt Hess Common Cause Pennsylvania hosted a press conference in the Capitol Rotunda to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. Barry Kauffman, Executive Director of Common Cause Pennsylvania, discussed the importance of the passage of the Voting Rights Act. “It was 50 years ago today President Johnson signed the national Voting Rights Act into law. This was the culmination of a century long struggle to realize the promise of the 15th amendment and ensure that every American’s right to vote was protected and strengthened. It was a century of blood, sweat, and tears,” he stated. “Fortunately we have advanced more over the past 50 years but we still have much work to do to ensure that every citizen that wants to vote has the opportunity to do so and that every vote is counted exactly as cast.” Deborah Delgado, Project Director for the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, spoke in support of the right of every voter with a disability to vote independently and privately. “Accessibility and accommodations in the voting process and at the voting places are key,” she stated. “We are working together to make this happen everywhere in the Commonwealth so all people with disabilities can exercise their right to vote.” 17. Voting Rights Advocates Praise Wolf Administration’s Move to Offer Online Voter Registration 8/27/2015 ACLU newsletter Voting Rights Advocates Praise Wolf Administration's Move to Offer Online Voter Registration PHILADELPHIA — Leading voting rights advocates thanked Secretary of State Pedro Cortes and the Wolf Administration for offering eligible Pennsylvanians the opportunity to go online to update or complete their voter registration forms. Voting rights advocates have been working closely with the Department of State on this important update to Pennsylvania’s voting rights system. Members of the working group include: ACLU of Pennsylvania, Common Cause Pennsylvania, Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, Fair Elections Legal Network, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, Planned Parenthood Advocates, Pennsylvania Immigrant and Citizenship Coalition, Pennsylvania Voice, Pennsylvania Working Families, Project Vote, the Public Interest Law Center and Urban League of Philadelphia. 18. First Posted: 9:04 pm - August 29th, 2015 Updated: 9:06 pm - August 29th, 2015. By Joe Dolinsky - jdolinsky@timesleader.com For handicapped motorists, parking in Luzerne County an ongoing obstacle Treat your disability as a privilege, Cathy Fusco has been told. After all, someone once said, just look at the great parking you get. At just about three feet tall, Fusco, 55, has an acute genetic disorder underlined by brittle bones and stunted growth. A Pittston Township resident, Fusco earned the thick skin after enduring countless barbs about the advantages others claim her disability grants her, when on an almost daily basis she fights for essential parking spaces often taken illegally by others but designated — and dictated by law — for disabled persons like her. The jokes, she said, were just part of the frustration. Rocco Iacullo, an attorney with the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, said the issue accounts for a small percentage of the organization’s calls but when they do come in, he encourages those affected to avoid confrontation. “It’s certainly an issue that comes up from time to time,” said Iacullo, who is disabled. “It’s one that there really is not a foolproof solution to other than for people to call the non-emergency number for local police so they can come out and ticket.” But police, Fusco said, often seem reluctant to ticket violators. “The cops don’t want to pursue it,” she said. “I don’t think they feel that this is that big of an issue.”

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)34
2. Additional individuals served during the year708
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)742
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)22

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 23

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility25
2. Employment73
3. Program access23
4. Housing131
5. Government benefits/services148
6. Transportation35
7. Education151
8. Assistive technology12
9. Voting1
10. Health care52
11. Insurance13
12. Non-government services27
13. Privacy rights3
14. Access to records2
15. Abuse12
16. Neglect11
17. Other39

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor548
2. Other representation found81
3. Individual withdrew complaint40
4. Appeals unsuccessful3
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.2
6. PAIR withdrew from case2
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources12
8. Individual case lacks legal merit21
9. Other31

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-advocacy562
2. Short-term assistance170
3. Investigation/monitoring1
4. Negotiation3
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution2
6. Administrative hearings0
7. Litigation (including class actions)2
8. Systemic/policy activities2

Part III. Statistical Information on Individuals Served

A. Age of Individuals Served as of October 1

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. 0 - 43
2. 5 - 22172
3. 23 - 59399
4. 60 - 6473
5. 65 and over95

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females371
2. Males371

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race23
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native2
3. Asian3
4. Black or African American172
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White514
7. Two or more races7
8. Race/ethnicity unknown20

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent358
2. Parental or other family home305
3. Community residential home4
4. Foster care1
5. Nursing home22
6. Public institutional living arrangement3
7. Private institutional living arrangement4
8. Jail/prison/detention center30
9. Homeless9
10. Other living arrangements4
11. Living arrangements not known2

E. Primary Disability of Individuals Served

Identify the individual's primary disability, namely the one directly related to the issues/complaints

1. Blind/visual impairment48
2. Deaf/hard of hearing34
3. Deaf-blind0
4. Orthopedic impairment189
5. Mental illness30
6. Substance abuse0
7. Mental retardation1
8. Learning disability64
9. Neurological impairment94
10. Respiratory impairment19
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment50
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment52
13. Speech impairment10
14. AIDS/HIV3
15. Traumatic brain injury8
16. Other disability140

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

1. Number of policies/practices changed as a result of non-litigation systemic activities9

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes368,539

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.

Adult Protective Services - DRN continued to lead the systems advocacy work of the statewide, cross-disability Adult Protective Services (APS) Coalition. DRN staff continues to monitor the operations and responsiveness of the Interim APS system, reporting unresolved safety concerns to Department of Human Services (DHS) for further investigation. DHS announced the selection of Liberty Healthcare as the vendor to administer the statewide APS system. DRN provided comments to DHS on re-drafted APS Regulations. The coalition workgroup met with DHS representatives and with Liberty Healthcare to review and discuss the Coalition’s comments and DHS accepted the majority of the coalition’s comments. DRN staff successfully negotiated an Information Sharing Protocol between DRN and DHS, which eliminates barriers DRN staff had been encountering when attempting to access information about individuals we referred to APS to verify their safety. DRN is now able to more promptly verify the protection of these individuals. Residential Habilitation Integrated Settings - DRN staff continued to verify whether residential habilitation providers are complying with new COMMCARE Waiver to ensure integration of their settings by prohibiting them from serving more than eight individuals in any one setting and requiring them to develop transition plans to meet the new requirements. DRN staff submitted right to know requests to DHS to obtain and review providers’ transition plans and related information, reviewed documentation received pursuant to the right to know requests, and conducted two site visits of providers to determine their compliance with the new requirements. DRN staff determined that some providers had received an exception to the requirements and DRN is continuing to investigate the propriety of the exceptions as well as determining compliance of other providers. Hearing on Adult Service Systems - By invitation, DRN helped plan and testified at a House Human Services Committee hearing about ODP and OLTL services for adults. DRN informed the disability community and provided support to individuals with disabilities and family members to participate. The hearing was critical to educate lawmakers, including freshmen. Many people with disabilities, family members, and others participated in the hearing. Community Spend Down - DRN staff continues to advocate for spend down in the community, just like nursing facilities, to ensure that individuals transitioning out of nursing facilities are not disqualified for services due to their income. DRN staff attended a meeting with DHS Secretary Dallas and grassroots consumer advocacy group members to advocate for spend down in the community. DRN staff also met with the Pennsylvania Health Law Project and OLTL staff to discuss applying “spend down” to people living in the community who receive HCBS. Philadelphia Nursing Home - DRN staff conducted a visit of Philadelphia Nursing Home and spoke with PNH residents who were interested in living in the community and appeared to be eligible for discharge. In addition to identifying several individuals who appeared eligible for discharge and wanted to live in the community, DRN staff observed some concerning conditions at PNH, including but not limited to, understaffing during meal time, inattentiveness on the part of staff to residents’ needs, crowded hallways during meal time, etc. DRN also met with administrators of PNH and discussed our concerns about conditions and barriers to the appropriate discharge of residents who are capable of living in the community, including those individuals we interviewed. Integrated Settings - DRN continues to advocate for full implementation of the new federal regulations for home and community-based waivers that require person-centered planning and integrated waiver settings. DRN commented on Pennsylvania’s proposed statewide transition plan for bringing all settings into compliance with the integrated settings requirements as well as transition plans for the new AIDS, Aging, Attendant Care, Independence, Consolidated, Person/Family Directed Support (P/FDS), and Adult Autism Waivers. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) wrote to Pennsylvania about its proposed statewide transition plan, raising concerns that echoed previous concerns raised by DRN. As a result, Pennsylvania will have to revise its proposed statewide transition plan and provide for another public comment period. Medicaid Expansion - DRN continued to steadfastly advocate for full Medicaid expansion with the new Administration and DRN monitored the state’s transition from Healthy Pa to full Medicaid expansion. Pennsylvania has now completed its transition from Healthy Pennsylvania to full Medicaid expansion. As a result, 400,000 more people with disabilities and others now have access to health care. Court Accessibility - DRN successfully petitioned the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts to have the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas revise a reasonable accommodation policy required to be used by court participants that required those requesting accommodation to swear under penalty of perjury that the information provided concerning their need for accommodation was truthful. DRN staff advised the AOPC that this could have the effect of intimidating individuals from requesting accommodations and that such intimidation violated the ADA. As a result of DRN’s advocacy, the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas posted a revised accommodation form that no longer includes the problematic language. Hospital Accessibility - DRN attorneys continued to negotiate on behalf of several clients with mobility disabilities with two major health care systems in southeastern Pennsylvania to address the lack of equal access to their hospitals and other medical facilities due to the unavailability of accessible health equipment for individuals with mobility disabilities, including examination tables, weight scales, and diagnostic equipment. As a result of DRN’s advocacy, the hospitals have made revisions to their accessibility policies and have somewhat improved the accessibility of their services as reported by the clients. DRN will continue to press the hospital systems to agree to comprehensive plans to ensure the accessibility of their services moving forward Community First Option - DRN Staff continue to organize the community to assist in securing one opportunity in the ACA called the Community First Option. The CFO gives people found eligible for Medical Assistance and in need of personal services and are Nursing Facility Clinically eligible, to choose community services instead of going into a nursing facility. It would require the elimination of waiting lists and require that people be served within strict time frames contained in the Medicaid rules and regulations. DRN Staff along with other CFO Coalition members were successful in getting more agencies and organizations signed on and in support of CFO for PA and held the first meeting of the coalition. Managed Long-Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) — DRN engaged in efforts to oppose DHS’s plan to pursue MLTSS for OLTL home and community based waiver services. DRN voiced its concerns and those of the disability community to the Administration. In response to DHS’s issuance of a “Discussion Document” for public comment, DRN wrote to the Governor’s Office and DHS — with a copy to CMS — re-stating our request that DHS extend the public comment timeline, issue the draft RFP for public comment, and otherwise ensure engagement and meaningful input. DRN subsequently submitted comments on the “Discussion Document” about DHS’s plan for adopting MLTSS, or Community Health Choices as termed by DHS, for explaining our opposition to MLTSS and urging the Commonwealth to have a meaningful stakeholder process, including input into the RFP/vendor contract, and advocated that the managed care behavioral health carve-out remain. After reviewing DRN and the disability community’s comments, DHS agreed to: 1) establish a stakeholder Medical Assistance Advisory Committee (MAAC) Subcommittee for MLTSS; 2) hold monthly webinars for the public; 3) release the RFP “Requirements Document” and “Concept Paper” for CMS; and 4) preserve the managed care behavioral health carve-out. DRN staff participated in several meetings of the stakeholder Subcommittee for MLTSS, attended the public webinars conducted by DHS; and DRN planned to submit comments on the RFP “Requirements Document” and “Concept Paper” for CMS issued by DHS in October reiterating that we do not support MLTSS, outlining concerns, and providing feedback on needed improvements. DRN staff also kept engaged with the disability community to keep them informed and participated in the formation of a consumer coalition. As a part of the PDSS Coalition, DRN hosted two well-attended webinars to educate people with disabilities about MLTSS. PDSS - DRN continues to actively participate in the PDSS Coalition led by the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University through a Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC) grant. The Coalition is engaging in a demonstration project, research, and systemic advocacy. DRN has been providing ongoing legal technical assistance on a variety of issues. The Coalition compiled survey results, held a public forum, and continued to advocate for wider use of Supports Brokers and Services My Way. Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Council - DRN continued to participate in the Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Council. The Rehabilitation Council this year reviewed policies drafted by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) relating to transition and coordination of services with other agencies to which OVR invited public comments. DRN submitted comments on OVR’s draft policy on audiology, assistive technology, and interpreter services for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. OVR accepted our comments, including: requiring audiological exams to be reviewed upon receipt of results instead of the proposed 6-month timeframe; covering the cost of hearing aid batteries if the client has limited financial resources and its necessary to implement the Individual Plan for Employment; and assuring that that audiological service providers offer reasonable accommodations necessary for effective communication. Walgreen’s Accessibility — As a result of DRN’s intervention, a Walgreens store in Center City Philadelphia replaced its mechanical lift, which was the only means of wheelchair accessible entry, with a new lift after the old lift became inoperable and was out of service for nearly one year. The store is now once again wheelchair accessible. Hearing Accessibility in State Prisons - DRN attorneys continued to negotiate with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) to address concerns about accessibility issues in state prisons for inmates who are deaf and hard of hearing. As a result of DRN’s advocacy, DOC initiated a pilot program at SCI-Albion to allow deaf inmates to use video remote interface technology to communicate at medical appointments and for other critical meetings. DRN staff visited SCI-Albion in May, touring the facility (including the cell block where most inmates with hearing disabilities are housed), confirming the availability and use of the assistive technology, and interviewing inmates about their experiences. DRN was pleased with the accommodations provided at the facility and will continue to work with DOC to expand the program. Hearing Accessibility in Philadelphia jails - DRN staff is investigating allegations that prisoners who are deaf and hard of hearing are not provided with reasonable accommodations and effective communication in Philadelphia jails. DRN staff had some discussions with legal counsel for the prisons about improving effective communication and reasonable accommodation policies and DRN will continue to pursue the allegations with the Deputy Commissioner who works on accessibility issues. Sheltered Workshops - DRN staff continue to investigate the inappropriate use of sheltered workshops. DRN staff conducted several site visits at sheltered workshops to meet with workers and gather information. DRN staff continued to investigate the use of sheltered workshops and to explore legal options to address this issue. DRN also investigated whether the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) is compliant with its obligation to provide services to individuals with intellectual disabilities so that their vocational options are not limited to sheltered workshops. Disability Voting Coalition - DRN staff continued to lead the Disability Voting Coalition Advisory Committee. Participants were asked to provide direction regarding what they felt were the most significant issues faced by voters with disabilities and the overwhelming majority concern reported was inaccessible polling places. DRN began working with two Centers for Independent Living who had previously conducted polling place accessibility surveys to draft a survey tool that would be used to determine polling place accessibility and DRN began providing training to conduct polling place accessibility surveys. Home Modifications - DRN staff worked collaboratively with a group representing service providers, funders and individuals with disabilities regarding changes to the home modification policies of the Department of Human Services. DHS circulated a policy that is moving from a fee-for-service model to a model in which the payments are made based on the number of consumers served in a regional area to which it invited comments. The group submitted comments highlighting our concerns with the new model. Of particular concern is the problem that with a limited budget based on the number of consumers, more costly modifications would be limited. Transportation for Students with Disabilities - DRN achieved a significant victory in its complaint filed with PDE’s Division of Compliance on behalf of the Coalition of Special Education Advocates challenging the Philadelphia School District’s failure to assure that students with disabilities receive transportation as a related service. PDE completed its investigation, and found that the school district violated the rights of students with disabilities by failing to provide consistent, on-time transportation. PDE directed that the school district provide compensatory education to all students harmed as a result of this systemic violation. Act 150 Services - DRN staff advocated on behalf of several clients in the Act 150 program whose agency-hired attendants had been informed that they are no longer able to perform intermittent catheterizations based on directives from the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH). DOH contends that under state law only nurses can perform intermittent catheterizations. DRN staff contacted DOH and DHS, advising them that this interpretation does not comport with state law and urging them to assure that the direct care staff for our clients and others similarly situated can continue to perform intermittent catheterizations. After several months of discussions, and examining alternative solutions, DHS indicated that it may allow the clients’ attendants to perform intermittent catheterization. Revisions to Health Choices — DRN staff provided comments on DHS’s Request for Information (RFI) regarding HealthChoices Physical Health Services to assure that existing protections remain and that additional service access issues that have occurred since the managed care contracts were last revised are addressed. Segregated Services - DRN is investigating funding by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) for vocational rehabilitation services at the Hiram G. Andrews Center, a segregated vocational rehabilitation program. DRN staff submitted a Right to Know request to gather information about OVR’s use of the Center to provide services and will continue to work on a strategy to address this issue. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Implementation - DRN staff submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education concerning its proposed regulations to implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), in support of the regulations that restrict the use of subminimum wage and that promote competitive, integrated employment options for vocational rehabilitation services. DRN staff also attended meetings held by OVR concerning the state plan development process. Due to the enactment of WIOA, OVR’s next state plan will not be issued until 2016 and must address WIOA’s requirements to assure, inter alia, that a minimum amount of funding is spent on services for transition-age youth. Voter Registration For Students With Disabilities - DRN collaborated with the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Bureau of Special Education to revise and update its Basic Education Circular concerning school districts’ obligations to provide voter registration opportunities to students with disabilities. We will also partner with that agency and other stakeholders to develop materials for and provide trainings to school districts on voting issues with DRN focusing on voting by students with disabilities. Election Stakeholder Task Force - DRN staff was invited to participate in an Election Stakeholder Task Force organized by the Pennsylvania Secretary of State comprised of Department of State (DOS) staff and other election reform advocates. Through DRN staff participation in these meetings, DRN was successful in advocating for the DOS to standardize the evaluation of polling place accessibility by using the ADA Checklist. DRN also participated in the task force efforts to introduce electronic voter registration and DRN staff ensured that the system is accessible to people with disabilities. Nursing Home Transition — DRN staff held discussions with the Office of Long-Term Living Nursing Home Transition (NHT) and Diversion office regarding a survey for recipients of the nursing home transition services to extract best practices and discussed the failure to identify individuals who should be eligible for NHT services. DRN staff also assisted with planning a training for all NHTS partners. Wheelchair Accessible Taxis - DRN submitted comments to support proposed regulations promulgated by the Philadelphia Parking Authority and issued for public comment which would require that each retired Philadelphia taxi be replaced by an accessible taxi and result in 100 percent accessibility of taxis within about eight years. After the Independent Regulatory Review Commission opined that legislative approval might be needed for the regulations, the PPA is still reviewing its next steps for implementation of its plan. DRN will continue to advocate for the adoption of the proposed regulations to increase the availability of accessible transportation options for people with disabilities. Accessible Transportation - DRN collaborated with Liberty Resources, Inc. (LRI) to assess the accessibility of Uber and Lyft demand-responsive transportation systems in Pennsylvania that use apps linking riders with available rides, including attending a meeting with Uber and Lyft to express concerns about provision of accommodations and potential denial of service to individuals with physical disabilities. Nurse Delegation - DRN is monitoring legislation establishing a system for nurse delegation. Nurse delegation would enable nurses to delegate certain nursing tasks to personal assistants. DRN is also advocating that the Department of Health change its policy and allow personal assistants to perform non-nursing tasks.

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts85,667
2. Number of individuals named in class actions7

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.

Smith v. Dep’t of Human Services — DRN and private co-counsel previously filed this class action lawsuit to challenge the validity of the waiting list for the Act 150 Program, which provides community-based attendant care services, under the ADA’s integration mandate. As reported previously, DHS made $7.2 million available for FY 2014-15 budget to provide attendant care services to individuals on the Act 150 waiting list. As a result of this funding, there is no longer any waiting list for the Act 150 program, and all individuals who apply and are determined to be eligible are provided with services. Based on DHS’s representations that it completed evaluations for all individuals who had been on the waiting list and still wanted services, DRN dismissed the case. Fair Housing Council of Suburban Philadelphia v. Wagner Enterprises, Ltd. - DRN continues to litigate this Fair Housing Act (FHA) lawsuit to challenge the failure of a developer to comply with the FHA’s accessibility requirements for newly-constructed condominiums in Northampton County. Fair Housing Rights Center of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Post Goldtex GP, LLC — DRN continues to litigate this Fair Housing Act (FHA) lawsuit to challenge the failure of the architect and developer of the Goldtex Apartments to comply with the FHA’s accessibility requirements. The case turns on whether the FHA’s accessibility requirements apply to “conversions” of non-residential buildings constructed prior to the FHA’s 1991 effective date into apartments after the effective. DRN appealed the district court’s dismissal of the lawsuit. The parties completed briefing and we are awaiting a ruling. Mosley v. Dallas — DRN continues to monitor the settlement agreement and addendum to the settlement agreement to assure procedural due process protections for individuals who apply for the Attendant Care Waiver, COMMCARE Waiver, Inde-pendence Waiver, and OBRA Waiver (OLTL Waivers). Under the initial settlement, DHS is required to make eligibility determinations for the OLTL Waivers within 90 days of the application and they will be deemed in compliance when they achieve three consecutive quarters averaging 94 percent compliance. For the first time since the agreement was negotiated in 2012, DHS exceeded the 94 percent benchmark. DHS has also implemented the addendum to the settlement agreement by using revised forms to provide denial notices. Harper v. 118-122 Market Street Corp. — DRN filed this lawsuit under Title III of the ADA to challenge the failure of a restaurant in Center City Philadelphia to remove a single, small step at the entrance that renders it inaccessible to people who use wheelchairs. Farria v. Smak Parlour, Inc. — DRN filed this lawsuit under Title III of the ADA to challenge the failure of a women’s boutique in Center City Philadelphia to remove a single, small step at the entrance that renders it inaccessible to people who use wheelchairs. McGann v. Cinemark USA — DRN filed this lawsuit under Title III of the ADA on behalf of a man who is deafblind to challenge the refusal of an Allegheny County movie theater to provide him with a tactile interpreter. Keller v. City of Lancaster — DRN reached a supplemental settlement agreement in this ADA lawsuit that challenged Lancaster’s non-compliance with curb ramp requirements, which imposes a timetable for Lancaster to retrofit 700 non-compliant curb ramps to meet ADA requirements by 2022. Oliver v. Scranton Materials, Inc. — DRN is representing a woman, who has asthma, carpal tunnel, and lumbar stenosis as a result of a complicated pregnancy with triplets, in an ADA employment discrimination case. Her employer fired her when she requested an additional month of leave time due to her disabilities. The employer’s motion for summary judgment is currently pending, and we are awaiting a ruling. Cope v. Nat’l Railroad Passenger Corp. — DRN continues to monitor implementation of the settlement that resolved this ADA lawsuit that challenged the inaccessibility of Amtrak’s Paoli Intercity Rail Station. So far AMTRAK has made modifications to the station building entrance and restrooms and to the parking lot to bring them into compliance with the ADA’s accessibility requirements. Design has begun on the modifications to the platforms that will enable individuals using wheelchairs to board and disembark at the station. DIA v. SEPTA - The consent decree that resolved DRN’s ADA lawsuit against SEPTA that challenged its inaccessible alterations to access routes to its transit facilities in Center City Philadelphia was fully implemented resulting in the installation of five elevators in the renovated Dilworth Plaza at City Hall in Philadelphia that provide improved access for people with mobility disabilities to the public transit facilities in the heart of downtown Philadelphia. Hijazi v. Dep’t of Human Services — DRN filed and settled this lawsuit filed on behalf of a 57-year-old woman with early-onset dementia and schizophrenia, who lived with her adult son, but as her dementia worsened, she became incontinent and unable to attend to her activities of daily living. As a result, she was no longer able to attend her mental health day program and had no services during the day. The plaintiff’s son had to leave his job to stay with his mother and was responsible for her daily care needs. His efforts to secure services through the LIFE program and through OLTL Waiver programs proved fruitless. Although the plaintiff’s son wanted to respect his mother’s desire not to be institutionalized in a nursing home, the situation was becoming increasingly dire. The lawsuit alleged that DHS violated the federal Medical Assistance program by denying her access to the LIFE program and violated the ADA and RA by denying her access to some type of services that would enable her to remain at home with her son. DHS agreed to enroll the client in the Independence Waiver after we filed the lawsuit.

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 I 1. Priority: Protect and advocate for persons with disabilities who are victims of abuse, neglect, and rights violations. 2. Need Addressed: Individuals residing in institutions and in community settings are at risk of being abused and neglected, and of having their rights violated. 3. Indicators: A. Incidents of abuse or neglect and rights violations will be responded to using technical assistance, follow-up, monitoring, investigation, and/or litigation. B. Improve, expand, and monitor systems for reporting, investigating and responding to abuse in state-licensed facilities and unlicensed residential facilities. C. Work to ensure the appropriate implementation of an Adult Protective Services System in Pennsylvania for persons aged 18-59. D. Advocate for the implementation of regulations and policies that protect persons with disabilities living in personal care homes and assisted living facilities. E. In all cases of systemic incidents of abuse, neglect, and rights violations in licensed facilities, PAIR had no challenges to our authority to access facilities, residents, and/or their records. 4. Collaborations: DRN continued to lead the systems advocacy work of the statewide, cross-disability Adult Protective Services (APS) Coalition. DRN staff continues to monitor the operations and responsiveness of the Interim APS system, reporting unresolved safety concerns to Department of Human Services (DHS) for further investigation. DHS announced the selection of Liberty Healthcare as the vendor to administer the statewide APS system. DRN provided comments to the DHS on the re-drafted APS Regulations. The coalition workgroup met with DHS representatives and with Liberty Healthcare to review and discuss the Coalition’s comments and DHS accepted the majority of the coalition’s comments. DRN attorneys and advocates successfully negotiated an Information Sharing Protocol between DRN and DHS, which eliminates barriers DRN staff had been encountering when attempting to access information about individuals we referred to APS to verify their safety. DRN is now able to more promptly verify the protection of these individuals. In conjunction with the Social Security Administration (SSA), DRN staff conducted a total of 31 representative payee site reviews across the state. Most of the payees were operating properly. Staff found some issues at three sites, including lack of privacy of residents’ medical records, failure to provide for the personal hygiene of residents, failure to provide the personal needs allowance to residents who work, and questionable purchases made on behalf of a non-verbal client. These issues were reported to SSA and the State Licensing Board. DRN staff conducted site visits at five Warren County schools after receiving complaints about the inappropriate use of restraints and padded “calming” rooms for children in crisis and concerns about whether the schools inappropriately used “transition rooms” for youth returning from residential treatment facilities. We toured the facilities and interviewed a number of children in the schools and are following up with their families to secure authorizations to review records. DRN will pursue its findings with the school district after completing review of the records. DRN staff provided a lecture in collaboration with the Temple Institute on Disabilities and the Department of Human Services in Mechanics¬burg on Legal Interventions to investigators who have been hired to investigate allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation under the Adult Protective Services Act throughout the state. 5. Number of Cases: Cases: 22. Class action: 0 6. Case summaries: DRN staff assisted a client with TBI who had expressed concerns about the number of medications he was taking. After DRN provided technical assistance in self-advocacy, this client was seen by an independent neuro-psychiatrist who evaluated his medications and reduced or removed some of them. This client had also expressed interest in moving to a different residential setting and after advocacy assistance from DRN, he visited two potential providers and is continuing his search for a new place to live. DRN provided technical assistance in self-advocacy to a client who was in danger of losing his residential placement because he was categorized as having acquired brain injury and his provider was discontinuing support of clients who received services through the Independence Waiver. Upon DRN staff advice, his wife/legal guardian successfully petitioned the Complex Case Committee in DHS to correct his diagnosis to TBI due to his head injury when he fell onto concrete floor. As a result, the client was switched to the COMMCARE Waiver and was told he could remain in his current residential setting. Priority II 1. Priority: Eliminate the unnecessary institutionalization of persons with disabilities. 2. Need Addressed: Integration is preferred and too often people with disabilities are put in or directed to institutional settings. Changing the attitudes of policy makers, involvement of persons with disabilities in the design and implementation of services, and rebalancing appropriation of funding is necessary to achieve integration. 3. Indicators: A. Advocate for community alternatives for persons institutionalized or at risk of institutionalization. B. Limit the growth of Medicaid funding for congregate care. C. Develop plans for community integration. 4. Collaborations: DRN staff held discussions with the Office of Long-Term Living Nursing Home Transition (NHT) and Diversion office regarding a survey for recipients of the nursing home transition services to extract best practices and discussed the failure to identify individuals who should be eligible for NHT services. DRN staff also assisted with planning a training for all NHTS partners. DRN staff worked collaboratively with a group representing service providers, funders and individuals with disabilities regarding changes to the home modification policies of the Department of Human Services. DHS circulated a policy that is moving from a fee-for-service model to a model in which the payments are made based on the number of consumers served in a regional area. The group submitted comments highlighting our concerns with the new model. Of particular concern is the problem that with a limited budget based on the number of consumers, more costly modifications would be limited. DRN staff participated in efforts to increase oversight of Philadelphia Nursing Home and to help increase the discharge and community placement of residents, including attending a strategy meeting of a Philadelphia City Council Work Group consisting of aides to three Philadelphia City Councilmen and representatives from Liberty Resources. 5. Number of Cases: Cases: 101. Class Action: 0 6. Case Summaries: DRN staff successfully represented an 87-year-old man who has dementia in an administrative proceeding against the condominium association where he lives to challenge the association’s failure to grant a request for a reasonable accommodation to the “no pets” policy to allow the man’s 14-year-old Dachshund to continue to live with him as an emotional support animal. The dog visibly provides comfort to the man and calms him down when he becomes frustrated. At the fact-finding meeting with the PHRC in December, the condominium association agreed to allow the dog to remain, to rescind all fines it had assessed, and to cease assessing new fines or threatening eviction. Priority III 1. Priority: Promote an array of quality consumer-controlled and/or consumer-driven services to enable adults and children with disabilities to live and thrive in their own homes, schools, workplaces, and communities. 2. Need addressed: People want to live in their homes and communities. In order to do so, they need state-funded services and supports. Especially in tight budget times, and given competition with institutions, it’s critical to engage in focused budget advocacy. People with disabilities need to lead in the designing of service delivery systems, and have control over the provision and implementation to ensure satisfaction and full community inclusion. 3. Indicators: A. Advocate for consumer control and direction in the delivery of services, including the development of participant-directed services across all ages and all disabilities. B. End waiting lists for and other barriers to community services for people with intellectual and other disabilities who are unserved or underserved. C. Assure access to Medicaid services. D. Advocate to assure implementation of Affordable Care Act to support persons with disabilities. E. Identify and work with unserved and underserved communities. 4. Collaborations: DRN staff continues to participate in PA CARES (Pennsylvania Americans showing Compassion, Assistance and Reaching out with Empathy for Service members) to share information pertinent to civilian community based services for individuals with TBI and to request connection to events where DRN could share this information. DRN continues to actively participate in the PDSS Coalition led by the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University through a Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC) grant. The Coalition is engaging in a demonstration project, research, and systemic advocacy. DRN has been providing ongoing legal technical assistance on a variety of issues. The Coalition compiled survey results, held a public forum, and continues to advocate for wider use of Supports Brokers and Services My Way. DRN Staff continue to organize the community to assist in securing one opportunity in the ACA called the Community First Option. The CFO gives people found eligible for Medical Assistance and in need of personal services and are Nursing Facility Clinically eligible, to choose community services instead of going into a nursing facility. There cannot be waiting lists and people must be served within the time frames contained in the Medicaid rules and regulations, or the state can be sued. DRN Staff along with other CFO Coalition members were successful in getting more agencies and organizations signed on and in support of CFO for PA and held one meeting of the coalition. A DRN staff person was officially appointed to the Statewide Independent Living Council and has been working as part of the executive committee (staff member serves as vice chair) to increase the statewide impact of the Council's effort. Additionally, DRN staff has been a part of the Council Committee that is developing a new Statewide Plan for Independent Living which will guide the activities of the Council for the next several years. DRN staff attended the Pennsylvania Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT) Advisory Committee meeting. Meeting looked at ways to ensure that people across the state of Pennsylvania have access to Assistive Technology. PIAT currently has regional centers that provide resources for individuals looking for Assistive Technology and the Advisory Committee discussed ways to ensure that those regional centers have maximum impact. 5. Number of Cases: Cases: 358. Class action: 0 6. Case Summaries: DRN successfully resolved a due process complaint filed on behalf of an 18-year-old Lehigh County student with a seizure disorder. The complaint alleged that the school district violated the IDEA by not assuring that a nurse was available in his work-based learning program and, instead, relying on staff to call 911 in the event the student had a seizure. As a result of the settlement, the school district hired a full-time nurse for the student’s program, enabling the student to safely participate in the work-based learning program. DRN staff successfully assisted a client in receiving Assistive Technology through home and community-based waivers. The individual uses a shower wheelchair for bathing and was having problems getting repairs performed on the equipment. DRN staff provided technical assistance in obtaining the funding and receiving the repairs in order for the individual to remain independent and in their own home. DRN staff successfully assisted K.H., a Reading woman who uses a wheelchair and was unable to locate an oral surgeon with an accessible office who accepts Medical Assistance benefits. Although Medical Assistance transportation would take her to an oral surgeon with an accessible office in Lancaster, she cannot travel long distances. We contacted DHS’s Office of Medical Assistance Programs, which arranged for a local oral surgeon to accept Medical Assistance to provide her with necessary dental care. Priority IV 1. Priority: Eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability. 2. Need Addressed: Laws protecting equal access by people with disabilities are not always enforced; and are not always known by attorneys and people with disabilities. Education, self-advocacy and rights training, and enforcement are needed. 3. Indicators: A. Ensure access to government and public services and public accommodations. B. Promote and expand employment of persons with disabilities. C. Assure that persons with disabilities have equal opportunity to vote. D. Promote accessible transportation. 4. Collaborations: DRN continues to participate in the Pennsylvania Rehabili¬tation Council, which is reviewing policies drafted by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) relating to transition and coordination of services with other agencies. This quarter, we submitted comments on OVR’s draft policy on audiology, assistive technology, and interpreter services for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. OVR accepted our comments, including: requiring audiological exams to be reviewed upon receipt of results instead of the proposed 6-month timeframe; covering the cost of hearing aid batteries if the client has limited financial resources and its necessary to implement the Individual Plan for Employment; and assuring that that audiological service providers offer reasonable accommodations necessary for effective communication. DRN staff initiated work on the Developmental Disabilities Council Civic Engagement Grant and began facilitating the meetings of the Disability Voting Coalition Steering Committee, as well as facilitating the quarterly Community Engagement Discussions that are held after each DVC newsletter is distributed. DRN staff has been successful in increasing the number of Centers for Independent Living involved in this work. Two of the CILS have already done work on polling place accessibility and will be collaborating with DRN in the next quarter to develop a systemic tool to use for surveying polling place accessibility. DRN attorneys continued to collaborate with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) to address concerns about accessibility issues in state prisons for inmates who are deaf and hard of hearing. As a result of DRN’s advocacy, DOC initiated a pilot program at SCI-Albion to allow deaf inmates to use video remote interface technology to communicate at medical appointments and for other critical meetings. DRN staff visited SCI-Albion in May, touring the facility (including the cell block where most inmates with hearing disabilities are housed), confirming the availability and use of the assistive technology, and interviewing inmates about their experiences. DRN was pleased with the accommodations provided at the facility and will continue to work with DOC to expand the program. DRN Staff continues to provide support to Abilities in Motion, the Center for Independent Living in Berks County, in their monitoring of Reading’s ADA Transition Plan, including its curb cut plan. DRN successfully petitioned the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts to have the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas revise a reasonable accommodation policy required to be used by court participants that required those requesting accommodation to swear under penalty of perjury that the information provided concerning their need for accommodation was truthful. DRN staff advised the AOPC that this could have the effect of intimidating individuals from requesting accommodations and that such intimidation violated the ADA. As a result of DRN’s advocacy, the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas posted a revised accommodation form that no longer includes the problematic language. 5. Number of Cases: Cases: 279. Class action: 0 6. Case Summaries: DRN staff successfully assisted a 17-year-old Allegheny County youth with a learning disability and ADHD who was denied the right to participate in extracurricular activities, including sports, at his school due to a policy that requires participants to have at least a 2.0 grade point average. Our client’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) was insufficient under the policy to allow him to participate in football and baseball. After we contacted the school district, it agreed to allow our client to pay sports while it revised his IEP. We negotiated changes to the IEP and, as a result, our client’s grade point average now exceeds 3.0 and his problems in school have dissipated. DRN successfully intervened on behalf of M.B., a man who is deafblind, to assure that an interpreter was present during his intake appointment with the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services. The Bureau had assured him that an interpreter would be available, but advised him when he called to confirm that the Bureau could not secure a qualified interpreter and cancelled his appointment. After DRN contacted the Bureau, it rescheduled the client’s appointment and an interpreter was present. DRN successfully intervened on behalf of a woman who uses a wheelchair to get a Walgreens store in Center City Philadelphia to replace its mechanical lift, which was the only means of wheelchair accessible entry, with a new lift after the old lift became inoperable and was out of service for nearly one year. DRN successfully intervened on behalf of a 91-year-old man with physical disabilities to enable him and his partner to secure a marriage license and marry before the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. Our client, a veteran who fought at Iwo Jima, was unable to leave his home due to his disabilities, but the Philadelphia Register of Wills office refused his request to come to his home to take the marriage license application even though staff informed him that they sometimes traveled to hospitals to do so and even though his home was less than two miles from the Register of Wills’ office. After we wrote to request an accommodation under the ADA, the Register of Wills agreed to and did go to our client’s home to take the application for the marriage license. DRN successfully intervened on behalf of J.W., a Korean War veteran with orthopedic disabilities, who requested that Bridgeport designate an accessible residential parking space for him. After the city refused his request, we contacted the city solicitor and the city agreed to provide him with a designated parking spot in front of his home. Priority V 1. Priority: Conduct outreach, training, and education activities. 2. Need Addressed: Increase consumer’s knowledge of their rights and available services to enable them to live independent and productive lives. 3. Indicators: A. Identify and work with unserved and underserved communities. B. Develop and distribute fact sheets and other materials on issues of importance to people with disabilities, including alerts via the DRN electronic mailing list. 4. Collaborations: DRN staff provided information and resources to high school aged students at a Transition Fair to prepare them for employment and provide connections and support for them in their pursuit of employment. DRN staff provided a lecture on civic engagement and voting to individuals with disabilities in Greensburg, Pa to encourage them to remain civically active and engaged. DRN staff provided a lecture on civic engagement and voting to individuals with disabilities in New Castle, Pa to encourage them to remain civically active and engaged. DRN staff provided a lecture on advocacy rights to attendees of a Human Services Day Trainings in Franklin County, Pa. DRN staff provided a lecture on civic engagement and voting to individuals with disabilities in St. Mary’s, Pa to encourage them to remain civically active and engaged. DRN staff provided information and resources at Main Line Rehab’s Cognitive Therapy Symposium in Berks County to raise awareness of DRN services. DRN staff provided a lecture on civic engagement and voting to individuals with disabilities in Philadelphia to encourage them to remain civically active and engaged. DRN staff provided a lecture on civic engagement and voting to individuals with disabilities in Erie, Pa to encourage them to remain civically active and engaged. DRN staff provided a lecture to clients and staff of Acadia Rehab in Lancaster County, Pa. to increase awareness of DRN services and educate them about traumatic brain injury and assistive technology. DRN staff provided a lecture on employment rights under the ADA and employment resources for people with disabilities to students, staff, and advocates at Cedarhurst College in Lehigh County. DRN staff provided information to parents of students with disabilities during an outreach event at the Bucks County Intermediate Unit to raise awareness of DRN services and to raise awareness of the rights of students with disabilities. DRN staff provided information at the Moss Rehab TBI Conference in Philadelphia, Pa to raise awareness of DRN services. DRN staff provided lectures to students and staff at the Hiram G Andrews Center to raise awareness of DRN services and to raise awareness of the rights of individuals with disabilities to receive services in the manner and setting of their choosing. DRN staff provided a lecture to members of a brain injury support group in Blair County, Pa to raise awareness of DRN services. DRN staff provided information to individuals attending a Senior Expo to raise awareness of DRN services and to raise awareness of home and community based services, assistive technology, employment rights and access to health care. DRN staff provided a lecture to students at a Central Penn College Civics class in Dauphin County, Pa to raise awareness of DRN services, the rights of people with disabilities, and to educate them about traumatic brain injury and assistive technology. DRN staff provided a lecture to a support group of parents of students with disabilities in Allegheny County to raise awareness of exercising their rights under the IDEA. DRN staff provided a lecture to residents of the Lebanon County area at the January meeting of the Lebanon County Human Services Council, a collaboration of social service organizations, to raise awareness about DRN services and traumatic brain injury. DRN staff provided a lecture to students at Temple University’s Inn of Court as part of a presentation on “The Good, the Bad, and the ADA” to raise awareness of the requirements of Title III of the ADA. DRN staff provided a lecture to an Epilepsy Foundation support group in Hershey to raise awareness of DRN services and the rights to reasonable accommodations in the workplace under the ADA. DRN staff provided a lecture to attorneys at the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Legal Rights of People with Disabilities Committee to raise awareness of DRN services. DRN staff provided information to homeless veterans at the Harrisburg Stand Down about DRN services and advocating for their rights. DRN staff provided a webinar lecture on ADA reasonable accommodations in employment for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater Delaware Valley Chapter. DRN staff provided information to youth, parents, and education professionals at the Central Pennsylvania Transition Fair at the Harrisburg Area Community College on DRN services and the rights of students with disabilities. DRN staff provided a lecture to participants in a Muscular Dystrophy Association support group in Montgomery County on self-advocacy and DRN’s services. DRN staff provided information at an outreach event sponsored by the Disability Voting Coalition at United Cerebral Palsy in Pittsburgh on DRN services and voting rights. DRN staff facilitated a Civic Engagement discussion held at UCP CLASS in Pittsburgh in collaboration with the Consumer Health Coalition and PA Connecting Communities. DRN staff provided a lecture in Mechanics¬burg on Legal Interventions to investigators hired by the state to investigate allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation under the Adult Protective Services Act at a training sponsored by the Temple Institute on Disabilities and the Department of Human Services. DRN staff provided information to members of the Latino community at a local Center for Independent Living to raise awareness of DRN services and to raise awareness of how to advocate for their rights. DRN staff provided a training for people with disabilities at Liberty Resources in Philadelphia to raise awareness of voting rights and opportunities for community activism. DRN staff provided a lecture to individuals at the Gettysburg Epilepsy Support Group to raise awareness of DRN services and ADA employment rights. DRN staff provided information to active duty military members, veterans, civilians, and military connected families at the Behavioral Health Summit held at Fort Indiantown Gap to raise awareness of DRN services and traumatic brain injury. DRN staff provided a lecture to professionals working with children with disabilities at KidsPeace in Berks County to raise awareness of DRN services and traumatic brain injury. DRN staff provided a lecture on ADA employment rights to young adults with disabilities at the Transition Fair and Training at the Lehigh Valley CIL in Allentown. DRN staff provided a lecture with an attorney from the Education Law Center on special education rights of youth in the children and youth system to school district administrators and attorneys at the Samuel Francis School Law Symposium in Pittsburgh. DRN staff provided a lecture on due process hearings to special education teachers taking masters’ level classes at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia to raise awareness of the rights of students with disabilities. DRN staff provided a lecture to staff of the Lebanon County Sexual Assault Resources Center to raise awareness of DRN services, traumatic brain injury, and assistive technology. DRN staff provided a lecture to attorneys and human resources staff on employment discrimination under the ADA at an EEOC sponsored conference in Philadelphia to raise awareness of the employment rights of individuals with disabilities. DRN staff participated in and critiqued mock special education mediation sessions with graduate special education students at Chestnut Hill College and provided a lecture to raise awareness of the voting rights of students with disabilities. DRN staff provided lectures at two workshops at the annual Diversity Conference held in Annville to raise awareness of DRN services and traumatic brain injury. DRN staff provided a lecture on Nursing Facility Transition (NFT) to Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC) staff at the Pennsylvania Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT) meeting to raise awareness of the importance that Assistive Technology can play in making sure that individuals with disabilities have the supports in place for transitioning to community living. DRN staff provided a lecture and resources on Special Education 101 to parents and advocates at Vision for Equality in Philadelphia to increase awareness of DRN services and the rights of students with disabilities. DRN staff participated in a parent-lawyer roundtable discussion about special education issues in Quakertown to increase awareness of the rights of students with disabilities. DRN staff provided a lecture to attendees of a meeting of the Partnership for a Disability Friendly Community, a collaboration of individuals with disabilities and advocates in Lehigh and Northampton County to raise awareness of DRN services, traumatic brain injury, and voting access for voters with disabilities. DRN staff provided information and resources to the Army National Guard Family Assistance Center specialist in Venango County to raise awareness about DRN services, assistive technology, and civilian community based services for people with traumatic brain injury. DRN staff provided a lecture to staff and advocates at the Voices for Independence CIL in Erie on how to conduct a polling place accessibility survey to increase voting access for voters with disabilities. 5. Number of Cases: Cases: 0. Class action: 0 6. Case Summaries: as this priority is informational, we do not have case reports.

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 I 1. Priority: Protect and advocate for people with disabilities who are subject to abuse and neglect. 2. Need Addressed: Advocacy focused on the need for protection from abuse, neglect, and rights violations. 3. Activities: A. Respond to individual and systemic reports of abuse or neglect through technical assistance, follow-up, monitoring, investigation and/or litigation, including enforcing DRN’s authority to access facilities, residents, and records. B. Improve, expand, and monitor systems for reporting, investigating, and responding to abuse or neglect including ensuring full implementation of an adult protective services system. C. Provide advocacy services to people with disabilities using representative payees. Priority II 1. Priority: Eliminate institutionalization and segregation of people with disabilities 2. Need Addressed: Integration is preferred and too often people with disabilities are put in or directed to institutional settings. Changing the attitudes of policy makers, involvement of persons with disabilities in the design and implementation of services, and rebalancing appropriation of funding is necessary to achieve integration. 3. Activities: A. Advocate for integrated community services, supports, and treatment for children and adults with disabilities institutionalized, at risk of institutionalization, or otherwise in segregated settings. B. Advocate to reduce admissions, develop reintegration plans, and increase appropriate/specialized community settings for people with disabilities as alternatives to nursing home placement. C. Promote the expansion of affordable, integrated, accessible and stable housing, and assure full and equal access to housing in the community for people with disabilities. D. Advocate for the development and full implementation of and funding for comprehensive/integrated Pennsylvania Olmstead Plan. Priority III 1. Priority: Promote an array of quality consumer-controlled, consumer-driven, person-centered, and recovery-oriented services to enable people with disabilities to live and thrive in their own homes, schools, workplaces, and communities. 2. Need Addressed: People want to live in their homes and communities. In order to do so, they need state-funded services and supports. Especially in tight budget times, and given competition with institutions, it’s critical to engage in focused budget advocacy. 3. Activities: A. Advocate for control and direction by people with disabilities in the delivery of services, including the development of participant-directed supports and services and community first choice option. B. Advocate ending waiting lists and removing other barriers to community services for people with disabilities who are unserved or underserved. C. Expand access to quality education, early intervention, and special education services in the least restrictive environment appropriate. D. Assure access to Medicaid services. E. Assure access to assistive technology for people with disabilities to enable them to live and work in their communities. F. Advocate to assure that people with disabilities have nondiscriminatory access to comprehensive and coordinated health care. G. Advocate for removal of barriers that exist in the state’s system of care that prevent access to coordinated and effective services and treatment for people with multiple disabilities. Priority IV 1. Priority: Eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability. 2. Need Addressed: Laws protecting equal access by people with disabilities are not always enforced; and are not always known by attorneys and people with disabilities. Education, self-advocacy and rights training, and enforcement are needed. 3. Activities: A. Assure access to government and public services and public accommodations. B. Advocate for access to appropriate used for effective communication for people who are deaf, deaf/blind, hard of hearing, or have other disabilities that affect communication in government service systems and public accommodations. C. Promote and expand employment of people with disabilities, including advocating for Employment First and other competitive and supported employment opportunities for individuals in segregated employment. D. Assure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to vote. E. Promote and expand accessible transportation, including for individuals who live in rural areas. F. Advocate to ensure that people with disabilities make their own decisions to the maximum extent possible and receive appropriate substitute decision-making assistance when necessary G. Advocate for the rights of people with disabilities who are incarcerated, at risk of incarceration, or released from incarceration to receive appropriate treatment, equal access to services, reasonable accommodations, and diversion from incarceration. Priority V 1. Priority: Conduct outreach, training, and education activities. 2. Need Addressed: Increase consumer’s knowledge of their rights and available services to enable them to live independent and productive lives. 3. Activities: A. Identify and work with unserved and underserved communities. B. Develop and distribute accessible and multilingual publications on issues of importance to people with disabilities, including alerts via the DRN electronic mailing lists and social media. C. Update and improve DRN website and social media presence.

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: Federal funds: Amount received - $618,795 Amount spent - $618,795 Program Income: Amount received - $43,060 Amount spent: $43,060 Total received: $661,855 Total spent: $661,855 B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by the report: Prior Fiscal Year, 2014-2015: Wages/Salaries - $398,129 Fringe Benefits - $150,340 Materials/Supplies - $10,956 Postage - $1,500 Telephone - $8,000 Rent - $47,545 Travel - $9,700 Copying - $1,275 Bonding/Insurance - $4,822 Equipment - $3,500 Legal Services - $0 Indirect Costs - $0 Misc. - $38,077 Total Budget - $673,844 Current Fiscal Year, 2015-2016 Wages/Salaries - $381,997 Fringe Benefits- $140,945 Materials/Supplies - $8,306 Postage - $1,000 Telephone - $5,600 Rent - $50,616 Travel - $5,600 Copying - $500 Bonding/Insurance - $4,822 Equipment - $3,500 Legal Services - $0 Indirect costs - $0 Miscellaneous - $24,979 Total Budget - $627,865 C. Description of PAIR staff (duties and person-years) FTE % of year filled person years Professional - Full-time (26) 5.81 100% 5.81 Part-time (0) 0.00 100% 0.00 Clerical - Full-time (8) .90 100% .90 Part-time (1) 0.09 100% 0.09 Description of PAIR Staff Duties: Provide individual, systemic and legal advocacy to persons with disabilities who are eligible under the PAIR grant. Perform individual, systemic, and legal advocacy services to expand community capacity to serve persons with disabilities. Provide individual and systemic advocacy services for persons with physical and sensory disabilities. Provide specialized advocacy activities necessary for clients transitioning from an institutional to a community service system. Perform information and referral services. Ensure that advocacy services meet the requirements of all federal regulations. Manage assigned caseload. Initiate caseload reports. Provide resources and expert support services for the operation and development of the advocacy team. Develop and implement specific projects to meet emergent issues and the goals and objectives of the PAIR grant and DRN priorities. Submit reports on PAIR advocacy activities, including material necessary for grant and team reports. Conduct outreach and training activities to unserved and underserved populations as defined by the PAIR Act. Participate, as appropriate, on task forces, advisory boards, and other policy making bodies as a representative of DRN. Network with agencies and advocates to create coalitions to response to systemic issues identified that negatively impact people with physical and sensory disabilities. Provide internal and external leadership and guidance as required to ensure the implementation of the PAIR grant and DRN priorities. Monitor and keep the CEO, Board of Directors, and staff informed of major state and federal issues at the legislative and administrative levels. Develop a plan with strategies to implement the Priorities of the DRN Board of Directors. Assure consistent application of DRN policies and procedures. Meet with DRN Team Leaders to assure adherence to DRN advocacy positions and advocacy efforts. Work with other DRN teams to support the various types of service provision including information and referral, technical assistance, short-term assistance, litigation, negotiation, etc. Work with grass roots advocacy organizations across Pennsylvania to initiate and coordinate systemic advocacy initiatives. Meet with state officials, legislators, and testify at public hearings to promote inclusiveness and equality in public policy-making. D. Involvement with advisory boards (if any) PAIR is represented on the following advisory boards: Adult Protective Services Coalition. Advocates for Community Employment. Community First Choice Option Coalition. Deaf-Blind SSP Steering Committee. Philadelphia Bar Association Committee on Legal Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Philadelphia Bar Association Civil Rights Committee. Philadelphia Bar Association Delivery of Legal Services Committee. Pennsylvania Council on Independent Living Policy Committee. Governor’s Advisory Committee on Persons with Disabilities. Pennsylvania Health Law Project’s Health Care Advisory Board. Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council. Health Choices Behavioral Health Advisory Committee. Pennsylvania State Independent Living Council’s Action Committee. Allegheny County-City of Pittsburgh Task Force on Disabilities. Department of Health, Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Board. PA CARES (Pennsylvania Americans showing Compassion, Assistance and Reaching out with Empathy for Service members). Person Driven Services and Supports (PDSS) Coalition. Disability Voting Coalition Advisory Committee. Pennsylvania Voters Coalition. Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) Consumer Coalition. Behavioral Health Task Force for People who are Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing. Department of State, Elections Stakeholders Task Force. E. Grievances filed under the grievance procedure An informal grievance was filed by a client who disagreed with DRN’s decision not to represent him in a lawsuit against a junk yard alleging that his accessible vehicle was illegally impounded and sent to a scrapyard. A DRN attorney reviewed the client’s allegations and determined that there were no Americans with Disabilities Act discrimination claims. DRN’s CEO informed the client of these findings and informed the client that DRN could not represent him because his case was not within the scope of DRN’s disability rights work and advised the client to instead seek private representation. The client was advised further that if he disagreed with the decision, he had the right to go to the next stage of the DRN grievance process. 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. DRN informs callers, as appropriate, about the services provided by the CAP. We are also available as a resource to CAP and its clients. DRN and CAP staff discussed ways to for the organizations to collaborate as well as improve case referrals between the organizations to better assist people with disabilities. DRN met with the CAP on multiple occasions in fiscal year 2015. Strategies were discussed with reference to Pennsylvania’s OVR implementation of WIOA, sheltered settings, and the impact of potential legislation on OVR. DRN maintains a lead advocacy role in the work of the community in its attempts to be a part of the administrative process and design of long term services and supports. DRN maintains individual assistance for many clients through our intake department, while other staff work on providing input through the federally mandated Medical Assistance Advisory Committee or MAAC, and its subcommittees. Throughout the year, DRN staff also participated in several “coalitions” with similar missions of enhancing or expanding home and community based services and supports. Some examples include but are not limited to: the Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) Consumer Coalition; Community First Choice Option Coalition; the Adult Protective Services Coalition, which came together to create protective services for recipients of home and community based services; the Person Driven Services and Supports (or PDSS) Coalition, which is intent on developing, expanding and promoting consumer-directed service models; and the Cover the Commonwealth campaign, which came together to promote the expansion of Medicaid as envisioned in the Affordable Care Act. DRN staff continue to provide input when possible on proposed regulations and policy directives through the direct submission of written comments and through legal actions and settlements when necessary.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByRocco Iacullo
TitlePAIR Director
Signed Date12/23/2015