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

Minnesota (MINNESOTA DISABILITY LAW CENTER) - H240A160024 - FY2016

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameMid-Minnesota Legal Assistance
Address430 First Ave. N.
Address Line 2Suite 300
CityMinneapolis
StateMinnesota
Zip Code55401
E-mail Addressmndlc@mylegalaid.org
Website Addresshttp://www.mndlc.org
Phone6123321441
TTY 6123324668
Toll-free Phone8002924150
Toll-free TTY
Fax6123345785
Name of P&A Executive DirectorCathy Haukedahl
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorAlex Farrell
Person to contact regarding reportAlex Farrell
Contact Person phone6127463764
Ext.

Part I. Non-Case Services

A. Individual Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Individuals receiving I&R within PAIR priority areas317
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas8
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)325

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff20
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)640

PAIR staff delivered 20 presentations that provided 640 participants with information on an array of advocacy, service, and rights-related topics. Of these presentations, five focused on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); four focused on health care issues impacting persons with disabilities; three focused on employment-related issues; three focused on the Minnesota Disability Law Center’s (MDLC) advocacy role in the community; two focused on special education topics; and two focused on voting rights issues. Participants at MDLC training sessions included persons with disabilities and their family members, social service and other public agency staff, legal aid attorneys, pro bono attorneys, school staff attorneys, county attorneys, police officers, health care providers, non-profit business owners, and staff from other disability advocacy organizations.

In addition to these 20 presentations, PAIR advocates and attorneys staffed tables at and otherwise participated in ten outreach and resource events that provided information to 3470 community members. PAIR staff distributed MDLC’s information at a school in Duluth; four social service agencies; an annual two-day Veterans Stand-Down Event, which is a resource fair and appreciation event for veterans and service members; Project Homeless Connect, an outreach event for homeless individuals; and the Minnesota State Fair.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff1
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles14
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website1,737
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated8
6. Other (specify separately)0

Narrative

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)92
2. Additional individuals served during the year162
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)254
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)19

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 123

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility6
2. Employment0
3. Program access4
4. Housing7
5. Government benefits/services39
6. Transportation7
7. Education7
8. Assistive technology0
9. Voting0
10. Health care51
11. Insurance0
12. Non-government services86
13. Privacy rights0
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse3
16. Neglect1
17. Other43

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor79
2. Other representation found4
3. Individual withdrew complaint7
4. Appeals unsuccessful5
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.12
6. PAIR withdrew from case0
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources7
8. Individual case lacks legal merit17
9. Other0

Please explain

E. Intervention Strategies Used in Serving Individuals

List the highest level of intervention used by PAIR prior to closing each case file.

1. Technical assistance in self-advocacy22
2. Short-term assistance34
3. Investigation/monitoring0
4. Negotiation46
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution0
6. Administrative hearings17
7. Litigation (including class actions)12
8. Systemic/policy activities0

Part III. Statistical Information on Individuals Served

A. Age of Individuals Served as of October 1

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. 0 - 43
2. 5 - 2234
3. 23 - 59169
4. 60 - 6422
5. 65 and over26

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females108
2. Males146

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race2
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native6
3. Asian9
4. Black or African American56
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White152
7. Two or more races3
8. Race/ethnicity unknown26

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent175
2. Parental or other family home31
3. Community residential home4
4. Foster care0
5. Nursing home7
6. Public institutional living arrangement9
7. Private institutional living arrangement1
8. Jail/prison/detention center21
9. Homeless5
10. Other living arrangements0
11. Living arrangements not known1

E. Primary Disability of Individuals Served

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

1. Blind/visual impairment16
2. Deaf/hard of hearing72
3. Deaf-blind0
4. Orthopedic impairment71
5. Mental illness0
6. Substance abuse3
7. Mental retardation0
8. Learning disability15
9. Neurological impairment21
10. Respiratory impairment4
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment7
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment7
13. Speech impairment0
14. AIDS/HIV0
15. Traumatic brain injury0
16. Other disability38

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

1. Number of policies/practices changed as a result of non-litigation systemic activities12

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes622,000

Describe your systemic activities. Be sure to include information about the policies that were changed and how these changes benefit individuals with disabilities. Include case examples of how your systemic activities impacted individuals served.

1. Enterprise Appeal Project

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) Appeals and Regulations Division is currently upgrading and modernizing its process for public benefits appeals. PAIR program staff served on a workgroup convened by DHS to develop templates and forms that will be part of the new online appeals system. The work group commented and edited approximately 75 forms that will be available for use by public benefits recipients who wish to appeal adverse actions taken by state and county social services agencies. PAIR staff also provided comments and recommendations to approve the appeal process as DHS transitions to a web-based appeals system.

The group’s work lead to policy changes regarding how fair hearing appeals and evidence will be received. DHS also adopted approximately 5 of the suggested changes that PAIR staff made to template forms that will be used as part of the process. MDLC estimates that at least 66,000 PAIR eligible clients will be affected by these changes. MDLC’s estimate is based on the fact that approximately 6% of Minnesota’s population are PAIR eligible clients, and that at least 1.1 million Minnesotans have access to the fair hearing system. The 6% figure is based on the 2014 Disability Status Report from the Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability at the Cornell University ILR School. The Institute estimates that 10.6 % of Minnesota’s population are people with disabilities, and that 4.6% of these individuals are people with cognitive disabilities. The 1.1 million figure is based on numbers from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Minnesota Department of Human Services. According to these entities, approximately 1.03 million Minnesotans are enrolled in Medicaid, and another 100,000 are enrolled in MinnesotaCare, another state-run healthcare program.

2. Minnesota Department of Health Crisis Standards of Care Ethics Workgroup

MDLC’s legal director participated on the Minnesota Department of Health Crisis Standards of Care (CSC) Ethics Workgroup at the invitation of the Department. This workgroup built on the framework created several years ago by the Minnesota Department of Health’s Pandemic Ethics Panel, on which the legal director also served. The CSC Workgroup includes medical ethicists, emergency physicians, hospital administrators, county, tribal, and state public health experts, emergency response experts, and epidemiologists. The purpose of the CSC Workgroup is to create an ethics framework for all health providers in the state that will inform their emergency response protocols over a wide range of incidents, including pandemics, natural disasters, and man-made emergencies like terrorist attacks. MDLC’s role on the group is to raise and help address issues pertaining to individuals with disabilities in these scenarios. The project began in FY2016, and continues into FY2017. It will culminate in a finished draft report in December 2016. The efforts of the Ethics Workgroup are coordinated with other statewide and national Crisis Standards of Care planning.

MDLC estimates that one policy change occurred as a result of the Workgroup (that is, the creation of an ethics framework for Minnesota’s CSC work.) Potentially all PAIR eligible clients in Minnesota could be affected by this framework, if they find themselves in an emergency situation. Given Minnesota’s total population of approximately 5.4 million period and the 6% figure used above, MDLC estimates that approximately 324,000 individuals could be affected by the change.

3. St. Paul Soccer Stadium Accessibility Advisory Committee

PAIR staff served as a member of the St. Paul Soccer Stadium Accessibility Advisory Committee. The Committee was formed after Major League Soccer awarded an expansion franchise, the Minnesota United, to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, and a stadium site was chosen in St. Paul. The Committee, which includes people with disabilities, city and state representatives, and disability advocates, has provided design and policy suggestions to ensure that the new stadium meets and exceeds Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility requirements. As a result of the Committee’s work, the initial stadium design was modified to eliminate a large architectural barrier that was present in the original proposal. The Committee met multiple times in 2016, and will continue to meet in 2017. Construction is expected to be completed by 2018.

In addition to the policy change mentioned above, the stadium design staff adopted other Committee suggestions, including increasing the number of wheelchair accessible seats. MDLC estimates that the committee’s work will impact approximately 232,000 PAIR eligible clients. Fans for the new stadium will likely comes from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro area, which has a population of 3.8 million according to the 2015 Census Estimate. Given the 6% estimate used above, potentially 232,000 PAIR eligible individuals may attend at Minnesota United game once the stadium is built.

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts40,000
2. Number of individuals named in class actions0

Describe your litigation/class action activities. Explain how individuals with disabilities benefited from your litigation activities. Be sure to include case examples that demonstrate the impact of your litigation.

PAIR’s litigation activities fell within two of MDLC’s priority areas during this report period: Priority 3 (Community-Based Supports, Services, and Health Care) and Priority 4 (Accessibility and Discrimination). An example from each of these priority areas is included below.

Priority 3 Litigation Example:

PAIR staff represented a 10-year old girl with Dravet Syndrome, a rare genetic condition that causes intense seizures, in a Medicaid claim against the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). The child suffered anywhere from 10-50 seizures per day, and required multiple hospitalizations. After exhausting all other medical options, the little girl’s doctor prescribed Stiripentol, an Orphan drug that has yet to receive final approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration.

DHS refused to provide Medicaid coverage for the drug because it has not received final FDA approval. PAIR staff filed a complaint and motion for a preliminary injunction in federal court, seeking Medicaid coverage of the drug. The complaint alleged that DHS was required to provide Medicaid coverage for the drug under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit. The EPSDT benefit requires states to provide Medicaid coverage for medically necessary treatment to children under the age of 21.

Prior to a hearing on the motion, DHS agreed to settle the case. The settlement agreement requires DHS to provide Medicaid coverage for the drug as long as it proves to be effective for the client. The agreement also required DHS to pay statutory attorneys’ fees to MDLC. Since the settlement, DLC’s client has begun the medication and shown a significant reduction in prolonged seizures.

Priority 4 Litigation Example:

PAIR staff represented a woman who is deaf in a disability discrimination case against her credit union. The credit union has a bank-by-phone service, which allows its customers to access different banking services. The client uses a relay access service to communicate by telephone. The credit union did not allow deaf customers to use the relay service to access the bank-by-phone service unless they complied with several different and more stringent requirements that it did not require for other customers. These additional requirements were a barrier to the client’s access to the bank.

After the credit union refused to negotiate with the client to change its policy and procedures, MDLC filed a lawsuit on her behalf in state court, asserting that the credit union violated federal and state disability discrimination laws.

The case proceeded to a three-day bench trial followed by extensive post-trial briefing.

The Court found that the credit union’s policy and procedure violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Minnesota Human Rights Act. The Court ordered the credit union to stop treating relay calls differently from other calls. It also ordered the credit union to retrain its staff so they would treat relay calls and deaf callers the same, and to pay the client compensation for the emotional harm it caused her. The credit union also agreed to pay MDLC statutory attorneys’ fees and expenses.

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.

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

Note: MDLC’s priorities are organized by issue rather than by program. This section includes all of MDLC’s priority issues that designate PAIR as a possible advocacy source.

This report highlights PAIR work under Priority III (Community-Based Services, Supports, and Health Care) and Priority IV (Accessibility and Discrimination).

I. ABUSE/NEGLECT

GOAL: People with disabilities will be free from abuse and neglect.

Priority:

Abuse/Neglect: A person with a disability needs legal advocacy because his/her health or safety is at risk due to abuse or neglect.

MDLC’s services under this priority are primarily funded by PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, and PATBI.

II. SELF-DETERMINATION

GOAL: Persons with disabilities obtain the maximum feasible control over decisions affecting their lives and over the exercise of their civil rights.

Priority:

MDLC’s services under this priority are primarily funded by PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, and PATBI.

Case Example:

A representative from the office of the Minnesota Ombudsman for Long-Term Care contacted MDLC on behalf of a man whose housing was threatened by administrative errors committed by state and county social services agencies. The client, a stroke survivor who uses a wheelchair, had moved from another state to an assisted living facility in Minnesota to be closer to his family. The client was eligible for Medicaid insurance coverage to help pay for his care and to allow him to reside in his preferred setting. However, he was denied access to Medicaid coverage because the state’s computer system did not process his application correctly.

PAIR staff represented the client in multiple administrative appeal hearings in order to ensure that he had access to appropriate Medicaid benefits that would allow him to make voluntary decisions about his living situation and treatment. PAIR staff brought processing errors made by county social services agency to the attention of the Human Services Judge. As a result of PAIR staff’s advocacy, the client’s Medicaid benefits were approved, and he maintained the ability to live in the appropriate setting of his choice with the services that he needs.

III. CCOMMUNITY-BASED SUPPORTS AND SERVICES and HEALTH CARE

GOALS:

Ensure the development, maintenance,and funding ofan adequate network of community-based services and supports to enable all persons with disabilities to live in the community of their choice.

Ensure the development, maintenance,and funding ofan adequate network of culturally competent medical care and community-based services and supports for all persons with disabilities.

Ensure that health care coverage is sufficiently affordable, available and appropriate to meet the needs of persons with disabilities statewide.

Priority:

MDLC’s services under this priority are primarily funded by PAAT, PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, and PATBI.

Case Example:

PAIR staff represented an 8-year-old client with pulmonary hypertension who received Medicaid services through the state’s Community Alternative Care (CAC) waiver. The CAC waiver is designed to serve persons with disabilities who would otherwise require the level of care provided in a hospital. The client received a yearly waiver budget of $120,000, which allowed her to live at home without constant hospitalizations. At her yearly assessment, the county social services agency determined that the client was no longer eligible for the CAC waiver, and could only receive services through the Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) waiver, which provides a nursing facility level of care. As a result, her yearly budget was slashed to $8,000 a year, which put her in jeopardy of institutionalization.

PAIR staff appealed the termination of the CAC waiver to the state agency. PAIR staff argued that the client’s condition had not improved, and that she continued to need the level of care provided in a hospital. The state agency appeals division agreed, and ruled that the client was wrongly terminated from the CAC waiver. The client’s CAC waiver was reinstated, and her yearly budget was restored to $120,000 a year. As a result, the client was able to continue to live in the family home safely with appropriate care.

IV. ACCESSIBILITY and DISCRIMINATION

GOAL: Persons with disabilities are free from discrimination in public accommodations and public services as a result of the removal of physical and program access barriers.

Priority: Persons with disabilities have full access to public accommodations and public services.

MDLC’s services under this priority are primarily funded by PAAT, PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, PAVA, and CAP.

Case Examples:

PAIR staff represented each of these clients in negotiations with the different counties to settle their claims. The settlement agreements for the counties are essentially the same: they require the counties to make arrangements with ASL interpreter services so that interpreter services are available at the jail 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. The agreements also require the jails to use video remote interpreter systems to provide access to interpreters when there would be a significant delay in providing in-person interpreters. The counties must also provide access to videophones subject to the same rules and procedures that apply to inmates who need to make standard phone calls. The counties also agreed to provide training to their staff on the provisions of the agreements.

In addition to agreeing to these significant corrective actions, the counties paid the clients compensation for the emotional harm caused by their violations of the law. They also paid the MDLC’s reasonable statutory attorney’s fees and expenses.

Because the MDLC represented several deaf people in similar claims against different counties at the same time, the cases had a major impact on the state’s Association of Counties and on their insurance carrier. The terms of the settlement agreements will now serve as a model that other counties in Minnesota can use to remove communication barriers in their jails, and thereby ensure full and equal access to the services they provide at the jail. MDLC’s representation of these clients also encouraged the Association of Counties and the Sheriff’s Association to educate and train their members on the requirements to provide full and equal access to deaf inmates.

V. SPECIAL EDUCATION

GOAL: Infants, children and youth with disabilities receive educational services, including special education and related services, based on individual needs and are served in the least restrictive environment.

Priority:

- An infant, child or youth with a disability needs legal advocacy to be free from physical and sexual assault, and to not be subjected to inappropriate aversive or deprivation procedures, including restraint and seclusion, in his/her home, educational setting, treatment setting, or juvenile facility.

- An infant, child or youth with a disability needs legal advocacy because she/he is being excluded from day care, pre-school or K-12 school for conduct related her/his disability, is subjected to inappropriate discipline procedures, or is not receiving appropriate positive behavior interventions and accommodations.

MDLC’s services under this priority are primarily funded by PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, PATBI, PAAT and CAP.

Case Example:

The guardian of a 13-year-old student who is Native American and has attention deficit hyper- activity disorder (ADHD) contacted MDLC because the student’s school district threatened to expel him for an alleged weapons violation. The guardian raised concerns that the school district was not following the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) and other legal requirements for special education students. Moreover, the guardian did not believe that the there was evidence that our client had a weapon.

PAIR staff initially agreed to investigate the guardian’s concerns. After reviewing the student’s records, the guardian’s information, and the district’s stated position, PAIR staff determined that the district failed to follow multiple provisions of state and federal law, notably with regard to discipline standards. PAIR staff also determined that there was no credible evidence of the student having a weapon, and verified it was likely that another student had fabricated the story about the weapon to harm our client. PAIR staff also identified flaws with the district’s internal processes to address such investigations and proposed changes.

The guardian indicated that his goals were to change the student’s school, develop a better IEP, and obtain compensatory education services for the time the student missed in school due to the district’s attempt to expel him. PAIR staff intervened with the district, and proposed alternative approaches to resolve the process concerns discovered during MDLC’s investigation, and to achieve the guardian’s goals. After extensive negotiation with the district, PAIR staff obtained a transfer to a new school site, a revision of the district’s manifestation determination decision, an agreement by the district to not expel the student, compensatory education, and a revision of the student’s grades to reflect completed work. Both the guardian and student were happy with the outcome.

VI. EMPLOYMENT

GOAL: Adults with disabilities have opportunities to obtain, maintain, and re-gain employment consistent with their interests, abilities and needs.

Priority:

MDLC’s services under this priority are primarily funded by CAP and PABSS. PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, or PATBI funds may also be used.

Case Example:

PAIR staff represented a deaf individual who wanted to become a commercial truck driver. To become a commercial truck driver, an individual must pass Minnesota’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) examination. In order to prepare for the exam, the client needed to complete a training course at a local community college. The community college offered an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter for the classroom portion of the course, but refused to provide an interpreter for the driving portion of the class. PAIR staff assisted the client by finding a driving instructor who felt safe and comfortable instructing deaf student-drivers with an ASL interpreter. PAIR staff then persuaded the college to allow him to use the instructor to learn how to drive the truck.

After completing the prep course, the client was ready to sit for the exam. However, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) refused to provide an ASL interpreter for any portion of the CDL examination. PAIR staff advocated for the client and persuaded the DPS to provide an ASL interpreter for the written portion of the CDL exam. PAIR staff also convinced DPS to provide additional time for the “walk around” truck inspection and to arrange effective alternative methods of communication between the tester and client during the exam. The client passed the CDL exam, and is now employed as an over-the-road trucker.

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.

MDLC PRIORITIES FOR 2017

The order in which the following four priorities are listed does not imply higher or lower ranking.

PRIORITY 1: Eliminate Abuse and Neglect

For individuals with disabilities: MDLC helps clients whose health or safety is at risk because of abuse, such as physical assault, sexual assault, chemical restraint, (e,g., the wrong type/dose of psychotropic medications), restraint or seclusion, and neglect, such as failure to provide adequate medical care, required supervision, or other necessities. MDLC also helps clients who are financially exploited and those whose residential/treatment providers are not providing or deny them access to critical care or supports.

For groups of people with disabilities: MDLC staff conduct monitoring visits to facilities where persons with disabilities reside, learn or receive services. MDLC conducts investigations when it has cause to believe that abuse or neglect has occurred in a program or facility serving a group of individuals with disabilities.

Funding: MDLC’s services under this priority are primarily funded by PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, and PATBI.

PRIORITY 2: Increase Integration and Decrease Discrimination

For individuals with disabilities:

Increase Integration: MDLC advocates for individuals in four key areas: special education, housing, employment, and other community activities:

Special Education: MDLC helps children and youth who are excluded from day care, pre-school, or K-12 schools because of conduct that is related to their disabilities. MDLC advocates for young clients to obtain positive behavior interventions instead of being inappropriately disciplined. MDLC may also help its young clients to receive access to special education and related services in the least restrictive setting.

Housing: MDLC advocates for people with disabilities to obtain or keep the housing of their choice in the most integrated setting that meets their needs.

Employment: MDLC helps clients get full services from Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS), State Services from the Blind, and Independent Living Centers. MDLC works to ensure that special education students get the services they need to transition from school to employment. MDLC helps Social Security Disability Beneficiaries (i.e. people who receive SSI and/or SSDI) who are engaged in return to work efforts or in securing, maintaining or regaining employment and who need consultation or legal advocacy.

Other Community Activities: MDLC advocates for people with disabilities to obtain or retain access to activities in the community of their choice in the most integrated setting that meets their needs.

Decrease Discrimination: MDLC works to protect clients’ civil rights, including voting rights, and to eliminate discrimination in the four areas listed above (special education, housing, employment, and other community activities) as well as access to:

For groups of people with disabilities: MDLC works on solutions to problems that affect many persons with disabilities through group advocacy such as class actions, policy work, and other systemic efforts. MDLC also conducts outreach about the rights of persons with disabilities to participate in the electoral (voting) process.

Funding: MDLC’s services under this priority are primarily funded by PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, PAAT PATBI, PAVA, PABSS and CAP.

PRIORITY 3: Increase Access to Appropriate Services

MDLC’s advocacy focuses on:

For individuals with disabilities: MDLC helps persons with disabilities access and maintain services and supports in the following five areas: special education, housing, employment, other community activities, and health care.

Special Education: MDLC helps clients to obtain sufficient supports in their individualized education plans, behavior plans and overall school experience that they need to fully access educational, developmental, extracurricular, school-to-work transition, and social opportunities in the most integrated setting.

Housing: MDLC advocates for people with disabilities to obtain or keep the housing of their choice in the most integrated setting that meets their needs.

Employment: MDLC helps clients who are recipients of Social Security Benefits, Rehabilitation Services, State Services for the Blind and/or clients of Independent Living Centers and who need legal advocacy to receive the full array of available services to achieve their vocational or independent living goals. MDLC also assists school age and young adults who are served within state, school, and countyservice systems to fully participate in independent or supported employment to the maximum extent feasible.

Other Community Activities: MDLC advocates for people with disabilities to obtain or retain access to activities in the community of their choice in the most integrated setting that meets their needs.

Health care: MDLC helps clients to get the services they need to live in the community, move from restrictive to integrated settings, obtain access to health care programs, and get Assistive Technology.

For groups of people with disabilities: MDLC works on solutions to problems that affect many persons with disabilities through group advocacy such as class actions, policy work, and other systemic efforts.

Funding: MDLC’s services under this priority are primarily funded by PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, PAAT, PATBI, PABSS and CAP.

PRIORITY 4: Increase Awareness of MDLC as a Statewide Resource

MDLC strives to provide high quality advocacy services to persons with disabilities across the state of Minnesota. General outreach and targeted in-reach are needed to ensure that people with disabilities, their families and service providers are aware of MDLC’s assistance.

For individuals with disabilities and their families, service providers and community groups, MDLC will:

Funding: MDLC’s services under this priority are funded by all of MDLC’s federal and non-federal funding sources.

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

Source of funding and expenditures

Federal funds: $115,984 received; $115,984 spent

State funds: $0.00 received; $0.00 spent

Program income: $358,230 recieved; $358,230 spent

Other sources: $0.00 recieved; $0.00 spent

Total: $474,214

B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by the report

Wages and salaries: $258,243

Fringe benefits: $98,635

Materials/supplies: $3,009

Postage: $1,266

Telephone: $3,811

Rent: $30,587

Travel: $1,500

Copying: $989

Bonding/Insurance: $1,467

Equipment Rental/Purchase: $3,968

Legal Services/Research: $21,993

Indirect Costs: $41,721

Miscellaneous/Training: $7,025

Total Costs: 474,214

Projection of current fiscal year budget

Wages and salaries: $310,906

Fringe benefits: $110,664

Materials/supplies: $3,129

Postage: $1,316

Telephone: $3,963

Rent: $31,466

Travel: $1,500

Copying: $1,029

Insurance: $1,525

Equipment rental/repair: $4,127

Legal services/research: $22,847

Indirect costs: $52,014

Training and miscellaneous: $7,305

Total costs = $551,791

C. Description of PAIR staff (duties and person-years)

Full-time case handlers (professional): 3.02 FTEs worked 100% of the year (3.02 person years)

Full-time clerical: 0.19 FTEs worked 100% of the year (0.19 person years)

D. Involvement with advisory boards

A PAIR program staff attorney was appointed to and serves as the Disability Representative on a new Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) “Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council” at the MSBA that was established to promote diversity efforts in the Minnesota State Bar Association and in the legal community. In addition, MDLC’s Legal Director serves on the board of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL), a nonprofit funded by the Minnesota Judicial Branch to provide education and services to individuals in the legal profession who are in treatment for alcoholism and chemical dependency.

E. Grievances filed: Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance/MDLC has a written grievance policy. Two (2) PAIR clients filed a grievance during this report period.

F. Coordination with the CAP and the State long-term care program:

Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance is the designated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System for Minnesota and fulfills these functions through its statewide project, the Minnesota Disability Law Center. In addition to PAIR, the agency also receives federal funds for the Client Assistance Program (CAP) and all other federal P&A program funding. Collaboration and coordination of CAP and other P&A services occurs among MDLC’s case handlers on a daily basis, at weekly MDLC work team meetings, and at quarterly staff meetings. PAIR staff have access to the expertise and experience of staff working in all other MDLC programs.

Project staff will use other available resources whenever possible, so as to maximize their own resources. As previously mentioned, staff have a close working knowledge of the CAP, PADD and PAIMI systems and will refer persons to those projects whenever appropriate. PAIR staff also confer with other non-P&A Legal Aid co-workers on housing, immigration, benefits, and family law matters, when appropriate.

MDLC has excellent contacts and working relationships (but no formal agreements) with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman’s office. This includes mutual consultation regarding advocacy issues, and referrals of clients between our organizations, when appropriate.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByCathy Haukedahl
TitleExecutive Director
Signed Date12/19/2016