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

New Mexico (NATIVE AMERICAN P and A PROJECT -- DNA - PEOPLES LEGAL SERVICES) - H240A160057 - FY2016

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameNative American Disability Law Center Inc.
Address3535 E 30th Street Suite 201
Address Line 2
CityFarmington
StateNew Mexico
Zip Code87402
E-mail Addresstyanan@nativedisabilitylaw.org
Website Addresshttp://www.nativedisabilitylaw.org
Phone505-566-5880
TTY
Toll-free Phone800-862-7271
Toll-free TTY
Fax505-566-5880
Name of P&A Executive DirectorTherese Yanan
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorTherese Yanan
Person to contact regarding reportTherese Yanan
Contact Person phone505-566-5880
Ext.

Part I. Non-Case Services

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

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Individuals receiving I&R within PAIR priority areas153
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas35
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)188

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff7
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)113

Native American Conference on Special Education. Hopi disability conference, self advocacy meetings and Navajo Nation Disability Conference. Two smaller trainings for parents.br>

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff2
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles1
3. PSAs/videos aired4
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website22,493
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated2,171
6. Other (specify separately)2

Narrative

The number of hits is based on hits to "Contact Us" - we produced two videos that support our P&A program as a whole and focus on VR services and employment

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)3
2. Additional individuals served during the year25
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)28
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)2

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 10

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility0
2. Employment1
3. Program access0
4. Housing2
5. Government benefits/services3
6. Transportation0
7. Education18
8. Assistive technology0
9. Voting0
10. Health care0
11. Insurance0
12. Non-government services0
13. Privacy rights0
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse4
16. Neglect0
17. Other0

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor9
2. Other representation found0
3. Individual withdrew complaint1
4. Appeals unsuccessful0
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.0
6. PAIR withdrew from case1
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources5
8. Individual case lacks legal merit2
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-advocacy6
2. Short-term assistance9
3. Investigation/monitoring2
4. Negotiation0
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution0
6. Administrative hearings0
7. Litigation (including class actions)1
8. Systemic/policy activities0

Part III. Statistical Information on Individuals Served

A. Age of Individuals Served as of October 1

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. 0 - 40
2. 5 - 2221
3. 23 - 592
4. 60 - 641
5. 65 and over4

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females9
2. Males19

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race1
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native27
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American0
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White0
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown0

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent2
2. Parental or other family home24
3. Community residential home0
4. Foster care0
5. Nursing home1
6. Public institutional living arrangement0
7. Private institutional living arrangement0
8. Jail/prison/detention center1
9. Homeless0
10. Other living arrangements0
11. Living arrangements not known0

E. Primary Disability of Individuals Served

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

1. Blind/visual impairment4
2. Deaf/hard of hearing0
3. Deaf-blind0
4. Orthopedic impairment0
5. Mental illness1
6. Substance abuse0
7. Mental retardation0
8. Learning disability9
9. Neurological impairment4
10. Respiratory impairment1
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment1
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment1
13. Speech impairment2
14. AIDS/HIV0
15. Traumatic brain injury0
16. Other disability5

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

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

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes200

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

The Law Center represented the 10th circuit on NDRN's legal committee

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts0
2. Number of individuals named in class actions0

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

Part V. PAIR'S Priorities and Objectives

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

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

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

1. Identify and Describe Priority Priority A: Abuse and Neglect 2. Identify the Need, Issue or Barrier Addressed by this Priority. This priority is at the foundation of the work that is done at the Law Center. Clients get professional, informed attention - whether or not advocates are assigned. Barriers include cross jurisdictional issues and remote rural areas. 3. Identify & Describe Indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Objective 1: Monitor the investigation by the appropriate agency of all reported incidents of abuse and neglect. Objective 2: Represent children in abuse & neglect cases as appointed by relevant courts. Objective 3: Provide information regarding rights and services to individuals living in group homes, institutions and detention centers across the service area by visiting them on a quarterly basis. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. All work at the Law Center involves outreach to other governmental and tribal agencies including Health the Human Services, Indian Health Services, Navajo Housing Authority and others. Local courts assign representation to the Law Center for children involved with potential cases of abuse and neglect. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these if an were class actions. Eight cases were handled under this priority and 0 resulted in class actions. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. H.M. is a senior Native American man with mental illness and has been homeless and incarcerated, off and on, for several years. During this fiscal year, H.M. was represented by Law Center legal staff for additional social security benefits. During that time an account of abuse and neglect (at the local jail) came to light and the Law Center was able to assist in contacting the ACLU and distributing appropriate materials. 1. Identify and Describe Priority Priority B: Community Services 2. Identify the Need, Issue or Barrier Addressed by this Priority. Lack of access to public services and buildings is a major barrier for people with disabilities and especially so on rural tribal lands. Native Americans with disabilities cannot fully participate in their communities with these barriers. 3. Identify & Describe Indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Objective 1: Advocate for improved civil right protections that guarantee access to community services. Objective 2: Work with other disability advocacy organizations to address systemic discrimination toward individuals with disabilities and to increase the awareness of their needs and services; pass the VR act in collaboration with the Navajo Nation. The new revisions to the Navajo Nation VR Act and to the Bill of Rights is to be re-introduced to Navajo tribal council in January of 2017; this effort has been led by the President of Navajo Nation Advisory Council on Disabilities and the Community and Cultural Liaison with the Law Center. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. The Law Center regularly works with the Navajo Advisory Council, the supported living centers in and around Navajo and Hopi, San Juan Center for Independence, parent support groups, the Hopi Office of Special Needs, and the state P & A agencies. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these if an were class actions. No class actions were engaged during this reporting year. Over 40 of the Information and referral calls (I&R) were related to access and all were referred to other agencies or handled by other funding sources 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Policy work: the proposed draft of the new VR Act for people with disabilities was distributed by Honorable Jonathan Hale, Navajo Nation Council Delegate, to the various directors of divisions and departments within the Navajo Nation for their review and comments. There were no concerning comments received and the proposed Act was submitted to the Department of Justice for review and suggested comments; the initial step in the legislative process. Jonathan Nez, Vice President, provided notification that DOJ had provided a copy of the draft to the attorney to the President. She would be reviewing to ensure the proposed Act contained sufficient legal consequences for any non-compliance situations by governmental or private entities on the Navajo Nation. Vice President Nez reassured the support of this proposed Act when it eventually passes by the Navajo council and is forwarded to Russell Begaye, President, for his signature for enactment. 1. Identify and Describe Priority Priority C: Government Benefits 2. Identify the Need, Issue or Barrier Addressed by this Priority. Extensive time is spent on making professional referrals and for updating and participating in community assessments and resource guides. During this fiscal year, due to lack of resources, the Law Center decided to drop direct representation in cases involving social security benefits. With the passage of the new VR act, in collaboration with other tribal entities, the Law Center plans to outreach for compliance regarding voter rights and access. 3. Identify & Describe Indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Objective 1: Provide information and referrals to individuals with disabilities to increase their understanding of the process for benefits provided by the Social Security Administration. Provide direct legal representation in social security cases. Objective 2: Voting rights/accessibility The Law Center used an advocate this fiscal year to reach out to clients who were referred to other legal agencies for representation to pursue benefits. Outreach was also initiated to find funding to address barriers involving voter access. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. We reach out regularly to other legal agencies and civil legal services in both New Mexico and Arizona. We provide follow up calls to check on success with our referrals and collaborate with the DOJ in their investigation of voter access infractions in San Juan County. We continue to work with three legal cases involving social security benefits and when these close will not be continuing direct representation. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these if any were class actions. None of the cases are in class action and we handled four cases for representation and over forty information and referral calls. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. Policy work: The Law Center worked to collaborate with the Department of Justice to monitor the county agreement to remove voting barriers from San Juan County, NM. 75% of San Juan County is under the boundary of the Navajo Nation. 1. Identify and Describe Priority Priority D: Employment 2. Identify the Need, Issue or Barrier Addressed by this Priority. Unemployment on the Navajo Nation is reported between 40 — 45% depending on the area. The areas of Gallup, NM and Shiprock, NM are both at the high end of that figure. The extra burden of underemployment for all of the population dramatically effects the rates for those with disabilities. 3. Identify & Describe Indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Objective 1: Increase awareness of vocational rehabilitation services by: a. distributing informational brochures and conducting video presentations b. provide training on employment opportunities and supports for 30 people with disabilities wanting to return to work. Objective 2: Educate 3 major employers on the benefits of hiring people with disabilities. Objective 3: Provide direct assistance to individuals with disabilities in their efforts to obtain appropriate vocational rehabilitation services or address employment discrimination. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. Collaborative partners for these objectives are numerous: vocational rehabilitation offices both on and off the Navajo Nation, institutions of higher learning & high school transition specialists, employers and educational gatherings for parents. The most recent outreach to complete two videos involved more communication with families, videographers and community members. Funding for these initiative came from other funding sources. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these if an were class actions. None were class action and four cases involved direct action in investigation or representation at meetings/hearings. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. T.B. contacted the Law Center in June of 2015. He attempted to complete a degree in culinary arts after receiving a regular diploma from a high school on the Navajo Nation. When that was unsuccessful he again reached out to Navajo Nation VR counselors and was told they had limited funding; and stated they had no grievance policy. Working with a Law Center advocate T.B. won his due process hearing and was assisted with completing a resume’ and with job coaching. An agency grievance policy was put in place. T.B. currently works at a local restaurant with a job coach and the Navajo Nation VR program purchased work clothes to further ensure his success. 1. Identify and Describe Priority Priority E: Special Education 1. Identify the Need, Issue or Barrier Addressed by this Priority. Special Education continues to be one of the biggest areas for service requests. The large remote rural area of the Navajo Nation means that training, hiring and housing teachers and finding professional resources is an ongoing challenge and therefore civil rights and Free and Appropriate Education is harder to achieve. 2. Identify & Describe Indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Objective 1: Provide one (1) training on education rights to students with disabilities and their parents reaching 80 individuals. Objective 2: Provide 20 seminars &/or clinics in Gallup area for students with disabilities and their parents to provide training & support in smaller group setting. Objective 3: Provide technical assistance to students or their parents or guardians of twenty-five (25) children with disabilities to empower them to advocate for their children to obtain and receive appropriate education services in their community and in the least restrictive environment. Objective 4: Provide direct representation in meetings and other informal settings for fifteen (15) children with disabilities who are not receiving a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. Objective 5: Provide direct representation in administrative proceedings for ten (10) children with disabilities who are not receiving a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. Objective 6: Work with other advocacy organizations to address systemic education issues facing students with disabilities. 3. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. This priority means continual collaboration with parents, students and school systems. 4. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these if any were class actions. Work toward litigation was started in this last fiscal year and continues. All cases related to special education were funded by other funding sources. Five of six objectives were met for this reporting period. 5. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. A.B. is a high school student at a BIE school on the Navajo Nation and he has a visual impairment. His mother called to say he was being denied his assistive technology and that she was denied his records. Parent was given technical assistance regarding rights under IDEA. All issues were finalized in a resolution hearing with a Law Center legal advocate that resulted in full access to records, an agreement to have new assessments, a 1 to 1 educational aid, door to door transportation and full access to assistive technology. 1. Identify and Describe Priority Priority F: Housing 2. Identify the Need, Issue or Barrier Addressed by this Priority. Housing continues to be one of the top concerns from clients and former clients that complete Law Center assessments. Ongoing federal investigations (HUD) find misappropriation of funds by Navajo Housing Authority. Border towns continue to absorb homeless individuals. 3. Identify & Describe Indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority. Objective 1: Advocate for Navajo and Hopi housing that accommodates the needs of people with disabilities. Objective 2: Assist 5 individuals with disabilities in their efforts to obtain public housing, when they have been denied housing or reasonable accommodations because of their disability. 4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration. Law Center staff stay in dialogue with housing entities by serving on the Navajo Nation Advisory Council on Disabilities and by attending monthly housing coalition meetings. 5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these if any were class actions. There are no class actions with this priority and two housing cases were handled under PAIR funding. 6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority. D.B. is a Native American man suffering from alcohol syndrome, arthritis and severe learning disabilities (unable to read and write). He contracted the Law Center for protection from his common-law wife and 22 yr. old son who reportedly abused and beat him regularly. Law Center legal advocates worked with San Juan Center for Independence to obtain restraining orders, outreach for house repairs, and insist on action from Navajo Nation Adult Protective Services.

B. Priorities and Objectives for the Current Fiscal Year

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

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

Priority A: Abuse and NeglectObjective 1: Monitor the investigation by the appropriate agency of all reported incidents of abuse and neglect.Objective 2: Represent children in abuse & neglect cases as appointed by relevant courts.Objective 3: Provide information regarding rights and services to individuals living in group homes, institutions, detention centers and prisons across the service area by visiting them on a quarterly basis.Priority B: Community ServicesObjective 1: Advocate for improved civil right protections that guarantee access to community services.Objective 2: Work with other disability advocacy organizations to address systemic discrimination toward individuals with disabilities and to increase the awareness of their needs and services; pass the VR act in collaboration with the Navajo Nation.Objective 3: Pass a Hopi Adult Protection Act that addresses abuse & neglect of adults with disabilities.Objective 4: Develop self-advocacy groups comprised of individuals with developmental disabilities.Priority C: Government BenefitsObjective 1: Provide information and referrals to individuals with disabilities to increase their understanding of the process for benefits provided by the Social Security Administration.Objective 2: Voting rights/accessibilityPriority D: EmploymentObjective 1: Increase awareness of vocational rehabilitation services by:a. distributing informational brochures and conducting video presentationsb. provide training on employment opportunities and supports for 30 people with disabilities wanting to return to work.Objective 2: Educate 3 major employers on the benefits of hiring people with disabilities.Objective 3: Provide direct assistance to individuals with disabilities in their efforts to obtain appropriate vocational rehabilitation services or address employment discrimination.Priority E: Special EducationObjective 1: Provide one (1) training on education rights to students with disabilities and their parents reaching 80 individuals.Objective 2: Provide 10 seminars &/or clinics in Gallup area for students with disabilities and their parents to provide training & support in smaller group setting.Objective 3: Provide technical assistance to students or their parents or guardians of twenty-five (25) children with disabilities to empower them to advocate for their children to obtain and receive appropriate education services in their community and in the least restrictive environment.Objective 4: Provide direct representation in meetings and other informal settings for fifteen (15) children with disabilities who are not receiving a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.Objective 5: Provide direct representation in administrative proceedings for ten (10) children with disabilities who are not receiving a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.Objective 6: Work with other advocacy organizations to address systemic education issues facing students with disabilities.Priority F: HousingObjective 1: Advocate for Navajo and Hopi housing that accommodates the needs of people with disabilities.Objective 2: Assist 5 individuals with disabilities in their efforts to obtain public housing, when they have been denied housing or reasonable accommodations because of their disability.Priority A: Abuse and NeglectObjective 1: Monitor the investigation by the appropriate agency of all reported incidents of abuse and neglect.Objective 2: Represent children in abuse & neglect cases as appointed by relevant courts.Objective 3: Provide information regarding rights and services to individuals living in group homes, institutions, detention centers and prisons across the service area by visiting them on a quarterly basis.Priority B: Community ServicesObjective 1: Advocate for improved civil right protections that guarantee access to community services.Objective 2: Work with other disability advocacy organizations to address systemic discrimination toward individuals with disabilities and to increase the awareness of their needs and services; pass the VR act in collaboration with the Navajo Nation.Objective 3: Pass a Hopi Adult Protection Act that addresses abuse & neglect of adults with disabilities.Objective 4: Develop self-advocacy groups comprised of individuals with developmental disabilities.Priority C: Government BenefitsObjective 1: Provide information and referrals to individuals with disabilities to increase their understanding of the process for benefits provided by the Social Security Administration.Objective 2: Voting rights/accessibilityPriority D: EmploymentObjective 1: Increase awareness of vocational rehabilitation services by:a. distributing informational brochures and conducting video presentationsb. provide training on employment opportunities and supports for 30 people with disabilities wanting to return to work.Objective 2: Educate 3 major employers on the benefits of hiring people with disabilities.Objective 3: Provide direct assistance to individuals with disabilities in their efforts to obtain appropriate vocational rehabilitation services or address employment discrimination.Priority E: Special EducationObjective 1: Provide one (1) training on education rights to students with disabilities and their parents reaching 80 individuals.Objective 2: Provide 10 seminars &/or clinics in Gallup area for students with disabilities and their parents to provide training & support in smaller group setting.Objective 3: Provide technical assistance to students or their parents or guardians of twenty-five (25) children with disabilities to empower them to advocate for their children to obtain and receive appropriate education services in their community and in the least restrictive environment.Objective 4: Provide direct representation in meetings and other informal settings for fifteen (15) children with disabilities who are not receiving a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.Objective 5: Provide direct representation in administrative proceedings for ten (10) children with disabilities who are not receiving a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.Objective 6: Work with other advocacy organizations to address systemic education issues facing students with disabilities.Priority F: HousingObjective 1: Advocate for Navajo and Hopi housing that accommodates the needs of people with disabilities.Objective 2: Assist 5 individuals with disabilities in their efforts to obtain public housing, when they have been denied housing or reasonable accommodations because of their disability.

Part VI. Narrative

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

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

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

Narrative for PAIR, 2015 report A. Sources of funds received and expended: Federal $73,433 — State program income $4,000 — private 0 B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by this report, Expenses Salaries & Related Expenses $50,356 — Contract services $10,066 — Non-Personnel $3,388 — Occupancy $3,946 - Travel/Mileage $5,128 — Miscellaneous $3,224 C. Attorneys: (3) 23 yrs. 10 months; 2 yrs. 9 months; 1 yr. 7 months All attorneys engage in the full range of P&A activities and support each other in court proceedings and in sharing data from trainings. Non-legal advocates: (2) 17 yrs. 7 months; 9 months One senior advocate is mentoring our new advocate (as above). Community and Government Liaison: (1) Leads policy development and representation on Navajo Nation Advisory Council on Disabilities. Financial Technicians: (2) 5yrs. 9 months; 11 months Financial Director: (1) 7yrs. 6 months (currently working as a contract employee) Intake Specialist: (1) 1yr. 4 months Administrative Assistants: (2) 15 yrs. 5 months; 7 yrs. 11 months. The Law Center currently has 10 regular employees at two office sites, one in Farmington, NM and one in Gallup, NM. Of 10 regular employees, 8 are full time. Currently 3 employees are on contract to fill legal positions and to fill administrative duties while the Executive Director is on extended leave. One position is being advertised (part-time Administrative Assistant) and is now filled with a temporary employee. D. Two employees, both attorneys, sit on two advisory boards: Childhaven (a regional advocacy agency that directs foster care and provides CASA volunteers for the courts) and the New Mexico Children’s Court Improvement Commission. E. The Native American Disability Law Center has had no grievances for the reporting fiscal year. F. The federal Client Assistance Program (CAP) is part of the Law Center’s mission and financial support. Advocates from the Law Center coordinate with long-term care programs in our quarterly monitoring of facilities and in work with our advisory boards.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByLaura McClenny
TitleInterim Project Director
Signed Date12/06/2016