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

New Mexico (Disability Rights New Mexico) - H240A170032 - FY2017

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameDisability Rights New Mexico
Address3916 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE
Address Line 2
CityAlbuquerque
StateNew Mexico
Zip Code87111
E-mail Addressinfo@drnm.org
Website Addresshttp://www.drnm.org
Phone505-256-3100
TTY 505-256-3100
Toll-free Phone800-432-4682
Toll-free TTY800-432-4682
Fax505-256-3184
Name of P&A Executive DirectorJames Jackson
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorJames Jackson
Person to contact regarding reportBernadine Chavez
Contact Person phone505-256-3100
Ext.116

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 areas92
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas355
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)447

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff10
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)248

CAP staff provided two trainings to 28 new staff persons working for the New Mexico Division (NMDVR) at the Rehabilitation Academy. The training topics included PAIR and other programs at Disability Rights New Mexico. The other topic covered was Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This training also helps to familiarize new VR staff with ADA and approaching employers about reasonable accommodations. PAIR staff also provided training at the NMDVR Statewide meeting to all NMDVR staff. We also provided training on section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and ADA (Title I). PAIR staff presented to a support group of Native American parents with transition age children. We trained on transition services for individuals with 504 plans preparing for transition. PAIR staff also provided training for a program that provides support services for persons with AIDS and HIV. Many of the participants in this group had lost employment, housing, and Medicaid services due to their disabilities from AIDS or HIV. Every participant was an SSA beneficiary. Staff provided training on disability rights and self-advocacy strategies. DRNM/PAIR staff provided training 3 trainings to Albuquerque Transit drivers on disability awareness, ADA requirements and how to provide quality services to individuals with disabilities. PAIR staff also provided two trainings on “alternatives to guardianships” which included family members of adults with TBI and orthopedic disabilities. DRNM provided training to the Department of Workforce Solutions (Labor) staff on the Disability Awareness and also training on ADA and Title I. There were 12 participants at each session for a total of 24 participants. In summary, PAIR staff at DRNM conducted a total of 10 trainings with a total of 248 participants. DRNM/PAIR also participated in 16 informational fairs in which we distributed CAP brochures and provided information to participants. Of the 16 fairs, five were targeted outreach to minorities and underserved populations.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff2
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles0
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website18,555
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated542
6. Other (specify separately)0

Narrative

N/A

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)11
2. Additional individuals served during the year20
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)31
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. Employment0
3. Program access0
4. Housing2
5. Government benefits/services3
6. Transportation0
7. Education4
8. Assistive technology0
9. Voting0
10. Health care22
11. Insurance0
12. Non-government services0
13. Privacy rights0
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse0
16. Neglect2
17. Other0

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor18
2. Other representation found1
3. Individual withdrew complaint0
4. Appeals unsuccessful2
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.0
6. PAIR withdrew from case0
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources0
8. Individual case lacks legal merit1
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-advocacy1
2. Short-term assistance9
3. Investigation/monitoring0
4. Negotiation6
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution0
6. Administrative hearings5
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 - 223
3. 23 - 5914
4. 60 - 645
5. 65 and over9

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females25
2. Males6

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race12
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native2
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American0
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White16
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown1

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent22
2. Parental or other family home6
3. Community residential home0
4. Foster care0
5. Nursing home2
6. Public institutional living arrangement1
7. Private institutional living arrangement0
8. Jail/prison/detention center0
9. Homeless0
10. Other living arrangements0
11. Living arrangements not known0

E. Primary Disability of Individuals Served

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

1. Blind/visual impairment2
2. Deaf/hard of hearing2
3. Deaf-blind0
4. Orthopedic impairment11
5. Mental illness0
6. Substance abuse0
7. Mental retardation0
8. Learning disability1
9. Neurological impairment6
10. Respiratory impairment2
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment0
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment1
13. Speech impairment0
14. AIDS/HIV0
15. Traumatic brain injury3
16. Other disability3

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

1. Number of policies/practices changed as a result of non-litigation systemic activities2

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes20,000

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.

The New Mexico Medicaid system was transformed in 2014 in ways that dramatically changed the provision of long-term services (LTS) home- and community-based services (HCBS). People with disabilities qualifying for the nursing facility level of care now receive a variety of LTS or HCBS through "Community Benefit" services, without having to be in a "waiver slot". These services are administered as either Agency Based Community Benefits (ABCB) or Self-Directed Community Benefits (SDCB). The legal structure for both ABCB and SDCB starts with a Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA). The purpose of the CNA is to determine the full array of services each participant needs. The menu of services available includes 14 different ABCB services and 23 SDCB services. In practice, however, the CNA has not been "Comprehensive" at all. In the vast majority of cases, the assessment used for this purpose by the Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) that plan and provide these services under contract to the state has excluded all but one ABCB service (Personal Care Services, or PCS) and all but one SDCB service (named the Homemaker service, which in practice is identical to ABCB’s PCS). Very few participants were able to access any of the other services to which they are entitled. During the initial transition year of 2014, the MCOs implementing ABCB and SDCB allowed most participants to utilize a larger budget than they were assessed through the CNA, and as a consequence PAIR/DRNM did not begin to see the lack of access to critical services until 2015. We began to address the problem aggressively, and we were able to see successes on numerous individual cases. Throughout FY2016 and FY2017 DRNM continued to work successfully on individual cases, but also asserted our impact through systemic efforts. In FY2016 DRNM engaged in negotiations with both the MCOs and New Mexico’s Human Services Department (HSD), the state entity that operates Medicaid. As a result, PAIR/DRNM was able to win a commitment from HSD to require the MCOs to supplement the CNA to include questions specific to all of the available ABCB and SDCB services, and these questions would lead to actual service requests for participants needing them. We contributed to the development of this supplemental questionnaire for the CNA. PAIR/DRNM oversaw the piloted administration of this new and improved, and truly "Comprehensive," CNA through the late part of FY2016. HSD and the MCOs committed to utilizing this full and legally acceptable CNA to all ABCB and SDCB participant in FY2017. DRNM has monitored the implementation of this policy during FY2017, and is pleased to report that the survey is in fact being provided to program participants. The requirement for using the new CNA has also been placed in the policy manuals covering the community based services program. During FY2017, DRNM continued to push the state to implement the new CNA, and answered questions from the community about the need for and purpose of the new assessment tool. DRNM is aware that problems with the CNA will remain, and PAIR/DRNM expects to continue to work on many individual cases regarding disputes over the correct implementation of the CNA. However, our agency is pleased that all participants will have the opportunity to qualify for the full array of services necessary to meet their needs and protect their health and safety. Many thousands of people with disabilities will receive these services that had been functionally unavailable to them previously. Direct Care Task Force One of the significant challenges that the State of New Mexico faces is the shortage of adequately trained and compensated direct care workers to provide government funded community based services for individuals with disabilities. Hiring and retaining the caregivers who provide critical community based services is difficult due to an ongoing shortage of funds within our state government. These problems are compounded in the state’s rural areas, where the availability of service providers is further limited. In February 2017, the New Mexico Legislature passed a memorial (Senate Joint Memorial 6) forming a task force to study issues affecting direct care workers in the state. A DRNM attorney is participating on this task force, which will review and make recommendations concerning a number of issues, including implementation of federal protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act and promoting a stable and adequate workforce to meet the needs of growing populations of seniors and persons with disabilities in New Mexico. After a series of lengthy meetings and discussions during FY2017, The task force submitted its first report to the legislature on October 15, 2017. The focus of that report was suggestions to stabilize a highly volatile direct care workforce. The task force will submit a second report in October 2018 that will contain ideas to strengthen and broaden the pool of direct care service providers in the future. The issues under examination by the task force bear directly upon the quality and availability of direct care services provided to DRNM/PAIR constituents throughout the state. Thousands of New Mexicans with disabilities receive government funded community based services that enable them to live in their homes and thrive in their communities. It is essential that the number of direct care workers continue to grow to meet the expanding needs of individuals with disabilities in the state of New Mexico. DRNM participated in this important endeavor throughout FY2017, and will continue to play a significant role on the task force going forward. Adult protective proceedings task force DRNM participates in New Mexico’s Adult Protective Proceedings Task Force, which formulates recommendations regarding five major guardianship issues: (1) roles and functions of the guardian ad litem (GAL), qualified health care professional (QHCP), court visitor (CV), petitioning attorney, and judge; (2) appointment of GAL and CV; (3) practical realities of “least restrictive” or limited guardianships; (4) reconciling best interests with the alleged incapacitated person’s wishes; and, (5) training and education of GAL, QHCP, CV, petitioning attorney, and judges. DRNM serves on the Task Force’s subcommittees to analyze the proposed Uniform Probate Code, and to provide expertise and information to the New Mexico Supreme Court’s Guardianship Study Commission.

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.

None in FY17.

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 A. Investigate allegations of abuse and neglect. 1. Decrease the abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disabilities by improving the practices of programs and facilities in congregate settings for people with disabilities and/or where there are significant allegations of abuse, neglect or exploitation 2. Individuals with disabilities are subject to abuse or neglect at a higher rate than non-disabled individuals, and addressing allegations of abuse or neglect is a core function of protection and advocacy agencies. 3. Indicator: Conduct investigations of alleged or suspected abuse or neglect where there appears to be a pattern or recurrence of significant abuse or neglect, where there has been a death or life-threatening injury, or where the alleged abuse or neglect is particularly egregious, and produce reports/recommendations as appropriate. 4 . Collaboration: DRNM encourages other agencies and organizations to make referrals to us. We typically conduct investigations on our own, but in some circumstances we attempt to collaborate with Children’s Protective Services or Adult Protective Services. 5. The referrals we received and the investigations we conducted in FY 2017 involved persons with developmental disabilities or mental illness who were not eligible for PAIR services. We did not have any PAIR cases in this priority this year. 6. Case summary: N/A Priority B Facilitate access to community-based services 1. Advocate for persons with disabilities to have appropriate services and facilitate access to community-based services. 2. Medicaid-supported community-based services allow persons with significant disabilities to live in and interact with their communities and avoid nursing home placement, but the level of services offered is often inadequate for the needs of the client. 3. Indicator: The number of cases in which PAIR assisted individuals in need of long term services, including those who choose to self-direct services, who have been denied access to such services, or for whom the level of services offered or provided is grossly inadequate. 4. Collaboration: DRNM collaborated with many other agencies in conjunction with this priority. We informed other legal service agencies and other disability advocacy organizations about our work and accepted referrals from them. This was reinforced by our collaborative efforts with other disability groups to promote systemic changes related to these services. 5. PAIR staff worked on 18 cases under this objective. 6. Case example: (a) The client came to DRNM facing a reduction in PCS services from her MCO, United Healthcare, from 63 hours per week to 50. The client had extreme mobility, bowel, bladder, and pain management needs, and was facing the very real possibility of having to move into a nursing home if her hours were reduced. For the first time, a DRNM advocate, under the direct supervision of the Legal Director, represented the client in a Fair Hearing. This is allowable under state law, as a claimant may appoint whomever they wish to act as an "authorized representative." The fair hearing took several hours to complete, with DRNM’s advocate presenting extensive justification for the requested hours. At the hearing, the representatives from United merely read from the Comprehensive Needs Assessment, thus failing to provide any new evidence to support the reduction of hours. Despite this, the hearing officer ruled in favor of United. The Medical Assistance Division Director reviewed the decision and reversed the hearing officer’s decision because United failed to meet its evidentiary burden. The client retained her 63 hours per week of PCS services. As a result, the client is preparing to move from her small apartment into a new house with her two dogs and long-time caregiver. The PCS hours maintained by this case will ensure that the client is able to reside safely in her community going forward. Case example (b) Client contacted DRNM because the PCO agency provided by Molina stopped sending caregivers to her home. This led to a call to Adult Protective Services and her subsequent placement in a nursing home. Despite her self-advocacy, she was prevented from returning home due to concerns from various entities (Aging and Long-Term Services, administrators at Molina, and staff at her nursing facility) about her safety. DRNM advocated on her behalf by attending several Feasibility Meetings, negotiating with representatives from HSD, Molina, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and Aging and Long-Term Services, and researching regulations concerning Home Health Aid service provision. DRNM also contacted and collaborated with Nursing and Home Health Agencies to arrange for appropriate services to be provided in the client’s home. After a long, hard fight, the client fulfilled her wish to return home with the appropriate Community-Based Services put in place to ensure her success. Priority C. Provide input into proposed public policy changes affecting services to persons with disabilities. 1.Review and comment on proposed regulatory changes in Medicaid or other public programs that would have a significant effect on eligibility, benefits, or procedural protections for persons with disabilities. 2. State regulations and other policies establish policies and procedures that have a major impact on persons with disabilities, and unfortunately very few other disability organizations monitor and comment on proposed changes so the community depends on DRNM to do so. DRNM has created a network for informing the community regarding these policies. 3.Indicator: the number of comments submitted on proposed regulatory changes in Medicaid or other public programs that would have a significant effect on eligibility, benefits, or procedural protections for persons with disabilities. 4. Collaboration: DRNM worked closely with The Disability Coalition to track and disseminate information about proposed changes to Medicaid regulations. We also worked with other legal service organizations such as the Senior Citizens’ Law Office. 5. Number of cases: This priority does not involve individual casework but we submitted comments on three proposed state regulations affecting persons eligible for PAIR services. 6. DRNM submitted comments with respect to procedural changes in the Ombudsman program; proposed increases in co-pays for Medicaid recipients; eliminating the State's use of the SIS budget assessment tool; changes to the SNAP food stamp program that made the process less accessible for people with disabilities and people whose 1st language is not English Priority D.Promote self-determination. 1. Promote the least restrictive level and form of substitute decision-making necessary, and provide assistance to protected persons with a Representative Payee or under guardianship, including treatment guardianship, where the Representative Payee or guardian appears to be arbitrary or non-responsive to the reasonable preferences of the protected person, or appears to abuse their authority. 2.The decision-making process and the right to self-advocacy for many individuals with disabilities is negatively impacted by restrictive or unnecessary substitute decision-making. Persons with disabilities often become more capable of making their own choices as they get older and gain more experience, or their disability improves, but once a substitute decision-maker has been appointed it is often a difficult and arduous process to change the arrangement. 3. Indicators of success: number of individual cases taken, number of cases closed successful. 4. Collaboration with other groups: In addressing this priority area, DRNM collaborates with the DDPC Office of Guardianship, the NM Guardianship association, and with other civil legal service provider agencies that are involved in this area. We also collaborate with centers for independent living. We have also collaborated with support groups for persons with TBI. 5. We had 2 cases under this priority for PAIR funding. 6. Case examples: Client, a 63-year-old woman who has epilepsy, had a guardian who was extremely restrictive and controlling. This guardian, a church friend, had handled much of client's divorce proceedings and managed her applications for benefits . Client wanted to move to Utah to be close to her family and for her sister to become her guardian. Relations between the guardian and client's family deteriorated to the point where the client was not permitted to visit her family or move to Utah. The guardian refused to let her to make any decisions regarding finances or residence. Client was becoming increasingly depressed and suicidal because she felt isolated and helpless. DRNM’s attorney worked extensively with client, guardian and client's family to negotiate the transfer of guardianship. Together, DRNM and the client prepared testimony and evidence in support of client's case. We communicated with the Court, drafted multiple pleadings on client's behalf, and appeared on client's behalf at multiple court proceedings. The client and witnesses appeared before Judge Shannon Bacon in the Second Judicial District Court in Bernalillo County. Judge Bacon terminated former guardian's guardianship and appointed client's sister temporary guardian pending the appointment of sister in Utah as permanent guardian. Client is very pleased with the outcome. She has moved to Utah and is happily living close to her sister, who is now her guardian. Priority E. Special Education 1.Facilitate access to appropriate special education services 2. Educate and empower transition-aged students and families regarding their rights under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) by conducting workshops on transition planning for students 14-22 years of age who have 504 Plans or IEPs. 3. Indicators: Number of children with disabilities who, with DRNM assistance, receive the full array of educational opportunities available to non-disabled peers under an IEP or a 504 plan. 4. PAIR staff continue to collaborate with the state’s parent training center and several other special education advocates and programs, including the Native American Disability Law Center. 5. Pair staff worked on 12 cases under this objective. 6. Case example: Our client is an 8th grade student in Albuquerque who has significant neurological disabilities. The client’s mother called DRNM because the school asserted that she has behavioral challenges that could not met there. , The district was trying to force our client to attend a different school outside her neighborhood in order to participate in a program focused on behavioral challenges. The client wanted to stay in district and finish the year at her neighborhood school, where she believed her educational goals could best be met. According to the client and her family, the school threatened to halt Special Education services if she remained The school further attempted to coerce the client and her mother with threats of long suspensions for any behavioral issues that occurred. Suspensions could have resulted in the client having to repeat the school year. The school’s social worker disenrolled the client when Mom refused to move her daughter to a different school. Before proceeding, DRNM’s attorney spoke with the 15-year-old client to make sure that she wanted DRNM to be involved in this matter; she agreed that we should represent her and try to get her reinstated to the school of her choice. DRNM’s attorney met with Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) and the attorney for the District on multiple occasions to try to negotiate a solution. During these negotiations, it became clear that APS was not willing to have the client return to her school for the remainder of the academic year. Instead, the school offered a compromise: Our client would change middle schools for the remainder of the academic year, but would be allowed to participate in her chosen school’s end of the year activities, including the final school dance. She would also be placed at her preferred high school with her friends instead of starting high school in a behavioral program at another high school. APS also agreed to provide a comprehensive Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) and Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) for the client so that she could start high school with the right supports in place. Our client and her mother agreed to this plan.

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 1. Conduct investigations of alleged or suspected abuse or neglect where there appears to be a pattern or recurrence of significant abuse or neglect, where there has been a death or life-threatening injury, or where the alleged abuse or neglect is particularly egregious, and produce reports/recommendations as appropriate. 2. Individuals with disabilities are subject to abuse or neglect at a higher rate than non-disabled individuals, and addressing allegations of abuse or neglect is a core function of protection and advocacy agencies. 3. Conduct investigations of alleged or suspected abuse or neglect where there appears to be a pattern or recurrence of significant abuse or neglect, where there has been a death or life-threatening injury, or where the alleged abuse or neglect is particularly egregious, and produce reports/recommendations as appropriate. Priority B 1. Pursue personal injury, wrongful death or serious civil rights violation litigation where there is a clear opportunity to improve the practices of a provider or public service agency, private co-counsel is available, and fees may be available. 2. Often time individuals are harmed by a lack of poor services, a denial of services, or neglect of the needs of individuals with disabilities. 3. PAIR staff will look at cases where there is clear opportunity to improve the practices of a provider or public service agency. Priority C 1. Assist individuals in need of long term or other community-based services, including those who choose to self-direct services, who have been denied access to such services, or for whom the level of services offered or provided is grossly inadequate. 2. Medicaid-supported community-based services allow persons with significant disabilities to live in and interact with their communities and avoid nursing home placement, but the level of services offered is often inadequate for the needs of the client. 3. PAIR will advocate for individuals in need of long term community-based services, including those who choose to self-direct services, who have been denied access to such services, or for whom the level of services offered or provided is grossly inadequate. Priority D 1.Self-determination - Persons with disabilities have control over the decisions that affect them. 2. Promote the right of individuals with disabilities to make their own decisions as much as possible, including the use of processes such as “Supportive Decision-Making”. Where substitute decision-making is necessary, promote the least restrictive level and form. 3. Provide assistance to protected persons with a Representative Payee or under guardianship, including treatment guardianship, where the Representative Payee or guardian appears to: • be arbitrary or non-responsive to the reasonable preferences of the protected person, • abuse their authority, or • fail to meet their fiduciary responsibilities Priority E 1. Special education under IDEA and equal access under section 504 to facilitate access to appropriate education services. 2. Many children with disabilities have IEPs that are not properly and reasonably implemented. Many school districts demonstrate a pattern of inadequate compliance with state and federal special education requirements that result in children not receiving the educational services they are entitled to. 3.A. Advocate for students with IEPs or 504 plans that are wholly or substantially inadequate or whose substantial lack of implementation by their local school districts keeps the student from benefiting from special education. 3.B. Pursue systemic change strategies such as supporting family organizing efforts and pursuing group complaint strategies against school districts with a pattern of violations of state and/or federal law. 3.C. Advocate for students who may be eligible for special education services but have been denied evaluations due to their placement in a prolonged SAT process, or who have been denied their right to a due process hearing after requesting an evaluation. Priority F 1. Pursue litigation on behalf of individuals or groups where there is an on-going violation of Title III of the ADA and an opportunity for systemic impact benefit to a significant number of persons with disabilities, when DRNM has the staff and other resources needed to pursue such cases. 2. There are very few legal resources in New Mexico to assist with cases that have a systemic impact for a significant number of individuals with disabilities. Cases are often dropped since legal providers don’t have the resources to pursue this type of litigation. 3. PAIR will pursue an ADA claim that will have the likelihood of success for many. Priority G 1. Provide technical assistance, self-advocacy assistance, or limited individual advocacy assistance to individuals with disabilities who are denied access to public places, including public accommodations, based on their use of a service animal (but not a companion or comfort animal). 2.These requests are usually resolved with a phone call and a letter, and PAIR has been the only resource in New Mexico for these types of issues. 3. These case will be limited services in and assigned as short-term since they usual involve education an entity regarding their obligations under ADA. Priority H 1. Review and comment on proposed regulatory changes in Medicaid or other public programs that would have a significant effect on eligibility, benefits, or procedural protections for persons with disabilities. 2. State regulations and other proposed program changes establish policies and procedures that have a major impact on persons with disabilities, and unfortunately very few other disability organizations monitor and comment on these proposals, so the community depends on DRNM to do so. DRNM has created a network for informing the community regarding these policies. 3.Indicator: the number of comments submitted on proposed regulatory changes in Medicaid or other public programs that would have a significant effect on eligibility, benefits, or procedural protections for persons with disabilities.

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. Source of Funding In FY 2017, the PAIR grant award to DRNM was $171,598. In FY 2017, PAIR expenditures totaled $191,959, of which $33,182 was the balance of FY 2016 PAIR funding and $158,777 was from the FY 2017 PAIR award. A total of $12,821 was carried forward to FY 18. There was no program income earned or expended in FY 2017. B. Expenditures/Budget PAIR expenditures in FY 2017, and the corresponding amounts budgeted for expenditure in FY 2018, are as follows: Salaries $119,783 / $107,478 Fringe Benefits $28,187 / 27,089 Travel $3,972 / $3,567 Supplies/Materials $1,490 / $1,092 Office Space $9,649 / 7,716 Telephone $2,841 / $1,671 Printing/copying $1,257 / $904 Other Operating costs $7,879 / $7,324 Administrative $16,901 / $14,762 TOTAL $191,959 / $171,603 C. PAIR Staff positions in FY 2017: Advocate staff 1.1 FTE Attorney staff 0.73 FTE Support staff 0.36 FTE Supervisory staff 0.16 FTE TOTAL PAIR Staff 2.35 FTE D. DRNM does not maintain an advisory board or committee for the PAIR program, but staff work closely with a number of consumer and family groups and advocacy organizations involved with the constituencies served by PAIR. The DRNM CEO serves as the Chair of the Steering Committee for the Disability Coalition, a statewide group of organizations and individuals advocating for persons with disabilities. The Steering Committee includes representation from two of the state’s Independent Living Centers as well as the state DD Planning Council, The Arc of New Mexico and DRNM. The Governor’s Commission on Disability is an Advisory member of the group. E. Grievances filed under the grievance procedure There were no grievances filed in the PAIR program in FY 2017. F. Coordination: DRNM is the state’s designated CAP program, so collaboration between PAIR and CAP, as well as other DRNM programs, occurs routinely within the agency. DRNM also collaborates with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, which is housed in the state Aging and Long-Term Services Department (ALTSD), but we received no referrals from that office this year. DRNM worked closely with ALTSD to educate state legislators about the need to revise the state enabling legislation for the Ombudsman program to assure that it complies with recently revised federal regulations. ALTSD incorporated DRNM’s suggestions into the legislation they introduced and the bill was passed and signed into law. DRNM also provided extensive pre-publication suggestions for new state regulations for the Long term Care Ombudsman, and most of these were incorporated into the final rule when it was adopted.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByJames Jackson
TitleChief Executive Officer
Signed Date12/19/2017