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

Pennsylvania (Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania) - H240A170039 - FY2017

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

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

Part I. Non-Case Services

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

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Individuals receiving I&R within PAIR priority areas281
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas137
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)418

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff18
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)486

1. 10/18/2016 DRP staff provided information and resources, including distributing DRP general brochures, at the 6th Annual Judicial, Government, and Public Interest Law reception attended by about 40 students at the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne Law schools. 2. 10/27/2016 DRP staff provided a lecture to 25 staff of Remed, a provider in Allegheny, Chester, and Delaware Counties, concerning Substitute Decision-Making and Adults with Disabilities and distributed materials on Guardianship and Health Care Decision-Making. 3. 11/11/2016 DRP staff provided two lectures at the Pennsylvania Education for All Coalition (PEAC) Inclusion Conference in Malvern on inclusion of children with disabilities to about 50 parents, advocates, and professionals. 4. 11/16/2016 DRP staff provided a lecture in Spanish to 8 Philadelphia parents of students with disabilities concerning evaluations and reevaluations and distributed DRP’s Spanish-language intake brochure. 5. 11/16/2016 DRP staff provided a lecture to 24 parents of students with disabilities in the Upper Dublin School District about transition and distributed DRP’s general, intake, and PABSS brochures as well as The Right to Special Education in Pennsylvania: A Guide for Parents and Advocates. 6. 11/29/2016 DRP staff provided a lecture on Special Education 101 to 18 parents of blind and visually impaired students at St. Lucy’s School in Philadelphia and distributed DRP’s general, intake, and PABSS brochures as well as The Right to Special Education in Pennsylvania: A Guide for Parents and Advocates. 7. 12/15/2016 DRP staff provided a training to the DRP Intake Team and other staff about service animals and employment discrimination. 8. 1/25/2017 DRP staff provided a lecture about the responsi¬bilities of cultural institutions under Title III of the ADA for approximately 45 represen¬tatives of Philadelphia cultural institutions at the Philadelphia Cultural Accessibility Peer Group event sponsored by Art Reach. 9. 2/6/2017 DRP staff provided a lecture to about 25 health care professionals at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia on Medical Assistance and advocacy. 10. 2/10/2017 DRP staff provided a lecture sponsored by Achieva to about 35 parents of Allegheny County students with disabilities and advocates about the rights of students and parents under the IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. 11. 2/15/2017 DRP staff provided a lecture to 27 students in the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Work Master’s Degree program on special education and particular issues relating to child immigrants who have disabilities and distributed DRP’s general and intake brochures and Special Education in Pennsylvania: A Guide for Parents and Advocates. 12. 3/22/2017 DRP staff provided a lecture to 25 individuals at the LGBT Center of Central Pennsylvania on the intersections of LGBT and disability work and the history of LGBT movement, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Housing Act, HIV, and hate crimes. 13. 4/6/2017 DRP staff participated in a teleconference sponsored by the National Disability Rights Network for the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network to provide information on resources available to parents. 14. 4/12/2017 DRP staff provided a lecture to 15 Drexel University law students about DRP’s work, special education, and voting issues and distributed DRP’s brochure. 15. 5/5/2017 DRP staff provided a lecture on Title III of the ADA for 4 occupational therapy students at Salus University in Montgomery County and distributed the DRP brochure. 16. 5/24/2017 DRP staff provided a lecture at a Continuing Legal Education training on service animals under the ADA, FHA, and IDEA for about 25 attorneys. 17. 6/17/2017 DRP staff provided information and resources, including DRP brochures, at the Disability Pride event in Philadelphia attended by about 200 people. 18. 6/22/2017 DRP staff provided a lecture to about 30 law students on Change through Policy at the Philadelphia Bar Association Law School Outreach Committee’s Brown Bag Series.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff0
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles6
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website35,123
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated381
6. Other (specify separately)0

Narrative

1.Over objections, SRC authorizes $10m new special ed program for Philly kids Updated: July 7, 2017 — 6:17 PM EDT by Kristen A. Graham, Staff Writer @newskag | kgraham@phillynews.com Kristen A. Graham Staff Writer Over objections, the School Reform Commission on Thursday authorized a $10 million, 100-student program to serve Philadelphia children with special needs. The program, which will operate in three existing Philadelphia School District buildings, will be open primarily to children with emotional disturbances and severe disabilities who had been educated at Wordsworth, a private provider that lost its contract with the school system after a child’s death in one of its residential programs. Catapult Learning Inc. will run and staff the district’s new initiative for three years, with an eye toward the school system’s eventually taking over the programs. Though the SRC stressed that it wants children to be among their general-education peers as much as possible, advocates and parents fear the school system is creating a segregated program. “Inclusion should not be aspirational,” said Gabe Labella, a lawyer with Disability Rights Pennsylvania. Labella and others said the district’s $10 million would be better spent equipping neighborhood schools with the resources to educate children with intense emotional, medical, and learning needs. “Inclusion does not mean a separate setting within the school district,” said Maura McInerney, a lawyer with the Education Law Center. A number of speakers at the SRC meeting said they had questions about Catapult, the Camden-based provider. Commissioner Estelle Richman, a former state Department of Public Welfare secretary, said she had “some grave concerns” about Catapult. Ultimately, she voted for the resolution, which passed unanimously. Richman said she would be involved in monitoring the program’s going forward. Cheryl Logan, the district’s chief academic officer, said she was comfortable that Catapult had relevant experience, a question raised by a number of speakers. District staff visited three Catapult programs in Delaware and Maryland, Logan said. Commissioner Christopher McGinley, a former special-education teacher, said he was comfortable with assurances from Logan and others that the program would be closely monitored. McGinley, Richman, and others said the new resolution was an improvement over the district’s last plan. In late June, the SRC was set to vote on a last-minute resolution to spend up to $54 million on a program for up to 600 children that was much more opaque about plans for inclusion and transitions. An outcry from the public — and concerns on the part of Richman and McGinley — caused the SRC to table that plan, and to work to refine it. Lee Awbrey, staff attorney for the Public Interest Law Center, thanked the commission for its work. But she and others said the SRC’s revised plan still left children vulnerable. City Councilman Derek Green, in a letter to the SRC, said Catapult should be given a one-year contract, and monitoring reports should be made public. Green, who has a child with special needs, said he was “disappointed in the lack of transparency” shown by the school district. Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. acknowledged the district’s initial approach was flawed and “should have included more input and planning before it was originally introduced.” But, Hite said, he was confident that the new plan was a solid one that will allow children with intense needs to be educated closer to home and with more monitoring. Commissioner Bill Green stressed that the new program would be an option for children formerly served by Wordsworth. “We’re not sending children to Catapult,” Green said. “It will be among the many options available to parents.” The commission also voted Thursday to authorize $400 million worth of short-term borrowing. The school district does such a borrowing annually, to cover its operating costs until state payments come in. It will pay $6.4 million to borrow the money at the rate of 1.66 percent. Officials also heard from a number of speakers urging the district to halt suspensions for children 10 years old and under. The district has already forbidden suspensions for most kindergartners, and said it wants to expand the ban, though it will not do so all at once. State Rep. Jordan A. Harris (D., Phila.), who has authored legislation on the subject, asked the SRC to do more. In Philadelphia, black children are three times as likely as their white peers to be suspended, speakers said, despite the fact that their behavior is not worse. Suspension “is damaging to many of our most vulnerable and youngest learners,” Harris said. “At no point should a punishment be a lack of education.” Published: July 7, 2017 — 3:01 AM EDT | Updated: July 7, 2017 — 6:17 PM EDT 2. School Reform Commission approves new in-house special education program The District downscaled the proposal after advocates complained, but concerns linger. by Dale Mezzacappa and Avi Wolfman-Arent The School Reform Commission voted Thursday to establish a new in-house special education program for 100 students, most diagnosed with social-emotional disabilities and now placed in facilities run by Wordsworth. The new program will be run initially by the private education provider Catapult Learning before transitioning to full District control. The vote, which was unanimous, came after hearing from parents and advocates for disabled students who want a firmer commitment from the School District to work toward educating these students, and others with similar needs, as much as possible in regular classrooms with extra support. The proposal adopted Thursday is significantly smaller than the original contract with Catapult, which was for $36 million over three years and could have served up to 600 students. This contract is for $10 million over three years and is capped at 100 students. The District plans to set up the program in three schools, according to Cheryl Logan, the District’s chief academic support officer. The two sites chosen are Frankford High School and Penrose Elementary in Southwest Philadelphia. The third planned setting is E.S. Miller, an alternative school, but many parents and advocates objected because Miller is not a neighborhood school, and it appears that District officials are looking for an alternative. City Councilman Derek Green, who has a child with disabilities in the District, sent a letter to the SRC urging that the Catapult contract be limited to 100 students and that the E.S Miller site not be used. “E.S. Miller does not have a traditional educational environment and does not provide the opportunity for students ... to transition into the least restrictive environment within their school,” the letter said. Commissioners and Superintendent William Hite acknowledged the role of advocates in scaling back the original plan, which was developed under duress to meet the needs of students who had been at Wordsworth Academy, a residential program in Philadelphia mostly for students with emotional disabilities. Wordsworth Academy was shuttered by the state last fall when a student died after an altercation with a staff member. Many of those students ended up at a day program run by Wordsworth in Fort Washington. The District ended its contract with Wordsworth on June 30, but parents may still decide that they want their child in such a setting, as opposed to being integrated into the regular student population. School Reform Commissioners Christopher McGinley and Estelle Richman, both of whom had opposed the original plan and fought for changes, noted the rights of parents to choose such a segregated setting if they think that is better for their child. They can also choose Wordsworth, even without a District contract. The Fort Washington program has contracts with several school districts. Before any student can be moved to the new program, educators and the families must go through the process for altering the student’s IEP, or Individualized Education Program. “Some families may opt to continue educating their son or daughter in the Wordsworth setting,” McGinley said. Speakers questioned Catapult’s suitability to operate the new program, noting that at its alternative schools, students are educated primarily online. Logan said that District officials had visited more traditional Catapult schools for special education students in Delaware and Maryland. “As we visited the sites, that is not what we saw,” Logan said. “We saw some blended learning opportunities in some of the high schools. ... It was a very typical setting for a classroom where students have full-time support.” The controversy over this contract exposed longstanding differences over the best way to educate students with disabilities — in separate settings with intensive programming or with their regular education peers as much as possible. “Setting up these programs in buildings with the general education student population with maximum opportunity for inclusion should not be aspirational, it should be required,” said Gabe Labella, staff attorney at Disability Rights Pennsylvania. Though District officials concede that they bungled the rollout of this new, in-house program, they believe the proposal will do exactly what the advocates prefer. Namely, it will take students previously in a private placement outside the city and move them into more integrated settings that District officials can more closely monitor. “While the ... process should have included more input and planning before it was originally introduced, the resolution before you today is the product of the needed input and planning,” Hite said. Speakers also noted that special education diagnoses in general, and the label of “emotionally disturbed” in particular, are disproportionately applied to students of color, especially black students. “As black students are 1.16 times more likely than white students to be identified with emotional disturbance, this segregation of students can result in greater racial isolation,” said Maura McInerney, an attorney with the Education Law Center. “We believe that the District must focus greater attention on building more inclusive learning environments in order to better serve their needs.” But that requires, she said, “a carefully considered, robust plan to target resources and services, train teachers, principals, and staff, and change an entrenched culture of exclusion that has been reinforced over many years.” Said parent Tonya Bah: “Segregation is still segregation, and unless we take inclusion seriously and begin to do that in public schools, we’re in trouble.” McInerney emphasized that students with disabilities who are included with their regular education peers have better outcomes, including higher graduation rates, fewer suspensions, and more positive outcomes in employment and independent living. There are, however, studies showing that the inclusion of special education students — especially those with emotional disabilities — can slow the academic progress of their general education classmates. Speakers decry suspension of young students The issue of racial discrimination also came up when another topic came up at the meeting — suspension of young elementary school students. Several speakers, including two state legislators and a spokesman for City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, called for a ban on suspensions through 5th grade. Last year, the District ended suspensions for kindergarten students and plans to extend it, but said such a change in policy will take time and require extensive teacher and staff training in less punitive discipline strategies. “These aren’t hardened criminals as some of the papers may try to paint our loved ones,” said State Rep. Jordan Harris. “At no point should a punishment be a lack of education.” In other action, the SRC also passed a resolution that will allow for the development of Keystone Opportunity Zones in the city, after passing amendments offered by School Reform Commissioner Bill Green that will protect the District’s interests. The resolution could result in more than $200,000 in additional tax revenue to the District. And it approved a $6.7 million contract for the Opportunities Industrialization Center to operate a new accelerated school in the Opportunity Network that will specialize, initially, in training for the hospitality and banking industries. The SRC also approved borrowing about $400 million to tide the District over as it awaits expected tax revenue. Philly schools do this sort of short-term borrowing every year because of a mismatch between when the District receives certain government funds, such as city real estate taxes, and when it must pay its bills. The District received seven bids this year from banks that wanted to sponsor the loans, said District Chief Financial Officer Uri Monson. He said that it was an unusually high number of bids and that banks may have been attracted to the District because of its improving financial situation over the last three years. 3. Lawsuit: Reading taxi firm overcharged disabled man Tuesday January 3, 2017 12:01 AM Written by Stephanie Weaver A disabled Reading man is suing a city taxi company for charging him higher rates for using the company's wheelchair-accessible vehicles. Attorneys with Disability Rights Pennsylvania in Philadelphia filed the lawsuit with the Pennsylvania Eastern District Court on Dec. 22 on behalf of Steven Schelling. The lawsuit states that Schelling, 63, has polio and is unable to walk, so he uses a motorized 4. Garces restaurant 24 is sued over handicapped access by Michael Klein, Staff Writer @phillyinsider | mklein@philly.com Email@phillyinsider Jose Garces' restaurant company and the owner of the building that houses his Center City restaurant 24 Wood-Fired Fare have been sued by a Philadelphia woman who claims that she could not easily access the restaurant because its entrances are not compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Michele A. Leahy's lawsuit, filed March 2 in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, describes her as a foodie and business woman who has spina bifida, myasthenia gravis, and a below-knee amputation. It also says she uses a wheelchair. Court records show that since 2011, Leahy has sued other businesses, including PetSmart, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Giant Food Stores, over accessibility concerns. The cases were all settled. Leahy's suit says she had read about 24, attached to Garces' corporate offices at 2401 Walnut Street before its opening, but had concerns about accessibility, based on her visits to other Garces restaurants. She contacted Disability Rights Pennsylvania, an advocacy group, to express her concerns. The suit says that before 24's opening, DRP staff toured the restaurant and advised the defendants of a need for an accessible entrance at a new patio and vestibule. Her suit, filed by two attorneys from Disability Rights Pennsylvania, says some concerns were addressed, but other issues, including the lack of an accessible entrance to the new construction, were unresolved. When Leahy visited the restaurant on Nov. 22 for lunch, she said she saw two entrances — one in front, with four steps, and a second at the patio, which had two steps. There was no sign indicating an alternate accessible entrance, she says. When she phoned the restaurant from outside, she was told that there was an accessible entrance at 24th and Sansom Streets, behind the restaurant. That path — which she said was not marked — required her to travel about four blocks and overcome "numerous architectural barriers," including a steep hill and cracked concrete, the complaint says. The suit also says that to travel from 24's inaccessible entrance at 2401 Walnut Street to the 24th and Sansom Street entrance by car would require her to "drive over half a mile and cross the Schuylkill River twice." (In practice, however, the entrance is accessible directly from the parking lot at 24th Street, assuming that the driver knew about that entrance in the first place. A notation on the website gives directions.) Besides the restaurant and the parent company, defendants include 2401 Walnut LP, which owns the building. A Garces spokesperson confirmed that the company had received the complaint and said it was under review. Published: March 7, 2017 — 1:24 PM EST | Updated: March 7, 2017 — 4:08 PM EST 5. Conway Council eliminates residential handicapped parking By Daveen Rae Kurutz Posted Feb 6, 2017 at 12:01 AM Updated Feb 6, 2017 at 4:00 AM CONWAY -- Running errands isn’t always easy for Catherine McLaughlin. She suffers from lymphedema, a disorder that causes swelling in her legs due to a blockage in her lymphatic system. She walks with a cane and struggles to walk long distances. For the past nine years, the handicapped-parking spot in front of her Fourth Street house in Conway has been a godsend. Rather than walking down her back steps and crossing her backyard to get to her garage, she’s able to walk out her front door and up four steps to her car parked in a handicap space in front of her home. That all will change in early April, when Conway public works employees will remove the 12 residential handicap parking spaces throughout the borough. In December, council approved an ordinance that eliminates the borough’s residential handicapped-parking program. “The mayor in 2014 through 2016 began an effort to thoroughly review all applications and proposed locations for full compliance with the ordinance,” the newly adopted ordinance reads. “The borough noted that demand for such restricted residential handicapped parking applications in some locations with limited capacity created parking congestion and potential safety concerns. ... The borough has further determined that the granting of residential handicapped parking is creating an undue hardship for other residents.” There are 12 residential handicapped-parking spaces in Conway, according to borough records. Seven of those spaces are in the 1300 and 1400 blocks of Fourth Avenue. Parking is restricted in those blocks to one side of the road, with a turnabout at the end of the street. An additional two spaces are one block down, along Third Avenue. According to a statement released by council, ”... the borough eliminated the restricted residential handicapped parking space program after determining that there was insufficient space to accommodate the significant and growing demand. Further, judging one handicapped resident’s circumstance as more compelling than another was impossible.” Council President Doug Falk, Vice President Albert Sobolosky and Mayor Debbie Rose did not return phone messages to discuss the ordinance. Instead, council issued a press release to address the topic. “The borough understands that residents have over time begun to consider adjacent restricted residential handicapped parking spaces as ‘their own,’ although these spaces were never guaranteed to any individual,” according to the release. “The borough intends to implement the change later this year in order to help better facilitate the change. “The borough is proud of its strong community bonds and has faith that, as always, neighbors will remain courteous to the needs of others.” The issuance of handicapped-parking spaces in residential zones is left to each municipality to regulate, said Steve Cowan, a PennDOT spokesman. Pennsylvania does not mandate local municipalities to provide reserved parking for individuals with “person with disability” license plates or placards, according to the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, a disabilities advocacy group with offices in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Harrisburg. However, a local government may post a sign on a street near a person’s home that indicates a spot is reserved for those with a disability. “Parking is an issue that is of special concern to many people with disabilities,” according to an informational booklet made available by the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania. “For people with disabilities, parking in close proximity to one’s home and workplace and near government offices and places of public accommodation ... is often essential to maximize independence.” That’s a fear for McLaughlin. “I understand I don’t own that space,” she said. “I understand that any handicapped person can park there. But having to take a chance that I might not be able to park close enough is really putting stress on me. “It’s taking away my independence and my rights as a handicapped person.” McLaughlin said she struggles to walk more than about 150 feet without stopping to rest. She estimates it’s a longer distance than that to get to her garage. “It would probably take me about 15 or 20 minutes to get through my backyard, where they want me to park. I wouldn’t be good for anything after that,” she said. “If my car is out back and I can’t make it, I’m screwed.” Local governments are required to make “reasonable accommodations to its policies, practices and procedures to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability unless doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the service program or activity,” according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. In their statement, Conway Council said it “strives to support its residents’ access to safe and well-maintained streets. “The borough council and mayor will continue to work with the residents to understand their individual issues and to study the matter and possible alternatives,” according to the press release. “The borough is committed to equal accessibility of its public amenities, including its public streets, for all residents, businesses and visitors.” 6. Amtrak, SEPTA chug toward full wheechair access with Paoli upgrades Updated: February 28, 2017 — 4:59 PM EST Michaelle Bond/Staff Writer Federal, state and local officials celebrate the start of construction on improvements to Paoli Station on Tues., Feb. 28, 2017. by Michaelle Bond, Staff Writer @MichaelleBond | mbond@phillynews.com Plans for major upgrades at a key SEPTA and Amtrak station on the Main Line were stuck in their tracks for more than two decades, but on Tuesday, a row of golden shovels in a box of dirt sparkled in the sun during a groundbreaking ceremony symbolizing that the work finally was underway. PennDot official Toby Fauver thanked local, state, and federal officials for their help in getting the project going, but he had a special thank-you for advocates for people with disabilities, who sued Amtrak over lack of wheelchair accessibility at the Paoli station in 2012. They “really helped put a point on the pencil to get everybody to the table to really get the station moving effectively,” said Fauver, deputy secretary for multimodal transportation. Of SEPTA's 154 Regional Rail stations, 67 are either accessible to people with disabilities or undergoing accessibility upgrades, including the 63-year-old, one-story brick building and facilities at Paoli. SEPTA and Amtrak say they are working to bring all their stations into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Disability Rights Pennsylvania reached an agreement with Amtrak in 2014 to accelerate plans for the Paoli upgrades, including a new center high-level platform, elevators, ramps, a pedestrian bridge, and parking lot improvements. About a million Amtrak and SEPTA riders each year come through Paoli, which transportation officials call a key stop in the 104-mile-long Keystone Corridor between Harrisburg and Philadelphia. Paoli’s station is one of the busiest transit hubs outside of Philadelphia, according to SEPTA. A $36 million project to make the station fully accessible is the first phase in transforming it into a transportation hub with a new waiting area, ticket offices, better bus facilities, a commuter parking garage, and retail space. Amtrak and SEPTA plan to complete the project’s first phase by early next year. “This is the beginning of a renaissance for Paoli,” said Trip Lukens, chair of Tredyffrin Township’s board of supervisors. Government and transportation officials hope transportation upgrades in Paoli, and also in Coatesville, Parkesburg, and elsewhere on the Keystone Corridor, can support and spur economic growth. Even before the groundbreaking Tuesday, preliminary construction had begun with plans to move overhead wires to make room for a pedestrian bridge and remove sections of track. Amtrak hired Neshaminy Constructors Inc. of Feasterville to complete most of the construction.

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)41
2. Additional individuals served during the year310
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)351
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)10

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 29

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility17
2. Employment69
3. Program access19
4. Housing49
5. Government benefits/services71
6. Transportation21
7. Education50
8. Assistive technology3
9. Voting0
10. Health care24
11. Insurance10
12. Non-government services15
13. Privacy rights1
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse2
16. Neglect5
17. Other5

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor254
2. Other representation found17
3. Individual withdrew complaint25
4. Appeals unsuccessful5
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 resources3
8. Individual case lacks legal merit23
9. Other5

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-advocacy220
2. Short-term assistance95
3. Investigation/monitoring0
4. Negotiation5
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution1
6. Administrative hearings0
7. Litigation (including class actions)11
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 - 2253
3. 23 - 59203
4. 60 - 6447
5. 65 and over45

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females190
2. Males161

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race13
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian3
4. Black or African American55
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander3
6. White261
7. Two or more races3
8. Race/ethnicity unknown13

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent189
2. Parental or other family home125
3. Community residential home1
4. Foster care0
5. Nursing home17
6. Public institutional living arrangement3
7. Private institutional living arrangement1
8. Jail/prison/detention center10
9. Homeless1
10. Other living arrangements0
11. Living arrangements not known4

E. Primary Disability of Individuals Served

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

1. Blind/visual impairment17
2. Deaf/hard of hearing23
3. Deaf-blind2
4. Orthopedic impairment109
5. Mental illness16
6. Substance abuse0
7. Mental retardation2
8. Learning disability16
9. Neurological impairment70
10. Respiratory impairment11
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment31
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment28
13. Speech impairment5
14. AIDS/HIV2
15. Traumatic brain injury3
16. Other disability16

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

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

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes100,590

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. Elimination of Limits on Direct Care Workers - DRP secured a significant victory, when DHS, the Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of State (DOS) issued a Policy Clarification stating that direct care workers can perform various health-related tasks, including intermitent catheterization. DRP collaborated with DHS, DOH, DOS, seeking this Policy Clarification to remedy the problem encountered by Act 150 program participants who had been advised that their direct care workers were not permitted to perform those tasks. DRP provided feedback to DOH about its draft notice to licensees concerning implementation of the Policy Clarification. DOH incorporated many of DRP’s suggestions and issued a final notice. DRP is now monitoring the implementation of the policy. 2. Advocacy for Capital Area Transit (CAT) Improvements to Services for People with Disabilities - DRP advocated with the Capital Area Transit (CAT) Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee for CAT’s development of a report to improve services for people with disabilities based on survey responses on CAT services. The report was adopted and identified five areas that CAT needs to improve. CAT committed to improving their customer complaint process through a more formalized, consumer friendly process that will ensure all complaints receive CAT’s response. CAT reported that their data is showing 91% on time performance based for paratransit which has a 30-minute window before they are considered late. CAT agreed to develop a subcommittee to explore CAT’s on-time performance and to examine ways to improve their on-time performance. CAT agreed to work on making their ADA paratransit application process for individuals with disabilities more efficient and accessible to those with all types of disabilities, including providing the application in alternative, accessible formats. CAT agreed to continue to engage with disability advocates about ways to expand service and make their service more accessible. 3. Reserved Residential Parking Fees — DRP successfully advocated on behalf of a client, who has a cardiac condition that limits her ability to walk, concerning the imposition of an annual fee by her Berks County town in order to maintain a designated, reserved, accessible parking space. DRP contacted the town’s solicitor and explained that such fees violate Title II of the ADA. In response, the solicitor acknowledged that the ADA does not permit such fees and agreed that the town would no longer impose them. In addition, the solicitor indicated that he would advise his other municipal clients of the ADA’s ban on such fees. 4. Nursing Home Service Animal Policy Change — DRP intervened on behalf of a client with a visual impairment, who uses a guide dog, who was barred from visiting a friend in Neshaminy Manor, the nursing home operated by Bucks County, unless he provided the dog’s vaccination records and demonstrated that the dog met the criteria required for visiting therapy dogs. DRP advised the nursing home that service dogs are not the same as therapy dogs and that its demand for the requested documentation violated Title II of the ADA. 5. Service Animal Legislation — DRP advocated for changes to proposed Pennsylvania legislation to address abuse of service animals after a client alerted us to the proposed legislation and expressed concern that the scope of protected animals was unduly narrow. 6. Financial Eligibility for OLTL Waivers — DRP is working with Pennsylvania Health Law Project and Community Legal Services to investigate the different standards used to establish income eligibility for Medicaid home and community-based services waivers administered by OLTL and for nursing facility services. The different standards result in an institutional bias. DRP submitted Right to Know requests to DHS and to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. 7. Ensuring Access to Public Accommodations — DRP contacted a multistory Walgreens in Philadelphia about the ongoing inoperability of its elevator and to advise that the failure to maintain the elevator denies individuals with disabilities access to the full use and enjoyment of their services in violation of Title III of the ADA. As a result of DRP’s advocacy, the store repaired the elevator and DRP also discussed an agreement with Walgreen’s to assure that it maintains the elevator in good working order. 8. Inaccessible Alterations — DRP contacted Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections concerning renovations to a restaurant in Center City that removed the accessible front entrance and installed steps. While the restaurant installed a ramp at the side entrance, it effectively blocked the sidewalk and could not be readily navigated. The City issued a stop work order and the restaurant remains closed. 9. Parking Accommodations — DRP is investigating Pittsburgh’s policy of denying requests for reserved residential parking spaces for individuals with disabilities when the vehicles are not owned by those individuals and, instead, are owned by family or staff who use the vehicles to transport the individuals with disabilities. 10. Paratransit Access — DRP is assisting a client, an Allegheny County resident who uses a wheelchair and paratransit, to address proposed changes that would limit curb-to-curb paratransit service in Pittsburgh. First, the Port Authority proposed a plan that would install Bus Rapid Transit lanes, which paratransit would not be able to cross in order to pick up and drop off clients at the curb. DRP provided J.P. with legal research to assist him in his self-advocacy. The Port Authority subsequently amended its proposal to allow paratransit vehicles to use the lanes for pickups and drop offs. Second, Pittsburgh has proposed installing posts to separate bike lines from traffic lanes, which, again, would preclude paratransit vehicles from providing pickups and drop offs at the curbs. J.P. has used the research we provided to argue against this plan. If Pittsburgh proceeds with its plan, DRP will evaluate other strategies, including potentially litigation. 11. Adult Protective Services (APS) - DRP continued to monitor implementation of our state’s Adult Protection System (APS) to identify systemic issues. DRP worked with DHS and Liberty Healthcare APS Administrators to address issues involving the protection of rights, which lead to system policy change. DRP met with the DHS APS Division Director and the Liberty Healthcare APS Statewide Manger to discuss complaints DRP had received about APS investigators using their authority to access the medical and financial records of adults reported to be in need of APS without their knowledge, informed consent, or a court order. This practice was in violation of Act 70 of 2010 and failed to protect an adult’s right to confidentiality. We learned that APS investigators had been trained to routinely access this information regardless of whether an investigator, after initiating an investigation, had determined the report unsubstantiated or in a category of “no need”. We demanded investigators stop this practice and follow the provisions of the law to access records — by consent or court order. DHS and Liberty Healthcare agreed to change their practice and drafted an APS Release of Information Form to ensure informed consent. DRP staff had input into this APS Investigator Guidance document that was modified. The final document aligned with rights protection provisions of Act 70 of 2010. Many of DRP’s recommendations were accepted, including removing requests for SS numbers, allowing for an adult to revoke consent at any time in writing or orally, and adding language that explicitly informed the investigator of an adult’s right to informed consent and to refuse consent. This year we also discussed with DHS and Liberty Healthcare APS Administrators their practice concerning guardianship petitions. We were concerned that investigators were not considering less restriction options and interventions. We provided Liberty Healthcare Administrator DRP’s Guardianship publication that outlines other less restrictive options to ensure protection of rights. This FY DRP staff became members of the Liberty Healthcare APS Advisory Board. 12. Ensuring Integrated Education Opportunities - DRP worked with the Philadelphia Coalition of Special Education Advocates to oppose a plan announced by the School District to contract with an education provider to create a segregated school to serve youth who had been placed at Wordsworth Academy, an approved private school that had been reported to have significant problems, as well as 120 students with disabilities alleged to be on a “waiting list.” DRP testified at a hearing before the School Reform Commission (SRC), both opposing the creation of a segregated school and raising concerns about the “waiting list.” Subsequently, the SRC announced that the contractor would not be creating a single segregated school, as had been planned, and instead would offer services at three regular education schools that would provide students the opportunity for greater integration. 13. Community Health Choices (CHC) - DRP attorneys continue to monitor Pennsylvania Department of Health and Human Service’s implementation of its Community Health Choices (CHC) proposal to provide long term care services (including nursing facility services and home and community-based services currently provided through Medical Assistance waivers) through a mandatory managed care system. DRP staff drafted and submitted comments on the Request for Proposal for the Independent Enrollment Broker (IEB), which will administer applications for CHC, the OBRA Waiver, and the Act 150 Program. DRP also continued to advocate that OLTL assure that nursing services will be authorized for individuals receiving residential habilitation; to allow guardians, representative payees, and individuals holding powers of attorney to be paid as providers; and to assure due process protections are provided when individuals are not allowed to seek services by the supports coordinators. 14. Violation of Act 169 — DRP provided assistance to advocates at Liberty Resources, Inc. (LRI) who were assisting the Spanish-speaking family of a hospitalized Philadelphia woman who was in a coma and on life support due to an aggressive infection. The hospital advised the family that it believed that her condition was irreversible and fatal and that it intended to remove her from life support, but the family opposed that action. DRP provided information to LRI concerning the family’s rights under Act 169 of 2006 to act as the woman’s health care representative and to refuse to allow the withdrawal of life support. After LRI advised the hospital that its termination of life support would violate Act 169, it did not press the issue and assisted the family to bring the woman home with supports.

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts66,945
2. Number of individuals named in class actions6

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.

1. Fair Housing Council of Suburban Philadelphia v. Wagner Enter-prises, Ltd. (E.D. Pa.) — DRP entered into a comprehensive settlement agreement with defendants to resolve this Fair Housing Act (FHA) lawsuit that challenged a developer’s violation of the FHA’s accessibility requirements for newly-constructed condominiums in Northampton County. Under the agreement, the defendants agreed to: (1) retrofit curb ramps and a sidewalk in the development that did not meet FHA guidelines so that there are accessible routes to the common areas; (2) lower mail boxes within reach range; (3) make accessible the entrances, interior doorways, and thermostats in the four units it owns; and (4) provide notice to owners of other units offering the opportunity to make accessibility modifications for up to five additional units. DRP continued to monitor implementation of the settlement agreement. Defendants completed the retrofits of the curb ramps and sidewalk to ensure accessible routes and lowered mail boxes but still needed to complete the accessibility improvements to their individual units. 2. McGann v. Cinemark USA (W.D. Pa. & 3d Cir.) — DRP filed this Title III ADA case on behalf of a deafblind man to challenge the defendant’s refusal to provide him with a tactile interpreter for a movie. The trial court ruled in favor of the defendant, holding that the theater is not required to provide tactile interpretation because it is not an auxiliary aid or service and because it would alter the content of the movies. DRP appealed the ruling and the parties completed briefing on the appeal. Notably, the United States Department of Justice filed an amicus brief in support of our client’s position, urging reversal of the trial court’s decision. Oral argument was held in November, 2016 and a decision was still pending. 3. Harper v. 118-122 Market Street Corp. (E.D. Pa.) — DRP is monitoring implementation of a settlement agreement in this Title III ADA lawsuit challenging the inaccessibility of a Center City Philadelphia restaurant with a single step entrance. The agreement requires the owner to install an ADA-compliant ramp. Last quarter, after the defendants advised DRP that it had completed the project, we inspected it and found that they had not modified the threshold in accordance with the agreement and that the slope was noncompliant. DRP notified the defendants and they agreed to remedy the issues. DRP is waiting for defendants to make the adjustments. 4. Farria v. Smak Parlour, Inc. (E.D. Pa.) — DRP filed this Title III ADA case challenging the inaccessibility of a one-step entrance to a clothing boutique. Defendants fully complied with the settlement agreement by completing installation of a ramp and railing. The client visited the store and was very pleased with the accessibility modifications, bringing this case to a close. 5. Keller v. City of Lancaster (E.D. Pa.) — DRP continues to monitor implementation of the supplemental settlement agreement in this ADA lawsuit that challenged Lancaster’s non-compliance with curb ramp requirements. The supplemental settlement imposes a timetable for Lancaster to retrofit 700 non-compliant curb ramps to meet ADA requirements by 2022. DRP was notified that the City had installed about 290 curb ramps of the total 700 by the end of 2016 in compliance with the agreement. 6. Mosley v. Dallas (E.D. Pa.) — DRP continues to monitor the settlement agreement and addendum to assure procedural due process protections for individuals who apply for the Attendant Care Waiver, COMMCARE Waiver, Independence Waiver, and OBRA Waiver (OLTL Waivers). Under the initial settlement, DHS is required to make eligibility determinations for the OLTL Waivers within 90 days of the application and the addendum requires DHS to use revised forms to provide denial and approval notices. 7. Fair Housing Rights Center of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Morgan Properties, Inc., et al. (E.D. Pa.) — DRP is co-counsel on this lawsuit which was filed against Morgan Properties Management Company, LLC, KBF Associates, and Montgomery Woods Owner LLC for violating the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f) and Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, 43 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 955 (h) by refusing to provide reasonable accommodations in their rent payment procedures to tenants with disabilities who receive their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) checks after the first of the month. The parties engaged in discovery. 8. Leahy v. Garces Restaurant Group, LLC (E.D. Pa.) — DRP continues to litigate this Title III ADA lawsuit challenging the inaccessibility of a new Philadelphia restaurant. The lawsuit identifies various architectural barriers at the restaurant that violate the ADA, including the newly constructed inaccessible patio entrance. The parties had a settlement conference with the Magistrate Judge in July. The Magistrate Judge put the litigation deadlines on hold so the parties could focus on reaching a resolution. The parties have been negotiating terms of a consent decree. 9. McLaughlin v. Borough of Conway (W.D. Pa.) — DRP filed this lawsuit on behalf of five residents of Conway Borough who have physical disabilities, alleging that the Borough violated Title II of the ADA by revoking the designated, reserved accessible parking spaces that it had previously authorized in front of the plaintiffs’ homes. The Borough rescinded the residents’ designated spaces after it repealed its ordinance that allowed residents to apply for designated spaces. In June, the Borough agreed to entry of a stipulated preliminary injunction, barring it from removing the signage pending resolution of the merits. We then negotiated a consent decree with the Borough, which we are waiting to be approved by Borough officials. If approved, the consent decree will require the Borough to: (1) maintain the plaintiffs’ accessible parking spaces for as long as they need them; and (2) evaluate any new requests for reserved residential parking spaces for people with disabilities and to grant them when they are necessary and not a fundamental alteration. 10. Schelling v. Reading Metro Taxicab, Inc. (E.D. Pa.) — DRP filed this Title III ADA lawsuit on behalf of a Berks County resident who uses a motorized wheelchair due to polio and who was being charged higher fares by private cab companies in Reading to use their wheelchair accessible vehicles than the fares charged to passengers without disabilities using its inaccessible vehicles. The parties entered into a consent decree to resolve the lawsuit wherein the defendants agreed to change their policies and charge the same fares in its wheelchair accessible vehicles for its taxi services to client and other people with disabilities as it charges for those services in its inaccessible vehicles. 11. Brown v. Borough of Hanover (M.D. Pa.) — DRP filed this Title II ADA lawsuit on behalf of a York County man with partial amputations of both feet. Due to his disability, it is both difficult and potentially harmful for him to walk more than short distances. Since 2014, our client has unsuccessfully requested that the Borough accommodate his disability by installing a permanent sign in front of his home to reserve the parking space for people with disabilities. DRP settled the lawsuit and the borough agreed to our client’s requested accommodation, installing the designated parking sign and markings on the curb.

Part V. PAIR'S Priorities and Objectives

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

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

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

Priority I 1. Priority: Protect and advocate for people with disabilities who are subject to abuse and neglect. 2. Need Addressed: Advocacy focused on the need for protection from abuse, neglect, and rights violations. 3. Indicators: A. Individual and systemic reports of abuse or neglect will be addressed through technical assistance, follow-up, monitoring, investigation and/or litigation, including enforcing DRP’s authority to access facilities, residents, and records. B. Systems for reporting, investigating, and responding to abuse or neglect will be improved and expanded and full implementation of an adult protective services system will be ensured. C. In all cases of systemic incidents of abuse, neglect, and rights violations in licensed facilities, PAIR had no challenges to our authority to access facilities, residents, and/or their records. 4. Collaborations: DRP continued to monitor implementation of our state’s Adult Protection System (APS) to identify systemic issues. DRP worked with DHS and Liberty Healthcare APS Administrators to address issues involving the protection of rights, which lead to system policy change. DRP met with the DHS APS Division Director and the Liberty Healthcare APS Statewide Manger to discuss complaints DRP had received about APS investigators using their authority to access the medical and financial records of adults reported to be in need of APS without their knowledge, informed consent, or a court order. This practice was in violation of Act 70 of 2010 and failed to protect an adult’s right to confidentiality. We learned that APS investigators had been trained to routinely access this information regardless of whether an investigator, after initiating an investigation, had determined the report unsubstantiated or in a category of “no need”. We demanded investigators stop this practice and follow the provisions of the law to access records — by consent or court order. DHS and Liberty Healthcare agreed to change their practice and drafted an APS Release of Information Form to ensure informed consent. DRP staff had input into this APS Investigator Guidance document that was modified. The final document aligned with rights protection provisions of Act 70 of 2010. Many of DRP’s recommendations were accepted, including removing request for SS, allowing for an adult to revoke consent at any time in writing or orally, and adding language that explicitly informed the investigator of an adult’s right to informed consent and to refuse consent. This year we also discussed with DHS and Liberty Healthcare APS Administrators their practice concerning guardianship petitions. We were concerned that investigators were not considering less restriction options and interventions. We provided Liberty Healthcare Administrator DRP’s Guardianship publication that outlines other less restrictive options to ensure protection of rights. This FY DRP staff became members of the Liberty Healthcare APS Advisory Board. 5. Number of cases: Cases: 14; Class Actions: 0. 6. Case summaries: DRP assisted a client in a nursing home in resolving allegations of verbal abuse and neglect by nursing home staff. The allegations were determined to be valid and the nursing home staff was remanded and removed from care for the client. Priority II 1. Priority: Eliminate institutionalization and segregation of people with disabilities 2. Need Addressed: Integration is preferred and too often people with disabilities are put in or directed to institutional settings. Changing the attitudes of policy makers, involvement of persons with disabilities in the design and implementation of services, and rebalancing appropriation of funding is necessary to achieve integration. 3. Indicators: A. Advocate for community alternatives for persons institutionalized or at risk of institutionalization. B. Promote the expansion of affordable, integrated, accessible housing in the community. C. Develop plans for community integration. 4. Collaborations: DRP collaborated with and provided assistance to advocates at Liberty Resources, Inc. (LRI) who were assisting the Spanish-speaking family of a hospitalized Philadelphia woman who was in a coma and on life support due to an aggressive infection. The hospital advised the family that it believed that her condition was irreversible and fatal and that it intended to remove her from life support, but the family opposed that action. DRP provided information to LRI concerning the family’s rights under Act 169 of 2006 to act as the woman’s health care representative and to refuse to allow the withdrawal of life support. After LRI advised the hospital that its termination of life support would violate Act 169, it did not press the issue and assisted the family to bring the woman home with supports. 5. Number of cases: Cases: 37; Class Actions: 0. 6. Case summaries: a. DRP intervened on behalf of a 21-year-old Delaware County woman who is deaf and has an intellectual disability. Client was due to graduate from Pressley Ridge School, but neither was enrolled in any waiver nor had access to any other services after a provider rejected her following a trial visit. The school was told by the county to take her to a homeless shelter. After DRP contacted DHS, the county, and the school, the client was placed in a safe program in Philadelphia while she remains on the emergency waiting list for ID waiver services. b. DRP staff assisted a client with physical and mental health disabilities in transitioning out of a nursing home and into the community. DRP staff also connected the individual with CIL Cares staff who agreed to assist in the transition. Priority III: 1. Priority: Promote an array of quality consumer-controlled, consumer-driven, person-centered, and recovery-oriented services to enable people with disabilities to live and thrive in their own homes, schools, workplaces, and communities. 2. Need addressed: People want to live in their homes and communities. In order to do so, they need state-funded services and supports. Especially in tight budget times, and given competition with institutions, it’s critical to engage in focused budget advocacy. People with disabilities need to lead in the designing of service delivery systems, and have control over the provision and implementation to ensure satisfaction and full community inclusion. 3. Indicators: A. Advocate for control and direction by people with disabilities in the delivery of services, including the development of participant-directed supports and services and community first option. B. End waiting lists and remove other barriers to community services for people with disabilities who are unserved or underserved. C. Expanded access to quality education, early intervention, and special education services in least restrictive environment appropriate. D. Assure access to Medicaid services. 4. Collaborations: a. DRP secured a significant victory, when DHS, the Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of State (DOS) issued a Policy Clarification stating that direct care workers can perform various health-related tasks, including intermit¬tent catheterization. DRP collaborated with DHS, DOH, DOS, seeking this Policy Clarification to remedy the problem encountered by Act 150 program participants who had been advised that their direct care workers were not permitted to perform those tasks. DRP provided feedback to DOH about its draft notice to licensees concerning implementation of the Policy Clarification. DOH incorporated many of DRP’s suggestions and issued a final notice. DRP is monitoring the implementation of the policy. b. DRP continues to participate in the Philadelphia Coalition of Special Education Advocates to address special education issues in Philadelphia public schools. DRP worked with the Coalition to oppose a plan announced by the School District to contract with an education provider to create a segregated school to serve youth who had been placed at Wordsworth Academy, an approved private school that had been reported to have significant problems, as well as 120 students with disabilities alleged to be on a “waiting list.” In July, DRP testified at a hearing before the School Reform Commission (SRC), both opposing the creation of a segregated school and raising concerns about the “waiting list.” Subsequently, the SRC announced that the contractor would not be creating a single segregated school, as had been planned, and instead would offer services at three regular education schools that would provide students the opportunity for greater integration. DRP is also awaiting the School District’s response to our request for parent/guardian contact information for the students on the “waiting list.” c. DRP attorneys continue to work with the DRP Policy Team to address DHS’s Community Health Choices (CHC) proposal to provide long term care services (including nursing facility services and home and community-based services currently provided through Medical Assistance waivers) through a mandatory managed care system. d. DRP is working with Pennsylvania Health Law Project and Community Legal Services to investigate the different standards used to establish income eligibility for Medicaid home and community-based services waivers administered by OLTL and for nursing facility services. The different standards result in an institutional bias. DRP submitted Right to Know requests to DHS and to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. e. DRP participates with a number of groups (including, Education Law Center, Juvenile Law Center, Drexel University, Temple’s Institute on Disabilities, AHEDD, and the Arc of Philadelphia) in the Philadelphia Transition Coordinating Council to facilitate the successful movement of children with disabilities to adult life. 5. Number of cases: Cases: 105; Class Actions: 0. 6. Case summaries: a. DRP staff advocated on behalf of a client with multiple disabilities, including paralysis and heart conditions, to get her application for Home and Community Based Waiver services (HCBS) approved. Client had applied for HCBS and received no response for several months before being told that she would need to have the case re-opened which would take another 45 days. DRP staff contacted Pennsylvania’s Office of Long Term Living (OLTL) on the client’s behalf to see if they could help expedite the process because client was paying out of pocket for attendant care at home and was running out of funds. OLTL then contacted Maximus, the Independent Enrollment Broker, to expedite the process and client was approved for and began receiving services promptly. b. DRP staff assisted a client with mobility impairments and a seizure disorder who was on the Attendant Care waiver and was having problems with a provider agency not providing appropriate care. With client’s permission, DRP staff contacted client’s Service Coordinator to request that they assist client with the provider and help her ensure better coordination of care which SC agreed to do. Priority IV 1. Priority: Eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability. 2. Need Addressed: Laws protecting equal access by people with disabilities are not always enforced; and are not always known by attorneys and people with disabilities. Education, self-advocacy and rights training, and enforcement are needed. 3. Indicators: A. Assure access to government and public services and public accommodations. B. Assure access to appropriate effective communication for people who are deaf, deaf/blind, or hard of hearing. C. Promote and expand employment of persons with disabilities. C. Assure that persons with disabilities have equal opportunity to vote. D. Promote accessible transportation. E. Advocate for rights of people with disabilities who are incarcerated, at risk for incarceration, or released from incarceration. 4. Collaborations: a. DRP collaborated with the Capital Area Transit (CAT) Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee for CAT’s development of a report to improve services for people with disabilities based on survey responses on CAT services. The report was adopted and identified five areas that CAT needs to improve. CAT committed to improving their customer complaint process through a more formalized, consumer friendly process that will ensure all complaints receive CAT’s response. CAT reported that their data is showing 91% on time performance based for paratransit which has a 30-minute window before they are considered late. CAT agreed to develop a subcommittee to explore CAT’s on-time performance and to examine ways to improve their on-time performance. CAT agreed to work on making their ADA paratransit application process for individuals with disabilities more efficient and accessible to those with all types of disabilities, including providing the application in alternative, accessible formats. CAT agreed to continue to engage with disability advocates about ways to expand service and make their service more accessible b. DRP staff met with the new Allegheny County ADA Coordinator to introduce her to the services that DRP provides as well as the makeup of our organization. During the meeting, we talked about ways in which we could work together to ensure that people with disabilities in Allegheny County received the most support possible. She was not familiar with our organization previously and was very happy to have a referral source for individuals experiencing problems. c. DRP staff participated in meetings of the Allegheny County/City of Pittsburgh Task Force on Disability. Among the issues facing the task force was the accessibility of local parks and recreational facilities that are maintained by the City and County. As a follow-up to the meeting, DRP staff met with representatives of the County Parks Department. DRP staff stressed that is imperative to include individuals with disabilities in the planning process for upgrades and accessibility projects. Staff provided contact information for disability groups and service organizations that would be able to provide input as to where the County’s limited funding would be best spent. 5. Number of cases: Cases: 165; Class Actions: 0. 6. Case summaries: a. DRP intervened on behalf of a Perry County resident with a visual impairment, after the school district for which she worked for 19 years in a custodial position denied her requested accommodation. The school district placed her on the night shift after it allegedly reorganized its custodial staff. P.F. cannot drive at night due to her disability, and asked to be placed on the day shift or reassigned to another daytime job. The school district refused, and she went on leave. Because she was nearing retirement, our client did not want to return to work, but we negotiated an acceptable monetary resolution of her employment discrimination claim. b. After DRP learned that several Philadelphia-area voting rights organizations would be sponsoring an election debate viewing party at an inaccessible location, we contacted them and requested that the location be moved. The organizations agreed, and the party was held at an accessible site. c. DRP successfully intervened on behalf of a 90-year-old woman with orthopedic and hearing impairments, whose daughter had requested accessible seats in the first row of the Kirby Center in Reading for a show. Staff told the woman’s daughter that the front row accessible seats were reserved for people who need sign-language interpreters. After we intervened, the facility reported that staff were misinformed and agreed to provide the requested front-row seats to the client. The facility also indicated that it would be retraining its staff on compliance with the ADA. d. DRP assisted a Philadelphian with progressive multiple sclerosis who uses a power wheelchair, to secure accommodations from SEPTA during the paratransit recertification process. SEPTA initially advised the client that his personal care assistant (PCA) could not accompany him to the assessment necessary for recertification even though client’s PCA must be with him at all times. After DRP contacted SEPTA’s legal department, SEPTA agreed to allow client to be accompanied by his PCA for the assessment and recertified him for unconditional paratransit eligibility. e. DRP successfully intervened on behalf of a 48-year-old Chester County resident who has paraplegia due to a spinal cord injury, to secure accessible parking at St. Peter’s Village, a public accommodation that includes an inn and a bakery. C.R. uses a lift-equipped van and wanted to visit the bakery, but the parking lot had no designated accessible spaces. After DRP sent a letter to the owner of the property, it agreed to install two accessible spaces on an accessible route to the inn and bakery. Priority V 1. Priority: Conduct outreach, training, and education activities. 2. Need Addressed: Increase consumer’s knowledge of their rights and available services to enable them to live independent and productive lives. 3. Indicators: A. Identify and work with unserved and underserved communities. B. Develop and distribute fact sheets and other materials on issues of importance to people with disabilities, including alerts via the DRP electronic mailing list. 4. Collaborations: a. DRP staff participated in the 2017 Pittsburgh Disability March and Rally to celebrate the 27th Anniversary of the ADA. Staff marched in unity with individuals with disabilities and others and carried banners to bring awareness to the IWantToWork campaign in support of Pennsylvania’s Employment First legislations. b. DRP staff participated in the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community, which is an annual fundraising walk that benefits local health and human services agencies. DRP raised funds in the walk and also engaged in outreach to all walk participants to educate them on DRP’s programs and services. Please see Part I, Section B above for additional trainings and outreach collaborations. 5. Number of Cases: Cases: 0. Class action: 0. 6. Case Summaries: as this priority is informational, we do not have case reports.

B. Priorities and Objectives for the Current Fiscal Year

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

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

Priority I 1. Priority: Protect and advocate for people with disabilities who are subject to abuse, neglect, exploitation, and rights violations. 2. Need addressed: Pursue advocacy to protect individuals with disabilities from abuse, neglect, and rights violations. 3. Activities: A. Respond to individual and systemic reports of abuse, neglect, exploitation or rights violations (including, but not limited to, the inappropriate use of restraints) through the provision of information, resources, referrals, technical assistance, individual assistance, follow-up, monitoring, investigation and/or litigation, including enforcement of DRP’s authority to access facilities, residents, and records. B. Monitor systems, advocating necessary improvements for reporting, investigating and responding to abuse or neglect. C. Provide advice and/or information and referral services, as appropriate, to clients who contact our intake system regarding abuse, neglect, or exploitation of individuals with disabilities. Priority II 1. Priority: Eliminate institutionalization and segregation of people with disabilities and address treatment issues relating to institutionalized persons. 2. Need addressed: Integration is preferred and too often people with disabilities are put in or directed to institutional settings. Changing the attitudes of policy makers, involvement of persons with disabilities in the design and implementation of services, and rebalancing appropriation of funding is necessary to achieve integration. 3. Activities: A. Advocate for integrated community services, supports, and treatment for children and adults with disabilities who are institutionalized, at risk of institutionalization, or in segregated settings. B. Advocate for the development, full implementation of, and funding for a comprehensive/integrated Pennsylvania Olmstead Plan. C. Assure that children and adults with disabilities who are incarcerated or at risk of incarceration receive appropriate treatment and access to necessary services and diversion from incarceration. D. Provide advice and/or information and referral services, as appropriate, to clients who contact our intake system regarding issues relating to individuals with disabilities who are unnecessarily institutionalized or segregated, at risk of unnecessary institutionalization or segregation, or subject to mistreatment in an institutional setting. Priority III 1. Priority: Promote an array of quality, consumer-controlled, consumer-driven, person-centered, and recovery-oriented services to enable people with disabilities to live and thrive in their own homes, and communities. 2. Need addressed: Advocacy is imperative to ensure that individuals with disabilities receive appropriate services and supports they need so that they can live in their homes and communities. 3. Activities: A. Advocate for access to programs and services that support people with disabilities in making their own choices and directing their own services. B. Advocate to end waiting lists for or removing other barriers to community services for people with disabilities who are unserved or underserved. C. Assure and expand access to health and mental health care and related services for people with disabilities including, but not limited to, Medicaid services, transportation, and assistive technology. D. Advocate to ensure that people with disabilities make their own decisions to the maximum extent possible and receive appropriate supported and/or substitute decision-making when necessary. E. Provide advice and/or information and referral services, as appropriate, to individuals who contact our intake system regarding community services for people with disabilities. Priority IV 1. Priority - Eliminate disability discrimination and promote integration of people with disabilities in all aspects of society. 2. Need addressed: Laws protecting equal access by people with disabilities are not always enforced; and are not always known by attorneys and people with disabilities. Education, self-advocacy and rights training, and enforcement are needed. 3. Activities: A. Address disability discrimination in government services, programs and activities, in housing, transportation, and by public accommodations including, but not limited to, assuring physical access to facilities and addressing the failure to provide effective communication or reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures. B. Address disability discrimination in education and assure access to quality education for students with disabilities including, but not limited to, early intervention, special education, transition, and post-secondary education services. C. Address disability discrimination in employment and promote and expand access to employment of people with disabilities including advocating for Employment First and other competitive and supported opportunities for individuals in segregated employment. D. Assure that people with disabilities have equal opportunity to vote. E. Provide advice and/or information and referral services, as appropriate, to individuals contacting our intake system regarding issues relating to disability discrimination in and/or access to government services, public accommodations, housing, employment, education, voting, transportation, and other aspects of community life. Priority V 1. Priority - Conduct outreach, training, and education activities. 2. Need addressed: Increase consumer’s knowledge of their rights and available services to enable them to live independent and productive lives. 3. Activities: A. Identify and work with unserved and underserved communities. B. Provide presentations and trainings to educate people with disabilities, family members, advocates, and professionals about disability rights, services, and issues. C. Conduct in-person outreach at community events to enhance the public’s knowledge of DRP and its services and to provide information to the public about disability rights, services, and issues, including one major event in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. D. Develop and distribute publications (that are also accessible and multilingual) on disability rights, services, and issues to facilitate knowledge and self-advocacy; distribute those publications through our website and at trainings and outreaches and, on request, by mail; and, as requested, make those publications available in alternative formats and in other languages. E. Develop and disseminate information important to people with disabilities via DRP’s electronic mailing lists, website, and social media.

Part VI. Narrative

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

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

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

A. Sources of funds received and expended: Federal funds: Amount received - $582,858 Amount spent - $582,858 Program Income: Amount received - $10,028 Amount spent: $10,028 Total received: $592,886 Total spent: $592,886 B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by the report: Prior Fiscal Year, 2016-2017: Wages/Salaries - $370,039 Fringe Benefits - $135,925 Materials/Supplies - $7,695 Postage - $1,000 Telephone - $4,213 Rent - $40,325 Travel - $5,393 Copying - $500 Bonding/Insurance - $4,500 Equipment - $2,540 Legal Services - $0 Indirect Costs - $0 Misc. - $36,730 Total Budget - $608,860 Current Fiscal Year, 2017-2018 Wages/Salaries - $345,690 Fringe Benefits- $139,150 Materials/Supplies - $11,100 Postage - $1,000 Telephone - $4,200 Rent - $49,000 Travel - $5,361 Copying - $500 Bonding/Insurance - $5,500 Equipment - $1,500 Legal Services - $0 Indirect costs - $0 Miscellaneous - $39,700 Total Budget - $602,701 C. Description of PAIR staff (duties and person-years) FTE % of year filled person years Professional - Full-time (27) 4.92 100% 4.92 Part-time (0) 0.00 100% 0.00 Clerical - Full-time (6 ) .81 100% .81 Part-time (1 ) .05 100% .05 D. Involvement with advisory boards (if any) Adult Protective Services Coalition. Advocates for Community Employment. Deaf-Blind SSP Steering Committee. Philadelphia Bar Association Committee on Legal Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Philadelphia Bar Association Civil Rights Committee. Philadelphia Bar Association Delivery of Legal Services Committee. Governor’s Advisory Committee on Persons with Disabilities. Pennsylvania Statewide Independent Living Council. Allegheny County-City of Pittsburgh Task Force on Disabilities. Person Driven Services and Supports (PDSS) Coalition. Citizen Advisory committees for Philadelphia, York, Norristown, Pittsburgh and Erie Regional Offices of Vocational Rehabilitation. Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Council. Pennsylvania Transportation Alliance. E. Grievances filed under the grievance procedure 1. An informal grievance was filed by a client who disagreed with DRP’s decision not to represent her in a lawsuit against a home health care agency who she alleged stole from her. DRP staff instead offered client with information on how to reconnect with her social worker at the hospital, her supports coordinator, how to file a complaint with the appropriate agency, and how to find a private attorney but determined that DRP did not have the legal or advocacy resources to represent her. DRP’s CEO upheld the decision to not provide representation to client and advised her of her right to appeal the decision to DRP’s Board President. 2. An informal grievance was filed by a client who allegedly had a disagreement with DRP staff regarding an accommodation offered by his fiscal agent PPL. DRP’s CEO contacted the client and advised that she would speak with the DRP staff person involved but that DRP could not provide any further representation at this time. DRP’s CEO advised the client of his right to appeal the decision to DRP’s Board President. 3. A client submitted an oral grievance regarding DRP’s decision to not provide further representation to her on an employment discrimination matter. Client sought an explanation as to why her case was closed and why DRP could not represent her. DRP’s CEO spoke with the client and explained DRP’s limited resources and explained why DRP does not offer legal representation on employment matters. Client was satisfied with CEO’s explanation and grievance was closed. 4. A client submitted an oral grievance regarding DRP’s decision not to represent her before the EEOC on an employment matter. DRP staff determined that DRP did not have the legal or advocacy resources to represent her. DRP’s CEO upheld the decision to not provide representation to client and advised her of her right to appeal the decision to DRP’s Board President. F. Coordination with the Client Assistance Program (CAP) and the State long-term care program, if these programs are not part of the P&A agency DRP informs callers, as appropriate, about the services provided by the CAP. We are also available as a resource to CAP and its clients. DRP and CAP staff discussed ways to for the organizations to collaborate as well as improve case referrals between the organizations to better assist people with disabilities. DRP maintains a lead advocacy role in the work of the community in its attempts to be a part of the administrative process and design of long term services and supports. DRP maintains individual assistance for many clients through our intake department, while other staff work on providing input through the federally mandated Medical Assistance Advisory Committee or MAAC, and its subcommittees. Throughout the year, DRP staff also participates in several “coalitions” with similar missions of enhancing or expanding home and community based services and supports. Some examples include but are not limited to: the Adult Protective Services Coalition, which came together to create protective services for recipients of home and community based services and the Person Driven Services and Supports (or PDSS) Coalition, which is intent on developing, expanding and promoting consumer-directed service models. DRP staff continue to provide input when possible on proposed regulations and policy directives through the direct submission of written comments and through legal actions and settlements when necessary.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByPeri Jude Radecic
TitleExecutive Director
Signed Date12/21/2017