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

Washington (Disability Rights Washington) - H240A170048 - FY2017

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameDisability Rights Washington
Address315 Fifth Avenue South
Address Line 2Suite 850
CitySeattle
StateWashington
Zip Code98104
E-mail Addressmstroh@dr-wa.org
Website Addresshttp://doesnotfit.org
Phone206-324-1521
TTY 206-957-0728
Toll-free Phone800-562-2702
Toll-free TTY800-905-0209
Fax206-957-0729
Name of P&A Executive DirectorMark Stroh
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorMark Stroh
Person to contact regarding reportMark Stroh
Contact Person phone206-324-1521
Ext.217

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 areas91
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas0
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)91

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff13
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)832

The TBI Network and Community Colleges of Spokane co-sponsored a Youth Leadership Summit. The event consisted of a series of short presentations intended to motivate youth about disability rights, independence and self-advocacy. Approximately 90 youth leaders attended the summit. DRW gave a 20 minute presentation paired with a short, interactive activity. The presentation was based on the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability’s already-existing youth workbook. The presentation included an introduction to Disability Rights Washington, the purpose of the presentation, a brief explanation of pertinent vocabulary and phrases, an explanation of what an accommodation is, and how/to whom/when/where to disclose with a few examples, and a short summary of rights under the law.

This was a discrete opportunity for Disability Rights Washington East to connect with a group of self-advocates who are interested in disability rights and leadership, and it directly correlates to Disability Rights Washington’s priority of self-advocacy support. The presentation provided 90 youth leaders with materials about disability disclosure in a clear and concise way.

This presentation furthered the goals under DRW's Self Advocacy Support priority. The presentation addressed components of self-advocacy as an individual skill set, as well as the Self-Advocacy Movement. High School students with disabilities learned about their relationship with the Self-Advocacy Movement, and with the Disability Rights Movement as a whole, as they work to become better self-advocates and leaders. Students were shown an example of self-advocacy skills developed and used by a person with a disability via a Rooted in Rights Storytellers video. DRW technical assistance contact information was provided, as well as information for following Rooted in Rights content.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff1
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles590
3. PSAs/videos aired6
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website88,333
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated62
6. Other (specify separately)28,297

Narrative

DRW or one its activities were mentioned 5,474 times. That as well as the news articles and hits on website include all of DRW as those numbers. The 28,297 is the total of followers on all of our social media platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn). Our email list grew 55% in FY 2017 and now stands at 5,279 subscribers.

6 videos produced were distributed to 18,030 viewers. The following is one example of a video produced for use on our social media platforms. Disability Rights Washington (DRW) produced a video aimed at educating people with limb loss about how different health insurance policies cover prosthetics. In the video, young people with disabilities explain why insurance for limbs is important to their health and encourage viewers to learn more. The video was distributed through DRW’s social networking platforms and email listserv. It was viewed 13,000 times on Facebook and YouTube. Two people with disabilities who collaborated with the P&A on an advocacy objective.

The publications include 46 blog posts written by individuals with disabilies and posted on our Rooted in Rights WordPress platform.

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)6
2. Additional individuals served during the year494
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)500
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)38

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 5

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility21
2. Employment45
3. Program access12
4. Housing65
5. Government benefits/services69
6. Transportation19
7. Education13
8. Assistive technology14
9. Voting0
10. Health care158
11. Insurance5
12. Non-government services2
13. Privacy rights6
14. Access to records3
15. Abuse38
16. Neglect23
17. Other57

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor544
2. Other representation found0
3. Individual withdrew complaint0
4. Appeals unsuccessful0
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.1
6. PAIR withdrew from case0
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources0
8. Individual case lacks legal merit0
9. Other0

Please explain

Not Applicable.

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-advocacy2
2. Short-term assistance543
3. Investigation/monitoring0
4. Negotiation0
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution0
6. Administrative hearings0
7. Litigation (including class actions)0
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 - 41
2. 5 - 227
3. 23 - 59325
4. 60 - 6443
5. 65 and over124

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females197
2. Males303

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race31
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native14
3. Asian11
4. Black or African American55
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander4
6. White279
7. Two or more races20
8. Race/ethnicity unknown86

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent159
2. Parental or other family home13
3. Community residential home5
4. Foster care0
5. Nursing home3
6. Public institutional living arrangement6
7. Private institutional living arrangement9
8. Jail/prison/detention center225
9. Homeless14
10. Other living arrangements17
11. Living arrangements not known49

E. Primary Disability of Individuals Served

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

1. Blind/visual impairment22
2. Deaf/hard of hearing14
3. Deaf-blind1
4. Orthopedic impairment225
5. Mental illness33
6. Substance abuse1
7. Mental retardation0
8. Learning disability23
9. Neurological impairment45
10. Respiratory impairment11
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment22
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment63
13. Speech impairment0
14. AIDS/HIV5
15. Traumatic brain injury3
16. Other disability32

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

1. Number of policies/practices changed as a result of non-litigation systemic activities17

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes55,000

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.

Here is an example our systemic advocacy work: DRW helps pass legislation to train staff on hearing issues. As a result of testimony at the Joint Legislative and Executive Committee on Aging and Disability, legislators sponsored several bills that address issues that affect individuals who are hard of hearing. During the interim prior to the 2017 session, DRW met with two advocates from the Hearing Loss Association to plan strategy for increased activity. DRW became a member of JLEC as a result of legislative act.

(H3-1) The bills that were proposed include increasing training for long-term care workers (SB 5177) - which DRW supported with testimony (G4-1 ) and by signing a letter of support (G3-1 ), which passed into law. ( G7-1 ). DRW also supported with testimony SB 5179, which would have expanded Medicaid coverage to include hearing aids ( G4-1 ) but which did not pass. SB 5178, also supported with testimony by DRW, (G4-1) would have required physicians and other health professionals to have training on hearing loss. This did not pass but plans are to work on it in 2018.

SB 5177 affects people with disabilities with hearing loss who receive services from long-term care workers. According to Aging and Long-Term Care Services (ALTSA), there are 12, 426 in skilled nursing facilities, 39,819 receiving services in home, and 13, 302 receiving community residential services, for a total of 65,647. The rate of hearing loss among adults in 15%; 15 % of 65,647 is 9846. (G8-9846)

DRW will continue to work for the passage of SB 5177 and SB 5179.

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts61,302
2. Number of individuals named in class actions4

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.

DRW's PAIR was involved in four systemic litigation cases. In two DRW joined in filing an amicus brief. More details can be found in the case examples found in the Priority Section of this report.

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.

A1. Deaf and Hard of Hearing Accommodations in Jails, Prison and Special Commitment Center

A2. Need: Ability to communicate for individuals at jails, prisons and other places where people with disabilities are involuntarily confined

A3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; individual advocacy; investigations; monitoring; and other systemic advocacy

A4. This priority did not involve collaborative efforts with other entities.

A5. 4 individual service requests, 1 group advocacy project, and no class action lawsuits.

A6. Disability Rights Washington (DRW) continued its advocacy for inmates who are deaf or hard of hearing on the Senior Unit at Airway Heights and in January 2017, after discussion with the ADA Compliance Manager, DRW was informed that the unit would flash the lights to announce count, as an accommodation for inmates who are deaf or hard of hearing. In February 2017, DRW conducted a monitoring trip at the facility and unit staff were unaware of the direction and did not agree to the accommodation. DRW raised this issue in a February 2017 monitoring letter and in a responsive letter the prison reported that the post orders for the unit have been updated and that unit staff have been notified that unit lights should be turned on to announce count, in order to alert inmates with disabilities. As a result of this advocacy there was one change in practice (H1), and 23 people with disabilities live in a better, safer environment (A3).

B1. ADA Curb Cut Compliance

B2. Need: Compliance with physical access requirements of the ADA

B3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; investigations, systemic litigation; educating policy makers; training; public awareness; and video advocacy

B4. The work on this involved collaboration with the following entities from Washington’s disability community: Development Disabilities Council, DD Network, Governor’s Committee on Disability and Employment, and Alliance for People with disabilities. We also had co-counsel from the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center and a private law firm.

B5. One class action case.

B6. Case Example: A settlement was reached in a class action improving access to the Seattle pedestrian right of way for people with mobility disabilities.

In July 2017, Disability Rights Washington (DRW), along with co-counsel filed a settlement agreement (“the Agreement”) with the City of Seattle (F5). The Court preliminarily approved the settlement and will hold a fairness hearing on November 1, 2017. The Agreement lays out a plan for Seattle to fulfill the promise of the ADA by ensuring equal access to people with disabilities who live, work, or travel to Seattle. DRW with co-counsel filed a class action on behalf of three named plaintiffs in 2015 alleging that the City of Seattle (“City”) violated federal and state disability access laws by allegedly failing to ensure that its pedestrian rights-of-way contain curb ramps that are necessary to make its pedestrian rights-of-way accessible to individuals with Mobility Disabilities and has continued to litigate this case since 2015 until reaching the Agreement in 2017 (F1). The Agreement requires the City of Seattle to make widespread accessibility improvements by installing, repairing, and remediating Deficient Curb Ramps, beginning July 1, 2017, and continuing for the next 18 years. Specifically, the Agreement commits the City to install or remediate 1250 ramps per year on average (the “Annual Commitment”) (H1). The Annual Commitment includes ramps built by third parties such as utilities, other public entities, and private developers. For the first year ending December 31, 2017, the City will install 625 ramps (A10). The Agreement also ensures that all new construction and alterations undertaken by the City (or by any third-party acting on the City’s authority or behalf) comply with federal and Washington state law, and requires the City to use its best efforts to ensure that all third-party construction, alteration, and development projects comply with state and federal law regarding the installation, repair, and remediation of curb ramps (H1). The Agreement also requires the City to maintain all accessible curb ramps over which it has responsibility, ownership, or control so that those curb ramps are readily accessible to and usable by persons with Mobility Disabilities, except for isolated or temporary interruptions in access due to maintenance or repairs (H1). The Agreement provides that the City will create a Transition Plan that identifies, at least one year in advance, specific projects and specific curb ramps to be installed, repaired, and remediated in fulfillment of the Annual Commitment. The Transition Plan will be consistent with priorities set forth in regulations promulgated under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and will also incorporate input from Class Members and government agencies (H1). The City has surveyed much of its pedestrian rights-of-way with respect to existing curb ramps, and the Agreement requires the City to conduct a virtual review to determine whether curb ramps exist in the portions of the pedestrian rights-of-way that have not been surveyed, and to take measurements of those ramps found to exist during the virtual review, to determine whether they comply with the curb ramp requirements of federal and Washington state law. The Agreement also commits the City to continue to maintain a system through which people with disabilities may submit requests for installation, remediation, and maintenance of accessible curb ramps, and subject to limited and specified exceptions, to use its best efforts to remediate or install each requested accessible curb ramp within 12 months of the request (H1). The Seattle Department of Transportation also will employ an Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator to assist in developing and implementing the work required by the Agreement. The Agreement also includes provisions for the Class Representatives and Class Counsel (identified below) to monitor the City’s compliance with the terms of the Agreement. The approximately 60,000 individuals with mobility disabilities in Seattle have had their rights enforced to access the pedestrian right of way throughout Seattle (C1). DRW completed this advocacy under the priority ADA Curb Cut Compliance.

C1. Olmstead: Right to Live in Community Compliance

C2. Need: Accessible and accommodating communities

C3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; individual advocacy; investigations; monitoring; systemic litigation; educating policy makers; other systemic advocacy; H) outreach; I) training; and video advocacy

C4. Joining the amicus brief on the Arlene’s Flowers case discussed below was a collaborative effort. The other advocacy work under this priority was done primarily by Disability Rights Washington.

C5. 4 individuals service requests, 2 group advocacy projects and 1 class action lawsuit in which we joined in filing an amicus brief.

C6. Case Example 1: The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) found Seattle out of compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504. In response to Disability Rights Washington's 2012 complaint, DOT investigated the City of Seattle and issued a Letter of Finding for failing to provide accessible on-street parking. DOT recommended the city 1) evaluate on-street parking policy to determine how to integrate accessible on-street parking spaces into its infrastructure, 2) incorporate the integration of accessible on-street parking spaces into its ADA/Section 504 transition plan, 3) incorporate accessible on-street parking into road alteration projects that effect on-street parking, and 4) within 90 days provide documentation showing how the City plans to implement the above recommendations. As a result, 141,840+ people with disabilities had their rights enforced and/or restored. (A9)

Case Example 2: On February 16, 2017, the Washington State Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling holding that flower shop owner’s “refusal to provide custom floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding violated the Washington Law Against Discrimination's (WLAD) prohibition on discrimination in public accommodations.” The Court also included the one citation Disability Rights Washington included in the amicus. See Fell v. Spokane Transit Auth., 128 Wn.2d 618, 637, 911 P .2d 1319 (1996) (setting forth elements of prima facie case for disability discrimination under WLAD).

D1. Disability Awareness: Inclusive Communities

D2. Need: Welcoming communities

D3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; other systemic advocacy; outreach; training; public awareness; and video Advocacy

D4. DRW collaborated with over fifty individuals with disabilities in producing the social media content referenced below.

D5. 6 individual service requests, 1 group advocacy project, 6 videos on social network platforms and 46 blogs written by people with disabilities written on a range of subjects.

D6. Case Example: A Disability Rights Washington (DRW) constituent, who has aphasia associated with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), forwarded an email to DRW from a member on a local human rights council. The constituent called the council member hoping for help with a possible human rights violation. The constituent was told in the email addressed to her that the individual on the council believed the constituent was using talk-to-type relay telephone services in order to collect evidence for legal purposes. According to the email, the council member came to his conclusion based on a conversation he had with an unnamed “local advocate.” The local advocate told the council member that the constituent is able to speak. The council member wrote to the constituent that he would not take another relay call from the constituent, and not to call him again. The constituent told DRW that she can speak, but her language processing disability often prevents her from understanding oral conversations. Therefore, she uses a relay service to make important phone calls. DRW wrote to the council member copying other council members and the mayor who has the responsibility of appointing council members. This letter explained how the talk-to-type relay telephone service is helpful to someone with aphasia and pointed out the discriminatory and inappropriate nature of the email the constituent received the council member. As a result the council member apologized to the constituent and the incident was discussed and addressed at a council meeting. Performance measurements: 1 person with a disability had her rights enforced (A9); 7 councils and a mayor received rights training (J3); and 1 public service was made more accessible (A10).

E1. Available and Affordable Housing Options for People with Disabilities

E2. Need: Affordable and available housing particularly in the large cities where housing costs are very high

E3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; other systemic advocacy; outreach; training; and public awareness.

E4. No PAIR related collaboration was involved in pursuit of this priority.

E5. 10 individual service requests.

E6. Case example of the kind of technical assistance Disability Rights Washington (DRW) provides: A person with a disability called with a housing issue. He and his wife have lived in their apartment for seven or eight years. Because of a back injury, he had back surgery, and has chronic pain. He was on pain medication, but now has a medical marijuana card for pain management. He said that shortly after he got his card, his landlord starting performing more inspections on his unit. Because the inspector did not take notes, and looked in places like his closets, he suspects that his landlord was looking for marijuana plants. Earlier this month, he received a 60 day notice to vacate. He is worried that he and his wife need more time to find an affordable place to live. The couple both live mostly on social security benefits. DRW wrote the following providing information on tenant rights:

- The Tenants Union of Washington has a lot of information on their website. For information on eviction: http://www.tenantsunion.org/en/rights/group/C4/eviction-termination. For information on disability discrimination and housing: http://www.tenantsunion.org/en/rights/disability-laws.

- The Fair Housing Act requires that landlords make reasonable accommodations and modifications in policy and practice as necessary in order to give people with disabilities an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling. This requirement is in place throughout a person’s tenancy, including during move out, and the eviction process. The reasonable accommodation must be related to the person’s disability. You may want to consider asking for a reasonable accommodation of more time to move if you think that your need for more time is related to your disability.

- For more information, you may want to read some of the publications on this topic here: http://www.fhcwashington.org/resources.htm. The Fair Housing Center of Washington assists people in making requests for reasonable accommodations: http://www.fhcwashington.org/advocacy.htm.

- The Tenants Union also operates a tenants’ rights hotline that you may want to call if you have more questions about your rights. http://www.tenantsunion.org/en/programs/tenants-rights-hotline.”

F1. Abuse and Neglect Response and Effectiveness

F2. Need: An abuse system that thoroughly investigates and responds to allegations of abuse and neglect in a timely and effective manner.

F3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; educating policy makers; and other systemic advocacy.

F4. Our work on this priority involves a legislatively created taskforce to which DRW was appointed and coordination with a range of entities within the disability community.

F5. 6 individual service requests, 1 group advocacy project and 1 systemic litigation project.

F6. Case Example: Disability Rights Washington (DRW) filed Amicus Brief in the State Court of Appeals Division One on behalf of a parent with a cognitive disability. The Amicus Brief supported the parent's appeal of the lower court's orders of dependency and disposition, arguing that the lower court and state child welfare agency had violated the parent's rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act by removing his child and entering a dependency based solely on stereotypes about his disabilities. The Court of Appeals Commissioner's Ruling rejected the parent's argument and the parent moved to modify the Commissioner's order with a Court of Appeals panel. This motion was denied and appellate counsel then moved for discretionary review by the Washington State Supreme Court. In the interim, the child was returned to family. The child welfare agency withdrew the underlying dependency proceeding against the parent and argued that the parent's motion for discretionary review should be denied because it was now moot. The parent is now withdrawing the motion for discretionary review, as the child is home with family.

G1. Improved Conditions in Residential Treatment Facilities

G2. Need: High quality care and conditions

G3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; investigations; monitoring; systemic litigation; other systemic advocacy; outreach; training; public awareness; and video advocacy

G4. A portion of the work on this priority was done in collaboration with the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment.

G5. 6 individual service requests, 1 group advocacy project and 1 training project.

G6. Case Example: Disability Rights Washington (DRW) monitored 16 assisted living facilities to identify issues pertaining to treatment and care. DRW opened a monitoring project to visit assisted living facilities in King and Pierce County. The purpose of this monitoring was to identify systemic rights violations and particularly poor facilities. DRW monitored sixteen different facilities and focused on five facilities which primarily housed individuals with mental health needs (E1). There were access issues with three facilities, with one facility denying entry (E6), all of which were resolved (E7). DRW provide Technical Assistance to twenty-two individuals following these visits, with other phone appointments made after. DRW will continue to monitor the five identified facilities to ensure that individuals have access to DRW and to determine if there are issues that should be investigate regarding access to appropriate mental health treatment and to the community.

H1. Improved conditions in Juvenile Detention Facilities, Jails, Prisons, and the Special Commitment Center

H2. Need: High quality care and conditions

H3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; investigations; monitoring; systemic litigation; other systemic advocacy; outreach; training; public awareness; and video advocacy

H4. The work on the amicus brief described below was done in collaboration with the Washington Appellate Project.

H5. 47 individual service requests, 1 group advocacy project; and 1 systemic litigation project.

H6. Case Example: Over the past year, Disability Rights Washington (DRW) has engaged in negotiations with the Yakima Department of Corrections (YDOC), likely resulting in a court settlement soon to improve jail conditions. These negotiations have been governed by a structured negotiation agreement signed in November 2016 just days before DRW planned to file a federal lawsuit against YDOC based on conditions of confinement in the jail. YDOC immediately undertook reforms based on DRW's investigative findings and parties participated in information exchange and conferences to discuss concerns and plans. DRW provided YDOC with a draft settlement in May of 2017 with the goal to file this in federal court and commence to the monitoring phase. YDOC has been reviewing this draft settlement for four months, but will hopefully provide edits and feedback soon. YDOC and DRW have already jointly selected a potential independent monitor for the settlement and the jail has continued to make incremental improvements to conditions of confinement and access to mental health.

K1. Quality, available advocacy

K2. Need: Quality of advocates serving people with disabilities on matters related to their disabilities

K3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; educating policy makers; other systemic advocacy; outreach; training; public awareness; and video advocacy

K4. Seattle University Peterson Law Clinic and the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment were collaboration partners on the fair hearing initiative discussed below.

K5. 15 individual service requests, 3 group advocacy projects, and no systemic litigation projects.

K6. Case Example: Office of Administrative Hearings Adopts Rule to Provide “Suitable Representative” Advocacy for People with Disabilities in Fair Hearings. For several years, Disability Rights Washington (DRW) has worked with other advocates seeking an administrative rule that parallels the rule in courts - GR 33 - that provides for appointment of counsel as an accommodation for disability. That objective was achieved this year when the Office of Administrative Hearings granted the petition submitted last year by Disability Rights and the Korematsu Center of Seattle University, thereby creating a mechanism for providing an advocate (not necessarily an attorney) for appellants in fair hearings. (G5-1) This advocate is called a “suitable representative”, and petitioners assert that the Americans with Disabilities Act requires an advocate be appointed as an accommodation for individuals who cannot represent themselves in a hearing due to their disability. During this fiscal year DRW participated in numerous meetings and conference calls with staff at the Office of Administrative Hearings, Seattle University clinical professor Lisa Brodoff, and Northwest Justice Project attorneys, as the rule was perfected, adopted, and implementation of the rule was planned. DRW served on the training committee, which developed the plan for training the staff and judges, and also served on a committee that designed the advocacy resource. DRW submitted written comments to both committees. (G3 -2) At the close of the fiscal year, the decision was not yet final regarding who would provide the advocacy where it was determined that it was necessary as an accommodation. Adoption of the rule was not without challenge. The Health Care Authority and the Department of Social and Health Services once again opposed the rule strongly and openly, and there was concern that the Governor’s office would yield to their argument that it would let loose a flood gate of appellants seeking representation. Once again, DRW drafted a letter to the Governor, which was co-signed by NAMI, Self-Advocates in Leadership, Developmental Disabilities Council, Arc of Washington, and the Governor’s Committee on Disabilities and Employment, urging the Governor to support the rule. (G3-1) The Governor had a representative at the meetings of the task force working on the rule, and the Governor did not waiver. The task force that created the rule also created data elements that will be used to track its utility, as it is understood that the new rule is groundbreaking and unique in the nation. The task force estimates that 50 individuals will use the rule in the first year. (G6 -50) There will be a group of trained advocates on contract for the purpose of providing representation, but in most cases the Office of Administrative Hearings projects that fair hearing judges will be able to accommodate effectively without appointing a representative.

L1. P&A Access Authority

L2. Need: Access to federally mandated protection and advocacy services

L3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; individual advocacy; and video advocacy

L4. Not Applicable.

L5. 0

L6. There were no PAIR related circumstances encountered by DRW staff to necessitate the pursuit of this priority in FY 2017.

M1. Fair Personal Assistance Services

M2. Need: Quality personal assistance services

M3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; educating policy makers; other systemic advocacy; outreach; training; and public awareness

M4. DRW supports a coalition of users of personal assistance services and our advocacy on this priority is at the direction of this coalition. It is call Project PAS-Port for Change.

M5. 2 individual service requests and 1 group advocacy project.

M6. Case Example: Disability Rights Washington (DRW) continues to participate actively in the policy discussions that impact the availability of homecare workers. This is done in active collaboration with our allies in the senior and disability communities. In particular, DRW relies on PAS-Port for Change for direction and analysis of issues related to homecare service workers. There are 6 people who regularly participate (attendance at meetings varies). (H3-6) There were several activities undertaken this year in DRW’s effort to reduce barriers to the use of homecare services by people with disabilities:

- Overtime use lower than expected: As a result of the passage of HB 1725 in 2016, careful monitoring of the use of overtime was undertaken by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). The legislation required that overtime be limited to a fixed percentage of the appropriation; DSHS was concerned that the percentage was too low and that as a result restrictions would have to be strengthened. As it happened, the overtime limits were never approached. DSHS met with DRW and an advocate supported by DRW (chair of PAS-Port for Change) for discussions three times. (G2-3).

- Support for consumer involvement in policy: DRW helped arrange for Nathan Loose, PAS-Port for Change Chair, to be named to the Joint Legislative-Executive Overtime Oversight Task Force (Task Force), created as a result of HB 1725.

- Training barrier eliminated: DRW supported revisions in the training requirements for family members who did respite service; this was a bill that families of people who used homecare services requested, and was championed by the Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC). (HB 1322 - passed in 2017) (G7-1)

- Consumer Fellowship: DDC and DRW worked together to support Nathan Loose, a homecare user, in a DDC fellowship during which he developed a manual for homecare consumers to use in managing their staff.

- Consumer Direction bill: A bill that would enable consumers to hire family members to provide support, and not be subject to the training requirements or union membership, was introduced by an anti-union Senator. SB 5577 sparked a discussion of consumer direction, and a version stripped of the anti-union and substantive elements was passed. DRW educated policy makers on our analysis of how the bill would impact people with disabilities zeroing in on the part of the bill that sanctioned consumer direction (G4-1) and DRW supported an individual with a disability who wished to testify on his view of the bill (G2-1). The bill that passed directed the Joint Legislative and Executive Committee on Aging and Disability to hold a hearing on consumer-directed services. (G7-1)

N1. Self-Advocacy Support

N2. Need: Responding to the expressed interest of PAIR eligible individuals to be supported in their own advocacy.

N3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; other systemic advocacy; outreach; training; public awareness

N4. DRW has been appointed by the legislature to a variety of taskforces all of which involve collaborative work with other members. In addition the collaboration with Project PAS-Port for Change discussed under another priority is essentially self-advocacy support around a single issue of improving personal assistance services.

N5. 227 individual service requests and 1 group advocacy project.

N6. Case Example: As in past years, Disability Rights Washington (DRW) provided extensive training on guardianship and alternatives to individuals around the state. Joint Legislative and Executive Committee on Disability and Aging (JLEC) members turn the guardianship priority into legislative action. As reported previously, DRW is designated as a member of the Joint Legislative and Executive Committee on Disability and Aging (JLEC), which is otherwise a committee of legislators and public officials in the Executive branch - because of a 2015 budget proviso that added DRW and the Long-Term Care Ombuds to the list of members. DRW has used its position on the committee as a platform for convincing the committee to make guardianship reform and alternatives a priority. After presenting our recommendations at the JLEC committee meeting on 10/18/16, DRW submitted written comments proposing - and obtaining - extensive revisions to the draft priorities on 10/24 and 11/14/16 (G3-1). The JLEC members who are legislators followed through on the recommendations regarding guardianship, proposing and obtaining passage of several significant - on one case, landmark - bills.

This includes:

SB 5691: This bill requires guardians to continually reevaluate whether the person continues to need the level of guardianship - or any guardianship - and if not, the guardian must seek a lower level of guardianship. The legislator who sponsored the bill was responding to the recommendations she heard from testimony at JLEC and from DRW. The bill passed and was signed into law; it has two sections. (G7-2)

HB 1402: This bill addresses a longstanding concern in Washington - the problem of guardians who isolate the protected person, denying contact with loved ones and friends. The bill was the product of a stakeholder group convened by a Representative - one in which DRW was an active participant, a group that included participation by two individuals with disabilities recruited and supported by DRW (G2-2). DRW proposed language in comments submitted to the legislator in response to a request for comments on an early draft (G3-1) that resulted in a very significant change that greatly improved the bill. The bill, as introduced and passed, starts with a positive declaration that individuals have the right to associate with whomever they choose. This right is limited only where there’s a demonstration by the guardian that the individual will be harmed if they associate with a specific person. The bill, which has 5 sections, passed into law. (G7-5)

The bill also provides funding to make sure that facilities and lawyers are trained in its provisions. This was a result of recommendations made by the Long-Term Care Ombuds and DRW. The funding appropriated by the legislature was $49,000 for the Office of Public Guardianship, and $347,000 for the Long-Term Care Ombuds to ensure that facilities don’t continue to allow guardians to isolate individuals. The training is not made available to supported living providers in the legislation; DRW contacted the Office of Public Guardianship (OPG), which is co-responsible with the Long-Term Care Ombuds for drafting the curriculum and presenting the material. The OPG agreed to include the supported living providers in the training. (G7-1)

DRW leads work supporting Alternatives to Guardianship bill: DRW continued the work undertaken in 2015 and 2016 in support of HB 1839; this year there was a new bill, HB 1139. Once again, the bill died after passing the House, despite written and in-person testimony provided by DRW (G3-1; G4-2) and testimony from several individuals with disabilities who were briefed by DRW. (G1-1) DRW provided written information on the bill to the Community Advocacy Coalition for inclusion in their Legislative Notebook (G1-1).

Certified Professional Guardianship (CPG) Curriculum Advisory Committee. DRW participated in two meetings of a group assembled to revise the CPG curriculum. A recommendation for changing the curriculum significantly was presented and supported by DRW. The committee has not reconvened, but work on its recommendation is proceeding through the CPG Board.

DRW leadership in “WINGS”. As reported last year, DRW was a leader in the work to obtain a “Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardianship Stakeholders” (WINGS) Grant for Washington, and is now a leader in forming and implementing the group’s agenda. The grant was obtained by the Administrative Office of Courts (AOC), with support from numerous senior, disability and legal advocacy groups, which DRW helped recruit. DRW continues to serve on several committees/workgroups, including the Steering Committee, the Long-range planning committee, and Lay Guardian Training group - which is currently stalled, due to lack of staff support for further work on the manual.

The director of the WINGS group, Shirley Bondon, has left her position, and the future of the project is now in doubt. DRW worked on several WINGS projects, including:

1. Representation in guardianship. DRW recruited a member who is a family member of an individual with a disability to serve on the committee, which is otherwise entirely made up of attorneys. DRW proposed language which was incorporated in the report of the committee, but the committee did not come to consensus.

2. Informed Consent. Last year, DRW monitored the work of a group of attorneys that was working on the informed consent statute. We dissuaded them from producing a bill that would have enhanced the authority of guardians ad litem to make decisions. There was no bill in 2017. DRW participated actively in a group organized through WINGS to address informed consent, which made recommendations to expand the list of individuals who can give informed consent under our statute.

3. Public Guardianship. There were two committees working on recommendations for the future of the Office of Public Guardianship (OPG).

a. The Elder Law Section of the bar convened a group that considered various options, and as of this writing has not completed its work. The group did approach the DSHS - through DRW and another member - to inquire whether OPG could be located there if the independence of the office was secured with a “wall”. The response was positive, though there is some question whether such a wall might be effective.

b. WINGS assembled a committee that recommended expansion of the authority of the office to include alternatives to guardianship (see elsewhere for discussion of HG 1139). Also suggested - move the office from the courts to some other place, and dispense with the 20 case per guardian limit - either create “case-weighting” or raise the limit to 30.

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.

A1. Deaf and Hard of Hearing Accommodations in Jails, Prison and Special Commitment Center

A2. Need: Ability to communicate for individuals at jails, prisons and other places where people with disabilities are involuntarily confined

A3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; individual advocacy; investigations; monitoring; and other systemic advocacy

B1. Right to have full accessibility needs of participants met at public events, facilities, and in media

B2. Need: Equal access to and inclusion of people with disabilities in activities held in public spaces.

B3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; individual advocacy; systemic litigation; other systemic advocacy; outreach; training; and video production.

C1. Access to Public Transit

C2. Need: Readily available transportation to facilitate full community inclusion.

C3. Activity Types: Systemic litigation; educating policy makers; other systemic advocacy; public awareness; video production; and resource development.

D1. ADA Curb Cut Compliance

D2. Need: Compliance with physical access requirements of the ADA

D3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; systemic litigation; other systemic advocacy; and outreach.

E1. Olmstead: Right to Live in Community Compliance

E2. Need: Accessible and accommodating communities

E3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; investigations; monitoring; systemic litigation; other systemic advocacy; and video production.

F1. Awareness of Disability Pride, Identity, History and Inclusion

F2. Need: Welcoming communities

F3. Activity Types: Public awareness; video production; and resource development.

G1. Successful Transitions: Prisons, Jails and Treatment Facilities to Community

G2. Need: Adequate preparation and implementation of reentry plans

G3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; individual advocacy; investigations; monitoring; educating policy makers; other systemic advocacy; and video production.

H1. Available and Affordable Housing Options for People with Disabilities

H2. Need: Affordable and available housing particularly in the large cities where housing costs are very high.

H3. Activity Types: Educating policy makers; training; and public awareness.

I1. Abuse and Neglect Response and Effectiveness

I2. Need: An abuse system that thoroughly investigates and responds to allegations of abuse and neglect in a timely and effective manner

I3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; individual advocacy; investigations; monitoring; systemic litigation; educating policy makers; and other systemic advocacy.

J1. Improved Conditions in Residential Facilities

J2. Need: High quality care and conditions

J3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; investigations; monitoring; systemic litigation; other systemic advocacy; training; public awareness; and video production.

K1. Improved conditions in Juvenile Detention Facilities, Jails, Prisons, and the Special Commitment Center

K2. Need: High quality care and conditions

K3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; investigations; monitoring; systemic litigation; other systemic advocacy; outreach; training; public awareness; and video production.

L1. Appropriate Medical and Mental Health Care for Inmates with Disabilities

L2. Need: Adequate, appropriate and timely medical care.

L3.Activity Types: Technical assistance; individual advocacy; investigations; monitoring; systemic litigation; other systemic advocacy; public awareness; video production; and resource development.

M1. Decriminalization of Disability

M2. Need: An end to practices, policies and laws that criminalize disability and enhanced training for first responders to improve their interactions with people with disabilities.

M3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; educating policy makers; other systemic advocacy; and training.

N1. Quality, available advocacy

N2. Need: Quality of advocates serving people with disabilities on matters related to their disabilities

N3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; educating policy makers; other systemic advocacy; and training.

O1. P&A Access Authority

O2. Need: Access to federally mandated protection and advocacy services

03. Activity Types: Technical assistance; systemic litigation; and other systemic advocacy.

P1. Self-Advocacy Support

P2. Need: Responding to the expressed interest of PAIR eligible individuals to be supported in their own advocacy

P3. Activity Types: Technical assistance; educating policy; other systemic advocacy; training; public awareness; and video production.

Q1. Right to Financial Independence

Q2. Need: Public awareness and self-advocacy support for helping people with disabilities achieve financial independence.

Q3. Activity Types: Public awareness; video production; and resource development.

R1. Right to be Rescued in an Emergency

R2. Need: Public awareness and self-advocacy support for ensuring communities are prepared to assist people with disabilities in emergencies.

R3. Activity Types: Public awareness; video production; and resource development.

S1. Rights of People with Invisible Disabilities

S2. Need: Public awareness and self-advocacy support for making known that just because a disability can’t be seen doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

S3. Activity Types: Public awareness; video production; and resource development.

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

2016 Award carry forward $2,088

2017 Award $328,532

$330,620

Actual FY2017

A. Sources of funds received and expended:

Federal (Section 509) $330,620

U.S. Department of Education; Private Donations and Grants as well as other unrestricted DRW reserves $50,232

Total (from all sources) $380,852

B. EXPENDITURES PPR FORMAT

WAGES $215,560

FRINGE BENEFITS $69,396

Contractual Services - Operational $6,843

Contractual Services - Program $18,546

Staff Development w/ travel $5,177

Staff Program Travel $10,549

Board and Advisory Councils $2,456

Communications $3,564

Office Rent $27,340

Postage $1,221

Insurance $2,887

Printing $289

Publications and Dues $2,826

Rental & Repair $2,337

Fixed Assets and Software $7,657

Office Supplies $2,738

Miscellaneous $1,467

Total EXPENDITURES PPR FORMAT $380,852

Budget FY2018

A. Sources of funds received and expended:

Federal (Section 509) $328,532

State $0.00

Program Income $0.00

Private $0.00

All other funds $0.00

Total (from all sources) $328,532

B. EXPENDITURES PPR FORMAT

WAGES $185,947

FRINGE BENEFITS $59,863

Contractual Services - Operational $5,903

Contractual Services - Program $15,999

Staff Development w/ travel $4,466

Staff Program Travel $9,100

Board and Advisory Councils $2,118

Communications $3,074

Office Rent $23,584

Postage $1,053

Insurance $2,490

Printing $250

Publications and Dues $2,437

Rental & Repair $2,016

Fixed Assets and Software $6,605

Office Supplies $2,362

Miscellaneous $1,265

Total EXPENDITURES PPR FORMAT $328,532

C. Description of PAIR Staff

Professional

Full time: FTE 2.810; % of year filled 100%; Person Years 2.810

Part Time: FTE 0.310; % of year filled 100%; Person Years 0.310

Vacant: FTE 0.850

Support: Full time: FTE 0.640; % of year filled 100%; Person Years 0.640

Students: Part Time: FTE 0.240; % of year filled 0.200; Person Years 2.150

D. None.

E. No grievances.

F. Disability Rights Washington and the Client Assistance Program work together to assure that there is not a duplication of effort and that appropriate referrals are made between the two organizations. Because of CAP’s narrow focus it is relatively easy to draw the lines between the programs. DRW generally does not make priorities of issues that are within CAP’s realm so there is not a lot of the common ground to be found. DRW’s role is to make accurate referral to CAP and to let CAP know how people who call them can access our services when appropriate. We are engaged in advocacy related to the issue of subminimum wage and are keeping the CAP aware of our activity in this area.

Coordination of DRW and Long Term Care Ombudsman legislative education activities, sharing information on issues effecting people who live in adult family homes, nursing homes and boarding homes, discuss ways to work together for common goals of improving conditions and enforcement of rights.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByMark G. Stroh
TitleExecutive Director
Signed Date12/27/2017