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

Arizona (Arizona Center for Disability Law) - H240A180003 - FY2018

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameArizona Center for Disability Law
Address5025 E. Washington Street
Address Line 2Suite 202
CityPhoenix
StateArizona
Zip Code85034
E-mail Addresscenter@azdisabilitylaw.org
Website Addresshttp://www.azdisabilitylaw.org
Phone602-274-6287
TTY 602-274-6287
Toll-free Phone800-927-2260
Toll-free TTY800-927-2260
Fax602-274-6779
Name of P&A Executive DirectorJ.J. Rico
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorJessica Jansepar Ross
Person to contact regarding reportMichelle Thomas
Contact Person phone602-274-6287
Ext.229

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 areas39
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas42
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)81

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff11
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)328

1. November 15, 2017. Presentation/Training. Accessing Your Community. Topic included how to file a notice under the new AzDA notification law. Phoenix, Arizona. 40 people attended.

2. November 21, 2017. Presentation/Training. Discussion on the Americans with Disabilities Act. Topic included ADA bills in Arizona and Nationwide. Phoenix, Arizona. 50 people attended.

3. February 16, 2018. Presentation/Training. African American Conference on Disabilities. Topic included ADA, AzDA reasonable accommodations, and enforcement of rights. Phoenix, Arizona. 15 people attended.

4. February 16, 2018. Presentation/Training. African American Conference on Disabilities. Topic included employment protections under the ADA for people living with HIV, Lupus, Autism, and Sickle Cell. Phoenix, Arizona. 21 people attended.

5. March 1, 2018. Presentation/Training. Title I of the ADA. Topics included employment and the ADA. Tucson, Arizona. 30 people attended.

6. March 13, 2018. Presentation/Training. AzDA Training. Topics included ACDL Services. 15 people attended.

7. March 16, 2018. Presentation/Training. Title I of the ADA. Topics included ADA and how it applies to person with disabilities. Phoenix, Arizona. 5 people attended.

8. May 15, 2018. Presentation/Training. Relations Between Phoenix Police Department and the Disability Community. Topics included ACDL information and the interaction between law enforcement and the disability community. 30 people attended.

9. July 11, 2018. Presentation/Training. STAT 101. Topics included the ACDL intake process, most common areas of assistance, and resolution methods. Phoenix, Arizona. 2 people attended.

10. July 26, 2018. Presentation/Training. ADA Celebration. Topics included recent legislative developments impacting people with disabilities. Phoenix, Arizona. 110 people attended.

11. September 8, 2018. Presentation/Training. Latino Summit on Disabilities. Topics included vocational rehabilitation, employment and the ADA. Glendale, Arizona. 10 people attended.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff3
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles20
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website142,893
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated1,520
6. Other (specify separately)4

Narrative

1. October 17, 2017. Booth/Table. Independent Living Resource Fair. Phoenix, Arizona. 75 people attended.

2. January 15, 2018. Booth/Table. African American Conference on Disabilities Outreach. Phoenix, Arizona. 500 people attended.

3. January 18, 2018. Booth Table. Cienega High School, Vail School District. Beyond High School Open House 2018. Tucson, Arizona. 75 people attended.

4. January 28, 2018. Radio Appearance. Radio Phoenix. Phoenix, Arizona. Interview on the African American Conference on Disabilities.

5. March 23, 2018. Booth/Table. Native American Disability Summit. Phoenix, Arizona. 70 people attended.

6. April 22, 2018. Radio Appearance. Radio Phoenix. Phoenix, Arizona. Interview on ACDL Services.

7. July 10, 2018 & July 11, 2018. Booth/Table. Northern Arizona University, Institute for Human Development, Evidence for Success Conference. Yavapai Nation, Arizona. 200 people attended.

8. July 13, 2018. TV/Radio Appearance. Arizona Public Media. Interview regarding Text to 9-1-1 settlement. Tucson, Arizona.

9. July 28, 2018. Booth/Table. Navajo County Special Kids with Special Needs. Snowflake, Arizona. 200 people attended.

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)23
2. Additional individuals served during the year18
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)41
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)1

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 20

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility1
2. Employment5
3. Program access4
4. Housing7
5. Government benefits/services10
6. Transportation4
7. Education1
8. Assistive technology0
9. Voting0
10. Health care4
11. Insurance0
12. Non-government services0
13. Privacy rights0
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse1
16. Neglect4
17. Other0

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor19
2. Other representation found0
3. Individual withdrew complaint1
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 resources1
8. Individual case lacks legal merit0
9. Other0

Please explain

E. Intervention Strategies Used in Serving Individuals

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

1. Technical assistance in self-advocacy5
2. Short-term assistance14
3. Investigation/monitoring0
4. Negotiation1
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution1
6. Administrative hearings1
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 - 40
2. 5 - 222
3. 23 - 5920
4. 60 - 648
5. 65 and over11

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females24
2. Males17

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race7
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American1
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White31
7. Two or more races1
8. Race/ethnicity unknown1

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent29
2. Parental or other family home4
3. Community residential home0
4. Foster care0
5. Nursing home4
6. Public institutional living arrangement0
7. Private institutional living arrangement0
8. Jail/prison/detention center3
9. Homeless1
10. Other living arrangements0
11. Living arrangements not known0

E. Primary Disability of Individuals Served

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

1. Blind/visual impairment4
2. Deaf/hard of hearing9
3. Deaf-blind0
4. Orthopedic impairment11
5. Mental illness0
6. Substance abuse0
7. Mental retardation1
8. Learning disability1
9. Neurological impairment4
10. Respiratory impairment1
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment3
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment4
13. Speech impairment0
14. AIDS/HIV0
15. Traumatic brain injury1
16. Other disability2

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

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

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes389,452

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.

Accessible Curb Cuts in Arizona

ACDL is partnering with the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC) and attorney Mari Mayeda in developing a potential class action cases against two municipalities in Arizona (City 1 and City 2) regarding failure to install and maintain accessible curb cuts on city sidewalks that have been altered since the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Standards (ADAAG) came into effect. For the case against City 1, ACDL identified and retained two class representatives for the potential case, and has also retained a Center for Independent Living as an institutional plaintiff. Counsel sent a demand letter to City 1, proposing structured negotiations to resolve these issues. City 1’s original response to the demand letter was positive, and we worked with co-counsel and the City Attorney to try to resolve issues in the structured negotiations agreement, however discussions stalled and eventually ended. ACDL has attended two stakeholder meeting regarding development of City 1’s ADA Transition Plan, presented by a contractor hired by City 1 to conduct an inventory of street-level assets, determine compliance with the ADA, and prioritize improvement and construction work. At the meetings, counsel learned that City 1 has collected a large amount of data regarding curb ramps, has made initial determinations regarding compliance with the ADA for all intersections in City 1's limits, and stated that it would be finalizing the Transition Plan by December 2017. The timeline for finalization of the ADA Transition Plan has been pushed out to March 2019. ACDL and CREEC have submitted several open records request for information related to the plan development efforts, including the asset inventory and any prioritization efforts City 1 has made so far. Counsel spent several months in communication with City 1 regarding production in response to our open records request; however, City 1 has produced little substantive response, arguing that all of the relevant records are in the custody of the contractor conducting the ADA Transition Plan, and that they therefore are not required to respond to our request. ACDL and CREEC sent City 1 a final letter, pointing out that per the contract itself, City 1 has access to the contractor’s documents in real-time. Counsel received no response, and will discuss next steps during fiscal year 2019.

For the case against City 2, ACDL identified and retained 2 class representatives for the potential case. Counsel sent a demand letter to City 1, proposing structured negotiations to resolve these issues. ACDL and CREEC received a response to the demand letter from City 2, and have determined through subsequent discussion with City 2 that it is not willing to enter into structured negotiations as requested. While City 2 acknowledged they have curb ramp updates they need to perform and provided their proposed installation plan, they wanted 12 years to be able to complete the work. ACDL and CREEC have requested further information from City 2 regarding the curb cuts they claim to have corrected, and those that they acknowledge remain out of compliance. In fiscal year, ACDL, CREEC, and an accessibility expert conducted curb cut surveys in City 2 in October 2016, in further preparation for developing the complaint against City 2. ACDL also conducted a review of curb ramps in November 2016 of intersections that City 2 identified it would be updating to come into compliance, to determine if City 2 in fact had completed that work. CREEC conducted a review of the data we have received regarding segments that have had alterations since 1992, and pre-1992 alterations, and those curb ramps that City 2 has acknowledged they need to install, and plans to install within the next 12 years. CREEC’s review of a subset of this data revealed that there are at least some altered corners with non-compliant ramps that have not been included in City 2’s current installation plan. ACDL and CREEC requested additional records to determine whether City 2 is actually accomplishing the ramp construction pursuant to their own remediation plan. In September 2018, ACDL conducted an in-person compliance review of intersections that were supposed to be remediated pursuant to City 2’s remediation plan, and counsel will evaluate next steps during fiscal year 2019 based on the results of that review.

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts82,224
2. Number of individuals named in class actions2

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.

Text to 911

ACDL has previously reported on its systemic litigation activities to secure Text-to-911 services in several jurisdictions in Maricopa County, Arizona. In 2016, ACDL, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), and Stein & Vargas filed a lawsuit on behalf of Norbert Enos, Julian Singleton, Terry Guy, and NAD. Terry Guy is a person who was hard of hearing and then later deafened. Mr. Enos and Mr. Singleton are people who were born deaf and communicate using American Sign Language (ASL), video relay, email or text message. This lawsuit was the first to challenge a state’s and local government’s failure to provide Text-to-911 as effective communication in emergency communications. Filed in the U.S. District Court for Arizona, the lawsuit sought an injunction that would require Arizona to take the necessary steps to provide effective communication to people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities. At the time of the lawsuit, no Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in Arizona accepted or received texts.

Following the Court’s denial of Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, the parties entered into settlement negotiations. After settlement meetings and a mediation with the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) and the Maricopa Region Defendants, the parties entered into a Case Resolution Stipulation (Stipulation) settling the lawsuit against MAG and dismissing the Maricopa Region Defendants. MAG agreed to pay $150,000 to buy equipment to implement Text-to-911 in all of the Maricopa County PSAPs, provide training to all personnel, develop model policies, test the system before it went live using people with disabilities, conduct a press conference to announce the Text-to-911 Go Live start, and pay a portion of Plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees. MAG also agreed to provide monitoring reports every six months for 18 months after Text-to-911 went live.

The Court approved the Stipulation, resolving the lawsuit against MAG and the Maricopa County Defendants. In April 2018, the Text-to-911 program went live throughout the Maricopa County 911 Region. The settlement with MAG did not resolve the lawsuit against the State of Arizona, so Plaintiffs and the State participated in mediation in May 2018. The parties reached an agreement, requiring the State create a Text-to-911 fund of approximately $1.3 million in order to finance the implementation and five years of operating costs for Text-to-911 in each county in Arizona. The State also agreed to provide a portion of Plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees. The parties entered into another Stipulation, which was approved by the Court in July 2018. The litigation in this matter is now fully resolved through settlement, and the Text-to-911 system is now fully operational in Maricopa County.

As part of the launch of Text-to-911 Services in Maricopa County, ACDL participated in a press conference with several Plaintiffs and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton to announce the availability of Text-to-911 throughout Maricopa County. Immediately after the press conference, ACDL sent letters to the 14 other counties in Arizona requesting meetings to discuss the potential for each county to implement Text-to-911. As of the date of this report, three additional counties in Arizona had received funding for Text-to-911 from the State and were in the process of implementing Text-to-911. ACDL will continue to monitor implementation of Text-to-911 services throughout the state in FY 2019.

BS, DP & Arizona Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Inc. v. TTI, Inc. (dba Discount Cab)

ACDL represents BS, DP and the Arizona Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Inc. (AzPVA). Individual plaintiffs BS and DP and organizational plaintiff AzPVA represent the putative class of people with mobility impairments who use power wheelchairs and cannot board Discount Cab’s taxis without a ramp or lift. TTI and TTE, which own and operate Discount Cab, impose a $10 Per-Trip Van Fee for individuals who request a taxi van rather than a standard taxi. This $10 Per-Trip Van Fee has a discriminatory effect upon the class because the class must always pay the Fee for a taxi ride, while non-disabled individuals incur the Fee in less than 1% of the total rides requested. Additionally, TTI and TTE admit that they instituted the $10 Per Trip Van Fee because of the extra time and complexity in transporting people with disabilities.

On November 19, 2015, when negotiations failed and TTI and TTE refused to stop charging the $10 Per-Trip Van Fee to the putative class, ACDL and co-counsel Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against TTI and TTE. Since ACDL and DRA filed the lawsuit, they have issued written discovery, responded to Defendants’ written discovery requests, deposed numerous corporate designees on a multitude of topics, retained an expert witness in the transportation industry, submitted the expert’s report, deposited Defendants’ expert witness, and defended Plaintiffs’ expert witness at his deposition. The parties concluded fact and expert discovery of the case.

In August 2017, Plaintiffs and Defendants filed Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment. Plaintiffs argued in their Motion that the undisputed facts show that Defendants’ $10 Per-Trip Van Fee is discriminatory under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Arizonans with Disabilities Act because it is a: 1) denial of a reasonable modification of a policy, 2) discriminatory eligibility criteria, and/or 3) an unlawful higher charge to carry equipment for people with disabilities. Defendants argued that, because they purchased used vans that the ADA and AzDA did not require be accessible, then the ADA and AzDA do not impose requirements about whether they can charge extra. Defendants argued that because the $10 Per Trip Van Fee is charged to anyone requesting a van, it is not discriminatory.

Defendants filed two Motions for Summary Judgment without seeking the Court’s permission to file a second Motion for Summary Judgment in violation of the Court’s Scheduling Order limiting each side to one dispositive motion, unless prior permission was granted. In Defendants’ second Motion for Summary Judgment, Defendants asked for a declaration that they may lawfully stop providing accessible taxi services to people with mobility disabilities who require a lift or ramp. On October 13, 2017, ACDL and DRA filed a response in opposition arguing that 1) TTE and TTI’s vague plan to stop providing accessible services does not satisfy the Constitution’s case and controversy standard, 2) the court, having wide discretion to decline to consider declaratory relief, should do so in this case, and 3) TTE and TTI are not entitled to declaratory relief, as a matter of law, because discontinuing services will result in discrimination under the ADA and AzDA because TTI and TTE intend to having accessible vehicles in their business.

Defendants sought retroactive permission to file the second Motion for Summary Judgment. Plaintiffs opposed the motion and argued that the date by which to secure permission to file a second dispositive motion has passed and Defendants do not have good cause, as required by the scheduling order, for failing to have sought permission. Plaintiffs asked that the Court consider the substantive dispositive motion only. The parties completed the briefing of the cross-dispositive motions and Defendants’ motion for retroactive permission to file a second dispositive motion.

On January 26, 2018, Plaintiffs filed a Notice of Supplemental Authority alerting the court to a Federal Transit Administration guidance document that they contend directly supports their position that charging more for a lift equipped vehicle to meet a passenger’s disability-related needs constitutes a prohibited “special charge” under the American with Disabilities Act.

On May 31, 2018, the Court denied Defendants’ motion for retroactive permission to file a second dispositive motion. Instead, the Court struck both Defendants’ pending motions and directed them to file one brief devoid of any new arguments, to which Plaintiffs would respond and Defendants would reply. The parties completed this briefing on July 20, 2018. A schedule for oral argument on the briefing is pending. This matter will continue in fiscal year 2019.

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 1

1. Increase full and equal enjoyment by individuals with disabilities to the services, programs, and facilities open to the public.

2.Description

Ensure that places of public accommodation and public entities provide an equal opportunity for full and equal enjoyment of services, provide necessary auxiliary aids and services, remove physical barriers to accessibility, and make reasonable modifications in policies to avoid discrimination.

3. Objectives/Indicators

1.1 Provide technical assistance or direct representation to challenge discrimination by places of public accommodation and public entities that have refused to modify policies/procedures or refused to provide auxiliary aids or services.

1.2 Provide direct representation in settlement negotiations and/or litigation to ensure access to transportation services.

1.3 Provide direct representation in settlement negotiations and/or litigation to address unlawful discrimination under Title II, Title III and/or the Arizonans with Disabilities Act (AzDA).

1.4 Provide timely and accurate rights information about Title II, Title III and AzDA.

4. Collaborative Effort: Pursuing this priority did not involve collaborative effort with other entities.

5. ACDL handled 22 cases under Priority 1 during FY 2018.

6. The following case demonstrates the impact of the priority.

KS, LB, FJ, BF and KW v. Hospital Corporation

KS is an individual with a mobility impairment and uses a wheelchair and LB, FJ, BF, and KW are individuals who are Deaf and whose primary language is American Sign Language (“ASL”). The Hospital Corporation, denied these individuals equal access to their medical services. ACDL’s investigation of these clients’ claims revealed that the hospital corporation did not provide an accessible patient room to K.S. during his stay and LB, FJ, and KW did not receive effective ASL interpreter services during their hospitalizations. BF is FJ’s companion; she is legally blind and Deaf and ASL is her primary language. BF did not receive effective communication to help her communicate FJ’s need and understand after-hospitalization care. ACDL claims that the hospital corporation has thereby denied them an equal opportunity to benefit from the Hospital’s medical services and its facilities as required by the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a); 28 C.F.R. § 36.201; and Section 504, 29 U.S.C. § 794(a), 45 C.F.R. § 84.4.

ACDL and co-counsel Andrés Gallegos of Chicago-based Robbins, Salomon and Patt, Ltd. entered into a structured negotiation agreement with the hospital corporation. During fiscal year 2018, the parties engaged in the negotiation process. The Hospital Corporation produced documents, which ACDL and Gallegos have reviewed.

Following a review of the hospital corporations’ records, ACDL and Gallegos presented written non-economic settlement terms that would be necessary to settle the suit and held several negotiation sessions to explain and defend the requested relief. ACDL and Gallegos presented a written settlement demand to the Hospital Corporation’s counsel that included the monetary settlement demands for each client, an explanation for the basis of each demand, the total attorneys’ fees and costs incurred to date, and attorneys’ fees by patients’ counsel and time records. The parties are exchanging settlement drafts with intention to settle during fiscal year 2019.

Priority2

1. Ensure comprehensive and appropriate healthcare services for individuals with disabilities and increase access by individuals with disabilities to medical services, programs, and facilities.

2. Description

For many individuals with disabilities, access to healthcare services is often the key to living independently at home and in their communities. Often, healthcare facilities deny necessary healthcare services for individuals with disabilities to be as healthy as possible. Individuals with disabilities encounter physical barriers, denial of reasonable accommodations and lack of auxiliary aids and services to participate fully in healthcare decisions and live as independently as possible.

3. Objectives/Indicators

2.1 Provide technical assistance and/or direct representation for the provision of medically necessary services, reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids and services, and/or removal of physical and architectural barriers at medical treatment facilities, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, and health treatment centers.

2.2 Provide timely and accurate rights information.

4. Collaborative Effort: Pursuing this priority did not involve collaborative effort with other entities.

5. ACDL handled 8 cases under Priority 2 during FY 2018.

6. The following case demonstrates the impact of the priority.

JF v. Mercy Care Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS)

JF is a person with Spina Bifida and a heart condition who is receiving services through Arizona’s Medicaid provider, Mercy Care ALTCS. JF received medically necessary attendant care services. JF’s Mercy Care case manager agreed to keep his attendant care hours at 7 hours per day. However, when JF requested to move to a different staffing agency, the case manager reduced his attendant care hours to only 6 hours per day. The reduction in hours eliminated assistance during his noon meal. The case manager asserted the reduction in hours was because Mercy Care was cutting costs.

JF contacted ACDL for self-advocacy rights information on how to appeal the reduction in hours. With the assistance of ACDL materials, JF filed an appeal to Mercy Care ALTCS and the 7 hours of attendant care were restored. Additionally, the retaliatory behavior of his case manager is still being investigated.

SP v. United Healthcare

SP is a person living with severe orthopedic and physical limitations resulting from spinal stenosis and Erb’s palsy, which limits SP’s ability to use a walker for mobility. SP remained largely immobile for several years until her physician recommended she receive an evaluation for physical therapy; SP was admitted to an in-patient rehabilitation facility shortly thereafter for intensive rehabilitation and physical therapy. SP is a Medicare recipient and has a supplement health insurance plan through United Healthcare.

SP’s daughter contacted ACDL because she was concerned SP’s health plan would not provide her the full amount of rehabilitation services that she was eligible for, both at the facility and in-home. Shortly after calling ACDL, SP’s daughter confirmed that the rehabilitation facility was planning to discharge SP. ACDL Staff Attorney drafted a letter providing SP with technical assistance regarding how to write an effective letter of medical necessity to support the request for additional rehabilitation and physical therapy services, and providing SP information regarding her appeal rights if her request is denied.

Priority 3

1. To reduce the discriminatory barriers which prevent qualified individuals with disabilities from obtaining/maintaining equal opportunity for employment and obtaining reasonable accommodations.

2. Description

Individuals with disabilities continue to face barriers to employment, including but not limited to physical obstacles in the workplace, communication barriers, discriminatory policies and procedures, and failure to provide reasonable accommodations.

3. Objectives/Indicators

3.1 Provide technical assistance and/or direct representation in negotiations or alternative dispute resolution proceedings for cases concerning discriminatory hiring practices, termination or failure to accommodate.

3.2 Provide timely and accurate rights information.

4. Collaborative Effort: Pursuing this priority did not involve collaborative effort with other entities.

5. ACDL handled 6 cases under Priority 3 during FY 2018.

6. The following case demonstrates the impact of the priority.

J.O. v. United States Postal Service

JO is a person who is deaf and was denied a position with the United States Postal Service (USPS) as a result of his failure to register for selective service. JO requested mediation with the USPS Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office, and ACDL represented JO during the July 27, 2016 mediation. Settlement was not reached at that mediation, so ACDL filed a formal complaint of discrimination with the USPS EEO office.

The EEO office was unable to substantiate whether JO was subject to discrimination, so ACDL requested a hearing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC did not respond to ACDL's hearing request, so ACDL Staff Attorney Asim Dietrich contacted the supervisory administrative judge for the Phoenix District of the EEOC on February 22, 2018 and requested that a settlement conference regarding the matter be scheduled.

The settlement conference was held on April 19, 2018, and ACDL represented JO at the settlement conference and throughout negotiations. Although there was no admission of liability or wrongdoing by either party, the parties were able to enter into a satisfactory written settlement agreement. This agreement provides that JO would be hired as City Carrier Assistant in Phoenix, the selective service requirement would be waived for JO for any position within USPS, and that JO could reinstate his discrimination complaint if USPS did not comply with the agreement. Aside from the waiver of the selective service requirement, the settlement agreement requires JO to follow regular USPS procedure.

On July 25, 2018, JO confirmed that he was hired by USPS and began working on July 21, 2018.

KR v. Assisted Living Home

KR is an individual with a disability that impacts memory and information processing. KR contacted ACDL after being terminated from a janitorial position at an assisted living home, seeking to learn more about her employment rights and how to file a charge of discrimination. ACDL Staff Attorney provided client with guidance on filing an administrative complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Arizona Civil Rights Division (ACRD), including what documentation to provide, preparing for her meeting with an investigator, and the strengths of client's case. She also provided client with guidance on requesting reasonable accommodations and resources for identifying reasonable accommodations that may enable her to perform the essential functions of future positions.

Priority 4

1. Promote equal opportunity to housing under the Fair Housing Act for individuals with disabilities.

2. Description

Individuals with disabilities continue to face barriers to equal opportunity in housing. Housing providers discriminate against individuals with disabilities by failing to provide reasonable accommodations to existing policies and practices, failing to design physically accessible housing, denying reasonable modifications to dwellings, and including discriminatory terms and conditions in housing agreements.

3. Objectives/Indicators

4.1 Provide technical assistance or direct representation in matters involving the failure to design physically accessible housing, provide reasonable accommodations, and/or reasonable modifications in housing.

4.2 Provide timely and accurate rights information.

4. Collaborative Effort: Pursuing this priority did not involve collaborative effort with other entities.

5. ACDL handled 7 cases under Priority 4 during FY 2018.

6. The following case demonstrates the impact of the priority.

SV v. HOA

SV is a 60-yearperson living with a spinal cord injury, Brown-Sequard syndrome, neuropathy, and autonomic dysreflexia. SV’s doctors have recommended aqua therapy to help SV maintain muscle mass and range of motion. SV has a private pool at his home, which is in a development in Gilbert managed by the Homeowner’s Association (HOA). As a result of the neuropathy and autonomic dysreflexia SV experiences, he is unable to be in the direct sun or heat for any extended period of time. SV requires a shade structure installed in his backyard, to provide shade for transfers from their wheelchair to the pool lift. There has been a long history of difficulty with the HOA gaining approval of the shade structure.

SV contacted ACDL requesting assistance with obtaining approval for the shade structure. ACDL Staff Attorney advised SV on how best to request a reasonable modification under the Fair Housing Act, or request an accommodation variance from the architectural committee requirements.

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 1

1. Increase full and equal enjoyment by individuals with disabilities to the services, programs, and facilities open to the public.

2. Description

Ensure that places of public accommodation and public entities provide an equal opportunity for full and equal enjoyment of services, provide necessary auxiliary aids and services, remove physical barriers to accessibility, and make reasonable modifications in policies to avoid discrimination.

3. Objectives

1.1 Provide technical assistance or direct representation to challenge discrimination by places of public accommodation and public entities that have refused to modify policies/procedures or refused to provide auxiliary aids or services.

1.2 Provide direct representation in settlement negotiations and/or litigationto ensure access to transportationservices.

1.3 Provide direct representation in settlement negotiations and/or litigation to address unlawful discrimination under Title II, Title III and/or the Arizonans with Disabilities Act(AzDA).

1.4 Provide timely and accurate rights information about Title II, Title IIIand AzDA.

Priority 2

1. Ensure safe, comprehensive, and appropriate healthcare services for individuals with disabilities and increase access by individuals with disabilities to medical services, programs, and facilities.

2. Description

For many individuals with disabilities, access to healthcare services is often the key to living independently at home and in their communities. Often, healthcare facilities deny necessary healthcare services for individuals with disabilities to be as healthy as possible. Individuals with disabilities encounter physical barriers, abuse and neglect, and the denial of reasonable accommodations and auxiliary aids and services needed to participate fully in healthcare decisions and live as independently as possible.

3. Objectives

2.1 Provide technical assistance and/or direct representation to address issues of abuse and neglect, the provision of medically necessary services, reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids and services,and/or removal of physical and architectural barriers at medicaltreatment facilities, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, and health treatment centers. Monitor medical facilities to address concerns of abuse and neglect, as appropriate.

2.2 Provide timely and accurate rightsinformation.

Priority 3

1. To reduce the discriminatory barriers which prevent qualified individuals with disabilities from obtaining/maintaining equal opportunity for employment and obtaining reasonable accommodations.

2. Description

Individuals with disabilities continue to face barriers to employment, including but not limited to, physical obstacles in the workplace, communication barriers, discriminatory policies and procedures, and failure to provide reasonable accommodations.

3. Objectives

3.1 Provide technical assistance and/or direct representation in negotiations or alternative dispute resolution proceedings for cases concerning discriminatory hiring practices, discriminatory termination or failure to accommodate.

3.2 Provide timely and accurate rights information.

Priority 4

1. Promote equal opportunity to housing under the Fair Housing Act for individuals with disabilities.

2. Description

Individuals with disabilities continue to face barriers to equal opportunity in housing. Housing providers discriminate against individuals with disabilities by failing to provide reasonable accommodations to existing policies and practices, failing to design physically accessible housing, denying reasonable modifications to dwellings, and including discriminatory terms and conditions in housing agreements.

3. Objectives

4.1 Provide technical assistance or direct representation in mattersinvolving the failure to design physically accessible housing, provide reasonable accommodations, and/or reasonable modifications inhousing.

4.2 Provide timely and accurate rightsinformation.

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 Received: $313,824 (Awarded)

Federal Funds Expended: $144,280

Interest Income Funds Received: $0

Interest Income Expended: $0

Program Income Funds Received: $31,346

Program Income Expended: $31,346

B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by this report

Federal Grant Income: $276,765

Interest Income: $0

Program Income: $51,062

Other: $0

Total Income: $327,827

Prior Fiscal

Current Fiscal

PAIR PPR for the fiscal year ending 09/30/2018YearYear
Wages/Salaries$ 191,230101,883
Fringe Benefits (FICA, unemployment, etc.)$ 62,10229,388
Materials/supplies$ 9,2573,580
Postage$ 963370
Telephone$ 3,2261,844
Rent/Parking$ 19,73911,193
Travel$ 1,4931,487
Copying$ 157319
Bonding/Insurance$ 1,0192,421
Equipment (rental, purchase)$ 1,819942
Legal Services$ 17,6613,267
Indirect Costs$ -0
Miscellaneous$ 14,25718,931
Total $ 322,923 $ 175,626

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

Type of Position

FTE

% of year filled

Person Years

Professional
Full-time0.92100%0.92
Part-time
Vacant
Total Professional 0.92 100% 0.92
Clerical
Full-time0.37100%0.37
Part-time
Vacant
Total Clerical 0.37 100% 0.37
Total - Professional & Clerical 1.29 100% 1.29

Description of Professional Staff

ACDL attorneys provide direct representation, technical assistance and short-term assistance to PAIR clients during the fiscal year. Staff Attorney Jessica Janespar Ross served as the PAIR program coordinator. The attorneys allocating time to the PAIR program are responsible for determining eligibility for ACDL client services based on the agency’s policies and PAIR priorities. After determining eligibility, the attorneys provide appropriate services including interviewing clients, reviewing records, conducting legal research and representing clients at administrative hearing/mediations and in state and federal courts.

Advocates

ACDL advocates/STAT (short-term assistance team) provide information and referral, intake of new cases in PAIR priority areas and technical assistance and short-term advocacy service to PAIR callers. The PAIR advocates are under the direct supervision of an attorney. Advocacy services include information and referral and direct advocacy services on behalf of the client which may include providing self-advocacy materials.

Other

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Legal Director, Program and Quality Assurance Manager, and Office Manager provided support to the PAIR program during FY 2018. The CFO’s responsibility includes budget preparation, day-to-day accounting duties, and the financial reporting requirements for the PAIR program. The Program and Quality Assurance Manager tracks the PAIR program’s activities, maintains the data collections system, compiles responses from Consumer Satisfaction Surveys, and oversees the preparation of the annual PAIR program performance report. ACDL’s Office Manager facilitates the distribution of support services. The CEO and Legal Director provide direct supervision for the attorneys, advocates, and other staff with time allocated to the PAIR program.

Support Staff

Support staff provide clerical support to the PAIR program, STAT advocates, attorneys and other PAIR program staff.

D. Involvement with Advisory Boards (if any).

The ACDL PAIR program is not involved with any advisory boards.

E. Grievances - 3

Client: DH

Primary Disability: Orthopedic/Physical Impairments

Funding Source: PAIR

Issue: Individual requested ACDL’s assistance for therapeutic groups and a wheelchair in prison.

Service Provided: ACDL provided assistance through resource materials and a letter explaining his options.

Grievance Filed with Chief Executive Officer: Grievance was denied due to limited staff resources. Information was provided filing a grievance to the next level to the Board Executive committee.

Client: NL

Primary Disability: Muscular/Skeletal Impairment

Funding Source: PAIR

Issue: Individual was denied access to a building with her service dog because she was not a resident.

Service Provided: ACDL provided multiple publications to help individual self-advocate.

Grievance Filed with Chief Executive Officer: Grievance was denied due to limited staff resources. Information was provided on filing a grievance to the next level to the Board Executive committee.

Client: JW

Primary Disability: Mental Illness

Funding Source: PAIR

Issue: Individual is requesting representation related to medical issues that were not addressed in prison.

Service Provided: ACDL provided multiple publications to help individual self-advocate.

Grievance Filed with Chief Executive Officer: Grievance was denied due to request being outside of ACDL’s priorities. Information was provided on filing a grievance to the next level to the Board Executive committee.

G. 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.

N/A

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByJ.J. Rico
TitleChief Executive Officer
Signed Date12/14/2018