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

Minnesota (MINNESOTA DISABILITY LAW CENTER) - H240A180024 - FY2018

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameMid-Minnesota Legal Assistance
Address430 First Ave. N.
Address Line 2Suite 300
CityMinneapolis
StateMinnesota
Zip Code55401
E-mail Addressmndlc@mylegalaid.org
Website Addresshttp://www.mndlc.org
Phone6123321441
TTY 6123324668
Toll-free Phone8002924150
Toll-free TTY8002924150
Fax6123345785
Name of P&A Executive DirectorDrew Schaffer
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorPamela Hoopes
Person to contact regarding reportMargaret Kienitz
Contact Person phone6127463764
Ext.

Part I. Non-Case Services

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

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Individuals receiving I&R within PAIR priority areas322
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas0
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)322

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff14
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)458

PAIR staff delivered 14 presentations that provided 458 participants with information on an array of advocacy, service, and rights-related topics. These presentations focused on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); health care issues impacting persons with disabilities; the Minnesota Disability Law Center’s (MDLC) advocacy role in the community; special education topics; and on voting rights issues. Participants at MDLC training sessions included persons with disabilities and their family members, social service and other public agency staff, legal aid attorneys, pro bono attorneys, school staff attorneys, public defenders, judges and referees, college educators, health care providers, non-profit and for-profit business owners, and staff from other disability advocacy organizations. In addition to these 14 presentations, PAIR advocates and attorneys staffed tables at and otherwise participated in four outreach and resource events that provided information to 1,330 community members.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff1
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles0
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website66
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated0
6. Other (specify separately)0

Narrative

The Minnesota Disability Law Center (MDLC) Legal Director appeared on a local radio program discussing the services provided by MDLC. Highlighted in this conversation was work completed under the PAIR program.

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)118
2. Additional individuals served during the year221
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)339
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)22

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 172

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility5
2. Employment4
3. Program access16
4. Housing9
5. Government benefits/services30
6. Transportation9
7. Education41
8. Assistive technology2
9. Voting0
10. Health care50
11. Insurance2
12. Non-government services101
13. Privacy rights2
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse1
16. Neglect4
17. Other63

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor89
2. Other representation found2
3. Individual withdrew complaint5
4. Appeals unsuccessful5
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 merit23
9. Other15

Please explain

1 -- conflict of interest

11 -- client not responsive to agency

3 -- outside of agency priorities

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-advocacy0
2. Short-term assistance73
3. Investigation/monitoring7
4. Negotiation30
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution0
6. Administrative hearings21
7. Litigation (including class actions)10
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 - 47
2. 5 - 2268
3. 23 - 59203
4. 60 - 6425
5. 65 and over36

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females133
2. Males206

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race10
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native1
3. Asian14
4. Black or African American69
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White232
7. Two or more races13
8. Race/ethnicity unknown0

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent177
2. Parental or other family home78
3. Community residential home18
4. Foster care0
5. Nursing home13
6. Public institutional living arrangement2
7. Private institutional living arrangement2
8. Jail/prison/detention center48
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 impairment27
2. Deaf/hard of hearing86
3. Deaf-blind1
4. Orthopedic impairment33
5. Mental illness1
6. Substance abuse2
7. Mental retardation0
8. Learning disability26
9. Neurological impairment31
10. Respiratory impairment2
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment5
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment6
13. Speech impairment2
14. AIDS/HIV1
15. Traumatic brain injury2
16. Other disability114

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 changes25,400

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

1. CFSS Implementation Council

Community First Services and Supports (CFSS) is a new self-directed home and community-based service being developed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. CFSS is a service for people living in the community who need help with day-to-day activities.

When CFSS is implemented, it will replace the personal care assistance (PCA) service and the Consumer Support Grant. CFSS is similar to PCA in many ways, but it will offer participants more control, flexibility, responsibility, and choice in how they use the service. CFSS is a program under the Medical Assistance, waiver and Alternative Care programs.

CFSS is being designed by staff at DHS with input and advice from an Implementation and Development Council. PAIR staff is on the implementation council. The council will also provide input to DHS on the implementation of CFSS. No implementation date has been announced.

There are currently 43,000 individuals currently receiving PCA services in Minnesota. Over half of those individuals are PAIR eligible clients.

2. West and South St. Paul Housing with Services Ordinances.

The cites of West and South St. Paul each passed housing ordinances that restricted where individuals with disabilities could live. Specifically, the ordinances limited the number of “housing with services” establishments that could operate in the cites, as well as the locations of where they could operate. The city of West St. Paul also made an effort to revoke the rental license of one establishment that served many individuals with disabilities.

MDLC joined a collation of advocacy organizations, including the ARC and other legal aid groups, to help combat the ordinances. MDLC attended community meetings and city council meetings, where affected individuals spoke out against the restrictive and discriminatory ordinances. The city of West. St. Paul then reversed its decision to revoke the license of the specific building that was targeted.

While the ordinances still remain on the books, MDLC has not had any reports of actual enforcement of the ordinances. MDLC will continue to monitor the ordiances, and will potentially represent clients who are affected by them in the future.

MDLC estimates that at least 2400 people were affected by MDLC’s work, based on a combined total population estimate of 40,000 for the two cities, and a 6% estimate of the number of people with physical disabilities.

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts16,200
2. Number of individuals named in class actions200

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.

PAIR’s litigation activities fell within two of MDLC’s priority areas during this report period: Priority 3 (Community-Based Supports, Services, and Health Care) and Priority 4 (Accessibility and Discrimination). An example from each of these priority areas is included below.

Priority 3 Litigation Example:

MDLC was successful in obtaining class certification on behalf of individuals with disabilities who are unnecessarily segregated in corporate foster care facilities. The federal district court issued a decision in Murphy et. al. v. Piper et. al, which certified a class action for individuals with disabilities who want to live near family and friends in the housing of their choice, with appropriate services and supports. The class is made of at least 800 individuals with various disabilities, at least 200 of whom are PAIR eligible individuals. The class action challenges the statewide practice of overreliance on corporate foster care settings as housing for PAIR eligible individuals and those with other disabilities, despite their desire and ability to live in more integrated settings. The class action also challenges the state’s failure to provide these individuals with information and access to reasonable and individualized alternatives. The federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to consider the Department of Human Services’ request to reverse the class certification order, so the case is proceeding through discovery and trial, if necessary, in 2019. In failing to provide citizens with disabilities the opportunity to live in individualized settings, the plaintiffs assert that Minnesota has not been consistent with federal law. The plaintiffs’ goal is for the state to put a system in place that allows individuals with disabilities to live where they want, like everyone else, and in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. MDLC has enlisted two private law firms to co-counsel with the P&A on this class action pro bono.

Priority 4 Litigation Example:

The MDLC represented a man who is deaf who was excluded from serving on a state court grand jury. We helped the man bring a lawsuit in Federal Court, which resulted in the Minnesota Court system revising its grand jury selection procedure to prevent other courts from excluding people who are deaf from grand jury service. When our client received a summons from the Court system to serve on a grand jury, he returned the questionnaire and informed the Court he is deaf. He also informed the Court he would need an ASL interpreter. The Court responded by excusing the client from grand jury service, even though he had not asked to be excused. The MDLC assisted the client by helping him file a federal court lawsuit against the court system. We then negotiated a settlement that changed the procedures of the Court system for selecting grand jurors. The Judicial Branch revised the juror questionnaire it uses to screen persons who receive a summons for grand jury service, and it agreed to train judges and court administration staff about the correct procedures for reviewing juror questionnaires and selecting people for the pool of possible grand jurors. We also negotiated a monetary settlement with the State which included payment to the client as compensation for the emotional harm he experienced because he was excluded from grand jury service. The settlement also included payment to the MDLC to settle claims for statutory attorney’s fees.

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.

Note: MDLC’s priorities are organized by issue rather than by program. This section includes all of MDLC’s priority issues that designate PAIR as a possible advocacy source.

This report highlights PAIR work under Priority III (Community-Based Services, Supports, and Health Care) and Priority IV (Accessibility and Discrimination).

PRIORITY 1: Eliminate Abuse and Neglect

For individuals with disabilities: MDLC helps clients whose health or safety is at risk because of abuse, such as physical assault, sexual assault, chemical restraint, (e,g., the wrong type/dose of psychotropic medications), restraint or seclusion, and neglect, such as failure to provide adequate medical care, required supervision, or other necessities. MDLC also helps clients who are financially exploited and those whose residential/treatment providers are not providing or deny them access to critical care or supports.

For groups of people with disabilities: MDLC staff conduct monitoring visits to facilities where persons with disabilities reside, learn or receive services. MDLC conducts investigations when it has cause to believe that abuse or neglect has occurred in a program or facility serving a group of individuals with disabilities.

Funding: MDLC’s services under this priority are primarily funded by PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, and PATBI.

PRIORITY 2: Increase Integration and Decrease Discrimination

For individuals with disabilities:

Increase Integration: MDLC advocates for individuals in four key areas: special education, housing, employment, and other community activities:

Special Education: MDLC helps children and youth who are excluded from day care, pre-school, or K-12 schools because of conduct that is related to their disabilities. MDLC advocates for young clients to obtain positive behavior interventions instead of being inappropriately disciplined. MDLC may also help its young clients to receive access to special education and related services in the least restrictive setting.

Housing: MDLC advocates for people with disabilities to obtain or keep the housing of their choice in the most integrated setting that meets their needs.

Employment: MDLC helps clients get full services from Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS), State Services from the Blind, and Independent Living Centers. MDLC works to ensure that special education students get the services they need to transition from school to employment. MDLC helps Social Security Disability Beneficiaries (i.e. people who receive SSI and/or SSDI) who are engaged in return to work efforts or in securing, maintaining or regaining employment and who need consultation or legal advocacy.

Other Community Activities: MDLC advocates for people with disabilities to obtain or retain access to activities in the community of their choice in the most integrated setting that meets their needs.

Decrease Discrimination: MDLC works to protect clients’ civil rights, including voting rights, and to eliminate discrimination in the four areas listed above (special education, housing, employment, and other community activities) as well as access to:

For groups of people with disabilities: MDLC works on solutions to problems that affect many persons with disabilities through group advocacy such as class actions, policy work, and other systemic efforts. MDLC also conducts outreach about the rights of persons with disabilities to participate in the electoral (voting) process.

Funding: MDLC’s services under this priority are primarily funded by PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, PAAT PATBI, PAVA, PABSS and CAP.

Case Examples:

PRIORITY 3: Increase Access to Appropriate Services

MDLC’s advocacy focuses on:

For individuals with disabilities: MDLC helps persons with disabilities access and maintain services and supports in the following five areas: special education, housing, employment, other community activities, and health care.

Special Education: MDLC helps clients to obtain sufficient supports in their individualized education plans, behavior plans and overall school experience that they need to fully access educational, developmental, extracurricular, school-to-work transition, and social opportunities in the most integrated setting.

Housing: MDLC advocates for people with disabilities to obtain or keep the housing of their choice in the most integrated setting that meets their needs.

Employment: MDLC helps clients who are recipients of Social Security Benefits, Rehabilitation Services, State Services for the Blind and/or clients of Independent Living Centers and who need legal advocacy to receive the full array of available services to achieve their vocational or independent living goals. MDLC also assists school age and young adults who are served within state, school, and countyservice systems to fully participate in independent or supported employment to the maximum extent feasible.

Other Community Activities: MDLC advocates for people with disabilities to obtain or retain access to activities in the community of their choice in the most integrated setting that meets their needs.

Health care: MDLC helps clients to get the services they need to live in the community, move from restrictive to integrated settings, obtain access to health care programs, and get Assistive Technology.

For groups of people with disabilities: MDLC works on solutions to problems that affect many persons with disabilities through group advocacy such as class actions, policy work, and other systemic efforts.

Funding: MDLC’s services under this priority are primarily funded by PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, PAAT, PATBI, PABSS and CAP.

Case Examples:

PRIORITY 4: Increase Awareness of MDLC as a Statewide Resource

MDLC strives to provide high quality advocacy services to persons with disabilities across the state of Minnesota. General outreach and targeted in-reach are needed to ensure that people with disabilities, their families and service providers are aware of MDLC’s assistance.

For individuals with disabilities and their families, service providers and community groups, MDLC will:

Funding: MDLC’s services under this priority are funded by all of MDLC’s federal and non-federal funding sources.

B. Priorities and Objectives for the Current Fiscal Year:

PRIORITY 1: Eliminate Abuse and Neglect

For individuals with disabilities: MDLC helps clients whose health or safety is at risk because of abuse, such as physical assault, sexual assault, chemical restraint (e,g., the wrong type/dose of psychotropic medications), restraint or seclusion, and neglect, such as failure to provide adequate medical care, required supervision, or other necessities. MDLC assists clients who are financially exploited and those whose residential/treatment providers are not providing or are denying them access to critical care or supports.

For groups of people with disabilities: MDLC conducts monitoring visits to facilities where persons with disabilities reside, learn, or receive services. MDLC conducts investigations when it has cause to believe that abuse or neglect has occurred in a program or facility serving a group of individuals with disabilities.

Funding: MDLC’s services under this priority are primarily funded by PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, and PATBI.

PRIORITY 2: Increase Integration and Decrease Discrimination

Increase integration for individuals with disabilities:

MDLC advocates for individuals in four key areas: special education, housing, employment, and other community activities.

• • Special Education: MDLC helps children and youth who are excluded from day care, pre-school, or K-12 schools because of conduct that is related to their disabilities. MDLC advocates for young clients to obtain positive behavior interventions instead of being inappropriately disciplined. MDLC also helps children get access to special education and related services in the least restrictive setting.

Housing: MDLC advocates for people with disabilities to obtain or keep the housing of their choice in the most integrated setting that meets their needs.

Employment: MDLC helps clients get full services from Vocational Rehabilitation Services, State Services for the Blind, and Independent Living Centers. MDLC works to ensure that students with disabilities get the services they need to transition from school to employment. MDLC helps Social Security Disability beneficiaries (i.e., people who receive SSI and/or SSDI) who are engaged in return to work efforts or in securing, maintaining, or regaining employment and who need consultation or legal advocacy.

Other Community Activities: MDLC advocates for people with disabilities to obtain or retain access to activities in the community of their choice in the most integrated setting that meets their needs.

Decrease discrimination for individuals with disabilities:

MDLC works to protect clients’ civil rights, including voting rights, and to eliminate discrimination in the four areas listed above (special education, housing, employment, and other community activities) as well as access to:

• public services (services provided by local, county, or state government, including correctional settings); and

• public accommodations (businesses serving the public).

For groups of people with disabilities:

MDLC works on solutions to problems that affect many persons with disabilities through group advocacy such as class actions, policy work, and other systemic efforts. MDLC also conducts outreach about the rights of persons with disabilities to participate in the electoral (voting) process.

Funding: MDLC’s services under this priority are primarily funded by PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, PAAT, PATBI, PAVA, PABSS, and CAP.

PRIORITY 3: Increase Access to Appropriate Services

MDLC’s advocacy focuses on:

• maximizing clients’ choice among appropriate services and supports;

• increasing opportunities for clients to self-direct their services and supports;

• improving provider capacity to meet clients’ needs;

• maintaining and increasing funding available to meet clients’ services and support needs; and

• improving physical access and removing barriers to community services.

For individuals with disabilities:

MDLC helps persons with disabilities access and maintain services and supports in the following five areas: special education, housing, employment, other community activities, and health care.

Special Education: MDLC helps clients to obtain sufficient supports and accommodations in their school plans, specialized behavior plans, and overall school experiences that they need to fully access educational, developmental, extracurricular, school-to-work transition, and social opportunities in the most integrated setting.

Housing: MDLC advocates for people with disabilities to obtain or keep the housing of their choice in the most integrated setting that meets their needs.

Employment: MDLC helps clients who are recipients of Social Security benefits, Rehabilitation Services, State Services for the Blind, and/or clients of Independent Living Centers and who need legal advocacy to receive the full array of available services to achieve their vocational or independent living goals. MDLC also assists school age and young adults who are served within state, school, and county service systems to fully participate in independent or supported employment to the maximum extent feasible.

Other Community Activities: MDLC advocates for people with disabilities to obtain or retain access to activities in the community of their choice in the most integrated setting that meets their needs.

Health Care: MDLC helps clients to get the services they need to live in the community, move from restrictive to integrated settings, obtain access to health care programs, and get Assistive Technology.

For groups of people with disabilities:

MDLC works on solutions to problems that affect many persons with disabilities through group advocacy such as class actions, policy work, and other systemic efforts.

Funding: MDLC’s services under this priority are primarily funded by PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, PAAT, PATBI, PABSS, and CAP.

PRIORITY 4: Increase Awareness of MDLC as a Statewide Resource

MDLC strives to provide high quality advocacy services to persons with disabilities across the state of Minnesota. General outreach and targeted in-reach are needed to ensure that people with disabilities, their families, and service providers are aware of MDLC’s assistance.

For individuals with disabilities and their families, service providers, and community groups, MDLC will:

• conduct targeted in-reach to historically underserved communities, including communities of color;

• develop partnerships and relationships with key contacts and service providers in these communities;

• participate in outreach events sponsored by other local, regional, and statewide disability groups and other partners; and

• deliver presentations on disability law issues to self-advocacy and community groups.

Funding: MDLC’s services under this priority are funded by all of MDLC’s federal and non-federal funding sources.

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.

2019 Statement of Priorities

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid’s (MMLA) Minnesota Disability Law Center (MDLC) provides free legal advice and representation for persons with disabilities in Minnesota. The mission of MDLC is to advance the dignity, self-determination, and equality of individuals with disabilities.

MMLA is designated, through executive order, as the Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System for Minnesotans with disabilities. MMLA performs this function through its statewide MDLC. The P&A has the authority to protect and advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities and to investigate incidents of abuse and neglect. MDLC recognizes the importance of taking action on the special concerns of persons of color, persons with multiple disabilities, and those with special language or communication concerns.

PROGRAM FUNDING: MDLC’s advocacy is primarily funded by nine federally-mandated grants. Please see this document’s last page for a list of these federal grants and their acronyms.

MDLC also receives funds from the Greater Twin Cities United Way, the Fund for the Legal Aid Society, the Legal Services Advisory Committee, individual donations,

and several small grants.

MDLC SERVICES: MDLC’s advocacy includes:

providing individual and group legal advocacy for persons with disabilities;

conducting monitoring visits and investigations to ensure safety and appropriate services;

providing outreach to individuals with disabilities, their families, their advocates, and their service providers;

delivering training and information on legal rights and self-advocacy; and

educating policy makers on issues that affect people with disabilities.

MDLC STRATEGIC GOALS LINKED TO PRIORITIES

To guide its work, MDLC has adopted a five-year Strategic Plan that has four broad goals. Please contact MDLC for a copy of the plan.

MDLC’s four strategic goals are to:

1. Eliminate Abuse and Neglect;

2. Increase Integration and Decrease Discrimination;

3. Increase Access to Appropriate Services; and

4. Increase Statewide Awareness of MDLC as an Advocacy Resource.

Every year, MDLC identifies important issues under the four strategic goals that affect people with disabilities. These important issues then become the priorities (focus areas) of MDLC’s annual work.

CRITERIA FOR CASE SELECTION

With our limited resources, MDLC may not be able to serve everyone who contacts us on issues that fall within our priority areas. To decide which cases to take, MDLC uses the following general selection criteria:

1. Is the individual we would represent eligible for services under federal and other funding source program requirements?

2. Does the issue in the matter arise because of the person’s disability?

3. Is there a legal conflict with another case or client that would prevent MMLA from representing the person?

4. Is there an adequate basis in fact and law to proceed with the case?

5. Are resources other than MDLC available to assist the person or to address the issue, including the person’s ability to pay a private attorney for representation and the availability of private,publicly-funded, pro bono attorneys or other advocacy organizations knowledgeable in the area?

6. Would our advocacy likely result in services being provided in a more integrated setting or manner?

7. Would our involvement significantly increase the possibility that other persons with disabilities and their families would obtain comparable benefits?

8. Is the person with a disability also subject to barriers as a member of another protected class that impair the person’s ability to receive disability-related services or other legal representation?

9. Can the case be handled given the existing workload of MDLC staff and available resources?

CASES MDLC CANNOT ACCEPT

Due to program restrictions and limited funds, MDLC cannot address all legal issues that affect individuals with disabilities. The areas in which we do not generally provide direct representation include, but are not limited to: criminal defense, juvenile delinquency, guardianship, civil commitment, child protection, parental fee disputes, Social Security Disability appeals, and family law.

MDLC also does not generally litigate employment discrimination claims or handle private insurance matters, particularly those governed by the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

However, despite these limits, information and referral services are offered to everyone who contacts MDLC for help with a disability-related issue. People with a problem that is not included within MDLC’s priorities may receive self-help advice and materials.

MDLC PRIORITIES FOR 2018

The order in which the following four priorities are listed does not imply higher or lower ranking.

PRIORITY 1: Eliminate Abuse and Neglect

Funding: MDLC’s services under this priority are primarily funded by PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, PATBI, and SPSSB.

PRIORITY 2: Increase Integration and Decrease Discrimination

Increase integration for individuals with disabilities:

MDLC advocates for individuals in four key areas: special education, housing, employment, and other community activities.

Decrease discrimination for individuals with disabilities:

MDLC works to protect clients’ civil rights, including voting rights, and to eliminate discrimination in the four areas listed above (special education, housing, employment, and other community activities) as well as access to:

For groups of people with disabilities:

MDLC works on solutions to problems that affect many persons with disabilities through group advocacy such as class actions, policy work, and other systemic efforts. MDLC also conducts outreach about the rights of persons with disabilities to participate in the electoral (voting) process.

Funding: MDLC’s services under this priority are primarily funded by PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, PAAT, PATBI, PAVA, PABSS, and CAP.

PRIORITY 3: Increase Access to Appropriate Services

MDLC’s advocacy focuses on:

For individuals with disabilities:

MDLC helps persons with disabilities access and maintain services and supports in the following five areas: special education, housing, employment, other community activities, and health care.

For groups of people with disabilities:

MDLC works on solutions to problems that affect many persons with disabilities through group advocacy such as class actions, policy work, and other systemic efforts.

Funding: MDLC’s services under this priority are primarily funded by PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, PAAT, PATBI, PABSS, and CAP.

PRIORITY 4: Increase Awareness of MDLC as a Statewide Resource

MDLC strives to provide high quality advocacy services to persons with disabilities across the state of Minnesota. General outreach and targeted in-reach are needed to ensure that people with disabilities, their families, and service providers are aware of MDLC’s assistance.

For individuals with disabilities and their families, service providers, and community groups, MDLC will:

Funding: MDLC’s services under this priority are funded by all of MDLC’s federal and non-federal funding sources.

Specific Focus of MDLC’s PADD and PAIMI Advocacy

MDLC’s PADD and PAIMI funds are used for the specific activities below that fit with MDLC’s four main priorities and with the funders’ requirements.

MDLC uses PADD funds to serve people with both intellectual and developmental disabilities. PADD funds are used to:

1. Conduct monitoring visits to increase safety; identify, and/or address instances of abuse or neglect of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD); and promote opportunities for community inclusion.

2. Provide individual advocacy to people with I/DD to enforce their rights, especially in cases involving serious abuse or neglect, isolation, inadequate behavior support services, use of restraints, and other rights restrictions.

3. Promote integration and inclusion by providing advocacy that enables persons with I/DD to move from unduly restrictive residential settings to more integrated and individualized settings or to gain, retain, or increase the array of health care and supports they receive to live as independently as possible in the community.

4. Eliminate discrimination in community settings against people with I/DD. Conduct outreach to and deliver presentations that provide people with I/DD, their family members, advocates, and service providers with information about available community-based services and supports and information about the rights of people with I/DD, including to people with I/DD from diverse communities, their family members, and providers that serve populations of color.

5. Improve the service delivery systems for persons with I/DD by engaging in public policy or systemic advocacy efforts to preserve, maintain, or expand access to health care and community-based services and supports.

6. Increase rights protections for persons with I/DD, including those under guardianship, to make informed choices about their living situations, treatment, and services.

7. Reduce and remove barriers that persons with I/DD encounter in accessing government benefits, services, and public accommodations in the most integrated settings, consistent with their needs and preferences.

8. Increase opportunities for transition-aged students and adults served by state and county services systems for people with I/DD to obtain appropriate and inclusive day and employment supports, including maximizing competitive and integrated employment, consistent with their needs and preferences.

9. Reduce abuse such as physical or sexual assault and use of inappropriate aversive or deprivation procedures including restraint or seclusion, inappropriate placements in more restrictive settings, and inappropriate discipline procedures (including long-term removals, expulsion and exclusion proceedings) for disability-related conduct in education and juvenile justice settings, by increasing access to positive behavior interventions and supports and accommodations in the least restrictive environment through individual case advocacy, group/systemic approaches, state task forces, and/or educating policy makers.

10. Improve access to school-age transition services, early childhood education, and appropriate evaluations and services in order to live, learn, work, and play as independently as possible and ensure that services, opportunities, facilities, and supports are available in a manner consistent with non-discrimination principles in education and juvenile justice settings through individual case advocacy, group/systemic approaches, state task forces, and/or educating policy makers.

11. Conduct outreach and deliver presentations that provide students with I/DD, their family members, school staff, and providers with information about their rights under state and federal special education laws, including to students with I/DD from diverse communities, their family members, or to organizations that serve populations of color.

MDLC uses PAIMI funds to serve people with mental illness. PAIMI funds are used to:

1. Provide PAIMI-eligible individuals with information and referral, technical assistance, short-term assistance, or representation in cases involving:

abuse or neglect;

self-determination;

the right to reside in the most integrated community setting;

discrimination and rights violations; and

the rights of students to receive educational services consistent with state and federal requirements, including ensuring they are not excluded, restrained, or secluded for conduct that is directly related to their mental illness.

2. Advocate for the reduction of the inappropriate use of restraints and seclusion used against PAIMI-eligible individuals;

3. Monitor and investigate facilities that serve persons with mental illness;

4. Pursue public policy or systemic advocacy focused on health care coverage, community-based services and supports, and the special education needs of PAIMI-eligible K-12 students; and

5. Deliver presentations to increase awareness of the rights of individuals with mental illness.

Federal Grants and Acronyms: MDLC’s advocacy is primarily funded by these nine federally-mandated grants.

Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries (SPSSB): Advocacy for persons receiving social security benefits through oversight activities and monitoring visits to facilities that act as representative beneficiaries.

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

Source of funding and expenditures

Federal funds: $470,711 received; $470,711 spent

State funds: $0.00 received; $0.00 spent

Program income: $22,000 received; $22,000 spent

Other sources: $0.00 received; $0.00 spent

Total: $492,711

B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by the report

Wages & Salaries $279,094

Fringe Benefits $99,590

Materials/Supplies $2,320

Postage $942

Telephone $2,755

Rent $25,037

Travel $1,500

Copying $764

Bonding/Insurance $1,242

Equip Rent/Purch $3,278

Legal Services/research $24,349

Indirect Costs $46,437

Miscellaneous/training $5,403

Total Costs: $492,711

Projection of current fiscal year budget

Wages & Salaries $213,605

Fringe Benefits $87,941

Materials/Supplies $1,962

Postage $796

Telephone $2,330

Rent $22,169

Travel $1,500

Copying $646

Bonding/Insurance $1,051

Equip Rent/Purch $2,773

Legal Services/research $23,784

Indirect Costs$37,783

Miscellaneous/training $4,659

Total Costs: $400,999

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

Full-time case handlers (professional): 3.77 FTEs worked 100% of the year (3.77 person years), 0.1 FTE worked 29% of the year (.03 person years)

Full-time clerical: 0.19 FTEs worked 100% of the year (0.19 person years)

D. Involvement with advisory boards

A PAIR program staff attorney was appointed to and serves as the Disability Representative on a new Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) “Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council” at the MSBA that was established to promote diversity efforts in the Minnesota State Bar Association and in the legal community. In addition, MDLC’s Legal Director serves on the board of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL), a nonprofit funded by the Minnesota Judicial Branch to provide education and services to individuals in the legal profession who are in treatment for alcoholism and chemical dependency.

E. Grievances filed: Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance/MDLC has a written grievance policy. One (1) PAIR clients filed a grievance during this report period.

F. Coordination with the CAP and the State long-term care program:

Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance is the designated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System for Minnesota and fulfills these functions through its statewide project, the Minnesota Disability Law Center. In addition to PAIR, the agency also receives federal funds for the Client Assistance Program (CAP) and all other federal P&A program funding. Collaboration and coordination of CAP and other P&A services occurs among MDLC’s case handlers on a daily basis, at weekly MDLC work team meetings, and at quarterly staff meetings. PAIR staff have access to the expertise and experience of staff working in all other MDLC programs.

Project staff will use other available resources whenever possible, so as to maximize their own resources. As previously mentioned, staff have a close working knowledge of the CAP, PADD and PAIMI systems and will refer persons to those projects whenever appropriate. PAIR staff also confer with other non-P&A Legal Aid co-workers on housing, immigration, benefits, and family law matters, when appropriate.

MDLC has excellent contacts and working relationships (but no formal agreements) with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman’s office. This includes mutual consultation regarding advocacy issues, and referrals of clients between our organizations, when appropriate.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByDrew Schaffer
TitleExecutive Director
Signed Date12/21/2018