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

New Jersey (Disability Rights New Jersey) - H240A180031 - FY2018

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameDisability Rights New Jersey
Address210 S. Broad Street 3rd Floor
Address Line 2
CityTrenton
StateNew Jersey
Zip Code08608
E-mail Addressadvocate@drnj.org
Website Addresshttp://www.drnj.org
Phone609-292-9742
TTY 609-633-7106
Toll-free Phone800-922-7233
Toll-free TTY
Fax609-777-0187
Name of P&A Executive DirectorJoseph B. Young
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorMary A. Ciccone
Person to contact regarding reportMary A. Ciccone
Contact Person phone609-292-9742
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 areas527
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas1,078
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)1,605

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff8
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)400

Trainings DRNJ staff conducted 8 education and training programs attended by approximately 400 individuals. These programs included issues such as special education, including transition services; employment; the Americans with Disabilities Act; housing; voting; and health care. Underserved Populations DRNJ staff conducted 7 outreach, public awareness, and training events targeted to underserved communities such as blind, rural, Latino, and other minorities. DRNJ presented information to approximately 40 consumers and family members at an outreach serving the needs of rural Southern New Jersey. DRNJ participated in five events that reached out to the Latino community on topics regarding special education, transition, voting, and DRNJ’s services. Approximately 2,300 consumers and family members attended these events. DRNJ attended one consumer fair for individuals with blindness and provided information regarding assistive technology, special education, voting, and DRNJ’s services. Approximately 40 consumers and family members attended this event.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff2
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles14
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website2,235,465
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated11,534
6. Other (specify separately)7

Narrative

DRNJ and staff were identified in 14 newspapers/magazine/journal articles during the past year. These articles included topics such as Medicaid,voting, rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and accessible parking. DRNJ was listed in 7 multiple social media e-blasts and blogs during the past year. These included topics related to voting, rights for aging individuals, and transition services for individuals receiving special education services.

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)253
2. Additional individuals served during the year320
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)573
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)17

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 195

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility8
2. Employment22
3. Program access1
4. Housing35
5. Government benefits/services12
6. Transportation2
7. Education343
8. Assistive technology7
9. Voting0
10. Health care119
11. Insurance0
12. Non-government services0
13. Privacy rights0
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse3
16. Neglect8
17. Other30

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor264
2. Other representation found4
3. Individual withdrew complaint79
4. Appeals unsuccessful5
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.13
6. PAIR withdrew from case0
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources0
8. Individual case lacks legal merit21
9. Other4

Please explain

1 = not within priority 1 = no contact from client 2 = client would not cooperate

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-advocacy163
2. Short-term assistance90
3. Investigation/monitoring55
4. Negotiation20
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution6
6. Administrative hearings14
7. Litigation (including class actions)38
8. Systemic/policy activities4

Part III. Statistical Information on Individuals Served

A. Age of Individuals Served as of October 1

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. 0 - 412
2. 5 - 22337
3. 23 - 59132
4. 60 - 6431
5. 65 and over61

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females268
2. Males305

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race129
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian14
4. Black or African American120
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White290
7. Two or more races15
8. Race/ethnicity unknown5

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent166
2. Parental or other family home384
3. Community residential home1
4. Foster care1
5. Nursing home15
6. Public institutional living arrangement0
7. Private institutional living arrangement0
8. Jail/prison/detention center5
9. Homeless0
10. Other living arrangements1
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 impairment13
2. Deaf/hard of hearing28
3. Deaf-blind0
4. Orthopedic impairment70
5. Mental illness34
6. Substance abuse1
7. Mental retardation1
8. Learning disability134
9. Neurological impairment169
10. Respiratory impairment5
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment15
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment23
13. Speech impairment12
14. AIDS/HIV3
15. Traumatic brain injury22
16. Other disability43

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

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

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes250,000

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.

Voting DRNJ continued its efforts to conduct systemic activities in the area of voting. Prior to the general election, DRNJ sent out e-blasts to its email list to advise individuals of the voter registration deadline and the deadline to request Vote-By-Mail ballots. DRNJ participated in meetings with the Secretary of State, Director of the Division of Elections, the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey before the primary and the general election to discuss potential voter issues during the elections. DRNJ collaborated with other disability advocacy organizations during the spring and summer of 2018 to raise awareness about voting rights of people with disabilities and to encourage voter registration of people with disabilities during this federal election year. DRNJ also continued to speak to individual groups of people with disabilities about their voting rights. DRNJ sponsored candidate forums in each House Congressional District and in the Senate race in order to have candidates address issues that concern the disability community. The congressional forums were held at independent living centers, and the Senate forum was held at Middlesex Community College. Approximately 200 individuals with disabilities attended the forums. DRNJ continues to distribute its voter guide, Voting: It’s Your Right, to individuals, advocacy groups, and election officials. DRNJ also collaborated with the New Jersey Hospital Association to develop a brochure for hospitals to distribute to patients so that they may be aware of how to vote if suddenly hospitalized before an election. Special Education DRNJ staff monitors state-wide activities by the New Jersey Department of Education by participating in work groups and committees such as the Special Education Practitioner’s Group and the Special Education Funding Coalition. In addition, DRNJ participated in several stakeholder meetings sponsored by the NJ Department of Education to provide comments on the Office of Special Education’s State Performance Plan and guidance regarding the new special education restraint and seclusion law. Community Services New Jersey’s Department of Human Services (DHS) operates several self-directed programs for the delivery of home and community-based supports. Two of these programs, the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) HCBS Self-Directed option and the Division of Disability Services (DDS) Personal Preference Program (PPP), operate under the 1115(a) demonstration Medicaid waiver, which allows Medicaid beneficiaries to directly hire, fire, and manage their own staff persons with funding provided through the waiver. The state contracts with a Fiscal Intermediary (FI) to assist participants of both programs with payroll, tax withholding, and budget management. Since the transition to a new FI (PPL) began in May 2017, DRNJ has received continuous complaints about individual and families’ access to accurate and consistent information about the change, the failure of PPL to pay self-directed employees for all hours worked, and the extensive delays in processing and approving new employees. DRNJ has collected specific complaints from affected individuals, families, service providers, and support coordinators and organized the complaints into spreadsheets that categorized high level complaints and contained contact information for affected people. With permission from the affected individuals, the complaint spreadsheets have been provided to the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, administration at PPL, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Last fiscal year, DRNJ drafted a complaint to CMS and sent two complaint letters to the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services. Initial feedback was that DHS was aware of the complaints and was taking steps to remediate the issues. This year, after the state failed to even make good on their promise to set up a complaint hotline, DRNJ drafted a letter to the State Comptroller requesting an audit, but no response was received. DRNJ also generated a press release and arranged for willing families to speak with the press as needed. In September, the New Jersey Assembly Human Services Committee took testimony from DRNJ’s Executive Director regarding the ongoing problems facing individuals in DDD and PPP. DRNJ's Executive Director, Legal Director, and PADD staff attorney met with the DHS commissioner Carole Johnson and her staff to discuss the ongoing problem. As a result of that meeting, DRNJ has established a direct line of communication to the Department level staff who promised to resolve individual problems while taking action to correct the systemic issues. DRNJ has started forwarding problems to the contact person at DHS and will continue to follow up to determine if additional action needs to be considered. Monitoring of Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) Facilities This fiscal year, DRNJ became aware of several New Jersey facilities that were housing unaccompanied minors and children separated from their parents at the borders who were placed by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). With technical assistance and guidance from the National Disability Rights Network, DRNJ structured a plan for visiting these facilities under the protection and advocacy access authority with the intent of documenting demographic information, identifying any gaps in service, and ensuring the health and safety of children identified with, or suspected of, having a disability. DRNJ plans to determine if the children are receiving educational services, whether the children have received a mental health screening, and whether any children need disability-related accommodations or assistive technology. DRNJ identified multiple partners, including nurses from Children's Specialized Hospital, clinical social workers, and the new pro-bono chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association-NJ Chapter to whom DRNJ can refer individuals in need of assistance. In FY 2018, DRBJ visited two facilities. DRNJ staff identified two individuals who may have an undiagnosed intellectual disability or mental illness. One of the locations DRNJ visited housed mothers ages 13-17 and their children ages 0-3. The mothers had multiple concerns, including lack of fruit and outside time for their young children. As none of these concerns directly related to a disability, DRNJ staff passed them along to the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Transportation DRNJ staff continues to monitor New Jersey Transit’s compliance with the Americans with Disability Act through participation on New Jersey Transit’s ADA advisory committee. In addition, DRNJ staff attended meetings of the NJ Transit Local Programs Support Citizen’s Advisory Committee and the New Jersey Council on Special Transportation during the past year. DRNJ continues to distribute its Consumers Transportation Handbook.

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts200,000
2. Number of individuals named in class actions0

Describe your litigation/class action activities. Explain how individuals with disabilities benefited from your litigation activities. Be sure to include case examples that demonstrate the impact of your litigation.

DRNJ et al. v. New Jersey Department of Education et al. DRNJ, along with the Education Law Center, SPAN, and The ARC of New Jersey, filed suit in federal court against the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) in 2007. The complaint alleged that DOE failed to address the systemic problem that New Jersey children with disabilities are not being educated in the least restrictive environment as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In February 2014, the parties settled the complaint. The settlement agreement required that 77 districts in New Jersey identified by DOE as those most in need of assistance would be subject to additional requirements to improve their implementation of the least restrictive environment mandate. All of the districts completed a needs assessment and underwent an initial monitoring to determine their level of compliance. Approximately 70 of the 77 districts were found to be non-compliant and were required to identify an LRE coordinator for the district. In addition, all of the districts were required to send teams to three DOE trainings specific to LRE each year for the next three years. The first year, the trainings focused on instructional practices, supports and strategies, schoolwide systems of supports, and inclusive policy and practice. The second year, the trainings expanded on the content of the first year and included topics related to LRE decision-making, New Jersey Tiered System of Supports, universal design for learning, and preschool. The third year, DOE shifted the trainings to implementation science to help districts develop a framework that supports sustainable change so that the districts can implement stronger LRE programs and best practices to ensure that students receive the appropriate supports and services in the least restrictive environment.

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.

ISSUE 1 — ABUSE AND NEGLECT GOAL 15-1X ABUSE AND NEGLECT — To ensure that individuals with disabilities living in institutions and the community are free from abuse and neglect. OBJECTIVE 1X.1 To address complaints of abuse and neglect living in institutions or community residential programs in at least one (1) matter. DRNJ assisted a 57-year-old resident of Mercer County who has a visual impairment and is HIV-positive. He had broken a hip approximately 18 months prior to contacting DRNJ and was placed in a nursing home for rehabilitation. He contacted DRNJ because he wanted to be discharged, but the nursing home administrative staff repeatedly told him that he was unable to live in the community. DRNJ staff had a meeting with the individual, the social worker, and the care team at his nursing home. His nursing home stated that his HIV status and his handling of frustrations prevented him from successfully living in the community. DRNJ connected the client with the Department of Human Services’ I Choose Home program to transition him to the community. He subsequently successfully moved into his own apartment. 11 cases were handled under this priority. ISSUE 2 — DISCRIMINATION GOAL 15-2A HOUSING: To ensure that people with disabilities have greater access to accessible, affordable housing and experience decreased housing discrimination. OBJECTIVE 2A.1 To participate in at least one (1) coalition, task force, advisory, or work group seeking to increase accessible, affordable housing. DRNJ is an active participant in the Supportive Housing Association, which is a statewide, nonprofit organization that promotes and maintains a strong supportive housing industry in New Jersey serving persons with special needs through information, training, and collaboration, promoting systems change to provide more flexible funding and increased mainstream housing opportunities, and educating policy makers, elected officials, and the public on the use and benefits of the supportive housing model. OBJECTIVE 2A.2 To pursue individual and/or systems advocacy in at least one (1) housing matter addressing discriminatory barriers to accessible, affordable housing. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 60-year-old resident of Middlesex County who is diagnosed with physical and orthopedic impairments and walks with a cane. She contacted DRNJ because the condominium association recently did some renovations to the common area near her unit. As a result of the renovations, a new step was installed on the path leading to her unit. Because of her mobility impairments, she is unable to use the step. She requested that the association modify the step, but the association refused. DRNJ contacted the individual, and she said that she could use the step if the association installed a handrail. DRNJ then contacted the association and requested that they install a handrail. The association agreed to install a handrail at their expense. The individual was then able to safely ambulate to her unit. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 61-year-old resident of Bergen County who is diagnosed with mental illness, physical and orthopedic impairments, and is obese. She contacted DRNJ because her condominium association stated that she violated pool rules and fined her due to her use of full body swimwear. The association claimed that the pool rules prohibit street clothing in the pool. However, the resident advised that due to her obesity, she wears special swimwear that covers most of her body and is not street clothes. DRNJ contacted the association’s attorney and provided information regarding the resident’s obesity and the specific swimwear that she uses. After speaking with DRNJ, the association agreed to permit her to wear the swimwear and rescinded the fine. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 52-year-old resident of Warren County who has multiple disabilities including PTSD, tachycardia, orthopedic impairments, and respiratory disorders. She contacted DRNJ because her landlord had closed off her indoor access to the laundry room and now required her to walk around the exterior of the building to enter the laundry room. This was too far for her to walk. She requested that she be allowed to install a washer and dryer in her unit. However, the landlord never responded. The landlord also ignored the requests DRNJ made on behalf of the client. DRNJ then filed a complaint with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR), which began an investigation but failed to make a timely determination. Because of DCR’s delay, DRNJ removed the complaint to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). Before the hearing in OAL, the parties agreed to settle the dispute. The resident agreed to move out of the apartment, and the landlord agreed to pay her $20,000 for the failure to accommodate. 38 cases were handled under this priority. GOAL 15-2B EMPLOYMENT: To ensure that people with disabilities experience decreased discrimination and gain increased employment opportunities. OBJECTIVE 2B.1 To address through individual and/or systems advocacy employment discrimination issues or complaints in at least fifteen (15) matters DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 36-year-old resident of Gloucester County who has an autoimmune disorder, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome. She contacted DRNJ because she had been working as an aide for a large health care provider. Her physician advised her that working directly with patients would be detrimental to her due to her autoimmune disorder. She had also been trained as a secretary and requested that she be considered for a secretary position. However, the health care provider refused to provide her with a change of position as an accommodation, but did advise her that she could apply to any open position. Although she applied to many open clerical positions, the health care provider refused to hire her. DRNJ provided her with information about her rights and advised her to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. She filed a complaint with EEOC, and while the investigation was pending, the health care provider offered her a clerical position. 23 cases were handled under this priority. GOAL 15-2C VOTING: To ensure that people with disabilities have the opportunity and can exercise the right to register and vote. OBJECTIVE 2C.1 To participate in at least three (3) activities promoting and protecting the right to vote of people with disabilities. DRNJ operated a hotline for the general election of November 7, 2017. DRNJ received approximately ten calls. DRNJ had several calls involving the voting rights of individuals currently serving in psychiatric hospitals and the provision of a vote-by-mail ballot. Many of the other calls involved issues regarding transportation to the polls, inaccessible polling locations, and individuals seeking information about whether they were registered and the location of their polling place. DRNJ participated in meetings with the Secretary of State, Director of the Division of Elections, the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey before the primary and the general election to discuss potential voter issues during the elections. Prior to the general election, DRNJ sent out e-blasts to its email list to advise individuals of the voter registration deadline and the deadline to request Vote-By-Mail ballots. DRNJ collaborated with other disability advocacy organizations during the spring and summer of 2018 to raise awareness about voting rights of people with disabilities and to encourage voter registration of people with disabilities during this federal election year. DRNJ also continued to speak to individual groups of people with disabilities about their voting rights. DRNJ sponsored candidate forums in each House Congressional District and in the Senate race in order to have candidates address issues that concern the disability community. The congressional forums were held at independent living centers and the Senate forum was held at Middlesex Community College. Approximately 200 individuals with disabilities attended the forums. DRNJ continues to distribute its voter guide, Voting: It’s Your Right, to individuals, advocacy groups and election officials. DRNJ also collaborated with the New Jersey Hospital Association to develop a brochure for hospitals to distribute to patients so that they may be aware of how to vote if suddenly hospitalized before an election. GOAL 15-2D PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS AND GOVERNMENT SERVICES: To ensure that people with disabilities have non-discriminatory access to public accommodations and public entities. OBJECTIVE 2D.1 To undertake individual and/or systems advocacy in at least ten (10) matters addressing discrimination against people with disabilities in public accommodations and services. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 56-year-old resident of Gloucester County who has mobility impairments and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She contacted DRNJ because she wanted her city to approve a reserved parking space for her in front of her house as an accommodation for her disability. Her request was approved by the city’s police chief, but the city council overturned the decision because a city councilman resided on her street and did not want to limit the parking on his street. DRNJ filed a complaint with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) against the city; however, DCR failed to render a timely decision. DRNJ then requested that the case be transferred to the Office of Administrative Law for a hearing. At OAL, DRNJ negotiated a settlement in which the city agreed to provide the resident with the parking space and pay the resident $15,000. However, following the settlement, the city reneged on the settlement and failed to make the final payment of $7,500 claiming that the remaining funds should be offset against a lien that the city had on the property. DRNJ then filed an enforcement action to obtain the full settlement funds as set forth in the agreement. DRNJ prevailed on the enforcement action, and the resident finally obtained the full settlement. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 64-year-old resident of Ocean County who has paraplegia and uses a power wheelchair for mobility. The individual has criminal charges pending, and his attorney contacted DRNJ because the attorney had contacted the state prison in which the client may be placed about the client’s use of a power wheelchair. The prison advised that he could not use a power wheelchair at the facility. DRNJ contacted the warden of the prison and the New Jersey Department of Corrections about the client’s need for power wheelchair and provided medical documentation. Following this intervention, the Department of Corrections confirmed to DRNJ and the client’s private attorney that the individual would be permitted use of his power wheelchair during his incarceration. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 29-year-old resident of Gloucester County who has deafness and communicates through American Sign Language. She contacted DRNJ because she requested sign language interpreters for the open houses and back-to-school nights at her children’s school district, but the district refused to provide the interpreters. DRNJ filed a complaint on her behalf with the Division on Civil Rights against the school district. While DCR was investigating the complaint, the district agreed to provide interpreters for all public school events in the future. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 78-year-old resident of Essex County who has a respiratory disorder and uses an oxygen tank at all times. She contacted DRNJ because the bus driver and program director of the Newark shuttle bus that transported her to the Senior Center advised that the shuttle bus could not transport her any longer due to her oxygen tank. DRNJ contacted the Senior Center and advised them of the problem with the shuttle service. Following DRNJ’s intervention, the Senior Center and the shuttle bus service agreed to allow the resident to continue to bring her oxygen tank on the bus, and she now has transportation to the Senior Center. 38 cases were handled under this priority. ISSUE 3 — COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES GOAL 15-3A COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES AND SUPPORTS — To ensure that people with disabilities have access to appropriate community-based supports and services to promote integration and independence. OBJECTIVE 3A.1 To provide individual and/or systems advocacy in at least three (3) matters promoting or addressing access to community supports and services. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 55-year-old resident of Gloucester County who has a visual impairment, anxiety, depression, and a brain injury resulting from a stroke. The individual contacted DRNJ reporting that despite being made eligible for personal care assistance (PCA) services through her Medicaid managed care organization (MCO), she had not been contacted by the PCA provider, and therefore, was not receiving the services. DRNJ investigated the individual’s complaint and learned that although the MCO had forwarded the PCA authorization to the individual’s chosen provider, the agency had been unable to find aides near the individual’s home willing to work the dates and times requested by the individual. DRNJ then advised the individual to identify an alternate PCA provider to the MCO. The MCO then sent the authorization to the alternate PCA provider, and that agency was able to provide the authorized services. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 65-year-old resident of Passaic County who has been diagnosed with severe deformative rheumatoid arthritis and bronchial asthma. Because of the extent of her medical condition, she has been largely confined to bed for many years. She contacted DRNJ because her doctor and nurse had been seeing her at her home for years, but they recently retired. She needed a new doctor who would be willing to make home visits. However, her MCO had not been able to identify a doctor, and she was afraid that she was at risk of institutionalization. DRNJ contacted the managed long term services and supports (MLTSS) advocate at her MCO to discuss the situation. The MLTSS advocate reviewed the situation and was able to identify a doctor who was willing to make home visits. Systemic Advocacy Regarding PPL New Jersey’s Department of Human Services (DHS) operates several self-directed programs for the delivery of home and community-based supports. Two of these programs, the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) HCBS Self-Directed option and the Division of Disability Services (DDS) Personal Preference Program (PPP), operate under the 1115(a) demonstration Medicaid waiver, which allows Medicaid beneficiaries to directly hire, fire, and manage their own staff persons with funding provided through the waiver. The state contracts with a Fiscal Intermediary (FI) to assist participants of both programs with payroll, tax withholding, and budget management. Since the transition to a new FI (PPL) began in May 2017, DRNJ has received continuous complaints about individual and families’ access to accurate and consistent information about the change, the failure of PPL to pay self-directed employees for all hours worked, and the extensive delays in processing and approving new employees. DRNJ has collected specific complaints from affected individuals, families, service providers, and support coordinators and organized the complaints into spreadsheets that categorized high level complaints and contained contact information for affected people. With permission from the affected individuals, the complaint spreadsheets have been provided to the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, administration at PPL, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Last fiscal year, DRNJ drafted a complaint to CMS and sent two complaint letters to the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services. Initial feedback was that DHS was aware of the complaints and was taking steps to remediate the issues. This year, after the state failed to even make good on their promise to set up a complaint hotline, DRNJ drafted a letter to the State Comptroller requesting an audit, but no response was was received. DRNJ also generated a press release and arranged for willing families to speak with the press as needed. In September, the New Jersey Assembly Human Services Committee took testimony from DRNJ’s Executive Director regarding the ongoing problems facing individuals in DDD and PPP. DRNJ's Executive Director, Legal Director, and PADD staff attorney met with the DHS commissioner and her staff to discuss the ongoing problem. As a result of that meeting, DRNJ has established a direct line of communication to Department-level staff, who promised to resolve individual problems while taking action to correct the systemic issues. DRNJ has started forwarding problems to the contact person at DHS and will continue to follow up to determine if additional action needs to be considered. 14 cases were handled under this priority. GOAL 09-3B - ACCESSIBLE TRANSPORTATION: To improve the availability of accessible transportation for people with disabilities. OBJECTIVE 3B.1 - To participate in at least one (3) individual and systems matters addressing lack of accessible transportation services for people with disabilities. DRNJ staff participates in meetings of the NJ Transit Local Programs Support Citizen’s Advisory Committee and the New Jersey Council on Special Transportation, in order to help improve coordination of transportation for people with disabilities. No individual cases were handled under this priority. ISSUE 4 — HEALTH CARE GOAL 15-4A HEALTH CARE: To ensure that people with disabilities have access to appropriate health care services. OBJECTIVE 4A.1 To provide individual assistance and advocacy in at least five (5) matters promoting access by people with disabilities to health care. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 38-year-old resident of Burlington County who is diagnosed with renal failure. He contacted DRNJ because a side effect of his medication resulted in gynecomastia, painful and enlarged breast tissue, and his doctors agreed that the only treatment was breast reduction surgery. However, his Medicaid managed care organization (MCO) denied the authorization for the surgery. DRNJ agreed to represent the client at a fair hearing. However, prior to the hearing, DRNJ was able to successfully advocate with the MCO, and the MCO agreed to fund the surgery. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 67-year-old resident of Passaic County who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, orthopedic issues, and diabetes. She is able to live independently but needs personal care assistance in order to assist her with activities of daily living. She contacted DRNJ because her MCO notified her that they planned to reduce her personal care assistance hours from 40 hours a week to 21 hours a week. DRNJ represented the client at a fair hearing. During the hearing, the MCO failed to call the nurse who conducted the assessment that recommended the reduction of hours as a witness. Due to the lack of the assessing nurse, the Director of the Department of Medical Assistance and Health Services issued a final agency decision restoring the hours pending a new assessment. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 46-year-old resident of Gloucester County who is diagnosed with albinism, which has caused macular degeneration and low vision in both of her eyes. Her doctors have prescribed color contacts since she was an infant in order to protect her eyes that lack pigment from ultraviolet rays. Despite approval from her Medicaid MCO for years; in 2017, the MCO denied the lenses claiming that they were not medically necessary. DRNJ represented the client at an internal appeal with the MCO, as well as in an external appeal to the Department of Banking and insurance. The external appeal resulted in a favorable finding that the lenses were medically necessary. 121 cases were handled under this priority. GOAL 15-4B INFORMED DECISION MAKING — To ensure that the rights of individuals with disabilities are protected through informed individual and /or surrogate decision making. OBJECTIVE 4B.1 To promote individual rights and informed decision making through at least one (1) educational and systems advocacy activities related to advance directives and end-of-life activities. DRNJ has targeted consumer and family education and training programs centering on end-of-life decision making for individuals with developmental disabilities and advance directives for mental health care. During each of these programs an effort is made to include information on medical advance directives and informed consent applicable to people with disabilities who are not eligible for PADD or PAIMI services and are present, or whose family members are present, at these programs. DRNJ has also collaborated with the Office of the Public Guardian to promote joint decision making for individuals receiving guardianship services. ISSUE — EDUCATION GOAL 15-5A EDUCATION: To promote inclusive education for children with disabilities in least restrictive environments consistent with and appropriate to their needs. OBJECTIVE 5A.1 To engage in individual advocacy in at least fifty (50) matters addressing inclusive education and least restrictive environment. DRNJ intervened on behalf of an eight-year-old resident of Ocean County who has dyslexia, apraxia, and attention deficit disorder. The parents contacted DRNJ because they had concerns that the student was not making progress in reading. DRNJ requested an independent educational evaluation. However, the district failed to respond to DRNJ’s request. DRNJ filed for due process to obtain the evaluation. When the district agreed to provide the evaluation, DRNJ withdrew the request for due process. The district and the parent agreed on an evaluator, but then the district failed to contact the evaluator to schedule the evaluation. As a result, the evaluation was not completed. DRNJ filed for due process a second time to get the evaluation, and the district finally took steps to schedule the evaluation. Following completion of the evaluation, the parties scheduled an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting to discuss the evaluation. At the IEP meeting, the district agreed to provide the student with a reading specialist to address her deficits in reading. DRNJ intervened on behalf of an 11-year-old resident of Burlington County who has attention deficit disorder and a learning disability. The student found a BB gun on his way to school. He picked it up and put it in his backpack. At the end of the school day, he was outside of the school, and it fell out. Another student saw the BB gun and reported it to the principal, who brought the student back into the school and suspended the student indefinitely. DRNJ agreed to file a petition of appeal and emergent relief to have the student returned to school. Prior to the emergent relief hearing, the parent and the district agreed to send the student to an out-of-district school for the remainder of the school year and then meet during the summer to determine whether the student can return to the school district. DRNJ assisted a 17-year-old student residing in Ocean County with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and emotional and behavioral issues. His mother contacted DRNJ because the student was suspended from school due to his behavioral issues, and the district was not allowing him to return. She was also concerned that the district had provided the student with online instruction rather than home instruction, and it was not working. DRNJ reviewed the student’s records and discussed with his mother the student’s legal rights and the educational options. The mother requested an IEP meeting and was able to successfully advocate for an appropriate therapeutic out-of-district placement for her son, and the student is now receiving appropriate educational services. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 16-year-old resident of Camden County who has a seizure disorder. His parents contacted DRNJ because he was attending a county vocational school, but the school changed the IEP to return the student to his home district due to absenteeism related to his seizure disorder. DRNJ agreed to attend mediation with the parents. However, before mediation could occur, the vocational school requested a meeting with the parents. At the meeting, the school and parent drafted a new IEP, which would allow the student to remain at the school and exempt him from attendance requirements. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a seven-year-old resident of Atlantic County who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, behavioral problems, and toilet training issues. His parent contacted DRNJ because although the student had an IEP while in kindergarten, the school district declassified him at the end of school year. When the student entered first grade, the school had him in a general education classroom with no services and supports. After only a few days, the district placed him out of school and on home instruction for the remainder of the school year. In addition, the district provided only five hours a week of home instruction. DRNJ filed for mediation challenging the district’s decisions. At mediation the district agreed to provide 20 hours of one-to-one tutoring to be provided during the summer and an additional 100 hours of compensatory education to be used during the next school year. In addition, the district agreed to conduct new evaluations and hold an eligibility meeting. Once the evaluations were completed, the district agreed to classify the student and provide him with an IEP that included appropriate supports and services. 176 individual cases were handled under this priority. 15-5A.2 - To monitor settlement of litigation addressing the disproportionate number of children with a diagnosis of mental illness or severe emotional disorder eligible for special education services who receive educational services in segregated placements. Special Education Litigation Settlement DRNJ, along with the Education Law Center, SPAN, and The ARC of New Jersey, filed suit in federal court against the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) in 2007. The complaint alleged that DOE failed to address the systemic problem that New Jersey children with disabilities are not being educated in the least restrictive environment as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In February 2014, the parties settled the complaint. The settlement agreement required that 77 districts in New Jersey identified by DOE as those most in need of assistance would be subject to additional requirements to improve their implementation of the least restrictive environment mandate. All of the districts completed a needs assessment and underwent an initial monitoring to determine their level of compliance. Approximately 70 of the 77 districts were found to be non-compliant and were required to identify an LRE coordinator for the district. In addition, all of the districts were required to send teams to three DOE trainings specific to LRE each year for the next three years. The first year, the trainings focused on instructional practices, supports and strategies, schoolwide systems of supports, and inclusive policy and practice. The second year, the trainings expanded on the content of the first year and included topics related to LRE decision-making, New Jersey Tiered System of Supports, universal design for learning, and preschool. The third year, DOE shifted the trainings to implementation science to help districts develop a framework that supports sustainable change so that the districts can implement stronger LRE programs and best practices to ensure that students receive the appropriate supports and services in the least restrictive environment. DRNJ staff monitors state-wide activities by the New Jersey Department of Education by participating in work groups and committees such as the Special Education Practitioner’s Group and the Special Education Funding Coalition. In addition, DRNJ participated in several stakeholder meetings sponsored by the Department of Education to provide comments on the Office of Special Education’s State Performance Plan and guidance regarding the new special education restraint and seclusion law. Monitoring of Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) facilities This fiscal year, DRNJ became aware of several New Jersey facilities that were housing unaccompanied minors and children separated from their parents at the borders who were placed by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). With technical assistance and guidance from the National Disability Rights Network, DRNJ structured a plan for visiting these facilities under the protection and advocacy access authority with the intent of documenting demographic information, identifying any gaps in service, and ensuring the health and safety of children identified with, or suspected of, having a disability. DRNJ plans to determine if the children are receiving educational services, whether the children have received a mental health screening, and whether any children need disability-related accommodations or assistive technology. DRNJ identified multiple partners, including nurses from Children's Specialized Hospital, clinical social workers, and the new pro-bono chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association-NJ Chapter to whom DRNJ can refer individuals in need of assistance. In FY 2018, DRBJ visited two facilities. DRNJ staff identified two individuals who may have an undiagnosed intellectual disability or mental illness. One of the locations DRNJ visited housed mothers ages 13-17 and their children ages 0-3. The mothers had multiple concerns, including lack of fruit and outside time for their young children. As none of these concerns directly related to a disability, DRNJ staff passed them along to the Office of Refugee Resettlement. DRNJ plans to continue monitoring activities next fiscal year with additional visits to the adult immigration centers and jails. GOAL 15—5C — BULLYING: To ensure that children with disabilities do not experience bullying in educational settings. OBJECTIVE 5C.1 To provide individual advocacy and representation in at least one (1) matter addressing bullying. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 13-year-old resident of Gloucester County who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiance disorder. The student’s parent contacted DRNJ because the student had been harassed and bullied at school to the extent that she was having suicidal ideations. The parent and filed Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) complaints with the district, but the district had not responded. DRNJ investigated her complaints and assisted her with completing an HIB complaint. Following the submission of this complaint, the district substantiated her complaints of bullying, and the school took action against the bullying student. 10 individual cases were handled under this priority. 15-5D - SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE: To ensure that children with disabilities receive appropriate services and supports to oppose policies and practices that promote the school-to-prison pipeline. 15-5D.1 - To collaborate with community and advocacy organizations, and court personnel, including local public defenders, to ensure that children with disabilities receive appropriate services and supports to oppose policies and practices that promote the school-to-prison pipeline. DRNJ is a member of the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Reform Coalition (NJJJRC). The NJJJRC is a collaborative organization which is led by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. Other member agencies include the New Jersey ACLU, the Rutgers Law School Justice Clinic, the New Jersey Public Defenders Office, the pro bono division of Lowenstein Sandler, the New Jersey Parents Caucus, and numerous others. The NJJJRC’s goal is to raise awareness in communities about issues in the juvenile justice system such as the school to prison pipeline, conditions of confinement, and alternatives to incarceration, and engage in dialogue with policymakers to enact change. DRNJ has signed up to be a part of two working groups (the school to prison pipeline group and the conditions of confinement group) and over the next several months will meet with the other members of the working group to fully outline the issues in these areas and formulate plans to address them. No individual cases were handled under this priority. ISSUE 6 — ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY GOAL 15-6D ADVOCACY - To increase access to and funding for assistive technology through individual advocacy and legal representation. OBJECTIVE 6D.1 Provide short term assistance, advocacy services, or legal representation to at least ten (10) people with disabilities to assist them to obtain access to or funding for assistive technology. DRNJ assisted a five-year-old resident of Monmouth County who is non-verbal with intellectual disabilities. Her mother contacted DRNJ for assistance in obtaining an augmentative communication device. DRNJ provided advice regarding obtaining an assistive technology evaluation from the school district in order to determine what device would be appropriate for her communication needs. The school agreed to the assistive technology evaluation. After the evaluation was completed, the school agreed to provide the student with an iPad with the communication software. DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 24-year-old resident of Essex County who has spina bifida and scoliosis. The individual contacted DRNJ because she uses a wheelchair for mobility, but her current wheelchair is not functional and attempts at repairs were not successful. The client obtained a prescription for a new wheelchair, but her insurance provider had not authorized the device. DRNJ investigated the complaint and discovered that insurance provider had authorized the new wheelchair, but the delay was due to a vendor contractual dispute. DRNJ advocated with the insurance company’s durable medical equipment coordinator for an expedited delivery. The insurance company and vendor were able to resolve the dispute, and the individual received her new wheelchair. 7 individual cases were handled under this priority. ISSUE 8 — CONSUMER EDUCATION AND TRAINING GOAL 15-8A UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS: To increase services to historically underserved urban, rural and minority persons with disabilities. OBJECTIVE 8A.1: OUTREACH - Conduct at least six outreach/education presentations on disability rights, issues and services in underserved communities. DRNJ staff conducted seven outreach, public awareness, and training events targeted to underserved communities such as blind, rural, Latino, and other minorities. DRNJ presented information to approximately 40 consumers and family members at an outreach serving the needs of rural Southern New Jersey. DRNJ participated in five events that reached out to the Latino community on topics regarding special education, transition, voting, and DRNJ’s services. Approximately 2,300 consumers and family members attended these events. DRNJ attended one consumer fair for individuals with blindness and provided information regarding assistive technology, special education, voting, and DRNJ’s services. Approximately 40 consumers and family members attended this event. OBJECTIVE 8A.3: WORKGROUP ON CULTURAL DIVERSITY: Participate on the State’s Workgroup on Cultural Diversity. DRNJ continues to be an active participant on the Statewide Network for Cultural Competence, a network of about 30 core public and private agencies and programs whose mission is to increase the ability of all agencies and programs to serve and meet the needs of people with disabilities from culturally diverse populations. The Network, which meets quarterly, has an annual conference, and sponsors webinars, also regularly updates its internet-based resource guide that identifies service providers, what they do, who they serve, and their capacity to serve people with disabilities. The Network also now serves as a clearinghouse for training and information. GOAL 15-8B EDUCATION AND TRAINING: To promote the education of consumers and their families regarding disability rights and issues. OBJECTIVE 8B.1: Conduct at least five (5) consumer education and training programs on disability rights issues and services for people with disabilities including rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. DRNJ staff conducted eight education and training programs attended by approximately 400 individuals. These programs included issues such as special education, including transition services; employment; the Americans with Disabilities Act; housing; voting; and health care.

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.

ISSUE 1 — ABUSE AND NEGLECT GOAL 15-1X ABUSE AND NEGLECT — To ensure that individuals with disabilities living in institutions and the community are free from abuse and neglect. OBJECTIVE 1X.1 To address complaints of abuse and neglect living in institutions or community residential programs in at least one (1) matter. ISSUE 2 — DISCRIMINATION GOAL 15-2A HOUSING: To ensure that people with disabilities have greater access to accessible, affordable housing and experience decreased housing discrimination. OBJECTIVE 2A.1 To participate in at least one (1) coalition, task force, advisory, or work group seeking to increase accessible, affordable housing. OBJECTIVE 2A.2 To pursue individual and/or systems advocacy in at least one (1) housing matter addressing discriminatory barriers to accessible, affordable housing. GOAL 15-2B EMPLOYMENT: To ensure that people with disabilities experience decreased discrimination and gain increased employment opportunities. OBJECTIVE 2B.1 To address through individual and/or systems advocacy employment discrimination issues or complaints in at least fifteen (15) matters GOAL 15-2C VOTING: To ensure that people with disabilities have the opportunity and can exercise the right to register and vote. OBJECTIVE 2C.1 To participate in at least three (3) activities promoting and protecting the right to vote of people with disabilities. GOAL 15-2D PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS AND GOVERNMENT SERVICES: To ensure that people with disabilities have non-discriminatory access to public accommodations and public entities. OBJECTIVE 2D.1 To undertake individual and/or systems advocacy in at least ten (10) matters addressing discrimination against people with disabilities in public accommodations and services. ISSUE 3 — COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES GOAL 15-3A COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES AND SUPPORTS — To ensure that people with disabilities have access to appropriate community-based supports and services to promote integration and independence. OBJECTIVE 3A.1 To provide individual and/or systems advocacy in at least three (3) matters promoting or addressing access to community supports and services. GOAL 09-3B - ACCESSIBLE TRANSPORTATION: to improve the availability of accessible transportation for people with disabilities. OBJECTIVE 3B.1 - To participate in at least one (3) individual and systems matters addressing lack of accessible transportation services for people with disabilities. ISSUE 4 — HEALTH CARE GOAL 15-4A HEALTH CARE: To ensure that people with disabilities have access to appropriate health care services. OBJECTIVE 4A.1 To provide individual assistance and advocacy in at least ten (10) matters promoting access by people with disabilities to health care. GOAL 15-4B INFORMED DECISION MAKING — To ensure that the rights of individuals with disabilities are protected through informed individual and /or surrogate decision making. OBJECTIVE 4B.1 To promote individual rights and informed decision making through at least one (1) educational and systems advocacy activities related to advance directives and end-of-life activities. ISSUE — EDUCATION GOAL 15-5A EDUCATION: To promote inclusive education for children with disabilities in least restrictive environments consistent with and appropriate to their needs. OBJECTIVE 5A.1 To engage in individual advocacy in at least fifty (50) matters addressing inclusive education and least restrictive environment. OBJECTIVE 5A.2 - To monitor settlement of litigation addressing the disproportionate number of children with a diagnosis of mental illness or severe emotional disorder eligible for special education services who receive educational services in segregated placements. GOAL 15—5C — BULLYING: To ensure that children with disabilities do not experience bullying in educational settings. OBJECTIVE 5C.1 To provide individual advocacy and representation in at least one (1) matter addressing bullying. GOAL 15-5D - SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE: To ensure that children with disabilities receive appropriate services and supports to oppose policies and practices that promote the school-to-prison pipeline. OBJECTIVE 5D.1 - To collaborate with community and advocacy organizations, and court personnel, including local public defenders, to ensure that children with disabilities receive appropriate services and supports to oppose policies and practices that promote the school-to-prison pipeline. ISSUE 6 — ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY GOAL 15-6D ADVOCACY - To increase access to and funding for assistive technology through individual advocacy and legal representation. OBJECTIVE 6D.1 Provide short term assistance, advocacy services, or legal representation to at least ten (10) people with disabilities to assist them to obtain access to or funding for assistive technology. ISSUE 8 — CONSUMER EDUCATION AND TRAINING GOAL 15-8A UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS: To increase services to historically underserved urban, rural and minority persons with disabilities. OBJECTIVE 8A.1: OUTREACH - Conduct at least six outreach/education presentations on disability rights, issues and services in underserved communities. OBJECTIVE 8A.3: WORKGROUP ON CULTURAL DIVERSITY: Participate on the State’s Workgroup on Cultural Diversity. GOAL 15-8B EDUCATION AND TRAINING: To promote the education of consumers and their families regarding disability rights and issues. OBJECTIVE 8B.1: Conduct at least five (5) consumer education and training programs on disability rights issues and services for people with disabilities including rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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. In addition to funds received from the U.S. Department of Education, DRNJ received a $32,200 grant from New Jersey’s Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts program for legal and advocacy assistance in special education cases for individuals with low income. A portion of this grant is allocated to the PAIR program. B. Budget for Fiscal Year Covered by this Report The following are the actual expenses for FY 2018. Payroll $ 315,918 Fringe Benefits $ 100,701 Advertising $ 39 Advisory and Governing Board $ 281 Audit $ 5,373 Auto $ 0 Conference $ 0 Consultants - Administration $ 28,469 Consultants — Programs $ 4,706 Copier $ 2,205 Equipment/Furniture $ 870 Insurance $ 3,110 Interns $ 612 Legal $ 0 Library $ 7,124 Litigation $ 14,468 Membership $ 3,157 MIS $ 6,649 Office Expense $ 2,663 Office Supplies $ 1,198 Other Personnel $ 0 Outreach $ 117 Postage $ 254 Printing $ 17 Staff Training $ 2,027 Subcontractors $ 10,000 Telephone $ 0 Travel $ 2,214 Volunteers $ 0 Total $ 512,172 Notes: The State of New Jersey provides in-kind support for rent, telephone, and postage. Because of rounding the total may not equal the sum of the budget lines. C. Description of PAIR staff (duties and person-years) During the year 2018, the PAIR program had the following staff assigned directly to program activities, a Managing Attorney responsible for coordinating the activities of the program and supervising the staff; six Staff Attorneys assigned part-time to the PAIR program; two Staff Advocates assigned part-time, and one secretary assigned part-time. For FY 2018, the PAIR program received approximately 3.2 person-years of staff time. D. Involvement with Advisory Boards The PAIR program is responsible to DRNJ’s Governing Board, which meets four times a year. DRNJ staff invites the Governing Board to participate in consumer-driven activities such as our priority review focus groups and identification of barriers to accessibility throughout the state. E. Grievances Filed Under the Grievance Procedure All individuals requesting assistance from DRNJ are sent a copy of the grievance policy and procedure along with the letter from the Intake Coordinator advising whether their request for assistance has been assigned to a member of the staff for further action. Individuals are also advised of their right to appeal whenever a decision is made to close a file or not file an appeal contrary to the individual’s wishes. Any disputes that cannot be resolved by the program’s managing attorney are reviewed by the Director of Administration in consultation with the Executive Director. An individual may appeal a decision of the Executive Director to a committee of the Board of Directors. DRNJ processed 4 formal appeals during FY 2018, and two were for clients of the PAIR program. F. Coordination with the Client Assistance Program (CAP) and the State Long-Term Care Program The Client Assistance Program (CAP) is one of nine programs within Disability Rights New Jersey. The two programs share many activities including outreach, technical assistance and training, staff development, information and referral, and cooperation, consultation, and collaboration in the handling of cases. Shared priorities include the transition of students in special education, quality assurance, public awareness, and information and referral. Cooperation between the PAIR Program and the Long Term Care Ombudsman has included collaboration on many substantive issues and interaction between the Ombudsman and DRNJ staff. Referrals are made between the two agencies.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByJoseph B. Young
TitleExecutive Director
Signed Date12/20/2018