|Name||Disability Rights New York|
|Address Line 2||Suite 450|
|Name of P&A Executive Director||Timothy A. Clune|
|Name of PAIR Director/Coordinator||Marc Fliedner|
|Person to contact regarding report||Marc Fliedner|
|Contact Person phone||(518)5124850|
Multiple responses are not permitted.
|1. Individuals receiving I&R within PAIR priority areas||115|
|2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas||519|
|3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)||634|
|1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff||16|
|2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)||915|
DRNY regularly provides outreach and training to individuals with disabilities, families and providers throughout New York State. This fiscal year, DRNY trained approximately 915 individuals. In all presentations, DRNY informed participants of the history and mission of the Protection & Advocacy System in New York State and the availability of DRNY to provide technical assistance to people with disabilities.
Title II Trainings
DRNY conducted a series of trainings, including a Continuing Legal Education presentation and a presentation to officials from the City of Rochester, regarding the protections from discrimination that are provided to individuals with disabilities by state and local entities in provision of services, programs and local government entities.
Training of Health Care Professionals
DRNY conducted two formal trainings, one in Albany and one in New York County, to a diverse audience of health care providers regarding their obligation to provide American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters to individuals who request them.
Addressing Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking of People With Disabilities
DRNY presented at the National Disability Rights Network annual conference regarding effective investigation of reports of sexual abuse and/or human trafficking of people with disabilities.
DRNY provided a Continuing Legal Education presentation sponsored by the New York State Bar Association in Albany and New York County regarding reasonable accommodations in employment settings.
Reasonable Accommodations in Higher Education
DRNY trained staff in several state colleges about reasonable accommodations in higher education.
Access to Equal and Integrated Public Education
DRNY presented at meetings of a number of public school parent organizations and advocacy-based public interest groups regarding the rights of individuals with disabilities to access an equal and integrated education in public schools.
Special Education Training and Leadership
DRNY spearheads management and development of the New York Special Education Task Force to reduce special education conflicts and service requests to improve the educational outcomes and opportunities for students with disabilities. The Task Force is dedicated to : (1) improving communication between diverse stakeholders; (2) educating stakeholders on critical issues impacting students with disabilities; and (3) reducing conflict between parents of students with disabilities and schools.
DRNY provided training to attorneys, educators and consumers regarding the use of assistive technology to enhance student performance in special education, and the rights of people with disabilities to assistance technology.
Training on Transition of Youth Into Higher Education and Employment
DRNY presented at the National Disability Rights Network annual conference regarding strategies to successfully transition young people from high school into the work force and institutions of higher education.
Training for Court Personnel on Accommodation of People With Disabilities
DRNY presented at a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Court Access for People With Disabilities for the New York State Unified Court System regarding selection and utilization of technology to accommodate people with disabilities who are required to appear in public courtrooms.
Training of Service Industry Personnel on Legal Rights of People With Disabilities
DRNY trained a large group of New York City service industry management and staff regarding the legal rights of people to utilize service animals and forms of assistive technology in bars and restaurants.
“Know Your Rights” Training to Traditionally Underserved Populations
DRNY conducted training at a New York City symposium advising LGBTQI individuals of color regarding the rights of individuals with disabilities to non-discriminatory treatment under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Protecting the Rights of People With Disabilities in Jails and Prisons
DRNY trained attorneys on the rights of prisoners with disabilities under federal, state and city disability laws.
Nursing Home Advocacy
In conjunction with a newly-created Nursing Home Task Force, DRNY developed a “Know Your Rights” brochure to advise nursing home residents and their families of the rights of residents to enjoy unrestricted visitation with their family and friends.
DRNY regularly engages in outreach activities. Outreach is always used to inform the public about DRNY services and provide general information about the legal rights of people with disabilities.
This fiscal year, DRNY targeted educational outreach to a wide variety of disability rights organizations, including New York Legal Assistance Group, Disability Rights Advocates, Legal Services of Central New York, Harlem Independent Living Center, Barrier Free Living, Brooklyn Center for the Independence of the Disabled, RCIL Independent Living Center, Barrier Free Justice, Inclusion Works, The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, the Veterans Administration of New York, the Office of Court Administration, IncludeNYC, Mission Transition of Central New York, the Onondaga County Disability Mentor Day Committee, VOCAL New York, the New York City Mayor’s Office for People With Disabilities and The New York City Commission on Human Rights.
DRNY conducted nursing home monitoring visits, educating staff and residents at Niagara Rehabilitation Center, in follow-up to DRNY’s 2017 comprehensive investigation into deficiencies at the facility, and at Emerald South Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center.
DRNY engaged in educational outreach by developing educational reports with Channel 7 Eyewitness News New York City and mic.com.
During monitoring visits, DRNY also educated staff and residents at Green Haven and Fishkill state correctional facilities.
|1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff||5|
|2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles||17|
|3. PSAs/videos aired||21|
|4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website||221,569|
|5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated||15,750|
|6. Other (specify separately)||0|
DRNY's various advocacy efforts, including trainings and litigation updates, were covered by the following news outlets during the fiscal year: TImes Union; Philly.com; PR Newsire; New York Times; The Intelligencer; Spotlight; Open Minds; WAMC; WBFO; The Oneonta Daily STar; Adirondack Daily; Mic.com; Hudson Vallet 360; Sing Tao; workers.org; WIVB; ABC7; American Bazaar; Insider NJ; and Monadnock Ledger Transcript.
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)||107|
|2. Additional individuals served during the year||286|
|3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)||393|
|4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)||54|
Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 139
|1. Architectural accessibility||34|
|3. Program access||17|
|5. Government benefits/services||26|
|8. Assistive technology||17|
|10. Health care||51|
|12. Non-government services||11|
|13. Privacy rights||1|
|14. Access to records||1|
|1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor||92|
|2. Other representation found||10|
|3. Individual withdrew complaint||54|
|4. Appeals unsuccessful||6|
|5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.||10|
|6. PAIR withdrew from case||7|
|7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources||5|
|8. Individual case lacks legal merit||53|
A review of he matters identified as "other" establishes that the large majority were closed because the client failed to respond to communications attempted after the initial Intake communication. Other reasons included: transfer to another Program within DRNYl unique conflict of interest; matter did not, upon Staff Attorney review, fit within PAIR Priorities.
List the highest level of intervention used by PAIR prior to closing each case file.
|1. Technical assistance in self-advocacy||67|
|2. Short-term assistance||133|
|5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution||5|
|6. Administrative hearings||5|
|7. Litigation (including class actions)||4|
|8. Systemic/policy activities||4|
|1. 0 - 4||0|
|2. 5 - 22||26|
|3. 23 - 59||250|
|4. 60 - 64||40|
|5. 65 and over||77|
Multiple responses not permitted.
|1. Hispanic/Latino of any race||35|
|2. American Indian or Alaskan Native||2|
|4. Black or African American||84|
|5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander||0|
|7. Two or more races||18|
|8. Race/ethnicity unknown||21|
Multiple responses not permitted.
|2. Parental or other family home||25|
|3. Community residential home||3|
|4. Foster care||0|
|5. Nursing home||30|
|6. Public institutional living arrangement||0|
|7. Private institutional living arrangement||0|
|8. Jail/prison/detention center||58|
|10. Other living arrangements||2|
|11. Living arrangements not known||1|
Identify the individual's primary disability, namely the one directly related to the issues/complaints
|1. Blind/visual impairment||12|
|2. Deaf/hard of hearing||31|
|4. Orthopedic impairment||111|
|5. Mental illness||14|
|6. Substance abuse||0|
|7. Mental retardation||3|
|8. Learning disability||13|
|9. Neurological impairment||39|
|10. Respiratory impairment||14|
|11. Heart/other circulatory impairment||16|
|12. Muscular/skeletal impairment||77|
|13. Speech impairment||4|
|15. Traumatic brain injury||18|
|16. Other disability||28|
|1. Number of policies/practices changed as a result of non-litigation systemic activities||6|
|2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes||12,500|
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.
A. Systemic Activities Availability of Large Print Documents Generated by New York State Government Offices DRNY staff conducted a phone survey of approximately 100 New York State government offices, inquiring as to which offices make large print versions of their published documents available for individuals with vision impairments. Staff thereafter communicated directly with General Counsel for each office, explaining the parameters of the survey, reporting the findings, outlining the responsibilities of each office under Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act, and requesting that each office respond with either a report documenting their compliant large print policy or description of a plan to implement such policy. In December, 2017, the Office of the Attorney General responded to DRNY’s communication with news of several valuable policy changes. The Office changed its website to prominently state that all resource publications are now available in large print format upon request. Additionally, the website now provides a direct link to the public information staff who are responsible for providing copies of documents in specialized formats and answering additional questions relating to such requests. Five days later, DRNY received a response from the Governor’s Office. We were told that DRNY’s actions prompted the Governor’s office to ensure that all publications are made available in large print. DRNY later received a memo from the Governor’s Office to General Counsel for each state agency reminding them of their Title II responsibilities regarding large print. The Governor’s Office pledged to continue to work on the issue, and to address any deficiencies in policy that DRNY uncovers in the future. DRNY is now working with the NYS Division of Military and Naval Affairs, who is partnering with the Office of Temporary Disability Assistance to establish a protocol for implementation of a compliant large print policy. Use of Interpreters in Healthcare Services Based upon data collected, DRNY identified barriers to individuals accessing sign language interpretation in healthcare settings. DRNY developed an educational campaign to target healthcare providers. DRNY created and disseminated fact sheets about the rights of patients and providers and then conducted trainings across the state for providers and groups who advocate for deaf and hearing impaired individuals. These projects were accomplished in part with PAIR funding and in part with a grant acquired from the New York Bar Foundation. Service Animal Campaign DRNY continued its work educating business owners about the law and taking appropriate action when individuals with disabilities utilize their service animals in public accommodations. This year, DRNY teamed with New York City’s historic Stonewall Inn, the Guide Dog Foundation and America's Vet Dogs to host a Nightlife Community Service Animal and Disability Access Training. The event was developed after an incident at Stonewall Inn where a doorman refused entry to a visually impaired patron and her guide dog. It became immediately apparent that further training was necessary as the guide dog handler attempted to explain that the establishment was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). After apologizing to the customer and the community, Stonewall Inn management requested the accessibility training session for its own staff and staff from other area bars and restaurants. The event became the prototype for a new DRNY training program now available to groups of neighborhood service providers throughout the state and is being promoted in New York City via neighborhoods BIDs (Business Improvement Districts). Advocacy for Nursing Home Residents and Their Families Through analysis of collected data, DRNY identified a number of systemic issues impacting on the quality of life of nursing home residents. Issues identified include the presumption that elderly residents will require long-term care, even when these individuals have been transported from a hospital to receive short-term rehabilitation. Where such a presumption is made, and the facility prematurely applies for a change in the individual’s long-term care coverage, the facility can benefit financially while the individual remains unnecessarily institutionalized. Those who are able to return to their communities and want to do so are essentially warehoused for months and even years, in clear violation of the tenets of the Olmstead decision. In response, DRNY has developed a comprehensive project that will notify these facilities of the legal ramifications of improper application for a change in a resident’s designation. DRNY has begun development of a questionnaire for each facility to complete, identifying what resources the facility has dedicated to discharge review, and a similar questionnaire for New York state hospital systems to determine what resources they have dedicated to discharge review. The objective is to identify resource gaps that can result in improper long-term nursing home placement and to develop best practices for placement of resources that will address the problem. DRNY has also identified a pattern of nursing home staff providing residents and their friends and loved ones with misinformation about residents’ rights, including the right to have visitors on a regular basis and the right to access outside medical treatment if preferred. DRNY has created a “Know Your Rights” educational brochure and is developing an accompanying oral presentation to be made available to consumers. Lastly, DRNY is developing a “10 Things You Need to Know Before Your Loved One Enters a Nursing Home” brochure and video for outreach and training purposes. DRNY has been quick to respond to reports of abuse or neglect inside nursing home facilities. When a local Buffalo newspaper reported that a resident of Emerald South Nursing and Rehabilitation Center died by falling from his bedroom window, DRNY formed a monitoring plan and inspected the premises within three weeks of the incident. Despite the press attention and response of the Department of Health, DRNY found evidence of continued understaffing, physical neglect and unsafe conditions and detailed findings in a written demand for corrective action. Shortly after the end of the fiscal year, the facility was closed due to the reported conditions. Addressing Barriers to Employment DRNY continues its commitment to community education regarding potential barriers to employment for people with disabilities. We provided several trainings this year to attorneys, managers and potential employees about how job applicants and employees can timely and effectively request such accommodations, and how employers can adopt best practices for review and implementation of such requests in compliance with federal, state and local laws. Addressing Barriers to Equal Education As highlighted during a presentation at the NDRN annual conference, DRNY has made a commitment to reach young people who are transitioning from high school education into college and university settings. DRNY’s data revealed that students were not prepared for a change in culture, where the students themselves must now be prepared to handle responsibilities previously assumed by their parents and guidance counselors. Included in those responsibilities is the need to learn and follow protocols for timely requesting the reasonable accommodations that will make their class experiences successful ones. DRNY also initiated a new project to address segregation of students with disabilities in the New York City school system by placement in what is referred to as the “District 75” system. Additionally, reports made by confidential witnesses led DRNY to initiate an investigation into acts of abuse and neglect committed inside one of the District 75 schools. Addressing Barriers to Safe, Accessible Housing DRNY filed suit in the Eastern District of New York on behalf of an individual with mobility impairment who resides in a Suffolk County apartment pursuant to a Nursing Home Transition and Diversion (NDTH) waiver. Plaintiff had been requesting for several years that her landlord permit her to install a wheelchair ramp at one entrance to the apartment, using funding available through the NHDT program’s environmental modification fund. Despite the fact that the ramp would meet all local, state and federal regulations, her landlord steadfastly refused to permit the ramp to be built. The suit alleges failure to permit reasonable modifications in violation of the Fair Housing Act. DRNY filed an amicus brief in support of the NYC Commission on Human Rights’ position before the Court of Appeals in the matter of Marine Holdings LLC v. New York City Commission on Human Rights. Complainant is a wheelchair user who needed her kitchen window to be converted into an accessible entrance. Without the modification, she was virtually a prisoner in her own home. While the CHR found in her favor and the Queens County Supreme Court upheld the CHR’s decision, the Second Department reversed. DRNY argued in the amicus brief that the burden of proving an accommodation “unreasonable” must lie with the landlord, a burden that is explicitly set forth in the New York City Human Rights Law. DRNY argued that by requiring those who seek necessary modification of their residences to develop “substantial evidence” that such modifications would not create undue hardship for their landlords, the Second Department decision would have a chilling effect on the filing of such complaints and/or the likelihood of success once filed. The Court of Appeals issued a memorandum decision reinstating the decision of the Queens Supreme Court and adopting the principles set forth in the DRNY brief. Access to Public Spaces, Streets and Transportation In FY2018, DRNY continued to develop partnerships with government and private entities addressing access problems in public transportation systems around New York State. Shortly after the announcement of Albany’s “Capitalize Albany” initiative to create a skyway and make critical improvements to the Downtown Albany area, DRNY began to contribute expertise in insuring that all projects plans incorporate principles of architectural accessibility. DRNY continued its advocacy for streets and sidewalks around the state to be made accessible for people with disabilities. DRNY continued work with the City of Albany on survey of problem locations and development of a repair reconstruction plan. In the City of Troy, DRNY identified a large number of unsafe sidewalks and roads and worked with city planners to address the issues. DRNY made it clear that failure of the city to address the unsafe conditions in a timely manner will result in the filing of litigation during FY2019. In New York City, where substantial access issues continue to prevent people with physical disabilities from using the subway and certain bus systems, DRNY developed new relationships with the Mayor’s Office for People With Disabilities and the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Of particular concern are subway stations that do not have operational elevator systems or ramps to provide access for wheelchair users and those with mobility disabilities. Discrimination in Arrest Processes Against People With Mobility Disabilities DRNY has partnered with a New York City civil rights law firm in suit against the New York City Police Department and the city for discriminatory conditions faced by wheelchair users and people with mobility disabilities who are arrested in the five boroughs. The suit is based upon the accounts of individuals who faced shockingly inhumane treatment during the hours and sometimes days after arrest and before arraignment with a judge. Because New York City Precincts and the Central Booking Unit are not architecturally accessible, arrestees are required to sit on filthy cell floors without their wheelchairs, are unable to access bathrooms and are monitored and transported by officers who have no training on how to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities. Access to Emergency Assistance In FY2017, DRNY filed suit against New York City, Nassau County and Suffolk County demanding that each offer “Text to 911” services for use by people with disabilities has begun to yield results that impact hundreds of New Yorkers on a daily basis. After significant delays, Suffolk County has in fact implemented “Text to 911,” and Nassau County and the boroughs of New York City are reportedly preparing to schedule rollout of the program during the FY2019.
|1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts||3,100|
|2. Number of individuals named in class actions||2|
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.
B. Litigation/Class Actions: DRNY is Plaintiff and counsel in the matter Disability Rights New York v. New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), et.al., filed in the Western District of New York. The suit alleges that DOCCS has violated the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Over the course of the last several years, DRNY has been required to advocate for several inmates with disabilities who require a higher level of medical attention than those in the general population and are therefore housed in “Regional Medical Units” (RMUs). As a result, they are denied access to critical services, like vocational training, religious worship activities, the law library and family reunification services, all of which are available to other inmates. Success in this litigation will provide fair and equal access to such programming to all inmates with disabilities who are housed in the five RMU prison units operating throughout the State of New York. In the related matter of Bryant v. New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), et.al., DRNY filed suit in the Western District on behalf of Plaintiff Bryant, an individual with multiple disabilities including seizure disorders, paralysis and congenital heart disease who was housed in the Regional Medical Unit at Wende Correctional Facility for many years. When he advocated for himself and others to have access to the law library, he was transferred into the general population at another facility. As a result, he no longer receives the medical attention required to address his disabilities and faces daily medical risk. DRNY’s complaint alleges that Plaintiff’s transfer to this unsafe placement was made in retaliation for his advocacy, in violation of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and deprived Plaintiff of his rights under the First and Eighth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. In Walker, Heggs and Disability Rights New York v. City of New York, et.al., DRNY became a Plaintiff and joined a class action matter previously filed in the Eastern District of New York. The two previously-named Plaintiffs, both paraplegic wheelchair users, were arrested by NYPD for minor offenses. They were subjected to inhumane and unsafe conditions from the time of their arrest until their arraignments due to the inaccessibility of NYPD buildings, bathrooms and holding cells, and due to the actions of NYPD personnel untrained in addressing the needs of people with mobility disabilities. Mr. Walker was required to urinate in a public meeting room in view of many other individuals and sit on the floor of a filthy holding cell for hours. He also experienced delays in processing and detainment beyond those experienced by other arrestees. Mr. Heggs was deprived of his wheelchair and prosthesis for many hours, carried by police officers who were unqualified to do so, and also experienced extraordinary delays in processing. As a result of these actions, both were subjected to numerous indignities and made vulnerable to attack by other arrestees, all while presumed innocent of any crimes. The Court has granted DRNY and Plaintiffs permission to intervene in the matter and expand class allegations citywide to include all NYPD precincts and arrest processing facilities in all five boroughs of New York. In Rubin v. Covert Avenue Apartments, DRNY filed suit in the Eastern District of New York on behalf of an individual with mobility impairment who resides in a Suffolk County apartment pursuant to a Nursing Home Transition and Diversion (NDTH) waiver. Plaintiff had requested for several years that her landlord permit her to install a wheelchair ramp at one entrance to the apartment, using funding available through the NHDT program’s environmental modification fund. Despite the fact that the ramp would meet all local, state and federal regulations, her landlord steadfastly refused to permit the ramp to be built. The suit alleges failure to permit reasonable modifications in violation of the Fair Housing Act. The matter is in motion practice and early discussions regarding the building of the ramp have been positive. Success in the matter would result in Plaintiff having a level of freedom and access to her community that she has been denied for years and would establish a precedent for other people with disabilities to enjoy such access, consistent with the intent of the Fair Housing Act. In K.M. v. New York State Public High School Athletic Association, Inc. et.al., DRNY filed a claim under the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, alleging failure to make reasonable modifications to rules governing extended athletic eligibility for high school students with disabilities. Plaintiff was a young athlete with a disability whose education was tailored to take place over a five-year period, but stringent regulations dictated that he would only be permitted to engage in the athletic programs for four years. This prevented him from enjoying the benefits of participation in after-school sports programming during his fifth year. DRNY argues that when Plaintiff and other students with disabilities require reasonable accommodation in order to benefit from athletic activities, there must be a process in place that will provide for review and consideration of the need to waive or modify regulations in order to provide such accommodation. The matter is now in motion practice. In Dupree v. City of New York, et.al., DRNY filed a claim in 2017 under the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, alleging that New York City, Nassau County and Suffolk County have failed to provide meaningful access to 911 to individuals with hearing and communication disabilities. Their systems have not made it possible for individuals to text 911, despite the fact that such technology is available and in place in other jurisdictions. During FY2018, litigation discovery and disposition conferences have proved fruitful, with Suffolk County having recently implemented “Text to 911” and Nassau County and New York City having developed a plan for rollout of a “Text to 911” program in FY2019. As a result of the litigation, hundreds of Suffolk County residents with disabilities now have access to 911 and thousands of additional individuals with disabilities are anticipated to have such access in the near future. DRNY filed a valuable amicus brief in support of the NYC Commission on Human Rights’ position before the Court of Appeals in the matter of Marine Holdings LLC v. New York City Commission on Human Rights, a tenant’s rights matter. Complainant is a wheelchair user. She needed her kitchen window to be converted into an accessible entrance; without the modification, she was virtually a prisoner in her own home. She sought relief, CHR found in her favor, and the Queens County Supreme Court upheld the CHR’s decision. The Second Department thereafter reversed on the grounds that "the record did not contain any substantial evidence rebutting the landlords' showing that it would be structurally infeasible to install a handicapped accessible entrance to the tenant's apartment.” DRNY argued in the amicus brief that the burden of proving an accommodation “unreasonable” must lie with the landlord, a burden that is explicitly set forth in the New York City Human Rights Law. By requiring that those who seek necessary modification of their residences must develop “substantial evidence” that such modifications would not create undue hardship for their landlords, DRNY argues, the Second Department decision would have a chilling effect on the filing of such complaints and/or the likelihood of success once filed. The Court of Appeals issued a memorandum decision reinstating the decision of the Queens Supreme Court and adopting the principles set forth in the DRNY brief.
For each of your PAIR program priorities for the fiscal year covered by this report, please:
A. Priorities and Objectives for the Fiscal Year Covered by this Report: DRNY PAIR Priorities and Objectives: Priority 1: Promote the integration of people with disabilities into the community, especially with regarding to transitions from nursing facilities and institutions. Individuals with disabilities have been subjected to unnecessary institutionalization, including placement in nursing homes, due to lack of access to services in the community. DRNY addresses the need for community-based services within our state by advocating for individualized support to meet the needs of our clients. DRNY does so in a variety of ways, including representing clients who are denied home and community-based services under the Medicaid waiver programs and state and local services, as well as representing clients who want to be discharged from nursing homes. DRNY also conducts nursing home monitoring to identify people who have been unnecessarily institutionalized. Number of cases handled under this priority 21; no class actions. Case Summary 1: DRNY represented a client who was a resident at a nursing facility and was experiencing barriers to discharge. The client’s sister, who was appointed his power of attorney, had concerns about his ability to live independently in the community. DRNY provided guidance to the client regarding how to withdraw the power of attorney and the client successfully did so. DRNY then worked with the local independent living center to assist the client in transferring to an assisted living facility, where he is now able to enjoy the neighborhood and all the benefits of community integration. Project Summary 1: DRNY is developing a questionnaire to be distributed to all identified New York state nursing facilities. The questionnaire will require administrators to identify what resources the facility has dedicated to discharge review. A similar questionnaire is being developed for New York state hospital systems to determine what resources they have dedicated to discharge review. The objective is to identify resource gaps that can result in improper long-term nursing home placement and develop best practices for placement of resources that will address the problem. Priority 2: Maximize autonomy of people with disabilities to make their own decisions and control their own lives, including their finances. This priority recognizes the importance of the rights of people with disabilities to make critical decisions impacting their lives, especially in relation to their finances. DRNY advocates for the rights of people to control decision-making by representing those who have been denied these rights and providing them with information and assistance to advocate on their own behalf. DRNY did not engage in collaborative efforts relating to this priority. Number of cases handled under this priority: 20; no class actions. Case Summary 1: DRNY represented a client at a nursing facility who was in need of shoulder surgery. The facility was refusing to allow the client to attend medical appointments with her doctors outside the facility, and refused to provide approval for the client to undergo the required surgery, citing her alleged alcoholism. DRNY communicated with the nursing facility and then met with several members of the staff at the facility. Based upon the DRNY Staff Attorney’s direct advocacy, facility staff permitted her to see the doctor of her choice, who thereafter performed the surgery. Project Summary 1: DRNY has created a “Know Your Rights” brochure for nursing home residents. This brochure provides these individuals with information about their rights to have visitors at all times and clarifies the limited circumstances in which facility administration can bar visits from friends, family, specialized treatment providers and others. The brochure also advises residents of their right to obtain medical evaluation and services from medical providers of their choice. Priority 3: Assist people with disabilities in attaining systemic access to public accommodations. Individuals with disabilities are afforded the protection of both state and federal laws giving them equal access to and enjoyment of public places. Many individuals, unaware of these rights, do not fully access businesses, public attractions and community programming, all of which increase their enjoyment of life and promote community integration. DRNY is engaged in collaborative efforts relating to this priority; see Project Summary 1, below. Number of cases handled under this priority: 131; no class actions. Project Summary 1: DRNY is providing substantive input on accessibility issues related to the development of the Downtown Albany Skyway and redevelopment of the social spaces in and around the skyway as part of a long-term Advisory Committee on the Capitalize Albany project. Priority 4: Ensure systematic access for people with disabilities to government facilities and programs. Individuals with disabilities are afforded the protection of both state and federal laws guaranteeing them equal access to and enjoyment of government facilities and services. Many individuals, unaware of these rights, refrain from attempting to access these facilities and services, which serve to increase their enjoyment of life and promote community integration. DRNY is engaged in collaborative efforts relating to this priority; see Project Summary 1, below. Number of cases handled under this priority: 13; one class action. Case Summary 1: DRNY advocated for a client and his father to receive appropriate tutoring services from his public school. The father had been paying “out-of-pocket” for the expenses while the client was out of school battling leukemia. DRNY facilitated a meeting between school district officials and the client’s father in order to review and discuss his valid request for compensatory tutoring services. Following the meeting, the school district agreed to begin providing the tutoring services and to reimburse the father for his previous out-of-pocket expenses. Project Summary 1: DNRY is working with VOCAL New York and Court Watch to gather and review information about people with auditory and other disabilities who are not able to hear or otherwise access critical information in New York City criminal courts. The project stemmed from reports of litigants and their families who were unable to hear critical information provided at court proceedings, including case status and location of their loved ones who have been detained. The information is being compiled for presentation to the Office of Court Administration for review and in support of a request for modification of the sound systems and other inadequate protocols currently in place. The objective of DRNY and its partners is to insure that these public courtrooms are auditorily accessible to all in attendance. Priority 5: Obtain equal access to transportation for people with disabilities. An individual’s integration into the community is dependent in large part on access to transportation, including public transportation. Many people with disabilities are unable to access medical care, support, food, social gatherings and other priorities of life due to a lack of reliable, accessible transportation. Access to transportation insures that individuals with disabilities have equal access to community support systems, businesses and services. DRNY is not engaged in collaborative efforts relating to this priority. Number of cases handled under this priority: 8; no class actions. Case Summary 1: DRNY represented a client who resides in a remote area and is reliant on the services of a paratransit provider to get to critical medical appointments. The paratransit system in her municipality was routinely late and unreliable, causing the client to miss several medical appointments. DRNY worked with the local independent living center to arrange for an alternative paratransit provider and established regularly scheduled, standing medical appointments. These steps resulted in increased reliability and the client is no longer missing her appointments. Project Summary 1: DRNY is now working with the Mayor’s Office for People With Disabilities to advocate for action on the part of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) to eliminate transportation barriers for people with disabilities in New York City. The objective is to create a timeline for elimination of subway stations that do not do not have operational elevator systems or ramps to provide access for wheelchair users and those with mobility disabilities. Priority 6: Protect people with disabilities who are in facilities and programs from abuse and neglect. Individuals with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect in both community and institutional settings. DRNY addresses the need to prevent and substantiate such abuse and neglect by providing information, technical assistance and legal representation to clients who are subjected to abuse and/or neglect, and by exercising our monitoring authority to access institutional settings. DRNY is not engaged in collaborative efforts relating to this priority. Number of cases handled under this priority: 37; no class actions. Case Summary 1: Complaints made by confidential witnesses have led DRNY to initiate an investigation into alleged acts of abuse and neglect committed inside one of New York City’s public schools. DRNY is employing its monitoring and investigative authority to investigate these complaints. Priority 7: Remove barriers to education for people with disabilities, with emphasis on eliminating segregation of students with disabilities and inappropriate removal of students with disabilities from school. This priority recognizes the importance of insuring that individuals with disabilities have access to education in an integrated setting, with accommodations necessary to provide them with equal access to and equal benefits from education. DRNY is engaged in collaborative efforts relating to this priority; see Project Summary 1. Number of cases handled under this priority: 20; no class actions. Case Summary 1: DRNY represented a client who had filed a complaint of discrimination with the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) against the University of Rochester. The client was a medical student who had been denied reasonable classroom accommodations. DRNY appeared during the early complaint resolution process to facilitate an agreement between the client and university officials that an updated reasonable accommodation plan would be created and implemented. Project Summary 1: DRNY initiated a new project to address segregation of students with disabilities in the New York City school system by placement in what is referred to as the “District 75” system. DRNY has developed a long-term project to identify adverse impacts of such segregation. DRNY is partnering in the project with Disability Rights Advocates and The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. Priority 8: Prevent discrimination in housing for people with disabilities, especially the unavailability of accessible housing from community-based landlords or other housing providers. Access to housing in the community is often impacted by an individual’s ability to obtain housing from community-based landlords or other housing providers. Access to housing within the community increases the ability of individuals with disabilities to access community supports, businesses and services. DRNY did engage in collaborative efforts relating to this priority; see Project Summary 1. Number of cases handled under this priority: 39; no class actions. Case Summary 1: DRNY represented a wheelchair user who lives on the second floor of a residential building. In the context of a reasonable accommodation, the client repeatedly requested that her building manager allow her to store her wheelchair on the first floor, but her request was denied. The client was therefore required to pay other individuals to carry her large, power wheelchair up and down the stairs. DRNY contacted the general property manager, advocated on the client’s behalf and the property manager agreed to permit the client to store her wheelchair on the first floor. Project Summary 1: DRNY was contacted by the Executive Director of Barrier Free Living, who advised that BFL’s New York County location was going to be closed in several weeks for repairs mandated by building code inspectors. As a result, over a dozen residents were going to be homeless and on the street if appropriate alternative housing was not immediately located. The BFL program was unique because it allowed residents with disabilities to live in apartment-like residences with appropriate home health aides in a community-based setting. DRNY immediately scheduled a meeting with each of the impacted residents to assess their housing needs and then worked with BFL and the NYC Department of Homeless Services to locate appropriate placements. DRNY also connected these residents with supportive services to aid with transition into a new setting. Priority 9: Eliminate barriers to employment for people with disabilities, particularly with regard to the application process, requests for reasonable accommodations, harassment and retaliation. Individuals with disabilities are often subject to employment discrimination. Successful community integration is often impacted by an individual’s ability to obtain and maintain employment. DRNY did engage in collaborative efforts relating to this priority. Number of cases handled under this priority: 70; no class actions. Case Summary 1: DRNY represented a client who was terminated from her position at a senior center while on disability leave resulting from an injury sustained at work. The client requested to return to work with reasonable accommodations, but her employer said he would not allow her to return to work until she was able to perform the job functions without accommodations. DRNY engaged in extensive negotiations with the employer, which resulted in settlement of the client’s disability claims, provision of a favorable letter of recommendation for the client and back pay with compensatory damages. Case Summary 2: DRNY represented a client who had filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against his employer for failure to provide reasonable accommodations. When the client requested the ability to wear special work boots and take additional breaks in order to accommodate his disability, he was placed on involuntary medical leave. DRNY was able to negotiate the client’s return to work with the requested accommodations and secure back pay and compensatory damages. Priority 10: Remove communication, architectural and equipment barriers to health care services. Individuals with disabilities face difficulties obtaining health care services, which impacts of their ability to successfully live in integrated settings. DRNY did not engage in collaborative efforts relating to this priority. Number of cases handled under this priority: 6; no class actions. Case Summary 1: DRNY represented a client when she and her partner, who are both deaf, were denied ASL interpreting services from the hospital when the client underwent a surgical procedure. The client requested such an interpreter in advance and was told that the interpreter would in fact be provided. After DRNY reviewed the matter with hospital personnel, they provided the client with a formal apology, implemented remote video interpreting services, retrained staff on effective communication requirements, and contracted with a second in-person interpreting agency to provide back-up services when the primary interpreters are not available. Project Summary 1: DRNY developed a campaign to educate healthcare providers about their obligation to provide patients with ASL interpreters as requested. DRNY developed and disseminated fact sheets about the rights of patients and providers and conducted trainings across the state for providers and advocacy groups for the deaf and hearing impaired. These projects were accomplished in part with PAIR funding and in part with a grant acquired from the New York Bar Foundation. Priority 11: Assure the provision of auxiliary aids and services to insure the availability of effective communication for people with disabilities, with an emphasis on effective communication with service providers. DRNY is engaging in collaborative efforts relating to this priority; see Project Summary 1. Number of cases handled under this priority: 30; no class actions. Project Summary 1: DRNY provided a presentation to the Advisory Committee on Court Access for People With Disabilities for the New York State Unified Court System regarding the video relay system and other potential options for integration of auxiliary aids for the deaf and hearing impaired into New York state court proceedings. As a result of this training, DRNY was appointed as a standing member of this committee.
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:
Priorities and Objectives, Fiscal Year 2019/Revision of DRNY PAIR Priorities and Objectives DRNY has revised its PAIR Priorities and Objectives for the current fiscal year and adopted them after consideration of comments provided during the public comment period. Priority 1: Protect people with disabilities by investigating allegations of abuse or neglect. Objectives: a. Investigate allegations of abuse or neglect of individuals receiving services from entities licensed, certified, funded or operated by the state, city or localities of New York, including nursing homes. b. Investigate allegations of abuse or neglect in schools, including allegations of improper or excessive use of restraint; c. Monitor nursing homes and schools to ensure proper care and treatment and advocate for individuals who are being denied such proper care or treatment. Need addressed by Priority 1: As the Protection and Advocacy organization for the State of New York, it is the obligation of DRNY to promptly and skillfully respond to reports of alleged abuse or neglect committed against individuals inside agencies receiving government services, including nursing homes and schools. Such matters must be investigated with objectivity and care, and findings shared with law enforcement, government agencies and the public as appropriate to protect the interests of other individuals who may be vulnerable to such abuse or neglect. Where patterns of abuse or neglect of individuals are identified in specific settings or under particularized circumstances, such patterns must be identified and reported to the public and responsive educational programming developed to address the systemic problem. Description of Activities to be Carried Out by Priority 1: DRNY will respond to reports of abuse or neglect of individuals with disabilities by conducting investigations predicated on probable cause. Where applicable, DRNY will report findings to the appropriate agencies for further action. DRNY will monitor schools, nursing homes and other entities to objectively document indicia of acts of abuse or neglect and take appropriate follow-up action. DRNY will educate the general public, service providers, and other relevant parties of any identified patterns of abuse or neglect and provide strategies to address systemic abuse and neglect. DRNY will work individually and collaboratively to eradicate systemic problems which create a risk of abuse and neglect of individuals with disabilities. In order to address such systemic problems, DRNY will utilize educational programming, public reporting and litigation as appropriate. . Priority 2: Advocate for people with disabilities to be integrated into the community, consistent with applicable law, with particular attention to individuals in underserved populations. Objectives: a. Attain systemic access to public accommodations and government facilities and programs for people with disabilities, including equal access to transportation. b. Advocate for people with disabilities to transition from nursing homes and institutions to a less restrictive, community-based environment. c. Eliminate barriers to employment for people with disabilities, particularly with regard to the application process, requests for and implementation of reasonable accommodations and acts of harassment and/or retaliation. d. Eliminate barriers to education for people with disabilities, including failure to afford reasonable accommodations, segregation of students with disabilities and inappropriate removal of students from school. e. Eliminate housing discrimination against people with disabilities, including unavailability of accessible residences and refusal to make reasonable modifications to policies to afford access and safety. f. Removal of barriers to health care services, including equipment, communication and architectural barriers. g. Maximize autonomy of people with disabilities to make their own decisions and control their own lives, including management of their finances. Need addressed by Priority 2: As the Protection and Advocacy organization for the State of New York, DRNY must engage in advocacy that both promotes integration of people with disabilities into the community and supports the personal and professional goals of those who are living in the community. In order to do so, DRNY must identify and strive to remove barriers to successful community integration. This includes barriers to transportation, employment, education, employment, fair housing, health care services and appropriate fiscal autonomy. Description of Activities to be Carried Out by Priority 2: DRNY will timely respond to reports by people with disabilities of barriers to successful community integration, providing direct client advocacy to remove the identified barriers. DRNY will educate the general public, service providers, and other relevant parties of the rights of people with disabilities to combat barriers to community integration. DRNY will identify and promote strategies to address the systemic sources of these barriers. DRNY will work individually and collaboratively to eradicate systemic problems which create barriers to successful community integration for individuals with disabilities. In order to address such systemic problems, DRNY will utilize educational programming, public reporting and litigation as appropriate. Priority 3 Assist people with disabilities in appeal of adverse decisions regarding their eligibility for disability-related services or programs. Need addressed by Priority 3: As the Protection and Advocacy organization for the State of New York, it is the obligation of DRNY to provide legal advocacy to people with disabilities who are motivated to appeal adverse decisions regarding their eligibility for disability-related services and programs. Description of Activities to be Carried Out by Priority 3: DRNY will timely respond to requests for representation by people with disabilities of adverse decisions regarding their eligibility for disability-related services or programs. DRNY will carefully evaluate the merits of potential appellate action and provide such services where appropriate and feasible in light of available resources. DRNY will identify issues raised in such matters which are consistent with a pattern of systemic discrimination and incorporate case finding into future projects as appropriate. Priority 4 Train people with disabilities, their advocates, service providers and members of the community at large regarding the rights and protections afforded people with disabilities under applicable law, with particular attention to individuals in underserved populations. Objectives: a. Engage and train people with disabilities regarding their rights and protections under applicable law, with emphasis on outreach to traditionally underserved communities. b. Engage and train people with disabilities with regard to self-advocacy skills. c. Educate advocates, service providers including health care providers, and members of the community at large about the rights and protections afforded people with disabilities under applicable federal, state and municipal law. d. Promote the development and availability of support services for people with disabilities, consistent with applicable law, through community outreach and education. Need addressed by Priority 4: As the Protection and Advocacy organization for the State of New York, DRNY needs to identify and work to connect with people with disabilities in every corner of the state. DRNY also recognizes the critical need to connect with the family members, neighbors and service providers who provide daily support. DRNY recognizes that those in traditionally underserved communities have inadequate access to support services, including legal services, making energetic outreach to such communities critically important. Description of Activities to be Carried Out by Priority 4: DRNY will provide training, via workshops, trainings, symposiums and community meetings, to address each of the subject areas identified as objectives, above. Such trainings will be supplemented by written materials and audio-visual materials promoted on social media and available on our website. DRNY will also engage in partnerships with those government agencies, nonprofit organizations and grassroots community organizations who are committed to the development of support services for people with disabilities. Priority 5 Conduct outreach to ensure that individuals with disabilities throughout New York state and policymakers know about the Protection and Advocacy (P&A) system and its role in advocating for the rights of people with disabilities and facilitating their access to appropriate supports and services, with particular attention to individuals in underserved populations. Objectives: a. Conduct outreach events and educational trainings about DRNY and the P&A system to community members throughout the state, including those in underserved populations. b. Engage with policymakers about the role that DRNY and the P&A system can play in advocating for the rights of people with disabilities and facilitating their access to appropriate supports and services, including those in underserved populations. Need addressed by Priority 5: In order for DRNY to facilitate lasting systemic change in areas that adversely impact on people with disabilities, DRNY must successfully promote its mission and its unique role as New York State’s P&A. DRNY must both create and seize opportunities to educate the community at large about the scope of our services and our place in the national P&A network. DRNY must also connect and collaborate with community leaders who are in a position to develop public policy that promotes the rights of people with disabilities. Description of Activities to be Carried Out by Priority 5: DRNY will employ a data-driven strategy for identification of regions and communities around the state that are not consistently accessing our services and create outreach opportunities in those areas, with a particular commitment to connect with traditionally underserved communities. DRNY will then create informational and networking events that will enable us to articulate our mission and obtain feedback about the needs and interests of people with disabilities in those communities.
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.
A. DRNY received Federal (Section 509) funds under Grant award number H240A170064 in the amount of $901,241 and spent $630,971 in 2017 and $270,270 in 2018. DRNY received Federal (Section 509) funds under Grant award number H240A180064 in the amount of $894,024 and spend $845,797 in 2018. Attorneys’ Fees were received and used in 2018 in the amount of $11,000. B. PAIR Grant Program FY2017 Budget Personnel Salaries 662,380 Fringe Benefits 248,598 Travel 30,693 Occupancy 80,086 Telephone 21,004 Equipment & Furnishings 1,819 Supplies 5,260 Postage 2,213 Printing / Copies 4,662 Conferences / Workshops 5,522 Malpractice Insurance 10,012 Dues and Subscriptions 13,888 Ref Materials & Library 771 Business Owners Insurance 1,037 Payroll Services 3,893 Training (Includes CLEs) 675 Audit Fees 1,612 Litigation Costs 980 Professional Services Costs 20,158 Miscellaneous Expenses 497 ______________________________________________ Total PAIR Budget $ 1,115,760 Total PAIR Grant Estimated FY 2017 $ 901,241 Overage used PAIR Grant FY 2016 funds $ 214,519 PAIR Grant Program FY2018 Budget Personnel Salaries 662,806 Fringe Benefits 222,755 Travel 18,982 Occupancy 67,197 Telephone 20,239 Equipment & Furnishings 3,278 Supplies 16,934 Postage 1,712 Printing / Copies 2,862 Conferences / Workshops 4,993 Malpractice Insurance 7,216 Dues and Subscriptions 11,812 Ref Materials & Library 1,342 Business Owners Insurance 1,650 Payroll Services 5,594 Training (Includes CLEs) 704 Audit Fees 2,396 Litigation Costs 1,240 Professional Services Costs 19,398 Miscellaneous Expenses 1,345 Total PAIR Budget $ 1,074,455 Total PAIR Grant FY 2018 $ 894,024 Remaining PAIR Grant FY 2017 funds $ 270,270 Attorneys’ Fees Received & Used 2018 $ 11,000 C. PAIR Staff included attorneys, who provided legal advice and representation; intake specialists who took the initial calls from clients and provided some information and referrals; other administrative staff, who provided a variety of support services; and supervisory and managing attorneys. DRNY paid 33 employees from Section 509 funds. The analyses of the FTE numbers are as follows: Professional FTE: DRNY paid 18 professional staff in the 2018 fiscal year from Section 509 funds. Allowing for the timing of hires during the year as well as the percentage of indirect staff time allocated to Section 509 funds the eighteen professional EE’s equate to 7.49. During FY18 94% of the full time professional positions were filled for 12 months equating to 6.70 person years. The vacancies for FY18 equate to 6% of the positions unfilled which equals 0.26 FTEs totalling 0.26 person years. Clerical FTE: DRNY paid 15 clerical staff in the 2018 fiscal year from Section 509 fuds. Allowing for the timing of hires during the year as well as the percentage of indirect staff time allocated to Section 509 funds the 15 EE’s equate to 1.79 FTE. During FY18 81% of the full time positions were filled for the 12 months equating to 1.45 person years. The vacancies for FY18 equate to 19% of the positions unfilled which equals 0.34 FTE’s totaling 0.34 person years. DRNY did not have any part time clerical employees during FY17. D. Advisory Board Participation: A PAIR attorney was appointed by the Albany County Executive and continues to serve on the Albany County Long Term Care Advisory Council, which assists in making the long term care system responsive to the needs of people with disabilities by provision of services that enable them to remain in their own communities. The Council consists primarily of service providers, consumers and advocates. The PAIR representative has successfully sought to ensure that the Council’s priorities and recommendations are consistent with the promoting of dignity and choice for people with disabilities in Albany County. A PAIR attorney was appointed by the Mayor of Albany and continues to serve on the City of Albany ADA Advisory Council. The Council consists of city departments heads, the city ADA Coordinator and other outside advocates for people with disabilities. It was created after DRNY informed the city that it had failed to meet some of its critical responsibilities under the provisions of the ADA. The Council and its subcommittees have met several times and seek to develop and implement policies and projects that will make Albany accessible to all. A PAIR attorney sits on the New York State Bar Association Committee on Disability, where he educates and partners with other attorneys to analyze and, where applicable, inform state leaders about New York State laws and policies affecting people with disabilities. A PAIR attorney serves as an Executive Council Member for the Central New York Special Education Task Force. A PAIR attorney serves on the Advisory Committee for development of the Capitalize Albany Skyway project. A PAIR attorney has been participating in a Medicaid Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) Litigation Work Group to identify and address barriers to community living for persons with disabilities created by the MLTC system in New York State. A PAIR attorney has been participating as a member of the NYS Employment, Health and Disability Coalition, which seeks to find common ground between representatives of home care workers and recipients of home care services to protect and improve services for disabled recipients of home care. A DRNY attorney serves on the Advisory Committee on Court Access for People With Disabilities for the New York State Unified Court System. E. Grievances Filed Under the Procedures: PAIR received thirteen grievances during the reporting year. Ten were decided at the Legal Director (Tier One) level; three were decided by the Executive Director (Tier Two). The outcomes were as follows: Client obtained other representation 2 Grievance lacked merit, 2 Client withdrew grievance 1 Outside priorities or service area 3 Untimely 1 Granted in full or in part 4 F: Relationship With CAP: CAP is part of DRNY. DRNY coordinates with the New York State long term care ombudsperson on a variety of matters, including through the Albany Long Term Care Advisory Council.
|Signed By||Marc Fliedner|