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PAIR Objectives and Priorities 2016

THE MISSION of the Protection and Advocacy for Individual Rights (PAIR) program at University Legal Services (ULS) is to ensure that people with disabilities are afforded the full rights and entitlements accorded to them by the Constitution, local, and federal law. Among these rights are the rights to self-determination, to be free from harm, to be afforded due process, to develop physically, emotionally, and intellectually, and to be included in community life with the opportunities and choices these rights imply.

The following are the priority and objectives for the Protection and Advocacy Program for Individual Rights (PAIR) for 2016:

1. Advocate on behalf of people with disabilities to ensure their access to DC government services and supports in the most integrated settings appropriate to their needs and to public accommodations.

a. Advocate and litigate on behalf of people with disabilities to challenge the District’s improper termination and reduction of Medicaid home health services including complaints arising from DHCF’s recent implementation of a long-term care assessment tool and process.

b. Work through systemic and individual advocacy, monitoring, outreach and education to ensure that public accommodations (private businesses open to the public), polling sites, and governmental facilities and programs (including public schools and public charter schools) in the District of Columbia are accessible to people with mobility, hearing, and visual disabilities as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

c. Investigate and remedy allegations of abuse and/or neglect against people with disabilities who transition from nursing facilities and/or live in the community.

d. Provide outreach and education to administrative and policy-making bodies, advocates, and people in nursing facilities, among others, to promote self-determination, consumer choice, and high quality services for people with disabilities in the most integrated, appropriate settings.

e. Represent class members in Thorpe v. District of Columbia in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to promote their rights under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to information about alternatives to nursing facility services, transitional assistance, and quality home-based personal care assistance through the Medicaid Waiver Program for People who are Elderly and/or have Physical Disabilities (EPD Waiver), the DC Medicaid State Plan, and other DC government services to enable them to move out of nursing facilities back to the community.

CASE SELECTION CRITERIA

ULS accepts cases related to protecting the legal and human rights of individuals who reside in the District of Columbia who have disabilities that fall within the aforementioned priorities.

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

While we recognize that every situation is important, please note that case acceptance is dependent upon available resources, including staff time. If your case is not accepted and you wish to file a grievance, please submit your grievance in writing to the Executive Director. Current clients may also submit a grievance to the Executive Director about the quality of ULS’ representation.  A client may lodge an oral grievance with a ULS staff member who shall put the grievance in writing and submit it to the Executive Director. The Executive Director may be reached at:

Jane Brown, Executive Director
University Legal Services
220 I Street, N.E., Suite 130
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 547-0198 Phone
(202) 547-2662 Fax
(202) 547-2657 TTY

The Executive Director shall respond in writing within thirty (30) days of receipt of a grievance from any client or prospective client, or community member who has an interest in the operation of the protection and advocacy program.

A grievant may appeal the Executive Director’s decision to the ULS Board of Directors within ten (10) days of the written decision of the Executive Director. The decision of the ULS Board of Directors shall be final and not subject to further appeal or review. Client confidentiality shall be maintained.

The Executive Director shall report grievances to the Board of Directors annually.



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