Current Priorities

Medium

As encouraged by federal funding sources, and following input activities by people with disabilities, family members and the public, each year P&A chooses some of the most important issues affecting people with disabilities and makes them priorities. Nearly all P&A services (including information & referral, client assistance & representation, education & training, and systems advocacy) are then focused on these priority issues. P&A may accept non-priority cases for advocacy assistance, advocacy representation, or legal representation when the presenting issue is considered to be egregious and all other criteria have been met. Very limited resources will be available for non-priority cases. P&A's grievance procedure is available to individuals whose request for advocacy services has been turned down because the issue is not within existing priorities or for other reasons.

PROTECTION & ADVOCACY PROJECT

AGENCY PRIORITIES

FISCAL YEAR 2021

10/1/20 – 9/30/21

ABUSE, NEGLECT & EXPLOITATION

P&A advocates for people with disabilities to be at a reduced risk of abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

The current priorities focus on:

  1. Training individuals with disabilities and service provider staff on abuse, neglect, and exploitation (a/n/e), risk management, mandatory reporting, and serious events. 
  2. Investigating reports of suspected abuse, neglect & exploitation.
  3. Systemic monitoring of services provided.
  4. Collaborating with service providers on utilizing best practices and quality assurance.                                                                                                                           

COMMUNITY INCLUSION

P&A advocates for the rights of people with disabilities to live in the least restrictive setting.  It is the goal that individuals live and participate in the community of their choice and receive necessary and appropriate services. 

The current priorities focus on:

  1. Helping people who reside in the Life Skills & Transition Center (LSTC), the ND State Hospital (NDSH) and private psychiatric facilities to transition into the community.
  2. Helping people at risk of moving to institutional settings because they do not have adequate community-based supports.
  3. Ensuring that people with disabilities have access to the needed assistive technology to attain or maintain their ability to live as independently as possible in the community.
  4. Ensuring that individuals with intellectual disabilities, who have challenging behaviors, can remain living in the least restrictive setting.
  5. Collaboration with clients, family members, advocacy organizations and providers to address service needs of people with disabilities.
  6. Promoting self-advocacy, training and technical assistance for groups and individuals with developmental disabilities.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

P&A advocates for supports and services for juveniles and adults with disabilities involved in the criminal justice system where unmet needs have been identified.

The current priorities focus on:

  1. Advocating for individuals with mental illness in prison or jail who have been denied appropriate mental health treatment by the criminal justice system.
  2. Implementing a process that explores alternatives to traditional responses to criminal behavior for individuals with mental illness, developmental disabilities, and traumatic brain injuries.
  3. Provide training on alternatives to involvement in the criminal justice system and the Individual Justice Planning process.

EDUCATION

P&A advocates for students with disabilities to get services consistent with their disability-related rights. 

The current priorities focus on:

  1. The use of positive behavioral supports with students.
  2. Supporting student’s participation in a full day of school.
  3. Access to assistive technology.
  4. Students placed in overly restrictive settings.
  5. Use of seclusion and restraint within schools.
  6. Students involved in or at risk of involvement in the juvenile justice system due to the school’s response to a disability-related behavior.
  7. Disability-related needs of students with disabilities because of the coronavirus pandemic.
  8. Systems advocacy that results in positive change for students with disabilities.

Note:  P&A will…

  • Advocate for the student with the disability – not the parent or school.
  • Promote effective communication between the student, parent, and school.
  • Educate students and parents about educational rights.

EMPLOYMENT

P&A advocates for persons with disabilities to have access to meaningful employment at a fair wage.

The current priorities focus on:

  1. People who receive Social Security benefits.
  2. Supports and services for people with disabilities to obtain and maintain employment. 
  3. Information and advocacy regarding vocational and support services.
  4. Disability-related employment discrimination and reasonable accommodations at work for people who receive Social Security benefits.
  5. Systems advocacy to increase vocational services and employment options for people with disabilities.

 

P&A implements the Client Assistance Program (CAP) for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and assists applicants/recipients of VR services or Centers for Independent Living (CIL) who are not satisfied with the services they are receiving.

Note: P&A can…

  • Help you negotiate with your employer for workplace accommodations if you are a Social Security recipient.
  • Help you file a disability-related discrimination complaint if you are a Social Security recipient.
  • Help you to resolve problems and concerns with Vocational Rehabilitation or Independent Living Center services.

HEALTH CARE

P&A advocates for adequate medical treatment, services & devices to meet people’s disability-related needs.

The current priorities focus on:

  1. Coverage for disability-related, and medically necessary healthcare through Medicaid, Medicare, Veterans Administration, or private insurance. 

Note: P&A can…

  • Help you get coverage for disability-related medically necessary healthcare and services.

VOTING

P&A advocates for an accessible voting system in ND to ensure people with disabilities have the same opportunity for access and confidential participation in the voting process.

Current priorities focus on:

  1. Ensuring voters with disabilities are informed about the voting process, voter rights, and accessible voting.  
  2. Ensuring voters with disabilities have information and input to potential changes with the voting system.
  3. Ensuring physical access to polling places.  

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CONTINUUM

P&A will advocate for the expansion of the Behavioral Health Continuum in the state.  This will ensure that people with disabilities have access to adequate behavioral healthcare to maximize their ability to live in the community.

SUPPORTED DECISION MAKING

P&A will provide training and technical assistance on Supported Decision Making.

To obtain this information in an alternative format, please contact the Protection & Advocacy Project at

        (701) 328-2950

       1-800-472-2670

       panda_intake@nd.gov