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

       Goals & Priorities      

Fiscal Year 2022:

Oct. 2021 - Sept. 2022

 

Developmental Disabilities Advocacy Program

  1. Abuse, Neglect, & Exploitation

GOAL: Individuals with developmental disabilities will be free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

    1. P&A will investigate, or cause to be investigated, suspected abuse, neglect, and exploitation of individuals with developmental disabilities.
    2. P&A will provide training to individuals with developmental disabilities, guardians, Developmental Disabilities Program Managers, as well as staff in institutions, facilities, and other service systems resulting in increased knowledge or understanding of abuse, neglect, exploitation, and developmental disabilities rights issues.
    3. P&A will complete & distribute a booklet about a/n/e to include definitions, scenarios, processes, and protocols for people with developmental disabilities, families, guardians, and related professionals and staff.
    4. P&A will, in collaboration with the DD Division, monitor service providers for compliance with mandatory reporting of a/n/e and serious events, appropriate risk management, and implementation of corrective action plans.
    5. P&A will continue to work collaboratively with the DD Division and NDACP to develop a more impactful, timely, & efficient a/n/e process.
  1. Inclusion

GOAL: Individuals with developmental disabilities will live, learn, work, and play in the least restrictive environment of their choice with necessary services and supports.

    1. Individuals with developmental disabilities, who are at risk of institutionalization, will receive the disability-related supports, behavioral health supports, and crisis intervention services necessary to remain in their community.
    2. Individuals with developmental disabilities who are in an institution and able to live in the community will receive the disability-related supports necessary to meet their needs in less restrictive settings.
    3. Advocate systemically for adequate services & supports for individuals to live in the least restrictive environment. (transition monies, outlier process, etc.)
  1. Education

GOAL: Students with developmental disabilities will receive a free appropriate public education.

    1. Students with developmental disabilities inappropriately denied their rights to education through shortened school days, seclusion and restraint, least restrictive environment, discipline, positive behavioral supports and/or involvement in the juvenile justice system will be provided with advocacy to achieve a favorable outcome.
    2. In collaboration with other advocacy partners, P&A will revise, publish, and distribute the Common Ground training manual and process.
    3. P&A will collaborate with the ND State Resource Office Association regarding the role of SRO’s in interacting with students with disabilities.
  1. Criminal Justice

GOAL: The disability-related rights of individuals with Developmental Disabilities will be protected and enforced.

    1. P&A will update, republish, and distribute the Individual Justice Planning manual using input from the PAIMI Advisory Council and other stakeholders.

 

    1. P&A will provide education, training, and awareness to stakeholders (e.g., individuals with disabilities, juvenile and adult justice system, law enforcement, attorneys, providers) on IJP’s.
  1. Supported Decision-Making and Guardianship

GOAL: Individuals will have competent support with decision-making.

    1. Individuals with developmental disabilities, parents, guardians, service providers, related professionals, and other stakeholders will receive information and training regarding Supported Decision-Making and guardianship.

 

Mental Health Advocacy Program

  1. Abuse, Neglect, & Exploitation

GOAL: Individuals with mental illness will be free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

    1. P&A will investigate, or cause to be investigated, suspected abuse, neglect, and exploitation of individuals with mental illness who are in facilities, or who receive community-based treatment or services.
    2. P&A will provide training to individuals with mental illness and staff in institutions, residential facilities, and other treatment and recovery settings resulting in increased knowledge or understanding of abuse, neglect, exploitation, and mental health rights issues.
    3. P&A will establish a memorandum of agreement with the Dept. of Human Services regarding implementation of a/n/e reporting timelines, investigations, and follow-up on recommendations specific to mental health facilities and services.
  1. Inclusion

GOAL: Individuals with mental illness will receive treatment and services to maximize their inclusion in the community and placement in the least restrictive setting.

    1. Individuals with mental illness who are at risk of institutionalization will receive the disability-related supports necessary to remain in their community.
    2. Individuals with mental illness who are in an institution or treatment facility and able to live in the community will receive the disability-related supports necessary to meet their needs in the least restrictive setting.
    3. In collaboration with the mental health advocacy network P&A will track the implementation of the 1915(i) amendment to the State Plan for the State of ND and inform & educate stakeholders.
  1. Education

GOAL: Students with disabilities will receive a free appropriate public education.

    1. Students with mental illness inappropriately denied their rights to education through placement in the least restrictive setting, shortened school days, positive behavioral supports, and seclusion & restraint will have a favorable outcome.
    2. In collaboration with other advocacy partners, P&A will revise, publish, and distribute the Common Ground training manual and process.
    3. P&A will collaborate with the ND State Resource Office Association regarding the role of SRO’s in interacting with students with mental illness.
  1. Criminal Justice

GOAL: The disability-related rights of individuals with mental illness will be protected and enforced.

    1. Followed by P&A outreach and awareness, individuals with mental illness in correctional facilities will receive appropriate mental health treatment and services.
    2. P&A will provide I&R, and short-term assistance on individual justice planning (IJP’s) to consumers, family members, and teams.
    3. P&A will update, republish, and distribute the Individual Justice Planning manual using input from the PAIMI Advisory Council and other stakeholders.

 

    1. P&A will provide education, training, and awareness to stakeholders (e.g., individuals with disabilities, juvenile and adult justice system, law enforcement, attorneys, providers) on IJP’s.
    2. P&A will collaborate to achieve systemic change within ND’s juvenile justice system.
    3. P&A will provide advocacy services to individuals going through the process of being subjected to forced medication.
  1. Behavioral Health Care Continuum

GOAL: There will be positive systemic change to service delivery systems affecting the rights of people with mental illness.

    1. P&A will provide training and information to people with mental illness, family members and the general public regarding mental health related rights and issues, advocacy, and Supported Decision- Making.

 

PAIR (Protection & Advocacy of Individual Rights)

  1. Abuse, Neglect, & Exploitation

GOAL: Individuals with disabilities will be free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

    1. P&A will investigate, or cause to be investigated, suspected abuse, neglect, and exploitation of individuals with disabilities.
  1. Inclusion

GOAL: Individuals with disabilities will reside in the least restrictive environment of their choice with necessary services and supports.

    1. Individuals with disabilities who are at risk of institutionalization will receive the disability-related supports necessary to remain in the community.
    2. P&A will provide education & training on Supported Decision-Making to individuals with disabilities, their families, providers, and related professionals.
    3. P&A will ensure the implementation of the DOJ settlement agreement includes engagement of people with disabilities and family members.
  1. Education

GOAL: Students with disabilities will receive a free appropriate public education.

    1. Students with disabilities inappropriately denied their rights to education through behavioral supports, transition, shortened school days, seclusion & restraint and 504 disability-related accommodations will have a favorable outcome.
    2. In collaboration with other advocacy partners, P&A will revise, publish, and distribute the Common Ground training manual and process.
    3. P&A will collaborate with the ND State Resource Office Association regarding the role of SRO’s in interacting with students with disabilities.
  1. Criminal/Juvenile Justice

GOAL: The disability-related rights of individuals with disabilities will be protected and enforced.

    1. P&A will provide education, training, and awareness to stakeholders (e.g., juvenile, and adult justice system, law enforcement, attorneys, providers) on IJP’s.
    2. P&A will collaborate to achieve systemic change within ND’s juvenile justice system.
  1. Health Care

GOAL: People with disabilities will have the health care      necessary to meet their disability-related needs.

    1. People with disabilities improperly denied coverage for their disability-related healthcare needs by Medicaid, Medicare, the Veterans’ Administration, or private insurance will have a favorable outcome as a result of P&A involvement.

 

Brain Injury Program

  1. Abuse, Neglect, & Exploitation

GOAL: Individuals with brain injury will be free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

    1. P&A will investigate suspected abuse, neglect, and exploitation of individuals with brain injury who are institutionalized or residing in facilities.
    2. P&A will provide training to individuals with brain injury and staff in institutions, facilities, and other treatment and recovery settings resulting in increased knowledge or understanding of abuse, neglect, exploitation, and related rights issues.
  1. Inclusion

GOAL: Individuals with brain injury will receive services in the least restrictive environment within their communities.

    1. Individuals with brain injury who are at risk of institutionalization will receive the disability-related supports necessary to remain in the least restrictive environment.
    2. Individuals with brain injury who are in an institution or treatment facility and able to live in the community will receive the disability-related supports necessary to meet their needs in less restrictive settings.
    3. P&A, in collaboration with other stakeholders, will achieve system changes that expand supports and services for individuals with brain injury and allow full participation in the community.
    4. P&A will provide education & training on Supported Decision-Making to individuals with brain injury, their families, providers, and related professionals.
  1. Education

GOAL: Students with brain injury will receive a free appropriate public education including needed accommodations.

    1. Students with brain injury inappropriately denied their rights to education will be provided with advocacy to achieve a favorable outcome.
    2. P&A will collaborate with the ND State Resource Office Association regarding the role of SRO’s in interacting with students with disabilities.
  1. Criminal Justice

GOAL: The disability-related rights of individuals with brain injury will be protected and enforced.

    1. P&A will provide I&R, and short-term assistance on individual justice planning (IJP’s) to consumers, family members, and teams.
    2. P&A will update, republish, and distribute the Individual Justice Planning manual using input from the PAIMI Advisory Council, Brain Injury Advisory Council, and other stakeholders.
    3. P&A will provide education, training, and awareness to stakeholders (e.g., individuals with disabilities, juvenile and adult justice system, law enforcement, attorneys, providers) on IJP’s.

 

Assistive Technology Advocacy Program

  1. Inclusion

GOAL: Individuals with disabilities will benefit from assistive technology to maximize their inclusion in the community or prevent placement within a more restrictive setting.

    1. People with disabilities denied access to assistive technology devices or services needed for them to attain and maintain their ability to live as independently as possible within the community will obtain a favorable outcome as a result of P&A involvement.
    2. Facilitate supervised referrals to ND Assistive for AT assessments & consults, AT trial use (loan program + NDAD), etc.
    3. People with disabilities, their families and the general public will have increased knowledge of assistive technology devices and services through focused community training events.

 

  1. Education

GOAL: Students with disabilities will receive a free appropriate public education including needed accommodations.

    1. Students with disabilities inappropriately denied their rights to assistive technology devices and services necessary to benefit from education, will be provided with advocacy to achieve a favorable outcome.
  1. Health Care

GOAL: The disability-related assistive technology needs of people with disabilities will be effectively realized.

    1. People with disabilities improperly denied coverage for disability-related assistive technology through Medicaid, Medicare or private insurance will have a favorable outcome as a result of P&A involvement.

 

PABSS (Protection & Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security)

  1. Employment

GOAL: People with disabilities, who receive or are eligible to receive Social Security benefits, have the opportunity for meaningful employment, in their chosen field, at a fair wage.

    1. P&A will provide services to people with disabilities who receive or are eligible for Social Security benefits to address barriers to employment, including employment discrimination and reasonable accommodations in the workplace.
    2. P&A will provide education & training to individuals with disabilities, family members, and service providers regarding employment rights of people with disabilities.
    3. P&A will engage in collaboration and systems advocacy to increase vocational services and employment options for people with disabilities.

 

CAP (Client Assistant Program)

  1. Employment

GOAL: People with disabilities have the opportunity for meaningful employment, in their chosen field, at a fair wage.

    1. Provide information and/or training regarding vocational and support services and employment rights (including those under the Rehabilitation Act and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act), and the Client Assistance Program.
    2. Provide advocacy to individuals with disabilities to resolve concerns regarding denial of eligibility or services, provided by Vocational Rehabilitation and/or the Centers for Independent Living.
    3. Engage in collaboration and systems advocacy to effect policy changes that will improve vocational services and employment options for people with disabilities.

 

PABRP (Protection & Advocacy for Beneficiaries with Representative Payees)

  1. Abuse, Neglect, & Exploitation

GOAL: Individuals with disabilities will have representative payee services that ensures their social security benefits are utilized for their needs.

    1. P&A will conduct Representative Payee reviews, as assigned by the Social Security Administration, to ensure proper usage and accounting of Social Security benefits to meet the essential needs of persons with disabilities.
    2. P&A will request consideration from the Social Security Administration to conduct a targeted review of a representative payee’s services when a need is identified.

 

    1. P&A will provide information regarding Representative Payee responsibilities through our P&A website.

 

Help America Vote ACT (HAVA) Program

  1. Voting

GOAL: To ensure full participation in the electoral process for individuals with disabilities.

    1. P&A will conduct outreach to people with disabilities to ensure they have knowledge of their voting rights and how to fully participate in the electoral process.
    2. P&A will provide education and training to people with disabilities regarding accessible voting to include the use of the ExpressVote machine.
    3. P&A will provide education, training, and/or assistance to individuals with disabilities in filing complaints under the State-based administrative grievance procedure required by HAVA.
    4. P&A will actively engage in collaborative and systemic activities to achieve system change regarding the voting rights of people with disabilities.

 

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