The Hawaii Disability Rights Center (HDRC) is Hawaii’s Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System. It is the policy of HDRC to develop annual Client Services Priorities. These are the issues that are given preference in our application, screening and selection process.
HDRC recognizes that:
- Federal statutes and regulations allow wide latitude in the development of the P&A System’s priorities;
- Resources of the System are limited;
- The concerns of P&A System’s constituents are critical to the development of its priorities; and
- The P&A System is the only organization in the State with a federal mandate to provide legally-based advocacy for people with disabilities who experience rights violations.
HDRC client services priorities should be:
- Consistent with HDRC’s funding requirements
- Compatible with HDRC’s mission and values
- Compatible with HDRC’s areas of expertise; that is, the problems have legal implications
- Compatible with HDRC’s client eligibility requirements
- Unmet by other organizations
- Of probable significant individual and systemic impact for people with disabilities
- Feasible - cost is within HDRC’s resources
It is the policy of HDRC, as required in our federal mandates, to conduct an annual 60-day public comment period in July and August, to solicit comments and recommendations from our constituency and from the community on those issues which should be client service priorities for the Center.
HDRC’s Client Services Priorities for FY 2010 (Priorities printed in bold are required by a federal grantor)
CARE AND TREATMENT PRIORITIES - The right to receive care and treatment which is: Free from abuse and neglect; in the most appropriate integrated setting appropriate and that maximizes opportunities for self-determination; and is provided with access to due process, informed consent, confidentiality and privacy.
- Freedom from abuse and neglect of people with disabilities living in 24 hour facilities.
(Required by PADD, PAIMI, PATBI and PAIR)
- Community Integration - the "Olmstead Decision" and "Money Follows the Person."
- Self Determination for people with disabilities.
- Advance Directives for Health & Mental Health Care for people with disabilities.
- P&A access to people with disabilities and their records.
CITIZENSHIP PRIORITIES - The rights to accessible: (a) communications; (b) government programs and services; (c) public facilities; and (c) transportation.
The rights to: Move about freely; register and vote; serve on juries; enter into contracts; own and dispose of property; and become naturalized citizens.
- Public facilities and public transportation are accessible for people with disabilities.
- People with disabilities are provided voter civics; know why and how to vote; and register and vote. (Required by PAVA)
EDUCATION PRIORITIES - the rights to individualized educational programs and related services; integration into regular classrooms; freedom from discriminatory arrest, suspension, expulsion from school.
- Freedom from discriminatory arrest, suspension and expulsion from public school of children with disabilities.
- "Free and Appropriate Public Education" (FAPE) for children with disabilities in public schools.
EMPLOYMENT PRIORITIES - The rights to freedom from discrimination in: Hiring, provision of reasonable accommodation, advancement, or termination in competitive, supported, or sheltered employment.
The rights to benefit from vocational rehabilitation, work incentives and other return-to-work initiatives.
- Vocational Rehabilitation and other services of the Rehabilitation Act. (Required by CAP)
- "Gainful Employment" for Social Security Beneficiaries with Disabilities. (Required by PABSS)
- Work Incentives Planning and Assistance for Social Security Beneficiaries with Disabilities.
- Freedom from employment discrimination related to hiring, accommodation, advancement or discharge.
FREEDOM-OF-ASSOCIATION PRIORITIES - the rights to form and maintain relationships; to reproduce; to raise children.
- People with disabilities are not threatened with involuntary sterilization.
HOUSING PRIORITIES - the rights to freedom from discrimination in obtaining and maintaining housing and to keep companion / service animals in one's home.
- Public housing that is accessible for people with disabilities.
- Freedom from discrimination (such as NIMBY) in housing applications or evictions; or other abuse in housing.
- Service animals or companion animals are allowed in housing of people with disabilities.
JUSTICE PRIORITIES - The right to be considered competent and conduct one’s own affairs unless determined by a court of law to lack such capacity.
The protection of civil rights in commitment, discharge, release, and in pre-trial proceedings; and the right to humane treatment while in detention or confinement.
- Emancipation from unnecessary guardianship.
- Pretrial Detainees are provided timely adjudication while awaiting a fitness to proceed evaluation.
PROGRAMS AND SERVICES PRIORITIES - The right to freedom from discrimination in obtaining and maintaining services for which one is legally qualified, such as Assistive Technology; Financial Entitlements such Food Stamps, General Assistance, TANF, SSI and SSDI; Medical Entitlements such as Medicaid and Medicare; and Entitlements for specific groups such as Veterans, people with Developmental Disabilities, Mental Illness, TBI.
- Freedom from neglect or abuse of people with disabilities by service providers.
- Financial supports such as SSI, SSDI, TANF or Food Stamps for qualified people with disabilities.
- Medical support such as Medicaid or EPSDT for qualified people with disabilities.
- Assistive Technology for qualified people with disabilities. (Required by PAAT)
- Independent Living Services for qualified people with disabilities. (Required by CAP)
- Disability and status specific services such as DD, DD/MR, Mental Illness, TBI, HIV, Veterans, etc., for qualified people with disabilities. (Required by PADD, PAIMI, PATBI, PAIR)
- Veterans Administration benefits for qualified Veterans.
Your comments on our Client Services Priorities are welcome any time.