the legal rights
of persons with disabilities
across the South
Menu of Significant
[Medicaid], [Americans with Disabilities
[Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)],
and [Mental Health]
Issues throughout the South
There are numerous Medicaid, ADA,
and IDEA issues throughout the South that could be addressed by the
Southern Disability Law Center. These include:
A. Exclusion of durable medical equipment
that allows individuals with physical disabilities to safely remain
in their own homes. Typical exclusions include augmentative communication
devices, patient lifts, specialized mattresses, environmental control
units, portable ramps medical supplies, and oxygen.
B. Exclusion of power wheelchairs
for individuals residing in nursing homes.
C. Exclusion of prosthetic
limbs and braces for persons with physical disabilities.
D. Unlawful limitations
on the amount of in-home support services, such as nursing and personal
assistance services, provided to children.
E. Unlawful limitations
on covered services based upon specific diagnoses, i.e., refusal to
pay for internal feeding supplies based upon diagnosis.
F. Unlawful limitations
on the range of health care services available to children in foster
G. Unlawful restrictions
on home health services based upon the "homebound status"
of the individual.
H. Unlawful cost caps on
reimbursement for specialized equipment, i.e., customized wheelchairs,
augmentative communication devices.
I. Unlawful terminations
from Home and Community-Based Waiver Programs due to severity of disability.
A. Failure of local and state governmental
entities to modify their policies, procedures, and practices to reasonably
accommodate applicants / recipients who have disabilities, (e.g.,
taking telephone / Internet applications, home visits, etc.).
B. Architectural inaccessibility
of local and state governmental entities. This includes the inaccessibility
of many local offices of state agencies which operate entitlement
programs. Also includes inaccessibility of local public health clinics,
and public hospitals.
C. Programmatic inaccessibility
of local and state governmental entities operations. Such inaccessibility
includes the failure of state entitlement programs to have Telecommunication
Devices for the Deaf (TDDs) and separate TDD lines and numbers. It
also includes the failure of such programs to provide interpreters,
readers, large print materials, taped, and/or Brailled materials to
people who are deaf, blind, vision impaired learning disabled.
D. Architectural inaccessibility
of local courthouses which clearly inhibits if not denies poor people
with disabilities equal access to justice.
E. Inaccessibility of public
transportation systems including curb cuts at all transit stops.
F. Inaccessibility of local
911 service operations to people who are deaf. Today, many 911 service
operations do not have TDDs, nor staff trained in the use of TDDs.
The result is that often when people who are deaf call 911 using a
TDD, their call is mistaken as a fax and their call is immediately
dropped by the operator.
G. Continued accessibility
issues with local polling places for local / state / federal elections.
This includes lack of disabled parking; lack of curb cuts at polling
places; inaccessible entrances to polling places; inaccessible voting
systems including those that deny secret ballots to people who are
H. Architectural and/or
programmatic inaccessibility of Title III public accommodation, (e.g.,
banks, hospitals, malls, etc.).
A. The failure of State Education
Agency (SEA) Monitoring Systems to ensure the provision of FAPE by
Local Education Agencies, (LEAs).
B. The failure of local
districts to provide Extended School Year, (EYS) programs based upon
students individualized needs. Most local districts either fail to
offer EYS programs or offer a predetermined, limited program that
is exactly the same length for all students.
of ethnic minority students in special education based upon use of
inappropriate and discriminatory assessment measure, (i.e., standardized
D. Disproportionate suspension
/ expulsion rates of students with disabilities by certain school
districts. The impact of such illegal practices falls predominately
on kids with disabilities who are poor and of ethnic minority backgrounds.
E. Disproportionate and
illegal placement of students with disabilities in Alternative Education
Programs (AEPs). Across the South, students with disabilities are
being illegally 'dumped' into AEPs for behaviors related to their
disability. Moreover, local districts routinely are failing to provide
IEP services to students with disabilities in AEPs, (e.g., occupational,
physical, speech therapy, psychological counseling, etc.).
A. Failure of State Department of
Mental Health to fund new generation medications for individuals in
state hospitals and/or the community mental health system.
B. Olmstead issues involving
a broad array of community services for consumers / survivors.
C. Myriad managed care
issues involving community mental health centers
lack of crisis
intervention services, behavioral supports, rehabilitation services,
D. Local jails
conditions including failure to provide medications, treatment, segregation
from general population, etc.
E. Transporting consumers
/ psychiatric survivors in handcuffs and shackles to mental health