Disability Rights & Resources
Fighting for Justice * Advancing Independence
Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2013
October 1, 2012 – September 30, 2013
Our consumers at a glance:
73% are within the age range of 25 – 59 years old
11% are 60 or older and 16% are 24 or younger
54% are female and 46% male
59% are African American and 37% are Caucasian
We serve people with any disability and they represent:
Our organization at a glance:
273 consumers were served through our Peer Mentoring & Independent Living Skills programs
11 consumers participated successfully in the My Home My Choice program, moving from institutions to independent living within the community.
9,388 consumers received Information & Referral services.
3,670 people were reached through 96 workshops, presentations and Technical Assistance.
3,112 hours of travel training were delivered.
2,877 hours of system advocacy.
4,906 hours of collaborations & community outreach.
Total income for the organization was $647,053. Sources were:
All Federal funds 55%
State and local government 26%
United Way 15%
All other resources 4%
*Fund balance resources were used to bring the total to $780,384.
Total expenditures were $780,384
Program Services 75%
Administration & General Expenses 17%
Fund raising 8%
Our service area at a glance:
We serve Cabarrus, Gaston, Mecklenburg and Union counties in North Carolina
Of the total population of this area, 1,528,346*, 9.8% (149,099 people)* have a disability. Within the age group 18 – 64 (the majority of our consumers), 83,277*, or 5.5%, have a disability.
*2011 American Community Survey (ACS) estimates based on the 2010 Census
Case Story Examples – Our Mission Come to Life
Independent Living Skills
J.L. uses a power wheelchair due to paralysis resulting from a brain aneurysm. She stated she was being placed on stand-by very often when she tried to get a ride on the city’s para-transit system. She wondered if she could learn how to independently use the city’s transit system and stop missing doctor’s appointments.
After going out with a Let’s All Go Travel Trainer only twice (once to a support group meeting and once to Wal-Mart) she contacted the Project Manager to report, ecstatically, that she had just successfully ridden the bus alone and would no longer need a travel trainer. She wanted us to note in her file that “she did it”!
Disability Rights & Resources and the Mecklenburg Advocacy Council for People with Disabilities (MACPD) expressed dismay that there was a bus stop located across a busy four-lane road from a senior living facility. Various Representatives from Charlotte Department of Transportation, Charlotte Area Transit, the City’s ADA Coordinator were aware of the issue but were not able to identify a potential solution. Despite the fact that earlier in the year an individual was killed attempting to cross the street from the bus stop to the facility, there still were no immediate plans to reroute the bus, move the stop or modify the current configuration.
Through Disability Rights & Resources, the MACPD facilitated a forum for residents of the facility to meet with those City employees, and for some of those City employees to visit the facility. Through several meetings and multiple recommendations, four approaches were taken to address the issue:
- The speed limit on the road was lowered,
- Local Police officers would monitor the area and crack down on speeders
- NC Department of Transportation would build a median to provide a rescue area
- The city’s para-transit department would go to the facility and provide an opportunity for the residents to apply for para-transit until the bus stop could be moved to the other side of the street.
-D.O. is a 69 year old woman with MD who lives alone and is a wheelchair user. She does not have access to the apartment complex dumpster because there is no accessible path from her apartment. Management was asked to pick up the garbage, but they tried to impose a surcharge.
With the agency’s support, the local Fair Housing Investigation Project (FHIP) informed management that they had to pick up the garbage at no cost to D.O. Later, when it was time for her to renew her lease, she was told by Management that she had to submit the renewal online. However, she does not have the dexterity to manipulate her computer, nor does she have an accessible path of travel from her apartment to the management office. The FHIP investigated and determined that it was a reasonable modification for Management to pick up the lease in person.
D.O. reported that she had been determined eligible for the para-transit system, but she could not use it because there was a safety issue in the path of travel from her apartment to the parking lot. Once again the FHIP intervened and convinced Management to ensure there is an accessible and safe path of travel from her apartment to the parking lot.
Peer Relationships and Peer Role Modeling
S.B. came to Disability Rights & Resources to apply for a contracted position as a Travel Trainer through the Let’s All Go travel training program. She was a client of Vocational Rehabilitation. The day she signed her contract with us, she had just moved from a women’s shelter into her own apartment with her daughter. She had sought help from Crisis Assistance Ministry to aid with her utilities and rent and was ready to earn money.
Travel training was a new and unfamiliar endeavor for S.B. but she was a frequent rider of the bus and knew how to navigate her way around using the Charlotte public transportation system. With coaching and instruction from the Project Manager, she has become an outstanding Travel Trainer. Her consumers consistently report how much they enjoy working with her and that they have learned to travel safely and independently.
S.B. is being considered for the position of Lead Travel Trainer and she also has enrolled at the local community college, majoring in Human Service Technology. Her long term goal is to become a Social Worker.