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Investigation & Monitoring Reports

PAVA Report: Rensselaer County Polling Sites Remain Inaccessible

DRNY published a report on Rensselaer County polling site inaccessibility in March 2017. DRNY has also filed a second complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) against Rensselaer County for preventing people with disabilities from voting. In 2016, after DRNY filed a similar complaint, the DOJ demanded Rensselaer County take corrective action to remedy violations. Despite these demands, for the third straight election, DRNY has found inaccessible polling places in Rensselaer County. During the last election, 90% of the sites surveyed by DRNY violated the Americans with Disability Act and other federal laws.  
Report

Investigative Report: Abuse & Neglect of NYS Residents At Woods Services In PA

DRNY released a report detailing disturbing abuse, neglect and human rights violations of New York children and adults at Woods Services (“Woods”) in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. DRNY initiated an investigation into Woods in June 2016 after receiving multiple complaints of abuse and neglect. DRNY found an excessive use of physical restraints resulting in serious injuries to residents. Woods often used these illegal restraints as a substitute for appropriate behavioral programming. There were also assaults on residents, including a young female who was beaten with a shoe. Finally, DRNY uncovered poor sanitation, employment abuses, and substandard internal investigation practices.

"Woods Services and the New York State agencies that continue to fund these placements must be held accountable," said Timothy A. Clune, DRNY's Executive Director.
Press Release
Report 

Investigative Report:  Report & Recommendations Concerning Attica Correctional Facility’s RMHU 

DRNY issued a public report highly critical of how the State operates a mental health program at Attica Correctional Facility. DRNY found that the State has abused and neglected prisoners in Attica’s Residential Mental Health Unit (RMHU). The State’s operation of the program violates the “SHU Exclusion Law,” a law intended to protect individuals with serious mental illness from the harmful effects of solitary confinement. The RMHU is jointly operated by the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) and Office of Mental Health (OMH).
Press Release 
Report 

84% Of Erie County Polling Places Surveyed By DRNY Are Inaccessible To Voters With Disabilities

DRNY issued a public report based on surveys conducted during the State General Elections on 11-8-16 that found an alarming 84% of the polling sites violated the ADA.

The right to vote is one of the most important rights of all Americans. “It is inexcusable that Erie County is still using inaccessible polling locations and voting systems that don’t work for people with disabilities,” said Timothy A. Clune, DRNY Executive Director. “If you can’t get in, you can’t vote.”
Press Release
Report

Investigative Report:  Report & Recommendations on Americans With Disabilities Act Coordinators at New York State and Local Government Entities

DRNY issued a public report after surveying 156 city, town and village governments in New York State and concluded that 74% were out of compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the ADA, public entities with 50 or more employees must designate an employee to coordinate ADA compliance. The ADA Coordinator is the primary contact for people with disabilities who must ensure equal access to public services and programs. DRNY has demanded immediate action to correct the deficiencies identified in its Report. 
Press Release
Report

Niagara Rehabilitation & Nursing Center Abuses & Neglects Residents

DRNY issued a public report documenting abuse and neglect at Niagara Rehabilitation and Nursing Center (NRNC), a skilled nursing facility in Niagara Falls, NY. DRNY launched its investigation of NRNC in Nov. 2016 after receiving multiple complaints of the poor conditions of the facility and the inferior care provided to residents.
“DRNY uncovered serious systemic practices that put residents at risk of physical and emotional harm,” said DRNY Executive Director Timothy A. Clune, Esq. “NRNC must immediately remedy these issues. We will continue to monitor NRNC”.
Press Release 
Report

Inaccessible Polling Sites In Green County Violate Federal Law

80% of the polling places surveyed by DRNY in Greene County were inaccessible to voters with disabilities. DRNY issued a public report of its findings from the 2016 Elections.

The right to vote is one of the most important rights of all Americans. “It is inexcusable that Greene County is still using inaccessible polling locations and voting systems that don’t work,” said Tim Clune, DRNY Executive Director. “If you can’t get in, you can’t vote”. 
Press Release 
Report 

Investigative Report:  North Colonie SD Takes Corrective Actions To Address Findings Of Abuse & Neglect of Students With Disabilities At Blue Creek Elementary School

DRNY issued a public report documenting abuse and neglect in a special education classroom at Blue Creek School and the corrective action taken by the North Colonie School District (North Colonie) to address its more troubling practices. DRNY launched an investigation in 2013 after receiving multiple complaints of improper use of physical restraints, failure to notify parents and guardians of the use of physical restraints, and other misconduct threatening the safety and wellbeing of elementary age students with significant disabilities at Blue Creek Elementary School. North Colonie initially refused DRNY access to the school, students, and requested records and DRNY brought a federal lawsuit Disability Rights N.Y. v. N. Colonie Bd. of Educ.. In 2016, the District Court upheld DRNY’s investigative authority. 
Press Release
Report 

Investigative Report: Bellevue's Restraint Overuse Alarming

In a joint investigation by Mental Hygiene Legal Service for the First Judicial Department (MHLS) and DRNY, evidence was uncovered demonstrating an unusually high usage of mechanical restraints on patients at Bellevue Hospital Center as compared to other public hospitals in New York City. The report, titled, “Investigation Report: Use of Restraints on Psychiatric Patients at Bellevue Hospital Center,” was published on November 1, 2016. Bellevue’s high incidence of mechanical restraint usage on psychiatric patients is a significant area of concern. As Bellevue’s own policy states, restraint use “has the potential to produce serious consequences, such as physical and psychological harm, loss of dignity, violation of an individual’s rights, feelings of isolation and even death”.
Press Release 
Report 

Report:  DRNY Finds Employees Who Use Wheelchairs Are Out of Fashion In New York!
New Study Finds “No Foot in The Door” For Qualified Job Seekers at 41% Of New York City Fashion Retailers

Workers with disabilities have unemployment rates double the rate of those in the general workforce and earn as little as half of what people without disabilities earn. Disability Rights New York’s (DRNY), investigation and study, conducted by labor economist Marc Bendick, Jr., Ph.D., demonstrates that these outcomes often arise not because these workers can’t do the job, but instead because employers don’t give them a chance.  The first of its kind study in retail fashion employment found an alarming 41% of retailers discriminated against people with disabilities.
Press Release
Report
Video

Report:  DRNY Finds Problems With NYS Solitary Confinement Reforms For People With Disabilities

DRNY released a report of its investigation that the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) and Office of Mental Health (OMH) failed to adequately serve incarcerated people with disabilities.  DRNY issued a report following its 2014-2015 monitoring and investigation of the Correctional Alternatives Rehabilitation Unit (CAR) at Sullivan Correctional Facility, which DOCCS opened in May 2014.  The report includes findings of abuse and neglect and makes recommendations to DOCCS.
Report

Investigative Report: The Death Of M.H.

DRNY released a report of its investigation of the death of M.H., who lived in Saint Dominic’s Home, Dominican Hall (“SDH”), a New York Intermediate Care Facility for people with developmental disabilities. DRNY’s investigation concluded that M.H. was seriously neglected in the months preceding his death, causing him great suffering and likely contributing to his death.  New York State’s investigation of the matter by its Justice Center for Protection of People with Special Needs (Justice Center) was seriously deficient.  Despite overwhelming evidence of neglect, the Justice Center inexplicably failed to find that M.H. was neglected and completely failed to remedy the systemic problems that caused the neglect.
Report

Preliminary Report: Neglect At Ferncliff Manor

DRNY released a Preliminary Report on June 23, 2015 following an investigation into allegations of neglect at a New York residential school for students with disabilities -The School for Adaptive and Integrated Learning (S.A.I.L.) at Ferncliff Manor. DRNY concluded that students at Ferncliff Manor have been and continue to be neglected. DRNY's investigation is ongoing, but due to the serious nature of the findings, DRNY issued a Preliminary Report to notify Ferncliff Manor of the problematic policies, procedures and conduct that impact the safety and well-being of students with disabilities.
Preliminary Report

DRNY Reports Of Services In New York's Congressional Districts

These Reports provide an overview of the services that DRNY has provided to individuals with disabilities living in New York by Congressional District, pursuant to the Protection and Advocacy System and the Client Assistance Program.  It also provides a breakdown of the clients DRNY has served, the work DRNY has performed, and examples of DRNY's ongoing outreach efforts.

Read All 27 Congressional District Services Reports