Title VI Complaint Procedure

The following pertains only to Title VI complaints regarding the services of

Heartspring

Title VI, 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq., was enacted as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. At the heart of the regulation is the statement that;

No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal Financial assistance.

Heartspring has in place a Title VI Complaint Procedure, which outlines a process from local disposition of Title VI complaints and is consistent with guidelines found in Chapter III of the Federal Transit Administration Circular 4702.1B, dated October 1, 2012. If you believe that Heartspring’s federally funded programs have discriminated your civil rights on the basis of race, color, or national origin you may file a written complaint by following the procedure outlined below:


1. Submission of Complaint.

Any person who feels that he or she, individually or as a member of any class of persons, on the basis of race, color, or national origin has been excluded from or denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination caused by Heartspring, may file a written complaint with the Heartspring Chief Financial Officer (CFO). A sample complaint form is available for download here and is available in hard copy at the offices of Heartspring. Upon request, Heartspring will mail the complaint form. Such complaints must be filed within 180 calendar days after the date the discrimination occurred.

Note: Assistance in the preparation of any complaints will be provided to a person or persons upon request and as appropriate. If information is needed in another language, then contact Mary Huber at 316.634.8806.

Complaints should be mailed to or submitted by hand to:

Heartspring
8700 East 29th Street North
Wichita, KS 67226
Attn: Chief Financial Officer


2. Referral to Review Officer

Upon receipt of the complaint, the CFO at Heartspring, shall appoint one or more staff review officers, as appropriate, to evaluate and investigate the complaint. If necessary, the Complainant shall meet with the staff review officer(s) to further explain his or her complaint. The staff review officer(s) shall complete their review no later than 45 calendar days after the date the agency received the complaint. If more time is required, the CFO shall notify the Complainant of the estimated time frame for completing the review. Upon completion of the review, the staff review officer(s) shall make a recommendation regarding the merit of the complaint and whether remedial actions are available to provide redress. Additionally, the staff review officer(s) may recommend improvements to Heartspring’s processes relative to Title VI, as appropriate. The staff review officer(s) shall forward their recommendations to the CFO for concurrence. If the CFO concurs, he or she hall issue the Heartspring’s written response to the Complainant. This final report should include a summary of the investigation, all findings with recommendations, corrective measures where appropriate.

Note: Upon receipt of a complaint, Heartspring shall forward a copy of this complaint and the resulting written response to the appropriate KDOT and FTA Region 7 contacts.


3. Request for Reconsideration

If the Complainant disagrees with the CFO's response, he or she may request reconsideration by submitting the request, in writing, to the President and CEO within 10 calendar days after receipt of the CFO’s response. The request for reconsideration shall be sufficiently detailed to contain any items the Complainant feels were not fully understood by the CFO. The President and CEO will notify the Complainant of his or her decision in writing either to accept or reject the request for reconsideration within 10 calendar days. In cases where the President and CEO agrees to reconsider, the matter shall be returned to the staff review officer(s) to reevaluate in accordance with paragraph 2 above.


4. Appeal

If the request for reconsideration is denied, the Complainant may appeal the President and CEO’s response by submitting a written appeal to Heartspring Board of Directors no later than 10 calendar days after receipt of the President and CEO’s written decision rejecting reconsideration. The Heartspring Board of Directors will then make a determination to either request re-evaluation by the staff review officer(s) or forward the complaint to KDOT for further investigation.

5. Submission of Complaint to the Kansas Department of Transportation

If the Complainant is dissatisfied with the Heartspring’s resolution of the complaint, he or she may also submit a written complaint within 180 days after the alleged date of the discrimination to the State of Kansas Department of Transportation for further investigation.

KDOT Office of Contract Compliance
Eisenhower State Office Building
700 Southwest Harrison Street
3rd Floor West
Topeka, KS 66603


Heartspring’s Transit Public Participation Plan Outline

1. Brief description of provider’s activities and services

Heartspring is a residential/school facility and has been providing transportation to Heartspring students ages from 7 to 21 for over 30 years. We provide rides only to Heartspring students within Sedgwick County for various educational purposes including shopping, entertainment activities, church services, employment, to and from school, medical appointments, Special Olympics and other various outings.

2. Brief description of activities that would warrant public participation, (i.e. fare changes, changes to service hours, route adjustments, service area changes).

Heartspring does not charge its students for any transportation services. There are no fixed routes. We are a demand-response system.  All rides are limited to Heartspring students and subject to each student needs.

3. Brief description of the proactive public participation strategies would be used.

Heartspring is a private not-for-profit residential/school serving students with multiple disabilities. We do not offer our transportation services to the general public. However, should another CTD 12 agency request the use of a vehicle from our transportation fleet, Heartspring does allow the use of our fleet vehicles.

4. Brief description of outreach methods to engage minority and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) individuals, (i.e. translation of public meeting materials, providing translation services if the requested, targeted media messages in low income neighborhoods of service area, work with existing, work with existing neighborhood and advocacy organizations).

All of Heartspring students are transported with their para-educator or Heartspring medical staff.  Many Heartspring students are non-verbal and use an alternative communication device such as a picture book or a voice output device.  All Heartspring staff assisting a student on the Heartspring transportation system are trained in communicating with their student if an alternative communication device is used.

5. Brief description of the desired outcomes of the agency’s public participation efforts.

Heartspring does not provide public transportation. Heartspring transportation fleet is for the sole purpose of providing services to the students we serve.

6. Brief summary of recent outreach efforts over the past three years.

Heartspring does not provide public transportation. Heartspring transportation fleet is for the sole purpose of providing services to the students we serve. If a CTD 12 agency requests the use of a vehicle from our transportation fleet, Heartspring does allow the use of our fleet vehicles.

Notifying the Public of Rights under Title VI

HEARTSPRING

Operates its programs and services without regard to race, color, and national origin in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Any person who believes she or he has been aggrieved by Any unlawful discriminatory practice under Title VI may file a Complaint with Heartspring.

• For more information on the Heartspring civil rights program, and the procedures to file a complaint, contact 316.634.8700; email kfairbanks@heartspring.org; or visit our administrative office at 8700 E. 29th St. N., Wichita, KS 67226

For more information, visit www.heartspring.org

• A complainant may file a complaint directly with the Federal Transit Administration by filing a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, Attention: Title VI Program Coordinator, East Building, 5th Floor - TCR, 1200 New Jersey Ave SE, Washington, DC 20590

Limited English Proficiency Plan

Introduction

On August 11, 2000, President Bill Clinton issued Executive Order 13166 ``Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency,'' (65 FR 50121).  The intent of this Executive Order is to improve access to federally conducted and federally assisted programs and activities for persons who are limited in their English proficiency. The purpose of developing an LEP plan, as a recipient of federal funds, is to identify the extent of LEP individuals in the region and identify ways that the transit agency can reduce and/or eliminate the barriers to LEP individuals.  The starting point for developing this plan is to perform a four factor analysis to determine the individualized needs of the region.  After these needs are identified, the transit agency should develop a language assistance plan addressing the mix of services that will be provided.

Four Factor Analysis

Heartspring is a school that provides special education services to students who are severely disabled.Most Heartspring students are on the autism spectrum and many are considered to be severely disabled.

Using 2007 - 2011 American Community Survey data for Sedgwick County it has been determined that there is no group of LEP individuals that “speak English less than very well” that meet the 5% requirement. The most relevant LEP group is the Spanish Creole speaking individuals.  This group makes up 4% of the total population. There are many different groups of LEP individuals in Sedgwick County, but none of these groups meet the 5% criteria. Considering no LEP group meets the 5% requirement, our agency is not required to translate vital documents.   

Table Depicting membership of Committee, Councils, Broken Down by Race

Body Caucasian Latino African American Asian American Native American Other
Population within service area, (Sedgwick County) 94% 4% 0% 0% 0% 2%
Agency Board of Directors 86% 7% 0% 7% 0% 0%
Agency Staff 66% 5% 25% 3% 0% 1%
Heartspring Students 83% 0% 5% 4% 2% 6%

(1) Identify number of or proportion of LEP individuals that can utilize the service provided by Heartspring.

The first population group is the citizens of Sedgwick County, Kansas.  The population of Sedgwick County consists of 94% Caucasian, 4% Latino and 2% other.  The Heartspring Transit system is a demand response system dedicated exclusively to the students of Heartspring.  At no time does the transit system pick up students within Sedgwick County.  All rides are generated from the Heartspring campus.  About 70% of our students are non-verbal, they do not have the ability to speak and they require an alternative communication device.  All students require assistance when riding in the Heartspring transit system and every staff person providing such assistance has been trained to use the alternative communication device with the student to communicate.

The second population group is the Heartspring Board of Trustees and these individuals never ride our transit system.  The third population group is the Heartspring staff and that group is 100% proficient in English.  This population rides the transit system only to assist the student in riding on the system and to assist the student in all functions when the destination has been reached.  The final population group is the Heartspring students, and our verbal students are 100% English proficient. 

(2) Identify the frequency in which LEP individuals come in contact with the service:

The Heartspring system does not interface with any LEP individuals.

(3) Identify the importance of the service to the LEP community:

The Heartspring system has no effect on the lives in Sedgwick County.  Our transit services always starts and ends on the Heartspring campus.  The system provides transportation only to Heartspring students and staff who are assisting students.

(4) Identify the resources available and the respective costs of these resources:

If the Heartspring system were to make contact with an LEP individual, we would utilize a picture book like one used by our students to communicate with that LEP individual.  The picture book is a book of pictures that the student uses to communicate their needs and desires to other students, to staff, and to the general public.  

Limited English Proficiency Plan

Utilizing the information gathered from the Four Factor Analysis, the following plan is developed in order to provide the necessary assistance to LEP persons. 

Identified LEP individuals

The Heartspring transit system does not interface with the general public of Sedgwick County.  The system is uses exclusively for Heartspring students and all rides start and end on the Heartspring campus.  Therefore no written translation is required.

Language Assistance Measures

All Heartspring staff that work with students are taught how to use the alternative communication device that a student may use.  Many of these systems as based on pictures and our staff could utilize a student’s system to communicate to an LEP individual.

Training Staff

Heartspring staff is trained on the various communication devices our students use.  There would be no additional training required for staff to use these systems to communicate with a LEP individual.

Providing Notice

LEP plan will be posted at www.heartspring.org website. LEP plan will be provided to any person or agency requesting a copy.  The person of contact in regards to the LEP plan is Kathy Fairbanks and can be reached via e-mail at kfairbanks@heartspring.org or by contacting via telephone at 316.634.8700.  If a complaint is to be filed by an LEP individual, please utilize the Title VI Complaint Procedures. 

Monitoring and Updating LEP Plan

Heartspring will update the LEP plan according to the Title VI update schedule which is every three years.  The plan will also be updated anytime changes in the demographics of the agencies service area are deemed significant in regards to LEP persons.

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