About the Disabilities Rights Center
The Disabilities Rights Center (DRC) is a statewide organization that is independent from state government or service providers and is dedicated to the full and equal enjoyment of civil and other legal rights by people with disabilities. The DRC is New Hampshire's designated Protection and Advocacy agency and authorized by federal statute "to pursue legal, administrative and other appropriate remedies" on behalf of individuals with disabilities.
Board of Directors
2011 Annual Report
2010 Annual Report
2009 Annual Report
2008 Annual Report
2007 Annual Report
2006 Annual Report
2005 Annual Report
2004 Annual Report
2003 Annual Report
Federal Authority and Funding
DRC Grievance Policy and Procedures
What We Do:DRC provides information/referral, advice and legal representation and advocacy to individuals with disabilities on a wide range of matters, when the issue relates directly to the individual's disability. Although the DRC is not able to represent everyone who needs legal representation, the DRC does represent hundreds of people throughout the year. These cases typically involve access to, or eliminating discrimination in, mental health and developmental services, special education, assistive technology, employment, housing, medical services, financial assistance, vocational rehabilitation services; the elimination of physical barriers in public accommodations; and assuring basic rights such as voting, choice, and right to be free from abuse, neglect, and unwarranted restraint and seclusion. Because funding levels are not sufficient to provide assistance to every individual who asks for assistance, the DRC has established goals, objectives, priorities and case selection criteria for determining which cases to accept. In regard to fees, while most DRC clients do not have the ability to pay for legal representation, those who do are charged for services according to their ability to pay. However, there is no charge to anyone for brief assistance of no more than two hours. Asking those who are able to pay something helps the DRC maintain high quality services for as many individuals with disabilities
Policy and System Change Advocacy As part of its charge and mission, and often in collaboration with others, the DRC engages in systemic level change activity, which addresses the underlying causes of problems people with disabilities face, enabling change to occur for many individuals at the same time. This is done through:
- Impact or Class action cases:
- Administrative advocacy and Legislative education aimed at educating government officials and leaders about the need to improve current laws and regulations;
- Special Projects or Initiatives which are based on the DRC’s goals and priorities, including initiatives in abuse, neglect, restraint and seclusion; Medicaid; education improvement for students with disabilities; suspension/expulsion; voting rights; assistive technology; empowerment and choice; traumatic brain injury; municipality accessibility; and employment rights and the Ticket to Work Program.
Community Outreach, Training and Education DRC provides training, consultation, technical assistance, community education, and informational material to individuals, groups, organizations, lawyers and other advocates in the above special project areas as well as in other disability rights areas. Contact Julia Freeman-Woolpert, Outreach Director, with your requests for speakers or trainings.
More about us:
- The DRC, originally the Developmental Disabilities Advocacy Center, has been operating since 1978 as a §501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.
- The Board of Directors is comprised of people with disabilities, family members of people with disabilities, advocates, human service professionals, community representatives and attorneys.
- The vast majority of DRC clients do not have the ability to pay for legal representation. Some clients can afford to pay and are charged for services based on a sliding fee scale.
- Approximately 2000 individuals ask the DRC for assistance each year. The DRC provides some individuals with legal representation; some with brief services; and others with information and/or referral.
- Between 90% and 95% of all DRC cases are resolved without going to court.
Last Updated: 10/3/12