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National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)
NDRN is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and Client Assistance Programs (CAP). Collectively, the P&A/CAP network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.
NDRN has three main priorities:
- NDRN's top priority is to obtain increased appropriations for the programs that fund the P&A/CAP network. NDRN also monitors the administration of these programs by the various federal agencies in the areas of timely grant awards, policies, oversight activities, data collection, etc.
- NDRN works to keep federal laws for people with disabilities robust, as P&As must enforce those statutes at the state level.
- NDRN provides training and technical assistance to its members on a broad range of topics including legal, fiscal, governance, leadership, communications and organizational development of the P&A/CAP system.
NDRN’s mission is to promote the integrity and capacity of the P&A/CAP national network and to advocate for the enactment and vigorous enforcement of laws protecting civil and human rights of people with disabilities.
Protection and Advocacy (P&A) – P&A agencies have the authority to provide legal representation and other advocacy services, under all federal and state laws, to all people with disabilities (based on a system of priorities for services). All P&As maintain a presence in facilities that care for people with disabilities, where they monitor, investigate and attempt to remedy adverse conditions. These agencies also devote considerable resources to ensuring full access to inclusive educational programs, financial entitlements, healthcare, accessible housing and productive employment opportunities.
Client Assistance Program (CAP) – CAP agencies (many of which are housed within P&A offices) provide information and assistance to individuals seeking or receiving vocational rehabilitation (VR) services under the Rehabilitation Act, including assistance in pursuing administrative, legal and other appropriate remedies.
There is a P&A/CAP agency in every state and U.S. territory as well as one serving the Native American population in the four corners region. (Printable Version of P&A/CAP contact list)
If you have a disability and are experiencing one of the following problems, call your state P&A or CAP.
- Moving out of a nursing home.
- Getting your medications paid for.
- Getting the health care services you need.
- Renting a place to live.
- Being evicted or having problems where you live because of your disability.
- Being discharged from a hospital into a nursing home and you don’t believe this is right place for you.
- Getting transportation to get to go places.
- Your Social Security or other benefits have been stopped.
- You need a wheelchair, TTY, mobility cane or other aids to help you be independent.
- You were denied the right to vote because of your disability.
- You want to know what your voting rights are.
- Following an accident or illness you have problems with memory, thinking, behavior, keeping a job, following directions, getting along with others or doing things the way you used to.
- You are not allowed into a store, restaurant or other community setting because you have a service animal or for other reasons related to your disability.
- What their rights are.
- How to get their medication to them.
- What to do if you believe the person may be in danger of harming himself/herself.
- How they can get mental health services.
- What they can do before getting out of prison to have their benefits, such as Social Security, restored.
Also call your P&A if:
- You receive a letter from Social Security stating that you are losing your benefits because you are a “fugitive felon.”
- To learn about your child’s special education rights and related services such as assistive technology.
- Assistive technology is equipment or services that help your child participate in and complete school assignments and activities.
- Your child has not been evaluated for services even though you requested an evaluation.
- The school is not following the requirements of the child’s IEP (Individual Education Program).
- The school has not held an IEP meeting within the last 12 months to review your child’s IEP.
- Your child’s needs have changed and you have asked for another IEP meeting, but the school has not followed through.
- Your child is getting suspended or expelled because of behavior related to his disability or other special needs.
- You believe that the placement or services your child is receiving are not meeting her needs.
- You believe that the placement or services recommended by the school are not going to meet your child’s needs.
- Your child has been placed in an alternative school or juvenile justice facility and is not receiving the special education services she needs.
- The school has not provided the equipment such as computers or communication devices that have been recommended to assist your child in completing assignments.
People Living in Residential Facilities – (Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Schools, or other Treatment Centers)
- You believe staff is illegally taking your money.
- You are being physically harmed.
- Someone made you have sex when you did not want to.
- Someone touched your body in a way that made you feel uncomfortable.
- You have been verbally or emotionally bothered.
- You are being given medication that you don’t want to take.
- You want a discharge plan.
- Staff is not following your treatment or discharge plan.
- Your discharge plan says that you are ready for discharge, put you are still in the hospital.
- You are not receiving adequate food, clothing or health care.
- You don’t feel safe.
- You want to know what help is available to get or keep a job.
- You want to know what will happen to your benefits if you go to work. Benefits may include:
- Social Security
- You have transportation problems getting to and from work.
- You believe you were not hired or given a different job because of your disability.
- You were not given the help you needed to do your job.
- You think people at your job are bothering you or not treating you fairly because of your disability.
CAP (Client Assistance Program)
- You need help getting services from VR (Department of Vocational Rehabilitation Services).
- You have been told you cannot get help from VR to go to school or get a job.
- No VR plan has been developed because you and your counselor disagree about your education or job goal or other help you need.
- VR services have been denied or delayed.
- VR is not helping you find a job.
- Your VR counselor will not return your calls.
- You got a new VR counselor and she/he wants to change your plan to get a job.
Training and Advocacy Support Center at NDRN
The Training and Advocacy Support Center (TASC) is a centralized repository for training and technical assistance information and coordination for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) and Client Assistance Programs (CAP). All of the activities of TASC are based on the principles of:
Equality, Equity and Fairness – People with disabilities are full and equal citizens under the law. They are entitled to equal access to the opportunities afforded to all members of the society. People with disabilities are entitled to be free from abuse, neglect, exploitation, discrimination, and isolation, and to be treated with respect and dignity.
Meaningful Choice & Empowerment – People – regardless of type or level of disability or age – have the right to make choices with respect to daily routines and major life events.
Supports and Participation – Services and supports are shaped by the unique needs and preferences of each individual, and assure opportunities for integration in all aspects of life. Services are age-appropriate and premised on the fact that people with disabilities continue to learn, grow, and develop throughout their lives. For children, such growth is best accomplished within families, and for adults, in integrated communities rather than institutions.
Independence – Services are based on equal access, peer support, and self-determination to be achieved through individual, professional and system advocacy. Services must maximize leadership, independence, productivity, and integration of individuals with disabilities.
Cultural Competency – People with disabilities shall be included in all activities undertaken by the Network and P&A/CAP staff. Boards and services should reflect the diverse cultural, ethnic, racial, and disability diversity of their state.
Resource Generation – P&As/CAPs will be leaders in public policy that has a positive impact on the lives of children and adults with disabilities and their families. P&As/CAPs will work to enhance their resources to provide high-quality legal and advocacy services to people with disabilities.
Learn more about TASC
NDRA Central Office Location:
TTY: (202) 408-9521