WHAT WE DO
DRCT priorities 2018-2019
Improve access to community services and housing for persons with disabilities by increasing awareness about the barriers to full participation for people with disabilities and assisting with claims under the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
· Provide representation, information and technical assistance for individuals denied accommodations and modifications in housing. (PAIR, PADD, PAIMI)
· Pursue remedies through representation, advocacy and short term assistance, for individuals denied accessibility and effective communication in public facilities and places of public accommodation. (PAIR, PADD).
· Promote “supported decision making” through education initiatives sponsored in collaboration with the Connecticut Developmental Disabilities Network. (PADD)
· Investigate and monitor the use of institutions that unnecessarily segregate people with disabilities in Connecticut. (PADD)
· Develop rights-based, self–advocacy materials to assist individuals with disability related issues that deny or potentially deny access to the community. (PAIR, PAIMI, PADD, PATBI)
· Research policies and practices in Connecticut to ensure that Medicaid recipients are not denied assistive technology devices necessary for community participation. (PAAT)
Address barriers to employment that result in individual and systemic unemployment and underemployment of persons with disabilities.
· Provide representation to individuals who are denied disability-related accommodations necessary to help maintain/ preserve employment. (PAIR, PADD)
· Promote employment alternatives for people with intellectual disabilities by educating them about the upcoming closure of sheltered workshops and on their options for future non-subminimum wage employment. (PADD)
· Provide rights-based, self-advocacy materials to educate and assist individuals with requesting accommodations in employment. (PADD, PAIR, PAIMI, PATBI, PAAT)
· Provide rights-based, self-advocacy materials to educate and assist individuals with filing complaints for disability related employment discrimination. (PAIR, PADD, PATBI).
· Actively support a systems change project to bring customized employment certification to Connecticut as a tool to promote employment of individuals with significant disabilities. (PADD).
Protect educational rights of children with disabilities as mandated by IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Connecticut General Statutes.
· Provide education and advocacy representation for students who are transitioning from secondary education to post- secondary education or employment to ensure that they have supports and services resulting in successful outcomes. (PADD, PAIR, PAIMI).
· Monitor compliance with Public Act 15-141 and work to eliminate ambiguity of the statutory language that allows for multiple interpretations regarding the use of seclusion in a child’s educational program. (PAIMI)
· Work to stop the school to prison pipeline through advocacy on individual and systemic levels related to the reduction of restraint and seclusion for students with disabilities and discriminatory suspension and expulsion of students with disabilities. (PAIMI, PADD)
· Provide representation to students at risk of a more restrictive setting due to the lack of appropriate evaluation, programming, or supports to ensure that students are educated in the most inclusive, least restrictive environment. (PAIMI, PADD, PAIR)
Decrease exposure to abuse and neglect, and restraint and seclusion, by increasing awareness of factors and dynamics that contribute to them, and by pursuing targeted, collaborative initiatives addressing them.
· Monitor the use of Do Not Resuscitate orders for people with developmental disabilities in Connecticut. (PADD)
· Investigate allegations of abuse/neglect with systemic implications. (PADD, PAIMI, PAIR)
· Promote awareness and discussion of Restraint and Seclusion for children (and adults) in the mental health system through continued participation in the Connecticut Interagency Restraint/Seclusion Prevention Initiative. (PAIMI)
· Work with parent and disability organizations to educate families about restraint/seclusion rights in an educational program. (PAIMI)
· Review reports of Serious Injury or Death due to restraint and seclusion in facilities received from agencies that have an oversight role under Connecticut Public Act 99-210, and conduct further investigation as necessary. (PAIMI)
· Monitor the outcomes of forced medication hearings in Connecticut and develop a report and recommendation of the outcomes. (PAIMI)
Continue to focus on training and information activities that inform the public about Disability Rights Connecticut and its role as Connecticut’s new “protection and advocacy system.”
· Review, update, rebrand publications from the former protection and advocacy and use multiple methods to distribute them to people with disabilities including underserved communities. (ALL)
· Develop trainings, informational materials, and videos to provide individuals with disabilities education and information on their rights. (ALL)
· Continue to increase Internet presence on website and other Social Media. (ALL).
DRCT WANTS YOUR INPUT!
Disability Rights Connecticut (DRCT), like all “protection and advocacy systems” provides services in accordance with its mandates and priorities. The mandates are requirements of the federal laws setting up our programs but the priorities are set by listening to YOU – people with disabilities, family members, legal representatives and others who have experience with the various disability issues and systems in Connecticut.
Please take a few minutes and share your knohttps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WHZBT8Jhttps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WHZBT8Jwledge and experience by completing the attached survey. This is your opportunity to tell DRCT how to use its resources to better serve the disability community in Connecticut. DRCT will use your responses, in conjunction with others, to assist in determining the work it will do in 2019.
If you hate filling out pieces of paper and want to call and speak with a staff member or would rather send an email with your own thoughts, please do it. Staff are available to talk with you about your input and can be reached at (800) 842-7303 or (860) 297-4300.
Click here to download the survey. This will allow you to print and complete a paper copy of the survey.