Priorities 2020-2021

DRC-NH Statement of Goals and Priorities October 1, 2020 – September 30, 2021

Disability Rights Center – NH is dedicated to eliminating barriers faced by people with disabilities as they exercise their civil and legal rights. Each year, we provide legal advice or representation to over 700 people with disabilities across the state in areas like special education, accessibility, employment discrimination, home and community-based services and Medicaid.

We also work on systemic issues via litigation, investigations, monitoring and other policy change efforts, which are all focused on improving the lives of people with disabilities across New Hampshire.

However, each year, we face difficult decisions on how to allocate limited resources to address the most critical issues. All callers with disability-related issues that fall within our broad priorities have access to an attorney for consultation and referral during an initial meeting via telephone or in person, but further legal help is often limited.

Our FY 2021 priorities attempt to reflect a recognition of two challenges faced by people with disabilities in New Hampshire and across the US.

People with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis. We recognize that members of our disability community are vulnerable to serious illness and even death, if they are infected by COVID-19. Moreover, they are at risk of serious harm as a result of discriminatory medical rationing, isolation in New Hampshire’s institutions, and the loss of special education services and supports.

The second challenge is racial justice in the disability community. Black people and people of color are barred from full participation in American life, facing systemic bias and discrimination. Black people and people of color with disabilities are doubly at risk, facing layers of discrimination. We are committed to fighting every day against these injustices and for accountability whenever power is abused.

However, we have much work to do. The disability community, the community we serve, does not exist in a silo. People with disabilities are members of all races, religions, socio-economic classes, genders, and sexual orientations and are subject to intersectional discrimination on a daily basis. We commit to amplifying the voices of Black people with disabilities and people with disabilities from other minority groups in our work and to supporting those who share our values of equality, civil rights, and justice. We commit to examining and changing our internal practices and procedures that may serve as barriers to those who need access to our services.  We commit to diversifying the voices at DRC-NH to better reflect the diversity of New Hampshire.

Case Acceptance Guidelines
In accepting cases for representation, DRC-NH will consider the following guidelines:

  • Does the individual meet eligibility criteria?
  • Does the case have legal merit?
  • Do we have the capacity, funding and expertise to provide quality representation?
  • Does the case fit within our priorities?
  • What is the likelihood that our advocacy would make a positive difference to people with disabilities?
  • Would our advocacy result in services being provided in a more integrated setting?

We welcome your feedback. To share your comments, call us at 603-228-0432, email mail@drcnh.org or write to Disability Rights Center – NH, 64 North Main Street, Suite 2, Third Floor, Concord, NH 03301.