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.
In FY 2022, we will continue to attempt to recognize two significant challenges faced by people with disabilities in New Hampshire and across the US.
People with disabilities were and are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis. Children with disabilities face additional challenges in the return to school; workers with disabilities will struggle to keep accommodations provided during COVID-19; a year of social isolation disproportionately impacted people living in nursing homes, group homes and hospitals. As we struggle to return to a new “normal”, we must be vigilant. People with disabilities want to be a part of their communities and we must make sure this happens.
The second challenge is racial justice in the disability community. The voices of Black people and people of color continue to be marginalized and few organizations actively recognize the intersectionality of the discrimination they face or work to address it. We must do better. We are committed to fighting every day against these injustices and for accountability whenever power is abused.
We have much work to do. Once again, we state our pledge:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Disability Rights Center – NH, 64 North Main Street, Suite 2, Third Floor, Concord, NH 03301.