Disability Rights Center – NH is dedicated to eliminating the barriers faced by people with disabilities in New Hampshire. Each year, we provide legal services to over 700 people with disabilities across the state in areas like special education, accessibility, employment discrimination, home and community-based services and Medicaid.
DRC-NH always offers free, detailed consultation and legal advice to all callers with disability-related issues. DRC-NH also addresses systemic issues via litigation, investigations, monitoring and other policy change efforts, all of which are focused on improving the lives of people with disabilities in our State.
Each year, we face difficult decisions on how to allocate our limited resources to address the most critical issues. While we pride ourselves on providing comprehensive legal advice to all eligible clients, further legal involvement is often limited based on both funding and staff capacity. DRC-NH continues to navigate these challenges, both of which were considered while drafting the priorities for this year.
In addition to our work outlined in this document, in FY 2022 we will also continue our efforts to recognize two significant challenges faced by people with disabilities in New Hampshire and across the US: the impacts of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice.
People with disabilities have been, and continue to be, disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis. Children with disabilities face additional challenges in the return to in-person learning; workers with disabilities struggle to retain accommodations provided during the initial period of the pandemic; individuals in nursing homes, group homes and hospitals were disproportionately impacted by a year of social isolation. As we struggle to return to a new “normal”, we must continue our work to assist people with disabilities as they reintegrate into their communities.
The second challenge is racial justice in the disability community. The voices of Black people and people of color with disabilities continue to be marginalized. Few organizations actively recognize the intersectionality of the discrimination faced by people of color with disabilities or work to address it. DRC-NH is committed to doing better by recognizing and addressing the intersectionality of discrimination and to fight every day against these injustices. To this end, DRC-NH is engaged in an internal process of education about racial injustice to better prepare us for the work we face in this area on behalf of, and with, people with disabilities. 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.
We are committed to the work ahead of us, not only in these specific areas of challenge, but more broadly on behalf of people with disabilities in the Granite State.
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?
- Would our advocacy 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, you may call 603-228-0432, email email@example.com or write to Disability Rights Center – NH, 64 North Main Street, Suite 2, Third Floor, Concord, NH 03301.