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NDRN Receives Support for Multiple New Projects to Protect and Advocate for People with Disabilities

For Immediate Release                 
February 6, 2018                    

Contact:  David Card
202.408.9514 x122
press@ndrn.org

WASHINGTON – The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is pleased to announce it has launched multiple new projects in 2018 that will expand and enhance its work to protect and advocate for people with disabilities. The projects are made possible with funding from multiple foundations and the federal government and focus on several different areas of interest to the disability rights movement.

Education of Youth in Confinement

As part of its enforcement efforts, the Department of Justice is conducting a compliance review initiative on serving the educational needs of youth with disabilities in confinement. DOJ awarded $49,500 to NAPAS LLC, a subsidiary of NDRN, to provide expert consulting services in the area of correctional educational programs in DOJ funded juvenile justice facilities to ensure that such facilities do not discriminate against individuals with disabilities.

Supported Decision Making

The WITH Foundation awarded NDRN a $49,500 grant to work, along with Disability Rights Texas, to increase knowledge and respond to barriers in the use of supported decision making by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the provision of health care. Supported decision making is an alternative to guardianship which allows persons with intellectual disabilities to better understand, consider, and communicate decisions that impact their lives. Under the project, which commences on March 1st, NDRN and DRTx will convene a panel of experts on supported decision making and health care, and produce educational materials about legal capacity and supported decision making in the context of health care.

Civil Rights Enforcement

NDRN is conducting a study and will write a report under a $149,000 cooperative agreement with the National Council on Disability (NCD). The report will critically examine the disability civil rights enforcement activities of the U.S. Access Board, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the U.S. Department of Labor.  The study will further evaluate the progress and results of the current disability rights compliance enforcement efforts of these agencies, and assess how these agencies addressed the recommendations in NCD’s 2000 Report Promises to Keep: A Decade of Federal Enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act. NDRN has partnered with Eve Hill and Regina Kline at Brown, Goldstein and Levy on this project.

Police-Based Responses to People with Mental, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) requested grant applications to provide training and technical assistance to state and local governments through the creation of a National Training and Technical Assistance Initiative to Improve Police-Based Responses to People with Mental Health Disorders and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The goal was to further the Department’s mission to increase officer and public safety through support to state, local, and tribal police and law enforcement as first responders to calls for service and incidents involving people with mental health disorders as well as intellectual and developmental disabilities. In partnership as a sub recipient with the Vera Institute for Justice and other organizations, NDRN will assist with identifying gaps in resources, conducting onsite training and technical assistance, disseminating information to police, facilitating a national convening, among other responsibilities.

Preventing Mis-incarceration of Youth with Disabilities

NDRN proposed to Ford an eighteen-month project titled, Preventing Mis-incarceration of Youth with Disabilities. “Mis-incarceration” in this context means the placement of youth with disabilities in the juvenile or adult criminal justice systems due to the lack of community based services to meet their needs, rather than due to punishment or rehabilitation in the traditional sense. The project’s aim is to assist in the prevention of mis-incarceration by: expanding the advocacy services provided to youth who require services, through the use of formal court referral programs; perfect these advocacy techniques and train advocacy groups how to provide services most effectively; and inform courts and other stakeholders about this methodology.

Communities Against Hate

NDRN is a member of Communities Against Hate—a national initiative to document stories and respond to incidents of violence, bullying, harassment, intimidation, threats and property damage motivated by hate in the United States. With support provided by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights through a grant from the Open Society Foundations, NDRN will continue to gather stories from people with disabilities who have experienced a hate crime or hate incident and educate the disability community about the resources available to report and combat hate.

“NDRN is grateful to the organizations who provided the resources that will allow us to expand our reach on a variety of issues affecting people with disabilities,” said NDRN Executive Director Curt Decker.

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The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.