Four P&As Honored for Outstanding Work

For Immediate Release         
June 23, 2017                    

Contact: David Card
202.408.9514 x122
press@ndrn.org

WASHINGTON – Four P&As received the NDRN Advocacy Award for outstanding work protecting and advocating for the rights of people with disabilities. The awards were presented to Disability Rights Wisconsin, the Disability Rights Center – New Hampshire, Equip for Equality, and the Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. at the 2017 P&A/CAP Annual Conference in Baltimore.

The NDRN Advocacy Award is given each year at the annual conference to P&As who have demonstrated outstanding work, allied organizations who have partnered with P&As, as well as to P&A clients who have successfully advocated for improvements in services that not only benefitted them but the broader community of people with disabilities.

  • On Tuesday, June 13th, Disability Rights Wisconsin was honored for suing the University of Wisconsin Hospital and several individual doctors because they were encouraging guardians and parents of patients with developmental disabilities to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining medical treatment for treatable illnesses. The P&A successfully negotiated a settlement in which UW Hospital changed their end of life policies by removing all references to "quality of life" as a consideration in determining whether life-sustaining medical care should be withheld or withdrawn.
  • Also on Tuesday, the Disability Rights Center – New Hampshire received an award for its work to stop abuse and neglect at Lakeview Neurorehabilitation Center, an 88-bed facility for children and adults with brain injuries and developmental disabilities that operated in Effingham, New Hampshire.  NDRN also recognized Jack Rodolico, an investigative reporter at New Hampshire Public Radio for his extensive reporting on conditions at the facility.
  • On Thursday, June 15th, the Disability Law Program at the Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. (the Delaware P&A), along with co-counsels Pepper Hamilton, LLP and ACLU – Delaware, were honored for a lawsuit filed on behalf of 100 people with mental illnesses being held in solitary confinement by the Delaware Department of Corrections. The P&A reached a settlement in which the Department of Correction agreed to significantly limit the length of time that can be served in disciplinary housing at all Delaware prisons and agreed to increased behavioral health services.
  • Lastly, Equip for Equality (the Illinois P&A), the Chicago Board of Elections, and the U.S. Department of Justice were honored for surveying more than 1400 polling places and entering into a settlement agreement that will result in 100 percent accessibility of Chicago polling places by the 2018 general election.

 

“The exceptional work by this year’s awardees demonstrates the broad range of advocacy P&As provide in American communities every day,” said NDRN Executive Director Curt Decker. “We must continue to support a robust P&A/CAP system so that people with disabilities who face abuse, neglect and rights violations have somewhere to turn for help.” 

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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.