What We Do
At the beginning of each fiscal year, the Board of Directors adopts priorities based on feedback from individuals with disabilities, family members, advocates and professionals. The priorities adopted by the Board determine the activities for the fiscal year.
Our current priorities include:
The priorities are directly related to the agency mission of vigorously advocating for and enforcing the legal rights of people with disabilities in Arkansas. The corresponding objectives are based on the type of work Disability Rights Arkansas is uniquely qualified to perform.
Please note: Due to limited resources, Disability Rights Arkansas reserves the right to limit cases for each priority and objective. We provide information and referral, direct representation, legal representation, and training and outreach, all at no cost to individuals with disabilities. Not all cases taken by Disability Rights Arkansas will become legal cases, as each case is evaluated on its merits and whether or not private counsel can be obtained.
What We Don't Do
There are certain types of cases that the DRA does not handle, due to limitations of funding, staff resources, potential conflicts and availability of other resources for assistance with these issues. There may be exceptions on an individual basis to those with notations below; however, any exceptions must be approved by the Legal Director.
- Social Security applications
- Food stamp applications/claims
- Criminal proceedings – DRA does not provide representation in criminal cases; however, DRA can provide assistance communicating with the Court, Prosecutor and/or Public Defender about disability-specific needs and issues of client in certain cases.
- Divorce, custody, and child support
- Parental abuse/neglect and termination cases – DRA can provide assistance where parent with a disability is experiencing discrimination in proceedings as a result of disability and communicating with the court-appointed attorney(s) about disability-specific needs.
- Drafting of wills, trusts, and estate planning
- Workers compensation, issues related to collective bargaining agreements, unemployment compensation
- Product liability cases
- Bankruptcy matters
- Personal injury cases
- Consumer protection issues
- Tax issues
- Pension, ERISA issues
- Property disputes
- Guardianship proceedings – DRA does not assist in obtaining guardianship over persons with disabilities; however, DRA can provide representation to clients who are in need of limiting, removing and/or challenging guardianship and can provide advice to callers about alternatives to guardianship.
- Commitment proceedings