Disability Rights Arkansas, Inc. (DRA) Public Policy Platform

Mission

The mission of Disability Rights Arkansas is to vigorously advocate for and enforce the legal rights of people with disabilities in Arkansas.  

Policy issues for consideration

Abuse, Neglect and Financial Exploitation

Individuals with disabilities will be free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Activities:

  • Work to prohibit the use of restraint and seclusion in both institutional and community settings.  
  • Work with the Department of Human Services to strengthen the Adult Protective Service investigation process with the Department of Human Services.
  • Create effective alternatives to guardianship that support decision making by people with disabilities in Arkansas.
  • Educate the public and policymakers on ways to address the systemic causes of abuse, neglect, and exploitation in institutional and community settings.

Community Integration and Access

Individuals with disabilities will have access to community-based services.

Individuals with disabilities will have access to public and private locations.

Activities:

  • Monitor and educate the public and policymakers on the need for changes to the delivery of health care services, including behavioral health and long term support and services, within the state of Arkansas that support individual choice.
  • Educate the public and policymakers on the need to support the use of peer support within the Department of Human Services, Division of Behavioral Health.
  • Work with interested stakeholders to support effective diversion, treatment, and re-entry services to reduce the number of youth with status offenses incarcerated to juvenile treatment centers.
  • Educate the public and policymakers on the need to address the systemic causes that inhibit community integration and access rights of individuals with disabilities.

Employment

Individuals with disabilities will have access to vocational rehabilitation, educational, employment, and transition services to foster access to competitive, integrated employment or post-secondary education.

Activities:

  • Educate the public and policymakers on the importance of services and supports that positively impact access to competitive, integrated employment for persons with disabilities.
  • Monitor and ensure federal and state enforcement of employment rights for people with disabilities.
  • Educate the public and policymakers throughout Arkansas on the important policies, provisions, and programs in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and Employment First initiatives.  

Education

Youth with disabilities will have access to a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment and to transition planning and services.

Activities:

  • Educate the public and policymakers on the dangers and ineffectiveness of the use of restraint and seclusion in educational settings.  
  • Monitor and enforce state and local educational agency adherence to the Child Find mandate of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
  • Educate the public and policymakers on systemic causes that inhibit access to a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment for students with disabilities.