DRA Access Authority
Disability Rights Arkansas, Inc. (DRA) is the federally mandated and funded nonprofit organization serving as the Protection and Advocacy System and the Client Assistance Program for individuals with disabilities in Arkansas. DRA is authorized to protect human, civil, and legal rights of all Arkansans with disabilities consistent with state and federal law.
DRA provides advocacy services to individuals, monitors facilities and investigates abuse and neglect. DRA has the authority, pursuant to federal law, to have reasonable unaccompanied access to provide information, training, and referrals to individuals with disabilities and to monitor compliance with individual rights.
To carry out our P&A activities, DRA has federal authority for the following:
- DRA may inspect all areas of a facility or program used by residents or accessible to residents without the presence of facility or program staff. DRA does not need the consent of any party to access the facility.
- DRA shall have the opportunity to meet and speak privately with any resident at all reasonable times, including any time necessary to conduct a full investigation of abuse or neglect. Private communications may include regular telephone contact and mail correspondence. DRA does not need the consent of a parent/guardian to speak with a minor or adult with a guardian. Any resident may choose not to speak with DRA.
- When conducting an investigation of abuse or neglect, DRA must have the opportunity to interview any facility service recipient, employee, or other persons who DRA reasonably believes has knowledge of the incident(s) under investigation.
- DRA may access to information and records maintained by the facility, whether written or in another medium, draft or final, including handwritten notes, electronic files, photographs, and video or audio recordings. Confidential records and information obtained through P&A authority must be kept confidential to the same level of the original holder with limited exceptions.
Federal Statutes and Regulations
Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act (“PAIMI”)
- 42 U.S.C. § 10805 (establishes system requirements and authority)
- 42 C.F.R. § 51.2 (definitions of “abuse,” “neglect,” and other terms)
- 42 C.F.R. § 51.41 (access to records)
- 42 C.F.R. § 51.42 (access to facilities and residents)
- 42 C.F.R. § 51.43 (actions required when access is denied or delayed)
- 42 C.F.R. § 51.45 and § 51.46 (confidentiality requirements)
Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (“PADD”)
- 42 U.S.C. § 15043 (establishes system requirements and authority)
- 45 C.F.R. § 1326.19 (definitions of “abuse,” “neglect,” and other terms)
- 45 C.F.R. § 1326.25 (access to records)
- 45 C.F.R. § 1326.26 (actions required when access is denied or delayed)
- 45 C.F.R. § 1326.27 (access to facilities and residents)
- 45 C.F.R. § 1326.28 (confidentiality requirements) Protection and Advocacy for Individual Rights (“PAIR”)
- 29 U.S.C. § 794e (incorporates PADD access authority)
Protection and Advocacy Services Related to Assistive Technology (“PAAT”)
- 29 U.S.C. § 3004 (incorporates PADD access authority)
Protection and Advocacy for Traumatic Brain Injury (“PATBI”)
- 42 U.S.C. § 300d-53 (incorporates PADD access authority)
Protection and Advocacy for Voting Access (“PAVA”)
- 52 U.S.C. § 21061 (incorporates PADD access authority)
If you have questions about DRA or the information provided above, please contact us.