At the beginning of each fiscal year, the DRA 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. We circulated a public input survey online and in facilities, and we spoke with clients and community partners about what issues and service areas DRA should prioritize. The results were compiled, and the DRA Board of Directors has approved the following priorities for FY2020, which begins on October 1, 2019.
Priority 1: Individuals with disabilities will be safe from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
- To investigate allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation in both public and private settings.
- To periodically monitor public and private entities that provide services to individuals with disabilities to ensure protection of individuals’ rights.
- To ensure representative payees of Social Security beneficiaries are meeting their federal obligations.
Priority 2: Individuals with disabilities will have access to education and employment opportunities in an integrated setting.
- To obtain timely access to vocational rehabilitation services to support individuals in gaining, maintaining, or advancing in employment.
- To reduce reliance on segregated, subminimum wage employment in favor of competitive, integrated employment.
- To assist students with disabilities who are being suspended, expelled, referred to the justice system or excluded from schools due to their disabilities.
- To ensure students with disabilities will be provided with health plans and nursing services as appropriate.
- To enforce students’ rights regarding access to individualized transition services.
Priority 3: Youth in institutional care will have access to behavioral health services and free appropriate public education, and will be free from abuse and neglect.
- To ensure children with disabilities have access to behavioral health services while residing in Juvenile Treatment Centers, Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities, and Intermediate Care Facilities.
- To ensure children with disabilities have access to a free appropriate public education while residing in Juvenile Treatment Centers, Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities, and Intermediate Care Facilities.
- To ensure children with disabilities are free from abuse and neglect while residing in Juvenile Treatment Centers, Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities, and Intermediate Care Facilities.
Priority 4: Individuals eligible for Medicaid or assigned to a PASSE will have access to services and understand their rights.
- To monitor the progress of PASSE implementation to ensure individuals who receive services through the PASSE are provided person-centered services to live in the community.
- To inform individuals with disabilities regarding services available under Medicaid and its various programs.
- To assist individuals with appeals of ineligibility and adverse actions regarding services.
- To ensure children with disabilities have access to services through the Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment mandate.
Priority 5: Individuals with disabilities will be able to participate in the voting process.
- To enable individuals with disabilities to register to vote.
- To educate individuals with disabilities regarding voting rights.
- To eliminate barriers in the voting process for individuals with disabilities.
Priority 6: Individuals with disabilities will receive supports to become effective self-advocates.
- To educate individuals with disabilities regarding their rights.
- To assist individuals with disabilities to become effective self-advocates.
- To support individuals with disabilities in making their own decisions.
Priority 7: DRA will do outreach and education to inform individuals about their rights, what resources may be available in the community, and how DRA can help.
- To inform individuals with disabilities and the community of Disability Rights Arkansas as the protection and advocacy agency.
- To inform policymakers about how their decisions impact individuals with disabilities.
- To create and provide resources for individuals with disabilities and the community regarding subjects and issues that are not within Disability Rights Arkansas’s priorities or objectives.
- To provide technical assistance regarding public and private entities’ obligations to individuals with disabilities.
If we can assist you, please call us! Call 800-482-1174 or email us through our contact form. Our intake advocate will contact you to discuss your issue and help you with next steps.