Disability Rights Arkansas (DRA) is the independent, private, nonprofit organization designated by the Governor of Arkansas to implement the federally funded and authorized Protection and Advocacy systems throughout the state. DRA services include information and referral, short-term assistance, technical assistance, legal representation, systemic advocacy, monitoring, and training. We provide our services free of charge. DRA is independent from state and local government.
Through the leadership of its Board of Directors and Advisory Councils, DRA staff provides services to children and adults with disabilities throughout Arkansas. We strive to serve our clients’ expressed wishes.
DRA Executive Director
Tom Masseau has over 30 years of experience advocating for the rights of individuals with disabilities. Prior to arriving at Disability Rights Arkansas in 2013, Tom served as the Executive Director of Disability Rights Wisconsin from January, 2012 to February 2013. He worked at Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc. (MPAS) since 1987 serving as the Director of Government & Media Relations from 2002 – 2012. Throughout his roles, he has provided strategic direction and leadership on public policy efforts at the state and federal levels; represented the agencies position and interest on issues before State legislatures and Congress; and coordinated the agencies’ media relations activities.
At the national level, Tom serves as the President-Elect on the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) Board of Directors, and as a member of the National Association of Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA) Board of Directors. Most recently, Tom was elected to serve as a National Advisor for the Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) Board of Directors. On a state level, Tom serves on the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, Arkansas Rehabilitation Council, and the Arkansas Supreme Court Commission on Children, Youth and Families. He was also a member of the Youth Justice Reform Board. While in Michigan, Tom served as a Township Trustee in Lansing Township from 2000 to 2012.
Tom is married to Penny and they have three boys. They make their home in Maumelle.
Director of Finance & Administration
Legal and Advocacy Director
Director, Arkansas Alliance for Disability Advocacy
Communications and Outreach Manager
DRA Board of Directors
John Jones – President, North Little Rock
Raysha Clark – Vice President, Little Rock
Scott Hall – Secretary, Fayetteville
James Mason – Treasurer, Redfield
Mark George – Immediate Past President, Little Rock
Nancy Sullivan, Little Rock
Shannon Rivas, Hot Springs
Jane Browning, Hot Springs Village
Tricia Ambeau, Austin
Erika Cross, Little Rock
Dewey Graves, Jonesboro
The Board of Directors
The DRA Board of Directors welcomes public comment at its meetings and is committed to providing meaningful opportunities for the public to participate. Members of the public are welcome to request time on the agenda of any regular meeting of the board. You can download our board visitor policy here for more information.
If you are interested in making a difference for people with disabilities in Arkansas, you are welcome to apply to become a member of our Board of Directors. Having a background in disability rights advocacy, law, accounting, or marketing is a plus.
FY 2022 Board Meeting Dates:
- January 20, 2022
- April 21, 2022 – Tentative
- July 21, 2022
- September 15, 2022
Out of an abundance of caution, DRA’s Board of Directors will be conducted on Zoom until further notice. Times are 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request link.
You can request a copy of the minutes of any DRA board meeting by emailing email@example.com. Please specify the date(s) of the meetings for which you are requesting minutes.
James Mason, Redfield – Chair
Cory Bates, North Little Rock – Vice Chair
Dorcas Johnson, Bella Vista – Secretary
Kim Weser, Redfield
Elaine Williams, Prescott
Roger Isbell, Batesville
Meggin Mews, Hensley
PAIMI Advisory Council (PAC)
The Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Advisory Council supports Disability Rights Arkansas by working with its staff and Board of Directors to develop priorities for the agency’s PAIMI program. Advisory members oversee the general effectiveness of the program and work with staff to bring about any needed changes.
FY 2022 Council Meeting Dates:
- November 20, 2021
Future Meetings – TBA
PAIMI Council meetings are held from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Meetings will be conducted via Zoom until further notice. The public is invited to participate. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request link.