Disability Rights NC Clients and Staff

Disability Rights North Carolina is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Raleigh. Its team of attorneys, advocates, paralegals and support staff provide advocacy and legal services at no charge for people with disabilities across North Carolina. As the state’s federally mandated protection and advocacy system, Disability Rights North Carolina is charged with protecting the rights of children and adults with disabilities living in North Carolina.


We are moving! Effective May 23, 2014, our office will be located at 3724 National Drive, Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27612. All other contact information will remain the same.



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Disability Rights NC Is Here for You -- New Partnership Expectations


As a young agency, Disability Rights NC frequently reviews how it provides services to people with disabilities. We consider every person with a disability living in North Carolina to be our client. While our limited resources do not allow us to provide direct advocacy to everyone who calls us for assistance, we strive to provide as much help as possible in every case.


We recently developed a set of principles to guide our work. We set high expectations for ourselves. We want you to know what those expectations are, and we invite you to hold us accountable.


Click here to see the Partnership Expectations. You'll find the NDRN Protection and Advocacy Standards here. Or, call our office at 877-235-4210 to request a copy be sent to you by email or US postal mail.


Disability Rights NC Sues DMV Over Discriminatory Licensing System


Press Release, February 18, 2014 - The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles systematically discriminates against drivers with disabilities in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, according to a lawsuit filed by Disability Rights NC today. The lawsuit alleges that drivers with disabilities are subjected to unnecessary road testing and medical exams, based on stereotypes and generalizations about people with physical disabilities.

The DMV Medical Review Program is a mechanism for the DMV to identify unsafe drivers. Doctors, family members, and others may suggest that a driver is no longer capable of safely driving, and the DMV may require that individual to undergo medical screening. However, the DMV has extended the program to drivers, like the Plaintiffs in this case, who are capable, safe drivers but who have a physical disability. Each individual Plaintiff was referred for testing or medical review by DMV staff based on the DMV’s policies towards drivers with disabilities. “We can’t sit by and allow the DMV to stereotype and demean North Carolina drivers with disabilities,” said Vicki Smith, Executive Director of Disability Rights NC. “We are taking this action to protect and promote the dignity of these individuals and all individuals with disabilities, and to enforce the right to be free from discrimination on account of disability.”


Read full press release and stories of the six individual plaintiiffs.  Read Complaint filed in court.


Winter 2013-14 edition of On Target Newsletter now available (.pdf version)  (Word version)


Court Orders DHHS to Allow Medicaid Coverage for Workers with Disabilities


November 15, 2013 -- A judge has ordered the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to comply with a state law requiring access to Medicaid for workers with disabilities. Disability Rights NC filed suit in June 2013 because DHHS had failed to make Medicaid available to many workers with disabilities as required by the Health Coverage for Workers with Disabilities Act. A preliminary injunction, issued by Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour, now requires DHHS to ensure that the program is available to all who qualify, including the plaintiffs named in the lawsuit. Read the full press release. Get more information about Medicaid Buy-In. Read Judge Baddour's Order for Preliminary Injunction.


Special Edition of Newsletter Available Now - 2014 Targets Presented and Explained


We get a lot of questions about our Targets so we have presented our 2014 Targets in a special edition of our newsletter that answers many of the questions we have received, including:


- What Is a Target?
- What are the 2014 Targets?
- Why Does Disability Rights NC Need Targets?
- Does Disability Rights NC Do Any Work Not Covered by the Targets?
- Who Responded to the 2014 Target Survey?


View and download the special publication on the 2014 Targets here. (PDF version) Check out this page on our website for more information about our Targets.


Settlement with County School System Changes Employment Policy, Creates More Job Opportunities for People with Disabilities


November 1, 2013: The Johnston County Board of Education has modified a policy that prevented people with disabilities from working in the schools. The policy change was prompted by a lawsuit brought by Disability Rights NC on behalf of a former teaching assistant. The policy required all teaching assistants, custodians, and food service workers to be licensed to drive a school bus. Because individuals with certain disabilities cannot meet the requirements to obtain a commercial drivers license, the policy precluded those individuals from working in the Johnston County Schools. The Board entered into a settlement agreement with Patricia Bordonaro, a former teaching assistant who filed a federal lawsuit to challenge the school’s policy and the termination of her employment. Read full press release here.


Have You Lost Eligibility for Medicaid Reimbursement of Your Personal Care Services?


The State Division of Medical Assistance estimates that between 10,000 and 12,000 people will lose eligibility for Medicaid reimbursement of personal care services as a result of a change in state law. About 1,000 of the people at risk live in group homes with the remainder in adult care homes and family care homes.


If you received a letter that says the Medicaid-funded service or equipment you asked for is denied, terminated, suspended, or reduced, you have the right to appeal within a specific amount of time. Check out the fact sheets on our Resources page for guidance on how to appeal a Medicaid determination.

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