Day 4 of 15 highlights a fundamental element of DRNC’s mission, a bedrock principal of civil rights, and the framework mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Our Community Access and Inclusion work makes sure that everyone can live, work, and play in our communities free of discrimination. When all persons regardless of disability or identity has equal rights and access, it creates a fair and richer environment for everyone and every community.
Repeating that last part for those who need to hear it again… when everyone is included, we ALL live healthier, more prosperous, and meaningful lives.
Despite research showing that inclusion boosts every thinkable positive outcome for all, disabled people are regularly denied the full and equal enjoyment of services offered by businesses, local municipalities, and our state because of a disability.
And far too many people with disabilities remain stuck in institutions and/or spend their days segregated and excluded from community life. When those in power separate people based on disability and/or other protected identities (e.g. race, ethnicity, gender and gender expression, age), it is discrimination.
DRNC is fully committed to challenging institutional bias in all its forms, and building true community systems so people with disabilities can participate fully in community life.
Examples of issues DRNC address related to Community Access:
- Healthcare providers refuse patients with disabilities for organ transplant or other aggressive treatment
- Summer camps or school extracurricular activities refuse to accommodate campers or students with special medical conditions
- Businesses that refuse to allow patrons to use service animals
- Courtrooms that refuse to provide sign language interpreters or braille materials
- Public streets that are not wheelchair accessible or do not provide audio descriptions for crosswalks
Community Access Rights at a Glance
You have the right to:
- Have full access to businesses, public places, and government services or programs.
- Have all physical and communication barriers removed.
- Be free of discrimination or exclusion in any public place.
How we advocate for community access and inclusion
The Community Inclusion Team (CIT) works on many disability rights issues. DRNC works to eliminate public access inequalities by upholding the rights of people with disabilities to live, work, and participate in our communities as equals. We accomplish this goal in many ways.
For instance, we work to move people from institutions to the community. And we help people receive supports they need in the community so that they do not have to live in a facility for care. Our team also promotes self-determination or the right to make decisions in their lives. It means being able to direct their services, and to speak for themselves.
We also represent people who are denied equal access to public goods and services. This includes access to buildings, and facilities. Additionally, our team fights to end housing and workplace discrimination.
Strategies we use:
- Community education
- Self-Advocacy Assistance
- Individual representation
We help you live and work in the community of your choice. We make sure you are not discriminated against. And we help you know your rights so that you can advocate for yourself. We support you in making your own decisions.
Resources to learn about your rights to live fully in your community.