Federal law requires that every state have a Protection and Advocacy (P&A) agency. We are the P&A for North Carolina. As a P&A, our responsibilities include the following:
- Ensure that people with disabilities live in safe and humane conditions;
- Inform individuals about their legal rights and how to enforce them;
- Ensure that people with disabilities are not unnecessarily institutionalized; and
- Enforce the rights of all North Carolinians with disabilities under federal and state law.
To achieve our goals, we use the following strategies:
- Legal Representation
- We take cases that have the potential to create systemic change and improve the lives of people with many disabilities.
- Information, Referral, and Training
- We make sure people with disabilities (or their families and advocates) know what their rights are and how to enforce those rights. We have resources on a wide range of topics on our Self-Advocacy Tools page.
- We monitor facilities where people with disabilities live or receive services to prevent, detect, and address instances of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
- When we believe serious abuse or neglect may have occurred, we conduct an in-depth investigation and, when necessary, report our findings to state regulatory agencies or law enforcement.
- Public Policy Advocacy
- We work to improve laws and regulations so they better serve people with disabilities, and we advocate for funding of public benefits programs to expand access to services for people with disabilities.