Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Want to know more about DRC? Look for the answers to your questions below, or contact our office.
- What are the Protection & Advocacy (P&A) systems in the United States?
- Where are services provided?
- How are services requested?
- Is there a charge for DRC services?
- How are grievances with our services handled?
- How is the program funded?
- What input do people with disabilities have in planning DRC annual priorities?
- What type of case does DRC not accept?
Federal law mandates the existence of protection and advocacy (P & A) systems in each state and territory. These P & A systems provide protection for the rights of persons with disabilities through locally based advocacy. For more information, please visit the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems (NAPAS) website.
Where are services provided?
Services are provided as needed throughout Arkansas. Disability Rights Center of Arkansas, Inc.'s main office is located at 1100 North University, Suite 201 in Little Rock. Another office is located at the Arkansas Career Training Institute. When necessary, advocates will travel to the person requesting DRC services.
How are services requested?
Clients may request assistance by contacting our office.
Is there a charge for DRC services?
DRC's services are provided free of any charge to our clients.
How are grievances with our services handled?
There is a grievance procedure in place for clients and non-clients who may have a complaint against Disability Rights Center of Arkansas, Inc. If someone feels that DRC is not in compliance with its funding sources' requirements, then the person would have access to the DRC grievance procedure. Should a case not be accepted, the decision may be submitted for the grievance procedure. For more information, please contact us.
How are the DRC programs funded?
Federal grants and donations support Disability Rights Center of Arkansas, Inc. See the program pages for more funding information.
What input do people with disabilities have in planning DRC annual priorities?
The DRC Board of Directors, consisting of individuals with disabilities, parents, attorneys, and individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds, sets the annual priorities for all agency programs.
Clients, disability groups, the Governor's Developmental Disabilities Council, Partners for Inclusive Communities (University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities), parents, individuals with disabilities and the general public are invited to comment and give input to the DRC goals and priorities planning process each year. Federal funding sources supporting DRC require that Dthe agency prioritize its services due to limited resources.
If you would like your name included on a mailing list to receive notification of annual opportunities to provide public input, please contact us.
What type of case does DRC not accept?
Although the annual priorities established by the DRC Board of Directors specify the type of cases we may accept and, by omission, those we may not accept, some of those priorities necessarily contain language that might be misinterpreted to encompass cases which they are not intended to include. To avoid such misinterpretation, the following are various types of cases that do not fall within the priorities of DRC because they are commonly accepted by legal services, the private bar, and court-appointed counsel or because the primary issue is often not disability related or when the person has already retained legal counsel:
- Social Security applications
- Food Stamp applications/claims
- Criminal proceedings
- Divorce, custody, and child support
- Ad litem representation of children in parental rights termination cases
- Drafting of wills, trusts, and estate planning
- Malpractice cases
- Workers Compensation issues related to collective bargaining agreements or unemployment compensation
- Product liability cases
- Bankruptcy matters
- Personal injury cases
- Consumer protection issues
- Tax issues
- Pension, ERISA issues
- Property disputes
- Guardianship proceedings (in most cases)
- Commitment proceedings
- DRC does not represent the interests of care providers, families, or guardians unless that interest is consistent with the interest of the individual with a disability, and DRC is also representing the individual with a disability (the individual with a disability may be a “Jane Doe”).
- DRC does not represent or advise petitioners in guardianship proceedings except in circumstances where, for example, appointment of a guardian may be necessary for the pursuit of the rights of an individual with a disability. These exceptions are addressed only under the authority of the PADD, PAIMI or PAIR programs.
- DRC does not undertake representation of children or parents in dependent neglect/abuse actions or in termination of parental rights cases unless, due to extensive contact between a DRC advocate or attorney and the family, the advocate or attorney is strongly convinced that the basis of the action is directly related to the disability of the individual and unrelated to actionable neglect, abuse or dependency of children in question. Free advocacy and legal services independent of DRC, including court-appointed attorneys and Guardians Ad Litem, are widely available in those cases.