Many residents in central Pennsylvania who have a disability often ask us about resources available for individuals with disabilities. The Disability Rights Pennsylvania (DRP) program is a non-profit state corporation with a federal mandate to protect and advance the civil rights of people living with disabilities. This organization was previously known as Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania before changing its name. DRP normally engages persons with physical and mental disability, their organizations, advocates and their families to ensure their basic rights are upheld and protected.
Sources of funding
The program receives funding from different sources. They include;
– Public funding through an act of congress
– Development assistance through Bill of Rights Act
– Various other act of Congress
– Advocacy groups
– State agencies
– Non government sources
Operations and functions of the program
DRP has offices in 3 major cities. There is an office in Harrisburg, another one in Philadelphia and in Pittsburgh. The operations of the organization are determined by a board of directors. The board sets out priorities of the organization for the next 3 years. These priorities are based on inputs or advice from key stakeholders. The board also sets up a list of objectives to be accomplished in a given year.
Most of the work performed through this program is in the area of enforcing rights of disabled persons. These rights are;
– The right to receive a full education
– The right to live a life free of discrimination, neglect or abuse
– Access to all the services they need
– Desire for self determination and to have control over services provided
– The right to live within a given community
Other rights include access to post secondary education, quality healthcare, access to suitable accommodation, transport services and all essential government services. If there are systemic problems that hinder people living with disabilities from accessing their rights, the organization will note these and try to effect change through administrative action, legislation, the courts and through public education.
Services provided by the organization
Disability Rights Pennsylvania program provides a number of services to its clients. Advocacy services are provided under an act of congress to people with developmental disabilities including both children and adults. Majority of the issues dealt with include protection from neglect and abuse and community integration.
The organization also advocates for and on behalf of people living with mental disability. The main focus is largely on adults within the prison systems, those in state operated facilities and in private homes. Their third area of service is to advocate for all other people with development disabilities across the state not covered under a specific act.
As you can see on our website, we believe that providing resources for those with disabilities is very important to understanding all programs and products that our available to those in need. Don’t hesitate to call us if you need additional assistance or would like for us to help you in finding resources that will allow you to find the Independence you need.