Systems Change Advocacy
Input from DRI’s 2022 Survey indicated there are systems in Iowa that create barriers for people with disabilities, do not protect rights of people with disabilities and/or violate the rights of people with disabilities. DRI’s Board of Directors determined the most meaningful approach to addressing these systems barriers was a refocus on litigation/advocacy efforts from individual to systems advocacy. Systems advocacy seeks to address the root of the barrier and/or disability rights violation and provides relief for all affected individuals. Systems advocacy also maximizes DRI’s scarce resources by providing relief for everyone experience the same disability rights “system” issue. Systems advocacy requires that DRI prioritize the most significant disability rights issues that impacts the largest number of Iowans. DRI will prioritize work that results in systems change through litigation, policy and education of stakeholders. The priority and preference for case acceptance will be on impact legal representation which can create change for a larger number of individuals and change to a system.
DRI’s New Priority on Systems Change Advocacy
DRI will prioritize work that results in systems change through litigation, policy, and education of individuals with disabilities and stakeholders on the impact of disability rights and/or the impact of system barriers to the disability community. The priority and preference for case acceptance will be on impact legal representation which can create change for a larger number of individuals and change to a system.
DRI will consider and accept individual litigation that will not create system change. DRI accepts individual service requests according to the areas of focus defined in this document. DRI will give priority to individual cases that that may create broad, systemic change.
Individual cases that meet the “system” issue criteria may include:
- Individual Litigation Case: a court case that results in an important remedy or outcome for the individual and makes a significant impact on an identified system barrier or issue.
- Individual Appellate Case: an appeal brought on behalf of one individual that addresses larger systemic legal and/or advocacy issue.
- Impact Litigation Cases to Create Systems Change: a court case that may have a broad impact on the system as a whole while assisting the individual or individuals involved. This type of case comes from an individual or a group. The result may provide systemic relief for more people than just the individual(s) seeking relief for their complaint/issue.
- Amicus: DRI may offer our expertise when we identify disability-related litigation where the outcome could affect a large number of Iowans with disabilities and facilitate systems change. DRI is not a party to the case but submits a brief and/or presents oral argument as a friend of the courts.
We want to hear your voice!
We seek to reflect the community’s needs by encouraging individuals to suggest new areas of focus as needed. Our priority is to help Iowans with disabilities where they need it most. If you have a suggestion, please fill out our form.
Reach out to DRI if you have an issue that falls within our areas of focus.
Want to learn more?
DRI provides an extensive resource center so you can learn more about your rights.