Who We Are
Disability Rights Iowa is a non-profit corporation that is a part of an extensive network of protection & advocacy agencies across the U.S. Since DRI’s establishment in 1984, it has been our mission to protect and advocate for the rights of Iowans with disabilities and mental illness.
What is P&A?
In 1975, Congress responded to abuse in institutions by creating a system of protection and advocacy (P&A) agencies to serve individuals with disabilities across the U.S. Since then, the country’s P&As have continued to help people with disabilities by investigating abuse and neglect, monitoring facilities, and providing legally based advocacy. There are P&As in each state and territory. See the National Disability Rights Network for information about other P&As.
At Disability Rights Iowa, we are a diligent team of attorneys, paralegals, and advocates.
Board of Directors
DRI’s board of directors is essential to our operation. As a non-profit corporation, DRI has a 12–15-member board from diverse backgrounds and a commitment to improving the lives of Iowans with disabilities or mental illness. The board is responsible for the planning, design, and funding of DRI. It also works jointly with the Mental Health Advisory Council to develop DRI’s annual priorities.
Mental Health Advisory Council
The Mental Health Advisory Council is made of individuals with firsthand experience involving mental health services. DRI is required under the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act (PAIMI) to have a mental health advisory council. DRI’s council has 8-12 members who are individuals with mental illness, family members, or professionals who are knowledgeable about mental illness. The council coordinates with DRI and our board to ensure we meet the needs of Iowans with mental illness. The council develops our annual priorities with the board. The council also provides legal rights training, gets feedback from people with mental illness, and connects DRI with other organizations in the community.
As a non-profit corporation, we provide legal services to individuals of all ages with disabilities or mental illness. We provide these services free of charge if we decide to provide information or represent an individual.
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