Goals & Priorities for 2016

Mission: To promote and defend the rights of individuals with disabilities.

Vision: Disability Rights Oregon has a vision of a society in which persons with disabilities have equality of opportunity, full participation and the ability to exercise meaningful choice.

DRO’s Work: Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) is a non-profit law office that provides advocacy and legal services to people with disabilities who have an issue related to their disability and that falls within our goals and priorities. Each year DRO sets its goals and priorities, with help from the disability community, to guide the work we do and to further our mission and vision.

Case Acceptance Guidelines:
  • To enforce or change the law to further our mission, DRO selects cases and issues that will help improve access and services for the disability communities we serve and that will help the most people
  • DRO’s focus for individual advocacy will be on providing callers with information and materials about their rights to help them advocate for themselves
  • Representation on Individual cases will be limited to available resources
Emphasis is placed on:
  • Legal issues that fall within the goals and priorities set out below
  • Cases that will make positive changes for the community
  • Cases where a person is at risk of long-term harm
  • Services to minority, rural and other underserved communities
  • Information and materials for self-advocacy
  • Cases that do not have a reasonable likelihood of success based on the facts and the law
  • Cases where DRO staff members do not have the expertise and staff to provide representation
  • DRO does not provide representation in criminal cases
  • DRO does not provide help with family law matters

NOTE: The order of DRO’s Goals & Priorities listed below does not indicate their importance – we consider them to have equal importance.


Goal 1 – Stopping Abuse and Neglect

  1. Monitoring or conducting investigations of complaints or accusations of abuse and neglect that lead to death, serious injuries or serious financial exploitation with an emphasis on institutions, correctional facilities, and residential care facilities
  2. Monitoring the Oregon State Hospital, correctional facilities and residential care facilities for rights violations jeopardizing health and safety
  3. Discovering and stopping improper seclusion or restraint
  4. Preventing the use of forced medication and forced hospitalization to restrict individual liberties
  5. Monitoring compliance with US Department of Justice agreements with Portland Police and Oregon State Hospital
  6. Protecting individuals against guardianships where there is abuse or neglect

Goal 2 – Providing Full Access to Community Participation

  1. Removing significant access barriers in public places with emphasis on barriers in education, transportation, and the courts
  2. Monitoring the increase in the supply of accessible housing through policy work
  3. Providing information about reasonable accommodations for tenants to prevent homelessness and isolation.
  4. Enforcing anti-discrimination laws
  5. Working to achieve full participation in the electoral process including registering to vote and casting a ballot
  6. Providing quality benefits planning and representative payee review services

Goal 3 – Getting and Maintaining Quality Community Support Services

  1. Securing required services and supports needed for safety and independence
  2. Advocating for medical necessary health care services including assistive technology
  3. Expanding available health care through policy work
  4. Providing advocacy and education to people have problems with vocational rehabilitation services
  5. Advocating for reasonable accommodations in: employment-related licensing, higher education, and employment

Goal 4 – Getting a Free & Appropriate Education for Children

  1. Preventing schools from keeping students out of school because of their disabilities
  2. Securing appropriate transition services
  3. Securing appropriate special education services in the most integrated environment for students who experience exceptional barriers or who are at risk of significant isolation or loss of academic progress
  4. Stopping schools from using inappropriate restraints, seclusion, aversion techniques, and police to deal with difficult behavioral issues in educational settings
  5. Increasing the ability of parents, who experience exceptional barriers due to factors such as language culture & disability, to secure special education services for their children

Goal 5 – Other Very Important Issues That Promote the Mission of DRO & That Are Approved by the Executive Director