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Florida Disability Resource Spotlight: Disability Rights Florida

Florida Disability Resource Spotlight: Disability Rights Florida

Among the many disability organizations serving Florida residents, Disability Rights Florida is a good resource to be acquainted with. This nonprofit organization is dedicated to protecting the civil rights of Floridians—adults and children alike—who have any of a wide range of physical, intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities.

The Organization at a Glance

  • Founded in 1977 to ensure the safety, well-being, and success of Floridians with disabilities
  • A federally mandated Protection & Advocacy (P&A) organization funded by several government agencies
  • Fights for access and accountability in education, healthcare, housing, employment, transportation, voting, and the juvenile and criminal justice systems
  • Mission: “Disability Rights Florida advocates, educates, investigates, and litigates to protect and advance the rights, dignity, equal opportunities, self-determination and choices for all people with disabilities.”

Services from Disability Rights Florida

Disability Rights Florida offers legal advocacy for individuals with disabilities who live in Florida. Its services are free to those they work with. If it cannot be of assistance with your particular needs, you will be directed to appropriate resources.

The organization addresses civil rights issues in the following areas:

  • Medicaid eligibility disputes
  • Discrimination regarding housing, transportation, assistance dogs, physical barriers, and access to public and private services and programs
  • Abuse, neglect, and rights violations in jails, prisons, and other institutions
  • Rights to a least restrictive environment, privacy, choice, dignity, and other basic human and civil rights
  • Barriers to education and transitional services
  • Barriers to mental health and support services
  • Employment discrimination
  • Rights to accessible and effective communication
  • Ability for disabled veterans to transition to civilian life
  • Theft or exploitation by representative payees
  • Voter registration, vote casting, and accessible polling places
  • Access to assistive technologies and devices
  • Supported Decision Making as an alternative to guardianship

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