Disability Rights of Filed Lawsuit to Support Community Integration in North Carolina

Submitted by Lee Dobson, Area Director, NC Government Affairs (GAO)

A federal designated protection and advocacy organization, Disability Rights of North Carolina (DRNC), has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS) focused on supporting individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD).

The focus is to ensure individuals are able to receive the services they need through community integration. DRNC is not asking for a set of service definitions, nor are they trying to close organizations, but rather they are focused on building community capacity. They are asking DHHS to adhere to a state statute that calls for community integration and person-centered planning to address the needs of individuals living with ID/DD, regardless of payor. This is the first step in a long legal battle.

We are encouraged that DRNC has filed this state complaint on behalf of our ID/DD families. While this case progresses through the state court system, work continues as normal. We will keep you posted.