Disability Rights Nebraska is a nonprofit organization that advocates alongside and on behalf of people with disabilities. We are independent of any public or private organization or agency. We have the authority to protect and advocate for the rights of Nebraskans with disabilities. There are many different methods of protection and advocacy that we use, including:
- legal advice and representation;
- public policy advocacy;
- systems change;
- relationship-based advocacy (citizen advocacy);
- self-advocacy skill development; and
- training for inclusive education volunteer lay advocates.
Our organization began in 1977 and we are part of the national Protection and Advocacy (P&A) system. The United States Congress required the creation of a P&A organization in every state and territory of the United States. Disability Rights Nebraska receives grants which provide us with funding so we can do work in all categories of disability.
P&A organizations have a unique authority to enforce both state and federal laws that affect the rights and various benefits, services, and supports available to individuals with disabilities. This authority includes investigating abuse and neglect in institutions, community settings, and programs that serve people with disabilities. Disability Rights Nebraska staff regularly visit facilities in order to monitor, investigate, and attempt to remedy harmful conditions in places where people with disabilities learn, live, and work.
Our Vision: Disability Rights Nebraska envisions a world where human rights are protected and differences celebrated, where the perception of disability is replaced by the recognition of ability, where all people have value, visibility, and voice.
Although it is proven that disabilities in no way diminish a person’s right to fully participate in all areas of life, many people with disabilities have been kept from doing so because of discrimination. In addition, society continues to isolate, congregate, and segregate individuals with disabilities. Due to strong work by self-advocates, volunteer advocates, and advocacy organizations, some positive changes have taken place. But too often, discrimination continues to deny people with disabilities the access and opportunities necessary to live the lives they would choose. For more than forty years, Disability Rights Nebraska has worked alongside and on behalf of people with disabilities to help make sure the legal rights, human rights, dignity, and worth of all individuals with disabilities are recognized, promoted, and defended. Our work together has shown all of us the importance of sharing our individualized gifts, talents, competencies, and life experiences with each other and with society.
To learn more about our commitment to our advocacy work, watch our "Why We Do What We Do" video series.