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What We Do

What We Do

Disability Rights Nebraska operates a combined program of legal advocacy, relationship-based advocacy, systems advocacy, public policy analysis, education, and other support activities for people with disabilities. This program is designed to help secure their rights, enhance their dignity, and advocate for their full participation as citizens with respect to their individual cultures. Among the P&A programs in the nation, Disability Rights Nebraska is one of the few that has such a broad range of advocacy activities, as many others focus primarily on litigation.

Areas of Focus:

Citizen Advocacy

Citizen Advocacy is a way for local communities to respond to the need for protection of individuals with disabilities who are at risk of abuse or neglect. These local, independently-operated Citizen Advocacy offices create one-to-one matches between ordinary citizens and vulnerable people with disabilities in their communities. 

Values-Based Strategies

Disability Rights Nebraska provides the tools – information, education, and referral sources – for people with disabilities, their families, and their friends to advocate on their own behalf.  We support building strong, stable organizations that are controlled and directed by individuals with disabilities and that inspire people to set their own course.

Inclusive Education Lay Advocacy Program

The Inclusive Education Lay Advocacy Program was launched to engage interested people in lay advocacy for students with disabilities and their families. Through education and training provided by the Inclusive Education Lay Advocacy Program, advocates have become equipped with the tools necessary to thoroughly understand educational information and legal rights. 

Voting Information

We believe a vote is one of the most powerful self-advocacy tools for individuals with disabilities. We also know that people with disabilities are often deterred -- or even prevented -- from voting for several different reasons.

Seclusion & Restraint in Nebraska

Over the years, the use of seclusion and restraint in schools across the United States has garnered plenty of attention. The prevalence of the issue prompted Disability Rights Nebraska to publish At Risk with Only Guidance for Protection, a 2014 report addressing the use of seclusion and restraint on Nebraska students.

Public Policy Advocacy

We work to push public policy breakthroughs by:

  • Developing testimony on high priority bills
  • Working in collaboration with other advocacy groups
  • Serving as a resource to other advocates
  • Conducting informational presentations and trainings

Legal Advocacy

Disability Rights Nebraska offers:

  • Individual advocacy, including investigation of abuse and neglect allegations or direct legal representation, within selected priority areas to ensure that the rights of citizens with disabilities are not being violated;
  • Advice on legal rights and remedies;
  • Information about disability rights and services and referral to other agencies serving people with disabilities.


Olmstead v. L.C. is a U.S. Supreme Court case based on Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. In Olmstead, the Supreme Court ruled that states are required to provide services to people with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.

Sheltered Workshops and Subminimum Wage

In 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed, including the innovative protection of minimum wage. However, Section 14(c) of the Act included an exemption which allowed some individuals, particularly those with disabilities, to be paid less than minimum wage.