Nevada Disability Advocacy and Law Center (NDALC) helps people with all kinds of disabilities deal with discrimination. Help is provided in several ways, depending on the priorities set by NDALC’s Board of Directors. All Nevada Disability Advocacy and Law Center services are free. Callers’ issues must relate directly to their disability to receive assistance from NDALC. Problems Nevada Disability Advocacy and Law Center deals with may include abuse, neglect, education, employment, community integration, voting, healthcare, etc.
All calls to NDALC go through the same intake process, but people are helped according to the annual priorities set by the Board. Callers receive different levels of help depending on the problem and how it fits into the annual areas of focus, as well as available resources to provide assistance.
When we can offer direct help, we always try to solve problems in the simplest way. In addition to providing direct help, Nevada Disability Advocacy and Law Center advocates are also trained to help callers work through problems. By doing this, we teach callers how to advocate for themselves. Administrative and legal help are used when other strategies have not worked and the issue fully meets the annual areas of focus set by the Board.
NDALC works in four major ways to serve the people of Nevada:
Information, Referral and Training
Knowing your rights can empower people with disabilities to get the services or help they need. For this reason and because we do not have enough resources to represent everyone who contacts us, NDALC provides information, advice and/or written materials to every eligible caller. As part of our established protocols, our goal is to provide all P&A-eligible callers some level of information and referral (I&R) when their issue falls outside our priorities. NDALC provides training on disability rights including special education, resident/patient rights in facility settings, anti-discrimination laws in housing and employment, mental health laws, voting rights, and self-advocacy. We offer training to groups across the state that builds advocacy skills and knowledge of specific areas of law. NDALC also provides extensive technical assistance to disability or legal professionals who call us daily requesting information and advice on a number of issues impacting people with disabilities.
NDALC monitors facilities where people with disabilities live or receive services to prevent, detect, and address instances of abuse, neglect or exploitation. Our monitoring activities may include:
- face-to-face interviews with individuals with disabilities living in the facility
- face-to face interviews with staff members working in the facility
- observation and evaluation of the physical conditions of the facility
- review of records, when appropriate, in accordance with applicable federal and state law.
Our primary goal is to ensure that the residents’ rights are protected and that they are living in a safe environment with opportunities to participate in activities important to them, such as recreational activities and work. Also during our monitoring visits in institutional settings, we identify individuals who could and want to live in the community if they had the proper supports and services.
In situations where we believe serious abuse or neglect may have occurred, we conduct an investigation. The investigation is a thorough examination of information, records, evidence and circumstances surrounding the allegation of abuse and neglect. Investigations are distinct from advocacy and require a significant allocation of time and resources for activities such as interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence, and generating a written report which may or may not be released publicly. Because of our limited resources, we focus on investigations where the outcome may be systemic change resulting in a better quality of care for large groups of people with disabilities.
Legally-based Advocacy Including Individual and Systems Advocacy
NDALC represents the interests of individuals both individually and systemically in the courts and other legal forums. This is the work that is tied to our priorities and includes the cases we take to represent one person as well as large-scale actions we file to address widespread legal violations.