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Our mission is to assist Rhode Islanders with disabilities in their efforts to achieve full inclusion in society and to exercise their civil and human rights through the provision of legal advocacy. 

Disability Rights Rhode Island Advocacy Principles and Standards


Disability Rights Rhode Island is part of the national network of Protection and Advocacy (P&A) agencies created by Congress, existing in every state and territory, to help secure and advance the rights of people with disabilities. There are a total of 57 P&As in each of the United States, U.S. territories, and District of Columbia.

The first P&A program was created by Congress in the mid-1970’s in response to deplorable conditions in institutions for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Over the years the P&A System’s programs have expanded, allowing it to protect and advocate for the rights of all people with disabilities on a broad range of legal issues.

In creating the P&A System, Congress gave it unique authorities and responsibilities, including the power to investigate reports of abuse and neglect of persons with disabilities.  P&As are also authorized to pursue appropriate legal remedies on behalf of persons with disabilities including enforcement of their civil rights.