About Us

Disability Rights North Carolina is dedicated to protecting and advocating for the rights of people with disabilities in North Carolina.

We deal with cases involving discrimination or violations of the rights of people with disabilities. Our attorneys, advocates, paralegals, and support staff provide advocacy and legal services at no charge for people with disabilities across North Carolina.

As the state’s federally mandated protection and advocacy (P&A) system, our organization is charged with protecting the rights of children and adults with disabilities living in North Carolina. For more information on what a P&A is and how the system works, check out our About P&As page.

To find out how we have changed lives, read Our History and Impact.

While we receive federal money, Disability Rights NC is completely independent of state government. We are also independent from the disability service system. Therefore, we are free of any conflicts of interests that would undermine our capacity to advocate vigorously on behalf of the human and legal rights of people with disabilities.

Our General Brochure briefly explains what Disability Rights NC does, the people we serve, how we can help, our values and how to reach us. This brochure is also available in Spanish.

Check out this series of short videos explaining our mission and our work!

Click here for an ASL interpretation of this text.Our Work

Disability Rights NC engages in the following activities to protect and advocate for the rights of people with disabilities in North Carolina:

  • Represent individuals based on Disability Rights North Carolina's priorities and case selection criteria,
  • Tell people with disabilities about their many legal, civil, and service rights,
  • Investigate complaints about serious physical or sexual abuse and neglect-related deaths in institutions,
  • Provide technical assistance, training, publications, and advocacy support for North Carolinians with disabilities, their families, and representatives,
  • Outreach to traditionally underserved ethnic and disability communities, and
  • Bring impact litigation and act as amicus curiae in disability-related cases.


Click here for an ASL interpretation of this text.

Examples of Problems We May Address

Disability Rights NC helps people with disabilities to solve disability-related problems. If you have a disability and qualify for services, Disability Rights NC can help you with problems like:

  • Abuse, neglect, and rights violations in an institution;
  • Access to technology - like communication devices, power wheelchairs, lifts or ramps;
  • Discrimination in housing, transportation, employment, and access to public and private programs and services;
  • Least restrictive environment, dignity, privacy, choice, and other basic rights;
  • Mental health and support services that provide individualized treatment;
  • Rights to basic support, personal care, therapy, and health care;
  • Special education rights; or
  • Voting registration, vote casting, and accessible polling places.

If we can't be of direct assistance, we refer people to other sources of help.

Disability Rights NC also takes its services into the community, wherever children, youth, and adults with disabilities live or go to school or obtain services.


Click here for an ASL interpretation of this text.

Who We Can Help

Disability Rights NC provides advocacy help for North Carolinians with disabilities. You could be eligible for Disability Rights NC services if:

  • You have a developmental or intellectual disability;
  • You have a psychiatric disability or emotional impairment;
  • You are a patient in a state psychiatric hospital;
  • You have a physical, learning, or sensory disability; or
  • You have a traumatic brain injury.

Or if:

  • You need access to technology that you believe may help you live a fuller, more independent life;
  • You receive SSI or SSDI and need help with employment issues or keeping your benefits when you return to work; or
  • You have questions about your right to vote.

In deciding whether Disability Rights NC can represent you directly, Disability Rights NC will consider:

  • The merits of your claim;
  • Your ability to advocate for yourself;
  • Other advocacy sources you could use;
  • Whether your problem falls within one of Disability Rights NC's target areas; and
  • Availability of Disability Rights NC resources.

If we decide that we can not help you and you disagree, you can file a grievance.

Each of Disability Rights NC's grants and contracts has specific service eligibility criteria. If you want a copy of these criteria, the complete case selection criteria, or a grievance form call (919) 856-2195.


How to Get Help

To ask for Disability Rights NC services anywhere in North Carolina, call:
1-877-235-4210 (Voice toll-free)
1-888-268-5535 (TTY)


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