Stacey Nelson and Chris Hodgson

Stacey: Restoring Competency

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The State of North Carolina declared Stacey Nelson incompetent and appointed a public guardian to make decisions for her after an accidental overdose of prescription drugs in 2009. She talked to her guardian repeatedly about getting her competency reinstated. The… Continue Reading

SH: Fighting Cuts in Services

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This year, we have received a flood of calls from the families of people who benefit from the Innovations Waiver and whose services have been cut. Here’s the story of one of our clients. SH is a 29-year-old woman who… Continue Reading

Bradley: Holding Duke University Accountable

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Bradley Elmendorf chose to attend Duke University because the disability services staff assured him that Duke had experience accommodating students with dyslexia. The staff were confident about their ability to provide him with alternative formats of all of his reading… Continue Reading

“Failure to Hire” Settlement

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Disability Rights NC recently reached a settlement with a large school district in North Carolina in a “failure to hire” case. The case involved an opening for an American Sign Language (ASL) instructor at a school in the district. A… Continue Reading

Photograph of James with advocate Tabitha Bryant

James: Claiming His Rights and Going Home

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Our attorneys first met James on a monitoring visit to Broughton Hospital in 2015. James, who is deaf, had been institutionalized for nine months. In the hospital, he felt like a “zombie,” walking around in a stupor. “I felt like… Continue Reading

Photograph of Cooper smiling next to a buffet of food

Cooper: Finding a Path in Culinary Arts

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Cooper was 15 years old when his parents first asked Disability Rights NC to help secure the services he needed. Cooper has a diagnosis of autism spectrum and ADHD. His difficulty in managing the stressors of school put him at… Continue Reading

Natishia: Demanding ADA Compliance

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Natishia Sanderson is deaf. When she went to the dental office of Bruce Tripp, DSS, PA, she asked for a sign language interpreter. Dr. Tripp refused, saying she would have to hire her own interpreter or that he would communicate… Continue Reading

Nicholas: Free from 24-Hour Restraint

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Nicholas is a young man with autism who lives at the J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center (JIRDC) in Morganton. He was routinely held in a device called an “ambulatory restraint”—a leather belt attached to two leather wrist cuffs that was… Continue Reading

Photograph of Bethany with attorney Kristine Sullivan

Bethany: Empowering an Advocate

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Disability Rights NC attorney Kristine Sullivan first met Bethany Smith at Cherry Hospital. As a member of our Investigations and Monitoring Unit, Kristine visits hospitals and other facilities that treat people with disabilities. She looks for signs of abuse and… Continue Reading

Thomas: Getting His Degree

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Thomas has a learning disability that makes it difficult for him to process written language. In high school, his learning disability prevented him from succeeding in a foreign language class, so his IEP team substituted other classes. Thomas enrolled in… Continue Reading