The Office of Rights and Advocacy (ORA) helps to determine when your rights may have been violated and then provide assistance in resolving those violations.
What is Advocacy
Advocacy means speaking up and fighting for your rights. You have a right to services and supports to help you live the most independent and productive life possible. You also have the right to receive the services and supports you need.
The Department on Disability Services (DDS) must respect your rights, follow the law and follow their own rules (policies). There will be times when you don’t agree with DDS’s decisions, or feel that those who work with you are not listening to you. If DDS or your service provider has ignored you, refused to give you what you have asked for, or asked you to leave their program, you can fight (appeal) their decision by contacting the DDS Rights and Advocacy Specialist (RAS) for help.
Type of problems that DDS can help you resolve
- Do you want to go on dates?
- Do you want to go to church?
- Do you want to make more friends?
- Do you have children?
- Do you want to learn more about taking care of them?
- Do you have questions about sex?
- Is someone hurting you or taking your money?
- Do you want to move?
- Do you need help in your home?
- Do you want to learn how to cook?
- Do you want to live alone?
- Do you get along with your roommate?
- Do you want to pay your own bills, be your own representative payee?
- Do you need a plan in case of an emergency?
- Do you need a new wheelchair, hand rails, a ramp, or other home modifications?
- Do you know how to ride public transportation?
- Do you have problems with Metro Access?
- Do you want to learn to drive a car?
Medical/ Health Issues
- Do you like your doctor?
- Do you want to refuse medication or medical treatment?
- Do you want to learn how to make healthy eating choices?
Employment/ Vocational Services
- Do you need help getting a job?
- Do you want to make more money?
- Do you want to learn new job skills?
- Do you have issues or problems that are not covered above?
For more instructions on filing complaints
Contact DDA to File
If you receive services from DDA, and you feel someone from DDA or your provider agency violated your rights, you can file a complaint with the ORA. To file a complaint, contact one of our Rights and Advocacy Specialists.
You may also submit a written complain via fax at 202-730-1841 or come to our offices at 250 E Street SW.