Information contained on the Hawai‘i Disability Rights Center’s (HDRC) website does not constitute legal advice. Our website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.
Contacting HDRC by phone, email, and/or submission of an assistance form does not create an attorney-client relationship. Any information you provide is confidential.
We do not endorse or favor any specific organizations, individuals, or programs referenced in our Community Resource Links.
HAWAII DISABILITY RIGHTS CENTER APPLICATION FOR ASSISTANCE
First, read this entire Section. If you would like to apply for services from HDRC, please complete and “Send” this form to us:
If you are having difficulty using this form:
You may request this assistance over the telephone. Please call 1-800-882-1057.
CASES/ISSUES THAT HDRC WILL REPRESENT
The following is a non-exhaustive list of individual cases we may handle at HDRC. For a complete description of HDRC’s priorities and issues, please go to our Website MAIN MENU and review our overview of Program Services and Priorities found in the ISSUES Section:
ABUSE & NEGLECT Investigations
People with disabilities have the right to receive care and treatment which is free from abuse and neglect, in the most appropriate, least restrictive integrated settings and that maximizes opportunities for self-determination, and is provided with access to due process, informed consent, confidentiality and privacy.
ACCESS BARRIERS in Community
The ADA mandates accessible communities; Title II and Title III establishes requirements for government to make programs, services, facilities that serve the public and transportation to be accessible for people with disabilities.
CITIZENSHIP provides for those eligible the right to register and vote
People with disabilities maintain a choice in where they live and work, or what social programs they participate in and that needed services are provided in the most integrated community settings.
Children with disabilities have the right to individualized educational programs and related services; integration into regular classrooms; transition planning for after high school and freedom from discriminatory arrest, suspension, or expulsion from school.
- “Free and Appropriate Public Education” (FAPE) for children with disabilities in public schools.
People with disabilities have the right to freedom from discrimination in being employed, provided reasonable accommodation in training for a job or in the workplace, the opportunity for career advancement, termination of supported or sheltered employment for placement in competitive, integrated employment at fair wages; assistance with Vocational Rehabilitation.
People with disabilities have the right to freedom from discrimination in obtaining and maintaining housing. Violations may include:
- Ineligibility for housing based on disability
- Zoning / NIMBY discrimination against disability
- Denial of service/ESA animal at home
- Architectural barriers, landlord/tenant modifications
- Subsidized housing/Section 8 issues
- Rental denials, Lease reviews, terminations
People with disabilities have the right to be considered competent and to conduct their own affairs, unless determined by a court of law to lack such capacity. They have protection of civil rights in commitment and release proceedings and the right to humane treatment during confinement.
PROGRAMS and SERVICES
People with disabilities have the right to accessible programs and services, as well as to freedom from discrimination in obtaining and maintaining services for which they are legally qualified, such as Assistive Technology, Medicaid, SSI/SSDI, Transportation, Individual Service Plans within the DD Division, etc.
CASES/ISSUES THAT HDRC WILL NOT REPRESENT
There are some types of cases we don’t handle. If you contact us for help with a case that we don’t handle, we will try to refer you to other organizations that may be able to help you. You may also visit our Useful Resource Links to find available Community service providers who may be able to help you. For more information about cases we don’t handle, see the questions and answers below.
I have a disability. Can you handle my case?
It depends – we only handle cases that are related to disability. We do not handle cases that are unrelated to disability even if the person has a disability. For example, we would not handle your case if you have a disability but feel you were discriminated against at your job because of your race or gender (and not your disability).
Also, in general we do not handle the following types of cases:
- Assistance becoming the guardian of an individual with a disability
- Child custody
- Consumer law not involving assistive technology
- Criminal defense
- Employment benefits (short- and long-term disability, retirement)
- Estate planning (preparing a trust or will)
- Expungement (destroying or sealing records of a criminal conviction)
- Medical or professional malpractice
- Out-of-state issues
- Personal injury claims
- Traffic violations
- Unemployment insurance
- Workers compensation
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT AFTER ASKING FOR HDRC HELP?
HDRC will return service requests in the order we receive them. We will accommodate disabilities and foreign languages if needed.
Please note – if we do not receive enough information about the type of help you need from your initial request for help, we will contact you to ask some basic questions and gather information before we refer your request to our Intake Committee. The Committee meets several times a week.
When your request is received, the Intake Committee will evaluate whether your request is within our case selection criteria, whether the case has merit, and whether we have enough resources to give you the type of help you’re seeking. We will also determine what type of help we can provide, such as:
- Limited Recommendations and Information
- Technical and Self-Advocacy Assistance
- Advocacy Negotiation, or
- Legal Representation/Assistance – a separate form is required for review and signature
You will be notified of our decision by phone, email, or letter.
If you are contacting HDRC about an individual with a disability other than yourself, please have the individual contact HDRC directly unless you are:
- The parent of a minor child
- The guardian
- Other authorized representative (i.e. acting under Power of Attorney)