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What To Do When Advocating for People with Disabilities in Jail

All incarcerated people are protected by § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794(a), and by Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12131, et seq. The ADA regulates facilities run by state and local agencies, regardless of whether they receive federal funding. 

For more information on rights of individuals with disabilities who are incarcerated. Below are immediate actions to take to advocate for people with disabilities in Texas county jails. 

Submit an intake with Disability Rights Texas (DRT)

Disability Rights Texas is the only state agency that has the right to make unannounced visits to a person in jail, prison, state hospital, group home, or state-supported living center.

Submit an intake using their online form.

Please let us know when you’ve completed the intake so we may coordinate advocacy efforts with our allies at Disability Rights Texas.

Contact Local Intellectual and Developmental Disability Authority (LIDDA)

Local intellectual and developmental disability authorities (LIDDAs) “serve as the point of entry for intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) programs” in Texas.

If your loved one is a client of or has ever received services from a Local Intellectual and Developmental Disability Authority (LIDDA), please contact your local office to notify them of incarceration. Find contact information for your local office here.

If you are concerned about the quality of care provided by your LIDDA, please contact the Ombudsman’s Office at Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

File a complaint with the Disability Rights Division of the Department of Justice

If your loved one’s rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act have been violated, or you need to report abuse or medical neglect of a person with disabilities in jail, file a complaint here with the disability rights division of the Department of Justice.

Please reach out to us if you need any support with drafting or filing a complaint with any of the agencies listed above.

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