Consumer Advocacy Program
Advancing Opportunities’ advocates help remove barriers that prevent individuals and families from gaining access to programs and services that they are entitled to or are eligible for, including:
- recreational opportunities
- respite care
- Social Security
- services from local, state and federal entities and
Our advocates inform individuals about legal rights in areas including special education and, when necessary, can identify the state and federal departments available to investigate areas of discrimination and other infractions.
An individual needing in-depth help may be referred to an advocate who will assist in outlining a strategy for achieving his or her goals. Advancing Opportunities’ advocates will remain involved as long as necessary to achieve those goals.
Our advocates work with individuals and/or families who are receiving services from the state Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVR) or from other agencies. We offer assistance in appealing various institutional decisions, as well as assist in strengthening cases by identifying the evaluations necessary to prove a need for a service.
While Advancing Opportunities advocates cannot represent clients in due process hearings, they can help develop strategic plans and refer consumers to low or no cost legal support. Our advocates help eligible individuals and their families determine what services are needed and then help locate the appropriate resource.
In all areas, Advancing Opportunities advocates encourage and teach self-advocacy skills, with emphasis in communication and dispute resolution skills. Empowered with self-advocacy skills and confidence, families are able to access information and services on their own.
To receive our advocacy services, consumers, parents or guardians should contact their DDD case manager and request a referral.