California’s protection & advocacy system
For legal assistance call 800-776-5746. For all other purposes call 916-504-5800 in Northern CA
or 213-213-8000 in Southern CA. TTY 800-719-5798.
Disability Rights California works to bring about fairness and justice for people with disabilities. To reach those goals of fairness and justice, we may:
We have five legal offices in Sacramento, Fresno, Oakland, Los Angeles and San Diego. Staff in the five offices give callers information about legal rights. At times, staff will refer callers to other agencies. Staff members also do training and education. And, they represent people with disabilities in legal proceedings.
Our Board of Directors establishes priorities for regional office advocacy. Visit our What We Do page for information.
Our Investigations Unit (IU) looks into reports of:
They also find and document serious, systemic abuse and neglect as when other agencies fail to carry out their oversight and investigatory responsibilities.
We strive to provide broad access to services. Our goal is to ensure that advocacy services reflect the language and ethnic diversity of California. Multicultural advocates, with help from staff in each office and unit, develop outreach and training to help increase our presence in and services to underserved communities.
On January 1, 2012, Disability Rights California began providing services under the Client Assistance Program (CAP), serving as a vital link between the California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) and the disability community. CAP provides advocacy to persons with disabilities who are seeking or receiving vocational rehabilitation (VR) services from DOR. CAP advocates are independent advocates for DOR clients and client applicants.
Disability Rights California was awarded a three year prevention and early intervention (PEI) stigma and discrimination reduction funding by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA). CalMHSA administers programs funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) on a statewide, regional and local basis. PEI initiatives aim at preventing suicides, reducing stigma and discrimination, and improving student mental health.
People with disabilities have a wealth of experience and knowledge. Sharing that wealth can help others advocate for themselves as they navigate service systems and work to improve their lives. That is the foundation for our peer and self advocacy people with disabilities sharing their experience. Seeing how their peers have done it, others with disabilities become better informed about their legal, service, and human rights. They learn to exercise their rights to get what they need. They learn how to protect themselves from abuse and neglect. Ultimately, they become their own best advocates. P/SA is also involved in the California Memorial Project, honoring those who died anonymously in state institutions and developmental centers.
Under a contract with the State Department of Mental Health, the California Office of Patients' Rights (COPR) provides patients' rights advocacy and responds to patient complaints at the five state hospitals. Staff in COPR provides technical assistance and training for county advocates. They work to ensure that hospitals and facilities follow mental health laws, regulations and policies. COPR also serves as a liaison between county patients' rights advocates and the state Department of Mental Health.
Under a contract with the State Department of Developmental Services, the Office of Clients' Rights Advocacy (OCRA) provides clients' rights advocacy for people with developmental disabilities who are regional center consumers. Clients' rights advocates help people who have developmental disabilities and their families get the services they need. Such services can include representation in administrative hearings, training about their rights, and investigation into denial of rights in facilities.
The Legislation and Public Information Unit (LPIU) works on laws, regulations, and public policy. Their work often: