Who We Are
DRC is a nonprofit agency. We are the largest disability rights group in the nation. Federal law established us to protect and advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. Last year we helped almost 25,000 people. Hundreds of thousands more were helped because of our litigation, policy work, trainings and publications. We are the protection and advocacy agency for California.
The Board of Directors guides DRC. It helps us create and live up to our mission and vision.
Our Board represents the people we serve. A majority is people with disabilities. The Board reflects California’s socioeconomic, ethnic, geographic, and disability diversity.
We appoint Board members based on interest. We also look at experience in disability issues. To oversee our legal work, at least 20% of the Board are practicing California lawyers.
Read about DRC's work in our annual reports.
Equal opportunity is more than a policy to us. 100% of our clients have a disability. Many of them come from underserved communities, such as multicultural and LGBT. We are able to effectively interact with our clients by hiring employees who understand the needs of these communities.
1978: In 1972, a New York television station produced an investigative series exposing abuses at Willowbrook, a state-run institution for children with intellectual disabilities. As a result, Congress passed the Developmental Disabilities and Bill of Rights (DD) Act in 1975. It created the protection and advocacy system, designating an organization within each state and territory to advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. In 1978, the governor designated us as California’s statewide organization under the name Protection & Advocacy, Inc. (PAI).
California's rich diversity and our vision of creating a barrier free inclusive world are the foundation of our diversity efforts. We recognize becoming a more disability and culturally competent organization is a long-term commitment.
We believe to serve people with disabilities effectively; our board and staff must reflect California. Diversity comes from qualities such as disability, language, ethnicity, gender, age, race, culture, sexual orientation, and life experiences.