The Disabled Rights Action Committee (DRAC) was organized in 1993 as a grassroots organization of activists who fight for the civil rights of people with disabilities in the state of Utah. Today, we are committed to the goal of assuring the rights of people with disabilities in our state.
Fair Housing Testing
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the accessibility portions of the Federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) were designed to be enforced by persons with disabilities; no federal enforcement agency exists for this purpose. Accordingly, DRAC’s Opening Doors program sends individuals with disabilities to locate and test various housing and business entities for compliance with the FHA and ADA. When testers find violations of the law, DRAC encourages compliance, generally via a registered letter. If the business or housing complex doesn’t correct the problem after receiving the letter, DRAC works with partnering attorneys to determine a course of corrective action.
In addition to the above training, DRAC provides “on-the-job” training in leadership, grassroots organizing, advocacy/influencing public policy, and activism. They also provide formal training for board members in leadership, board responsibilities, effective non-profit governance, and fund raising.
ADA Kit Rental
DRAC has an ADA kit available for rent. This kit is designed to help make local community events more accessible to a broader range of individuals. Currently, our kit includes 20 ADA-marked chairs, one five-foot table, a large canopy, a collapsible cot, volunteer vests, ponchos, umbrellas, hand warmers, blue tape, zip ties, collapsible water bottles, and other seasonal materials. If you would like to rent out kit to improve accessibility at an upcoming event, contact Psarah Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advancing Public Policy
We work for passage of the Disability Integration Act, which would allow individuals to choose community-based care over institutionalization. Our members have many opportunities to influence public opinion and government leaders by providing testimony at public hearings, writing letters, making phone calls, and participating in press conferences. Our members also serve on boards and committees that help educate the general public about disability policy and accessibility.
Work Together Helpline
DRAC receives an average of 70 calls and/or letters each month from persons with disabilities and their family members requesting their assistance and expertise. They then work with the person who calls to solve their problems or help them navigate the system. These calls cover a broad range of disability issues, from how to qualify for benefits to reasonable workplace accommodations to access for service animals to apartment complexes and businesses that are inaccessible. Conversations always end with the invitation to call back if more assistance is needed.
Case Management Services
Hundreds of individuals in the state of Utah have expressed an interest in living independently in the community – in their own homes, surrounded by family, friends and support staff that they hire. They know, as we all do, that exercising this choice provides freedom and dignity in a way that forced segregation in a nursing home never can. However, these individuals are often frustrated by a system that forces them to spend years on a waiting list for “Community Supports” funding. Now, for persons already living in nursing facilities, there is a way to get those community services and supports in their own home – the New Choices Waiver. Through DRAC’s case management program, we provide the combination of advocacy and service coordination that can make life in the community a reality.
Protective Equipment for Vulnerable Populations
Through the COVID-19 crisis, we are running a donation and distribution program to make personal protective equipment available to individuals with disabilities living in the Salt Lake Valley. If you are a person with a disability and need access to a face mask, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, or other sanitation supplies, please give us a call.