IMPACT HIGHLIGHTS - Ending discrimination against disabled individuals

Happy New Year!

The McDowell Foundation is excited to introduce our new monthly blog series, “Impact Highlights”, in which we feature the success story of one of our many grantee organizations.

Since our founding in April 2009, the McDowell Foundation has distributed over $1,150,000 in grants to 45 organizations nationwide! In that time, our grantees have made significant progress in creating social justice for disadvantaged persons and groups in the United States. Last September, the Foundation made grants for the 2019 grant cycle totaling $150,000 to five social justice organizations.

As these issues were close to the heart and life’s work of our foundation’s inspiration and namesake, Barbara McDowell, we are incredibly appreciative for the ongoing efforts of our grantees. We hope to honor and thank them through this new blog series!

For our first “Impact Highlights”, we share with you the results of a case litigated by one of our 2017 grantees, Disability Rights North Carolina

That organization advocates for the rights of people with disabilities throughout North Carolina. They handle cases involving discrimination, abuse and other rights violations.

Disability Rights North Carolina used a $25,000 grant from the McDowell Foundation to support the litigation of systemic federal claims regarding access to services for children who are dually diagnosed with mental illness and/or intellectual disabilities and/or developmental disabilities.

Federal law requires that children with these complex needs receive adequate services in their community. However, as Iris Green, the lead attorney on the case for Disability Rights North Carolina, reports, their agency received numerous calls from parents and caregivers that the state was failing to meet the federal requirements.

Through the support of our grant, Disability Rights North Carolina was able to successfully settle their case on behalf of these vulnerable children! “We greatly appreciate the McDowell Foundation grant,” shared Green. “Our goal was to make sure this settlement agreement was a lifeline for children with complex needs.”

The settlement requires screening of children with dual diagnoses to determine whether they qualify as having complex needs, and, if so, they are to be provided with a robust array of services.

Disability Rights is happy to report that, as a result of the settlement:

Most importantly, the families represented by the Disability Rights North Carolina case report that the lives of their children have improved as a result of this settlement!

We are incredibly thankful to the efforts of Disability Rights North Carolina in successfully litigating this case.

And, we are thankful for the work of all our grantees!

Please stay tuned for more installments of our Impact Highlights. In the meantime, Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Written by Aaron Stiner, Executive Administrator, McDowell Foundation, January 1, 2019