Disability Rights Michigan (DRM) is the independent, private, nonprofit, nonpartisan protection and advocacy organization authorized by Federal and State law to advocate and protect the legal rights of people with disabilities in Michigan.
Our advocates and lawyers advise individuals with disabilities of their rights and responsibilities and advocate for their human, civil and legal rights within the state of Michigan. DRM has broad access authority to monitor institutions and advocate for people with disabilities who live in them.
- Information, technical assistance, self-advocacy assistance, and referrals to individuals, attorneys, governmental agencies, services providers and other advocacy organizations to address disability-related issues.
- Legal counsel and litigation services on behalf of individuals or groups who meet DRM’s current focus areas.
- Community education and training on disability rights issues.
- Policy education and advocacy with elected and appointed officials on issues affecting people with disabilities.
DRM serves people with disabilities. A disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities and may occur at any time in life.
No, all services through DRM are provided at no cost to our clients.
The main DRM office is located at 4095 Legacy Pkwy, Lansing, MI 48911. A second DRM office is located at 129 W. Baraga Ave, Ste. A, Marquette, MI 49855.
DRM was formerly known as Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, Inc. (MPAS). DRM is part of the protection and advocacy (P&A) network. Federal law requires that there is a P&A agency, even if it goes by a different name, in every state and territory. Learn more about the P&A system.
No, DRM is not a State agency. DRM is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that is separate from State government.
DRM receives funding from 9 Federal program grants, a grant from the State of Michigan, private grants/contracts, and individual donations.
Individuals who want help from DRM should call the office at 1.800.288.5923 or complete the online “Request Help” form. An Intake Specialist will ask some questions about you and the problem you are experiencing. You will then talk with an Information and Referral advocate who will listen to your problem and give you information, brief advice and self-advocacy assistance on how to resolve it.
In some cases, if your issue falls within DRM’s current focus areas, your case may be referred to an individual DRM advocate or attorney for possible direct representation.
Individuals seeking information about disability rights or their current issue are encouraged to call DRM and speak with an advocate or complete the online “Request Help” form. DRM advocates are available Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 4:00pm at 800.288.5923. Walk-ins are welcome although we encourage people to schedule appointments to ensure someone can be available to speak with you.
DRM represents only a small fraction of callers whose issues fall within our current focus areas. The agency does not have the resources to provide every caller with direct legal assistance. In many cases, a caller’s issue can be resolved through information, brief advice and self-advocacy assistance.
No, DRM will not disclose that you have contacted our office without your permission. DRM has policies in line with federal and state laws to protect the confidentiality of the clients and other individuals that contact the organization. Our policies include maintaining confidentiality of all files including, but not limited to, electronic records.
DRM advocates for people with disabilities, including minor children. In the process of assisting children, DRM staff commonly communicate and work with parents to provide information and achieve advocacy goals. DRM does not provide assistance in situations where parents seek help that will put children at risk of harm or take away their freedom and independence.
DRM advocates for people with disabilities, including adults subjected to guardianship or conservatorship. In those cases, DRM takes its direction from the expressed wishes of the adult with a disability. In the process of assisting adults, DRM staff will communicate and work with a guardian, conservator or other interested person (such as a parent, caregiver or service provider) when the adult with a disability gives permission and when the guardian, conservator or interested person is acting consistent with the adult’s expressed wishes.
DRM does not advise or help individuals seek or maintain guardianship or conservatorship. DRM will provide information on alternatives to guardianship that maintain an individual’s right and power of self-determination.
If your request can be met by an Information & Referral advocate that is offering information, technical assistance or referrals, you do not need to sign an official document.
If your case is chosen, based in current focus areas, and you will receive direct advocacy or legal representation, you will be asked to sign a retainer. This legal document outlines the goals for your case and the possible means for achieving those goals.