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About Us

Disability Rights Montana

Disability Rights Montana (DRM) protects and advocates for the rights of people with disabilities in Montana. We handle cases involving discrimination or violations of the rights of people with disabilities. Our attorneys, advocates, paralegals, and support staff provide advocacy and legal services at no charge for people with disabilities across Montana.

As the state’s Protection and Advocacy (P&A) system, our organization receives federal grant funds to do our work. DRM is completely independent of state government and the disability service system. Therefore, we are free of any conflicts of interest that would undermine our capacity to advocate zealously on behalf of the human and legal rights of people with disabilities. Learn more about our areas of work.

Our History

Disability Rights Montana, formerly Montana Advocacy Program, is more than 40 years old.

In 1977, we had only one funding source. In those early years, DD MAP – as we were then known – contracted its legal services with two Helena attorneys, and concentrated solely on providing advocacy and legal services to people with developmental disabilities. Today, Disability Rights Montana has eight funding sources, employs an executive director, three attorneys, seven advocates, a program director, a paralegal, a data coordinator, a finance/administration director, and an office coordinator.

In March 2008, we changed our name from Montana Advocacy Program to Disability Rights Montana. The change better reflects what we do and whom we serve.

In July 2008, we proudly opened our new location at 1022 Chestnut Street in Helena, Montana. After almost two years of searching and securing a fully-accessible facility, we now have a place and the space to do civil rights work and truly support the disability community. We now offer fully-accessible parking and meeting and multimedia rooms to like-minded groups.

We are one of the first Protection & Advocacy groups in the nation to purchase its own building. Ownership controls our costs and allows us to expand our services.

Our Authority

Disability Rights Montana is the federally-mandated civil rights protection and advocacy system for Montana. We have the legal authority to represent almost any person with a disability.

Our Board of Directors

Disability Rights Montana is governed by a statewide, cross-disability, volunteer Board of Directors. Through personal and professional experiences, the directors represent people with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, brain injuries, physical disabilities, and visual and hearing impairments.

The Board reviews the advocacy and legal needs of people with disabilities. It establishes priorities, policies, and the budget for our organization. Each year the Board determines the level of resources allocated to individual, systems, and policy advocacy to protect the legal, human, and civil rights of Montanans with disabilities.

See our Board of Directors.

Our Staff

Disability Rights Montana employs attorneys, advocates, and a variety of administrative support personnel, all serving a wide range of roles.

See our Staff Directory.