Before 1977, the rights of people with disabilities were being largely ignored in insititutions and were removed from the community. In 1977, the Protections and Advocacy system was established in each state to overlook and protect the rights of these citizens. In the beginning, 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 employs an executive director, four attorneys, five advocates, 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.