DRI Executive Director, Amy Cunningham, a delegate at the Fourth National Guardianship Summit, joined 125 participants to develop National Recommendations for Guardianship Reform

Highlights of National Guardianship Summit


  • Held virtually over four half-day sessions starting on May 10, 2021 around the theme of Maximizing Autonomy and Ensuring Accountability.
  • First national summit held to develop recommendations in ten years.
  • National Guardianship Network, a collaboration of fourteen organizations interested in guardianship issues organized the summit.
  • Syracuse University Collage of Law hosted the event.


Highlight of Summit Recommendations Twenty-two Recommendations for Improvement and Reform


  • Rights-Based Guardianships – Enhancing Rights of Persons Subject to Guardianship: 3 Recommendations
  • Supporting Decision-Making: 4 Recommendations
  • Limited Guardianship, Protective Arrangement & Diverting Pipelines: 4 Recommendations
  • Rethinking Guardianship Monitoring & Addressing Abuse: 4 Recommendations
  • Addressing Fiduciary Responsibilities & Tensions: 4 Recommendations
  • Guardianship Court Improvement Programs: 3 Recommendations


Click here to review the full recommendations


Summit papers and the recommendations will be published in a symposium edition of the Syracuse Law Review (likely this fall). Current drafts and issues briefs are currently available on the Summit website at: http://law.syr.edu//academics/conferences-symposia/the-fourth-national-guardianship-summit-autonomy-and-accountability.

NDRN Executive Director: “Count Every Vote”

For Immediate Release 11/04/2020

Contact: David Card

202.408.9514 x122


NDRN Executive Director: “Count Every Vote”

Washington, DC – Like everyone else, we at the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) anxiously await the results of the election. We hope that the votes can be counted quickly so that Americans can feel confident in knowing who will be their next president.

However, a quick vote count is no substitute for an accurate one. And that is why we are strongly calling upon state election officials, state legislatures, the courts, and the federal government to ensure that every vote is counted. Anything less than a full count will not only cast doubts upon the legitimacy of the process but potentially set a precedent for the future exclusion of voters with disabilities.

“If you did everything right, but your ballot isn’t returned on time due to mail delays, we want to ensure your vote is counted. If you did everything right, but have difficulty leaving an exact signature, we want to ensure your vote is counted. All of these challenges to counting mail in votes are, at times quite directly, a challenge to the right of individuals with disabilities to vote in a manner that is safe and secure. We stand strongly in favor of counting every vote to prevent further erosions of the rights of the one in six voters with a disability,” said Curt Decker, executive director of the National Disability Rights Network.

The disability community is significantly more likely to vote by mail. This is for a variety of reasons including: the limited accessibility of in-person polling places, lack of adequate transportation, and an individual needing to limit their exposure to others due to being immunocompromised. When those who vote by mail have their ballots thrown out, it means that our community is disproportionately impacted. NDRN calls upon both parties and all individuals involved in the counting process to put the rights of Americans with disabilities ahead of partisanship, and count every vote.

# # #

The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.

DRI 2020 General Election Newsletter

Know Your Rights as a Voter with a Disability!


Click the link below to download a PDF with information about your rights as a voter with a disability!

DRI 2020 General Election Newsletter

Voting 2020

Click the link below to download a PDF with information about how to vote in the 2020 election.

Voting 2020

DRI and the National Federation of the Blind of Idaho Issue Joint Statement Regarding Idaho Election Accessibility Concerns.

Please click on the link below to download the Joint Statement Regarding Idaho Election Accessibility Concerns.

Click here to download.

Professionalism Award from the Idaho State Bar awarded to DRI’s Amy Cunningham

DRI’s very own Amy Cunningham, Acting Executive Director and Legal Director, has been awarded the Professionalism Award from the Idaho State Bar and featured in the magazine The Advocate. Excellent work Amy!

Click here to download the spotlight.

Click here to read the article.

Letter to Governor Little Concerning Medical Rationing Standards in Idaho

Click here to download the PDF.

IPUL, DRI, and SDE – Back to School Special Education Conversation – IPUL’s July 2020 Statewide Training


DRI is going to be participating in a live discussion with IPUL and the State Department of Education regarding returning to school in the fall of 2020 on July 15, 2020 from 6:00pm – 7:15pm MST. Parents and families of students receiving special education and related services are encouraged to attend! Visit IPUL website here: https://ipulidaho.org/news-and-events#ipul-s-next-training or view PDF announcement for information, registration is required.

Click here to download the PDF.

Conversations with the Council

We Need Your Voice!


Are you an adult with an intellectual/developmental disability (I/DD), or a
parent/family member of a person with I/DD?

We want to hear from you!

The Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities wants to hear about
your experiences accessing the services and supports you need to live the
life you choose.

The Council is hosting webinars on the topics of: Abuse, Direct Support Staff, and Leadership and Accessing Technology.

Join us!

Date: June 19, 2020

Topic: Abuse – We want to learn and hear from you about
what information you need to understand signs of abuse, how
to report abuse, and how to protect yourself and others from

Time: 1:30-3:00 pm (Mountain)

Register: https://bit.ly/DDConvo1

Visit the Council’s website to take the full survey at icdd.idaho.gov
Every five years the Council seeks for your ideas to decide what
work we will do to improve the lives of those with
intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families.

Click here to download a PDF flyer for this event.

The Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities

needs to hear from YOU!

Every five years the Council seeks for your ideas to decide what work we
will do to improve the lives of those with intellectual/developmental
disabilities and their families.

Your ideas will help guide our work to support people with I/DD to be included and meaningfully participate in all aspects of life.


The survey is anonymous and is available online in English and Spanish until June 30, 2020. This survey will take about 20 minutes.

English survey: https://bit.ly/5YR-EN


Spanish survey: https://bit.ly/5YR-ES

If you need help with the survey, or would like a paper copy of the survey,
call 208-334-2178, or email info@icdd.idaho.gov.

Click to view the PDF version of the English flyer

Haga clic para ver la versión en PDF del folleto en español

Letter to Governor Little regarding Medicaid

Click the link below to download the pdf file.

Letter to Governor Little regarding Medicaid

In Solidarity

Today DisAbility Rights Idaho stands in solidarity with those and the families of
those who have lost their lives to systemic racism and white supremacy. DRI’s
mission is independence, self-sufficiency, and full membership into communities
for people with disabilities. Race, gender, ethnicity, age, sexual
orientation/identity and socio-economic status all know disability. DRI values
integration and diversity. DRI acknowledges and respects past trauma. DRI works
to eliminate cultural and linguistic biases.
In order to achieve our mission and vision of independence, self-sufficiency and
full membership, minorities including persons of color and disability must feel and
be safe in their communities and neighborhoods. Violence against people of color
must end. We reject white supremacy, racism and the very idea that any
individual or group has the right to dominate others. DRI will continue to fight for
inclusion, equality, civil rights and justice.

Amy Cunningham
Acting Executive Director/Legal Director
Disability Rights Idaho

COVID-19 Information and Updates


covid 19 update
covid 19 update for idaho

Proving Idaho’s Creativity, Secretary of State Lawerence Denney To Announce New Partnership

Details will be released during a press conference on Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 3pm. The press conference will be streamed live on the Idaho Secretary of State Facebook page, where comments will be addressed both live and immediately following.

Moratorium on Evictions in federally subsidized housing, Stay at Home, & COVID-19 information

Provided in partnership from Idaho Legal Aid Services and the Public Housing Authorities of Idaho.

Recently the federal government passed the CARES Act in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This new law imposes a 120-day moratorium on tenant evictions in most federally subsidized housing properties/programs. Tenants in qualifying properties cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent and cannot be charged late fees until after July 24, 2020. For more information about the CARES Act and Evictions, visit: https://www.nhlp.org/wp-content/uploads/2020.03.27-NHLP-CARES-Act-Eviction-Moratorium-Summary.pdf

Even though evictions are suspended, rent is still due.

Here is some general advice:

  1. If you are able to, pay your rent. We are all in this together and if you can and do pay your rent, it may help your landlord to more easily work with someone who truly can’t pay. If you can only pay a portion of your rent, you should contact your landlord to discuss how much you can pay and when you can pay it. If you are able to secure a ‘partial payment’ agreement, put it in writing. Include these key details: when payments will be made, how much the payments will be, how much will still be owed after each payment, the date of the agreement and the signatures of you and your landlord. You and your landlord should each keep a copy.
  2. If you receive rental assistance and your income has decreased, report those changes to the agency that administers your assistance as soon as possible. Your portion of the rent may be decreased as a result. Failure to pay your portion of the rent can be considered a violation of family obligations for which you could lose your assistance.
  3. If you need help paying your rent, you can call 2-1-1 to find out about financial assistance programs in your area. If your work hours have been reduced or eliminated, you can apply for unemployment insurance online in English or Spanish at https://www2.labor.idaho.gov/ClaimantPortal/Login. You can also report to or call your closest Idaho Department of Labor Office.


  1. If paying rent is an extreme burden for you, consider contacting your landlord in writing to explain why and request a payment plan. You may ask for a delay or reduction in rent, a stop to rent increases and late fees, a 6-month period for repayment of rent, and the ability to break your lease if necessary. We suggest you add to your letter specific information about why you will have difficulty paying rent. Keep any papers you have about why you are unable to pay rent–for example, if you received a letter or an email about losing your job or working fewer hours.
  2. Low income Idahoans can call Idaho Legal Aid Services Covid-19 Legal Advice Line at 208-746-7541 for free legal advice about their specific housing situation.

Eviction suspension:

The CARES Act stops covered landlords from filing new eviction cases for nonpayment of rent beginning on March 27, 2020.  This protection will continue until July 24, 2020.  It also stops those landlords from charging fees and penalties related to nonpayment of rent.  When eviction cases are allowed again, covered landlords must give tenants 30 days’ notice to vacate (lease) the home before filing an eviction case.

The Act does not cover the following eviction cases:

  • Evictions that were filed before March 27, 2020, or after July 24, 2020;
  • Tenants who live in properties that are not covered by the act; and
  • Evictions for reasons other than nonpayment of rent (such as termination of tenancy or for violations of lease terms);

There may be cases where landlords don’t give a reason for the eviction.  However, covered tenants who believe their eviction is even partially related to nonpayment of rent should bring up the CARES Act as a defense.

If your property is not covered by the CARES Act or if the eviction is for a reason other than nonpayment, then the CARES Act moratorium does not apply and your landlord can file an eviction against you.  However, based on restrictions on the types of hearings that are being held in state court, it is possible that the eviction proceeding will be delayed.  If you are served with a summons and complaint for an eviction action, you should contact a lawyer immediately.

Low income Idahoans can call Idaho Legal Aid Services Covid-19 Legal Advice Line at 208-746-7541 for free legal advice about your specific situation.

Stay at Home order. For more information about Idaho’s Stay at Home order please see:

Idaho Legal Aid Services—free and confidential Covid-19 Legal Advice Line. Idaho Legal Aid Services has created an attorney staffed Covid-19 Legal Advice Line to its existing domestic violence, housing and senior legal advices lines.  Low income Idahoans and seniors of any income can call 208-746-7541 for services.

DRI Letter to Idaho State Department of Special Education – Virtual Learning

A letter regarding best practices for provision of FAPE (free appropriate public education) during this time of uncertainty due to the spread of the coronavirus and the resulting disease, COVID-19.

Accessibility Guidance for COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing Sites

A fact sheet of considerations and strategies to promote accessibility at drive-thru medical sites, including those sites where patients may be asked to exit their vehicles.


We Need Your Input

We are seeking your input to determine which issues we should work on in the future. Please help us out and click button below to complete survey. Thank you!



No Safe Place to Call Home:

A Report on the Cycle of Abuse, Neglect, and Injury at the Southwest Idaho
Treatment Center

DRI is the Protection and Advocacy (P&A) system for the State of Idaho. The P&A system was originally created to safeguard the well-being of individ­uals living in institutions. This remains a major focus of P&A activity today. As such, DRI monitors, investigates, and attempts to remedy adverse condi­tions in large and small, public and private, facili­ties that care for people with disabilities. DRI believes that people with disabilities are entitled to be free from abuse, neglect, exploitation, discrimination, and isolation, and are to be treated with respect and dignity.

To complete this mission, DRI conducted a secondary, systemic investigation into allegations of abuse and neglect that occurred at the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center (SWITC) from January 1, 2017 through January 31, 2018. SWITC is Idaho’s only publically funded, state-run Intermediate Care Facility for the Intellectually Disabled (ICF/IID). DRI’s investigation was limited to reviewing the appropriateness, accuracy, and thoroughness of the investigations conducted by SWITC and Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) investigators. In conducting this secondary investigation, DRI reviewed over five thousand (5,000) pages of records provided by SWITC and IDHW officials, including but not limited to completed internal investigations, facility policies, employee training records, and records pertaining to facility staffing and . In addition, DRI also reviewed the investigations into resident abuse and neglect completed by Adult Protection and multiple licensing surveys conducted by the IDHW Bureau of Facility Standards during 2017 and 2018. In total, DRI reviewed over twenty-thousand (20,000) pages of records pertaining to SWITC. DRI also enlisted the services of a professional consultant with over twenty-five (25) years’ experience in developmental disability facility management and administration to assist in this review.

Please click on the links below to download documents associated with this investigation.

Download the Report.

SWITC Press Release.

Fact Sheet: What Abuse or Neglect Occurred?

Fact Sheet: Improper Investigation.

The Cycle of Abuse.

Welcome to DisAbility Rights Idaho!

DisAbility Rights Idaho is one of Idaho’s most effective human rights organizations. Founded in 1977, for our first 30 years we were known by the acronym Co-Ad for Comprehensive Advocacy. We are a non-profit, advocacy agency serving people with disabilities in Idaho. Advocacy means to speak on behalf of a person or a cause. It comes from a Latin root meaning “to give voice to”. DRI gives people with disabilities a voice to assert and defend their own rights through information, education and individual assistance. We give people a voice in court through legal representation. We give people a voice in government through public policy advocacy. We advocate for all people with disabilities in Idaho regardless of the type of disability or the age of the person. We help people with disabilities to: address abuse and neglect; obtain services and supports they need to live, work and play in their own homes and communities; get an appropriate education; access to health care; find and use vocational services and get support for employment; redress discrimination; and achieve equal access to buildings and services. Please explore our site, comment on our work and our priorities, and support our important mission.
– James R. Baugh, Executive Director DisAbility Rights Idaho
Learn more about Disability Rights Idaho

Who Do We Help?

Over 200,000 residents of Idaho have disabilities.  DisAbility Rights Idaho helps people with any type of disability to assert and defend their rights. We also address issues that affect all Idahoans with disabilities by working with state agencies and  non-profits, serving on committees, task forces and work groups.

Learn more about Disability Rights Idaho’s services

Help us help the ones who need it most. Please consider making a donation.



Hear Their Stories

mother and son
Anne and Garrett received help from Disability Rights Idaho. Hear their story…

See all stories


The Latest From DRI


News and Announcements

See All News Posts

Public Policy Blog

See All Public Policy Posts