News Archive

Oct 10, 2019

We are excited to celebrate our 40th anniversary with a community event of "Walk and Roll for Justice" on Saturday, November 2nd, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at Balloon Fiesta Park.  We are celebrating the resilience of our clients, families and advocates that has prevailed throughout our history.  We are thankful for their inspirational lives and efforts to make New Mexico a better place for persons with disabilities.  We invite clients, families, friends, supporters and other organizations that form our community of justice for all.  Although there is much more work to be done, we want to take this opportunity to celebrate our collective achievements and vision at this community event.  We hope you can join us!  Click here for more information.

If you require disability-related accommodations, please contact DRNM at 505-256-3100 before October 25, 2019.

Aug 1, 2019

Disability Rights New Mexico, as part of a coalition with other non-profit organizations and law firms working on economic justice and employment rights issues, has filed a lawsuit against Adelante Development Center, Inc. ("Adelante"), over Adelante's its illegal, abusive, and pervasive payment of subminimum wages to its employees with disabilities.  The lawsuit asserts that Adelante has illegally paid its workers less than New Mexico's and Albuquerque's minimum wage to hundreds of employees for many years.

Jun 24, 2019

Update on notice from DOH regarding individuals on the wait list for DD and Mi Via waivers.

DDSD has made multiple attempts to contact individuals in the allocation group.  Unfortunately, there are a significant number of individuals in each region that have not responded. 

Individuals with DD Waiver registration dates prior to the following dates, should contact DOH Intake & Eligibility as quickly as possible, at the numbers listed below:

Current Allocation Dates, Quadrants, and Contacts:
Metro - 05/26/2006
Kathryn Lesarlley - (505) 841-5522
Micky Carino - (505) 222-6699

Northeast - 08/23/2006
Renee Valerio - (575)758-5934

Northwest - 10/03/2006
Cheryle Anderson - (505) 863-9937, ext. 107

Southeast - 02/07/2008
Elizabeth Duran - (575) 624-6100, ext. 113
Mario Quezada - (575) 624-6100, ext. 115

Southwest - 12/12/2006
Bernice Rivera - (575) 528-5195
Nicole Hernandez - (575) 528-5181

Jun 13, 2019

The New Mexico legislature provided additional funds for the Department of Health (DOH) to move 355 people off the wait list into Developmental Disabilities Waiver (DDW) services.  The DOH is now having trouble finding many of the people to be allocated onto the DDW, some of whom have been waiting for over 13 years.  If anyone knows of people who may have applied for the DDW from the following regions before these corresponding dates, please have them contact DOH Intake & Eligibility at 505-841-5552:​











Sep 24, 2018


Foster Youth File Lawsuit to Address Harm Inflicted by New Mexico's Broken Foster Care System.

Plaintiffs seek creation of a child welfare welfare system that ensures access to critical services and expertise capable of accommodating children coping with complex trauma.

Today 13 children who are in the foster care system filed Kevin S. v. Jacobson in federal district court in New Mexico.  They are joined by protection and advocacy organizations Disability Rights New Mexico and Native American Disability Law Center.  The plaintiffs are asking the State of New Mexico to fulfill its legal obligation to provide the state's 4,700 foster children with the essential care and stability that they need to grow and thrive.  To read more on this, please click here.
Feb 23, 2018

In litigation filed recently in state district court in Santa Fe, Disability Rights New Mexico (DRNM) is seeking a court order requiring the Department of Health (DoH) to license boarding homes, which often serve persons with mental illness or other disabilities but are currently unregulated.  For decades, the state of New Mexico had licensing regulations and requirements in place for boarding homes, but several years ago DoH unilaterally scrapped them.  DRNM has obtained a temporary order and will seek to make the order permanent, in which case DoH would have to promptly establish and implement licensure requirements.  DRNM on-site visits, our death investigation a few years ago, numerous complaints we have received from residents and guardians, and a series of reports published in the Albuquerque Journal have all raised serious concerns about the conditions in many of these homes.

May 22, 2017

The recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District is a victory for New Mexicans seeking special education and related services for children with disabilities.  The Individuals with Disabilities Education (IDEA) requires that State receiving funds to educate children with disabilities provide a "free appropriate public education" (FAPE). To meet the standards of a FAPE, the Court required that the IEP "must be appropriately ambitious in light of [the child's] circumstances," and acknowledged "every child should have the chance to meet challenging objectives."  To read more on the ruling, click here.

May 25, 2016

Is your child getting all the behavioral health services that he or she is entitled to under Centennial Care?  Click here for more information.

Mar 24, 2016

The new Residential Accessibility Modification Program (RAMP) may be able to help you.

This program, sponsored by the Governor’s Commission on Disability, strives to improve the lives of individuals with physical disabilities by making improvements in their living situations.

For example, the RAMP may install ramps, roll-in showers, or grab bars in an individual’s home.

To qualify, you must: 1) be a U.S. citizen, 2) have lived in New Mexico for 6 months, 3) have a physical disability, as evidenced by SSI or SSDI benefits OR a statement from a physician, 4) have applied for all other available residential modification community resources, and 5) taxable or reportable income must be within 250% of the most current Federal Poverty Income level.

For more information on the RAMP click here and to apply for the RAMP click here.

Mar 16, 2016

Responding to a complaint filed by DRNM against The Peak, a children’s residential treatment facility in southern New Mexico, the state Children Youth and Families Department has confirmed DRNM’s authority to meet with youth in such facilities. It also confirmed that under state law, children who are 14 and older have the right to release mental health records to DRNM without parental consent.

Jan 28, 2016

Disability Rights New Mexico (DRNM) has issued a preliminary report on the findings of our investigation of the Peak, a residential treatment center in Santa Teresa, NM.  Click here to read the full report.

Oct 7, 2015
Disability Rights New Mexico (DRNM) has adopted its priorities for the year starting October 1, 2015.  This is a list of the issues that the agency plans to address and the kinds of individual cases it will accept this year.  Thanks to those of you who provided input and suggestions.  To see this year's priorities, click here.
Sep 24, 2015
Disability Rights New Mexico (DRNM) recently represented a student who was improperly denied special education evaluations from Albuquerque Public Schools (APS). The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) decided in favor of the student and issued a corrective action plan to APS. The corrective action plan required that APS re-vamp its protocol for special education evaluations in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA). In the past, APS could keep students indefinitely in the “Student Assistance Team” (SAT) process. For many students, the SAT process could stretch on for years as data was collected to support a determination that a student needed to be tested for special education eligibility. Now, APS will be required to pursue evaluating all students who are suspected to have a disability. Also, in accordance with state and federal law, APS will now be required to respond within 60 days to parental requests for special education evaluations. IDEA requires that within 60 days of a written parental request for evaluations, the school district must either 1) schedule the evaluations, or 2) file for a due process hearing. APS must have these new policies in place in accordance with the law by late October 2015.

Jul 28, 2015

Disability Rights New Mexico and The Arc of New Mexico recently brought a court case against the state challenging its use of the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) to decide who gets what DD Waiver services.  As part of a settlement of that case, the state is required to restore any services taken away from a DD Waiver participant after they took a SIS assessment.  DD Waiver participants must let the state know that they wish to have their old services returned, or else they will continue to get the services their SIS assessment assigned to them until their next Individualized Service Plan, or their is a significant change in health or other circumstances.


Jun 15, 2015

A court-approved agreement in a lawsuit brought by DRNM and others makes important improvements to New Mexico's Developmental Disabilities Waiver program.  Those who lost services in the past few years have a chance to get them back, and new service planning will be more person-centered.  Click on the links for a summary of the agreement and the changes to the DD waiver system and a copy of the agreement."

Apr 15, 2015

Disability Rights New Mexico (DRNM) is interested in hearing about your experiences as you've used behavioral/mental health services in New Mexico. Below are links to a survey that can help us advocate for better services.  If you're a family member or close friend of a behavioral health consumer, we want to hear from you, too.  All answers will remain anonymous, if you choose.  Share your story with us!

If you have used behavioral/mental health services, click here for the survey.

If you're the family member/friend of someone who has used behavioral/mental health services, click here for the survey.

Thank you!  Your participation is greatly appreciated.

Mar 13, 2015
The Preliminary Injuction Order is a fabulous result for DD Waiver participants, their family members, guardians and those who work with them.  Click here to read letter from DRNM and The Arc.  Click here to read analysis of the Memorandum Opinion and click here to read the two page Order.
Dec 9, 2014
Testing Accommodations for the PARCC Exam
The Partnerships for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam is the new standardized test that New Mexico students grades 3-12 will begin taking in March 2015.  Some students with disabilities have been informed that they will receive a very limited set of accommodations while taking the PARCC exam.
Aug 28, 2014
DRNM and other plaintiffs in this case are seeking a Preliminary Injunction that would stop the state from reducing services based on SIS scores until participants are provided a real chance to appeal those reductions.  Federal District Judge Judith Herrera held hearings August 18-20, 2014, on our request.
Jul 22, 2014
In June 2014, we entered into an interim agreement to preserve services for those on the Waiver who had not yet transitioned into their new SIS group service packages. The interim agreement is in effect until the judge rules on the preliminary injuction or December 31, 2014, whichever comes first.
Jun 20, 2014
Self advocacy for the SIS Fair Hearings
Jun 19, 2014
Self advocacy for Medicaid Fair Hearings
Jun 18, 2014
Phone Numbers for Urgent Behavioral Health Care. If you are experiencing problems due to the behavioral health crisis, listed are phone numbers to call for assistance. For general needs 1-866-660-7185 (phone calls not being returned, no therapist, problems with medications or records).  For crisis 1-855-662-7474 (someone is in immediate need of assistance).
Jun 16, 2014
HSD stopped Medicaid funding to New Mexico behavioral health service providers in late June.



DRNM is seeking individuals who are interested in serving on the Board of Directors. Click here for information and application.


Are you interested in serving on DRNM's Mental Health Advisory Council? If you are, click here for information and application.


The Policy & Legislative Action Network (PLAN) is a group of individuals concerned with disability-related issues in New Mexico.  Click here for more information on the PLAN.


© Copyright 2014, Disability Rights of New Mexico