News Archive

Sep 24, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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.
Sep 21, 2018
Disability Rights New Mexico (DRNM) has developed its proposed priorities for FY 2018-19.  This is a list of the issues that the agency plans to address and the kinds of individual cases it will accept this year.  To read the proposed priorities, click here.
Sep 20, 2018
The Board of Directors of Disability Rights New Mexico (DRNM) will meet on Friday, September 28, 2018, at Disability Rights New Mexico, 3916 Juan Tabo Blvd., NE, Albuquerque, NM at 10:00 a.m.  DRNM is not covered by the state Open Meetings Act, but the convening of the meeting will be open to the public.

The agenda for this meeting does not include any discussion and/or action item related to DRNM services funded by the City of Albuquerque.  Once the meeting is convened in open session, it is anticipated that the meeting then will be closed to the public, pursuant to DRNM's bylaws.

If you are planning to attend and need a disability-related accommodation in order to attend the public portion of this meeting, such as a sign language interpreter or any other form of auxiliary aid or service, please contact Ms. Georgette Saiz at 505-256-3100 at least 5 days in advance to let us know so arrangements can be made.
Feb 26, 2018

Disability Rights New Mexico (DRNM) is pleased to announce the hiring of Gary Housepian as our new Chief Executive Officer, as of April 2, 2018. Gary will succeed Jim Jackson, who is retiring as of March 31.  “We are very pleased that Gary will be leading DRNM,” said Jeanne Hamrick, DRNM Board President. “We are fortunate to have Gary, a committed leader with great vision and passion to serve the disability rights community, come to the Land of Enchantment.”  Click here for the full announcement.

Gary Housepian (Gary's last name is pronounced "how-SEP-ee-en")
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


ATTENTION: PERSONS WHO ARE ON THE DD WAIVER, CASE MANAGERS AND GUARDIANS IN THE DD WAIVER SYSTEM
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.

THIS NOTICE IS BEING POSTED BECAUSE THE DATE TO NOTIFY THE STATE THAT A PARTICIPANT WISHES TO RETURN TO THEIR PRE-SIS SERVICES IS FAST APPROACHING.  DD WAIVER PARTICIPANTS MUST LET THE STATE AND THEIR CASE MANAGER KNOW BY THIS FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2015, IF THEY WANT THE SERVICES THEY WERE PREVIOUSLY GETTING.

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.

Donate

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DRNM
has a Full-time Advocate position available.  If you are interested in applying, please click here for more information and how to apply.

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DRNM
is seeking individuals who are interested in serving on the Mental Health Advisory Council. Click here for information and application.

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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.

 


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