Boy in mask and the text: Turning the Page to a New Year in Advocacy

Dear Friends, 


As the end of 2021 draws near, it is good to take stock of our work and look forward to a new year in 2022.  

Disability Rights Pennsylvania continues to be driven by our mission to protect and advocate for people with disabilities so that we can live the lives we choose, free from abuse, neglect, discrimination, and segregation. 


2021 was a year that continued to challenge our agency and our clients. The pandemic has been unrelenting. Many people with disabilities continued to face enormous challenges in living their everyday lives.  

Despite the challenges, our staff never scaled back our work and we continued to serve Pennsylvanians with disabilities in substantial numbers. In fact, every person with a disability in our Commonwealth could feel the result of our legal, advocacy, and policy work in 2021. In other words, our program outcomes impacted more than 1.7 million Pennsylvanians with disabilities. 

Our impact could be felt in just some of the following ways:  

  • helped students with disabilities stay in school,  
  • helped people with disabilities receive appropriate community-based services or assistive technology devices,  
  • helped people with disabilities live in a healthier, safer environment,  
  • made it easier for people with disabilities to register and cast a vote,  
  • helped people with disabilities stay in their own homes, and 
  • ensured people with disabilities could access health, mental health care, and COVID-19 services and vaccines. 

2022 – The Year Ahead 

Soon to be in our 45th year, Disability Rights Pennsylvania will continue to lead the way for disability rights in our legal, advocacy, and policy work. We want to repeat the significant impact we had on the lives of people with disabilities in 2021. 

In addition to our regular program work, our staff will be engaged in emergency and disaster planning work. Climate change, as well as the continued pandemic, requires us to look at how our communities organize and implement emergency and disaster planning work for people with disabilities. 

We are also undertaking especially important internal work on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Work that will make our board, staff, and program work representative of the communities we serve. 

On behalf of the Board of Directors, Mental Health Advisory Council, and staff, we thank you for your continued support and commitment to Disability Rights Pennsylvania.   

May you have a joyous and safe holiday season.   

Please keep Disability Rights Pennsylvania in your year-end giving plans.

Two people, one in their thirties and one elderly smiling at one another through masks and the text: DRP's 2021 Advocacy: Every Pennsylvanian with a Disability Reached

Disability Rights Pennsylvania's impact on behalf of people with disabilities was significant in 2021.  Individually, DRP assisted 3,721 clients with 4,109 issues during our last fiscal year.  DRP provided assistance on average for approximately 342 service requests per month. The individuals that DRP assisted come from all across the Commonwealth.  DRP assisted clients to ensure that they received home and community-based services, were free from abuse and neglect, assisted individuals with rights violations, ensured access to health and mental health care, assisted individuals seeking COVID-19 vaccines.  DRP also assisted individuals with guardianship issues or who were facing issues with their housing, employment, or education.  Systemically, DRP's work impacted every Pennsylvanian with a disability.  Our systemic work included litigation as well as statutory and regulatory work that changed policies, rules, and laws for people with disabilities

Disability Rights Pennsylvania will always be available for individuals with disabilities who need our services.  Learn more about Disability Rights Pennsylvania services here and how we can assist you here: 

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Paving The Path Forward: 2022-2024 Goals and Objectives Setting

This Spring, Disability Rights Pennsylvania (DRP) started its public comment period for fiscal years 2022-2024 annual program goals and objectives. DRP invited public feedback on the issues that matter most to individuals with disabilities, along with their families and the organizations supporting them. This year, we collected data for this process through intake, an online survey, and forums with community members. Two hundred fifty people responded to the online survey. Below is some of the data we received and the goals and objectives that information led to.

Who Responded?

[Pie chart reflecting People with Disabilities 50%; Family/Guardians 32.3%; Professional Advocates 8.9%; Service Providers 7.7%; Govt. Staff Member 1.2%]

In 2021, DRP saw the largest number of responses from people who self-identified as having a disability at 50%.

The Issues

Community members were asked which issues needed more or continued attention. Here is what mattered most to Pennsylvania's disability community:

[Bar Chart reflecting Education: 69%; Abuse and neglect: 69%; Restraint and seclusion: 44%; Public policy: 57% ; Voting: 47% ; Effective communication: 59%; Access to health care and mental health care services: 76% ; Waiver programs: 58%; Housing, employment and public access discrimination: 73%; Access to Assistive Technology: 57%; Transportation: 59%; Other: 29%]

DRP's 2022-2024 Program Goals and Objectives

Based on the data the community so generously shared with DRP, the following Goals and Objectives were drafted for fiscal years 2022-2024:

  • People with disabilities will not be subject to abuse, neglect, exploitation, or rights violations
  • People with disabilities will not be subject to unnecessary segregation and institutionalization, including, but not limited to, unnecessary segregation in home and community-based settings.
  • People with disabilities will have access to high-quality, consumer-controlled, consumer-driven, person-centered, and recovery-oriented services and benefits to enable them to live and thrive in their own homes and communities.
  • People with disabilities will not be subject to discrimination and will be fully integrated in all aspects of society.

To learn more about our work, visit

A little girl using sign language with an adult and the text: Looking Forward to the Next 45 Years in DRP Advocacy

Dear Friends: 

We have exciting news to share.   

2022 will be Disability Rights Pennsylvania’s 45th anniversary. 

Because of your past involvement with Disability Rights Pennsylvania, you know that we are made up of a talented group of lawyers, advocates, and administrative staff who, together with our Board of Directors and Mental Health Advisory Council, are focused on protecting and advocating for the rights of individuals with disabilities in our Commonwealth. 

On my first day as CEO, I wrote a check to Disability Rights Pennsylvania. I am as committed now as I was then to carry out our mission. I am also committed to ensuring that DRP has the resources we need to help individuals with disabilities chart a path for success. 

My check today is for $45.  It is $45 dollars to kick off our celebration of Disability Rights Pennsylvania’s 45th Anniversary.  

You can help us by kicking off our 45th Anniversary with a $45.00 contribution too.   

I appreciate your past support of Disability Rights Pennsylvania.  We have important work to do next year and we need your continued support. 



Peri Jude Radecic 

Chief Executive Officer 


P.S. Please join me in supporting Disability Rights Pennsylvania with a check today! 

For our advocacy resources click here.
snowflakes against a blue background and the text: We're off for winter break. Happy holidays, DRP Community! Live Intake will be closed beginning 12 PM on December 23rd and will resume on January 3rd for our regularly scheduled intake hours: 9 AM-3PM. All staff will be away from our desks beginning noon Dec. 23rd, until January 3rd.

Disability Rights Pennsylvania
301 Chestnut Street Suite 300 | Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101
800-692-7443 |

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