Protection and Civil Rights Resources

These resources are provided for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.

Looking for Supported Decision-Making Resources?  Click here to find them all on one page!


Handouts

Considering Suing a Government Entity for an Injury?

This handout explains what you must do if you have been hurt by a governmental entity and are thinking about filing a lawsuit.

Download PDF: Considering Suing a Government Entity for an Injury? (140KB)

Disability Discrimination in Correctional Facilities

This handout provides information about possible agencies, complaint procedures and deadlines that often apply when a person with a disability has a complaint against a prison, jail or juvenile justice facility.

Download PDF: Disability Discrimination in Correctional Facilities (279KB)

Discharge Rights of Patients in Inpatient Mental Health Facilities

This handout explains what discharge is and the discharge planning rights for patients in inpatient mental health facilities.

Download PDF: Discharge Rights of Patients in Inpatient Mental Health Facilities (563KB)

How to Change Your Guardianship without a Lawyer

A guide to asking for a successor guardian or guardianship restoration, modification, and removal in Texas.

Download PDF: How to Change Your Guardianship without a Lawyer (474KB)

How to Create a Declaration for Mental Health Treatment

This handout explains how to create an advance psychiatric directive.

Download PDF: How to Create a Declaration for Mental Health Treatment (311KB)

How to Make a Complaint About Inpatient Mental Health Services

This handout tells you about the complaint process in state hospitals and state centers operated by the Texas Department of State Health Services (“TDSHS”).

Download PDF: How to Make a Complaint About Inpatient Mental Health Services (656KB)

Mental Health Detention in an Emergency Room

This sheet provides information for people over 16 years of age about the ER process and the law.

Download PDF: Mental Health Detention in an Emergency Room (65KB)

Representing Parties in Supported Decision-Making Agreements: A Guide for Attorneys

A guide for attorneys on representing parties in supported decision-making agreements, written by Tresi Weeks, private attorney and DRTx Board Member.

Download PDF: Representing Parties in Supported Decision-Making Agreements: A Guide for Attorneys (551KB)

Restraint and Seclusion Guidelines: Rights of People Receiving Behavioral Interventions

If you are placed in a mental health facility, this material has information you need to know about restraint and seclusion.

Download PDF: Restraint and Seclusion Guidelines: Rights of People Receiving Behavioral Interventions (308KB)

Rights of People Receiving Involuntary Inpatient Mental Health Services

All people have certain basic legal rights, including people who have mental illness and people who are in mental health facilities.This document summarizes those rights.

Download PDF: Rights of People Receiving Involuntary Inpatient Mental Health Services (739KB)

Self-Advocacy Information Flyer

This flyer gives a general overview of self-advocacy and contact information for DRTx.

Download PDF: Self-Advocacy Information Flyer (438KB)

Supported Decision Making Overview

During the 84th Texas Legislative Session in 2015, legislators passed new laws that make Texas the first state to have laws recognizing supported decision-making agreements as an alternative to guardianship. This handout explains supported decision making agreements including what rights the person with a disability maintains, what the supporter can and cannot do, and how this type of agreement differs from a power of attorney.

Download PDF: Supported Decision Making Overview (230KB)

Supported Decision Making Presentation Slides

This is the current presentation DRTx is using to provide more detailed information on Supported Decision Making to people with disabilities, families, caregivers, school personnel and disability service providers.

Download PDF: Supported Decision Making Presentation Slides (779KB)

Supported Decision-Making Agreement Sample Authorization to Release Confidential Information Form

This document contains a sample form to be completed by the person being supported allowing the supporter to receive certain types of confidential information such as health, employment and educational records. Please first read our resource entitled, "Supported Decision Making Overview" before using this form.

Download PDF: Supported Decision-Making Agreement Sample Authorization to Release Confidential Information Form (290KB)

Supported Decision-Making Agreement Sample Form

This document includes a sample of a Supported Decision-Making Agreement (SDMA) form. Please first read our resource entitled, "Supported Decision Making Overview" prior to using this SDMA form.

Download PDF: Supported Decision-Making Agreement Sample Form (81KB)

The PAIMI Council Speaks Out: Finding Your Voice - Video Transcript

English transcript of video produced by members of the Disability Rights Texas PAIMI Council. Members of the Council share their personal stories and encourage people to speak up and reach out if they think their rights are being violated. (Link to video is in Helpful Links section below. Transcripción de Video - Recursos en Español, Folletos.)

Download PDF: The PAIMI Council Speaks Out: Finding Your Voice - Video Transcript (268KB)

Transition Guide

"Your Rights, Your Voice: A Guide for Youth with Mental Health Concerns Transitioning into Adulthood" is a resource to help transition age youth learn about their rights and provide tools to help them successfully move into adulthood. Topics covered included special education services, post-secondary education, vocational rehabilitation services, employment, mental health care, community living, and alternatives to guardianship. Special thanks to the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health for providing the funding to make this guide possible. Please note this guide has several pages and the document is in color. You may want to consider printing it on 2 sides and/or using black and white ink. (Updated: October 2016)

Download PDF: Transition Guide (3MB)

Turning a Blind Eye: State Hospital Investigative Report

DTRx released a report in response to numerous allegations in the press about patient abuse and professional misconduct by physicians at state-run psychiatric hospitals in Texas.

Download PDF: Turning a Blind Eye: State Hospital Investigative Report (522KB)

Voluntary Patient Rights

This handout explains your rights when seeking voluntary inpatient mental health treatment.

Download PDF: Voluntary Patient Rights (597KB)

What you should expect from your Mental Health Court-Appointed Attorney

This handout explains what to expect from a court-appointed attorney in civil commitment and forced medications hearings, and provides information about how to file a complaint if you are not happy with the services you receive from a court-ordered mental health attorney.

Download PDF: What you should expect from your Mental Health Court-Appointed Attorney (354KB)

Your Legal Rights Under Emergency Commitment

This handout provides the information you need to know about your rights if you are taken to an in-patient mental health facility on an emergency commitment.

Download PDF: Your Legal Rights Under Emergency Commitment (436KB)

Helpful Links

Assisted Living Facility Resident’s Bill of Rights

This handout outlines the rights of persons who live in an assisted living facility in Texas.

Assisted Living Facility Resident's Bill of Rights

Commonly Asked Questions About the ADA and Law Enforcement

Commonly Asked Questions About the ADA and Law Enforcement

Consumer Rights and Services at the Department of Aging and Disability Services

Consumer Rights and Services employees take complaints about the treatment of people who receive services in long-term care facilities or in their homes.

Consumer Rights and Services at the Department of Aging and Disability Services

DADS Guardianship Services Handbook

Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services' Guardianship Services Handbook

DADS Guardianship Services Handbook

Filing a Grievance in a Texas Prison or Jail

Texas Civil Rights Project information on filing a grievance in jail or prison

Filing a Grievance in a Texas Prison or Jail

Frequently Asked Questions about Filing an ADA Complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Department of Justice information

Frequently Asked Questions about Filing an ADA Complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice

Help fight discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS

Justice Department Releases Web Badge for AIDS Organizations to Link to ada.gov/AIDS

Help fight discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS

How to File a Complaint About a Facility

If you are dissatisfied, use this form to voice your complaints to the manager of the facility.

How to File a Complaint About a Facility

Know Your Rights: The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA)

Information provided by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Know Your Rights: The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA)

Nursing Facility Rights Flyer

Residents of Texas nursing facilities have all the rights, benefits, responsibilities and privileges granted by the Constitution and laws of this state and the United States.

Nursing Facility Rights Flyer

Supported Decision Making in Action: Dawn’s Story

Dawn is 39 years old and lives independently. She has an intellectual disability. She and her mom use a supported decision making agreement to provide Dawn with any extra support she might need.

Supported Decision Making in Action: Dawn's Story

Supported Decision Making in Action: Timberley’s Story

When Timberley turned 18, her school gave her mom information about guardianship. But her mom had raised her to be independent, so she knew that wasn't what was best for Timberley. Then she discovered supported decision making.

Supported Decision Making in Action: Timberley's Story

Supported Decision Making Page - links to all DRTx resources

Supported Decision Making Resources

Supported Decision Making/Alternatives to Guardianship

Many people with disabilities can manage their own affairs with informal assistance and guidance and do not need a guardian. People can be supported in many ways to make their own decisions without taking away their rights through a guardianship. Learn more about alternatives to guardianship by reading these documents from the ARC of Texas. Each document is provided in three formats: For Families, For Self-Advocates, and For Self-Advocates with Dyslexia. In addition, each of these documents are available in English and Spanish.

The ARC of Texas Supported Decision Making/Alternatives to Guardianship Documents

Supported Decision Making: Jenny Hatch’s Story (VIDEO)

Watch this video to learn about a young woman who has led the way in the Supported Decision Making movement. Margaret “Jenny” Hatch is a 29 year old woman with Down syndrome. Jenny wanted to live her life the way she always had – deciding where to live, what to do, work and see like everyone else does. That all changed in August of 2012, when Jenny was served with a petition attempting to put her in a guardianship...

Supported Decision Making: Jenny Hatch's Story

Video - The PAIMI Council Speaks Out: Finding Your Voice

Members of PAIMI Council encourage people to speak up and reach out if they think their rights are being violated. (English transcript located in Handout section above. Transcripción de Video - Recursos en Español, Folletos.)

The PAIMI Council Speaks Out: Finding Your Voice

Video - The PAIMI Council Speaks Out: Finding Your Voice (ASL VERSION)

Members of PAIMI Council encourage people to speak up and reach out if they think their rights are being violated.

Video, ASL VERSION - The PAIMI Council Speaks Out: Finding Your Voice

Video - The PAIMI Council Speaks Out: Finding Your Voice (ENGLISH CAPTION VERSION)

Members of PAIMI Council encourage people to speak up and reach out if they think their rights are being violated.

The PAIMI Council Speaks Out: Finding Your Voice - ENGLISH CAPTION VERSION

VIDEO: Supported Decision Making: An Alternative to Guardianship in Texas

Many people think that guardianship is the best way to help adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities make important decisions. The truth is, guardianship is often not necessary. Watch this news interview with the DRTx legal director to learn more about the new guardianship reform laws passed in Texas that will give people with disabilities more independence, including Supported Decision Making.

Supported Decision Making: An Alternative to Guardianship

Your Rights in a State Supported Living Center

This handbook tells you about the rights and privileges you have if you are receiving services in programs offered through the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) at state schools or state centers.

Your Rights in a State Supported Living Center

Your Rights in an ICF-MR

This handbook tells you about the rights and privileges you have if you are receiving services in programs offered in the community through the Intermediate Care Facilities for Persons with Mental Retardation (ICF-MR).

Your Rights in an ICF-MR

Your Rights in Local Authority Services

This publication of the Department of Aging and Disability Services tells you about the rights and privileges you have if you are receiving services offered by a local authority, sometimes called “community centers.”

Your Rights in Local Authority Services
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An Overview of Disability Rights Texas

Transcript File: An Overview of Disability Rights Texas