Mission & History
Mission and Governance
The mission of Disability Rights New Mexico (DRNM) is to protect, promote and expand the legal and civil rights of persons with disabilities. DRNM is an independent, private nonprofit agency operating federally mandated and other advocacy programs in pursuit of this mission.
DRNM’s mission reflects a belief that persons with disabilities are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect, free from abuse, neglect, exploitation and discrimination; and a belief that they are entitled to equal rights and to equally effective access to the same opportunities as are afforded to other members of society. This mission is intended to promote the independence, productivity, and full community inclusion of persons with disabilities; to promote consumer choice and consumer control of individual services; and to promote self-help through knowledge and self-advocacy skills. DRNM recognizes that persons with disabilities reflect a full range of diverse ethnic, racial and cultural backgrounds, and include traditionally unserved and underserved populations, and that the mission requires active outreach to all such populations. In carrying out its services, in its employment practices, and in the membership of its Board of Directors and designated Advisory Committees, DRNM reflects a commitment to these beliefs and values.
Toward the fulfillment of its mission, DRNM provides several basic services: information and referral about services for persons with disabilities and about their legal rights; individual case advocacy services to resolve specific disability rights problems; advocacy efforts to improve service systems and to generally promote, protect and expand the rights of persons with disabilities; and training activities to increase awareness of disability rights and increase consumer empowerment.
Disability Rights New Mexico (DRNM) is a private, independent, nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors consisting of 14 members, including the chairperson of the agency’s PAIMI Advisory Committee. All Board members except the chairperson of the PAIMI Advisory Committee are elected. Board members may be self advocates who have a disability, family members of a person with a disability, providers of service to persons with disabilities, attorneys or other interested parties. The Board of Directors is representative of the geographic and ethnic diversity of the state.
The role of the Board is to set policy regarding program design and annual service priorities, and to establish policies for program operation, financial management and personnel administration. The Board also assures accountability for agency services and supports the leadership of DRNM.
Throughout our 40-year history, DRNM (formerly called New Mexico Protection and Advocacy System) has had an influence on major policy issues affecting persons with disabilities, and we have helped thousands of New Mexicans to access services or resolve problems related to their disability.
Disability Rights New Mexico is a member organization of the National Disability Rights Network and serves as the designated Protection and Advocacy agency for the state of New Mexico.
The following video explains what the Protection and Advocacy System is:
We are thankful to Rooted In Rights, a project of Disability Rights Washington, for producing this video.