Advocacy is supporting a cause, group or person. The Arc of El Paso advocates for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and provides limited support when issues of abuse, neglect or exploitation occur.
Individuals with IDD deserve respect and dignity in all areas of life – at home, at school, in the work place and in the community. The law requires any person who believes that an individual with IDD is being abused, neglected or exploited to report the circumstances to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services ABUSE HOTLINE.
What is Abuse?
- Abuse is mental, emotional, physical or sexual injury or failure to prevent injury.
What is Neglect?
- Neglect results in starvation, dehydration, over-or under-medicating, and unsanitary living conditions, including lack of heat, running water, electricity, medical care and personal hygiene.
What is Exploitation?
- Exploitation is misusing the resources of an individual with IDD for personal or monetary benefit. This includes taking Social Security or SSI checks, abusing a joint checking account, and taking property or other resources.
There are three ways to report abuse, neglect and exploitation:
By Phone: Call the Abuse Hotline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, toll-free at 1-800-252-5400 from anywhere in the US.
By Secure Internet Website: Go to https://www.txabusehotline.org. This is a more lengthy process and will require setting up an account.
By calling 911: If the situation is an emergency.
See Frequently Asked Questions at http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Contact_Us/report_abuse_faqs.asp
See the flyer about reporting abuse: http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/documents/Contact_Us/documents/swiflyer.pdf
OTHER ADVOCACY RESOURCES
If you feel the legal rights of a person with IDD have been violated, contact Disability Rights Texas intake line at 1-800-252-9108 or visit https://www.disabilityrightstx.org/. There is a local office at:
Disability Rights Texas
300 E. Main Dr., Ste 205
El Paso, TX 79901
The Paso Del Norte Civil Rights Project may also be able to help with certain legal violations toward persons with IDD. Contact them at:
1317 E. Rio Grande Ave.
El Paso, TX 79902
The Arc of El Paso can assist you in limited ways by providing personal support. If abuse, neglect or exploitation occurs in a public setting, such as school or day habilitation program, we can assist you in your efforts to meet with elected officials or others who oversee these public places.
The Arc of El Paso