EIN 71-0536689

Disability Rights Arkansas (DRA)

IRS 501(c) type
Num. employees
Year formed
Most recent tax filings
The mission of the Disability Rights Arkansas is to vigorously advocate for and enforce the legal rights of people with disabilities in Arkansas.
Total revenues
Total expenses
Total assets
Num. employees

Program areas at DRA

Protection and advocacy for individuals with mental illness (paimi): dra has been working to address the overreliance of institutional placements to treat paimi-eligible youth (as well as youth with less severe mental health and behavioral disorders) in Arkansas, which is largely propelled by the lack of community-based resources, the proliferation of for-profit residential treatment entities, lax regulations, and a lack of understanding regarding the utility of institutional-based services. Like many other states Arkansas lacks sufficient community-based resources, and while this issue has been acknowledged by various stakeholders in relation to the state's juvenile justice system, tangible steps to increase community-based services have not been formulated. Dra has discovered an alarming overlap between the juvenile justice system and psychiatric residential treatment facilities (prtfs). Minimal regulations and lax oversight by the state have led to a proliferation of for-profit prtf beds and facilities in the state, mostly for out-of-state placements. The monitoring of facilities by the state is disjointed and has not adequately addressed health and safety concerns for residents, much less examined the quality of care and outcomes for the youth receiving treatment. Dra is currently monitoring all 12 prtfs and all five dys juvenile treatment centers, with a goal of issuing a public report in fy2021 on the overreliance of institutionalization in the state, specifically focusing on prtfs. We also plan to assess and compare Arkansas' regulations with other states' regulations and work with dhs to propose and advocate for meaningful changes to the state's regulations and oversight of these facilities. Dra received several complaints from staff at a prtf regarding the infection control protocols implemented in response to the covid-19 pandemic. Staff reported that they were not provided masks and had to bring their own, many staff were not wearing masks, residents were not wearing masks, new residents were not being quarantined, and while facility-wide testing occurred, staff were not notified of their results or the results were inconclusive. Dra monitors conducted video interviews with residents in which they reported that mask-wearing was lax and that if a resident tested positive for covid-19, they were quarantined in their room, essentially in solitary confinement. Upon receiving this information, dra staff spoke by telephone with the person responsible for infection control at the facility, who agreed to reinforce the facility's mask policy with staff, ensure masks are provided to all staff and residents, and investigate allegations that youth testing positive were being kept in their rooms instead of on a dedicated unit that would allow for some movement and interaction.
Strengthening protections for social security beneficiaries (spssb): dra's spssb program completed 44 reviews in fy2020, despite the state necessarily restricting access to long-term care facility residents due to the pandemic. The program utilized social media to widely disseminate information about covid-19 and the cares act stimulus program, including updates as they occurred. Dra sent a frequently asked questions (faq) sheet and a sample financial tracking ledger to over 300 long-term care facilities in the state to assist them with their recordkeeping requirements. Dra also sent these same facilities updates about covid-19 and a survey to solicit information about the screening and testing of staff and residents, how the facilities handle positive results of both staff and residents, how they are handling visitation so that residents are not cut off from family, and their cleaning and disinfecting protocols. A local community radio station (kabf) that produces a monthly program on topics impacting individuals with disabilities focused on the spssb program in june 2020; dra's spssb reviewers participated in the program and answered questions from callers during the show.
Protection and advocacy for developmental disabilities: dra continued monitoring the state's five human development centers (hdcs). In one facility, we investigated a death regarding an individual who died from an allergic reaction to an unknown substance; at another facility, we investigatedan incident wherein a resident suffered a broken collar bone while being restrained by staff. Dra was approached by a family member of an individual who resided at one of the state-run human development centers (hdcs) regarding the circumstances of his death, which were concerning. Initially the hdc contacted the family to tell them that the resident was hospitalized after choking during lunch, but refused to provide any more information; instead, they directed the family to contact the hospital, who informed them the resident had died. The family obtained the death certificate, which stated the resident died while eating lunch; however, a person they spoke with at the hdc indicated this was not accurate. Our investigation revealed that the resident finished his lunch, went to the bathroom, and then entered a lobby area, at which time he began behaving aggressively towards a staff member for reasons that were not documented. The staff member physically restrained the resident, and both he and the client fell to the floor, where the restraint continued. Two other staff members responded and assisted in holding the resident down on the floor for an unknown length of time. During the restraint, the resident vomited and stopped breathing. The staff contacted the on-site nurses, who responded and attempted to perform cpr. The nursing staff then contacted ems, who transported the resident to a hospital where he was promptly pronounced deceased. At no time were authorities ever informed by the hdc that the individual was restrained at the time he began vomiting and ceased breathing. There was no criminal investigation by law enforcement, and the coroner stated he had no idea the individual was not eating lunch when he choked. As a result of our investigation, the state has agreed to reduce its use of restraint in its five institutions and has committed to contracting with subject-matter experts on how to accomplish this.

Who funds Disability Rights Arkansas (DRA)

Grants from foundations and other nonprofits
National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)To Ensure the Organization Serving As Representative Payee Under the Representative Payee Review Project Is Performing Its Payee Duties Satisfactorily and To Protect Beneficiaries From Misuse of Funds.$38,853
Federal funding details
Federal agencyProgram nameAmount
...and 7 more federal grants / contracts

Personnel at DRA

Tom MasseauExecutive Director$104,436
Mary ForstDirector of Finance and Administration$0
Thomas NicholsDirector of Legal and Advocacy Services
Kerri MichaelCommunications and Outreach Manager
Susan PierceGrants Manager
...and 7 more key personnel

Financials for DRA

RevenuesFYE 09/2020
Total grants, contributions, etc.$1,883,202
Program services$7,000
Investment income and dividends$341
Tax-exempt bond proceeds$0
Royalty revenue$0
Net rental income$0
Net gain from sale of non-inventory assets$0
Net income from fundraising events$0
Net income from gaming activities$0
Net income from sales of inventory$0
Miscellaneous revenues$4,709
Total revenues$1,895,252

Form 990s for DRA

Fiscal year endingDate received by IRSFormPDF link
2020-092021-04-06990View PDF
2019-092021-01-21990View PDF
2018-092019-06-19990View PDF
2017-092018-03-14990View PDF
2016-092017-07-13990View PDF
...and 6 more Form 990s
Data update history
December 6, 2021
Updated personnel
Identified 6 new personnel
August 22, 2021
Posted financials
Added Form 990 for fiscal year 2019
July 1, 2021
Posted financials
Added Form 990 for fiscal year 2020
September 30, 2020
Posted financials
Added Form 990 for fiscal year 2018
March 24, 2020
Updated personnel
Identified 7 new personnel
Nonprofit Types
Social advocacy organizationsHuman rights organizationsCivil rights and social justice organizationsCharities
Human servicesHuman rightsCrime and lawLegal services
Political advocacyState / local levelReceives government fundingTax deductible donations
General information
400 West Capitol Ave No 1200
Little Rock, AR 72201
Metro area
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR
Pulaski County, AR
Website URL
(800) 482-1174
Facebook page
Twitter profile
IRS details
Fiscal year end
Taxreturn type
Form 990
Year formed
Eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions (Pub 78)
NTEE code, primary
R20: Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups
NAICS code, primary
813319: Social Advocacy Organizations
Parent/child status
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