Advocacy is the foundation of Quality Trust’s mission and the work we do for people who live in the Washington metropolitan-region with developmental disabilities and for families who have a loved one with disabilities. Quality Trust’s professional advocates also known as Quality Service Navigators; work one-on-one with people with disabilities. Our advocacy approach is unique! We take the lead from the person on what to focus on to meet their needs and objectives. We make initial contact with each person and they can decide to stop advocacy support at any point. Quality Trust supports the person to tell his or her story, empowering them to speak up and share their concerns.
Quality Trust Advocates meet with the people they support as often as necessary to get to know them, their preferences, and desired outcomes. They work with the family, government agencies, and other stakeholders to keep the focus on the person and what they want.
We provide advocacy support to the District’s Latino American community members with developmental disabilities through generous support from the DC Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs. Our bi-lingual advocate supports youth and adults with disabilities to receive education and best-practice information to build a pathway to a better life. He connects people to essential supports and identifies connections for them to experience full inclusion in the community.
Our advocacy work allows us to learn more about the experiences of people with disabilities and systemic issues in the District of Columbia that need to be addressed. We identify a variety of issues including healthcare education, supported decision-making and life-planning guidance. We also offer disability support professionals best-practices training on how to better help people live positive, person-centered lives.
- Supported over 5,500 people with disabilities since the inception of the program in 2003
- Our Advocates are trained and knowledgeable of best-practice standards and most have over 17 years of experience working with and supporting people with disabilities
- We provide assistance with finding employment, accessing services employment residential transitions, rights violations and other critical life issues
The Importance of Advocacy
Anna” (pseudonym) is a woman with an intellectual disability in her 50’s. Her parents are deceased, and her natural support system is not as robust as it once was; she receives help from government agencies, friends, and professional advocates. Anna, who has a court-appointed guardian owns the house that she has lived in all her life.
Quality Trust (QT) was contacted by the DC Department on Disability Services because of concerns about the guardian selling Anna’s home. A QT Quality Services Navigator promptly contacted QT’s Attorney to bring legal expertise to the advocacy issue. By the time the QT attorney became involved, Anna’s house had been placed on the market and was in the process of being sold. The guardian said the house had to be sold because it needed repairs that Anna could not afford. QT’s Quality Services Navigator and Attorney met with Anna to find out what she wanted. Anna was shocked and devastated when she learned about the sale and that the guardian planned for her to move into a service-provider, shared living arrangement
The QT Quality Services Navigator identified a government program that provides free home repair assistance to homeowners. Additionally, QT’s Attorney represented Anna in appealing the court order allowing the guardian to sell her home and ultimately, the guardian agreed to cancel the sale. QT successfully advocated for the court to limit the authority of the guardian to sell Anna’s house or remove her from her home. As a result of QT’s zealous and person-centered advocacy, Anna continues to live in the only home she has ever known, with protections in place that will ensure she gets her day in court should the guardian try to sell her home or move her again. The Quality Services Navigator is working with Anna to ensure that she has activities to do in the community daily and residential services that meet her wishes and needs.
To learn more about our advocacy services and supports or to make a referral please email Jimi Lethbridge, Deputy Director for Programs or call him at 202-448-1455 (direct).