Quality Trust’s Legal Advocacy team works with people to help them get the supports and services they need to live full and meaningful lives in the places and ways they choose. Our work includes:

  • Providing legal services to people with developmental disabilities and their families on issues involving capacity, consent and the right to self-determination; accessing public benefits and services; community integration; and living life free from abuse and neglect.
  • Leading the Jenny Hatch Justice Project, which provides advocacy and representation to eligible people with disabilities facing or in adult guardianship. This project focuses on protecting and advancing people’s “Right to Make Choices,” including providing assistance in exploring available alternatives, such as Supported Decision-Making, Powers of Attorney, Advance Directives, and other options, as well as going to court to limit or end overly restrictive adult guardianships.
  • Advocating for changes to laws, regulations, policies, and practices to make sure they respect and protect the rights of people with disabilities. 
  • Providing education, training, and support on topics including education, employment, public benefits, finances, guardianship, and alternative decision-making support, and end-of-life planning.

Our work has been covered by the Washington Post, CBS News, People Magazine, the Huffington Post, MSNBC, and numerous other outlets.


2019 – 2020 Highlights


Ryan’s story

The Jenny Hatch Justice Project assisted Ryan, an adult with developmental disabilities, win back his legal rights to direct his own life, with the support of his family.  When Ryan turned 18, his parents were told they had to become his guardians in order for him to receive services from the District of Columbia.  Even though they believed he could make his own decisions and had always supported him to do so, they reluctantly agreed.  But Ryan and his family never stopped hoping that one day, he would be legally free to make his own decisions.  With the support of Quality Trust and key partners, Ryan and his family went back to court and successfully showed that Ryan could use Supported Decision-Making to make his own decisions and did not need a guardian.  As a result, Ryan became the first DC resident to have his guardianship ended in favor of Supported Decision-Making. 

  • Susie J. King, Our Journey of Supported Decision-Making for Ryan, an article in the Impact Feature Issue on Self-Determination and Supported Decision-Making for People with Intellectual, Developmental, and Other Disabilities (Vol. 32, No. 1, 2019)

Contact

To learn more about our legal services and supports or to volunteer with the Legal Department, email Morgan Whitlatch, Legal Director or call 202-459-4004 (direct line).

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