The Office for Human Rights (OHR) oversees a system of safeguards to affirm, promote and protect the human and civil rights of the people the Department supports. Under this system individuals are engaged to the maximum extent feasible in directing their own lives. The system also helps individuals overcome obstacles to leading more vital and satisfying lives in more typical settings, and to be free from abuse and mistreatment.
OHR provides support and oversight to the Department's human rights system. OHR works with other offices and divisions as an ombudsperson for identifying and clarifying confusion over rules and regulations affecting human rights of individuals. There are four Human Rights Specialists within the OHR, one per region, who provide these services to agencies and programs across the Commonwealth.
System of Safeguards:
Every Departmental and private provider agency appoints Human Rights Officers or advocates who are responsible for human rights trainings and support for individuals and their families.These officers offer advice, information, and guidance to direct staff on human rights issues. Each agency also appoints a Human Rights Coordinator who supports the officers and is a liaison between the agency's administration and its human rights committee. OHR supports the training of the Officers and Coordinators.
Human Rights Committees help service providers determine how they will affirm, promote, and protect the human and civil rights of people the Department supports. These committees also monitor and review the activities of the provider with regard to these rights. Human Rights Committees are fully empowered under the Department's regulations to take action to uphold these rights, particularly regarding any limitation of movement, or other restrictions being placed on an individual.
There is also a statewide Human Rights Advisory Committee (HRAC). This committee advises the Commissioner on affirming, promoting, protecting and monitoring the human and civil rights of persons DDS supports. It also advises the OHR Director on efforts to fulfill the obligations of the office.
Director for Human Rights
- Download the list of Human Rights Specialists
- Human Rights Reviews
- Limitation of Movement Fact Sheets
- You Can! - A Human Rights Video
Restraint Authorizer Legal Training:
A mandated training for anyone approved to authorize use of emergency restraint October 2012
- Please review the following Training Instructions before completing the curriculum
- Restraint Legal Authorizer's Training file size 5MB file size 33MB
Role of Families and Guardians in Safeguarding Human Rights
The DDS Human Rights Advisory Committee along with DDS has produced a
survey brochure providing guidance to families and guardians on their role from a human rights perspective.
- Family and Guardian Brochure file size 2MB
- Safeguarding Behavioral Supports
- Human Rights Framework
- Freedom of Movement
- Human Rights Coordinators and HCSIS
This information is provided by the Department of Developmental Services.