What are my rights?
Interpreting services can be arranged for people who are hearing impaired or who do not speak English as a first language. If you need an interpreter to understand your rights or services, you may contact 2-1-1 Finding Help In Texas by dialing 211, your service provider, or the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services Consumer Rights and Services at 1-800-458-9858.
People with intellectual disabilities
You have the same rights all citizens have, unless they have been taken away by a judge. These rights include the right to vote, practice a religion, keep your own possessions, contract for something such as buying a house, and to get married. You cannot be treated differently because of your disability.
You also have these rights:
- No one has the right to hurt you, take advantage of you or ignore your needs.
- You have the right to live and receive services where you can make as many of your own decisions as possible. This may be with your family, with your friends, alone or where there are people trained to help you.
- You have the right to go to public school until age 22.
- Before you receive services, a doctor or a psychologist must determine that you have an intellectual disability and explain to you what that means. If you do not agree with them you can do the following.
- You can ask for a meeting to review your case.
- You can ask for a second opinion that you would pay for with your own money.
- You can ask for services from other agencies and organizations.
- For issues needing consent, you should be able to understand what you agree to. If you have a guardian, he or she may make decisions for you.
- Before a guardian is named, you will have a hearing in court with a judge. Only a judge can give you a guardian. That guardian may be a parent or another adult. This hearing is considered due process.
- If you are looking for a job and have the skills to do the job, you cannot be denied it just because of your disability. If you have a job, you have the right to be paid fairly like everyone else.
- You have the right to have treatment and services that are best for you. You can change your mind about any or all of the services you receive.
How can I learn more?
DADS has several handbooks that explain your rights in more detail. They are in both English and Spanish.
- Your Rights in the Home and Community-based Services (HCS) Program (PDF) tells you about your rights and privileges if you receive HCS services.
- Your Rights in an ICF/ID Facility (PDF) tells you about your rights and privileges if you receive services in an intermediate care facility for persons with an intellectual disability (ICF/ID).
- Your Rights in Local Authority Services (PDF) tells you about the rights and privileges you have if you are receiving services offered by a local authority.
- Your Rights in a State Center (PDF) tells you about your rights and privileges if you live in a state supported living center.
- Your Rights in the Texas Home Living (TxHmL) Program (PDF) explains your rights and privileges if you get TxHmL services.
How do I report a complaint if I think my rights as a DADS consumer have been violated?
Call toll-free 1-800-458-9858 and select Option 3 from the main menu to speak with a consumer rights representative.
Effective Jan. 2, 2012, Consumer Rights and Services will pilot an expansion of Call Center Hours. Agents will be available to take live calls Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The pilot will conclude on or before June 30, 2012. Voice mail messages are monitored between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Central time, including weekends and holidays. Calls are returned on or before the next work day.
When leaving a voice mail, please
- state and spell your name;
- provide a day time telephone number, including area code; and
- leave a brief message.
How can I learn more about services and programs for people with intellectual disabilities?
Older Texans and People with Physical Disabilities
All people who receive services from the state of Texas have certain rights. Please see the information below to learn about your rights.
- Assisted Living Facility Resident's Bill of Rights (PDF) outlines your rights if you live in an assisted living facility in Texas.
- How to file a complaint outlines how to voice your complaints about a long-term care facility.
- Nursing facility rights poster (PDF) — Residents of Texas nursing facilities have all the rights, benefits, responsibilities and privileges granted by the Constitution and laws of this state and the United States. They have the right to be free of interference, coercion, discrimination, and reprisal in exercising these rights as citizens of the United States.
- Nursing facility rights flyer (PDF) — Residents of Texas nursing facilities have all the rights, benefits, responsibilities, and privileges granted by the Constitution and laws of this state and the United States. They have the right to be free of interference, coercion, discrimination, and reprisal in exercising these rights as citizens of the United States.
- Your Rights in DADS Community Programs (PDF) tells you about some general rights and responsibilities you may have if you are receiving services in the following DADS programs: Community Attendant Services, Community Based Alternatives, Community Living Assistance and Support Services, Consolidated Waiver Program, Consumer Managed Personal Assistant Services, Day Activity and Health Services, Deaf Blind Multiple Disabilities Program, Family Care, Hospice Services, Integrated Care Management, Medically Dependent Children Program, Primary Home Care, Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, and Special Services to Persons with Disabilities.
How can I learn more about services and programs for older Texans or people with disabilities?
Updated: June 30, 2014