Disability Rights Iowa (DRI) is part of a national network of protection and advocacy systems established in the 1970s by the U.S. Congress to respond to repeated abuse and neglect of individuals with disabilities in large institutions. They are an independent, non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation funded through contributions, corporate and foundation funding, and grants from the Federal Government. They use federal funding to serve people with developmental disabilities, mental illnesses, and other disabilities. DRI advocates for the rights of Iowa citizens with disabilities regardless of the setting they live in.
DRI envisions a world in which individuals with disabilities and mental illness have equal access and opportunity to live, work, and learn in the most integrated settings. Each year, DRI allocates limited funding to designated areas of focus to capture the needs of as many Iowans with disabilities as possible. DRI looks to the community to provide insight into their needs and adjusts their Areas of Focus to reflect that.