top of page


Disability Rights of West Virginia (DRWV) is a private non-profit agency dedicated to protecting and advocating for the legal rights of West Virginians with disabilities.  We are designated as West Virginia's Protection and Advocacy System (P&A).  Every state is mandated by the Federal government to have a P&A.

DRWV works to ensure that West Virginians with disabilities have access to the same opportunities afforded all members of society, and can live full, productive lives, totally integrated into their communities with as much self-direction and independence as possible. 

DRWV strives to promote systemic change to increase access to services, promote equality, and protect rights.

DRWV services are confidential and free of charge.

Who We Are

Weathered Man

We Help People with Disabilities by:

  • giving information and providing referrals,

  • investigating abuse and neglect,

  • providing direct advocacy,

  • providing training on self-advocacy,

  • providing legal representation, and

  • engaging in systemic advocacy and litigation.

Definitions of our Types of Services:

Systemic Advocacy Services

  • Activities or projects which have the potential to impact populations or systems, such as advocacy on behalf of groups, investigations, monitoring and research.  It also includes collaboration, agency support or participation on committees, task forces, and class action/group impact litigation.

Community Advocacy Services

  • Activities or projects that provide outreach and educational presentations to people with disabilities, professionals, and the community at large.  It also includes training in self-advocacy, training professionals, needs assessments, publications and media.

Information & Referral Services (I&R)

  • The provision of brief written or oral information about DRWV, and information about additional programs and resources external to DRWV that relate to the individual’s service needs and statutory or constitutional rights as a person with a disability. I&R is generally of short duration, typically ranging from a few minutes to an hour.

Direct Advocacy Services

  • Technical Assistance
    In addition to providing information and referral, an attorney or advocate can advise a client regarding self-advocacy, including explaining how a service delivery system works and assisting with filing complaints/grievances.


  • Case Service Individual Advocacy/Self Advocacy
    An attorney or advocate assists a client by obtaining and reviewing information, helping the client decide what actions they want to have taken, and working with the client in taking action to resolve the issue, including providing representation at meetings or hearings as well as litigation.

  • Case Service Individual Investigation
    An abuse or neglect investigation is done when DRWV has an allegation that abuse or neglect may have occurred to an individual with a disability and a DRWV staff attorney has reviewed the allegation and has documented in writing that DRWV has probable cause to believe that such abuse/neglect may have occurred.  DRWV cannot do an abuse/neglect investigation without probable cause.  Investigations are undertaken for the purpose of substantiating or not substantiating that abuse or neglect occurred.  Investigations require a significant allocation of time that includes a thorough examination of information, records, evidence, and circumstances surrounding an allegation of abuse and neglect.

DRWV does not accept the following types of legal Service Requests:

  • Domestic Relations

    • Divorce or annulment​

    • Separation

    • Child support

    • Child custody

  • Wills and Estate Planning

  • Real Estate and Property Law

  • Social Security benefits denials and terminations

  • Criminal matters

  • Juvenile Justice matters

  • Any Service Request not directly related to a disability rights issue, even if the client has a disability

  • Service Requests outside DRWV’s annual Priorities and Objectives unless exceptions are made in accordance with our goals and mission


Disability Rights of West Virginia (DRWV) serves people with disabilities including persons with mental health, developmental, intellectual, and physical disabilities, as well as traumatic brain injury.  DRWV's Intake Department will provide Information and Referral services to anyone who requests assistance.  DRWV's acceptance of direct advocacy and legal cases is determined by a variety of criteria including:  disability related eligibility criteria established by our funders, our annual priorities and objectives, our budget, as well as related fiscal factors.  Due to limited resources, we cannot provide everyone who requests our services with direct advocacy or legal representation.

bottom of page