The Center for Disability Rights, Inc. has a long history of advocating for the rights and freedom of people of all ages and all types of disabilities.  With a particular emphasis on community-based services, accessible housing, accessible public transportation and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, CDR’s Systems Advocacy team works to improve the laws, policies, regulations and services that affect the day-to-day lives of people with disabilities.  

CDR’s advocacy has a history of victories on behalf of people with disabilities.  CDR’s victories include

  • Advocating to establish the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, 1990s
  • Advocating for ramps in the Hyatt Hotel, 1990s
  • Advocating for an entry ramp to the Empire Brewery 1990s
  • Successfully suing Lift Line for “Next-Day Service”, 2000
  • Establishing the Most Integrated Setting Coordinating Council, 2002
  • Passing legislation to create the Nursing Facility Transition and Diversion Medicaid Waiver, 2004
  • Advocating for passage of the Money Follows the Person initiative, 2005
  • Improving snow removal practices in the City of Rochester, 2007
  • Improving Accessible Housing policies in the City of Rochester, 2008

CDR partners with disability rights activists across the city, state and country in order to foster the independence, integration and civil rights of people with disabilities.  To achieve this goal, CDR deploys a “pitchfork” strategy of advocacy, including

  • Working with the Executive Branch of Government
  • Working with the Legislative Branch of Government
  • Filing Lawsuits/complaints through the Judicial Branch of Government
  • Educating the public through media and direct outreach
  • Conducting direct actions, non-violent civil disobedience, protests and demonstrations

CDR’s Systems Advocacy strives to create a more just society and barrier-free physical environment for people with disabilities.  Our strength is in our numbers and we greatly encourage the participation of all members of our community and people interested in furthering the rights of people with disabilities.  Please contact us to find out how you can help!  We’d also like to hear from you about the problems you face as a person with a disability.

To contact CDR's Advocacy team, please email