Public Policy

What is Public Policy?

Public policy or systemic advocacy is about working towards broad changes in policy, practice, and legislation that will benefit people now and into the future.

What We Do

We engage in policy and legislative advocacy to protect and expand the rights of people with disabilities. We educate state legislators about the diverse lives and needs of people with disabilities and how a proposed change to a policy or program may impact them. We also empower individuals to have a voice in their local, state, and federal government.

Current Initiative

Creating a South Carolina Olmstead Plan to expand Home and Community-Based Services

Currently DRSC is working to try to improve Home and Community Based Services for people with disabilities in South Carolina.  DRSC would like to see South Carolina have an official Olmstead Plan and a Olmstead compliance coordinator and Olmstead implementation council.  In our first step to achieving this goal DRSC, in partnership with the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH), released a report: Opportunities for South Carolina to Strengthen Home and Community-Based Services for People with Disabilities.  This report includes the history behind the 1999 Olmstead decision, how it’s affecting South Carolinians today, and the opportunities for state and local entities to plan and collaborate to improve the lives of people with disabilities across the state by creating an Olmstead Plan for South Carolina.  The next step will be to pass legislation that will help us implement the recommendations from the report.

Past Public Policy Success

DRSC, in collaboration with Able SC and other disability advocacy organizations, educates lawmakers on bills to protect and advance the rights of people with disabilities.  These bills included:

This bill prohibits using the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to pay subminimum wages to people with disabilities. Our efforts were successful, and the Governor signed this bill in May 2022.

This bill establishes an Employment First task force for South Carolina, addressing how to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Our efforts were successful, and the Governor signed this bill in May 2022.

This bill protects an individual with a disability seeking an organ transplant from being discriminated against and ensures appropriate accommodations for the individual. Our efforts were successful, and the Governor signed this bill in May 2022.

This new legislation established two weeks of no excuse early voting in South Carolina. Early voting helps all voters cast their ballot. This bill was signed by the Governor in May 2022.

Self-Advocacy Resources

DRSC ensures all individuals, particularly those with disabilities, have an equal voice in decisions affecting their lives. We encourage self-advocates, advocates, and all others to engage in local, state, and federal legislative processes, and we support these efforts. Here are some resources to help you become involved.

Not sure where to start? We have a few recommendations.

If you have questions, you’re always welcome to contact us directly. We also have a wealth of information on our site about being a strong self-advocate and knowing your rights.