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How to file a complaint about Disability Rights Ohio

If you have a complaint, or you think Disability Rights Ohio is not treating you fairly, you may file a grievance.
If you are a client of Disability Rights Ohio (DRO) or are asking for help from DRO, you have the right to file a grievance if you are not satisfied with the services you are getting. For example, you may file a grievance if you believe DRO:

  • Did not provide you with effective services
  • Wrongly denied you help
  • Did not follow their policies or procedures 

In addition, if you have received or are receiving mental health services and you feel that DRO is not following federal protection and advocacy laws for people with mental illness, you may file a grievance. If you are a family member or the representative of such a person, you also may file a grievance.

How does DRO provide services to clients?

DRO provides some help to any person with a disability who asks for assistance. Because of limited funds, sometimes this might be a referral or an answer to a question. DRO cannot provide an attorney or advocate to help with every person’s legal problem or situation. Therefore, every year DRO decides what major categories of problems it can help with. These categories are called annual priorities. You may get a copy of these by calling the DRO office or visiting our website.

DRO does not discriminate in its programs, activities and services. It is DRO’s policy to provide services to all people without regard to race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, gender, mental or physical disability, marital status, sexual orientation, unfavorable discharge from military service, or citizenship status.

How can you file a grievance about DRO?

You can file a grievance in writing or by phone within thirty (30) days of the action or decision that you are complaining about. If you need help in filing a grievance, any DRO staff person can assist you with this process. When you file your grievance, you will need to give DRO this information:

  1. Your name, address, and phone number where DRO can reach you. Let DRO know the best way to communicate with you. For example, if you need large print or if you prefer email communication, let DRO know. 
  2. If the grievance is on behalf of a family member, give that person’s name, address and phone number. Tell how you are related to that person and if you are that person’s legal representative such as a parent of a minor or a guardian.
  3. Why are you filing the grievance? What did DRO do or not do? When did this happen? If the grievance is about how DRO operates its programs, describe your concern.
  4. What do you want DRO to do now? What would you like to see happen? 
  5. What deadlines should DRO know about, especially those that are in the near future?

Submit your grievance by mail or phone.

Mail to:
Disability Rights Ohio
Attn: Intake
200 Civic Center Drive, Suite 300
Columbus, OH 43215

614-466-7264 or 1-800-282-9181, select option 2 for intake
Call between 9:00 a.m. and 12 p.m, or between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Give your grievance information to the intake specialist on the phone.

How will my grievance be reviewed?

DRO tries to address all grievances by talking with you about your issue. Your grievance may go through three levels of review to find a solution.

First appeal is with the supervisor of the person handling your case. This person will talk with you about how to settle your grievance and will investigate your concern. Generally, this person will make a decision within thirty (30) days and present it to you in writing. If you are not satisfied with the decision, you can appeal within fifteen (15) days by phone or in writing.

Second appeal is with the Executive Director. When you appeal, explain what you do not like about the supervisor’s decision. The Executive Director will review the decision, your reason for an appeal, and will make a decision within thirty (30) days. You will receive this decision in writing. If you are unhappy with the Executive Director’s decision, you can appeal this decision within fifteen (15) days.

Third appeal is with the Board of Directors. You can appeal the Executive Director’s decision within fifteen (15) days by phone or in writing. The Board of Directors meets 6 times per year. Tier III grievances will first be reviewed by the Grievance Committee. After their review, they will vote on what recommendation to make to the full board at their next regularly scheduled board meeting. The Board of Directors will then make the final determination of the grievance.

The Board of Directors may consider the following information about your appeal:

  • The information that you gave when you filed your grievance 
  • Any attempts to resolve the grievance by the supervisor
  • Information learned during the investigation of the grievance
  • Information you provided when you appealed to the Executive Director
  • Any information that you provided when you appealed to the Board of Directors

All individuals involved in reviewing your grievance will keep your information confidential.


Updated August 2021

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