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Attorney John Rittelmeyer Champions Disability Rights

John Rittelmeyer seriously explored several occupations, including retail sales and computer programming, before deciding on a career in the law.  Even after becoming a lawyer, Rittelmeyer, of Cary, North Carolina, remained open to career change.  After many years in the private practice of law, in 2007, Rittelmeyer changed jobs to become the director of legal services for Disability Rights North Carolina, an organization on whose board he had been serving since the mid-1990s.

These days, Rittelmeyer spends his work time advocating for people with disabilities who might otherwise lack meaningful access to the legal system.  He earns only about half of what he was making in private practice, but he finds his work for Disability Rights North Carolina much more satisfying.

Rittelmeyer credits his daughter, Martha, as the inspiration for his new career as an advocate for persons with disabilities. Martha was born with a rare and disabling genetic disorder, and she requires full-time care.  She has also made him keenly aware of the rights of persons with disabilities and the issues that are important to them. 

In a recent court victory, Rittelmeyer obtained an injunction requiring the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to delay indefinitely moving patients from one state hospital to another until the Department addressed concerns about security, safety, staffing, and technology.  Congratulations to John Rittelmeyer for taking his passion for disability rights and using it to start a second, and more rewarding, legal career.

By Steve Imparl, guest blogger

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