CIVIL RIGHTS

This page has information on civil rights laws that protect people with disabilities and on how to get legal assistance when your rights have been violated.

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News

Congress Makes Progress in Destroying the Americans with Disabilities Act, By Robyn Powell, September 11, 2017

Disability-Rights Activists Are the Real Heroes of the Health-Care Fight, By John Nichols, July 28 2017

ADA Anniversary Reminds Us There’s Much Work Still To Do, By Carol Glazer, July 26, 2017

Hundreds of disability rights activists vow indefinite sit-in if GOP proceeds to ACA repeal, By Mic Network, July 25, 2017

TILRC's 27th Americans with Disabilities Act Celebration, July 28th!

Kansans With Disabilities Fearful Of Obamacare Replacement Bill, By Jim McLean, June 27, 2017

Disability Advocates Protest Senate Leader Over Cuts to Medicaid for Millions of Elderly and Disabled Americans, From ADAPT, June 22, 2017

ADAPT goes to FDA to take on Judge Rotenberg Center, By Matt Stafford, May 17, 2017

Self-Advocates Arrested At White House, By Michelle Diament, May 16, 2017

Restricted Access to Tables, By Michael Collins, April 01, 2017

Anderson Cooper’s ADA Attack on 60 Minutes, By , December 07, 2016

Disabled and disenfranchised: Families fight to restore voting rights, By Shoshana Walter, October 31, 2016

The Importance of Down Ballot Elections for Disability Rights, By Lauren Appelbaum, October 11, 2016

National Council on Disability Calls for a "Technology Bill of Rights" for 57 Million Americans, From the National Council on Disability, October 07, 2016

Act Now to Have Candidates Answer a Disability Rights Question in the Next Debate, By Lauren Appelbaum, October 05, 2016

Disabled And Fighting For The Right To Vote, By Pam Fessler, September 04, 2016

Fatal Shooting of Deaf Man Raises Concerns About Police Training, By Allen Smith, J.D., August 31, 2016

Advocate Moves Needle on Website Accessibility, By Christina Samuels, August 02, 2016

Presidential Proclamation - Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 2016, From the Whitehouse, July 25, 2016

Settlements Reached in Seven States, One Territory to Ensure Website Accessibility for People with Disabilities, From the U.S. Department of Education, June 29, 2016

Olmstead Litigators Issue Statements of Support for Disability Integration Act (S.2427), From ADAPT, June 22, 2016

Lowe's to Pay $8.6 Million to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit, From the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), May 13, 2016

Know Your Rights: Parenting with a Disability, Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on May 05, 2016

Feds: Relying On Nursing Homes For Those With Disabilities Not OK, By Shaun Heasley, May 3, 2016

Disabled Protesters in DC: “Our Homes, Not Nursing Homes”, By Ruth McCambridge, Nonprofit Quarterly, April 12, 2016

Greyhound Lines to Resolve Americans with Disabilities Violations, From the U.S. Department of Justice, February 08, 2016

Disability Rights Ohio, National Federation of the Blind, and Autistic Self Advocacy Network Celebrate Landmark Decision Ordering Fair Pay from Sheltered Workshop, February 03, 2016

Kent State University agrees to $145,000 settlement of federal lawsuit over assistance animals, By Karen Farkas, Cleveland.com, January 03, 2016

Justice Department Reaches Landmark Settlement Agreement with State of Oregon Regarding Americans with Disabilities Act, From the U.S. Department of Justice, December 30, 2015

EEOC Issues Guidance on Rights of Applicants and Employees Infected with HIV, By Philip B. Phillips, The National Law Review, December 14, 2015

GSA settles discrimination suit with blind contractors, By Carten Cordell, Federal Times, November 12, 2015

Judge’s Ruling Awards $600,000 to Exploited Workers, By Dan Barry, New York Times, September 17, 2015

Oregon's sheltered workshops for the disabled to be phased out under terms of settlement, By Bryan Denson, The Oregonian, September 08, 2015

Four years later, UNK, DOJ reach settlement, By Josh Moody, Kearney Hub, September 04, 2015

Lawsuit claims state of Minnesota has underspent funds meant to serve the disabled, By Chris Serres, Star Tribune, August 29, 2015

EEOC takes aim at Target for discriminatory pre-employment tests, By Kathy Neal, EmployerLINC, August 26, 2015

Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services Issue Technical Assistance for Child Welfare Systems Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, From the U.S. Department of Justice, August 10, 2015

Justice Department Reaches Agreement with Carnival Corp. Over ADA Violations by Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises, From the U.S. Department of Justice, July 27, 2015

Onward!, By Guest Blogger Senator Tom Harkin (Ret.), Disability Blog, July 13, 2015

Pushing Forward, By Guest Blogger Marca Bristo, President and CEO, Access Living, Disability Blog, July 13, 2015

The Beauty of the Americans with Disabilities Act, By Guest Blogger Susan Henderson, Executive Director, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, Disability Blog, July 10, 2015

ADA: A People’s History, By Josie Byzek, New Mobility Magazine, July 01, 2015

United Airlines to Pay over $1 Million To Settle EEOC Disability Lawsuit, From the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), June 11, 2015

Justice Department Reaches Agreement with Pennington County, South Dakota, to Improve Accessibility, From the U.S. Department of Justice, June 01, 2015

Baker Concrete to settle EEOC disability case, From the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), May 14, 2015

United States: Force Against Prisoners With Mental Illness, By Human Rights Watch, May 12, 2015

Justice Department Secures Statewide Training for Law Enforcement on Interacting with Persons with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities, From the U.S. Department of Justice, May 12, 2015

Justice Department Reaches Settlements with Three Public Entities to Remove Barriers to Employment for People with Disabilities, From the U.S. Department of Justice, May 05, 2015

Justice Department Settles with Private Career College for Discrimination Against Applicant with HIV, From the U.S. Department of Justice, April 27, 2015

Disability Protesters Arrested at White House to Mark 25 Years of the ADA, By Rick Cohen, NonProfit Quarterly, April 22, 2015

HUD, Missouri Housing Authority agreements increase access to housing for persons with disabilities and limited English proficiency, From the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), April 14, 2015

Baldwin Supply Company to Pay $50,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit, From the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), April 06, 2015

Justice Department Reaches Settlement with edX Inc., Provider of Massive Open Online Courses, to Make its Website, Online Platform and Mobile Applications Accessible Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, From the U.S. Department of Justice, April 02, 2015

The Lash Group Will Pay $75,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit, From the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), March 18, 2015

First Title & Escrow / Streamline Title & Escrow to Pay $95,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Bias Lawsuit, From the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), March 13, 2015

Justice Department and City of Jackson, Mississippi, Extend Agreement to Resolve Americans with Disabilities Act Lawsuit with the City's Public Transportation System, From the U.S. Department of Justice, March 10, 2015

St. Alexius Medical Center of Hoffman Estates To Pay $125,000 to Resolve EEOC Disability Suit, From the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Febuary 12, 2015

Benny Boyd Car Dealership to Pay $250,000 to Former Manager in EEOC Settlement, From the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Febuary 11, 2015

Oakland Children's Hospital Settles EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit, From the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Febuary 11, 2015

Child Wrongly Removed From Mom With Disability, Feds Say, By Shaun Heasley, Disability Scoop, February 10, 2015

Lawsuit alleging discrimination by Tulsa hotel against Air Force veteran with service dog is settled, By Dan Goforth, Tulsa World, February 10, 2015

Justice Department Reaches Agreement with Nueces County, Texas, to Improve Accessibility of Services and Programs, From the U.S. Department of Justice, January 30, 2015

Kmart Will Pay $102,048 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination, From the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), January 27, 2015

Jury in EEOC Suit Says Old Dominion Freight Line Must Pay Former Driver $119,612 for Disability Bias, From the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), January 16, 2015

Justice Department Settles with Ohio Healthcare System Over HIV Discrimination, From the U.S. Department of Justice, January 15, 2015

Justice Department Reaches Settlement with National Museum of Crime and Punishment to Improve Access for People with Disabilities, From the U.S. Department of Justice, January 13, 2015

EZEFLOW USA, Inc. Will Pay $65,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit, From the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), January 09, 2015

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Advocacy Organizations and Informational Resources

ADAPT is a national grass-roots community that organizes disability rights activists to engage in nonviolent direct action, including civil disobedience, to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom.

The ADA Home Page is the definitive source for information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law uses a coordinated approach of litigation, policy analysis, coalition-building, public information and technical support for local advocates to advance community membership, promote self-determination, end the punishment of people with mental illnesses for the system's failures and preserve the rights of people with mental disabilities.

The American Bar Association's Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law seeks to promote the ABA's commitment to justice and the rule of law for persons with mental, physical, and sensory disabilities and to promote their full and equal participation in the legal profession.

The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, Disability Rights Section works to achieve equal opportunity for people with disabilities in the United States by implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).The Section also carries out responsibilities under Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Disability.gov is the federal government's one-stop Web site for information of interest to people with disabilities, their families, employers, service providers and many others. The Civil Rights Section provides links to information on the ADA and other federal civil rights laws pertaining to people with disabilities, their families, employers and community members.

The Disability Law Lowdown Project is a set of podcasts that provide up-to-date information on the Americans with Disabilities Act and related disability laws. You can listen to the podcasts, or read the transcripts, on the website or you can download them to your MP3 player or print copies of the transcripts.

The Disability Rights Center of Kansas (DRC), is the Official Protection and Advocacy System for Kansas; empowered by federal law to advocate for the civil and legal rights of Kansans with disabilities. DRC advocates for the rights of Kansans with disabilities under state or federal laws and educates policymakers on needed improvements to the law and public policy.

The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), founded in 1979, is a leading national civil rights law and policy center directed by individuals with disabilities and parents who have children with disabilities. DREDF's mission is to advance the civil and human rights of people with disabilities through legal advocacy, training, education, and public policy and legislative development.

The Kansas Attorney General's Office, promoting human dignity through justice with compassion and professional excellence.

The Kansas Human Rights Commission investigates complaints alleging discrimination and conducts public education programs designed to prevent discrimination.

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Law and Advocacy Center (LAC) works to educate, advocate, and litigate on behalf of and to empower deaf and hard of hearing people.

The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) serves as a national resource center dedicated to the prevention of elder mistreatment. NCEA disseminates elder abuse information to professionals and the public, and provides technical assistance and training to states and to community-based organizations.

The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the P&A/CAP network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.

The U.S. International Council on Disabilities (USICD) is a non-profit, membership, constituent-led organization committed to building bridges between American and international disability communities and cultures. Through a wide range of projects and programs, USICD promotes the inclusion of disability perspectives in U.S. foreign policy and aid and provides opportunities for domestic disability rights organizations to interface with their international counterparts.

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Publications

ADA Checklist for Existing Facilities - This checklist is produced by the New England ADA Center, a project of the Institute for Human Centered Design and a member of the ADA National Network. It is intended to assist public accommodations as the first step in a planning process for readily achievable barrier removal and is based on the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design (2010 Standards).

ADA National Network Disability Law Handbook - this handbook, written in FAQ format, is a guide to the basics of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other disability related laws.

ADA Questions and Answers - A 31-page booklet giving an overview of the ADA's requirements for ensuring equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation, and requiring the establishment of TDD/telephone relay services. (Spanish, Cambodian, Chinese, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Tagalog and Vietnamese editions available from the ADA Information Line.)

ADA: Know Your Rights Returning Service Members - This publication is designed to inform US military personnel who became disabled while on active duty of their rights under the ADA and provide information on where to go to get assistance.

Additional Monitoring of Polling Places Could Further Improve Accessibility (GAO-09-9410), Sepember 2009 - This General Accountability Office (GAO) report is based on a national survey of polling places during the 2008 election assessing both physical and technological access. The report found that compared to 2000, the proportion of polling places without potential impediments increased and almost all polling places had an accessible voting system. However, 46 percent of polling places had an accessible voting system that could pose a challenge to certain voters with disabilities, such as voting stations that were not arranged to accommodate voters using wheelchairs. (Read highlights of the report)

A Promising Start: Preliminary Analysis of Court Decisions Under the ADA Amendments Act, July 23, 2013 - This National Council on Disability (NCD) review of the court decisions that have been rendered to date applying the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) reveals significant improvements in how courts are interpreting the broad coverage mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is a human rights treaty that sets out the obligations of countries that ratify it to promote, protect, fulfill, and ensure the rights of persons with disabilities. The United Nations adopted the CRPD in 2006. As of May 9, 2011, 99 countries have ratified the treaty and 148 countries have signed it.  Currently, the U.S. has not ratified the CRPD.

The Disability Law Handbook from the DBTAC Southwest ADA Center provides information on rights and obligations under several federal disability laws, including an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

DOJ Fact Sheet on 2010 Revised ADA Requirements for Service Animals - This publication provides guidance on the term "service animal" and the service animal provisions in the Department’s new regulations.

Experience of Voters with Disabilities in the 2012 Election Cycle - This report examines the impact of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 by documenting the experiences of voters with disabilities during the 2012 general election cycle and offers concrete policy and procedural recommendations to improve voter participation and accessibility for citizens with disabilities now and in future elections.

Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA - This FAQ from the U.S. Department of Justice clarifies 2010 revided requirements for service animals. It includes 37 questions and answers covering everything from what type of work a service animal might perform to how they are trained and what sort of animals qualify.

A Guide to Disability Rights Laws. A 21-page booklet that provides a brief overview of ten Federal laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities and provides information about the federal agencies to contact for more information. (Spanish, Cambodian, Chinese, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Tagalog and Vietnamese editions available from the ADA Information Line.)
Disability Rights Laws (HTML)
Disability Rights Laws (PDF)
Disability Rights Laws (En Español)

Ill-Prepared: Health Care’s Barriers for People with Disabilities, November 2011 – This Equal Rights Center (ERC) report reveals that less than 25 percent of medical service providers they investigated were compliant with accessibility standards required under federal law.

Parenting with a Disability: Know Your Rights Toolkit - This toolkit provides a summary of disability laws that protect families’ rights. Inside of the toolkit, you will find information on topics like adoption, custody, visitation, family law, and the child welfare system. We have also shared parts of NCD’s report, Rocking the Cradle, with stories from parents who have been treated unfairly because of their disabilities. Read more on the NCD website at: https://www.ncd.gov/publications/2012/Sep272012.

Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children (pdf), September 27, 2012 - This report by the National Council on Disability explores the pervasive prejudices faced by parents with disabilities by exposing the disparate treatment often encountered by parents with disabilities and their children within court and service systems and offers draft model state and federal statutory language to correct the discrimination faced by parents with disabilities in the United States. (html) (docx)

Statement of the Department of Justice on Enforcement of the Integration Mandate of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Olmstead v. L.C., U. S. Department of Justice, June 22, 2011 - DOJ has created this technical assistance guide to assist individuals in understanding their rights and public entities in understanding their obligations under the ADA and Olmstead. (HTML version)


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