Disability Rights Legal Center logo. www.disabilityrightslegalcenter.org
Good News Report
DRLC Newsletter

Friday, March 4, 2011

DRLC Lawsuit Contends School District Misled Mother Into Signing Away Her Daughter's Rights


DRLC has filed a lawsuit against the Riverside Unified School District for using "unconscionable contracts of adhesion" to deny a student with a disability, and her parents, their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and state laws. The student is a thirteen-year-old girl who has severe language and social behavior impairments. She also has a visual perceptual deficit and has been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum.

Riverside Unified School District logo

Riverside Unified School District logo


The girl's mother did not believe her daughter was adequately prepared to begin seventh grade. School officials presented the mother with a "confidential settlement agreement" that, if signed, would allow her daughter to remain in sixth grade at Taft Elementary School. The girl's mother believed the document was an informal agreement about her daughter's enrollment in sixth grade and she did not understand that by signing this document her daughter would be precluded from requesting any changes to her educational program or exercising her due process rights. Officials told the mother she had until 5 p.m. to sign the offer on the day it was presented or the offer to remain in sixth grade would be revoked. Without a lawyer present to advice her, and afraid that her daughter would be denied a necessary placement, the mother signed the paper.


Later in the school year, when the mother requested additional special education for her daughter, the district denied the request, referring to the agreement she had previously signed. This week, a federal district court judge agreed with all of the DRLC's arguments, and our opposition to the defendants' motion to dismiss was approved. The case is Y.G. et al v. Riverside Unified School District et al GO08-05 (CV-52).

School Refuses to Change Curricula of Floundering Student
LAUSD logo
Los Angeles Unified School District logo

The DRLC is representing the parents of a student with a speech and language disability in the Los Angeles Unified School District who has been allowed to flounder in an ineffective special education program. The tenth-grade student is performing at a first-grade level; he can barely read, cannot write a paragraph or complete basic math problems. Year after year the district places him in the same special day program even though an independent psychologist evaluated him and concluded that he can perform at a much higher level. In addition, he does not receive adequate speech and language therapy nor is he provided with assistive technology. The district's plan to prepare him for life after school is generic and vague, and does not offer necessary community experiences. The sixteen-year-old is eager to learn and is capable of acquiring grade-level skills if he were given the appropriate program, interventions and supports. On February 4, DRLC Staff Attorney Andrea Oxman, and our co-counsel Keith H. Fichtelman of McDermott Will & Emery, filed a request for a due process hearing on behalf of his parents to address these issues.

CLRC, LIVESTRONG and Fertile Hope Issue Joint Position Statement on Insurance Coverage for Iatrogenic Infertility
The Cancer Legel Resource Center issued a joint position statement with LIVESTRONG andFertile Hope on what should be included in any potential legislation dealing with insurance coverage for fertility preservation. Each year, approximately 133,000 men and women are diagnosed with cancer during their reproductive years (under age 45). Many of those individuals are at risk for being rendered infertile as a side-effect of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Currently, most health insurance plans in the United States do not cover fertility preservation in cases of iatrogenic infertility caused by cancer treatments. Non-coverage may limit patient access to care, potentially reduces survival rates, and may result in unnecessary costs for health insurance providers. It is the position of the CLRC, LIVESTRONG, and Fertile Hope that health insurance providers should provide coverage for all standard fertility preservation services for individuals at risk for iatrogenic infertility from necessary cancer treatments. The full position statement can be found at http://bit.ly/hluzxM.

Save The Date

Hold Saturday Night July 23 for 'Casino Angeleno'


The Cancer Legal Resource Center's Casino Night event is back by popular demand! The CLRC will be hosting its "Casino Angeleno" summer event on Saturday, July 23, 2011. Set on the rooftop deck of the Petersen Automotive Museum, with the Hollywood Hills as a spectacular backdrop, guests will enjoy a starry, summer night of guilt-free gaming, music and prizes. Proceeds will benefit the CLRC. For sponsorship opportunities, click here to download the sponsorship packet, or contact Joanna Morales at joanna.morales@lls.edu. Event details will be posted at www.cancerlegalresourcenter.org in March

DRLC Offers Free Legal Clinic in Orange County


Photo of Dayle McIntosh Center
Dayle McIntosh Center

To better serve residents of Orange County, John Longoria, Outreach Coordinator, and Maggie Hui, Outreach Coordinator Maggie Hui, will hold office hours on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Dayle McIntosh Center in Garden Grove. That means this month we will host office hours at the center on March 9 and March 23. Come meet our staff and learn about laws protecting the civil rights of those with disabilities, and services available them, including health care, special education, government services and more. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Maggie Hui at (213) 736-1408 or Maggie.hui@lls.edu. Video TDD (213) 736-8310; Video Relay Number (866) 912-8193. The Dayle McIntosh Center is located at 13272 Garden Grove Boulevard, Garden Grove, CA 92843-2205.


The online credit card donation feature is available on the Make a Donation page of the DRLC website. This quick and easy function can be used for general donations.  



Visit the How You Can Help page of our website to volunteer as a pro bono attorney on a disability rights case, work as a student law clerk or assist with intake and administrative responsibilities.


Join Our Mailing List


Find us on Facebook        Follow us on Twitter.
DRLC Staff Photo August 2010
Disability Rights Legal Center Staff Photo August 2010