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Good News Report
DRLC Newsletter

Friday, June 3, 2011

DRLC Helps Student with Disability Get Appropriate Education


This week, the Disability Rights Legal Center and McDermott Will & Emery LLP settled a due process case against the Los Angeles Unified School District on behalf of the parents of a 16-year-old student with a learning disability and speech and language deficits. The student is attending the tenth grade and has been receiving special education beginning in preschool but has a second-grade skill set because the district failed to provide him with an educational program designed to meet his unique needs. An independent psychologist conducted two evaluations of the student this past year and concluded that he is capable of much more. As a part of the settlement agreement the student will now have the opportunity to attend a non-public school in Pasadena, which has a program exclusively for students with learning disabilities and uses technology and specialized curriculum to teach their students. Keith Fichtelman, an associate at McDermott Will & Emery LLP, worked with the DRLC to achieve this great outcome for this student. 

DRLC Urges L.A. City Council to Reject Ordinance That Narrows Housing Options for People With Disabilities  


Sri Speaks at LA City Council Meeting
Sri Panchalam Speaks at LA City Council Meeting

The Disability Rights Legal Center is urging the Los Angeles City Council to reject a proposed ordinance that would change how community care facilities are defined and regulated. The Community Care Facilities Ordinance is intended to "protect the residential and stable characters of single-family neighborhoods by making clear that businesses and transient types of occupancy are not allowed," according to a Department of City Planning Report. If adopted, sober living homes, regional centers, and other supportive housing would be prohibited from operating in many residential neighborhoods. Sri Panchalam, DRLC Staff Attorney and Loyola Public Interest Fellow, testified at a Los Angeles City Council Meeting on June 1, saying that the proposed ordinance's single-lease requirement "will disproportionally burden people with disabilities by significantly narrowing their housing options and denying them access to Los Angeles neighborhoods in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and related state and federal laws." Ms. Panchalam gave a real world example. "Many clients of regional centers are people with severe disabilities that require lifelong case management and care coordination. One of the significant alternatives for institutional care is supported living, and regional centers organize people together to live in these arrangements with supportive services on single leases, this ordinance will remove that option and put these people at risk of institutionalization." Ms. Panchalam was joined at the council meeting by DRLC law student externs Shawn Gabrill and Khanh Tran.  Watch the video (click Item no. 12) of the council meeting and public comments. In addition to speaking out at the council meeting, the DRLC sent a letter to members of the Los Angeles City Council requesting that they reject the ordinance.

Paula Pearlman, Audrey Kraus Help Honor HaMercz Founder 


Michelle Wolf, Co-Founder of HaMercaz
Michelle Wolf, Co-Founder of HaMercaz

Last week, Paula D. Pearlman, DRLC Executive Director, and Audrey Kraus, Director of the Children's Benefits Access Project, attended the Friendship Circle's 8th Annual Evening of Recognition honoring Michelle Wolf as one of their guests of honor and recognizing over 300 volunteers. The Friendship Circle is a nonprofit organization that provides a range of social, recreational and Judaic experiences to Jewish children with special needs. Michelle Wolf is co-founder of HaMercaz, a resource center that provides advocacy, assistance and support for Jewish families of children with special needs and developmental disabilities. The DRLC collaborates with HaMercaz, providing a meaningful referral to families seeking legal information on disability related issues. Ms. Wolf is a longtime colleague of the DRLC; most recently she assisted the Children's Benefits Access Project by reviewing a chapter of the Children's Benefits Access Guide, lending her perspective as a parent and disability advocate. The Children's Benefits Access Guide is available as a free download at the DRLC's Children's Benefits Access Project webpage. .

Lani Woltmann Goes to Vegas for Equal Justice Conference
Flyer for Equal Justice Conference 2011
Flyer for Equal Justice Conference 2011
Disability Rights Legal Center Pro Bono Program Director Lani Woltmann attended the 2011 Equal Justice Conference from May 18 to May 21 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Conference celebrated the ongoing collaboration between pro bono and legal services and explored additional partnerships that must be created, the resources that must be tapped, and the new issues facing the poor and low-income individuals in need of legal assistance. Through plenary sessions, workshops, networking opportunities and special programming, the Conference provided a wide range of learning and sharing experiences for all attendees. Pro bono and legal services program staff, judges, corporate counsel, court administrators, private lawyers, paralegals, and many others attended this event. Ms. Woltmann applied for and was granted a scholarship covering the registration fee from the American Bar Association's Center for Pro Bono.
Outreach Director Trains Parents to Advocate for Children
Parent's Place logo
Parent's Place logo

John Villar de Longoria, Director of DRLC Community Outreach Program, conducted an "ADA - Know Your Rights" training at Parent's Place Family Resource & Empowerment Center in West Covina on June 1. Parent's Place serves families who have children with special needs in the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys. The training provided parents with up-to-date information concerning their children's rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and ADA Amendment Act of 2008. The training goal was to support the Center's parent-focused education and self-advocacy efforts.

DRLC Participates in Events Promoting Health, Wellness   


Lou Correa
State Senator Lou Correa speaks at Move More,
Eat Healthy Summit 
On May 7, 2011 the Disability Rights Legal Center's Community outreach program participated at the Live Green Community Fair and Wellness Walk in Fullerton, California. Maggie Hui passed out useful information regarding disability rights and special education laws along with other DRLC materials at this event. She connected with other members of the community to increase knowledge of the services DRLC provides. The Community Fair and Walk raised awareness about the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities and the challenges facing these diverse communities. Guests and Wellness Walk participants also learned about ways to be good to themselves and the environment by eating, living, working, and playing healthy, well and "green."
The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Ana hosted a Health & Resource Fair at the Main Club on Highland Street on Saturday, May 14, 2011. Organizations throughout Orange County promoted their services to a community whose need is great and whose access to information is limited. Maggie Hui gave out useful information regarding DRLC's many programs and also the special education advocacy academies.
On May 26, Maggie Hui, Community Outreach Program Coordinator, attended the Making Connections: Move More, Eat Healthy OC Summit and resource fair at California State University, Fullerton. The summit aims to make connections among education, government, business and community groups to identify best practices in promoting healthy eating and increasing physical activity, and to kick off a campaign aimed at reducing obesity and improving health. Ms. Hui staffed the Disability Rights Legal Center's resource table and shared information about our programs and resources with other advocates and community members.

Save The Date

Hold Saturday Night July 23 for 'Casino Angeleno'

 Casino Angeleno icon

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, sponsored by our exclusive "Baccarat Sponsor" TicketmasterŪSet 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 Cancer Legal Resource Center. For sponsorship opportunities, download the sponsorship packet, or contact Joanna Morales at joanna.morales@lls.edu. Event details will be posted at www.cancerlegalresourcenter.org in May.

Community Outreach Program Provides Free Legal Clinics  
Photo of Dayle McIntosh Center
Dayle McIntosh Center


To better serve residents of Orange County, Community Outreach Program staff 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 June 8 and June 22. Come meet our staff and learn about laws protecting the civil rights of those with disabilities, and services available to them, including health care, special education, government services and more. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact Maggie Hui, Community Outreach Program Coordinator, 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.

Dad's Day Deals
Give to the DRLC by Shopping, Searching Online  


Go to iGive for great discounts and Father's Day gift guides from some of your favorite stores -- plus every iGive purchase means a donation to the Disability Rights Legal Center. All you do is go through iGive.com and a percentage of your purchase goes toward our work on behalf of people with disabilities. Become an iGive member and select the DRLC as one of the causes you support. It is the company who makes the donation in your name. iGive has links to almost a thousand online stores, including Amazon.com, Bed Bath & Beyond, DisneyStore.com, eBay, Expedia.com, Hotwire.com, Macy's, NORDSTROM.com, Overstock.com, ProFlowers, Sport Chalet, Travelocity. You can also donate to the DRLC simply by using iGive's search engine. There are no costs, obligations, nor any hidden fees. Causes always receive 100% of the donation amount advertised on iGive's website. Go to iGive.com to sign up.


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.  



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DRLC Staff Photo August 2010
Disability Rights Legal Center Staff Photo August 2010