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DRLC Newsletter

Friday, July 22, 2011

California Science Center to Improve Policy and Procedures Involving Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing Communities

California Science Center

California Science Center (Photo by Richard Kim)

After Antoinette Abbamonte, a mother who is deaf, was repeatedly misinformed by California Science Center Foundation employees that the IMAX movies at the Center were not available with captioning, she contacted the Disability Rights Legal Center . A staff attorney sent the Center a demand letter, charging that the Center was violating federal and state law by failing to provide captioning for Ms. Abbamonte and preventing her from accessing or enjoying the films with her sons. In response to the letter, Cynthia Pygin, the Center's Chief Operating Officer, immediately contacted the DRLC and moved quickly to provide training to the Center's staff regarding the availability of closed captioning for all IMAX movies upon request. Under the parties' settlement agreement, the California Science Center will implement the necessary policies and procedures to prevent future discrimination against individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired. These changes include training of new and returning employees; and notifying patrons of the availability of captioning by providing brochures in the box office, posting signs in the theater and changing the Center's IMAX webpage. The Center also agreed to donate fifty IMAX tickets to an organization of Ms. Abbamonte's choice that supports the deaf community

Paula Pearlman Speaks at 50th Anniversary Convention of the American Council of the Blind
On Wednesday, July 13, Paula Pearlman, Executive Director of the Disability Rights Legal Center, addressed the American Council of the Blind in Sparks, NV at their 50th Anniversary Convention. Sue Ammeter, ACB's healthcare chair, Dr. Chris Cooke, and Paula Pearlman spoke about HIPAA and Title III accommodations in doctors' offices during the morning plenary session. It was very well received and informative. It was a privilege to co-present with Ms. Ammeter and Dr. Cooke. In the afternoon, Ms. Pearlman spoke about recent developments in the Americans with Disabilities Act that specifically impact people who are blind or have other vision impairments. The break out session was sponsored by the National Education and Legal Defense Service (NELDS). As one of the lawyers in the session commented, the new cases are about assistive technology and accommodations versus accessible design, especially as it relates to high stakes testing and accessible reading technology.
DRLC Shares Knowledge with Disability Group from China
Photo fo China Disabled Persons' Federation headquarters in Bejing

China Disabled Persons' Federation headquarters in Beijing

The Disability Rights Legal Center trained twenty-six delegates from the China Disabled Persons' Federation  on July 8 at Loyola Law School Los Angeles. The Federation promotes disability rights and issues, and equal social and economic status for the 83 million persons with various categories of disabilities in China. The training, covering the United States disability rights movement and disability laws, was conducted by Paula Pearlman, Executive Director; Shawna Parks, Legal Director; John Villar de Longoria, Community Outreach Program Director; and Maggie Hui, Community Outreach Program Coordinator.
Anya Prince Explains Healthcare Reform to Social Workers
Anya Prince, Skadden Fellow at the Cancer Legal Resource Center , gave a seminar on legal protections under the new healthcare reform bill to twenty social workers from UCLA. The professionals will share the knowledge and resources they learned at the seminar with cancer patients, survivors and caregivers at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
DRLC Participates in Orange County Health Conference

DRLC participated in the Community Alliances Conference  at Cal State Fullerton on July 21. Representatives of more than thirty organizations serving Orange County communities discussed health issues, shared resources and formed partnerships. Monica Fawzy Bryant, Midwest Regional Director of the Cancer Legal Resource Center , presented "Advocacy 101 for Individuals and Nonprofit Organizations - Part 1."  Ms. Bryant shared practical tips on how to advocate for laws to protect people from discrimination, require companies to provide health insurance coverage, create government benefits, and provide funding for screening, treatment, and research. Ken Babcock, Public Law Center's Executive Director, delivered the second part of the presentation, "Advocacy 101 for Individuals and Nonprofit Organizations - Part 2."  Maggie Hui, DRLC's Community Outreach Coordinator, helped coordinate the event. The DRLC is a member of the Alliance, which is lead by CalOptima.

John Villar de Longoria Trains Red Cross on Disability Laws

John Villar de Longoria, Director of DRLC Community Outreach Program , conducted an Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Compliance/Disability Awareness & Sensitivity training to seventy-five members of the American Red Cross . Attendees came from the Red Cross offices in San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange County. Mr. Villar de Longoria provided an overview of the Title II & III of the ADA, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, and provisions that require that emergency management programs, services and activities be accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.

Purchase Tickets

Join Us 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" Ticketmaster®; "Roulette Sponsor" KDB - Your Neighborhood Kitchen, Den, Bar; and "Poker Sponsor" MassMutual Financial Group. 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 Cancer Legal Resource Center. For event details and to purchase tickets go to www.CancerLegalResourceCenter.org/CasinoAngeleno

Save the Date

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 July 27. 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.


Champion the Rights of People with Disabilities by Shopping, Searching Online  


You can support the work of the Disability Rights Legal Center simply by shopping and searching online. Become an iGive member and choose the DRLC as one of the causes you support, then click on an iGive link to one of the almost one thousand participating retailers, including Amazon.com, Bed Bath & Beyond, DisneyStore.com, eBay, Expedia.com, Hotwire.com, Macy's, NORDSTROM.com, Overstock.com, ProFlowers, Sport Chalet, Travelocity. You will not pay more for products, rather the companies give a listed percentage of the purchase to your cause. There are no obligations or hidden fees. Causes always receive 100% of the donation amount advertised on iGive's website. You can also contribute to the DRLC simply by using iGive's search engine. 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.  



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.


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