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Disability Rights Legal Center Newsletter
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DRLC Newsletter

Friday, December 2, 2011

Anya Prince Attends Genetic Discrimination Conference in Ireland      


NUI University GalwayAnya Prince, Skadden Fellow at the CLRC, traveled to Galway, Ireland, for the November 19th conference on genetic discrimination and regulation by the European Union. The conference examined the case for a European legal and policy response to protect the privacy of genetic information and to prevent genetic discrimination, particularly in the employment and insurance contexts. Ms. Prince's work with individuals facing genetic discrimination was highlighted at the conference to illustrate some of the lessons learned from America's Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. This information will help to make stronger legislative proposals in the EU. The conference was hosted by the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the National University of Ireland and the Burton Blatt Institute in Syracuse, New York. For more information, visit the conference website and the Irish Times newspaper. Thank you to  Skadden Arps,  Loyola Law School Los Angeles, and private individuals for the generous support which made this trip possible.

DRLC Fights Newport Beach's Discriminatory Ordinance  

 Aerial Photo of Newport Beach

In October 2011, the Disability Rights Legal Center and Hunton & Williams LLP filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Ninth Circuit of Appeals to fight a City of Newport Beach ordinance that discriminates against people with disabilities and greatly restricts their housing options. The ordinance, passed in January 2008, prohibits residential care facilities, sober living homes and other supportive housing from operating in many residential neighborhoods. The plaintiffs, who are residents and operators of sober living homes, challenged the ordinance, arguing that it violates the Fair Housing Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, California Fair Employment and Housing Act, and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. A District Court ruled against plaintiffs, and among other things held that plaintiffs had to show "either actual disparate treatment of others similarly situated or disparate impact on a protected class." The amicus brief argues that the District Court erred in failing to apply an additional legal test available for claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, known as the meaningful access test, and notes more generally the importance of sober living homes and group homes for people with disabilities. The brief was also signed by Disability Rights California, Western Center on Law & Poverty, and Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund. The case is Pacific Shores Properties, LLC, et al., v. City of Newport Beach, Appeal Nos. 11-55460, 11-55461

Outreach Staff Conduct Trainings in Orange County 

  Jamboree HOUSING logo      

On November 8th the DRLC's Outreach Director, John Villar de Longoria, conducted a Disability Sensitivity and Etiquette training for Jamboree Housing Corporation. Jamboree is a nonprofit that offers families, seniors and those with special needs affordable housing and distinctive resident services that strengthen the community. The training helped staff understand how to better communicate and work with their clients who have disabilities. On November 10th DRLC's Outreach Coordinator, Maggie Hui, conducted an Americans with Disabilities Act training with the AIDS Service Foundation of Orange County Life Skills class in Irvine. The training was a great opportunity for the students to learn about their rights.

Jamie Ledezma Named a Pink Power Mom 


Jamie Ledezma

Jamie Ledezma, Cancer Legal Resource Center Staff Attorney, received an award from Kids II Foundation, naming her a  Pink Power Mom for her dedication, commitment and individual efforts in the fight against breast cancer. Friends and family have the opportunity to nominate their inspiring mom for a chance to be one of the eight women selected annually for the award. Kids II donates to the charity of the Pink Power Mom's choice, and a generous donation was made to the Disability Rights Legal Center earmarked for the Cancer Legal Resource Center. 

Save the Date    

Saturday, December 10 Seminar & Legal Clinic:
Rights of Children with Disabilities at Charter Schools 


The Disability Rights Legal Center is presenting a seminar and legal clinic for parents, guardians, and parent advocates about students with disabilities' rights to admission, special education and related services at charter schools. DRLC will also do legal intakes to determine if we can be of assistance, including providing referrals and evaluating options to resolve disputes. Lunch and snacks will be provided. DRLC asks for $10 but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. The academy will be on Saturday, December 10, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Loyola Law School Los Angeles, 919 Albany Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015.  Download the flyer for more information. To sign up and/or request accommodations please contact us at: (213) 736-1447; toll free, (866) 999-3752; video relay phone, (866) 912-8193; or via email at  DRLC@lls.edu. 

Tuesday, December 15 Live Webinar:
A Practitioner's Guide to Disability Awareness 

    aba logo       

Persons with visible, sensory and hidden disabilities face unique problems in accessing our legal system. Legal practitioners have obligations to accommodate clients, employees and others with all types of disabilities, and must now understand the environmental, architectural, logistical and cultural barriers that define and impact the rights of disabled individuals in order to properly represent their clients. Presenters include Paula Pearlman, Executive Director, Disability Rights Legal Center, Visiting Associate Professor of Law, Loyola Law School Los Angeles. The program will cover the following topics:

  • Developing cross-disability sensitivity and awareness, including people's first language
  • Identifying best practices in customer service through the use of disability etiquette and effective communication skills
  • Identifying some common characteristics of difficult people who may have a mental health condition and practical tips on how to have positive interactions
  • Identifying and responding to requests for accommodations

Sponsored by the American Bar Association. Potential CLE Credits

For more information, and to register, visit the program's webpage

How to Help   

Shop at Ralphs and Defend Rights of People with Disabilities  
Ralph's Community Contributions Program logo

Thank you so much for championing the rights of people with disabilities by supporting the DRLC through Ralphs Community Contribution Program. The new program year began on September 1, 2011. Even if you are currently registered as a member, you must register again. The DRLC uses every dollar donated from this program to serve people with disabilities. Please visit www.ralphs.com  to both re-register and to register.

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.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 Group Photo 2011
Disability Rights Legal Center Staff October 2011