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Disability Rights Legal Center Newsletter
Good News Report
DRLC Newsletter

Friday, January 6, 2012

In This Issue
Community Advocacy Program: Making an Impact
CLRC Staff Attorney Honored
CLRC Expands Legislative Efforts
New Professional Panel Attorneys
MCLE Seminar: Discrimination in The Legal Profession
DRLC Academy: Special Education Advocacy
DRLC Seminar & Legal Clinic: Children with Disabilities in Charter Schools
How to Help

Community Advocacy Program: Making an Impact        


The DRLC's newly formed Community Advocacy Program has already begun to positively impact the lives of people with disabilities through brief service representations. These are legal, but non-litigation, advocacy on discrete issues confronted by callers to our general intake line (1-866-912-8193). Law students and volunteers respond to callers' inquiries under the supervision of Kirkland & Ellis Justice Fellow, Kunti Dudakia, Esq. In one instance, the program has facilitated the fumigation of an apartment for a person with significant physical disabilities through a reasonable accommodation request, after the process had broken down with the landlord. In another instance, the program successfully negotiated a waiver for a fine received by an elderly woman who forgot to properly display her automobile's disabled placard because of memory issues. One of the hallmarks of this program is the assignment of cases to law students who interact with clients and negotiate on their behalf to obtain accommodations. Armando Lope, a Loyola Law School student, wrote a convincing letter, on behalf of the mother of a child with a physical disability requiring an electric wheelchair, for an accommodation to relocate from their upper floor apartment to a first floor apartment. The building did not have an elevator and the mother had to physically carry her son up the stairs and then return to carry the wheelchair. The management company complied immediately. Robert Blanco, also a student at Loyola, wrote a letter to a Los Angeles theatre on behalf of an individual with physical disability. The theatre would not provide the man with a place to sit down while waiting for admission, despite his inability to stand for long periods of time. Through negotiations, the theatre agreed to train staff members on disability sensitivity and accommodate patrons with disabilities at all events. Finally, a major bank was reminded by our pro bono intern, Haig Arabian, of its obligations under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide telephone relay services to customers who are hearing-impaired. The bank apologized for their employees' mistake and made assurances that these services will be provided from now on.

CLRC Staff Attorney Honored  


Jamie Ledezma
CLRC staff attorney Jamie Ledezma

Cancer Legal Resource Center staff attorney, Jamie Ledezma, was selected by Business Street Online as a member of the "40 Under 40" Class of 2011, which features the top young professionals in Central California. Class members will be honored during the "40 Under 40" Ultimate Networking Event to be held on Thursday, March 29 at the CRU Club at Chukchansi Park in downtown Fresno. Visit www.40u40.com to order tickets for the event.

CLRC Expands Legislative Efforts 

  AACR Annual Meeting 2012 logo CDMRP logoSusan G. Komen for the Cure logo 


The Cancer Legal Resource Center lends it support to legislative efforts at the state and federal level that will better the lives of people with cancer. Jamie Ledezma, Cancer Legal Resource Center Staff Attorney, is joining forces with notable cancer organizations to further legislative advocacy efforts for the cancer community. Ms. Ledezma was recently invited to participate in the American Association for Cancer Research Scientist <-> Survivor Program, which provides an opportunity for advocates to learn about cancer research and to interact with scientists, doctors and other advocates. In addition, Ms. Ledezma will be serving as a Consumer Reviewer for the Department of Defense Congressional Directed Medical Research Program to evaluate cancer research proposals. She is also serving on the 2012 Komen National Public Policy Advisory Council. Visit our  Legislative Advocacy page for more information on how you can make a difference! 

DRLC Welcomes New Professional Panel Attorneys 


The Disability Rights Legal Center would like to thank the following attorneys for joining the CLRC's Professional Panel:  


Sharon Terman from San Francisco, California
Francine Kelly from Cerritos, California
Christopher Vasallo from Pincrest, Florida
Megins Skolnick from Washington, DC
John Ganz and Jason Hanselman of Dykema in Chicago and Lansing, Michigan
Linda M. Correia from Washington, DC
Nicholas Roumel from Ann Arbor, Michigan
Collette A. Hillier from San Luis Obispo, California
Michael L. Armitage from El Segundo, California


Attorneys in the Professional Panel have agreed to volunteer their time to speak with callers on the CLRC's national Telephone Assistance Line, in an effort to assist in resolving cancer-related legal issues.

Save the Date    

Wednesday, January 25  

Seminar: Strategies for Preventing and Responding to Discrimination in the Legal Profession 


On Wednesday, January 25, from 10 to 11 a.m. (PST), State Bar of California will present the telephone seminar Strategies for Preventing and Responding to Discrimination and Bias in the Legal Profession. The seminar will provide a brief background on the applicable laws as well as an understanding of the complexity of discrimination and bias, using legal definitions and real world examples in the legal profession. Faculty for this seminar includes Sharon J. Glancz, an attorney with NBCUniversal Television, and member of the DRLC Young Professionals Board. The seminar provides 1.0 Total Participatory MCLE Credits, 1.0 of which may be applied toward Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession (No Ethics).

Saturday, February 4  

Special Education Advocacy Academy 

Attendees of the Academy on August 6, 2011


Disability Rights Legal Center staff attorneys teach this hands-on course on special education advocacy. Enrollment is limited to parents/guardians and parent advocates. Attendees learn about education law, Individual Education Programs (IEPs), Section 504, how to ask for assessments, accommodations and meetings. The academy is presented in English and Spanish and includes role playing, Q&A, and networking with other parents. We ask for a $10 donation but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Lunch is provided, and participants receive a DRLC Education Advocacy Manual and a Certificate of Completion. The Saturday, February 4th academy is from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Loyola Law School Los Angeles, 919 Albany Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015. For more information, to register, or request accommodations, please contact us at: (213) 736-1447; toll free number (866) 999-3752; Video Relay Phone (866) 912-8193; or email DRLC@lls.edu.

Saturday, February 11

Seminar & Clinic: 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 Saturday, February 11th seminar and legal clinic is from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Loyola Law School, 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 email DRLC@lls.edu. 

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 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, 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