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Disability Rights Legal Center Newsletter
Good News Report
DRLC Newsletter

Friday, January 20, 2012

In This Issue
DRLC Sues City and Redevelopment Agency Over Inaccessible Housing
DRLC Welcomes Spring Semester Legal Externs
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

Disability Rights Legal Center Sues City and
Redevelopment Agency Over Inaccessible Housing          

   Seal of the City of Los Angeles   Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles logo   

Disability Rights Legal Center has filed a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles for failing to ensure that apartments built with federal and community development funds are accessible to people with disabilities. DRLC's co-counsel for this case are Disability Rights California, Relman Dane & Colfax PLLC, and David Geffen Law Firm. By excluding people with disabilities in the city from these housing programs, the defendants violated the civil rights laws.


Under federal and state law, apartments and condominiums funded by federal housing and community development funds must be accessible to people in wheelchairs and those who are vision or hearing impaired.


The city recognizes the acute need for accessible housing in Los Angeles. "There are hundreds of thousands of individuals, and families, in Los Angeles, who require accessible, affordable housing and do not have it," the city notes in its Consolidated Plan. Despite these findings, the city and agency ignored their legal obligations, and allocated millions of federal and redevelopment dollars for inaccessible apartments.


The DRLC, along with co-counsel, filed the lawsuit on Friday, January 13th. The plaintiffs in this lawsuit are Independent Living Center of Southern California, Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley, and Communities Actively Living Independent and Free. The city and agency undermined these organizations' missions and interfered with their programs and services for the disability community, including housing assistance and social integration.


The plaintiffs are asking the court to order the defendants to survey all projects that received federal housing and community development funds, report on the extent of noncompliance, and bring all apartments into compliance. In addition, plaintiffs are asking for damages incurred as a result of the defendants' discriminatory conduct and practices.  

DRLC Welcomes Spring Semester Legal Externs 


The DRLC welcomed its spring semester legal externs on Friday, January 20, at Loyola Law School Los Angeles. Staff provided orientation sessions, including presentations on the history of the disability rights movement and disability sensitivity. Students also explored which program they will work in during their externship. Students in the program will provide information, resources and referrals over the DRLC General Intake Line or the Cancer Legal Resource Center's Telephone Assistance Line. They will also have the opportunity to work on cases with staff attorneys, and to directly advocate for and/or negotiate on behalf of a client through brief services. Through this program DRLC assists the disability community while training the next generation of legal advocates. For more information about this program, visit the DRLC Externship webpage.

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