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Disability Rights Legal Center Newsletter
Good News Report
DRLC Newsletter

Friday, February 17, 2012

In This Issue
DRLC Attends Town Hall Meeting for Disability Community
DRLC Files Brief in Supreme Court Defending Health Care Reform
DRLC Seminar and Clinic: Rights to Special Education at Charter Schools
DRLC Contributes to Special Education Law Symposium
March 2: Employment Round Table Seminar
Register for CLRC's 2012 Cancer Rights Conferences
How to Help

DLRC Attends Town Hall Meeting for Disability Community


Boanerges Rodriguez and Stevie Wonder
Boanerges Rodriguez with Stevie Wonder

On February 14, Paula Pearlman, DRLC Executive Director, and Boanerges Rodriguez, Community Advocacy Program Administrative Assistant, participated in a town hall discussion with the disability community regarding President Obama's State of the Union address. Betty Wilson, Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles Commission on Disability and DRLC Board Member, also took part. The disability community had the opportunity to interact with officials from federal agencies, including the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination, National Council on Disability, U.S. Department of Transportation, Department of Homeland Security, and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). During a question and answer session, Ms. Pearlman asked representatives from FEMA and the American Red Cross about plans for the evacuation and shelter of people with disabilities during emergencies, an issue of grave concern for the community. The meeting also allowed Ms. Pearlman to connect with other leaders who are working for the disability community. Musician Stevie Wonder was a special guest. He is a United Nations Messenger for Peace, and shares the DRLC's mission of championing the rights of people with disabilities. Mr. Wonder talked about his goal to make the world accessible for all people with disabilities and argued that it is a travesty for anyone to make something inaccessible to anyone.

DRLC Files Brief in Supreme Court Defending Health Care Reform

 US Supreme Court

Today, the Disability Rights Legal Center, alongside co-counsel Hunton & Williams LLP, filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in support of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid funding provisions, which would give states new opportunities for federal financial support in order to provide health coverage for many low-income adults. A central tenet to championing the rights of people with disabilities includes the promotion of access to adequate, affordable health care for those with any type of health condition, including people with pre-existing conditions such as cancer. The DRLC has a particular interest in cancer-related legal issues through its national Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC) program. Using cancer as a lens for all chronic health conditions, the DRLC argues that by giving new populations access to health care coverage through Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act creates opportunities for early screening, prevention, and treatment that will ultimately save state and local government tax dollars and-more importantly-increase survivorship. The work on the amicus brief was led by Shawn Kravich, Associate Director, Cancer Legal Resource Center, and Chris Amantea, Partner, Hunton & Williams LLP. "Through our national programs, we witness the devastating challenges facing the uninsured on a daily basis-seeing firsthand the financial, psychological, and health costs to individuals and families," Mr. Kravich stated. "The provision of federal funds to cover currently uninsured individuals will not only bring down costs to taxpayers, it has the potential to save countless lives." 


Download a PDF of the amicus brief filed by DRLC and Hunton & Williams LLP

DRLC Gives Seminar and Clinic on Rights of 

Students with Disabilities at Charter Schools           


On February 11, DRLC's senior staff attorney, Maronel Barajas, presented a seminar on students with disabilities' rights to admission, special education and related services at charter schools. Sixteen parents, guardians and advocates attended the event. In addition, DRLC staff and volunteers conducted legal intake, including providing referrals and evaluating available options to resolve disputes. The event was held at Loyola Law School Los Angeles. The seminar and clinic was prompted by complaints from advocates and parents that some publicly funded charter schools have refused to admit students because of their special needs, or failed to provide enrolled students with special education and related services. If you are facing or have faced any of these issues, we would be interested in speaking with you to get more information, and to see if we can assist you. You can reach us by contacting our intake line at: (213) 736-1447; toll free (866) 999-3752; video relay (866) 912-8193; or email DRLC@lls.edu.

DRLC Contributes to Special Education Law Symposium 


Paula Pearlman and Anna Rivera in Calabasas
Anna Rivera and Paula Pearlman

Paula Pearlman, DRLC Executive Director, co-organized and spoke at the "Special Education Law Symposium: Examining the IDEA in Theory & Practice" held at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, on February 10. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation, and that governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to students with disabilities. Ms. Pearlman spoke on the panel Examination of Eligibility and LRE. LRE, or least restrictive environment, requires schools to educate special needs students with their peers to the greatest extent possible. Anna Rivera, Staff Attorney, also attended the symposium. Ms. Pearlman co-organized the event with Richard Peterson, of Pepperdine School of Law and Julie Waterstone of Southwestern Law School.

Save the Date    

Friday, March 2

Employment Round Table of Southern California Seminar: 

'Advanced Issues in Employment Investigations'  


Employment Roundtable Annual Luncheon
ERTSC Board Members Jacqueline Harding, 

Andrew Friedman, and Phyllis W. Cheng 

at the group's 2011 Annual Luncheon

On Friday, March 2, from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m., Employment Round Table of Southern California (ERTSC) will offer a Breakfast Seminar, "Advanced Issues in Employment Investigations," at the RAND Corporation, 1776 Main St., Santa Monica, 90407. Paula Pearlman, Esq., Executive Director, Disability Rights Legal Center, ERTSC Chair, will speak at the event. In addition, attendees will hear from skilled investigators Edgar Daryabigi, Sr. Employee Relations Manager, Amgen, and Christine Farrell, Employee Relations Consultant, Work Matters. Mr. Daryabigi has 13 years' experience in conducting human relations and security investigations. At Amgen six years, he was previously employed by WellPoint, GAP, and Target Stores. Ms. Farrell has more than 25 years' experience in human resources. She conducted more than 1,000 investigations while employed by Bank of America and Warner Brothers and most recently has conducted 25 third-party investigations. Attendees can submit questions in advance. For more information, read the event flyer.

2012 CLRC Cancer Rights Conference Logo 

Register for CLRC's 2012 Cancer Rights Conferences  


Registration is now open for Cancer Legal Resource Center's 2012 Cancer Rights Conferences! The CLRC will be hosting conferences in Boston, MA, on May 29; Chicago, IL, on September 7; Central Valley, CA, on October 5; and Houston, TX on October 19. Each of these conferences will bring together cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, attorneys, health care professionals, and other members of the cancer community to learn about subjects including health insurance, health care reform, employment, and taking time off work and disability insurance.  To register, please visit http:cancerrightsconference.org. For more information about becoming a sponsor or partner of the CLRC's National Cancer Rights Conferences, click here. 

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  


Support Disability Rights Legal Center simply by shopping and searching online. Become an iGive member and select DRLC as one of your causes, then go shopping by clicking on an iGive link to one of the hundreds of participating retailers, including Amazon.com, Bed Bath & Beyond, DisneyStore.com, eBay, Expedia.com, Macy's, NORDSTROM.com, ProFlowers, Sport Chalet, Travelocity. Causes always receive 100% of the donation amount advertised on iGive's website. You can also contribute simply by using iGive's search engine. 


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