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Disability Rights Legal Center Newsletter
Good News Report
DRLC Newsletter

Friday, March 23, 2012

In This Issue
TIME Interviews Staff Attorney Laura Riley
DRLC Urges L.A. to Reject Community Care Facilities Ordinance
DOJ Accepting Public Comments on Extension for Lodging Accommodations
Meet the DRLC at This Year's Abilities Expo L.A.
Register for CLRC's 2012 Cancer Rights Conferences
How to Help

TIME Interviews Staff Attorney Laura Riley

 US Supreme Court

Laura Riley, a staff attorney for the DRLC, has been quoted in the March 20th edition of TIME magazine. The article, "Who Is a Child? The Supreme Court Decides," examines the question that the Court will face in Astrue v. Capato, a case involving the legal issue of whether a posthumously conceived child qualifies as a child under the Social Security Act. The article delves into the technological advancements in fertility preservation and the human decisions involved in fertility choices. The DRLC filed an amicus brief in the case, written by Laura Riley and Paula Pearlman, who worked with the following Munger, Tolles & Olson, LLP lawyers: Mark Helm, Charles Siegal, Kyle Casazza, David Thompson, Jeremy Lawrence, and Tonya Long. The brief discusses oncofertility issues raised by Astrue v. Capato and defends the rights of the children of deceased wage-earners to Social Security benefits. Although medical treatments for cancer are increasingly successful, those treatments are often accompanied by harmful effects on patients' fertility. Fertility preservation allows the surviving spouse to choose to reproduce after their partner is deceased. Many of these patients elect to have children regardless of their prognosis. The Supreme Court held oral arguments in this case on March 19. The Justices' questions addressed whether a child born after his or her father's death should qualify for benefits and the problem of reconciling the varying inheritance laws in different states. The Court will rule this summer.

DRLC Urges City of Los Angeles to Reject
Community Care Facilities Ordinance


DRLC Staff Attorney, Umbreen Bhatti, and other civil rights advocates, voiced their opposition to the proposed Community Care Facilities Ordinance during a Planning and Land Use Management Committee hearing on March 20. If the ordinance is adopted, sober living homes, regional centers, and other supportive housing will be prohibited from operating in many residential neighborhoods, limiting the shared housing options for people with disabilities and possibly forcing some to stay in institutions. Ms. Bhatti testified at the hearing that the ordinance violates the rights of people with disabilities to meaningful access to city programs, services, and activities, by disproportionately burdening them according to their unique needs. DRLC joins with housing rights activists to encourage those impacted by the proposal to contact their city government representative. Click here for the City Council members' contact information. For more specific information on the proposed ordinance, contact Ms. Bhatti at Umbreen.Bhatti@lls.edu.

Department of Justice Accepting Public Comments on Extension of Lodging Accommodations Obligation


In response to an aggressive campaign launched by the lodging industry, the Department of Justice gave hotels an extension until May 14 to make swimming pools, wading pools, and spas accessible to their guests with disabilities. The Justice Department is accepting public comments on whether a longer period of time would be appropriate for owners and operators to meet their compliance obligations. Specifically, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposes a 180-day extension of the deadline. Comments on the NPRM must be submitted on or before April 4, 2012. Here is a link to the Department of Justice public comments page

Save the Date    

Friday, March 30 - Sunday, April 1 

Meet the DRLC at This Year's Abilities Expo Los Angeles  

 Abilities Expo logo     

The Disability Rights Legal Center is participating in this year's Abilities Expo in Los Angeles. Come find us in booth #921 and learn about our programs and services. Abilities Expo is the trusted source where people with disabilities, their families, seniors, vets, caregivers and healthcare professionals gain knowledge and empowerment (and have a little fun!). For more than 30 years, Abilities Expo has also provided an excellent forum for companies with disability products and services to reach out and enhance the lives of this Community.

Dates and Times of Abilities Expo L.A. are as follows:
Friday, March 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, March 31 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Sunday, April 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Expo is free and open to the public, but you must register either in advance or at the event. For information and early registration,
visit http://www.abilitiesexpo.com/losangeles/index.html

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