Disability News & Views 2012

 

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DISABILITY LAW NEWS & VIEWS 2012

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May 2012

ILLINOIS  

Attorney General sues IHSA over access for disabled athletes

By David Mercer, The Associated Press | Peoria Journal Star 

05-16-12 -- The Illinois Attorney General's Office and an advocacy group for the disabled filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday that aims to force the organization that oversees high school sports in the state to allow disabled athletes to compete in swimming and track events. . . . The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago by the Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Equip for Equality accuses the Illinois High School Association of violating disabilities laws by not providing equal access to competitions. . . . The suit was filed on behalf of 16-year-old Mary Kate Callahan of LaGrange. Her school, Fenwick High School in in suburban Oak Park, lets her compete in local swimming meets but she can't win points for her team, and IHSA championships don't include the separate category she seeks for disabled swimmers.


MAINE   

Judge signs off on order moving young Mainers with disabilities out of nursing homes

Bangor Daily News, Maine  

05-03-12 -- Young adults with disabilities will have more choices of where to live after a judge signed off on an agreement this week that settles a class-action lawsuit brought by the families of three young men whose only option was to live in nursing homes. . . . The lawsuit alleged that Maine's Department of Health and Human Services, in the operation of the MaineCare program, violated the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Nursing Home Reform Act. In addition, plaintiffs claimed that for those who do live in nursing homes, DHHS has not provided federally mandated services that promote independence and community involvement.


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April 2012

CALIFORNIA  

Judge approves settlement that clears way for cross in Mojave Desert, ends long legal dispute

By Associated Press, Washington Post        

04-24-12 -- A veterans group can restore a memorial cross in the Mojave Desert under a court settlement that ends a decade-old legal battle, the National Park Service said Tuesday. . . . A federal judge approved the lawsuit settlement on Monday, permitting the park service to turn over a remote hilltop area known as Sunrise Rock to a Veteran of Foreign Wars post in Barstow and the Veterans Home of California-Barstow. . . . The park will give up the acre of land in exchange for five acres of donated property elsewhere in the 1.6 million acre preserve in Southern California. . . . The swap, which could be completed by the end of the year, will permit veterans to restore a cross to the site and end a controversy that became tangled in the thorny issues of patriotism and religion and made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003.


NEW YORK  

New York Times Covers ADA Shakedown Lawsuits

Posted by Walter Olson, Cato @ Liberty 

04-17-12 -- As the New York Times reports today, mass filing of accessibility lawsuits against Main Street businesses, long a cottage industry for Florida and California lawyers, has now reached Gotham in a big way:

A small cadre of lawyers, some from out of state, are using New York City’s age and architectural quirkiness as the foundation for a flood of lawsuits citing violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act. . . . The lawyers are generally not acting on existing complaints from people with disabilities. Instead, they identify local businesses, like bagel shops and delis, that are not in compliance with the law, and then aggressively recruit plaintiffs from advocacy groups for people with disabilities.

The cases then settle for a few thousand dollars in what are described as legal fees, as well as a payment (token or otherwise) to the named client, and a promise to relocate or replace the shelf or doorknob or paper towel dispenser whose ADA-noncompliant status was complained of in the suit.


 

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DISABILITY LAW NEWS & VIEWS ARCHIVES


DISABILITY ADVOCATES

The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law is a national legal advocate for people with mental disabilities. Through precedent-setting litigation and in the public policy arena, the Bazelon Center works to advance and preserve the rights of people with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities.

Center for Self-Determination: The Center for Self-Determination is not a place. It is a highly interactive working collaborative of individuals and organizations committed to the principles of self-determination. The purpose of the collaborative is to change the nature of the support and service system for individuals with disabilities, using the principles of self-determination to help all persons create the lives they want, connected to and with their communities.

Disabled Student -- the website devoted to informing and empowering physically disabled students in mainstream school settings.

Disability Resources, Org.  The world's foremost gateway to disability resources on the Internet, featuring thousands of the best web site convenientally arranged by subject or state.

Freedom Clearinghouse: Our Mission is to use the Olmstead decision to free all law abiding people with disabilities from institutions to live in the community.

Hospice Patients Alliance: The Hospice Patients Alliance was formed formed by experienced hospice staff and other health care professionals who saw that hospices were not always complying with the standards of care, and in fact, were in some cases, violating the rights of patients and families and exploiting them for financial gain, or not providing adequate care to control pain or other distressing symptoms during the end of life period.


National Resource Center on Psychiatric Advance Directives


Mental Health America (formerly known as the National Mental Health Association) is the country’s leading nonprofit dedicated to helping ALL people live mentally healthier lives. With our more than 320 affiliates nationwide, we represent a growing movement of Americans who promote mental wellness for the health and well-being of the nation – everyday and in times of crisis.

NOT DEAD YET, The Resistance, NDY is a grassroots disability rights group formed to oppose the movement to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia. ILLINOIS. Email Diane Coleman at ndycoleman@aol.com  -- Email Stephen Drake at sndrake@aol.com

Road to Freedom -- The Road to Freedom is a yearlong, 50-State bus tour and photographic exhibit chronicling the history of the grassroots "people's movement" leading to passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). . . . They are touring the United States to tell the story of the struggle for disability rights, past and present, and to promote educational and economic opportunity for children and adults with physical, mental, cognitive, sensory and developmental disabilities. . . . The Road To Freedom is a project of ADA Watch and the National Coalition for Disability Rights (NCDR).

Society for Disability Studies -- The Society for Disability Studies (SDS) is the only scholarly society devoted to disability studies as a field. Membership will keep you informed of developments in SDS, will empower you to vote on matters affecting the organization, and will link you to others in the United States and around the world who share your interests through our annual meetings and our membership directory.

 World Association of Persons with Disabilities -- Whether the term is disability, disabled, disabilities, handicapped or whatever the popular "categorizing" label.... WAPD is a nonpartisan, nonprofit  association under God, that represents huge  portions of the one in five residents of earth that are being... ALIVE!... INVOLVED!... and EFFECTIVE!... in their daily living. 

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"I do not charge the judges with wilful and ill-intentioned error; but honest error must be arrested where its toleration leads to public ruin. As for the safety of society, We commit honest maniacs to Bedlam; so judges should be withdrawn from their bench whose erroneous biases are leading us to dissolution. It may, indeed, injure them in fame or in fortune; but it saves the republic, which is the first and supreme law."
--Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821. ME 1:122--


 

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