In A Disability History of the United States, Kim E. Nielsen provides an ambitious compilation of research about people with disabilities on this continent, from pre-1492 to present. It is a thorough reference work that I’ll be consulting for some time, but I was particularly interested in some of the less familiar early history. A… Continue reading Colonial Era Disability Practice from My Hometown
The Supreme Court recently handed down two decisions, going in opposite directions, about vaccine mandates. Based on some of the calls I’ve received, people are confused about what they mean for individual employees trying to navigate vaccine mandates at work. The two cases involved the statutory authority of federal agencies to make employers require employees… Continue reading What Do the Supreme Court’s Vaccine Mandate Decisions Mean for Workers? Not as Much as You Think
Justin Baraga’s mother wanted someone to help him. She asked for medical help; police came. The police grabbed him, strapped him to a gurney, and forcibly took him to the hospital, which released him without treatment. He was never charged with any crime. A recently filed lawsuit explains that this is New York City’s standard procedure—police are… Continue reading Does Sending Police to People in Mental Health Crisis Violate Disability Rights Laws?
Resmaa Menakem’s book, My Grandmother’s Hands, is one of the most insightful works I have read in recent years. It gave me a deep understanding of, as its subtitle states, racialized trauma and the pathway to mending hearts and bodies—in different communities. Menakem speaks to the Black, white, and police audiences, sometimes separately and sometimes… Continue reading Book Review: My Grandmother’s Hands
These are uncertain and divisive times. But I believe in getting the facts straight. From what I am hearing, many disability community members favor vaccines, while some have concerns about getting vaccinated. Everyone deserves to make choices informed by an accurate understanding of the law. This article covers only vaccine mandates at work, but there… Continue reading Legal Rights and Vaccine Mandates: Myths and Realities
Hospital ERs May Have to Offer Substance Use Treatment and “Warm Handoff” Referrals In the midst of a substance use public health crisis, Legal Action Center (LAC), a New York-based nonprofit, has issued a call to arms. Sika Yeboah-Sampong, Ellen Weber, and Sally Friedman write that the evidence is in—hospital emergency departments can save lives… Continue reading Literature Review: Legal Action Center’s Emergency
What medical conditions are, or should be, covered by disability rights laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? It’s a hot topic in these times. The federal government recently weighed in to say that at least some COVID cases are protected disabilities, as I argued here. I wonder if the new federal guidance,… Continue reading COVID, Temporary Disabilities, and the ADA
On the recommendation of a loved one with depression, I have been reading Johann Hari’s Lost Connections. It’s a book that traces the journey of the author, a journalist who has been diagnosed with depression since he was a teenager, to uncover the causes of and solutions for depression that go beyond medication. Hari explains… Continue reading Book Review: Lost Connections
As COVID vaccines head toward full FDA approval, many are debating the pros and cons of mandatory vaccination policies at work or in public accommodations. There has been substantial analysis about whether individuals who object to mandates could sue, particularly for disability rights violations. Yet the disability community organized around getting the vaccine to people… Continue reading Is There a Disability Rights Case for Mandatory Vaccinations?
A passion for equality drew me to law school, and I have been working in that field ever since, yet it was years into my civil rights career before I came to learn about the Disability Rights and Disability Justice Movements. I had been litigating disability discrimination cases under the ADA and local laws for… Continue reading Disability Rights and Disability Justice