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
Many are familiar with Uber’s high-profile scofflaw policy toward paying its drivers. For years, disability advocates have been challenging a lesser-known violation—its fleet is not accessible for people who use non-folding wheelchairs. Uber’s motto is “We ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion.” Opportunity for some, barriers for others. It’s not fair that we… Continue reading The Other Uber Problem – Wheelchair Access
One of the hottest topics in the ADA legal world is whether websites (and their ilk, like smartphone applications or other technological public platforms) have to be accessible to people with disabilities. Without ADA oversight, website development often prioritizes certain users—those who access content visually or using a mouse, for example. Blind people who use a screen… Continue reading Should Disability Advocates Wait for Biden Administration Regulations on Internet Accessibility?
Zoning laws can pose serious barriers to people with disabilities and their organizations. Setback codes block building ramps. Rules forbidding people who are not related from living together in residential neighborhoods bar group homes. Disability discrimination laws – the ADA, the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and local laws, often make… Continue reading Do Zoning Laws Discriminate Against People with Disabilities?
In the midst of violence that seems targeted at our civic life and a pandemic imposing “social distancing,” I find myself thinking a lot about community. As I have previously reflected, “community integration” is a legal phrase about the ADA’s requirement to provide services to people with disabilities in small, community-based settings rather than in… Continue reading Independence Does Not Mean Isolation
Thirty years ago, people in the United States on both sides of the aisle came to a clear agreement: we need to build houses and apartments that are accessible to people with disabilities, including people who use wheelchairs. Laws and regulations were passed to require that accessible home design and construction. Thirty years later, these rules… Continue reading Housing Accessibility
On this Veterans Day, with a deeply divided country, I find myself reflecting on another divide: military service and our civil society. When I was in college, this divide prompted me to join the Navy, exploring how to bridge the chasm between my liberal, ivy-league world and the military that many people I knew looked… Continue reading Why Civil Rights Lawyers Should Honor Veterans