Disability Discrimination

Members of the public who have or are regarded to have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities have protections under various federal, state, and local laws to ensure that they are not denied equal rights.  The most well-known law in this area is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which since 1990 has been protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.  The ADA was recently amended in 2008, making the force and breadth of the law stronger. 


Individuals with disabilities are discriminated against in ways beyond the obvious.  Contrary to popular thought, disability discrimination does not end with ensuring handicap accessible bathrooms and constructing ramped entrances into buildings.  In addition to the structural and design requirements of disability discrimination laws, most of these laws, including the ADA, require that employers, places of public accommodation and governmental entities make reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities.  Simply put, a covered entity is generally required to deviate from its policies and rules if someone with a disability requires such a deviation and makes a request, or the need for the deviation is obvious.  Failure to grant an accommodation can be a violation of the various disability laws, which may give rise to injunctive relief and/or monetary damages.  Every individual’s needs are different, and the law allows for individuals to make particularized requests in order to address their specific needs.  Sadly, many covered entities fail to train their employees on this aspect of the law, and too often people are denied rightful accommodations.  If this has happened to you, the attorneys at the Social Justice Law Collective would like to help you right this wrong!


Courageous individuals and organizations have helped better the world for those with disabilities through various means, including exercising the rights of the disabled under disability discrimination laws.  But, there is still much work left to be done.  The member attorneys of SJLC are dedicated to ending disability discrimination, and are working to help bring about a world where those with disabilities are not only granted equal access, but where they enjoy the same dignity and respect as anyone else in the population.