This section reports on Disability Rights California advocacy initatives to address problems and issues confronting people with disabilities. These initiatives use tools such as public education and collaboration with other organizations and the media, and do not involve lawsuits. Results shown include legislation, investigations or public events given state recognition and sponsorship. Current examples follow.
- DRC comments on new CA building regulations
- Disability legal advocates advise California State Bar on E-filing access issues
- Many voters reported access problems to DRC election hotline
- California launches first U.S. visually assisted speech-to-speech relay phone service
Read more about DRC's involvement in this new system.
- Hotel pool controversy sparks hotel boycott
The continuing controversy over hotel pool wheelchair lifts today will escalate into a targeted boycott of hotels across the USA. A national coalition of disability rights groups today will officially kick off a two-tier campaign against hotels. Read the complete USA Today article here.
- Disability Capitol Action Day 2012: 2000 advocates amass in Sacramento
to remind legislators of critical need for disability services: Read our story here and press report here.
- 2011: Two men struggle to leave institutions, and with DRC help, manage to rejoin community living (From the 2011 Annual Report)
After a multi-year battle, DRC helped Joaquin Carson move into his own home with the services and supports he needs to be successful. In 2004, Joaquin was institutionalized after adverse reactions to a new medication. Isolated in primary and secondary school, he had faced barriers before, but he always went home to his family. This time, Joaquin’s isolation was much more severe, far from home in a large state institution.
Over the years, Joaquin told his sister, Diana, and other family members repeatedly that he needed a “new bike and a new home.” His family members became convinced that Joaquin’s plan to move closer to relatives was practical and possible and helped him explore how he could leave the institution.
As an individual with a developmental disability,
Joaquin has a right under California’s Lanterman Act
to live in the community, if that is his choice. In 2011
after the regional center had refused to help Joaquin
pursue his independence, he and his family asked
Disability Rights California for help.
DRC attorneys defended Joaquin’s plan at a hearing,
explaining the powerful, negative effects of the medications and institutionalization on his quality of life.
In addition, Diana and other family members had to
drive long distances to see Joaquin for short visits.
After the second hearing, the judge ordered
the regional center to immediately begin funding
Joaquin’s supported living services. Joaquin’s reaction
was “I win! I like bike! I go!” His renewed enthusiasm
for life was evident.
In October, contributed furniture was fixed
up and in November,
Joaquin moved in.
A friend brought a
grill to cook Joaquin’s
requested steak dinner to celebrate
the first night in his
- Discriminatory group housing ordinance proposed in LA: During 2012, Autumn Elliott, Associate Managing Attorney in the DRC Los Angeles office, and others have been working with housing advocates to educate stakeholders in the community about the need to expand opportunities for people with disabilities to live in LA neighborhoods in small group homes with support. They are working to counter efforts to introduce new discriminatory housing ordinances. Here is an example of their op-ed against such an ordinance, published in May in the LATimes.
- At public hearings, DRC testifies that critical needs of people with mental health disabilities
could get lost in the shuffle as state proceeds with realignment to a county-based system -- Read the testimonies of Disability Rights California staff, Margaret Johnson and Dan Brzovic, to February hearings in Sacramento about the problems we foresee as the state changes to a system where most responsibility for services will be at the county level. 2/23/12
- Thanks to DRC advocacy, Clipper Card for attendants available to Bay Area transit riders with disabilities, 10/12/11
- SSA announces policy change on probation/parole warrants: The Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued instructions stating that effective immediately it will no longer suspend or deny Old Age, Survivors & Disability Insurance (OASDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits based solely on a probation or parole violation warrant. This policy change results from a settlement of a major case filed against the SSA by a coalition of disability and senior advocacy groups, including DRC. Read more here, 7/27/11
- Lanterman Developmental Center proposed closure activities, 1/17/12
- Disability Capitol Action Day 2011, 6/1/11
- Disability Rights California study: Advance notice for individuals subject to temporary LPS conservatorship - denial of statutory and constitutional rights, 3/2011
- Community Living Poster, 2010
- State task force for criminal justice collaboration on mental health issues,
- Little Hoover Commission urges state to unravel "confusing maze" of disability programs: DRC testified to this Commission on its long term care priorities, 4/30/11
- Best practices for Purchase of Services (POS) by regional centers, 4/24/11
- California Memorial Project, 4/19/11
- Advocacy to ensure Administration's efforts to detect fraud in IHSS program are fair and cost-effective, 6/16/10