DRA at Disability Capitol Action Day

13th Annual Disability Capitol Action Day: Keep California Healthy! June 13th, 2017 from 10am through 3pm. New location: Cesar E. Chavez Plaza, Downtown Sacramento. Organized by the Disability Action Coalition. #KeepCAHealthy #MustHaveMediCal

13th Annual Disability Capitol Action Day
Community Resource Fair
Sacramento, CA
June 13, 2017

Page Contents

About Disability Rights Advocates (DRA)

DRA, one of the country’s leading nonprofit disability rights legal centers, uses impact litigation and other legal tools to achieve systemic change and advance rights and opportunities for people with all types of disabilities nationwide.

Since its founding in 1993, DRA has taken on more than 400 cases and won almost all, achieving dramatic improvements for people with disabilities in a broad range of areas, including health care, employment, transportation, education, disaster preparedness planning, voting, housing, and access to technology.

Examples of Current and Recent Cases

  • M.W. v. United States Department of the Army: A case on behalf of children with diabetes and their parents, challenging the United States Army’s policy prohibiting staff in its Child, Youth and School Services (“CYSS”) programs from administering critical medications and providing vital support to children with diabetes in their care.
  • Senior and Disability Action v. Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART): A case on behalf of people with mobility disabilities, challenging Bay Area Rapid Transit (“BART”)’s failure to ensure that its stations are accessible to people with mobility disabilities. BART serves nearly half a million riders each day, and is in many ways the “backbone” of the Bay Area’s transportation system, but the elevators, escalators, and other accessible features of its stations are often either broken or too soiled with human waste to use. As a result, people with mobility disabilities must regularly endure lengthy delays or travel miles out of their way to complete a single trip, and many forego travel entirely as a result.
  • National Federation of the Blind v. Uber and National Federation of the Blind v. Lyft: DRA and the National Federation of the Blind brought a case against Uber and engaged in structured negotiations with Lyft in response to reports that people with service animals were regularly being denied rides by Lyft and Uber drivers. Both have resulted in recent settlements, which will help ensure that people who use service animals will have reliable and equal access to the crucial transportation services that these companies provide. As part of these settlements, the companies have adopted new policies clarifying that every rider who has a service animal must be accommodated, regardless of a driver’s preferences or circumstances. Drivers who do not comply will face immediate and permanent deactivation from the platform.

Monitoring and Implementation of Past Cases

DRA is still working to monitor settlements in many of its past cases, to ensure continued compliance. These include:

  • Uber’s agreement to provide service to those traveling with service animals;
  • Lyft’s agreement to provide service to those traveling with service animals;
  • Caltrans’ agreement to provide accessible sidewalks along state highways that have existing sidewalks;
  • Kaiser’s agreement to provide full access to members with vision disabilities; and
  • Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall’s agreement to eliminate solitary confinement for youth with disabilities and provide special education

Should you wish to know more about these or other past cases, please visit our website at www.dralegal.org or contact us at 510-665-8644.

Areas of Interest for DRA

DRA is always looking to move the law forward to advance the rights of people with disabilities in all aspects of modern life. Below is a small selection of the subjects in which we are currently interested:

  • Access to technology, including websites, kiosks, and public-interfacing tablets (e.g., tablets used as restaurant menus);
  • Provision of special education in charter schools;
  • Discrimination based on psychiatric disabilities in areas such as insurance, employment, and education;
  • Access to voting for persons with all types of disabilities; and
  • Architectural barriers such as inaccessible sidewalks, buildings and recreational areas.

If you or others you know have experienced discrimination in these or other areas, please contact us at investigations@dralegal.org.

Investigations

Investigation Regarding Hand Controls in Rental Cars

Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) is investigating complaints regarding the provision of hand controls in rental cars. We have recently been informed that national car rental chains may be charging extra for such controls, refusing to provide them on certain types of vehicles, or regularly forcing customers to wait for excessive amounts of time while they are located or installed. If you have a disability, need hand controls to operate a rental car, and have experienced these or similar problems, we would like to hear from you.

To share your experiences, please contact Sean Betouliere at (510) 665-8644 or by email at investigations@dralegal.org.

Investigation Regarding the Accessibility of “Chariot” Transportation Service (Chariot.com)

Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) is investigating a new transportation service called Chariot, which is currently offered in San Francisco, and coming soon to the East Bay. Chariot, touting itself as “mass transit reinvented,” uses brand new 14-passenger vans to take passengers along various routes, and allows you to book a seat and pay using a smartphone app.

DRA is investigating complaints that none of Chariot’s vans are wheelchair accessible. If you (1) use a wheelchair; (2) reside in, work in, or travel around San Francisco or other locations where Chariot is available, and (3) are interested in using Chariot, we would like to talk to you about your experiences.

To share your experiences, please contact Kyle Ruiz by phone at (510) 665-8644 or by email at investigations@dralegal.org.

Investigation Regarding Experiences of Students with Psychiatric Disabilities in California Colleges & Universities

Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) is investigating the experiences of higher education students with documented psychiatric disabilities at universities and colleges throughout California, including complaints about being denied accommodations and being forced to take mandatory leave.  If you have a psychiatric disability (e.g., Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Schizophrenia) and are currently enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student in a university or college in California, we would love to hear from you to learn about your experiences.

To share your experiences, please contact Monica Porter at (510) 665-8644 or by email at investigations@dralegal.org.

Investigation Regarding Experiences of Parents with Disabilities in “Dependency” Proceedings

Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) is investigating the experiences of parents with psychiatric, intellectual, and developmental disabilities in California’s dependency courts, including instances in which parental rights have been terminated or reunification services have been denied based on the parent’s disability. If you have a psychiatric, intellectual, and/or developmental disability and have had your parental rights terminated and/or have been denied reunification services, we are interested in learning about your experience.

To share your experiences, please contact Meredith Weaver at (510) 665-8644 or by email at investigations@dralegal.org.