A Letter From DRA’s Managing Directors and Board Chair

Dear DRA Supporters, Clients, and Friends,

We know your inboxes are flooded with e-mails about COVID-19. We promise to keep this brief.

During this national emergency, people with disabilities face an oversized adverse impact making DRA’s work as crucial as ever. DRA is built to last and we promise to persevere to protect the civil rights of our nation’s largest minority group—representing 19% of the total population.

DRA staff, in accordance with Shelter in Place orders in California and strict restrictions on movement in New York, are working remotely until further notice. Our hard-working employees are equipped to conduct all daily operations from their homes, and we remain as committed as ever to ensuring people with disabilities are not left behind.

We’re already working on cases to ensure that people with disabilities in prisons and without homes are taken care of in this national emergency. As more systemic barriers for people with disabilities emerge, DRA is here to fight the legal battles needed.

DRA is more important now than ever before. Thank you for standing with us as we work through the challenges that lie ahead.

Wishing you all safety and health. We are resilient and together, we will weather this storm.

In Service,

Michelle Caiola, Kate Hamilton, and Stuart Seaborn, DRA Managing Directors,
and Cristina Rubke, Chair, DRA Board of Directors

Impact Report

A person wearing a medical mask and holding a sign "Caution!! Coronavirus risk at Miramar ICE Cage" and text reads "Approximately 40,000 people are detained by ICE. Protect them from COVID-19."
Image: A person wearing a medical mask and holding a sign “Caution!! Coronavirus risk at Miramar ICE Cage” and image text reads “Approximately 40,000 people are detained by ICE. Protect them from COVID-19.”


DRA Fights for Immediate COVID-19 Protections for People in Immigration Detention Centers

Today DRA, in conjunction with a coalition of civil rights legal organizations, filed an emergency application for a preliminary injunction in federal court mandating Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) take immediate steps to protect medically vulnerable people in immigration detention facilities from COVID-19, including conducting reviews to determine who can be released.
The preliminary injunction was requested as part of DRA’s class action lawsuit, Fraihat v. ICE, on behalf of the nearly 40,000 people held in ICE detention facilities nationwide.

The woman pictured here, had just boarded her vehicle by way of an access ramp, while seated in her wheelchair, and had maneuvered herself into the driver's-side swivel seat. Due to her disability, the steering wheel was equipped with a hand control, which she held in her right hand, enabling her to operate the accelerator and braking system using her hand rather than her feet.
A woman in the driver’s seat of a parked car. Her hands are on the adaptive steering wheel equipped with hand control.


Settlement with Mobility Works, and Class Notice

On March 6th, DRA obtained preliminary approval for a settlement agreement that will end discrimination by Mobility Works—the country’s largest provider of wheelchair accessible vehicles—against drivers with disabilities. If you are a driver with a disability who has used or attempted to use Mobility Works’ services, you may be affected by this proposed settlement. A formal notice of the proposed agreement, which explains how it may affect you and includes important information about your rights, can be found on DRA’s website. You can also read the full text of the proposed agreement.