November 2013 E-Newsletter

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Looking Back at 2013

Victory in New York is a Victory for the Nation

DRA Celebrates 20 Years of Impact

DRA Attorneys in the Community

Larry Paradis, DRA Co-Founder, Executive Director and Co-Director of Litigation

Looking Back At 2013Dear Friends,

We at DRA have much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. On October 23rd we welcomed over 400 supporters to the Palace Hotel in San Francisco to celebrate our 20th Anniversary and last week we achieved a major victory for New Yorkers with disabilities.  In the first ever trial addressing the issue, a federal court in New York held that the City must do much more to ensure the safety of people with all types of disabilities in various types of disasters.

Ensuring that the needs of people with disabilities are addressed in disaster planning is a key focus of our work, but just one of many areas where we are making progress.  This year, DRA cases have helped open the doors to equal access to college course materials, movie theatres, polling sites, and public transportation across the nation.

As we enter the New Year, we are poised to expand our work in reading and healthcare access, emergency preparedness, and other areas critical to living and thriving in the world today. Happy holidays and thank you for supporting DRA!



 Aftermath of Hurricane SandyVictory in New York is a Victory for the Nation

Almost exactly one year after Hurricane Sandy, DRA achieved a major win in the area of emergency preparedness. Judge Furman ruled last week that New York City discriminated against people with disabilities in its failure to plan for their needs in large scale disasters. This victory in New York, along with DRA’s emergency preparedness work in other US cities such as Oakland and Los Angeles, set national precedents for protecting the safety of disabled citizens when disasters strike.


Click HERE to read recent coverage of the ruling including the New York Times, ABC News, and WYNC

 Co-Founders Larry Paradis and Sid Wolinsky Celebrate 20 Years of DRA

DRA Celebrates 20 Years of Impact

On October 23rd DRA welcomed over 400 supporters to San Francisco’s Palace Hotel for a 20th anniversary celebration supporting our Wolinsky Fellowship Program. The evening featured a discussion with Senior District Court Justice Thelton Henderson and Chief Justice of California Tani Cantil-Sakauye, as well as an inspiring film highlighting the importance of fellowships in creating the next generation of disability rights lawyers. “I am proud and humbled to be part of such a dynamic organization, and one that has grown so much in such a relatively short time,” said Josh Konecky, a former fellow and current Board Member.


Click HERE to view and share photos, as well as the film from the event

Haben Girma(right), DRA's Skadden Fellow, with Stephanie Barnes, ADA Coordinator for the US Virgin Islands

DRA Attorneys in the Community

DRA attorneys on both coasts received recognition for their hard work ensuring civil rights for the disabled community. Co-founder, Sid Wolinsky, received a Leadership Award at the 504 Northstar Town Hall Awards Dinner. The 2013 Voices that Count conference in the US Virgin Islands featured fellowship attorney Haben Girma as the keynote speaker. New York City Comptroller’s Annual Disability Awareness Month Celebration recognized Senior Attorney, Julia Pinover, for her tireless work to break down barriers through the legal process to build a better New York City for all.


Gobble, Gobble: Get ready for the return of DRA’s beloved Eagle & Turkey Awards in November of 2014! Stay tuned for more on this fun-filled event that highlights the nation’s best and worst entities and individuals concerning disability access.