About Disability Rights Legal Center

The Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC) is a 501C-3 non-profit, public interest advocacy organization that champions the civil rights of people with disabilities as well as those affected by cancer.

Since its founding in 1975, DRLC has remained a leader in protecting and expanding the rights of people with disabilities through litigation, advocacy, and education.

Our programs confront attitudinal and programmatic barriers that maintain discriminatory structures, prevent equal access, and prevent those with disabilities from full inclusion in society.

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Help us help

Your gift to DRLC is vital to providing immediate resources to people with disabilities. All donations are tax-deductible.

Mission

DRLC’s mission is to champion the rights of people with disabilities through education, advocacy and litigation.

Focus

DRLC invests in otherwise neglected communities by creating access for people with disabilities.

DRLC’s Civil Rights Litigation Program targets precedent-setting individual and class action court cases that challenge discriminatory practices by government agencies, businesses, and educational institutions. Cases aim to create lasting changes that benefit the entire community, reshape attitudes and perceptions, and influence future policies, procedures, and structures to effect change across the country.

The Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC) educates and supports those affected by cancer through its national telephone assistance line, outreach programs, and community activities.

DRLC shifts the paradigm to embrace diversity, to engage in active listening, and to take the lead from those most affected by predatory practices and policies.

Impact

DRLC confronts barriers that maintain discriminatory structures and advocates for equal access and full inclusion.

Recent examples of litigation concern education access, pedestrian rights of way, health and safety for incarcerated people, interpretation services in hospital settings, housing fairness, service animals, and children in foster care.

Over 90 percent of DRLC’s clients are considered indigent by federal poverty guidelines and are otherwise unable to access legal representation or counseling.

History

The Disability Rights Legal Center was initially known as “Western Law Center for the Handicapped.” It was founded in 1975 by friends and colleagues of A. Milton Miller, one of California’s leading disability rights advocates. Miller contracted polio as a young child, which affected his ability to walk. When he started school, he was determined to attend school with his older sister, not a separate school, so he climbed into his red wagon, and his sister pulled him to school. Miller recalled this as his introduction to access and equal rights for people with disabilities. Later in life, as an attorney and political activist, Miller was responsible for drafting and implementing requirements for barrier-free design in construction.

At the time of his death, he was working to develop a public interest legal center to enforce the civil rights of persons with disabilities. This vision was put into action.

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