Legal & Human Rights Resources

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Resources

  • ABA Commission on Disabilities
  • ACLU position / briefing paper, 1 January 1999: (.pdf) "Disability Rights"
  • ADA&IT Technical Assistance Centers
  • ADA Publications and Videos
  • ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG)
  • ADA Facilities Access & Parking fact sheets:
  • ADA Guide for Places of Lodging: Serving Guests Who Are Blind Or Who Have Low Vision
  • ADA Library of the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Mission
  • Administration on Disabilities (AoD) works with states, communities, and partners in the disability networks to increase the independence, productivity, and community integration of individuals with disabilities. AoD includes the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) and the Independent Living Administration (ILA).
  • Adapt grassroots disability rights organization
  • Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living (ACL)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information and Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Americans With Disabilities Act Information on the Web: ADA Information from the Department of Justice
  • Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law is committed to criminal justice reform.
  • UC Berkeley's website on the Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement (DRILM). The Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement Project was launched in 1996 to capture the history of a remarkable movement by people with disabilities to win legally defined civil rights and control over their own lives.
  • Center for Social Change (CSC) provides residential and supported employment services to children and adults with developmental disabilities in the community [Maryland]
  • Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. (COPAA) is an independent, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization of attorneys, advocates, parents and other professionals. COPAA members work to protect special education rights and secure excellence in education on behalf of the 7.1 million children with disabilities in America.
  • Disability Rights International (DRI) (formerly “Mental Disability Rights International”)
  • Equal Rights Center, Washington, DC
  • The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is an international court set up in 1959. It rules on individual or State applications alleging violations of the civil and political rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights. Since 1998 it has sat as a full-time court and individuals can apply to it directly.
  • Guidance on Web Accessibility and the ADA from the ADA.gov, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. March 18, 2022. This guidance describes how state and local governments and businesses open to the public can make sure that their websites are accessible to people with disabilities as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Open Society Foundatioms (OSF) are the world's largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights in Europe.
  • FCC Disability Rights Office If you have any questions, concerns, or need assistance in regard to disability issues relating to telecommunications please do not hesitate to contact us at email hidden; JavaScript is required. If your disability prohibits you from filing a comment please send your e-filing comments to email hidden; JavaScript is required with your address and telephone number included. If you need to reach a member of the Disability Rights Office please call 202-418-2517.
  • Human Rights Education Associates (HREA)
  • Justice for All
  • FREE Legal Help from the American Bar Association
    • Find Legal Aid The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) — America's Partner for Equal Justice — is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans.
    • You can also visit LawHelp.org to look up information about your legal questions and find free legal forms.
    • Pro Bono Resource Directory. Search for pro bono organizations in your state. Pro bono programs match low-income clients with volunteer lawyers, who agree to take their cases for free.  Updated
    • ABA Free Legal Answers Online pro bono program that matches low-income clients with volunteer lawyers, who agree to provide brief answers online for free.
    • Other Resources Information about the law or tools to help solve simple legal problems. Click your state to see resources.
    • Other Legal Resources by State Information about the law or tools to help solve simple legal problems such as lists of courts, law libraries, State legal help.
    • Particular Groups Some cities and states have programs that give free or low-cost legal help to clients who are elderly, disabled, members of the military, or in other special circumstances.
      • Persons with Disabilities

        Each state has one or more congressionally mandated legal advocacy organization for persons with disabilities. Protection and Advocacy (P&A) agencies provide legal representation and other advocacy services to people with disabilities. Client Assistance Program (CAP) agencies provide information and assistance to individuals seeking or receiving vocational rehabilitation services under the Rehabilitation Act. For more information and a directory of these programs by state, visit the National Disability Rights Network.

      • Military Personnel and Veterans

        Each military service offers legal assistance to enlisted personnel and their families, but only if sufficient resources are available. Visit ABA Home Front or the Armed Forces Legal Assistance website for more information.

  • Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD) MDOD oversees the restructuring, reorganization of government delivery of services & programs for people with disabilities in Maryland through collaboration with all state government agencies. [Maryland]
  • Maryland Department of Health, Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) assists individuals with disabilities in Maryland to achieve their personal goals and reach their maximum potential. The DDA assures the full participation of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in all aspects of community life. Their mission is to challenge the community to acknowledge the value and equality of people of all abilities. They offer training opportunities to families, child care providers, teachers, and community members with the goal of fostering inclusion. [Maryland]
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA strives to save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce economic costs caused by road traffic crashes, through education, research, safety standards, and enforcement activity. The website provides Car Ratings, Recalls, and the Latest Safety News. Road Safety information:
  • Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc. (NLS)
  • Older Americans Act
  • Social Security Disability Information from the Social Security Administration
  • Social Security FAQ
  • Social Security Disability Questions & Answers
  • Accessibility Laws & Standards is an overview of the various major standards and legislation pieces passed in the U.S. and other countries. These lists do not provide an exhaustive list of all such legislative pieces, but does list the major relevant standards and legislation.
  • The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. P&As and CAPs work to improve the lives of people with disabilities by guarding against abuse; advocating for basic rights; and ensuring access and accountability in health care, education, employment, housing, transportation, voting, and within the juvenile and criminal justice systems. NDRN is the only legally based advocacy organization established by Congress to protect the rights of all individuals with disabilities. As part of that mandate, the network includes agencies in every state and U.S. territory, working to provide legal protection and advocacy services for people with disabilities.
    • Training and Advocacy Support Center (TASC) is a division of NDRN that delivers training and technical assistance information and coordination for the federally mandated P&A/CAP Network. TASC is designed to enhance the advocacy functions of the P&As and CAPs in their efforts to protect the civil rights of persons with disabilities and prevent and/or remedy abuse and neglect of those who reside in institutions, other facilities and the community. TASC is a federal interagency project TASC by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), the Social Security Administration (SSA), and the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA).
    • Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and Client Assistance Programs (CAP) There is a P&A/CAP agency in every state and U.S. territory as well as one serving the Native American population in the four corners region. Collectively, the P&A/CAP network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.
  • U.S. Department of Justice ADA Home Page
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Information for Disabled Persons
  • HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) works to eliminate housing discrimination, promote economic opportunity, and achieve diverse, inclusive communities.
  • HUD's FHEO Disabilities Overview Disability discrimination is prohibited by the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other federal, state, and local laws.
  • "U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section works to achieve equal opportunity for people with disabilities in the United States by implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Through its multi-faceted approach toward achieving compliance with the ADA, this Section works to make this goal a reality. The Section’s enforcement, certification, regulatory, coordination, and technical assistance activities, required by the ADA, combined with an innovative mediation program and a technical assistance grant program, provide a cost-effective and dynamic approach for carrying out the ADA's mandates. The Section also carries out responsibilities under Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, and Executive Order 12250."
  • Website accessibility and the Equality Act 2010, 23 Jun 2011, by Alasdair Taylor. Explanation of English Law from SEQ Legal. Since 2 December 1996 (when the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 came into force) website owners have been obliged to ensure that their websites are accessible to users with disabilities. After over a decade in force, the DDA's requirements were merged into the Equality Act 2010. The 2010 Act was intended to bring clarity to the diversity of previously-extant discrimination legislation. Despite the goal of clarity, the new legislation can be more confusing than the old. Section 29(1) of the 2010 Act says that:

    A person … concerned with the provision of a service to the public or a section of the public (for payment or not) must not discriminate against a person requiring the service by not providing the person with the service.

    Accordingly, neglecting to provide a service to a disabled person that is normally provided to other persons is unlawful discrimination. This applies to commercial web services as much as to traditional services.

  • Workforce Investment Act of 1998 was a United States federal law that was repealed and replaced by the 2014 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
  • Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014
  • H.R.803 – Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act 113th Congress (2013-2014) full text
  • Wrightslaw Parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys come to Wrightslaw for accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities. Begin your search in the Advocacy Libraries and Law Libraries.

Service Dogs & Therapy Animals

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Resources

Did you know that service animals are not always dogs. They can include monkeys, cats, and small horses!

There is not a comprehensive list of what types of animals can be service animals. Animals, like people, have different temperaments, limitations, skills, and abilities. Thus, different types and breeds of animals may be trained to perform specific tasks. Matching a particular animal's skills and abilities to the tasks that need to be performed can be an important factor for a person with a disability when selecting a service animal.

Often, phrases are coined to describe the type of impairment or task a particular animal is assisting with-such as "signal dog," "hearing cat," "assistance monkey," "guide horse," and "seizure response dog."

National Association of Guide Dog Users Comments on Silent Hybrid Cars

Traveling with service animals?

Additional links about service animals

  • Service Dogs in Wikipedia
  • Fidos for Freedom Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for people in the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan community by providing specially trained hearing dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs. Fidos also educates the public about individuals with disabilities and about the benefits of assistance dogs and therapy dogs and the work that these specially trained dogs do for individuals with disabilities, children with reading difficulties, and patients in health care facilities.
  • Assistance Dogs International, Inc.. The global authority in the service dogs industry. Standards
  • Canadian Guide Dogs For The Blind / Chiens Guides Canadiens Pour Aveugles
  • Epilepsy Ontario Service Dogs [Canada]
  • Guide Dogs of America Guide Dogs of America provides guide dogs and instruction in their use, free of charge, to blind and visually impaired men and women from the United States and Canada.
  • Guide Dogs for the Blind Association [UK]
  • Guide Dogs For The Blind (GDB) Guide Dogs for the Blind is more than an industry-leading guide dog school; we are a passionate community that serves the visually impaired. With exceptional client services and a robust network of trainers, puppy raisers, donors and volunteers, we prepare highly qualified guide dogs to serve and empower individuals who are blind or have low vision. All of our services are provided free of charge; we receive no government funding.
  • Kansas Specialty Dog Service, Inc. changing lives one dog at a time.
  • Working Dog Breeds from K9 Research Lab
  • WorkingDog Magazine
  • Therapeutic Horses
    • Horses Adaptive Riding & Therapy (HART) provides adaptive and recreational riding to individuals with special needs. Based in Oregon's mid-Willamette Valley, we focus on creating a supportive, inclusive and compassionate environment for our clients, staff (two-legged and four-legged) and volunteers.
    • Great and Small Therapeutic Riding "When I ride, I soar." Great and Small provides Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) to children and adults of all ages affected by a range of physical, developmental, emotional, and learning disabilities. Through a supportive and therapeutic engagement with horses we strengthen and empower our riders, helping them develop their full potential. Great and Small is a partner with the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission at the Rickman Farm Horse Park in Boyds, Maryland. Their students come from the Montgomery County Public Schools, several private schools, and the local community at large. Great and Small is also proud to serve as a pre-approved Student Service Learning Site for the Montgomery County Public Schools.

      Great and Small believes that the essential qualities of power and sensitivity embodied in the horse can strengthen and empower persons of all ages and abilities.

    • Hippotherapy and Therapeutic/Adaptive Riding "Which one is best for my child?" by The Children's TherAplay Foundation, Inc. Through hippotherapy, specially-trained physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech/language pathologists apply the movement, rhythm, and repetition of the horse's movement as a treatment strategy to help patients achieve therapeutic goals. Using different combinations of patterns, speeds, and riding postures, highly-trained therapists are able to provide precisely the sensory and neurological input each child will benefit from most. Therapeutic / adaptive riding is a recreational activity that has been adapted for those with special needs and tend to be related to riding skills building confidence and relationships, and emotional well-being.
    • Horses Healing Maryland's Military A coalition of licensed Maryland stables offering horsemanship and therapeutic programs to Veterans and their families. Their Program Directory page contains a list of stables that are licensed through the Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB), and provide equine assisted services for active-duty members, Veterans and their families.
    • Maryland Therapeutic Riding The Natural Healing and Therapeutic Power of Horses.
    • Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program
    • Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH International), a federally-registered 501(c3) nonprofit, was formed in 1969 as the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association to promote equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) for individuals with special needs.
    • Talisman Therapeutic Riding is a non-profit organization offering a variety of programs to create therapeutic opportunities while providing exposure to an environment of well-being and learning.
      Photo of an elderly woman communing with a beautiful chestnut-colored horse. He is looking back at her and her hand is on his nose.
      Zachary and Gay. Photo Credit: Talisman Therapeutic Riding.

      At Talisman, we believe in the transformative, healing power of horses and our natural environment. We serve, empower all, and lead by example with compassion, dignity, and inclusivity.