Aug. 6, 2002 --
Wed., Aug. 7, the Independent Living Resource Utilization project will present a one-hour webcast on how people with disabilities can use their state laws to protect against discrimination by state and local governments. The webcast will air at 3 p.m. Eastern Time (2:00 Central, 1:00 Mountain, 12:00 Pacific, and 11:00 ADT). To learn more or to participate, go to http://www.ilru.org/online/index.html
The webcast is the second in a three-part series "designed for individuals who are concerned with discrimination on the basis of disability by state and local governmental authorities," says ILRU.
"In the wake of the 2002 Supreme Court decisions Alabama v. Garrett and Barnes v. Gorman, there is confusion over what individuals with disabilities can do to challenge disability discrimination committed by states," says attorney Aaron McCullough, Legal Specialist for the Disability Law Resource Center at ILRU, who is presenting the webcast. State laws are "a mixed bag," he says; still, there are advantages in using them. "One advantage may be locale; one can bring an action in a local state court. Another is that some of the state laws take an expansive view of who is a covered individual with a disability." McCullough will discuss the wide variety of state laws and answer questions during the webcast. For more background , go to http://www.ilru.org/online/handouts/2002/McCullough/statelaw.html
Monday, Aug.12, the third session in the series will discuss using Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act to pursue disability discrimination claims. Session I (archived at http://www.ilru.org/online/archive/2002/vn07-10-02.html) discussed the scope and impact of the Garrett decision on bringing suit against state governmental authorities under the ADA.
DisabilityResources.org maintains a good list of links to state sites that give information on your state's laws and agencies handling disability discrimination issues; to view the list, go to http://www.disabilityresources.org/DRMreg.html. McCulloch says, "A spot-check of the links showed all I viewed worked --- except for the one from Texas --- that link is to the former governor's, now President, Web site." The new link to Texas resources http://www.governor.state.tx.us/disabilities/index.htm
For those interested in following what is happening to the ADA at the federal level, including judicial decisions and attempts to amend the ADA, visit the ADA Watch website at http://www.adawatch.org
To link to the current webcast and download accompanying materials go to http://www.ilru.org/online/index.html -- instructions on how to access a Web cast are at http://www.ilru.org/online/instructions.html ("Please visit this site ahead of time to test and ensure your computer is configured and updated to participate in the webcast," says ILRU.)
The ILRU program is a national center for information, training, research, and technical assistance in independent living. It receives funding from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.