On January 1, 2014, The Law Offices of Matthew W. Dietz, PL merged into Disability Independence Group, Inc. and a nonprofit disability rights legal advocacy center was created. Disability Independence Group, Inc. (DIG) has two main focuses, we are a full service law firm and we do education, outreach and training in the community.
From 2001 to December 31, 2013, Matthew Dietz, the litigation director of Disability Independence Group, operated the Law Offices of Matthew W. Dietz – a boutique civil rights litigation firm that specialized in the rights of persons with disabilities. With one to three attorneys, it has handled over 500 cases, over 350 of such cases were discrimination cases.
Disability Independence Group was born in 2002 out of frustration with the reality that persons with disabilities did not have adequate representation in the legal profession. The result of the lack of representation was (and continues to be) results that were not optimal due to the fact that lawyers, judges and juries could not relate to disability discrimination. In other words, if you do not know, work with, or are friends with a person with a disability, then you could not deliver justice. From 2003, DIG worked with the Florida Bar to create a disability initiative to identify disability as an essential element to inclusion and diversity. This included identifying how to remove attitudinal, communication, and architectural barriers to the legal profession, and drafting rules to ensure accommodations for all persons with disabilities to access the Florida court system.
In 2013, the decision was made to merge the Law Office of Matthew W. Dietz, PL with Disability Independence Group to create a non-profit legal advocacy center that is issue focused, and has a mission to create positive change for the community of persons with disabilities, through education, legal advocacy, and program development.