Recent Blog Posts
Mental health month is always a good time to remind the legal profession that we still have a profession that stigmatizes applicants and lawyers that have mental illness or past histories of substance use disorder and that has a practice of conditioning the ability to practice law on mandated treatment and conditions that may… Read More »
By Christopher Stein The doctor gave me three options. I could be tubed (a.k.a intubation). I could maintain the status quo. Or, I could be shot up with morphine. Admittedly, my eyes lit up at the thought of an opiated stream of blood feeding my head. However, the doctor was quick to shoot that… Read More »
Since its inception in 2002, Disability Independence Group has been active in enhancing options for persons with disabilities to benefit from the assistance and companionship of animals. Our advocacy ranges from ensuring that service animals and emotional support animals are permitted in housing and employment to embedding therapy animals in social services agencies that… Read More »
Vaccine Delivery – When First Come, First Serve Means People with Disabilities are at the End of the Line.
When emphasis is placed on the number of persons inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine, Florida leaves out and neglects those who may require more time and effort to vaccinate Those with money, resources and ability jump first in line for the vaccine. Financial and physical ability are placed before equity in the vaccine distribution… Read More »
There is no excuse why we are not providing equal access to the vaccine program for seniors with disabilities. By having a first come/first served regimen to vaccinate, and denying accommodations to the most vulnerable, this places persons with disabilities last.
October 2020 Bar Exam takers – Welcome to the Bar: Time to Change the Florida Bar Admission Process from a Hazing Ritual into Collaborative Process.
If the Florida Bar Exam moves forward on October 13th, (which I hope that all the pieces fall together, and it is successful), I would like to welcome you into our exclusive club of Florida Lawyers. But I would like to apologize for the period of hazing that you have undergone because of our… Read More »
This year has been a year of unprecedented stress for students in law school, graduates, and new lawyers. If you feel overwhelmed and would like help, but afraid of repercussions to your license or your career, send me an email at email@example.com, or call me at (305) 669-2822. No judgment – just free advice from a disability rights lawyer with over 20 years of experience in assisting people to be treated fairly and without stigma.
After years of advocacy, the Florida Council of the Blind and their members have fought for the right to independently cast a secret ballot through the vote-by-mail process in Florida. Today, they have finally won this right. While over a third of Floridians currently vote by mail, this year the numbers are expected to… Read More »
The response to this outbreak is far from the empathetic “American Way,” but instead, we have lapsed into the Hobbesian ethic, where we deny essential testing to the most vulnerable, deny scarce life-saving equipment, rationalize the denial by claiming that the old and disabled would have died in any event. Then to place insult onto the injury, Florida may immunize those who deny care from total immunity. Even in the event we are overreacting to this pandemic, it still should be a clear signal that disability discrimination may be the only tenet that will be alive and well in our society.
By: Matthew Dietz During the 2020 legislative session, there has been significant changes in statutes that prohibit discrimination in the State of Florida. These changes affect the way that civil rights claims are processed by the administrative agency that investigates such claims, the rights of claimants for they day in court, and it also… Read More »
On January 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development published new guidance on Assessing a Person’s Request to Have an Animal as a Reasonable Accommodation Under the Fair Housing Act. The goal of the document is to provide both housing providers and persons with disabilities guidance on what is required to… Read More »
Ms. Washington was targeted by a housing provider who felt emboldened to prey on a vulnerable resident who could not move to a new location because of the lack of affordable housing options. For months, Ms. Washington was subject to racial and sexual harassment, false reports to authorities so she would have her children removed or housing vouchers revoked, harassment of her guests because of their color, and a wrongful eviction.
Are you requesting to saddle the camel or cut off its hump? Reasonable accommodations under disability rights laws
By Matthew W. Dietz, Esq. On September 18th, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided Schaw v. Habitat for Humanity of Citrus County, in a very easy to read opinion that spelled out the process for determining whether an accommodation for a disability is reasonable and necessary. U.S. Circuit Court Judge Kevin Newsom, the… Read More »
For twenty years as a disability rights lawyer, I still feel compelled to explain to judges or attorneys that I am not like the attorneys who file the carbon-copy ADA cases that clog the federal docket. Today is another day which I feel compelled to explain myself. On Friday, Senior U.S. District Court Judge… Read More »
By Matthew Dietz Introduction: Almost nothing has engendered more controversy than turkeys, peacocks, and pigs on commercial aircraft. As a result of the many passengers who choose to bring their animals on aircraft, airlines have been establishing new guidelines without oversight or guidance from the Department of Transportation and their view of enforcement of… Read More »
I am so excited and proud to be the Chair of the Animal Law Section of the Florida Bar. At the 2019 Florida Bar Convention, we educated the mind and soul of the membership of The Florida Bar.
When the police arrived at his unit, Raymond Bishop refused to drop his weapon. After the police plead with him for three minutes, Mr. Bishop raised his pistol. He was killed. His two dogs, Roxie and Ranger were cowering in Raymond Bishop’s bed. On his desk, there was a suicide note:
As a disability advocate, and as Arnaldo Rios-Soto’s lawyer, the trial of Officer Aledda is a watershed moment. Will Arnaldo be deemed to be inherently dangerous because he is different? Will there be a stereotype that because Arnaldo lives with a developmental disability, the fact that he was targeted was justified? I hope not.
The fear I’m facing is not because of the actual steps I’ve started taking again or the actual act of being up on my feet. The fear is from the unknown. Just as I faced years ago in the dark. Will I fall, or will I balance? Will my body give out, like it did so many times before, or will I stand and walk safely as I did for years and years before? The fear is crippling and debilitating. It creeps in to my therapy to the point where it prevents me from standing on my own because I’m so scared of what might happen
Greyhounds are very friendly, affectionate, gentle, quiet, sweet, loyal, clean, loving, sensitive, trusting and good natured dogs that would make great emotional support animals.