Category Archives: disability

Purple and blue logo for the Miami Inclusion Alliance

The under-reporting of sexual assault

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

The crime of sexual assault is under-reported.  This is particularly true if you are a victim with a disability.

Purple and blue logo for the Miami Inclusion Alliance

Parenting with a Disability

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

We are now 29 years after the passage of the ADA, and Buck v. Bell has never been overturned, and several states still have some form of involuntary sterilization laws on their books.

Purple and blue logo for the Miami Inclusion Alliance

The hidden nightmare of sexual violence on and at the borders (23-01)

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

This is a time to speak up and out for these women.

justine sitting in her car smiling wearing a black dress

The View From Here (23-01)

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

I bring all of this up to hopefully highlight the obstacles we, as people living with disabilities, face every single day. Not just the obstacles, or the excess costs, but the sheer frustration of having to retrofit our lives just so that we can be independent.

Justine Chichester with a red orchid in her hair

The View From Here (19-09)

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

I never realized how little I knew about Cancer until I was told I had it.

Justine Chichester with a red orchid in her hair

The View from Here (19-11)

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

I think it’s important to share my story to encourage other women to stop putting off your screenings.

Do I still have a claim? – Effects of Cummings v. Premier Rehab on the future of claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act or Section 504

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By Matthew W. Dietz .pdf version On April 28, 2022, the United States Supreme Court, in Cummings v. Premier Rehab Keller, P.L.L.C., 142 S. Ct. 1562 (2022), found that damages are unavailable for discrimination without a physical injury in all federal disability laws (such as the ADA and Section 504), and some sex and… Read More »

a child dressed in a captain america uniform with a shield.

What happened to the COVID-19 case about immunocompromised children with disabilities in public schools in Florida?

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

In this matter, the development of vaccines and boosters are winning the race against the mutations of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, next time, science may lose to the application of bleach, horse medicine, and ultraviolet light treatments, and our schools and state would be willing to sacrifice children and persons with disabilities in a pyrrhic victory for parental rights to avoid inconvenience for their child.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2021 – “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion”

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

As a disability rights lawyer who represented persons with disabilities for the past 25 years, I am often asked by persons with both visible and invisible disabilities about best practices in attempting to find a job and to keep a job. So, for National Disability Employment Awareness Month, I will share my top 10 points.

Shawn Cheshire in arizona with her bike helmet blue shirt and red reflective sunglasses with the reflection of her taking a selfie. Shawn is smiling and in the background is the tire from her vehicel with a sign that says Caution Blind Cyclists Ahead. the desert is in the background.

Paralympian Shawn Cheshire Wins Gold When Fighting for her Rights to go to LA Fitness and Work Out Independently

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

It is always an honor to work for a person whos talent and dedication is world-class.  this year, I had the opportunity to work for Shawn Cheshire to vindicate her rights to be able to work out independently at an LA Fitness by her home in Florida.  Shawn is a Paralympic cyclist who raced… Read More »

Picture of a border collie, with a white body and a black and white head superimposed on a picture of boats on a dock, with the words, Piper The Dog vs. Boca Ciega Yacht Club

Is your club truly private? Piper the Service Dog vs. Boca Ciega Yacht Club

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

Piper is a dog, but she also has an uncanny talent for killing bees.  This talent has aided her partner, Samantha Ring, who lives with severe allergies to bees and sunflower seeds and has a history of anaphylactic reactions to both. Piper saved Ms. Ring’s life by killing a bee while Ms. Ring was out on her boat without her EpiPen, so she decided to keep Piper and train her to be a service dog. On July 12, 2021, Piper the Dog finally got her day.  The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed his partner’s case and found that there are certain questions of fact that need to be resolved before deeming the Boca Ciega Yacht Club in Gulfport Florida, a “private club” for purposes of the private club exemption under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Photograph of the Florida Capitol Building

New Florida Statute Requiring Resource and Benefit Information for Individuals with Disabilities

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

On June 16th, Governor DeSantis signed a bill into law requiring more information to be provided to persons with disabilities for services that are available.  The purpose of the law is to provide information for services available for persons with disabilities other than services on the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver. Currently, there are 35,000 individuals receiving waiver services through iBudget Florida, and as of December 1, 2020, 22,718 eligible persons with disabilities are on the waiting list to receive waiver funding and services.

Bottle and gavel

Mental Health Month – Breaking Down Barriers in the Legal Profession That Stigmatize Mental Illness

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

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 »

Lucy the black and white Border Collie mix wearing a black judges robe

Florida Legislature Animal Bill Update and Positions

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

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 »

law students protesting in front of the supreme court with signs that says our profession needs us and I would rather be taking the bar exam

October 2020 Bar Exam takers – Welcome to the Bar: Time to Change the Florida Bar Admission Process from a Hazing Ritual into Collaborative Process.

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

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 »

National Suicide Awareness Month – For Bar Applicants and New Lawyers

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

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 mdietz@justdigit.org, 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.

Braille Purple Keyboard with hands on it for Voting

Accessible Voting for the Blind Certified in Florida

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

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 »

black and white pictures of persons in wheelchairs in an institutional setting

Valuing and Devaluing the Disabled Human Life in Florida

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

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.

Changes to Florida Statutes that Effect Civil Rights and Fair Housing in Florida

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

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 »

picture of a unicorn and a rainbow

What to do with your Emotional Support Unicorn? – HUD’s New Guidance on Assistance Animals

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

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 »