Tag Archives: disability rights

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 »

People waiting on a long line to get a vaccine

Last in Line – COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution has Failed Seniors with Disabilities.

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

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.

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.

Raymond Bishop, an 84 year old man, kneeling at a dock with sailboats behind him, with his two dogs, ranger and roxie at his knees

When Losing your Emotional Support Dogs is Too Much To Much to Bear

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

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:

Photograph of Ed Roberts

Happy Ed Roberts Day – January 23rd

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

Disability Rights are Civil Rights, and every civil rights movement has its heroes.  For the Disability Rights movement, the father of the independent living movement is Ed Roberts.  At a time when a person with polio was expected to spend his days in an iron lung, and not expected to participate in the community, Ed Roberts persisted, lived, and participated in his life and community. 

ruderman inclusion summit logo

Five Things that I’ve Learned at the 2017 Ruderman Inclusion Summit

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

I have been an active participant, advocate, and lawyer in the Disability Rights movement for the past twenty years, so I am always excited to hear new views or learn new skills.  Last week, Debbie and I attended the Ruderman Inclusion Summit in Boston where we had the opportunity to meet with about 1,200… Read More »

Deaf Inmates Will Receive Services in Miami-Dade Jails

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

As a result of non-compliance with disability rights laws, Deaf prisoners are not provided adequate access to communication with their family and lawyers, adequate medical services, and may be assaulted and victimized without recourse.

Summer Fun and Discrimination against Kids (with or without disabilities)!

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

Happy Summertime! The Summer should be a time where all kids, kids with disabilities and kids without disabilities, should be able to have fun. Discrimination about kids in the Summer is not fun, and here are some tips on how kids can avoid discrimination in the Summer.

Fear should not be a barrier to full community integration

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Matthew Dietz On August 18, 2015, Carl Starke, an Autistic man, was shot by three teenagers who were casing the Wal-Mart parking lot for cars to steal; they spotted Carl in the parking lot, and followed him home. They somehow noticed that he had a disability – he was marked as a “soft… Read More »

The Key to my Independence

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

In my life, I define independent living simply as living my life my way. I knew at a young age that I wanted to move out of my parent’s home and get my own place. My goal was not to always depend on my mother to provide me care, but instead to live independently by finding a way to acquire long-term care coverage that would pay for personal care assistants to help me on a daily basis.

Sharon Langer Recognized with the Anti-Defamation League Miami Jurisprudence Award

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

On November 19, 2015, Sharon Langer, Development Director of Disability Independence Group, and Alan Dimond of Greenberg Traurig were both recognized with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Miami Jurisprudence Award. Sharon Langer’s remarks included the following For the past 100 years, the Anti-Defamation League has stood up against anti-Semitism, bigotry, and other pernicious stereotypes in our… Read More »

My Summer at DIG

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Kristin Westerhorstmann Much like racism or sexism, discrimination based on a disability often falls within the common, yet mistaken, school of thought that these issues simply do not exist anymore, or at the very least, happen rarely. I am a law student getting ready to enter my second year at the University of… Read More »

Why

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

“Why?” is the most common question asked when I said that I was going to  change my practice into a non-profit disability rights advocacy center. My reasons are each and every person with a disability that I have represented over the past eighteen years. With every single person, the issue was not about money,… Read More »