Civil Rights

YOung woman standing in front of courthouse columnsOnce a student leaves high school they are no longer covered under IDEA. What next? The American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) protects adults with disabilities including learning disabilities (LD) in higher education programs and employment. This section contains an overview of how these laws and others can protect the civil rights of adults with LD.

ADA and 504 – When is an Individual with a Learning Disability Protected by These Laws?

Written by the Learning Rights Law Center and Dentons US LLP  Note: The answers below are interpretations of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADA”), which became effective as of January 1, 2009, and only applies to discriminatory conduct occurring on January 1, 2009, or later. The ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”) are judged under the same legal standards, and the same remedies are available under both Acts. Kemp v. Holder (5th Cir. 2010) 610 F.3d 231, 235. When may an individual with… Read More »

Call to Action: Preserve Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act!

Contact your Congressional Representatives, State Legislators, and Governors NOW! Members and Friends of LDA, The House of Representatives is expected to introduce a bill to cut Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on February 27 and immediately to begin work on the bill in the House committee. The result would be two major blows to individuals with disabilities. Reach out to your federal and state legislators and the Governor’s office in your state and tell them that repealing the ACA and replacing it with a plan that CUTS Medicaid is unacceptable. People’s health, services, and lives are at stake! … Read More »

Pre- and Post-Job Offer Questions: Guidance for Employers and Human Resource Personnel

Download/Print Pre- and Post-Job Offer Questions: Guidance for Employers and Human Resource Personnel Info Sheet Introduction According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers and their human resource personnel are limited in the types of questions they can ask during the pre- and post-job offer phase of employment. Specifically, this refers to disability-related questions as well as requirements for medical examinations. The act does not allow employers to ask disability-related questions or require medical exams until after a conditional job offer is made. During the Pre-Job Offer Stage The pre-job offer stage includes both the job application and the job… Read More »

Disclosing Your Learning Disability

Download/Print Adults with Learning Disabilities – Disclosing Your Learning Disability Info Sheet What is disclosure? In a disability context, “disclosure” is the act of revealing personal information about a disability for the specific purpose of receiving accommodations in postsecondary school, job training, or the workplace. An accommodation is an adjustment to an environment which makes it possible for people with disabilities to participate equally. There is no standardized form or set of requirements regarding what people must share about their disabilities, and the choice to disclose is a personal decision that individuals with disabilities must make for themselves. They should decide to whom they choose to disclose and how much information to provide. When should you… Read More »

Transitioning from College to Work

Download/Print Transitioning From College To Work Info Sheet Transitioning from college to work is a process. Students must begin this process early and be able to transfer knowledge of their learning disability (LD) into the world of employment. Students should consider the following: What do I think the impact of the LD will be on my job performance? How or when should I disclose my LD? Do I know the typical accommodations made in the workforce? What kinds of social demands and interactions will I have? Students must recognize the disability’s impact on career choices. Knowledge of the disability and… Read More »

How to Pick a Lawyer

How to Pick a Lawyer People with learning disabilities (LD) and/or associated conditions, including Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD), may require the assistance of a lawyer in connection with elementary and secondary education, postsecondary education, professional licensing, and employment. Problems may pose legal issues under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and/or state laws. While many schools, professional licensing agencies, and employers have procedures designed to allow unrepresented individuals to receive the accommodations they may be entitled, in some instances, it is advisable to seek the assistance… Read More »

What are Special Needs Trusts?

What is a “Special Needs” Trust? “Special needs” is just a term to describe any trust intended to provide benefits without causing the beneficiary to lose public benefits he or she is entitled to receive. What kinds of public benefits do Special Needs Trust beneficiaries receive? Each Special Needs Trust can be intended to protect different public benefits. Most commonly, Special Needs Trusts are intended to permit Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid recipients to receive some additional services or goods. Does the existence of a Special Needs Trust qualify the beneficiary for public benefits? No. The existence of a… Read More »

Power of Attorney – Do You Need One?

Adults with learning disabilities are often legally competent to handle their own day-to-day affairs. However, a person with a disability may wish to have some assistance from a parent, sibling, spouse, or friend in handling certain complex or extraordinary matters. For example, an individual with dyscalculia may desire the help of another person in handling financial affairs. Similarly, an individual with a psychiatric disorder may benefit from assistance in making medical treatment decisions, especially if the individual may be deemed incompetent to make medical decisions for periods of time in the future. Arrangements for this help cannot always be handled… Read More »

Section 8 Housing Program

What is the Section 8 Housing Program? The Section 8 Housing Program is a subsidized housing program for low-income families and individuals. The Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 authorizes the payment of rental housing and utilities assistance to private landlords on behalf of approximately 3.1 million low-income households. Under this act, tenants pay approximately 30% of their income for rent, with the rest paid by the federal government. Sometimes there may be funding to help with mortgage payments as well as rent. Who is eligible to participate in a Section 8 program? Eligible participants are families or individuals… Read More »

Learning Disabilities and The Law: After High School: An Overview for Students

Do the legal rights of students with learning disabilities continue after high school? Depending on the individual and the learning disability, legal rights may or may not continue after high school. Children who receive services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) or the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Rehabilitation Act”) in public elementary and secondary school may continue to have legal rights under certain federal laws, through college programs, and in employment. When students graduate from high school or reach age 21, however, they no longer have rights under the IDEA. The rights that may continue beyond high school… Read More »