Massachusetts Protection & Advocacy


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We’d like to share with you four stories which illustrate how DLC makes a real difference in the lives of people with disabilities each and every day.




The Disability Law Center (DLC) is the Protection and Advocacy agency for Massachusetts.  DLC is a private, non-profit organization responsible for providing protection and advocacy for the rights of Massachusetts residents with disabilities. DLC receives federal, state and private funding but is not part of the state or federal government.


Our Mission



To provide legal advocacy on disability issues that promote the fundamental rights of all people with disabilities to participate fully and equally in the social and economic life of Massachusetts.


We operate under the following Principles of Advocacy


Independence - To have control


Productivity - To work or make other contributions to a household or community


Integration - Right to the same opportunities, services, community resources as all other Americans


Inclusion - To fully participate, be welcome in social educational, work and community life


What We Do



We provide information, referral, technical assistance and representation regarding legal rights and services for people with disabilities.


We provide legal services to eligible people and groups whose cases meet DLC’s priorities.


 We seek to strike a balance between systemic advocacy and individual representation.


Our experienced lawyers and paralegals conduct trainings for community groups and other advocacy organizations.


Who We Serve



People with disabilities. DLC provides legal services to people in Massachusetts who have a wide range of physical, psychiatric, sensory and cognitive disabilities. 



People with disability related problems.  DLC serves individuals who experience discrimination, abuse or neglect or denial of services because of their disability.  DLC does not handle general legal problems such as obtaining a divorce, filing for bankruptcy or trust & estate issues.



People with disabilities whose legal problem falls within a priority.  Demand for DLC’s services far exceeds our resources.  DLC adopts annual priorities based on input from people with disabilities. Priorities are available upon request or can be seen on the DLC website.



People with disabilities whose case has merit and DLC has the staff time and resources necessary to resolve the issue.  Given DLC’s limited resources, DLC must concentrate staff time and funding on cases that meet our priorities and will make a significant impact for people with disabilities.



Our Protection and Advocacy Agency Access Authority


DLC is the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) agency for Massachusetts.  The P&A system is a national network of disability rights agencies investigating abuse and neglect and providing legal representation and other advocacy services to people with disabilities.  To aid P&A Agencies in fulfilling their mandate, Congress gave them extensive access authority.  Our Protection and Advocacy Agency Access Authority


We Seek Input On Our Priorities


In order to use our advocacy resources in the most effective way possible, DLC undergoes an annual priority setting process.  An important part of that effort is to seek input from a broad range of people in the disability community.  Help us Shape our Priorities


Client Grievance Procedure


We have a grievance procedure for all clients and prospective clients.


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Planning for Life After Special Education in Massachusetts:


A Transition Services Online Manual

 Now Available




The P&A Network

ASL Video Series

Disability Connection

By Rooted in Rights

Website Content Presented in  ASL

Our cable television show and podcast, "Disability Connection" is an informative, one half hour program. More Info


  The goal of this campaign is getting people with disabilities registered to vote, educated on the candidates and issues, and to the polls on Election Day this November.