The Disability Law Center

 

Massachusetts Protection & Advocacy

 
         

 

  Disability Law Center of Massachusetts

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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.  
     
  What Types of Problems Can We Help With?  
 

DLC has experienced staff who provide services in the following issue areas.  Please see DLC’s specific priorities for each of the issue areas listed below.

Access to Community Services
Special Education
Health Care
Disability Benefits
Rights and Conditions in Facilities
 
     
  What Happens When You Call DLC With a Question or Problem?

A support staff member will gather your contact information and ask you to briefly describe your question or problem.

An Intake Paralegal will contact you and ask you to describe your question or legal problem in detail.

The Intake Paralegal will consult with an attorney to review the issue according to DLC’ to assist you, an attorney will be assigned to your case. If we are not able to assist you, we will provide you with referrals to organizations and private fare attorneys who may be able to help you.

 

 

     
 
 
 
ASL Video Series

Website Content Presented in  American Sign Language.  Watch the Series     Watch the Series on YouTube

 
     
 
 
  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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member of the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)

 A member of the Massachusetts Network of Information Providers (MNIP) Mass Legal Help.org - Massachusetts legal aid programs put together this website to help you find practical information about your legal rights.
 
     
  Member of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Network

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