THE CHANGING FACE OF DISABILITY LAW IN THE NEW MILLENIUM: Thursday - Friday, March 14th -15th, 2002; UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law

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Opening Dinner
(Sold Out - Thurs)
Arlene Mayerson (DREDF)
Healthcare Panel
(8:30 - 10:00am)

Debbie Kaplan (World Institute on Disability)
Dr. J. Dougal MacKinnon, Alta Bates Hospital
Dr. Barbara Ridley, Alta Bates Hospital

Community Activism Panel
(10:00 - 11:30am)

Paul Longmore (SFSU)
Jan Garrett, Center for Independent Living
Jean Lin, Protection and Advocacy, Inc.
Dan Sorensen, State Dept of Mental Health


Moderator: Deidre Mulligan (Samuelson Clinic)
Cynthia Waddel (ACE)
Jackie Brand (ATA)
Laura A. Heymann, Senior Counsel, AOL Inc.
Lunch (1-2pm)
Art & Disability: Katherine Sherwood (Asst Prof)

Moderator: Professor Linda Krieger
Melissa Kasnitz (DRA)
Linda Kilb, (DREDF)
Lainey Feingold, Attorney
Claudia Center, Employment Law Center
Sponsored by BJELL


(3:30 - 5:00pm)

Stephen Rosenbaum (Lecturer at Boalt)
Janeen Steel (Learning Rights Project)
Rhoda Benedetti (DRA)
Paul Grossman (US DOE)
Lenore Silverman, GC, SF Unified School district

Arlene B. Mayerson

Arlene B. Mayerson has been the Directing Attorney of DREDF since 1981. One of the nation's leading experts in disability rights law, she has been a key advisor to both Congress and the disability community on the major disability rights legislation for the past two decades, including the Handicapped Children's Protection Act as well as other legislation ensuring the special education rights of students with disabilities, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). At the request of members of Congress, Ms. Mayerson supplied expert testimony before several committees of Congress when they were debating the ADA. She filed comments on the ADA regulations for more than 500 disability rights organizations. Ms. Mayerson has devoted her career exclusively to disability rights practice, representing clients in a wide array of issues. She has provided representation, consultation to counsel, and coordination of amicus briefs on key disability rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. She was appointed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education to the Civil Rights Reviewing Authority, responsible for reviewing civil rights decisions of the Department.

In addition to her position at DREDF, Ms. Mayerson is currently a lecturer in disability law at the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall). She has published many articles on disability rights and is the author of a comprehensive three-volume treatise on the ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act Annotated-Legislative History, Regulations & Commentary (Clark Boardman Callaghan, 1994), which sets forth the legislative history and regulations for each provision of the ADA.

Dr. J. Dougal MacKinnon

Born and raised in New York. Moved westward and completed her doctorate in Neurophysiology/Neuroanatomy at UC Davis. After living in Austrailia in an Aborigine village studying different medical practices, returned to Californiaand graduated from UCSF School of Medicine. She completed her residency training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Stanford University Medical Center. Currently Working at Alta Bates Summit Medical Rehabilitation Center, which provides both inpatient and outpatient care for people with disabilities with acute and long-term care needs. I am a peer reviewer for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services in Washington, D.C. and current Panel Consultant for the National Institute on Disability and Rehab Research.(NIDRR). As a member of the Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems National Review Board, she reviews and compares national and international health care treatment policies. Despite! managed care problems, she loves what she does.

Barbara Ridley, RN FNP

She was born in England, and attended North London School of Nursing and University of Sussex. After relocating to the US she began working as a nurse practitioner in San Francisco hospitals. She stumbled into Rehabilitation Nursing by accident and found she loved it. She worked for five years in the spinal cord injury unit in at Davies Medical Center in San Francisco and the for the past 16 years at Alta Bates. Returned to school to get a Masters of Science in Nursing from UCSF and a Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate from Sonoma State. Currently Works as a Nurse Practitioner in the Disabled Community Health Clinic and the Breast Health Access Program for Women with Disabilities at Alta Bates Summit. Also serves on the Professional Advisory Committee of the Northern California Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Paul K. Longmore

Paul K. Longmore, Professor of History and Director of the Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University, specializes in Early American history and the history of people with disabilities. He earned his Ph.D. at the Claremont Graduate School and his B.A. and M.A. at Occidental College.

Longmore's book The Invention of George Washington (University of California Press, 1988; paper University Press of Virginia, 1998) is a study of Washington as a political actor and conscious shaper of his public image. Longmore has also written articles in scholarly journals and newspapers on themes related to Early American history and to the history of people with disabilities and their contemporary civil rights struggle. With Lauri Umansky, he co-edited The New Disability History: American Perspectives (New York University Press, 2001), an anthology of essays, and is co-editing a book series, The History of Disability for NYU Press. He is researching several other books: "George Washington and the Invention of the American Nation"; "Nationalism and the American Revolution"; "Presenting Tiny Tim: Telethons, American Culture, and the Making of Disability Identities"; and "Screening Stereotypes: Representing People with Disabilities in Motion Pictures and Television, A Cultural-Historical Analysis."

Longmore has obtained grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities to conduct a Summer Institute on Disability Studies, the Mount Vernon Ladies Association for research on George Washington, the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research to examine the impact of disability studies curricula, and the U.S. Department of Education to direct a mentoring project to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from college to careers. He has also received an Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Humanities, a Huntington Library Research Fellowship, and an H. B Earhart Foundation Research Fellowship.

Jan Garrett

Jan Garrett is currently the Executive Director of the Center for
Independent Living (CIL) Berkeley / Oakland, the first organization of its kind in the world. A person with a disability herself, Jan understands the importance that independent living services play in the lives of many people with disabilities. Before coming to CIL, Jan was the Director of the Alcohol, Drugs & Disability Project at Progressive Research & Training for Action (PRTA) in Oakland, where she provided training and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other disability civil rights laws. Prior to joining PRTA, Jan worked as a staff attorney for Disability Rights, Education & Defense Fund, Inc. (DREDF), where she litigated a number of disability civil rights cases and conducted several seminars on the ADA. For two semesters, Jan also taught a course on disability civil rights at San Francisco State. Jan received her law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

Daniel Sorensen

Mr. Sorensen has been active in advocacy groups for people with
developmental and other substantial disabilities for over 30 years. He is the father of a son with multiple developmental disabilities.

He served as executive director of two different area boards on developmental disabilities over an eight year period serving 14 counties. He was active in the early efforts to secure the rights of people with disabilities and a member of the 504 Committee operating out of the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley. He was the founder of The Disabled in State Service, which worked to end employment discrimination against people with disabilities. He was the first person to work full time in state government to ensure the civil rights of people with disabilities.

Mr. Sorensen founded and chaired the California Coalition on Crime Against People with Disabilities (formally known as the California Victims of Crime Committee)and has taken a leadership role on the problem of violent crime against people with substantial disabilities over the last ten years. He helped develop and is the Program Coordinator of the California Health and Human Services Agency's Crime Victims with Disabilities Initiative, the first permanent state government program in the nation comprehensively addressing crime and violence against people with disabilities.

Jean Lin

Jean Lin is a Multicultural Affairs Advocate for Protection and Advocacy, Inc. (PAI), a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to people with disabilities in the state. As an outreach coordinator, Jean works with the underserved multi-ethnic communities in disability right issues, particularly equal access to services for minorities with disabilities. Jean believes she's the product of the Independent Living movement and has been an active member with the Berkeley Independent Living Center for over ten years.

As a Chinese-American with a disability (cerebral palsy), Jean has had first-hand experience in confronting the many barriers that people with disabilities often face in maneuvering throughout the disability services system. Through personal experience, she believes that it is of utmost importance that the service providers maintain consistency in their service delivery in multi-cultural communities. Jean works to foster trust in traditionally mistrustful, fall-into-the-crack, undeserved communities and raise issues about disability rights to people's comfort level, so as to respect the culture but promote diverse understanding, which will make room for new knowledge about disability right acceptance in all cultures.

Jacquelyn Brand

Jacquelyn Brand was the founder and first Executive Director of the Alliance for Technology Access (ATA), a national organization with local community access centers across the country dedicated to providing access to communication and information technologies for children and adults with disabilities. She served as Director of this organization from 1987 - 1996, and currently sits as a member of the Board of Directors. She also founded and served as the first Executive Director of the Center for Accessible Technology in Berkeley, California, one of the earliest community-based technology programs established to provide access to current and emerging technologies.

Ms. Brand coordinates the work of the Universal Service Alliance (USA), a project of ATA, which is focused on achieving access to emerging technologies for all underserved communities. USA played a pivotal role in negotiating the Community Partnership Agreement with Southwest Bell Communications and Pacific Bell, creating a technology fund to reach underserved communities. The Community Technology Foundation of California (CTFC), created as a result of these negotiations, provides grants of 5 million dollars annually to the community. Ms. Brand serves as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for this body.

Ms. Brand serves on many boards and task forces focused on access for underserved communities, and especially individuals with disabilities, including the AOL-Time Warner Accessibility Advisory Committee, the Cingular Wireless Access Task Force, and the National Task Force on Technology and Disability. She is the President of the Independent Living Network (ILN), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing options for independent living to individuals with significant disabilities. ILN looks at the enormous potential of assistive and general technologies for supporting people with disabilities in achieving full and productive lives.

Ms. Brand has been honored for her work frequently, receiving the Strache Leadership Award at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), the Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award in her community, and was inducted into the Exceptional Parent Family Hall of Fame. In 1992, Ms. Brand was the recipient of the Henry B. Betts Award, established to honor a single individual each year for significant work in improving the quality of life for people with disabilities. She is the parent of two grown daughters, one of whom has significant disabilities.

Laura A. Heymann

Laura A. Heymann is Senior Counsel at America Online, Inc., where she focuses on First Amendment-related issues. Before joining AOL, she was with Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington, D.C., and a clerk to the Hon. Patricia M. Wald on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She is a 1991 graduate of Yale University and a 1997 graduate of Boalt Hall. She has participated in panels on a number of Internet-related issues, including online defamation, anonymous speech, and intellectual property.

Ms. Heymann plans to discuss sensitivity to disability issues from the Internet service provider's point of view, including the National Federation of the Blind litigation and AOL's current efforts to make the Internet accessible to all.

Lunchtime Talk with Prof. Katherine Sherwood
Professor Sherwood will discuss how her artwork has changed as a result of her disability.

Katherine Sherwood

Katherine Sherwood, Associate Professor of Art Practice at the University of California, Berkeley, teaches painting and drawing. As part of Cal's Disability Studies minor, she will teach "Art, Medicine, and Disabilities," a course that will look at disability and medicine in art history, visual representations of culturally different healing modalities, and the work of modern and contemporary disabled visual artists. A painter, her works have been included in local, national, and international exhibitions at Chiang Mai University in Thailand, Universidad de Concepción in Chile, and the 2000 Whitney Biennial in NewYork. She is the 1999 winner of the Adeline Kent Award which included a solo exhibit at the San Francisco Art Institute. Recent shows have been at Gallery Paule Anglim in San Francisco and at Michael Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles.


This panel will focus on the effect of recent court rulings on disability litigation. Disability rights litigators will address the Supreme Court's increasing tendency towards conservative federalist rulings and discuss strategies litigators can employ to achieve success despite this alarming trend.

Melissa Kasnitz

Melissa Kasnitz, a graduate of Boalt Hall and Yale University, is a staff attorney at Disability Rights Advocates. In five years at DRA, she has worked to ensure access to a broad range of public entities and places of public accommodation. Some of the most significant cases she has worked on include:

* Litigation against the flagship Macy's store in San Francisco's Union Square, to ensure access for people with mobility disabilities. This landmark case established after trial that retailers must provide access to merchandise to the extent readily achievable, and led to numerous other lawsuits around the nation to enforce the ADA against retail operators. In California, a settlement ensuring removal of architectural barriers, enhanced customer service, and a claims fund of $3,000,000 for damages has just been granted final approval by the court.

* Litigation against the City of Sacramento to ensure that it removes access barriers along the public rights of way, including installation of curb ramps and removal of barriers along the length of the sidewalk. The City has agreed to install 1500 curb ramps per year until all intersections are accessible; however, it is opposing any obligation to remove other sidewalk barriers. This issue will be heard by the 9th Circuit on March 12.

* Litigation against the California Department of Education and Board of Education, to ensure that the state's new High School Exit Exam does not discriminate against public school children with disabilities. The Court recently issued a preliminary injunction against the state to ensure that children with disabilities who are taking the exam on March 5-7 receive necessary safeguards.

* Litigation against BART to ensure that elevators are maintained so that people who use wheelchairs can access public transportation. This case resulted in a published preliminary injunction order, and an eventual settlement guaranteeing access upgrades throughout the transit system.

Linda D. Kilb

Since 1989, Linda D. Kilb has been an attorney with the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Inc. (DREDF), a national law and policy center with offices in Berkeley, California and Washington, D.C.. In this capacity she represents plaintiffs and amici in litigation brought under a range of disability rights laws, and participates in the development of policy positions and legislative lobbying efforts to advance the civil rights of people with disabilities. From 1992-1995 Ms. Kilb served as the Managing Director of DREDF, and she is now the Director of DREDF's California IOLTA Trust Fund Program, which provides support services to legal services offices in California. Ms. Kilb received her undergraduate degree summa cum laude, phi beta kappa in political science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1985, and was graduated with honors from the Harvard Law School in 1988.

Lainey B. Feingold

Since 1996, Lainey Feingold has had her own law practice in Berkeley, California devoted exclusively to representing persons with disabilities under federal and state law, primarily in matters seeking class-wide relief. Prior to opening her practice she was Litigation Director of the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF), a national public interest law and policy organization dedicated to the civil rights of persons with disabilities. She is a 1981 graduate of Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, and practiced union_side labor law and plaintiffs' employment law prior to her involvement in disability rights.

Most recently, Ms Feingold has represented the blindness community nationally in negotiating the first settlement agreements in the country that require financial institutions to install "talking ATMs" and ensure website accessibility and effective communication of financial information. She has resolved numerous cases on behalf of persons with disabilities against public accommodations, including national class actions against Shell and Chevron resulting in ADA implementation programs at over 5,000 service stations across the country. Ms. Feingold has taught disability rights classes at Bay Area law schools for many years and has spoken extensively on disability rights issues.

Education Panel

Persons with disabilities seek education that is equal and accessible, from preschool through higher education. This presents challenges to older education systems and questions from all sides on the best way to integrate persons of diverse backgrounds and abilities. The panel on education and disability will cover these issues and the law backing up education reforms.

Four experienced attorneys are on the panel. Rhoda Benedetti is a staff attorney with Disability Rights Advocates, Inc. Her work focuses largely on special education. Paul D. Grossman is the Chief Civil Rights Attorney at the U.S. Department of Education in San Francisco. His work focuses on higher education issues. Janeen Steel is an attorney with the Western Law Center for Disability Rights in Los Angeles. She is the founding director of the Learning Rights Project, a program that assists students with learning difficulties, learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to receive an appropriate education alongside their peers. Lenore Silverman, a former educator, is a Marin County attorney who represents school districts.

Rhoda Benedetti

Rhoda Benedetti is a staff attorney with Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) in Oakland. The mother of a child with special needs, Ms. Benedetti learned firsthand about rejection at the school house door. Determined to fight for equal access to public schools for children with disabilities, Ms. Benedetti attended law school at night while caring for her child during the day. A 1996 graduate of John F. Kennedy University School of Law, Ms. Benedetti came to DRA with an Equal Justice Fellowship from the National Associaton of Public Interest Law. As her fellowship project, Ms. Benedetti brought and won a desegregation class action on behalf of 5,000 children with disabilities in Contra Costa County. The
landmark settlement ensures both architectural and programmatic access at 55 schools and the commitment of $30 million over ten years to fund the work. Ms. Benedetti now specializes in high impact education cases to ensure equal access for people with disabilities, such as Gustafson v. UC Berkeley, the class action brought by Boalt Hall students seeking architectural access at UC.

Paul Grossman

For more than twenty years, Paul Grossman has been the chief regional attorney of the San Francisco office of the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. He is also an adjunct professor of disability law at the University of California's Hastings College of Law. Recently, for his work in the field of students with disabilities, he received honors from the Department of Education, the Association for Higher Education and Disability, and the California Association of Post-Secondary Educators of Persons with Disabilities.
Stephen Rosenbaum

STEPHEN ROSENBAUM has a JD from University of California at Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) and has a master's in public policy as well from UC-Berkeley. Mr. Rosenbaum has practiced with various legal services and public interest law firms. In 1998, he associated with Protection & Advocacy's Oakland office where he specializes in legal matters related to elementary and secondary school students with disabilities and support services for adults with developmental disabilities in institutional and community-based facilities. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Boalt Hall, where he teaches a social justice law and practice seminar.

Janeen Steel

Janeen Steel, Esq., is the Founding Director of the Learning Rights Project at the Western Law Center for Disabilities Rights in Los Angeles, California. She received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law and focuses her career exclusively on special education rights. Her work in this field is becoming increasingly well-known, particularly due to the Learning Rights Manual, a user-friendly handbook for people with learning disabilities and their parents. It teaches a step-by-step approach to advocating for rights under special education law.

Lenore A. Silverman, Esq.

Ms. Silverman holds bachelor and masters degrees in speech pathology. She taught in the Disabilities Resources Department at Santa Rosa Junior College from 1979 to 1984. During this time she began a program for students with post-traumatic head injuries. From 1984 to 1986, Ms. Silverman worked for the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges serving as statewide coordinator for Disabled Student Programs and Services. Her primary responsibilities were to coordinate legislative projects and facilitate the implementation of new curriculum objectives throughout the community college system. Ms. Silverman also served on the board of California Post Secondary Educators of the Disabled and co-authored The ABI Handbook - Serving Students with Acquired Brain Injury.

Ms. Silverman attended law school at the University of San Francisco from 1986-1989. After graduating she worked for the Hon. Daniel M. Hanlon and the Hon. Ira A Brown, San Francisco Superior Court and for the Hon. Dianne Fienstein during her gubernatorial campaign drafting issue papers on education and the judiciary.

In 1991, Ms. Silverman moved to Connecticut and was admitted to the practice of law in both New York and Connecticut. She worked for the New York State Courts and during the 1994-1995 school year was the Acting Director of Special Education for the Greenwich Public Schools in Greenwich Connecticut. During this period of time she worked on school reform issues with the Connecticut State Department of Education and with the National School Boards Association.

After returning to California in 1995, Ms. Silverman began representing school districts and Community Colleges with a focus on special education and disability related issues. She has been on the Board of Directors of the College of Marin Foundation since 1995 and is also on the Board of Marin County Women Lawyers. Ms Silverman also serves as a member of the Judicial Fairness Committee in Marin County. Recently, Ms. Silverman accepted the position as Deputy General Counsel for the San Francisco Unified School District.

Disabled Students' Program TRIO/SSS Project
The Pacific Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTAC)

Co-sponsored by the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
(Boalt Hall).

Our co-sponsor, the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
(Boalt Hall) is a State Bar of California Approved MCLE Credit Provider