Disability Rights

People with disabilities often face poverty and isolation because of social and physical barriers in the workplace and at school.

Federal and state laws require “reasonable accommodation” in the workplace and educational institutions to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to successfully do their jobs.

LAS–ELC’s Disability Rights Program works to advance the civil rights of disabled people in the workplace, in schools, and other institutions where people are able to learn the skills they need to become independent and engaged members of the community.

Free Legal Assistance for Low-Income Workers

For help with disability-related problems or questions contact our Workers' Rights Disability Law Clinic.


Helping People with "Hidden" Disabilities

Millions of Americans live with “hidden” disabilities, including psychiatric disorders, cancer, diabetes, seizures, and other health problems. Such hidden health problems can present barriers to getting a job or performing a job. People who disclose their disability may face rejection or misunderstanding.

Federal and state laws also require “reasonable accommodation” in the workplace to enable qualified individuals with such disabilities to successfully do their jobs.

The LAS–ELC protects the rights of people with “hidden” health problems through educating employers and promoting equality and reasonable accommodation in the workplace.

Education Access Program

Public schools and universities have largely failed to provide equal opportunities to children and young adults with significant disabilities. It’s not surprising that young adults with disabilities often lack the qualifications and training needed to get a skilled job.

Less than 50 percent of youth with disabilities get a high school diploma. Far fewer go on to complete college or reach graduate school. About 70 percent of those with significant disabilities are unemployed.

In California, many school buildings have physical barriers to students with disabilities. Students often can’t participate in activities available to those who don’t have disabilities. Poverty further increases the likelihood that they will be left behind.

Through class action lawsuits and other actions, the Educational Access Project ensures that disabled children and young adults in California have equal access to educational opportunities at public schools, community colleges, and universities to prepare for a successful future.

Fact Sheet about Disabilities in Higher Education

Legal help

LAS–ELC represents individual workers with disabilities through lawsuits and administrative proceedings to enforce their rights.

Class action lawsuits

LAS–ELC engages in class action litigation on behalf of people with disabilities to remove architectural barriers and other systemic obstacles in schools.


LAS–ELC drafts appellate and amicus (Friends of the Court) briefs, and advocates to enhance and expand legal protections for people with disabilities.


LAS–ELC provides self-help tools and technical assistance, such as fact sheets and self-help materials, and educates workers and employers about reasonable accommodation at work and the right to medical privacy.


LAS–ELC collaborates with a range of advocates and communities to identify and strengthen the common interests of persons with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, women, people of color, immigrants, language minorities, labor, and working people with caretaking obligations.