DRLC Students Strategizing
Clockwise from top right: Practitioner In Residence Caroline Wick, DRLC Students Ana Saragoza and Yara Calcaño

Disability Rights Law Clinic: Pushing for Clients' Educational Needs

COVID-19 has exacerbated many of the inequities affecting those with disabilities. Students in the Disability Rights Law Clinic (DRLC) are engaging in virtual representation to address many of the unique barriers faced by our clients.

For example, although many students in DC’s public schools and their families are struggling in this virtual learning environment, students with disabilities have lost not just in-person classrooms, but therapeutic providers, routines and devices, and other critical services and supports. DRLC student attorneys are representing parents and adult children with respect to the students’ educational needs advocating in this virtual environment to push for the rights of students with disabilities, securing additional supports and services meant to compensate for lost opportunities.

Our students are also working to help community coalitions advocate for educational policies that address pernicious issues preventing children with disabilities from engaging with school, but will benefit all students within D.C.’s public schools.

DRLC student attorneys are also joining student attorneys in WCL’s Criminal Justice Clinic and attorneys across the country who are helping fill the staggering need to represent 1,000+ incarcerated people at heightened risk of contracting COVID-19. Individuals with disabilities in the U.S. are more likely to be arrested and are a disproportionate segment of the imprisoned population. To protect those with disabilities at heightened risk who are imprisoned, DRLC student attorneys will be filing Motions for Compassionate Release, helping create supportive reentry plans and asking judges to grant their clients’ release from prison due to Coronavirus vulnerability.