Civil Rights & Mental Disabilities Seminar (LAW-795S-001)
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People with mental disabilities are among the most marginalized groups in our society: children with mental disabilities are disproportionately disciplined (and likely to end up in the School-to-Prison Pipeline), often segregated from their peers, and many receive an inferior education; adults with mental disabilities often lack access to evidence-based mental health care, have shockingly low employment rates, are more likely to be homeless and live in poverty, and are disproportionately injured in police encounters and incarcerated. But an ongoing civil rights movement on behalf of people with mental disabilities is working for change. This course will explore the civil rights of people with mental disabilities in all aspects of life, including basic human rights, housing, employment, education, health care, and encounters with the criminal justice system. Students will gain an understanding of the strategy and mechanics involved in litigating civil rights class actions and advocating for policy change through the lens of this movement, as well as considerations specific to representing individual clients with mental disabilities. Grades will be based on class participation, two short writing assignments and a take-home exam.
Textbooks and Other Materials
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First Class Readings
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