Lessons for Lawyers: Accommodating Clients with Disabilities
By Michelle Uzeta
Michelle Uzeta is a solo practitioner based in the San Gabriel Valley. Her statewide practice focuses on civil rights and fair housing law. Michelle currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Disability Rights Bar Association and on the litigation committee of the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") is a civil rights statute, enacted in 1990, that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.1 Law offices, regardless of size, are subject Title III of the ADA, which prohibits discrimination by places of public accommodation.2
Under Title III, law firms are required to, among other things (1) ensure the physical accessibility of their facilities; (2) furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure effective communication; and (3) make reasonable modifications in policies, practices and procedures where necessary to equal access to individuals with disabilities.3