Sanchez v. Johnson

May 4, 2000
The lawsuit challenged the State's failure to increase wages of direct care workers for persons with disabilities residing in the community, resulting in turnover in excess of 50 percent a year. California had increased rates paid to community providers for wages insubstantially since 1989. As a result, workers in community facilities are paid 54 percent of what similar workers in California's institutions are paid. Only two states in the nation paid less per person than California for Medicaid Home and Community Based Services.

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California, Florida to Get First Bank of America Talking ATMs

March 15, 2000
San Francisco, California — Bank of America today announces a plan to install more than 2,500 talking ATMs in Florida and California its largest retail markets. The plan, reached in conjunction with the California Council of the Blind and several blind individuals, schedules installations of the talking ATMs over the next three years. Additional plans to install the ATMs in other states where Bank of America operates will be worked out early next year.

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DREDF Government Affairs Director to Receive the George Bush Medal

February 24, 2000
Patrisha A. Wright, Director of Government Affairs at the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, will be awarded the George Bush medal at a gala luncheon ceremony today in Houston. The award is presented to individuals who have "distinguished themselves in the movement for equal rights and opportunity for people with disabilities worldwide," writes the Bush Medal Committee. Past recipients include President Bush, Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Ed Roberts (founder of the first Center for Independent Living), and Bengt Lindquist (special envoy on disability to the United Nations.) It was first given in 1993.

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President Bush to Award Bush Medal to Six ADA Advocates

January 31, 2000
Houston, Texas — President George Bush will present the George Bush Medal to six individuals, two posthumously, who have distinguished themselves in the movement for equal rights and opportunity for people with disabilities worldwide during a February 24 gala luncheon in Houston. "Lighting The Way," the theme of the luncheon, recognizes the inspired leadership of the six individuals being honored. Their passionate commitment to equality and opportunity for all has helped to make the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) a valuable part of the American culture.

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Victory for Disabled Children in East Palo Alto

January 4, 2000
East Palo Alto, California — After a three-year legal battle on behalf of hundreds of children with disabilities in the Ravenswood Elementary School District in East Palo Alto, California, Federal Court Judge Thelton E. Henderson gave final approval yesterday to an unprecedented settlement agreement in Emma C. v. Delaine Eastin, et al., Case No. C-96-4179, and commented that the agreement is "very well done".

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Citibank Takes Initial Steps Towards Installing “Talking ATMS”

July 8, 1999
Oakland, California — Citibank and the California Council of the Blind announced today that Citibank has agreed to pilot test "talking" automated teller machines ("ATMs") at five Citibank locations in California. This initiative will place Citibank at the forefront of the banking industry by testing ATM machines that can be used more effectively by persons with vision impairments.

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Los Angeles Police Department Sued for Disability Discrimination

April 28, 1999
Los Angeles, California — A lawsuit will be filed on Thursday, April 29, 1999 in state court in Los Angeles against the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), alleging that the Department has violated employment discrimination laws by denying a job to an applicant with a disability who meets hiring standards set by the LAPD. The suit, which alleges violations of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), will be filed on behalf of named plaintiff Matthew Wayne Christensen. Mr. Christensen is represented by Larry A. Minsky, a Long Beach attorney who specializes in employment discrimination, and by the Berkeley-based Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Inc. (DREDF), a national law and policy center dedicated to protecting and advancing the civil rights of persons with disabilities.

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The Sutton Trilogy

February 22, 1999
In the spring of 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court heard a trio of critical cases involving the federal law definition of disability, which the ADA specifies is an "impairment" that "substantially limits" one or more "major life activities." DREDF participated in these cases by writing an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Senators Harkin and Kennedy, former Senator Dole and Congressmen Hoyer and Owens, presenting arguments in favor of a broad interpretation of the ADA.

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