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Disability Issues Articles « Patti’s Publications


Articles, publications and presentations by Patricia E. Kefalas Dudek
related to issues faced by people with disabilities




Legal Advocacy for People with Disabilities

  • Clearly, advocacy is still needed to improve the quality of life for folks with disabilities.  This article outlines pressing issues and provides resources to use to incorporate these areas into your practice.  It is certainly not an exhaustive list of issues or resources (although it was exhausting to put together).
  • People with disabilities continue to struggle in every part of the United States and all over the world. 
  • Recently, the United States Census Bureau issued a report (May 2006), entitled Current Population Reports, Household Economic Studies, Americans with Disabilities: 2002, No. P70-107, that confirms something most of us already know and experience in our law practices, “that people with disabilities, especially those with severe disabilities, live with substantially more disadvantages than people who are not disabled.” The complete report is available on the U. S. Census Bureau website, Some key points from the report are that people with disabilities have the following:
  • 1)   A higher poverty rate, and the rate for people considered to have severe disabilities is more than three times that of non-disabled people;
  • 2)   A higher uninsured rate;
  • 3)   Lower education attainment;
  • 4)   Lower earnings;
  • 5)   A higher divorce rate.
  • Keep in mind that significant numbers of people with disabilities depend upon needs-based governmental benefits for their personal assistance services, and as a result, you as members of NAELA are uniquely suited to provide effective legal advocacy and representation to make significant improvements in the statistics cited above, in the long term care system, and most importantly in the lives of people we care about. I am so proud that people with disabilities, those of all ages, are now part of the NAELA charter! Last but not least, accommodating people with disabilities is the law; see article entitled An ADA Lesson, No Firm is Beyond the Reach of the Americans with Disabilities Act, by Margaret Graham Tebo, ABA Journal, August, 2006.
  • Before I start on the top ten list of issues, I must apologize to Catherine Sharbaugh, Esq., Surell Dean Sharbaugh, M. D., and Patricia F. Sitchler, CELA. I really did not mean to steal the title of this presentation from your excellent, Top Ten Types of Disabilities Seen by Disability Attorneys presentation at the 2004 NAELA Symposium in Hilton Head. This is an excellent resource, but my own title had much more to do with a lack of creativity and time. My love for David Letterman might have had something to do with it as well…
  • Attachment 1: Making a Difference: A Role for Lawyers in Economic Development
  • Attachment 2: No Longer Immune, Court Opens Door to Cases Claiming Link Between Autism and Vaccine Preservative
  • Attachment 3: Essay re: Investigation into Living Conditions for Physically Challenged People in Texas
  • Attachment 4: Health Care Values History Form
  • Attachment 5: Patient Advocate Designation for Mental Health Treatment
  • Attachment 6: Patient Advocate Designation for Medical and Mental Health Treatment
  • Attachment 7: Petition for Order to Seal Records
  • Attachment 8: Meaning of Homeownership for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
  • Attachment 9: Schott v. Olszewski (Court of Appeals decision re: Medicaid refusal to reimburse patient)
  • Attachment 10: Status Report: Litigation Concerning Home and Community Services for People with Disabilities
  • Attachment 11: Address Medicaid's Institutional Bias and Expand Your Practice
  • Attachment 12: Request for Community Based Services Under State's Waiver Program (Cover letter, Discrimination Complaint, Instructions on filing complaint, FAQs, Complaint and Jury Demand)
  • Attachment 13: Policy Research Brief
  • (Click here for entire article and attachments in one pdf document – 8 MB)

Section 8 Housing

  • Federal Housing Subsidies – Overview
  • Historically, federal housing programs have been either supply-side or demand-side approaches to housing. There are two types of demand side developments, family projects and projects that are designated for occupancy for people with disabilities and elderly. The Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program created by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, allows certificate holders to pay thirty percent of their income for a privately owned apartment that rents at or below a locally established Fair Market Rent. The birth and growth of Section 8 has signified a shift in HUD's programmatic emphasis from supply-side to demand-side housing assistance.
  • Attachment 1: Section 8 Administrative Plan
  • Attachment 2: Income Inclusions and Exclusions
  • Attachment 3: Summary of Asset Inclusions and Exclusions
  • Attachment 4: A Message From the Chair (Trust SIG News)
  • Attachment 5: Letter from apartment complex re: pooled trust
  • Attachment 6: Letter re: pooled trust
  • Attachment 7: Letter re: decision on pooled trust distributions
  • Attachment 8: Newsletter
  • Attachment 9: Using the Olmstead Decision as Advocacy Tool
  • Attachment 10: Policy & Practice Guideline

Financial Planning for People With Disabilities

  • Why Plan for the Future?
  • The number of individuals in this country with disabilities have grown significantly in the past decade. Advances in medical treatment and technology have led to increased survival rates and longer life expectancies for adults with disabilities. Future planning is important in order to secure essential services and financial resources for persons with disabilties, especially after the death of their parents.

Guardianship for People Who Are Disabled

Social Security Related

Workers Compensation Related