NYLPI, with co-counsel Mayer Brown, announces today that it settled a federal court lawsuit against the City of New York to provide accessible police transportation for people who use wheelchairs at the time of their arrest.
NYLPI filed an Amended Complaint in May 2016 on behalf of Robert Filer. This lawsuit alleged that for many years the New York City Police Department repeatedly arrested people who use wheelchairs in a dangerous and discriminatory manner, by failing to use accessible vehicles when transporting them. Individuals who have mobility disabilities have repeatedly sued the New York City Police Department over the past decade, alleging that they were transported in an inaccessible way or forcibly removed from their wheelchairs at the time of arrest.
Mr. Filer filed this action to compel the New York City Police Department to provide safe and accessible vehicles and services for all individuals who use wheelchairs. He has succeeded in his goal.
For over 40 years, NYLPI has worked to meet the legal needs of underserved, underrepresented New Yorkers and their communities. Through its Disability Justice Program, NYLPI has lead the fight for disability rights in New York City, making the City a more welcome place for those persons with disabilities who call it home, as well as its thousands of visitors. Every day, NYLPI fights to ensure that the 140,000 students with special needs in New York City, including those with learning disabilities, can access appropriate programs and services.
A.8262/S.6581, which was passed unanimously by the New York State Legislature and is consistent with federal special education law, would direct the commissioner of education to issue a guidance memorandum to school districts and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), to a) inform them of the unique educational needs of students with dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia, and b) inform them that they may include the names of specific learning disorders, such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, or dyscalculia, in Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).
A.8262 / S.6581 will lead to improved understanding of dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia because it will provide accurate guidance to school districts and assist schools in targeting language-based interventions, helping more children learn to read and become successful students. For far too long, there has been inadequate attention paid to dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia. When children’s learning needs are properly identified, educators will be in a better position to teach them.
Last week on August 9th 2017, Lauren Quijano, Health Justice Community Organizer, hosted a medical letter writing workshop “Melting the ICE: Breaking Down Barriers in Immigration Detention” with partnering physicians in NYLPI’s Medical Provider Network, in an effort to share strategies for writing medical advocacy letters for people held in immigration detention facilities.
More physicians continue to join the New York Lawyers for the Public Interests’ Medical Provider Network, as part of the Health Justice Program. NYLPI continues to connect with physicians in New York, New Jersey, and in other states who can help provide medical advocacy to clients and their families.
This work is increasingly important as we have been seeing more news of the medical neglect in both county jails that operate as immigration detention facilities and ICE-operated detention facilities, and we know of patients who are transferred between facilities and across state lines. You can read more about this from our recent report Detained and Denied which followed with a report by Human Rights Watch and Civic, further inspiring a letter to Washington by Senator Gillibrand’s office.
We will continue to advocate for the better care and treatment of family members being held in immigration jails, and call to have as many people released as they are being arrested and detained.
The New York Lawyers for the Public Interest stands in solidarity with Heather Heyer, her family, the people of Charlottesville, and all of our communities. Heather Heyer, a paralegal in Charlottesville was standing up to racism and white supremacy on August 12, 2017. She was standing up for NYLPI’s values and doing what our community does everyday. We condemn the murder of Heather Heyer and the violence against others who stood up against racism that day in Charlottesville. Heather’s murder ignites us to work even harder with our communities in the struggle for social justice. We will not let this tragedy hinder our resolve.
For more information please read The Charlottesville Syllabus. The Graduate Student Coalition for Liberation created this resource to educate readers about the long history of white supremacy in Charlottesville, Virginia.
NYLPI is excited to announce that Weil, a longtime partner of NYLPI, has sponsored a new Senior Staff Attorney position through a generous gift. With fundamental rights under attack, this gift will increase our capacity at a time of critical need. We welcome Marinda van Dalen, an attorney with decades of civil rights litigation experience, to this new role. “Weil hopes that this gift will help NYLPI to continue fighting for the civil rights of New Yorkers most in need,” said David J. Lender, the Global Co-Head of Weil’s Litigation Department and a NYLPI Board Member. “We also hope that other firms will follow our lead and find ways to support the important work that NYLPI is doing.”
As part of our nonprofit capacity building work, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) is pleased to announce the release of a special guide that outlines best practices for nonprofits when assisting and protecting immigrant clients in this new era.
With the great work of our pro bono partners, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, an advisory by Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and valuable input of many allies, we have developed these guidelines to answer key questions raised by nonprofits and service providers. As one of the first comprehensive documents to be created on this topic, NYLPI’s Guidance to Nonprofits Regarding Immigration Enforcement aims to assist members of the nonprofit community in navigating complex legal questions and provide guidance on specific scenarios.
Informed nonprofits are thriving nonprofits. Our shared goal is to ensure that every individual can live with access to the support that they need to succeed in our sanctuary city. We hope that you will download, review, and share this document with as many people as possible. Stay tuned for details about upcoming legal trainings for nonprofits addressing this issue.
On June 27, 2017, Laura Redman, HJ Director, joined Human Rights Watch and CIVIC in a national webinar Fighting for Dignity: Advocacy Tools for Improving Medical Care for Immigrants in Detention. Laura discussed how NYLPI’s work and recent report documented how deficient medical care leads to severe pain, illness, and sometimes needless death for immigrants in detention and creative efforts to advocate on an individual and local level that have had a real and promising impact. The webinar shared stories and provided tips on how to replicate these efforts around the country.
According to a new analysis by NYLPI and Transform Don’t Trash NYC, the private sanitation industry in NYC has not improved its recycling performance despite new city rules clarifying which materials must be sorted for recycling at commercial businesses.
NYLPI and other advocates continue to gather evidence that private waste haulers may in fact be landfilling materials designated for recycling under city law.
The report analyzes data released by the NYC Department of Education and reveals disparities and recommends strategies for improving the rates of PE instruction across the city. The data was released pursuant to Local Law 102 of 2015, a widely supported bill that was promoted by NYLPI and its community partners in the Physical Education for All Coalition.
On June 15, 2017, NYLPI and key coalition partners in Transform Don’t Trash NYC launched a new website, Trash Kingpins NYC, documenting some of the abuses regularly committed by leading commercial waste companies in New York City. The website was unveiled in an effort to counter the commercial sanitation industry’s recent attempts to brand themselves as good corporate actors and small start-up companies just trying to get by.
Last August, Mayor de Blasio and DSNY endorsed TDT’s vision to reform the commercial waste industry by implementing a zone system of collection, which would allow the city to impose higher standards on the companies, and increase transparency and accountability. In response, many of the leading commercial haulers joined together to create New Yorkers for Responsible Waste Management—an association formed expressly to oppose the reforms advocated for by TDT and which the Mayor has committed to implementing.
The website, Trash Kingpins NYC, was launched after many months of research and contains documents illustrating the poor behavior of the same leading companies fighting the reforms. Click here for press coverage featured on Waste Dive
Click here for press coverage featured on Politico
Click here for press coverage featured on El Diario