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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Index of Videos

Topic: Justice / Access to Courts

Alabama Federal District Court Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr.
In 1980, Judge Frank Johnson, Jr. described how litigation in the 1960s-70s evolved toward human rights, class actions, and prospective relief. These changes in the legal infrastructure paved the way for the ADA.

Parallels in Time

Gunnar Dybwad on the Role of the Courts
Dr. Gunnar Dybwad said courts consider the rights of people in prison, but courts do not consider the rights of people with disabilities in institutions.

The Legacy of Wyatt
A 2004 documentary shows an overview of Wyatt vs. Stickney, the 33-year-long court battle that persons with mental disabilities had a constitutional right to personal treatment with minimum standards of care.

Steve Gold and the Helen L. Case
In 1998, sociologist Stephen Gold described how laws and policies are often designed to correct injustices for people with disabilities, but budgets and actual practices often fall short of these goals.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun: Impressions of State Institutions
In the mid-1990s, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun gave his impressions of state institutions dating back to the Pennhurst case. "I saw situations where they were put in a cage and left there."

With an Eye to the Past

Miriam Karlins Part 1: Discharge Planning
In 2001 Miriam Karlins, a former official of the Minnesota Department of Public Welfare, described how they prepared residents for moving into the community.

Miriam Karlins Part 3: Changes Brought on by the Ward Living Conditions Survey
In 2001 Miriam Karlins, a former official of the Minnesota Department of Public Welfare, described various steps taken to improve conditions for residents.

Miriam Karlins Part 3: Group Homes are a "Godsend"
In 2001, Eleanor Welsch described the eight years it took for the family's landmark federal lawsuit to bring about changes.

Disability Justice

Karen Loven Discusses Her Rights with Judge Donovan Frank
In 2012, self-advocate Karen Loven and Judge Donovan Frank discuss educating people with disabilities about their rights.

Justice Denied and Justice Served for People with Disabilities with U.S. District Judge Donovan W. Frank
In 2012, Judge Donovan Frank reflects on how far society has come since passage of the ADA, and the need to advance the law through the influence of self-advocates and the disability justice community.

The Citizens' Courthouse
In 2012, self-advocates share with Judge Donovan Frank what they believe are their most important rights.

Know Your Rights
An illustrated outline of basic rights of people with disabilities, including the right to dignity, the right to control one's finances, and the right to make housing decisions.

10 Things I Didn't Know
In 2012, attorney Tom Nelson described surprising things he'd learned about justice for people with disabilities, including different definitions of disability and unintended consequences of laws.

Suffer The Little Children, Pennhurst State Home
In 1968, NBC10 Philadelphia presented an alarming expose on the Pennhurst State School.

The Human Connection
In 2012, Judge Donovan Frank shared a personal story about people with disabilities receiving support and understanding in times of loss.

Case Studies
In 2012, Judge Stephen Rau looked at how the Olmstead, Willowbrook, and Welsch cases have led to reforms in institutions.

Impressions of State Institutions
In 1997, Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun recalled his impressions of state institutions and the line of cases that followed and cited Pennhurst.

City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center
In 2012, professor Elizabeth Schiltz looked at how a city's zoning ordinance was unlawful because it did not apply to apartments, nursing homes, or other forms of community residences.

Subminimum Wage
In 2012, Judge Donovan Frank explained that minimum wage standards don't necessarily apply to people with disabilities.

EEOC v. Henry's Turkeys
In 2012, attorney Laurie Vasichek described the background of an EEOC case involving workers with disabilities who were subjected to deplorable conditions and subminimum wages.

Limitations of the ADA
In 2012, attorney Laurie Vasichek described how limitations of the ADA stem from literal interpretation, or discounting Congress' intent, or the definition of a person with a disability.

The ADA Today
In 2012, professor Stephen Befort described how the definition of "a qualified individual with a disability" has evolved via the 2008 ADA Amendments Act.

Barriers to Equal Justice
In 2012, attorney Pamela Hoopes outlined how people with disabilities can better understand their legal rights and how to access the legal process.

MN's Committed Legal System
In 2012, Judge Wilhelmina Wright provided an overview of the legal community's commitment to equal justice, and access to and representation of people with disabilities.

A Message to Law Students
In 2012, professor Stephen Befort encouraged law students to promote the rights of people with disabilities.

"The Largest Minority Group"
In 2012, Judge Donovan Frank pointed out that as a group, people with disabilities are largely unrepresented, and encouraged attorneys to educate themselves to their legal needs.

An Inclusive Training Program
In 2012, Judge Donovan Frank described how stereotypes about people with developmental disabilities are dismantled when we live with, work with, learn from and educate each other.

Accessibility in MN Courts
In 2012, Judge Wilhelmina Wright said the Minnesota Court System is committed to ADA accessibility and accommodations to ensure individuals have a positive and productive experience.

Courthouse Dogs
In 2012, attorney James Backstrom described how trained courthouse dogs are particularly helpful to people with disabilities who may be uncomfortable testifying in a courtroom.

Courtroom Accessibility
In 2012, attorney James Backstrom outlined how the Courts ensure equal access to people with disabilities by providing a variety of accommodations and effective communication.

Courtroom Modifications
In 2012, Judge Wilhelmina Wright pointed out that access to courts in Minnesota is a fundamental right and appropriate accommodations are made to ensure courtroom access.

Crimes Against Adults with Disabilities
In 2012, attorney James Backstrom explained that criminals target people with disabilities because they are often not in a position to fight back or protect themselves.

Victims with Disabilities
In 2012, attorney James Backstrom said the biggest challenges in the justice system are effective prosecution of crimes against individuals with disabilities, and ensuring they have adequate representation.

Systems Changes
In 2012, attorney James Backstrom said past assumptions that individuals with disabilities were not competent to testify or to serve as witnesses have changed with updated training of law enforcement.

Collaboration in the Courts
In 2012, attorney James Backstrom described how law enforcement and prosecutors work in collaboration with social services to more effectively communicate with vulnerable victims.

Stereotypes and the Justice System
In 2012, attorney James Backstrom explained that a variety of accommodations can be made to ensure victims with disabilities are able to testify with competence.

Stereotypes and Testifying
In 2012, professor Jennifer Wright said that a stereotype facing persons with disabilities testifying in court is that people view cognitive ability as an "all or nothing" proposition.

Progress in the Justice System
In 2012, attorney Pamela Hoopes outlined the progress made to ensure people with disabilities have access to the justice system and are recognized as full participants in the legal community.

"Parens Patriae"
In 2012, professor Jennifer Wright presented a summary of the legal doctrine which provides the justification for the state to establish guardianship to protect people with disabilities.

Guardianship Law
In 2012, professor Jennifer Wright summarized the development of guardianship law, which focuses on the need for guardianship as a means to improve the life of the ward.

Surrogate Decision Making
In 2012, professor Jennifer Wright evaluated the two approaches to surrogate decision-making by guardians: substituted decision making, and objective standard decision making.

Guardianship and Mediation/Alternative Decision Making
In 2012, professor Jennifer Wright described how Minnesota exempts guardianship proceedings from alternative dispute resolution, despite the benefits they could provide.

Decision Making and Capacity
In 2012, professor Jennifer Wright explained how attorneys must assess the individual capacities of their clients and not go beyond what the client can knowingly direct the attorney to do.

MN Disability Law Center
In 2012, attorney Pamela Hoopes provided an overview of the background, role and responsibilities of the Minnesota Disability Law Center. View here.

The Work of the MN Disability Law Center
In 2012, attorney Pamela Hoopes highlighted the types of cases and legal issues that the Minnesota Disability Law Center can address.

The Olmstead Effect
In 2012, attorney Pamela Hoopes described the effect of the Olmstead decision on subsequent cases.

The Pro Se Project Explained
In 2012, attorney Tiffany Sanders presented a summary of the Pro Se Project in Minnesota and a description of how the project originated to allow equal access to justice for clients.

Pro Se Project Attorneys
In 2012, attorney Tiffany Sanders described how Pro Se Project volunteer attorneys work with all cases, including employment discrimination, civil rights violations and housing discrimination.

The Pro Se Project
In 2012, Judge Stephen Rau evaluated the merits of the Pro Se Project from the viewpoint of a Magistrate Judge.

The Evolution of Disability Rights Litigation

In 2011, disability rights attorney David Ferleger outlined how a series of changes in disability law has impacted employment, housing, self-determination, community services, and treatment.

David Ferleger: Employment for People with Disabilities
In 2011, disability rights attorney David Ferleger said we enhance the image of people with disabilities by having opportunities for real employment, with respect and good pay to support themselves.

David Ferleger: In the Supreme Court: The Constitutional Right to Community Services
In 2011, attorney David Ferleger said institutionalization of people with disabilities, once a means of "protecting" people and society, is no longer viewed under the Constitution as fair or reasonable.

David Ferleger: Use of Human Services Restraint: Reduce, Replace or Relinquish?
In 2011, disability rights attorney David Ferleger said restraint is not therapeutic, doesn't work, doesn't help people with their behavior issues and is simply used for the purpose of controlling a behavior.

David Ferleger: Two Undecided Questions on Community Services
Disability rights attorney David Ferleger said it's undecided (in 2011) whether the right to community services protects people who aren't institutionalized or who are voluntarily institutionalized.

David Ferleger: In the Supreme Court: Civil Commitment and the Least Restrictive Principle
In 2011, disability rights attorney David Ferleger said the Olmstead decision declared that segregation, which is the purpose of institutionalization, violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

David Ferleger: Disability Rights
In 2011, attorney David Ferleger said the arc of disability rights began with social reformers in the 1850s, through the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s and up to the present day with Olmstead.

David Ferleger: In the Supreme Court: The Right to Treatment, Part 1
In 2011, disability rights attorney David Ferleger said deinstitutionalization has moved from a social moral consideration (it was a "good" thing to do) to a rights orientation: it's now a legal right.

David Ferleger: In the Supreme Court: The Right to Treatment, Part 2
In 2011, disability rights attorney David Ferleger asks "Do you push in your lawsuit for improvement of the institution, or do you push to use the judgment money for community placement?"

David Ferleger: The Arc of Disability Rights Litigation
In 2011, attorney David Ferleger said the arc of disability rights began with social reformers in the 1850s, through the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s and up to the present day with Olmstead.

METO Settlement

In 2012, individuals involved with the legal, service provider, state agency, and self-advocate aspects of the class-action lawsuit against Minnesota Extended Treatment Options (METO) told their stories.

Pamela Hoopes: Monitoring Access to Agencies
In 2012, attorney Pamela Hoopes said one feature of the METO settlement agreement allows continued access for all the agencies involved in the original investigations, for continued monitoring.

Pamela Hoopes: Introduction
In 2012, attorney Pamela Hoopes said the Minnesota Disability Law Center is a statewide program of the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, and is the designated Protection and Advocacy program for Minnesota.

Pamela Hoopes: MDLC Investigation at METO
In 2012, attorney Pamela Hoopes said the MDLC's involvement in the METO case has ranged from the initial investigations of abuse to moving residents into community settings with appropriate supports.

Steve Larson: What is METO?
In 2012 Steve Larson, of The Arc of Minnesota, said the METO facility was intended to meet the needs of individuals with severe behavioral issues until community placements were developed for them.

Shamus Omeara: Olmstead
In 2012, attorney Shamus Omeara said the Olmstead decision articulated that people with developmental disabilities have a right to live in the community, with entitlement to community-based supports.

Shamus Omeara: What is a Settlement Agreement?
In 2012, attorney Shamus Omeara said a settlement agreement is when parties in a lawsuit agree to settle or to resolve their dispute and not move forward in the lawsuit.

Shamus Omeara: Introduction
In 2012, attorney Shamus Omeara described his role as representing approximately three hundred families whose loved ones experienced restraints or seclusion while at the METO facility.

Shamus Omeara: Shedding Light
In 2012, attorney Shamus Omeara said the METO settlement agreement declares the use of metal handcuffs, leg irons and mechanical means of restraint and seclusion are prohibited.

Shamus Omeara: Training
In 2012, attorney Shamus Omeara said Department of Human Services staff would be trained in the appropriate use of positive behavioral reinforcement and techniques that address emergency situations.

Shamus Omeara: Legal Issues
In 2012, attorney Shamus Omeara said the METO case involved legal issues of people with developmental disabilities, including violating civil rights, inappropriate care, and cruel and unusual punishment.

Shamus Omeara: Rule 40
In 2012, attorney Shamus Omeara said guidelines will be updated for the care of people with developmental disabilities, consistent with their protections. Outdated guidelines would no longer be used.

Shamus Omeara: Schedule
In 2012, attorney Shamus Omeara said METO settlement class members who believe they have been restrained or secluded and want to be part of any monetary payment, need to submit their claim form.

Shamus Omeara: What Does the Settlement Agreement Cover?
In 2012, attorney Shamus Omeara said the METO settlement agreement halts the use of handcuffs, leg irons, and other mechanical means to restrain. Positive behavioral techniques will be used.

Shamus Omeara: Decision to Take the Case
In 2012, attorney Shamus Omeara said interest in serving as plaintiff's counsel in the METO lawsuit solidified after reading Just Plain Wrong, which articulated horrific things that were happening at METO.

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