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Justice Denied

Title Description Speaker Run Time
I Know My Rights
Karen Loven Discusses Her Rights with Judge Donovan Frank Self-advocate, Karen Loven, discusses her rights with Judge Frank and expresses her hopes to educate others with disabilities of their rights; Judge Frank discusses what he has learned from Karen. The Honorable Donovan Frank and Karen Loven 9:10
The Citizens’ Courthouse Self-advocates share what they believe are their most important rights during a visit with Judge Frank who then reflects on their visit. The Honorable Donovan Frank and Self Advocates 2:36
Know Your Rights An illustrated essay which outlines and discusses one’s basic rights, including: one’s right to dignity and respect, the right to control one’s finances, and the right to make housing decisions for oneself. David Gillette 2:04
Dehumanization, Discrimination and Segregation
10 Things I Didn’t Know justice for adults with disabilities, including inequalities in compensation. Tom Nelson 3:22
Suffer The Little Children, Pennhurst State Home Eugenics + Social Services – Pennsylvania: The ground-breaking 1968 NBC10 Expose on Pennhurst State School by Bill Baldini. Bill Baldini 35:53
The Human Connection Individuals with developmental disabilities need and have the right to expect the support and understanding of others in times of loss – a personal story. Judge Donovan Frank 1:39
Laura Provinzino, US Attorney’s Office
What is Human Trafficking? Human trafficking, hate crimes and prosecution of cases involving people with disabilities Laura Provinzino 3:04
Legal Protection for Human Trafficking Laura Provinzino 2:03
Rights of Victims Laura Provinzino 1:09
DOJ Prioritizes Human Trafficking Laura Provinzino 2:45
Trafficking of People with Disabilities Laura Provinzino 1:53
Victimization of People with Disabilities Laura Provinzino 1:26
Important Victim-Centered Services Laura Provinzino 1:14
What is Federal Jurisdiction? Laura Provinzino 2:53
What are Hate Crimes? Laura Provinzino 0:50
Prosecution of Hate Crimes Laura Provinzino 1:39
Hate Crimes Against People with Disabilities Laura Provinzino 1:39
Challenges in Prosecuting Hate Crimes Laura Provinzino 1:13
Raising Awareness of Hate Crimes Laura Provinzino 1:22
Raising Awareness of Human Trafficking Laura Provinzino 1:48
Reporting Hate Crimes to Law Enforcement Laura Provinzino 0:50
Abuse Reports and the Pandemic Laura Provinzino 1:04
Human Trafficking of People with Disabilities
About Sarah Bessell and the Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center Sarah Bessell 3:04
Disability Rights and the Justice System Sarah Bessell 2:19
Types of Abuse in Human Trafficking Sarah Bessell 3:06
More Human Trafficking Case Examples Sarah Bessell 4:01

Basic Legal Rights

Title Description Speaker Run Time
Basic Legal Rights
ADA to Today The Honorable Donovan W. Frank 1:52
Understanding Disabilities Professor Elizabeth R. Schiltz 1:52
Equal Protection and Due Process Explained Professor Elizabeth R. Schiltz 2:22
Due Process Clause Professor Elizabeth R. Schiltz 5:26
Reforms of Institutions and Closing of Institutions
Case Studies A discussion on the development of reforms in institutions through an examination of the Olmstead decision, Willowbrook State Hospital, and the Welsch Case. The Honorable Stephen Rau 4:57
Impressions of State Institutions United States Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun speaks about his impressions of state institutions and the line of cases that followed and cited Pennhurst. Justice Harry A. Blackmun (1908 – 1999) 4:53
City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center A look at the 1985 Supreme Court decision which found the City of Cleburne’s zoning ordinance, pertaining to people with disabilities, violated the Equal Protection clause because it did not apply to apartment houses, nursing homes, fraternities, or other forms of community residences. Professor Elizabeth Schiltz 2:08
The Right to Self-Determination: Freedom from Involuntary Servitude
Subminimum Wage Judge Frank explains the one group of people exempt from minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act are people with disabilities, and the lack of habilitation in treatment facilities before the ADA. The Honorable Donovan Frank 0:59
EEOC v. Henry’s Turkeys On a Saturday night in February 2009, federal officials raided a bunkhouse in Atalissa, Iowa where individuals with developmental disabilities had been subjected to deplorable working and living conditions, and paid subminimum wages. Laurie Vasichek 3:33
Education Rights for Students with Disabilities
Endrew v Douglas County Lawsuit Dan Stewart 5:02
The 45th Anniversary of IDEA Dan Stewart 2:43
Progress Has Occurred, But Barriers Continue Dan Stewart 2:22
Disability Rights During the Pandemic Dan Stewart 3:06
Law School Students Can Help Dan Stewart 1:59
Fact Sheets Dan Stewart 0:38
The Right to Vote
ADA to Today Judge Frank reflects on discriminatory practices against individuals with disabilities pre-ADA and how the ADA made it clear that segregation on the basis of disability was a form of discrimination. The Honorable Donovan Frank 1:51
Constitutional Laws and Voting Rights Most state constitutions restrict the right of individuals with developmental disabilities to vote on the basis of “mental incapacity,” which often times reflect outdated views on people with disabilities that are no longer acceptable today. Professor Elizabeth Schiltz 3:15
Complexities of Voting Law State laws often contradict provisions in state constitutions, including an example of Maine’s state law of guardianship that contradicted its state constitution. Professor Elizabeth Schiltz 3:45
Voting is a Fundamental Liberty Right Professor Schiltz describes voting as a fundamental right and how people with developmental disabilities are particularly vulnerable to having their voting rights infringed. Professor Elizabeth Schiltz 1:42
Voting Rights Minnesota Minnesota’s voting laws and guardianship directly conflict with the Minnesota constitution, which is indicative of similar problems in other states. Such provisions have been challenged under the federal Constitution as a due process violation. Professor Elizabeth Schiltz 4:01
Stereotypes and Voters’ Rights Stereotypes and misconceptions persist about people with disabilities and prevent them from exercising their right to vote- such as individuals with developmental disabilities can’t make a “reasoned judgement” or are under guardianship because they “lack capacity”. Professor Elizabeth Schiltz 2:10
Changes to the Voting System Underlying many of these voting restrictions is the outdated assumption that people with developmental disabilities are incapable of making reasoned judgments about what candidates they prefer. Professor Elizabeth R. Schiltz 1:55
Minnesota’s Voting Process
Minnesota’s Chief Elections Officer Secretary of State Steve Simon explains his duties as the state’s chief election administrator. Steve Simon 0:35
Our State Constitution includes an Explicit Right to Vote An explicit right to vote is expressed in our Minnesota Constitution but not in our Federal Constitution. Steve Simon 0:34
A Person Under Guardianship May Still Have the Right to Vote The Secretary of State’s Office assures that all eligible voters, including voters under guardianship, know they are eligible to vote, know the rules, and how to participate in the voting process. Steve Simon 2:17
Consider Volunteering as an Election Judge Election judges serve a vital function in our democracy and many more are needed. Resources are available to learn about rights and responsibilities of all eligible voters, including voters with disabilities and to assure that no one is interfering with one’s right to vote. Steve Simon 1:38
Accommodations and Assistive Voting Technology are Required at Every Polling Place Voter registration requires only two things – something that shows you are who you say you are and you live where you say you live, or someone who can vouch for you at the polling place. Accommodations can be physical (wider doorways), functional (elevators), or technology related (voting machines). On a rolling basis, surveys are done on election days to determine if locations meet code and can fully accommodate all voters, including voters with disabilities. Steve Simon 7:53
Our Vote is Our Voice Our commitment and obligation – everyone’s voice is heard through the voting process. Steve Simon 0:39
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Explaining Title I of the ADA A brief overview of the protections afforded under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Professor Stephen F. Befort 1:45
The ADA and Its History Magistrate Judge Rau explains how the ADA was enacted, summarizes provisions in Titles I- IV, and explains the spirit and intent of this legislation. The Honorable Stephen Rau 2:51
EEOC v. Chuck E. Cheese An overview of a case, in which an employee faced blatant discrimination based upon his intellectual disability, in violation of the ADA. Laurie Vasichek 6:55
Limitations of the ADA Limitations of the ADA stem from interpreting the statute very literally, opposed to taking into account Congress’, including who is considered a person with a disability. Laurie Vasichek 6:55
The ADA Today An overview of the 2008 ADA Amendments Act, how the scope of the ADA had been narrowed regarding a qualified individual with a disability, and amendments to broaden that scope. Professor Stephen F. Befort 2:04
Judge Frank: ADA and Almanac Judge Donovan Frank 2:04
US Senator David Durenberger Reflects on the 30th Anniversary of the ADA
Addressing Discrimination US Senator David Durenberger 7:09
How the ADA Passed US Senator David Durenberger 8:09
Personal Stories Change Policies US Senator David Durenberger 7:19
Impact of ADA US Senator David Durenberger 4:20

Working with People

Title Description Speaker Run Time
Ensuring Adequate Legal Representation to People with Disabilities
Barriers to Equal Justice An outline of steps to help people with developmental disabilities understand their legal rights and how to access the legal process. Pamela Hoopes 1:39
MN’s Committed Legal System An overview of the legal community’s commitment to equal justice, and access to and representation of people with disabilities.

The Honorable Wilhelmina M. Wright, US District Judge, District of Minnesota

A Message to Law Students A message for law students to encourage them to engage in promoting the rights of people with disabilities. Professor Stephen F. Befort 0:40
“The Largest Minority Group” People with disabilities are the largest unrepresented minority group. Judge Frank encourages attorneys to remedy this disparity by educating themselves and offering to represent someone with a disability. The Honorable Donovan Frank 2:23
An Inclusive Training Program Stereotypes are broken down when we learn from and are educated by, live and work with, people with developmental disabilities. The Honorable Donovan Frank 2:55
Judge Donovan Frank: An Inspirational Blind Juror Story The Honorable Donovan Frank 7:58
Judge Donovan Frank: Disability Discrimination in Sexual Abuse Cases The Honorable Donovan Frank 9:58
Judge Donovan Frank: Diversity is Strength The Honorable Donovan Frank 00:50
Judge Donovan Frank: Adding Disabilities to Diversity Laws The Honorable Donovan Frank 00:50
Judge Donovan Frank: The Disproportionate Impact of the Pandemic on People with Disabilities The Honorable Donovan Frank 4:18
Courtroom Access and Accommodation for People with Disabilities
Accessibility in MN Courts The Minnesota Court System is committed to being ADA accessible and have ADA accommodation specialists in order to ensure individuals have a positive and productive experience with the court system. The Honorable Wilhelmina M. Wright, US District Judge, District of Minnesota 1:25
Courthouse Dogs Courthouse dogs are specially trained to help individuals in the courtroom, and particularly helpful to people with disabilities who may be uncomfortable testifying in a court room. James Backstrom 0:59
Courtroom Accessibility Courtrooms must be accessible to people with disabilities. The Courts can implement different methods to ensure they are appropriately and effectively communicating with and accommodating the needs of individuals with disabilities to ensure equal access. James Backstrom 2:06
Courtroom Modifications Access to courts in Minnesota is a fundamental right and accommodations can be made to ensure courtroom access. The Honorable Wilhelmina M. Wright, US District Judge, District of Minnesota 1:15
Working with People with Developmental Disabilities as Victims
Crimes Against Adults with Disabilities Criminals target people with disabilities because they are often vulnerable adults who are not in a position to fight back or protect themselves. James Backstrom 0:22
Victims with Disabilities Individuals with disabilities are preyed upon far more frequently than individuals without disabilities. The biggest challenge facing our system of justice is ensuring crimes against these individuals are prosecuted and they are adequately represented in the process. James Backstrom 1:00
Working with People with Disabilities as Witnesses
Systems Changes Systemic changes have allowed law enforcement to work with vulnerable victims and receive specific training to do so. Historically, there was an assumption that individuals with disabilities were not competent to testify or serve as witnesses in a case. James Backstrom 1:18
Collaboration in the Courts Law enforcement and prosecutors work in collaboration with social services to more effectively communicate with vulnerable victims. James Backstrom 0:50
Stereotypes and the Justice System The most common stereotype regarding persons with disabilities is they cannot be competent witnesses, which is simply not true. Accommodations can be made to allow victims to testify in a variety of ways. James Backstrom 1:42
Stereotypes and Testifying A problem major problem facing persons with disabilities testifying in court is that people view cognitive ability as an all or nothing proposition. Professor Jennifer L. Wright 2:07
Working with People with Disabilities as Clients
Progress in the Justice System Progress has been made in ensuring people with disabilities have access to the justice system and ensuring the legal system recognizes people with disabilities as full participants in the legal community. Pamela Hoopes 3:08
Working with People with Disabilities as Wards in Guardianship Proceedings
“Parens Patriae” A summary of the “parens patriae” doctrine, which provides the justification for the state to establish guardianship to protect people with disabilities. Professor Jennifer L. Wright 1:55
Guardianship Law A brief summary of the development of guardianship law that focuses on the need for guardianship as a means to improve the life of the ward. Professor Jennifer L. Wright 2:19
Surrogate Decision Making An evaluation of the different approaches to surrogate decision-making by guardians: substitute decision making and an objective standard. Professor Jennifer L. Wright 2:17
Guardianship and Mediation/Alternative Decision Making Minnesota exempts guardianship proceedings from alternative dispute resolution, despite the benefits they could provide. Professor Jennifer L. Wright 3:10
Decision Making and Capacity Capacity varies greatly between clients; attorneys must assess the individual capacities of their clients and not go beyond what the client can knowingly direct the attorney to do. Professor Jennifer L. Wright 2:25
Disability Law Center
MN Disability Law Center Background and overview of the role and responsibilities of the Minnesota Disability Law Center. Pamela Hoopes 0:46
The Work of the MN Disability Law Center Highlights of the types of cases and legal issues that the Minnesota Disability Law Center can address. Pamela Hoopes 5:56
The Olmstead Effect An examination of the effect of the Olmstead decision on subsequent cases. Pamela Hoopes 3:45
Pro Se Project
The Pro Se Project Explained 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. Tiffany Sanders 1:16
Pro Se Project Attorneys Minnesota Pro Se Project volunteer attorneys allow the project to work with all cases, including employment discrimination, civil rights violations and housing discrimination. Tiffany Sanders 0:54
The Pro Se Project An evaluation of the merits of the Pro Se Project from the viewpoint of a Magistrate Judge. The Honorable Stephen Rau 2:09
Hiring People with Disabilities in Legal Jobs
Employee Culture Mr. O’Meara shares his professional experiences working alongside adults with disabilities, as well as the benefits for all employees when an employer hires persons with disabilities. Shamus O’Meara 2:35
Relationships and Stereotypes A call to challenge the stereotypes surrounding people with disabilities by being particularly mindful about using people first language. Shamus O’Meara 1:33
Uniquely Qualified Workforce People with disabilities are a part of a uniquely qualified workforce. Shamus O’Meara 1:49
Making Changes for Employment Changes that allow individuals with disabilities to enter the workforce can come from challenging stereotypes, and educating employers and service providers through training programs. Professor Stephen F. Befort 1:26
Law Schools and Disability Law
What is your experience in disability law? Anthony Niedwiecki is President and Dean, Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Anthony Niedwiecki 4:02
What should prospective students consider about law school? Anthony Niedwiecki 1:09
Are there any special considerations for applicants with disabilities? Anthony Niedwiecki 1:51
What does law school teach about Disability Law? Anthony Niedwiecki 2:16
What kind of jobs are there for students interested in disability law? Anthony Niedwiecki 1:13