The Advocacy Center is Louisiana’s protection and advocacy system. Federal law requires that a protection and advocacy system operate in every state to protect the rights of persons with mental or physical disabilities. The Advocacy Center is also funded by the state to provide legal assistance to people residing in nursing homes in Louisiana, as well as to residents 60 years and older of Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Tammany Parishes; and to advocate for the rights of group home residents. Among the diverse services offered are legal representation, information and referral, outreach and training. This organization is a tax-exempt, private non-profit corporation organized in 1978 and governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. It is based in New Orleans with branch offices in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Shreveport.
American Bar Association on Mental and Physical Disability Law-Commission on Disability Rights
The ABA has a deep and long-standing commitment to diversity and to promoting opportunities for persons with disabilities in the legal community. One of the ABA’s four fundamental goals is the elimination of bias and the enhancement of diversity in the profession. Part of that vision includes access and participation in all aspects of the legal system by persons with mental and physical disabilities. The ABA’s Commission on Disability Rights spearheads this effort.
The Arc – National Center on Criminal Justice & Disability
NCCJD serves as a national clearinghouse for information and training on the topic of people with I/DD as victims, witnesses and suspects or offenders of crime. The Arc will partner with a broad spectrum of criminal justice professionals, including those in the law enforcement, legal and disability fields at the national, state and local levels to create safer lives for people with I/DD who become involved in the criminal justice system. The NCCJD’s products and services include:
Training and technical assistance (including web-based and on-site training)
On-line resource library (including fact sheets, current research, state-by-state database of resources and relevant laws and legislation and directory of expert attorneys, witnesses, forensic interviewers and victim advocates
White papers, literature reviews and reports to promote identification and evaluation support of promising practices
Public awareness via a robust web site housing a national resource library and issue-specific marketing/communication strategies
NCCJD’s goal is to build the capacity of the criminal justice system to respond to gaps in existing services for people with disabilities, focusing on people with I/DD who remain a hidden population within the criminal justice system with little or no access to advocacy supports or services.
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law is a national legal advocate for people with mental disabilities. Through precedent-setting litigation and in the public policy arena, the Bazelon Center works to advance and preserve the rights of people with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities.
DBTAC Southwest ADA Center
The DBTAC center is the place where people can get the best information provide on the disabilities act and other relevant laws. This place is currently been built using funds form the NIDRR and is one of the best in the country. The center provides plenty of services to different people, those who are interested in law business and school. There are staffs at the centers that will be happy to provide extra information and more services.
Health Law Advocates of Louisiana
Health Law Advocates of Louisiana (HLA/LA) is the only nonprofit public interest law firm in Louisiana dedicated exclusively to health care access. Launched in February 2010, HLA/LA provides free legal representation and assistance to eligible Louisiana families. HLA/LA serves low and middle income residents from all parts of the state. Many of their clients are children, elderly, or those coping with disabilities. All face barriers to health care treatment that result in suffering and loss. HLA/LA strives to make a difference in the lives of ordinary people who simply are unable to cut through legal, administrative or financial barriers to obtaining needed health care treatment.
Louisiana Appleseed’s goal is to advance social justice by effecting change at the policy, or systemic, level. Louisiana Appleseed’s projects seek to increase access to education, opportunity and justice.
Louisiana Disability Legal Resources
Louisiana Disability legal resource is an online resource to share current and accurate information on legal and disability issues, terminology and available resources between the criminal justice and human service systems.