Both California and federal law prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities. Below is a collection of resources for people with disabilities–including guides to state and federal laws, complaint processes, local government resources, and community advocacy organizations–to help people with disabilities understand the law and their rights.
California Civil Rights Department (CRD): CRD is a state agency that enforces California’s civil rights laws and investigates civil rights complaints:
California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR): DOR is a state agency that provides vocational training and other related services to people with disabilities. DOR works with people who have disabilities to help them get jobs, develop or promote in their current jobs, live on their own, and enjoy a life equal to others.
Independent Living Centers: Independent Living Centers are community-based, nonprofit organizations operated by people with disabilities that offer a variety of services for people with disabilities. California State Independent Living Council (SILC) maintains a list of independent living centers throughout California.
Regional Centers: Regional centers are community-based, nonprofit agencies that provide services to people with developmental disabilities. The California Department of Developmental Services maintains information about regional centers including a list of California regional centers.
California Division of the State Architect (DSA): DSA develops accessibility, structural safety, and historical building codes and standards utilized in various public and private buildings throughout the state of California. To follow the Access Compliance Code Development and submit public comments, visit the DSA website at https://www.dgs.ca.gov/DSA/Resources/Page-Content/Resources-List-Folder/Access-Compliance-Code-Development
A number of local jurisdictions have departments on disability or other offices offering disability rights resources. Here are some examples in alphabetical order by jurisdiction:
Disability Rights Advocates (DRA): DRA is a national nonprofit disability rights legal center with offices in Berkeley and New York City.
Disability Rights California (DRC): DRC is the agency designated under federal law to protect and advocate for the rights of Californians with disabilities. DRC has offices throughout the State and translates its publications into several languages:
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF): DREDF is a national civil rights law and policy center directed by individuals with disabilities and parents who have children with disabilities. DREDF has an office in Berkeley.
Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC): DRLC is a non-profit public interest advocacy organization that champions the civil rights of people with disabilities as well as those affected by cancer. Their website features a number of disability-related “know your rights” publications.
Job Accommodation Network (JAN): JAN has comprehensive resources regarding accessibility for employees with disabilities.
Mental Health Advocacy Services (MHAS): MHAS provides free legal services to people with mental health disabilities. MHAS has an office in Los Angeles.
Federal ADA Guidance: The United States Department of Justice (U.S. DOJ) Civil Rights Division maintains a website dedicated to facilitating compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
National Council on Disability: The National Council on Disability is an independent federal agency and their webpage provides dozens of resources with information about disability rights and various federal agencies.
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): EEOC enforces federal employment discrimination laws. For further information about federal laws regarding disability discrimination in employment, see their webpage at https://www.eeoc.gov/disability-discrimination.