Our Mission: The Arizona Center for Disability Law (ACDL) advocates for the legal rights of persons with disabilities to be free from abuse, neglect and discrimination and to gain access to services, maximizing independence and achieving equality.
Our Vision: A society that focuses on people’s abilities rather than disabilities.
What is the Arizona Center for Disability Law?
The Arizona Center for Disability Law is a not for profit public interest law firm, dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals with a wide range of physical, mental, psychiatric, sensory and cognitive disabilities.
As part of the nationwide protection and advocacy (P&A) system, the ACDL provides free legal services, under several major incentives:
- Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI)
- Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (PADD)
- Client Assistance Program (CAP)
- Assistive Technology Advocacy Program (AT)
- Protection & Advocacy of Individual Rights (PAIR)
- Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS)
- Protection & Advocacy for Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury (PATBI)
- Protection & Advocacy for Voting Access (PAVA).
Who does the Arizona Center for Disability Law help?
People with Disabilities.
The ACDL provides legal services to people who have a wide range of physical, mental, psychiatric, sensory and cognitive disabilities. We receive specific federal protection and advocacy funding to assist people with certain kinds of disabilities, such as developmental disabilities or serious mental illness. If you call ACDL requesting help, we have to ask you about your disability because of our funding requirements.
People with disability-related problems.
The ACDL does not handle general legal problems encountered by all people whether they have disabilities or not, such as probate of an estate, obtaining a divorce or filing for bankruptcy. The ACDL serves individuals whose disability is the reason for discrimination, abuse or neglect, or failure to provide needed services.
People whose legal problems fall within priority areas.
Demand for ACDL services far exceeds our resources. On a yearly basis, the ACDL is required to adopt priority areas for its services based on public input. These priorities are available upon request. The types of priorities generally addressed by the ACDL are listed under What kinds of problems does the Arizona Center for Disability Law address? below.
People whose cases have merit and generally where there is no other agency or attorney available to solve the problem.
Given our limited resources, ACDL staff must concentrate their efforts on cases where advocacy will make a difference. If another organization can handle the matter, or the claim has limited merit given the time and resources needed to resolve it, the ACDL may not be able to take on the case.
If a person meets these guidelines, assistance is provided based on the availability of staff and resources.
What does the Arizona Center for Disability Law do?
The Arizona Center for Disability Law:
- Provides information on legal rights
- Represents individuals in negotiations or in administrative proceedings and court
- Investigates abuse and neglect
- Provides outreach and training on legal rights and self-advocacy
- Brings impact litigation to remedy systemic problems
- Provides technical assistance to groups and individuals on disability-related legal issues
What kinds of problems does the ACDL address?
- Preventing and remedying abuse and neglect of individuals in mental health facilities, nursing homes, community provider residences and schools.
- Ensuring appropriate discharge planning from mental health facilities and access to appropriate mental health services.
- Enforcing the right to a free public education for children with developmental disabilities.
- Advocating for the right to appropriate health care, assistive technology and other services for individuals with disabilities.
- Assisting individuals with disabilities through the Client Assistance Program (CAP) to obtain the services they need from Vocational Rehabilitation and other Rehabilitation Act funded programs.
- Remedying housing discrimination against individuals with disabilities under the Fair Housing Act.
- Remedying discrimination by enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act including:
- advocating for a greater accessibility to public places, businesses and governmental offices and services
- promoting integration and equality in public services and programs
- employment rights for individuals with disabilities
ACDL does NOT provide legal services in the following areas
- Any issue or problem not directly related to your disability
- Anything that is not the wish of the person with the disability
- Criminal Law
- Family Law (divorce, child custody, etc.)
- Identity Theft
- Mortgage Foreclosure
- Personal Injury
- Social Security Determination or Appeals
Referral or Other Community Contacts
» Please click here for links to referral or other community contacts relating to the services listed above.
If you need general information regarding services available to people with disabilities in Arizona, please call 2-1-1.
Please remember that we only represent people with disabilities
Click here to complete an online request for service.
Please note that the demand for our services far exceeds the availability of our staff and attorneys. Cases are selected based on available resources and our priority areas (Link to FY 16 priorities). If your problem is not accepted as a case, you have the right to file a grievance.
In deciding whether we can represent you directly, we will consider:
- The details of your case
- Your ability to advocate for yourself
- Whether your problem falls within one of our priority areas
- Availability of resources within our organization
- The extent to which your case may benefit others with disabilities.