About the ACDL

Our Mission: ACDL is a non-profit law firm that assists Arizonans with disabilities to promote and protect their legal rights to independence, justice, and equality.

Our Vision: A society where people with disabilities enjoy full acceptance without barriers.

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’s Grievance Policy

If you need to file a grievance with ACDL, please download a copy of our Grievance Policy below and follow the instructions.

» Click here for ACDL’s Grievance Policy

Click here for ACDL’s Grievance Policy – Spanish