Quick Fact

The Disability Law Center represented people in 81 of Minnesota’s 87 counties on issues related to their disabilities in 2016 and 2017.  Advocating for access to community services needed for independence, such as Medicaid waiver services, PCAs, mental health services and enforcing clients' individual rights comprise the majority of cases.

Working to ensure clients' rights

Legal Aid attorneys work with people with disabilities to ensure they: 1) receive the necessary support and services to live independent and productive lives in the community; 2) are not victims of abuse or discrimination; and 3) receive vocational rehabilitation services to which every individual is entitled.

Services range from educating clients about services that are available to them, to advocating on their behalf and representing clients in court and hearings. We also offer access to community legal education resources and other materials to help inform people with disabilities about their rights to services.

MDLC has four goals to address the legal needs of clients with disabilities. MDLC advocates to:

  • Eliminate Abuse and Neglect
  • Increase Integration and Decrease Discrimination
  • Increase Access to Appropriate Services
  • Increase statewide awareness of MDLC as an Advocacy Resource

These four goals are part of MDLC's 5-Year Strategic Plan. To comment on the plan, please send an email to mndlc@mylegalaid.org.

To learn more about legal issues and to find Disability Law Center fact sheets and other resources, visit www.lawhelpmn.org and read more about current MDLC priorities.

To provide input on our priorities, please take this quick survey. We welcome your input!

Current Initiatives

School Restraint and Seclusion Project

The Minnesota Disability Law Center has issued a report on the use of restraint and seclusion on students in Minnesota Public Schools. The report is based on a review of MDLC intakes, analysis of state complaint and hearing decisions and survey responses from special education directors, advocates and parents. In addition to offering recommendations to policy makers and school districts, the report provides estimates of restraint and seclusion use, shows patterns of use and discusses promising practices.

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School Restraint and Seclusion Project
PCA Changes

PCA Changes

Children and adults with mental illnesses have been able to use Personal Care Assistant (PCA) services as part of a plan of care to help them function in their homes and communities. PCA services are available statewide, and are an important support even when an adult or child is receiving other community-based mental health services. However, eligibility criteria were made more restrictive beginning January 1, 2010.

Legal Aid has been advocating on behalf of these Minnesotans with disabilities to help them retain PCA services.

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MDLC Voting

The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) authorizes Protection & Advocacy Agencies to ensure full participation in the electoral process for individuals with disabilities, including registering to vote, casting a vote and accessing polling places.

For information about changes in Minnesota law that make it easier for people to vote, see MDLC’s article in Access Press.

MDLC has produced a voting rights video with more information. View it here.

An accesibility script can be downloaded here.

A version of the same video with audio descriptions can be viewed here.

Learn More