“Outdoor” “Exercise” at the Colorado State Penitentiary

Since throngs of you* have been asking, “hey, what’s up with that outdoor exercise case you all were working on,” I thought today — the day after a massive two-brief filing** — would be a good time for an update. In 2010, we and the Civil Rights Clinic at the University of Denver filed a lawsuit against the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) on behalf of Troy Anderson, who had been in solitary confinement at the Colorado State Penitentiary (CSP) for over a decade without outdoor exercise. Instead, he was permitted to exercise here for one hour per day five days a week. CDOC called this “outdoor exercise.”  As it turned out, Judge Jackson did not.  In August, 2012, he held that this limited exercise violated the Eighth Amendment and ordered CDOC to provide Mr. Anderson with access for at least one hour, at least three times per week, to outdoor exercise in an area that is fully outside and that includes overhead access to the elements, e.g., to sunlight, rain, snow and wind, unless inclement weather or disciplinary needs make that impossible. Anderson v. Colorado, 887 F. Supp. 2d 1133, 1157 (D. Colo. 2012). Instead of providing outdoor exercise at CSP, as the Eighth Amendment requires, CDOC moved Mr. Anderson to Sterling Correctional Facility where he exercised here:                       In September, 2013, Judge Jackson held that that wasn’t outdoor exercise, either, and believe it or not we’ve been jawboning with the CDOC ever since.  That’s a whole nother post! Meanwhile, back at CSP, inmates in solitary still weren’t getting outdoor...

Harvard Crimson: “Experts Say ADA Case Has Merit”

Since they were filed earlier this month, the NAD v. Harvard and NAD v. MIT cases have received press coverage throughout the Boston area and the Northeast as well as around the country. The cases have even been featured in Harvard’s own daily student newspaper, the Harvard Crimson. Staff writer Tyler Olkowski asked several legal experts around the country their opinion on the lawsuits. A professor from Harvard Law School was particularly supportive of the plaintiffs’ case: “Harvard Law School professor Martha A. Field…argu[ed] that…the university is required to caption the materials. ‘It’s not a gray area,’ she said. ‘It’s explicit in the ADA act that universities are covered.'” Read the entire article on The Harvard Crimson’s website. For more press coverage of the NAD v. Harvard and NAD v. MIT cases, check out the write-ups in New York Times, Boston Globe, Reuters, Ability Magazine, FastCompany, UPI, ABC News, Boston Herald, The Huffington Post, The Verge, and The Chronicle of Higher...

CREEC in Court: NAD Sues Harvard and MIT Over Discrimination

Earlier this morning, The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and four deaf and hard of hearing individuals filed two federal class action lawsuits today against Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), charging that the schools discriminate by failing to caption the vast array of online content they make available to the general public, including massive open online courses (MOOCs). For more information about this case, including a video message from NAD’s CEO Howard Rosenblum, PDFs of the Harvard and MIT complaints, and examples of inaccurately captioned videos, please visit CREEC’s webpage dedicated to these cases. While you’re at it, check out the case’s write-ups in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Reuters, Ability Magazine, FastCompany, UPI, ABC News, Boston Herald, The Huffington Post, The Verge, and Harvard’s own student newspaper, The Harvard Crimson. If you want to show your support for this issue on social media, we’re using the hashtags #MOOC, #deaf, #captions, #highered, and #DeafJustice. Please follow @creeclaw, @DREDF, @NAD1880 and help spread the...

CREEC in Court: Deaf Dad Sues Pueblo’s Parkview Medical Center Over Failure to Provide Interpreter

George Baca filed a lawsuit today against Parkview Medical Center of Pueblo, CO in the U.S. District Court in Colorado. The lawsuit asserts that Parkview denied Mr. Baca, who is deaf and communicates using American Sign Language, a sign language interpreter for several days while his minor daughter was receiving emergency care after being struck by a car on July 6, 2013. Baca, who has been deaf since childhood, uses American Sign Language as his primary means of communication and does not read or write in English with fluency. After his daughter was taken to Parkview, Baca immediately asked for a sign language interpreter so he could stay informed of his daughter’s critical condition. Despite requesting an interpreter multiple times, Baca was not provided with an interpreter until several days into his daughter’s hospital stay. During that time, medical staff communicated with Baca about his daughter’s serious injuries solely via handwritten notes. “Taking care of my children is my priority, so it was incredibly stressful to be so powerless about my daughter’s treatment,” said Mr. Baca. “The entire experience – of not knowing what was happening to my daughter and not being able to communicate with her doctors – was very traumatic.” The Complaint asserts that Parkview failed to provide Baca with effective communication during this critical situation – an action that constitutes discrimination based on Baca’s disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Rehabilitation Act, and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act. “In the middle of an already scary situation, Mr. Baca’s requests for an interpreter were repeatedly ignored, leaving him in the dark concerning his daughter’s condition....

CREEC’s Anderson case in Prison Legal News

Anderson v. Colorado, a case CREEC is litigating with the Civil Rights Clinic at the University of Denver law school, was featured in a recent issue of Prison Legal News.   The headline —  Federal Court Orders Colorado to Provide Outdoor Recreation to Supermax Prisoner — is slightly misleading, or just a bit late, as that order came down in August 2012 and we’ve been trying to make sure it was implemented since that time.  This process culminated in our recent filing of a Motion For Enforcement of Judgment And Further Relief or, In The Alternative, For Hearing On Order To Show Cause — featured in the article — which is still pending before Judge Jackson....
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