DHS and CBP: Duties to People with Disabilities

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its components, including Customs and Border Protection (CBP), are prohibited by § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act from discriminating against people with disabilities (PWD).1 Importantly, this means that PWD arriving at airports and interacting with CBP officers and those in detention facilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations/modifications if necessary to avoid disability discrimination.2 If your family or client requires it due to a disability, request a “reasonable accommodation,” and state the disability and the reason it makes the requested accommodation necessary.  Examples of accommodations include: Access to food, water, and/or medication. Effective communication, for example: sign language interpreters for people who are deaf. Crucially, effective communication for people not fluent in American Sign Language will require a “Certified Deaf Interpreter.”  Be sure to request a “Deaf/Hearing Team.” reading/translating forms for people who are blind. Accommodations for physical disabilities, for example, Accessible restrooms.  Wheelchairs. Protection from extreme temperatures. If handcuffs must be used, may need to be looser (circulation) or in front (so a deaf detainee can communicate). Other accommodations we haven’t thought of: contact us.   This protection covers only people with disabilities, defined (in part) as people who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.3 The following conditions would likely be considered disabilities under the law:  blindness; deafness; paralysis or significant motor impairment; diabetes; cognitive disability; serious mental illness. The following may require a more rigorous showing that they substantially limit a major life activity: digestive, bowel, or bladder dysfunction; respiratory or heart disease; food allergy. 4 The Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center has significant experience...

CREEC to receive a Visionaries in Action Award from the GLBT Community Center of Colorado

CREEC is thrilled and honored to receive a 2017 Visionaries in Action Award from The GLBT Community Center of Colorado (The Center)! In notifying us of the award, The Center’s Board Chairman, J. Ryann Peyton wrote that The Center was impressed by “CREEC’s commitment to the protection of civil rights for all Coloradoans, especially those who are members of the LGBT communities.” CREEC has assisted clients in cases at the forefront of LGBT civil rights issues. Protecting individuals from harassment based on sexual orientation, safeguarding survivor benefits for same sex spouses, and assisting with fellow-awardee Emma Shinn’s Name Change Project are recent examples.  CREEC has also collaborated with the Denver Metro Fair Housing Center in putting on a Trans* Legal Forum, teaching about the rights of trans*, non-binary, and genderqueer individuals in fair housing, public accommodations, and other contexts. We are thrilled to be honored alongside two amazing women who have made significant contributions to the LGBT community and have helped advance LGBT civil rights:  Sarah Parady and Emma Shinn. The Jokers, Jewels & Justice 2017 Dinner themed “Liberty & Justice for All is NO JOKE” will be held at the Brown Palace Hotel and will feature as keynote speaker Sarah McBride, National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign and transgender rights advocate. We hope you’ll join us at this wonderful event. The Center opened in 1976 and over the years has grown to become the largest community center in the Rocky Mountain region, giving voice to Colorado’s LGBT community and playing a pivotal role in statewide initiatives to reduce harassment and discrimination. The Center supports 40,000 people a year though wide ranging programs from monthly free...

Welcome Marième!

CREEC welcomes our winter extern Marième Diop to our Denver office! Marième is a junior at Swarthmore College — Amy’s alma mater — and is originally from Senegal!  She grew up in Dakar, and moved to the US in 2012.  She is interested in social justice, traveling, and languages.  At Swarthmore, she is double-majoring in psychology and Spanish and Latin American literature. Marième will be with us for a month, before taking off for a semester in Uruguay.  She’ll be attending client and counsel meetings, educational presentations, and court hearings, and generally getting to see our practice up close. We’re very excited to have her at CREEC.  Stop by and say hello!...
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