Disability Rights

The ACLU’s Disability Rights work strives for an America free of discrimination against people with disabilities, where people with disabilities are valued, integrated members of society who have full access to education, homes, healthcare, jobs, and families.  The project is also committed to ensuring people with disabilities are no longer segregated into, and over-represented in, civil and criminal institutions such as nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals, jails and prisons.

Yes, the U.S. Wrongfully Deports Its Own Citizens

Yes, the U.S. Wrongfully Deports Its Own Citizens

By Esha Bhandari, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 11:48am
This week's New Yorker features the harrowing ordeal of Mark Lyttle, a U.S. citizen with mental disabilities who was deported to Mexico. Lyttle was born in North Carolina and has psychiatric and cognitive disabilities. He was inexplicably referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2008 after being misidentified as an undocumented immigrant from Mexico even though he had never been to Mexico, shared no Mexican heritage, and did not speak any Spanish. As the New Yorker article notes, "Lyttle is brown-skinned," and "the vagaries of race and ethnicity obviously played a part" in causing him to be singled out for immigration enforcement.
Stop Subjecting Immigration Detainees to Widespread and Prolonged Solitary Confinement

Stop Subjecting Immigration Detainees to Widespread and Prolonged Solitary Confinement

By Laura Markle Downton, Director of U.S. Prisons Policy & Program, National Religious Campaign Against Torture & Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:29pm

Senator Chuck Schumer made a clear demand to reform Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) detention practices two weeks ago...

How Do I Explain to my Six Year-Old Son What Kind of a Society Plans to Execute an Intellectually Disabled Man? [UPDATED]

How Do I Explain to my Six Year-Old Son What Kind of a Society Plans to Execute an Intellectually Disabled Man? [UPDATED]

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 12:09pm

Breaking Update, 2:30pm, February 14th: State doctors reversed an earlier finding and officially declared today that Warren Hill has mild mental retardation, placing Mr. Hill in the category of citizens protected from capital punishment by the 2002…

U.S. Must Support Progressive Changes to Prison Human Rights Standards

U.S. Must Support Progressive Changes to Prison Human Rights Standards

By David Fathi, National Prison Project at 1:01pm

I’m writing from Buenos Aires, where I’m representing the ACLU at the Inter-Governmental Expert Meeting (IGEM) on the U.N. Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.  Established in 1955, the SMRs are the leading international…

Living with HIV in an Alabama Prison

Living with HIV in an Alabama Prison

By Albert Knox at 10:14am

In 2011, the ACLU and the ACLU of Alabama sued the Alabama Department of Corrections for discrimination against inmates living with HIV. Alabama is one of only two states, along with South Carolina, that continue to segregate inmates living with HIV…

U.S. Citizen Wrongfully Deported to Mexico, Settles His Case Against the Federal Government

U.S. Citizen Wrongfully Deported to Mexico, Settles His Case Against the Federal Government

By Esha Bhandari, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 12:15pm

Mark Lyttle, an American citizen with mental disabilities who was wrongfully detained and deported to Mexico and forced to live on the streets and in prisons for months, settled his case against the federal government this week.

Lyttle will…

We Must Honor the Service of All Veterans, Including Sexual Assault Victims

We Must Honor the Service of All Veterans, Including Sexual Assault Victims

By Sandra Park, ACLU at 4:55pm

Twenty-three years.  That’s how long it took Ruth Moore, who served in the Navy, was raped by her supervisor, and suffers from night terrors, panic attacks, and insomnia, to obtain disability compensation. On Wednesday, the Subcommittee…

Your Privacy Rights, Before Congress Now and the Supreme Court in November

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 1:39pm

In June, we told you the Supreme Court agreed to hear United States v. Jones, a case that will determine if the government may plant GPS devices on vehicles to track people without a warrant. The government has appealed the D.C. appellate court's…

A Day in Court for Civil Rights Claims: The Supreme Court Tackles the Ministerial Exception

By Daniel Mach at 3:44pm

Do religious institutions get a categorical free pass to discriminate against certain employees, regardless of the reason? That issue lies at the heart of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission…

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