DLAC: A History of Respect and Representation

"DLAC has helped me numerous times. The staff members have hearts for service. People with disabilities are their priority. I often refer other people with disabilities to DLAC." – George Lane

The Disability Law and Advocacy Center of Tennessee was established in 1978 under a different agency name and with the mission of advocating for children with disabilities in the area of education. Over time, the agency’s mission expanded to include advocacy for the rights of people with disabilities in many other areas and with it their name changed as well. In 2005, their board of directors and staff unanimously voted to change their name to Disability Law & Advocacy Center of Tennessee (DLAC) to help people across the state understand more about the work they do and the communitDLAC Little Girl Doing Homeworky they serve.

Over the years DLAC has advocated for the rights of Tennesseans with disabilities to ensure that they have an equal opportunity to be productive and respected members of our society. DLAC lawyers have been pivotal in providing both legal representation in individual cases and advocating for legislative change. Some of DLACs landmark cases include Brown v. Tennessee Department of Finance & Administration and Lane v. Tennessee. Both cases were found or settled in favor of DLAC’s clients and resulted in expanded services and protection of the rights of Tennesseans with disabilities.

DLAC has also worked tirelessly for legislative changes that support and protect Tennesseans with disabilities. Partnering with other agencies, DLAC worked to protect students with disabilities from inappropriate restraint or isolation in the school setting by advocating for passage of Tennessee’s restraint and isolation law (Read Full Story) Following the implementation of the law early in 2009, DLAC provided training about the Restraint and Isolation law and participated in development of an informational brochure for families about how to protect their children using the new law.

Thanks to the great work of civil legal service providers and disability advocates such as the Disability Law and Advocacy Center of Tennessee, more than 300,000 Tennesseans with disabilities are provided a more equal opportunity to be productive and respected members of our society. The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services is proud to support the work of civil legal service providers through training opportunities, advocate support, and legislative activities.

Source: Disability Law and Advocacy Center of Tennessee

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