State, Local & Other News

Ensuring Disabled People Return to Community Living After Natural Disasters

Friday, September 1, 2017As Texans continue to experience the fallout of flooding of historical proportions from Hurricane Harvey, safety is paramount, especially for disabled people, who are particularly vulnerable during natural disasters. The United Nations recognizes this vulnerability in Article 11 of the…

New Lawsuit Tackles the Notorious Inaccessibility of the NYC Subway System

Tuesday, May 16, 2017New York City’s (NYC’s) public transportation system is notoriously inaccessible. Only about one in every five subway stations is wheelchair accessible, compared to about 90% of the subway system in Boston, where I currently live. Two class action lawsuits

Advocates sue Texas ride-share companies

Friday, September 30, 2016Aundrea Moore is a blind woman in Austin, recently retired from a career at the Texas Attorney General’s Office. Now that Uber and Lyft have left Austin in response to new regulations, she is limited in her options for taxi…

Oklahoma workers’ compensation “opt-out” law struck down

Thursday, September 29, 2016A recently passed Oklahoma law allowing employers to opt out of most of the state’s workers’ compensation program violates the state’s constitution, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled September 13. “The core provision of the Opt Out Act, creates impermissible,…

Circuit court casts doubt on mental illness, firearm prohibition

Wednesday, September 28, 2016Clifford Tyler was briefly involuntarily committed in 1985, following a bout of severe depression arising from an emotional divorce from a marriage of 23 years. In 2011, Tyler attempted to purchase a gun. Despite having no subsequent diagnosis or documented…

Lawsuit alleges cruel and unusual punishment at Montana State Hospital

Tuesday, September 27, 2016Ryan Bragg is a 21-year-old man with mental illness who is civilly committed at Montana State Hospital. Frustrated by the lack of running water in his room, Bragg broke off the fire sprinkler from the ceiling on June 16, partially…

MBTA to subsidize ride-sharing for people with disabilities

Monday, September 26, 2016Uber and Lyft will soon receive subsidies from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Agency to expand their services to riders with disabilities, under a one-year pilot project announced September 16. “We want to meet the needs of our customers to…

Florida vacates Freddie Lee Hall’s death penalty sentence

Thursday, September 22, 2016The Florida Supreme Court ruled September 8 that Freddie Lee Hall is not eligible for the death penalty, concluding a long running saga that led to the Supreme Court redefining the bounds of the constitutionality of the death penalty against…

Mother convicted of killing daughter released on bond after 72 days

Monday, September 19, 2016An Illinois appeals court, in an unusual move, allowed a mother recently convicted of killing her adopted daughter with cerebral palsy to leave jail on bond after 72 days, while it reviews her four-year sentence. On May 27, 2015, Bonnie…

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