Additional Resources for Legal Assistance
If DRBA is unable to assist a person, such as when the request does not involve a disability rights issue, or the person requesting assistance lives in an area without a DRBA presence, please consult the resources below.
- If the person making a legal request lives in a geographic area without a DRBA presence, consult the DRBA State Protection and Advocacy Chart.
Every U.S. state and territory has a designated Protection and Advocacy agency for people with disabilities. Consult the DRBA State Protection and Advocacy Chart to find the appropriate agency [bbi.syr.edu/drba/docs/other/DRBAStateProtectionandAdvocacyChart.pdf]
- If the legal request involves an independent living issue, consider contacting the local Center for Independent Living.
A Center for Independent Living (CIL) is a non-residential and non-profit agency that is consumer-controlled, community-based, and cross‑disability focused. CILs are designed and operated within a local community by individuals with disabilities and provide an array of independent living services. Although services at each CIL can differ, most include peer counseling, information and referral services, and individual and systems advocacy. These services offer individualized consumer directed and initiated solutions that maximize choices and opportunities for each individual. Complete list of Centers for Independent Living in the United States [ilru.org/html/publications/directory/index.html]
- If the legal request involves an ADA Title II or III issue, you may file a complaint with the Disability Rights Section of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The Disability Rights Section of the DOJ allows you to file an ADA complaint against a State or local government or a public accommodation by mail or e-mail. The process is outlined, and frequently asked questions are answered on the ADA Government Fact Sheet How to File an ADA Complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice [ada.gov/fact_on_complaint.htm]
E-mail is preferred as all mail to the DOJ must go through an extensive screening process. If you have questions about filing an ADA complaint, you can call the ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383 (TTY).
Send an e-mail complaint to ADA.firstname.lastname@example.org that includes:
a) Name, address, telephone numbers where DOJ can reach you during the day & evening, and the name of the party discriminated against (if known);
b) The name and address of the entity/person you believe has discriminated;
c) Description of discriminatory acts, dates, and names of people involved;
d) Other information that you believe necessary to support your complaint; including copies of relevant documents (not originals); and
e) Identify needed accommodations for effective communication.
- Via Mail:
1) Fill out the Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Discrimination Complaint Form [ada.gov/t2cmpfrm.htm]
2) Mail to:
US Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Disability Rights Section – 1425 NYAV
Civil Rights Division
Washington, D.C. 20530
Fax: (202) 307-1197
- If the legal request involves an employment issue, you may file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
A person may file a complaint with the EEOC in person, over the phone, or through the mail. The EEOC does not accept online complaints. There are 53 EEOC field offices around the country and the EEOC recommends that a person file a complaint with the nearest field office. Contact information for each EEOC field office [eeoc.gov/field/index.cfm]
- In Person
a) Check with the nearest field office for its appointment and walk-in procedures.
b) Bring any information or papers that will help EEOC understand your case.
c) Bring anyone you want to your meeting, especially if you need language assistance and know someone who can help. You can also bring your lawyer, although you don’t have to hire a lawyer to file a charge. Please let the office know ahead of time if you need accommodations.
- By Phone
Call 1-800-669-4000 to submit basic information about a possible complaint, and that information will be forwarded to your local EEOC field office. Once the field office receives your information, they will contact you to talk about your situation.
- Via Mail
You can file a complaint by sending your local EEOC office a letter that includes:
a) Your name, address, and telephone number;
b) The name, address and telephone number of the employer;
c) The number of employees employed there (if known);
d) A short description of the events you believe were discriminatory;
e) When the events took place;
f) Why you believe you were discriminated against; and
g) Your signature
- Further information from EEOC on how to file a claim [eeoc.gov/employees/howtofile.cfm]
- In Person
- If you are looking for informational resources or training programs regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act, consult the ADA National Network.
Through its ten regional centers, the ADA National Network [adata.org] – provides information, guidance, and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Their services are tailored to meet the needs of business, government, and individuals at local, regional, and national levels. The ADA National Network is not an enforcement or regulatory agency, but a resource supporting the ADA's mission.
Regional centers are distributed throughout the United States to provide local assistance and foster implementation of the ADA. Find your regions’ ADA Center [adata.org/national-network]