Mr. Knauf has devoted his career to public interest pursuits. Starting with a fellowship at Bet Tzedek Legal Services, an excellent Los Angeles legal aid office, Mr. Knauf then joined the Western Law Center for Disability Rights (now the Disability Rights Legal Center) for another fellowship and as a staff attorney. Mr. Knauf thanks the DRLC for having introduced him to the field of disability rights as well as his own greater disability awareness.
While at the DRLC, Mr. Knauf litigated individual and class action disability rights cases under the ADA, Section 504, and related California laws. Working with a team of talented attorneys, often with pro bono counsel from private law firms, Mr. Knauf's cases:
* Improved accessibility at various major entertainment venues in Los Angeles
* Implemented comprehensive reform at LAPD regarding persons who are deaf or hard of hearing
* Reformed practices with various Los Angeles taxi companies regarding customers using guide dogs
* Obtained damages and injunctive relief for numerous people with disabilities subjected to unlawful discrimination by private and public entities, including an adoption agency, colleges and universities, and a fitness center, among others.
Following the DRLC, Mr. Knauf joined the public agency law firm of Lozano Smith, where he represented school districts and community college districts, primarily in the areas of special
education and employment related litigation. He also presented law firm and school district trainings on disability awareness issues.
Mr. Knauf founded Knauf Associates in 2006, where he has blended his experiences in public interest, disability rights, employment, and special education litigation. In 2012, Mr. Knauf achieved a nearly $1 million arbitration award on behalf of a deaf law student who was not provided captioning for live online classes and video lectures.
Mr. Knauf received his J.D. in 1996 from the University of Southern California, but remains true to his Bruin roots having received his B.A. in Political Science in 1991 from UCLA. He lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife and two young daughters, who already know that people with disabilities are just like everyone else, and we're all just a little different.