Americans with Disability Act – The ADA

Understanding the law is the key to demanding civil rights.

Advocacy Groups

The organizations below understand the laws, and work to ensure that the laws are followed so that people with disabilities will have their civil rights as equal citizens.

  • ADAPT (National) is a national grass-roots community that organizes disability rights activists to engage in nonviolent direct action, including civil disobedience, to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom.
  • American Association of People with Disabilities is the country’s largest cross-disability membership organization, organizes the disability community to be a powerful voice for change – politically, economically, and socially.
  • Bazelon Center for Mental Health Rights – mission is to protect and advance the civil rights of adults and children with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities.
  • Center for Public Representation is a national legal advocacy center for people with disabilities. Enforce Civil Rights, Expand Opportunities, Empower People With Disabilities
  • Dignity Alliance Massachusetts – a grass-roots coalition of aging and disability service and advocacy organizations and supporters that works to secure fundamental changes in the provision of long-term services, support, and care. 
  • Disability Law Center, Inc. – is the Protection and Advocacy agency for Massachusetts. DLC is a private, non-profit organization responsible for providing protection and advocacy for the rights of Massachusetts residents with disabilities.
  • Disability Policy Consortium of Massachusetts is an organization of disability rights activists who share a common goal of equal opportunity for all individuals with disabilities.
  • Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund – DREDF, founded in 1979, is a leading national civil rights law and policy center directed by individuals with disabilities and parents who have children with disabilities..
  • Health Care for All seeks to bring social justice values into the health care system. Visit their “A Healthy Blog” for the latest news.
  • Health Law Advocates (HLA) is a public interest law firm whose mission is to provide pro bono legal representation to low-income residents experiencing difficulty accessing or paying for needed medical services.
  • Institute for Community Inclusion at UMASS Boston promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities in their communities through training, consultation, clinical and employment services, and research.
  • M-Power: Mental Health Rights – Nothing About Us Without Us – is a Massachusetts member run organization of mental health consumers and current and former psychiatric patients. They advocate for political and social change within the mental health system, the community, city, and statewide. Address: 98 Magazine St, Roxbury, MA 02119, Phone: (617) 442-4111
  • National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is a civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the U.S.
  • National Disability Institute – The mission of National Disability Institute is to build a better economic future for Americans with disabilities.
  • REV Up Massachusetts – REV UP is a national program to get more people with disabilities to vote. Visit the REVUP MA website to learn more about accessible voting in Massachusetts and to join our efforts.
  • Second Thoughts Massachusetts is a grassroots group of disability rights advocates from Massachusetts and the region who oppose the legalization of assisted suicide as a deadly form of discrimination against disabled people.