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Finding Aid to the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Records, 1970-2000, bulk 1975-1995
BANC MSS 99/145 cz  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Organizational History
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund records
    Date (inclusive): 1970-2000,
    Date (bulk): bulk 1975-1995
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 99/145 cz
    Creators : Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
    Extent: Number of containers: 27 cartons, 2 boxes, 2 oversize folders Linear feet: 35
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Records document the activities and policies of one of the first organizations advocating for civil rights for people with disabilities. The bulk of these records date from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s. The collection has been divided into nine series. The first few series pertain to the administrative functions of DREDF and its earlier incarnation, the Disability Law Resource Center of the Center for Independent Living. In the remaining series, the three major themes are litigation, education and legislative policy, all of which affect integration into the mainstream, civil and human rights and equality of opportunity for this sometimes "hidden minority."
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English and Braille
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html. 
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Records, BANC MSS 99/145 cz, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Related Collections

    Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Records, Washington, D.C. office, BANC MSS 99/282 z
    Additional related collections may be found under the heading Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement, in U.C. Berkeley Libraries' online catalog.

    Separated Material

    Printed materials have been transferred to the book collection of The Bancroft Library. Videotapes/sound recordings have been transferred to the Microforms Collection of The Bancroft Library.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    United States. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
    Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund--Archives
    People with disabilities--United States
    Discrimination against people with disabilities--Law and legislation
    People with disabilities--Legal status, laws, etc.--United States
    Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement collection

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Records were given to The Bancroft Library by the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Board of Directors on January 9, 1998.

    Accruals

    No additions are expected.

    System of Arrangement

    Arranged to the folder level.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Lori Hines and Preethi Balakrishnan in 2002.

    Organizational History

    The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) was established on October 1, 1979 in Berkeley, California by Mary Lou Breslin, Patrisha A. Wright, and Robert Funk. It is a nonprofit national law and policy center run primarily by disabled persons. DREDF is dedicated to protecting and advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities and their families through legislation, litigation, advocacy, technical assistance and the education and training of attorneys, advocates, persons with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities. DREDF serves as one of the disability community's primary national legal defense organizations.
    DREDF evolved from the Disabled Paralegal Advocacy Program, which was founded in the mid-1970s as part of the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley, California. In 1978, the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare provided a grant to establish the Disability Law Resource Center (DLRC), which in turn received funding from the Legal Services Corporation. The DLRC expanded its focus from local issues in Berkeley and California to handle disability cases of national importance. It trained many attorneys who became important disability rights advocates, including Robert Funk, Deborah Kaplan, Diane J. Lipton, Linda D. Kilb and Arlene B. Mayerson. Funk served as the first director of DREDF.
    In 1981, DREDF hosted Law Reform in Disability Rights, a meeting of civil rights leaders in Berkeley. One of the outcomes of this meeting was that the group strongly recommended that DREDF establish a presence in Washington, D.C. The Washington office was established in January, 1982. Its mission is to work on civil rights issues and build alliances with other civil rights organizations, to influence on policy and legislative reforms, and focus on disability-specific issues.
    With offices in Berkeley and Washington, DREDF has approximately 20 staff members, the majority of whom are people with disabilities or parents of children with disabilities. The DREDF Board of Directors is responsible for the stewardship of the organization. The National Policy Council and the Litigation Advisory Committee help guide and support DREDF's legislative and policy development and litigation programs. The DREDF Development Partnership helps secure and expand the organization's base of financial support.
    DREDF's ongoing projects and areas of focus include:
    education, training and technical assistance;
    production of publications, video tapes and materials regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act, special education, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973;
    law and policy reform litigation;
    clinical legal education in disability rights, in collaboration with five San Francisco Bay Area law schools where DREDF attorneys teach a disability rights course;
    children with disabilities and family support services; and
    civil rights coalition-building.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Records document the activities and policies of one of the first organizations advocating for civil rights for people with disabilities. The bulk of these records date from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s. The first few series pertain to the administrative functions of DREDF and its earlier incarnation, the Disability Law Resource Center of the Center for Independent Living. In the remaining series, the three major themes are litigation, education and legislative policy, all of which affect integration into the mainstream, civil and human rights and equality of opportunity for this sometimes "hidden minority."
    These records contain a small sampling of cases which DREDF litigated, as well as background material on related issues. Because of confidentiality requirements, actual case files have been retained by DREDF. Notable cases included in the collection are: Coffelt v. Department of Development (right to access to quality living arrangements for persons with developmental disabilities); Elizabeth Bouvia v. County of Riverside (right to die issue); and Infant Doe v. Bloomington Hospital (right to access to medical care for severely disabled infants).
    DREDF has played a national leadership role in seeking grants, offering workshops and creating guides and manuals aimed at educating government employees, caregivers, disabled adults, and disabled students and their parents. The Parental Advocacy and Least Restrictive Environment in Education Series, which focuses on Alameda and Contra Costa Counties in California, and specifically the Richmond Unified School District, can be seen as a example in microcosm of the similar barriers faced by the students, parents and school districts throughout the United States. DREDF's campaign to ensure the passage of Public Law 94-142, the right to a free and equal education for all children, is a theme which runs throughout the collection.
    DREDF's ongoing efforts to influence legislation concerning people with disabilities are particularly well-documented in the final series. Important legislative campaigns include Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (often referred to as Section 504 or just 504), the Civil Rights Act of 1984 (with information about the decision in the Supreme Court Case Grove City College v. Bell), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The records document all phases of the drafting, enactment and revision of these ground-breaking pieces of legislation.
    Spread throughout the collection is correspondence with politicians on the federal, state and local level, including Senators Tom Harkin and Edward Kennedy, and Vice President George Bush. Also included are letters to and from leaders in the disability rights movement, such as Justin Dart, Evan Kemp, Judith E. Heumann and Hale Zukas.
    The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Records will prove valuable to researchers seeking to understand the past and on-going struggle to secure and advance the civil rights of the nearly 50 million people with disabilities living in the United States.