The Public Interest Law Center is establishing a disability rights policy circle

The Public Interest Law Center invites volunteers to participate in a Policy Circle focused on disability rights. The Law Center has a long history of successfully breaking down barriers for people with disabilities to be included in mainstream society. In the past, we worked to ensure that children with disabilities are educated with their non-disabled peers; individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to live in their communities instead of institutions; and individuals with disabilities are not targeted by law enforcement officers who may not understand the disability.

We are using this Policy Circle to help us identify and plan for the urgent unmet needs of persons with disabilities and where the Law Center’s high impact legal strategies could create positive change.

The Policy Circle will meet monthly over the course of one year. At each meeting, the group will interview experts in the field; and between meetings, members may volunteer for research or data collection assignments.  At the conclusion of the year, the group will prepare a written report which:

  • Identifies the most pressing policy and legal needs in the area;
  • Identifies other organizations working on the issues;
  • Makes recommendations about the legal needs that should be addressed by the Law Center, which are not already well covered by other organizations, and which lend themselves to collaboration;
  • Prepares a mission statement for the project;
  • Details the staffing needed to do the recommended work; and
  • Identifies potential funding for the proposed work.

The Law Center staff will participate in the meetings and facilitate interviews and research.

You can make a difference and help the Law Center plan its work around this important issue. Please respond with a brief statement of interest no later than July 7, 2020 to Staff Attorney Darlene Hemerka at

About the Law Center

The Public Interest Law Center uses high-impact legal strategies to advance the civil, social, and economic rights of communities in the Philadelphia region facing discrimination, inequality, and poverty. We use litigation, community education, advocacy, and organizing to secure their access to fundamental resources and services. We focus on projects that fall within six subject areas, each of which is a fundamental resource that low-income people need to live healthy productive lives: housing, employment, environmental justice, healthcare, voting, and public education. We specialize in these six subject areas because, for the individual, the barriers to securing material needs are intertwined, not neatly segmented.