The Disability Law Center


Massachusetts Protection & Advocacy



  Disability Law Center of Massachusetts

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DLC Reaches Agreement with DESE and Holyoke Public Schools
Concerning Abuse It Found at the Therapeutic Intervention
Program at the Peck School in Holyoke

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Read the Agreement

Abuse at Peck School

DLC has substantiated a disturbing pattern of excessive physical restraint and psychological abuse of youngsters with disabilities by staff at the Peck School in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Click Here to Read the Report
Lea el Reporte
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National Association of the Deaf Sues Harvard and MIT for Discrimination in Public Online Content   Read the Press Release
DLC obtains agreement with state to address problems found during its investigation into Bridgewater State Hospital  Details

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Disability Connection
Our cable television show and podcast, "Disability Connection" is an informative, one half hour program.  More Info



The Disability Law Center (DLC) 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. DLC receives federal, state and private funding but is not part of the state or federal government. 

  Our Mission  
  To provide legal advocacy on disability issues that promote the fundamental rights of all people with disabilities to participate fully and equally in the social and economic life of Massachusetts.  
  We operate under the following Principles of Advocacy  

Independence - To have control


Productivity - To work or make other contributions to a household or community


Integration - Right to the same opportunities, services, community resources as all other Americans


Inclusion - To fully participate, be welcome in social educational, work and community life

  What We Do  

We provide information, referral, technical assistance and representation regarding legal rights and services for people with disabilities.


We provide legal services to eligible people and groups whose cases meet DLC’s priorities.


 We seek to strike a balance between systemic advocacy and individual representation.


Our experienced lawyers and paralegals conduct trainings for community groups and other advocacy organizations.

  Who We Serve  
  People with disabilities. DLC provides legal services to people in Massachusetts who have a wide range of physical, psychiatric, sensory and cognitive disabilities.   
  People with disability related problems.  DLC serves individuals who experience discrimination, abuse or neglect or denial of services because of their disability.  DLC does not handle general legal problems such as obtaining a divorce, filing for bankruptcy or trust & estate issues.  
  People with disabilities whose legal problem falls within a priority.  Demand for DLC’s services far exceeds our resources.  DLC adopts annual priorities based on input from people with disabilities. Priorities are available upon request or can be seen on the DLC website.  
  People with disabilities whose case has merit and DLC has the staff time and resources necessary to resolve the issue.  Given DLC’s limited resources, DLC must concentrate staff time and funding on cases that meet our priorities and will make a significant impact for people with disabilities.  
  What Types of Problems Can We Help With?  

DLC has experienced staff who provide services in the following issue areas.  Please see DLC’s specific priorities for each of the issue areas listed below.

Access to Community Services
Special Education
Health Care
Disability Benefits
Rights and Conditions in Facilities
  What Happens When You Call DLC With a Question or Problem?

A support staff member will gather your contact information and ask you to briefly describe your question or problem.

An Intake Paralegal will contact you and ask you to describe your question or legal problem in detail.

The Intake Paralegal will consult with an attorney to review the issue according to DLC’ to assist you, an attorney will be assigned to your case. If we are not able to assist you, we will provide you with referrals to organizations and private fare attorneys who may be able to help you.




  Our Protection and Advocacy Agency Access Authority  
  DLC is the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) agency for Massachusetts.  The P&A system is a national network of disability rights agencies investigating abuse and neglect and providing legal representation and other advocacy services to people with disabilities.  To aid P&A Agencies in fulfilling their mandate, Congress gave them extensive access authority.  Our Protection and Advocacy Agency Access Authority  
  We Seek Input On Our Priorities  

In order to use our advocacy resources in the most effective way possible, DLC undergoes an annual priority setting process.  An important part of that effort is to seek input from a broad range of people in the disability community.  Help us Shape our Priorities

  Client Grievance Procedure  
  We have a grievance procedure for all clients and prospective clients.  
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student Planning for Life After Special Education in Massachusetts:

A Transition Services Online Manual

 Now Available



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Sponsored by the United Way

member of the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)

 A member of the Massachusetts Network of Information Providers (MNIP) Mass Legal - Massachusetts legal aid programs put together this website to help you find practical information about your legal rights.
  Member of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Network

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