Outgoing state Attorney General Xavier Becerra has announced the establishment of the Bureau of Disability Rights within the Civil Rights Enforcement Section of the California Department of Justice.
The Bureau will focus on matters that seek to ensure that the rights of persons with disabilities are advanced through specific investigations and litigation. It will also expand on the Section’s work to vindicate the rights of persons with disabilities on issues including discrimination in education, healthcare, employment, access to public services, and with regard to law enforcement involvement.
“If we are going to make meaningful progress towards protecting the rights of Californians with disabilities, we must devote attorneys and resources to work specifically on these issues,” said Becerra, who has been nominated by President Joe Biden to become the next Secretary of Health and Human Services.
“The establishment of the Bureau of Disability Rights marks an important step toward ensuring that the rights of persons with disabilities are considered in all of our work here at the California Department of Justice, I look forward to seeing all that the Bureau is able to accomplish.”
Already, Deputy Attorneys General in the Civil Rights Enforcement Section, who will be staffed to the Bureau, have secured relief for persons with disabilities through the inclusion of specific corrective measures in judgments which require reforms.
These judgments, for example, advance the rights of students with disabilities, including students who are disciplined for behavior resulting from their disability, and mandate reforms of law enforcement practices relating to officer involvement with individuals experiencing mental health crises, those with disabilities, and the profiling of individuals perceived to have disabilities.
The California Department of Justice is committed to protecting the rights of Californians with disabilities.