Raising ADA Claims to Advocate for Parents with Disabilities in Child Welfare Cases

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 92 minutes
Recorded Date: March 14, 2018
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1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
  • Disability Law & the Child Welfare System
  • Advocacy Strategies and Accommodations
  • Reasonable Efforts and the ADA
  • Working with Experts
  • Q & A
Runtime: 1 hour and 32 minutes
Recorded: March 14, 2018


Our experts will offer strategies for raising ADA claims to ensure that each parent’s unique needs are met and that their rights are fully protected. Case law and hypotheticals will be discussed.

Parents with disabilities, particularly cognitive and/or psychiatric disabilities, are more likely to become involved in the child welfare system than non-disabled parents, with many having their parental rights terminated. Child welfare cases involving parents with disabilities present special challenges and opportunities for advocacy.

Faculty will address:
  • ADA Title II
  • Reasonable Accommodations and Reasonable Efforts
  • Advocacy Strategies Regarding Disability
  • Expert Testimony
  • Signs of Progress in Recent Case Law and Statutory Changes
This program was recorded on March 14th, 2018.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Joshua B. Kay

Clinical Assistant Professor of Law
The University of Michigan Law School

Professor Joshua B. Kay, '08, is a clinical assistant professor of law in the Child Advocacy Law Clinic. He also has taught in the Child Welfare Appellate Clinic.

Professor Kay has litigated numerous child abuse and neglect cases in trial courts, the Michigan Court of Appeals, and the Michigan Supreme Court. His primary interests center around the intersection of disability law and child protection law.

He earned his BA with high honors and Phi Beta Kappa from Oberlin College, where he received the R.H. Stetson Award in Psychology and Psychobiology. He then earned his MA and PhD in psychology from the University of Michigan, where he was a Regents' Fellow.

Prior to earning his JD, cum laude, from Michigan Law, he served as an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Michigan Medical School, where he studied the cognitive and developmental impacts of pediatric traumatic brain injury and was an attending psychologist and member of the ethics committee at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. He also taught courses in clinical assessment and supervised the clinical work of graduate students in the Department of Psychology.

After law school, Professor Kay joined Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service as a Skadden Fellow, receiving a certificate of appreciation for his representation of parents with disabilities in child welfare matters from the University of Michigan Council for Disability Concerns. Recent Publications "Advocacy Approaches to Meet the Needs of Children with Disabilities in Child Protection Proceedings." (Work in Progress). "Applying the Americans with Disabilities Act in Child Protection Proceedings." Cap. U. L. Rev. (Forthcoming). "The Legal Response to Child Abuse and Neglect." In The APSAC Handbook on Child Maltreatment. 4th ed., edited by B. Klika and J. Conte, 182-99. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 2017. "Legal Issues in Child Welfare Cases Involving Children with Disabilities." F. Vandervort, co-author. In Child Abuse: Children with Disabilities, edited by V. J. Palusci et al., 213-34. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2017. "Mental Health Evaluations in Child Welfare Settings." In Child Welfare Law and Practice. 3rd ed., edited by D. N. Duquette, V. S. Sankaran, and A. M. Haralambie. Denver, Colo.: Bradford Publishing Co., 2016. "Representing Parents with Disabilities." In Representing Parents in Child Welfare Cases, edited by V. S. Sankaran and M. Guggenheim, 253-68. Chicago: American Bar Association, 2015.

Amy Mulzer

Staff Attorney & Instructor of Clinical Law
Brooklyn Law School

Professor Amy Mulzer is a staff attorney and instructor of clinical law in the Disability and Civil Rights Clinic: Advocating for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at Brooklyn Law School. Previously, she was an Acting Assistant Professor of Lawyering at NYU School of Law.

While in law school, Amy interned at the Welfare Law Center in New York City and the Legal Aid Society's Homeless Rights Project. She also participated in the Tenants' Rights Project, assisting SRO tenants to improve conditions in their buildings. Amy clerked for Judge Jack B. Weinstein of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Prior to attending law school, Amy worked at the Poverello Center, an emergency shelter in Missoula, Montana.

Carrie Ann Lucas

Case Strategy Director
Office of Respondent Parents' Counsel

Carrie Ann is a Staff Attorney and Case Strategy Director at the Office of Respondent Parents' Counsel.

Robyn Powell

Research Associate
Brandeis University

Robyn Powell, JD, is a Lurie Institute Doctoral Fellow and Research Associate. She received her JD from Suffolk University Law School and her BS in Social Work from Bridgewater State University. Her research interests include disability law and policy, particularly the needs, experiences, and rights of parents with disabilities and their children. Most recently, Robyn served as an Attorney Advisor at the National Council on Disability

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