Law, Advocacy and Life

Season 2

Episode 1: Law, Advocacy and Life

What we learned about Law, Advocacy, and Life…

Wendy Wilkinson (Bio)

We learned that the Southwest ADA Center (Southwest DBTAC) is the Southwest’s leading resource on the Americans with Disabilities Act and related disability rights laws.  Our guest, Wendy Wilkinson, is Director of the SW DBTAC.  Their web address is You can contact these specialists on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related disability laws, via a toll-free telephone number Monday–Friday 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. Central time. Call 800-949-4232 (v/tty) or 713-520-0232 (v/tty).  All calls are confidential.


The Disability Law Handbook is a 64-page guide to the basics of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other disability related laws. Written in an FAQ format, The Disability Law Handbook answers questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act, the ADA Amendments Act, the Rehabilitation Act, Social Security, the Air Carrier Access Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, and the Fair Housing Act Amendments. Free copies may be downloaded at:

Hard copies can now be purchased for a $5 charge (includes shipping & handling) at:

Call the ADA Center at 1.800.949.4232 v/tty to request a copy.

If you have experienced any problems recently trying to place an order for copies of The Disability Law Handbook, please use the following updated link to make your purchases:

If you have additional questions or continue to experience problems trying to place an order, please call 713.520.0232 ext.125 or contact us via email at

Write to the SW DBTAC:

Send an e-mail:

Use their form: If you don’t have email or prefer to be anonymous, you can ask a question or leave a comment directly through their form.


Send a letter: If cyberspace isn’t your thing, they still like snail mail:

DBTAC Southwest ADA Center

2323 S. Shepherd

Suite #1000

Houston, TX 77019

H. Clyde Farrell (Bio)

Our guest, Clyde Farrell, is an attorney specializing in Elder Law.  Clyde discussed Disability Planning, Long-Term Care Insurance, Medicaid Planning, Medicaid Rules, Medicare, Social Security, IRWE and answered these, as well as other questions:

How can the new Medicaid Buy-In Program help persons with disabilities?

What are the rights of persons with disabilities who are working or want to work?

What if a Medicaid beneficiary needs Medicaid in order to work?

I have a serious disability that requires personal care attendants, but I can make a pretty good income. How can I get help with paying the attendants?

How can I avoid waiver program waiting list?

How can a person avoid losing SSI and Medicaid due to an inheritance?

Actual Lives

We were treated to an Actual Lives performance by Regina Blye (Bio), who sang  “How it Feels to Be Free”.   Learn more about Austin Actual Lives at


Dolores Gonzalez (Bio)

Dolores Gonzalez, City of Austin ADA Coordinator, enlightened us about our city access issues.  Dolores can be contacted at: Phone 512-974-3256


Garth Corbett (Bio)

We learned from our guest Garth Corbett about another free legal service called Advocacy Inc.  It is located at:

7800 Shoal Creek Blvd.


Austin, TX 78757-1024

Phone 512-454-4816 (V/TDD)
512-323-0902  (V/TDD)


They have a great web site.  See

Speak Out!  Even though it is copyrighted, readers are encouraged to copy and share the information in “Speak Out.”  Please credit the Information Technology Technical Assistance and Training Center (ITTATC) even though it is no longer in operation.  We make it available to download here.

  • The basics of speaking out
  • Your legal rights
  • Rehab Act: Section 501 complaint procedure
  • Communications Act: Section 255 complaint procedure
  • ADA – Title I complaint procedure
  • Templates for letters of complaint

Laws on Accessible Technology (not on our show but good law info)

During the spring of 2007, a new coalition, the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT), was established to try to fix these problems. Founding organizations include Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), and the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). As of April 10, 2009, over 230 national, regional, state or local organizations are members of the COAT.