Disability Justice is civil rights.
We educate, advocate and agitate for democracy.
Board of Directors
Dorothy K Dean, Founder & CEO
Dorothy K Dean, served as an elected official in Milwaukee County. Dean advocated for better mental health options, fair housing, victims of crime, county parks, economic development and mass transit. Dean is a life-long advocate for public policy that improves the quality of life. She has served on many community boards.
Rachel C. Kresser, Director
Rachel C. Kresser, a proponent for disability rights, has worked with both individuals and families to encourage self-advocacy. She has worked in collaboration with the MPS school system, Family Court, as well as multiple community organizations and non-profits in the Milwaukee area. Her diverse background as a consultant, research assistant, and coordinator gives her strong insight into the intricacies of disability civil rights.
Jo Kolanda, Director
Jo Kolanda led the effort to write and enact Wisconsin's first statutory recognition of victims' rights. This was the first victim rights legislation in the country. She was first Director of the Victim Witness Services unit in the office of the Milwaukee County District Attorney, working to make the criminal justice system responsive to the needs of crime victims. She has been a featured speaker at seminars and conferences around the country.
We each have disabilities.
The Last Place You Expect Barriers to Inclusion
The Americans with Disabilities Act mandates that all government entities develop a plan to meet or exceed ADA standards. The plan was mandated in 1993. Very few plans were ever started.
We want a Wisconsin commitment to the civil rights of people with disabilities. We want discrimination in the Department of Safety and Professional Services to stop. We want discrimination in the Department of Transportation and the DMV to stop. (We will post more information about this as we progress.)
Milwaukee Area Technical College finally has ADA compliant restrooms at Oak Creek campus. It took a discrimination complaint to the US Department of Justice. MATC's investment in ADA compliance over 15 years was a miserable 2% of the budget. MATC's budget is public tax dollars. Where is the money going?
There are pool lifts now at every one of Xperience Fitness' gyms in the state of Wisconsin. The US Department of Justice is also requiring other improvements. This is an example for every other fitness place in Wisconsin.
The Washington Court Hotel (in DC) has made numerous improvements throughout: guest rooms, convention center, staff training, and more.
Numerous privately-owned parking lots have better striping and have stopped pushing snow into the handicapped spots. This is the result of conversations between advocates and owners and managers.
no curb cuts,
steps with no ramp,
locked handicap entrances.
We demand better.
"We will not tolerate discrimination in America."
- George H W Bush, 1990 signing the ADA into law