University of Iowa News Release
Oct. 28, 2003
UI Law Professor Sandler Receives Iowa Civil Rights Award
Leonard Sandler, a University of Iowa professor of law, was recently honored
by the Friends of Iowa Civil Rights, Inc., for his leadership in helping
to improve the lives of persons with disabilities across the state.
Sandler received the Iowa Civil Rights Award for an individual in ceremonies
on Oct. 23. in Des Moines. This is the second such honor this year for Sandler,
who teaches in the College of Law's Clinical Law Program, and directs assistive
technology, disability and systems reform projects. Earlier this year, he
received the Isabel Turner Award from the Iowa City Human Rights Commission
for his work in helping persons with disabilities in Johnson County.
In his work, Sandler supervises law student interns who use traditional
and non-traditional approaches to removing legal, architectural and attitudinal
barriers confronted by persons with disabilities. In the 13 years Sandler
has been teaching in the Law Clinic, some of its notable statewide initiatives
--persuading Iowa to adopt the ADA Accessibility Guidelines as the
state accessibility code in 2004.
--conducting workshops on how communities can access federal and state funds
to help renters, landlords and homeowners with disabilities or functional
limitations modify their homes, acquire assistive technology and remove barriers
to independent living.
--helping draft and lobby for a state tax credit for small business to hire,
retain or accommodate workers with disabilities as well as a consumer protection "lemon
law" warranty act for assistive devices.
--developing and distributing best practice materials to ensure that Iowa
consumers and providers understand their rights, responsibilities and ways
to improve the system for delivering mental health and developmental disability
--promoting universal design standards in homes and apartments to improve
their accessibility for disabled persons, drafting legislation to establish
minimum design standards and helping Iowa City draft and adopt the first
ordinance in Iowa that requires publicly funded homes to have a no-step
entrance, reinforced bathroom walls, wider doorways and thermostats and
controls that are placed at easy-to-reach heights.
--helping the Iowa Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Commission
draft legislation to establish that residency, rather than legal settlement,
is the key eligibility criteria for receiving mental health services.
--establishing one of the first legal clinics in the country to provide
free legal representation for individuals and their family members who
have HIV or AIDS, and no-cost community education, grassroots and legislative
advocacy on related matters.
--providing free technical assistance and advice to private and public
businesses, agencies and organizations on disability, employment, universal
design standards, web design and accessibility and other issues. Such organizations
include the Cedar Rapids Kernels baseball club, the Coral Ridge Mall and
mall stores, the New Pioneer Co-op stores, the Mt. Vernon United Methodist
Church, the Systems Change network, the Iowa Disability Advocates, the
Evert Conner Center for Independent Living, the Johnson County Coalition
for Persons with Disabilities and Johnson County SEATS (paratransit).
--co-authoring the amicus brief on behalf of the National Council on Disability
in the U.S. Supreme Court case Chevron v. Echazabal regarding ADA protections
for an employee who poses a direct threat to self or others.
STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa
City, Iowa 52242-2500.
MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010, firstname.lastname@example.org