Disability Law Colorado

A nonprofit organization

$28,860 raised by 67 donors

96% complete

$30,000 Goal

Your support changes the lives of people with disabilities and older people in Colorado for the better. In providing legal services and advocacy, Disability Law Colorado recognizes the inherent value of all people, and embraces empowerment, self-determination, independence, and inclusion.

Here are some examples of our work in action this year:

  • Following a flurry of complaints that we filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in 2021, Colorado changed the state rules this year to prohibit asking about a student’s disability prior to enrollment.  
  • Through the Elder Abuse Act Project: Raising Awareness through Abuse Prevention and Intervention, the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman at DLC partnered with experts in the field to create an educational series focused on abuse and neglect awareness and intervention.
  • After DLC’s multi-year advocacy efforts, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a letter of findings to the state regarding violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act for individuals residing in nursing homes who could be served in less restrictive settings.
  • As a result of a complaint we filed, the Colorado Department of Education determined that the Colorado Department of Corrections violated the rights of students with disabilities and ordered systemic remedies, including a year-long audit.
  • DLC reached a settlement with the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) on behalf of Deaf and hard of hearing people in CDOC’s custody to provide greater communication access. 


Your attorney "was extremely well versed and was a great help to us in resolving the situation with our daughter's" Individualized Education Plan..."We are very grateful for her help." "It was great to have Disability Law Colorado in our corner as we stood up for my child's rights."


The mission of Disability Law Colorado is to protect and promote the rights of people with disabilities and older people in Colorado through direct legal representation, advocacy, education and legislative analysis.

Disability Law Colorado has authority under federal law to investigate allegations of neglect and abuse, we help people obtain state and federally funded services, and we promote systemic change to improve the lives of children and adults with disabilities and senior citizens.

In providing legal services and advocacy, Disability Law Colorado recognizes the inherent value of all people, and embraces empowerment, self-determination, independence, and inclusion.

Background Statement

History of Disability Law Colorado

Center for Legal Advocacy dba Disability Law Colorado (formerly The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People) was established as a nonprofit corporation in 1976. It was created out of the dream of a small group of parents who came together to seek equal rights for their children who were living in an institution for people with developmental disabilities. These parents wanted a better life for their children, and they also believed that all people with disabilities deserved the right to live full and rewarding lives. They envisioned a time when:

�People who want to work can find employment-or job training and rehabilitation if needed

�People-whatever the nature of their disability-can live in their own homes instead of in an institution

�People can participate in community life, including exercising their right to vote

�Children can attend schools in their own neighborhoods and learn alongside their friends who don't have disabilities

�People who do live in institutions can still enjoy their lives and be treated with dignity and respect.

Disability Law Colorado was first designated as Colorado's federally mandated Protection and Advocacy System in 1977. Over time, Congress has expanded the Protection and Advocacy System and each time, Disability Law Colorado has expanded its programming to reach out to new groups of people with disabilities. The Older Americans programs and the HIV Legal Network were added in 1988. Our Grand Junction office opened in 1995.

On June 27, 2007, Governor Ritter signed a proclamation celebrating the 30th Anniversary of The Legal Center's designation as Colorado's Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System for people with disabilities. Since its founding, Disability Law Colorado has directly represented over 19,500 people with disabilities, provided technical assistance and self-advocacy support to thousands more, and reached another 77,500 through education and training. Some of our most satisfying legal advances have come through empowering people to advocate for their own cause.

Although groundbreaking laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, together with a gradual shift in public attitudes, have allowed many individuals to lead independent and productive lives, the daily reality for others is still one of struggle and frustration. Funding cuts at both the federal and state levels have resulted in drastic reductions in services. Some experience abuse or neglect in the facilities that provide them residential services, others experience discrimination in their efforts to work and live in their communities.

Our goal is to increase opportunities for people with disabilities to live and work in the community, enjoying independent and productive lives.

Organization Data


Organization name

Disability Law Colorado

other names

Disability Law Colorado, DLC, Center for Legal Advocacy dba The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy

Organization Size

Large Organization


455 Sherman Street, Suite 130
Denver, CO 80203

Service areas






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