Equal Rights Center
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Government Services

Woman working at deskThe ability to freely move throughout society and participate in all governmental services and activities is a right of every individual.  The ERC works to ensure government entities do not discriminate against members of protected groups when they seek access to government benefits, activities, services and programs.

Since our founding, the ERC has achieved a number of landmark victories, improving language interpretations services for those with limited English proficiency and gaining structural access to polling places, parking meters, and governmental buildings.  In addition, the ERC continues to advocate for compliance with the D.C. Language Access Act to ensure non-English speakers have access to local government services.

ERC Work & Publications Bar

Two Decades of Protecting Disability Rights--The ADA Turns 20“Two Decades of Protecting Disability Rights—The ADA Turns 20”

Read the ERC report card timeline covering our victories in protecting access to government services and public accommodations.

Read an accessible version of the "The ADA Turns 20" >>


D.C. Government, ERC Reach Agreement to Make District Agencies More Accessible for Individuals Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

The ERC and District of Columbia recently reached a groundbreaking agreement to make sign language interpreters and auxiliary aids and services available throughout District agencies for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

“Being able to effectively communicate with a police officer, a school principal, or other government agents is a basic civil right that is largely ignored until there is a problem. This is an incredible, cutting-edge agreement that will use some of the most current technologies to improve the accessibility of government services here in our nation’s capital. This agreement will provide District residents who are deaf or hard of hearing the same access to programs and services that the hearing community take for granted to protect our health and well-being everyday” said Don Kahl, Executive Director of the ERC.

ERC, D.C. Lottery Reach Agreement to Make Lottery Accessible to People with Disabilites 

“The Equal Rights Center is pleased to reach an agreement with the District of Columbia that will improve the accessibility of the D.C. Lottery and allow all individuals to enjoy playing its games,” said Don Kahl, Executive Director of the ERC. “D.C. is one of the most progressive jurisdictions across the country in terms of advancing and protecting the civil rights of its residents; it has taken another important step to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities through this important agreement.”

The agreement, a result of a lawsuit filed by the ERC and others in 2006, takes several steps to ensure D.C. Lottery Agents are accessible to individuals with disabilities.  

Equal Rights Center Reaches Agreement with the District of Columbia to Make the Wilson Building and District Emergency Evacuation Procedures More Accessible

Don Kahl, Executive Director of the Equal Rights Center, said, "The District has made another stride to ensure all its residents and visitors are treated without discrimination. We hope more cities across the nation recognize the importance of making their facilities accessible for all."

Failure to Communicate: Report on Language Barriers in DC Government Services, 2007

The ERC conducted an investigation evaluating the extent to which five D.C. government departments were in compliance with the D.C. Language Access Act.  The ERC found that all five departments failed to provide appropriate translation services.

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For Civil Minds- the ERC's blog

Read the ERC's blog to learn more about a variety of civil rights issues. The blog is updated frequently so remember to keep checking back for new stories and topics!

Download our Government Services Brochure

Learn more about your rights and what the ERC can do to help.

Read an accessible version of the Government Services Brochure >>

Learn more about accessible technology requirements

The Rehabilitation Act requires Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible.

Referral Guide

Learn more about service providers and organizations which offer you support.

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