ARCH Disability Law Centre partners with Osgoode Hall Law School Program in new Experiential Education Program

Monday, January 7, 2013

ARCH Disability Law Centre partners with Osgoode Hall Law School Program in new Experiential Education Program

ARCH Disability Law Centre is very pleased to announce that, in partnership with Osgoode Hall Law School, it will host the Disability Law Intensive Program.  York University's Osgoode Hall Law School has approved the creation of a new experiential education program to assist law students in understanding the issues of people with disabilities. This exciting new program will assist ARCH in its mandate to meet the needs of persons with disabilities and will enhance the legal services that ARCH now provides for the disability community.

The Disability Law Intensive Program, the first of its kind in Canada, will provide second and third year Osgoode Juris Doctor (JD) students with a unique opportunity to learn about a vast scope of law that mostly affects people with disabilities. Osgoode Professor Roxanne Mykitiuk will co-direct the new course. Marian MacGregor, an adjunct faculty member and director of Osgoode's Community and Legal Aid Services Program and, member of the ARCH Board of Directors, will co-direct the course with Professor Mykitiuk.

ARCH Disability Law Centre is a specialty community legal aid clinic dedicated to defending and advancing the equality rights of people with disabilities in Ontario. The students who participate in the program will engage in the practice of disability law through involvement in individual client advocacy and systemic policy-based advocacy.

Starting this September, up to 12 students will participate in the program throughout the 2013-2014 academic year.  A skills training week will be held in August at ARCH, after which the students will begin their clinical placements under the tutelage of ARCH lawyers.  Every two weeks throughout the academic year, the students will participate in an academic seminar at Osgoode and they will also be required to complete a major research paper as part of the 15-credit program.

The program, which was approved by Osgoode Faculty Council on the International Day of Disabled Persons (December 3), assists ARCH as it strives to remove barriers to access to justice faced by people with disabilities.  Specifically, Disability Intensive students will handle cases in the area of attendant services.  This area is one of ARCH’s priority areas and offers opportunities for interaction between the students and persons with disabilities, enhancing skills in the areas of interviewing, case management, negotiating, written and oral advocacy.

ARCH Board and staff are very grateful to Osgoode Hall Law School for this opportunity to contribute to the training of lawyers to continue in the practice of disability law as well as to promote the full participation of students with disabilities.