Claudia Center, JD, Legal Director of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
Formerly the Senior Staff Attorney in the Disability Rights Program of the national ACLU Foundation, DREDF Legal Director Claudia Center litigates cases that increase civil rights and civil liberties for persons with disabilities, and represents the disability community in legislative, amicus, and appellate work.
As director of the disability rights program at the Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center (now Legal Aid At Work), Ms. Center founded the Workers’ Rights Disability Law Clinic at the Ed Roberts Campus, and played a key role in the passage of comprehensive amendments to the Fair Employment and Housing Act that successfully expanded protections for persons with disabilities in employment and housing. In addition, she argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in US Airways, Inc. v. Barnett, a case that confirmed a broad scope of “reasonable accommodations” for disabled employees.
Claudia has served as an adjunct professor teaching disability rights law at Hastings College of the Law and at Berkeley Law. Following law school, Ms. Center was a staff attorney at the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (now NARAL Pro-Choice America) in Washington, D.C. and was a recipient of the Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship in 1992. She attended Berkeley Law (J.D., 1991) and Wesleyan University (B.A., 1987). In 2009, she received the Paul G. Hearne Award for Disability Rights from the ABA Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law (now the Commission on Disability Rights).