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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Vanita Gupta to Keynote 2015 NCIL Conference

The head of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Vanita Gupta, is set to deliver the keynote address at the 2015 NCIL Annual Conference in Washington, DC. In addition to her tremendous contributions to the legal sector of Civil Rights, Ms. Gupta has been a strong advocate in legal matters regarding education and disability rights.

Generation ADA: Rise Up! 2015 Annual Conference on Independent Living (Image: red power fist outlined by a black circle)A significant figure in the fight to promote equal rights for all, Ms. Gupta has recently spoken about the Department of Justice cases involving the unlawful flagging of scores of LSAT test takers receiving disability accommodations by LSAC (Law School Admissions Council) and parenting rights of individuals who have mental or physical limitations and have been wrongfully refused rights relating to their own children. Upon her graduation from Law school, she began her legal career with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, her first notable case succeeded in the effort to overturn the wrongful drug convictions of 38 individuals in Tulia, Texas.

Ms. Gupta took her position as head of the Civil Rights Division in October 2014. Under her leadership, the Division continues its crucially important work in a number of areas, including advancing constitutional policing and other criminal justice reforms, ensuring that individuals with disabilities are afforded an opportunity to live in integrated community settings, protecting the rights of LGBTI individuals, and combating discrimination in lending and voting. Prior to joining DOJ, she was Deputy Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union and Director of its Center for Justice.

Vanita has won numerous awards for her advocacy and has been quoted extensively in national and international media on civil rights issues. In 2011, the National Law Journal recognized her as a Top 40 Minority Lawyer Under 40. Vanita is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale University and received her law degree from New York University School of Law.

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