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Jessica Podesva

2017, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Jessica Podesva

Jessica Podesva

Name of Host Organization: Greater Boston Legal Services
City, State: Boston, Massachusetts
Issue area: Health Care
Sponsors: Biogen, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, L.L.P.

The Project

Provide advocacy and representation to ensure that people with disabilities have access to integrated and respectful health care in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Despite both federal and state laws mandating equal access to health care, PWDs frequently face significant barriers to receiving adequate medical care. Some barriers are physical barriers, including a lack of adaptive medical equipment such as examination tables and chairs, weight scales, radiological equipment, and mammography equipment.
The Right Person For This Project

Jessica is the right person for the project because:
• Through Jessica’s work as the ADA Transportation Advocacy fellow working on the enforcement phase of the transportation access class-action lawsuit Daniels-Finegold et. al. v. MBTA, she has collaborated with numerous community organizations in order to gather feedback and resolve access issues.

Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship

In the first six months, Jessica will:
• Attend relevant legal trainings
• Contact advocates and community organizations such as independent living centers to ensure collaboration and project awareness
• Work with Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) to develop intake protocol (VLP operates a free legal hotline to assist low-income Massachusetts residents through information, advice, and referrals to legal and social service agencies)
• Provide direct representation to 10-15 individuals.