Jonathan Delman, JD, MPH is the director of CLEN, the Consumer Legal Education Network.
You may contact attorney Delman by phone at 617-929-4111 or FAX: 617-929-4128.
or by US Mail to: 197 Ashmont Street, Dorchester MA 02124-3801
or by e-mail to: jdCLEN@aol.com (Jonathan Delman)

THE CONSUMER LEGAL EDUCATION NETWORK (CLEN)

July 7th 2000: THIS PAGE is still UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!

The Consumer Legal Education Network (CLEN), founded in 1996, is a project aimed at educating consumers of mental health care services, family members, and friends on significant legal and human rights issues so that they will understand and enforce their rights.

Underlying our mission is the notion that consumers, individually or in groups, are capable of recognizing problems and issues as they arise and of addressing them effectively.

CLEN's MISSION:

Providing interactive educational workshops for consumers and family members on significant areas of the law related to treatment, recovery, and rehabilitaion process:

EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS
EDUCATION RIGHTS
HOUSING RIGHTS
HEALTH CARE ACCESS
RIGHTS OF PARENTS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS
HUMAN RIGHTS

* Training interested consumers to provide peer counseling and workshop leadership.

* Advising consumer advocacy and other peer groups on organizational and systemic issues and strategies.

* Publishing reports and guidelines on disability rights matters.

* Holding annual conferences on legal issues of interest and importance.

THE GOALS

OPPORTUNITIES:
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and related state and federal anti-discrimination laws, now prohibit most employers, universities, housing authorities, governmental agencies, and health care providers from discriminating against a person based on his/her disability. Because many consumers are not aware of their rights under these laws, they are at a significant disadvantage in dealing with these entities.

However, consumers who are informed of their right to a "reasonable accommodation" in the workplace, of their right to have rules and policies modified to allow them access to public accommodations (such as universities), and of the prohibitions against disability-related questions, are encouraged to seek and fight for meaningful employment, educational, and housing opportunities that they might otherwise forgo.

As such, CLEN works to enhance opportunities for consumers to reach their lifestyle, career and educational goals.

EMPOWERMENT:
Understanding that knowledge is power and appropriate use of knowledge is empowering, CLEN seeks to foster a feeling of empowerment within consumers concerning the course of their own lives.

As such, CLEN encourages consumers to take a more interactive role in their treatment planning and in protecting their human rights.

Furthermore, participation in educational trainings and the annual conference fosters consumer self-confidence in working as educators and facilitators.

POLICY DEVELOPMENT:

With knowledge of the law, consumers are more capable of following important policy developments and of participating in policy-making through peer advocacy groups and via advisory and human rights committees. In addition, policy mandates resulting from the annual conferences are more likely to have the support and backing of consumers when widely discussed among them.

THE CHALLENGE:

To establish a network by which CLEN, peer counselors, and workshop attendees share information both formally and informally with other interested consumers so that there is less dependence on institutions for legal assistance.

CONTACTING CLEN:

Jonathan Delman, JD, MPH is the director of CLEN, the Consumer Legal Education Network.

You may contact attorney Delman by phone at 617-929-4111 or FAX: 617-929-4128.
or by US Mail to: 197 Ashmont Street, Dorchester MA 02124-3801
or by e-mail to: jdCLEN@aol.com (Jonathan Delman)
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