The eJournal is sponsored by the Syracuse University College of Law Disability Law and Policy (DLP) Program of the Syracuse University Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies (CHPLDS). The DLP Program sponsors a range of law school academic programs and co-curricular activities, including the first joint degree program in law and disability studies. The Program is part of the CHPLDS which is the first such university-wide network of academic programs, centers, student organizations, and affiliated faculty whose research, teaching, and advocacy promotes the rights of people with disabilities locally, nationally, and globally.

Sponsored by Syracuse University Disability Law & Policy (DLP) Program

"Health and Taxes: Hospitals, Community Health and the IRS" Free Download
U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-05

MARY CROSSLEY, University of Pittsburgh - School of Law

The Affordable Care Act created new conditions of federal tax exemption for nonprofit hospitals, including a requirement that hospitals conduct a community health needs assessment (CHNA) every three years to identify significant health needs in their communities and then to develop and implement a strategy responding to those needs. As a result, hospitals must now do more than provide charity care to their patients in exchange for the benefits of tax exemption, and the CHNA requirement has the potential both to prompt a radical change in hospitals’ relationship to their communities and to enlist hospitals as meaningful contributors to community health improvement initiatives. Final regulations issued in December 2014 clarify hospitals’ obligations under the CHNA requirement, but could do more to facilitate hospitals’ engagement in collaborative community health projects. The IRS has a rich opportunity, while hospitals are still learning to conduct CHNAs, to develop guidance establishing clear but flexible expectations for how they assess and address community needs. This Article urges the IRS to seize that opportunity by refining its regulatory framework for the CHNA requirement to more robustly promote transparency, accountability, community engagement, and collaboration, while simultaneously leaving hospitals a good degree of flexibility. By promoting alignment between hospitals’ regulatory compliance activities and broader community health improvement initiatives, the IRS could play a meaningful role in efforts to reorient our system towards promoting health and not simply treating illness.

"The Obligation to Support Adult Children: When Does 'Childhood' End?" Free Download
Queen's University Legal Research Paper No. 2015-020

NICHOLAS BALA, Queen's University (Canada) - Faculty of Law
BRITTANY CHAPUT, Queen's University (Canada) - Faculty of Law

This paper examines the provisions of the federal Divorce Act and Ontario’s Family Law Act that impose an obligation on parents to support adult children, and reviews leading cases interpreting this legislation. While this remains a contentious and discretionary area, there are some clear trends in the case law. Social and economic changes have resulted in “delayed adulthood;? young adults are living with their parents longer as well as looking to parents for financial support for increasingly long periods of postsecondary education. These changes are reflected in changing judicial attitudes to support of adult children whose parents have separated or divorced: compared to two decades ago, the courts are recognizing a greater and longer obligation to provide support for adult children. For higher income payors, this may extend to support for a professional degree or further education after an undergraduate degree, with support until the mid-twenties. When an adult child has a disability and continues to reside with one parent and receive care and support from that parent, the courts may extend the support obligation into the late 20’s and beyond, though social assistance and disability pensions will be taken into account in setting the amount of this obligation.

"Disparate Treatment & Lost Opportunity: Courts' Approach to Students with Mental Health Disabilities Under the IDEA" Free Download


The United States is experiencing a mental health epidemic. Millions of Americans suffer from untreated mental health disabilities. Consequently, prisons and homeless shelters are packed with individuals struggling with these disabilities. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA?), the flagship civil rights legislation for students with disabilities, presents a significant opportunity to address this crisis. However, this opportunity has not been realized because a large number of courts have adopted a narrow approach to the IDEA that denies students with mental health disabilities equal access to special education supports and services. This article examines the judiciary’s discriminatory approach and argues that it is both legally flawed and extremely problematic from a policy perspective.


About this eJournal

Sponsored by: Syracuse University Disability Law & Policy (DLP) Program.

This eJournal distributes working and accepted paper abstracts which address issues of domestic, comparative, and international disability law and policy and disability studies, including  issues related to mental health and mental disability law and policy. The eJournal addresses legal issues, legislation, policy and a critical examination of disability as part of diversity in the US and in other societies throughout the world.


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