The purpose of EBCALA is to educate lawyers, advocates and parents about the legal challenges of autism. Formed in late 2008, EBCALA provides training, resources and a forum within which to advance legal and advocacy strategies to improve the lives of those with autism.
The autism community faces severe legal hurdles in many areas, including special education, insurance, healthcare, family law, criminal law and tort law, particularly related to vaccine injury. Since 2009, EBCALA has organized an annual conference each May in Chicago, Illinois during the Autism One conference to address the unique legal needs of the autism community.
EBCALA has submitted amicus briefs in recent court cases of critical importance to the autism community. It filed an amicus brief in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, a case before the U.S. Supreme Court about the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, and in Cedillo v. HHS, a case on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit from the Omnibus Autism Proceeding. EBCALA also partnered with Pace Law School to undertake a study of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program of the Court of Federal Claims.
EBCALA board members frequently lecture, present testimony, and write articles on the legal issues of significance to the autism community. The Center will continue to research, teach and train people on the legal challenges facing the autism community and serve as a legal resource to the autism community.
EBCALA is dedicated to the memory of Elizabeth Birt, a remarkable lawyer and parent advocate who fought to recognize and address the legal needs of the autism community.