For the wellbeing of adults with disabilities, The Taft Foundation endowed Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) law school with a $1 million grant, funding a program addressing those individuals’ legal needs, NSU announced recently from Fort Lauderdale.
Citizens with intellectual and developmental challenges will benefit from a clinical initiative planned for fall 2016 and designed to be staffed by third-year law students by January 2017.
"Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have a myriad of legal issues that can impede their independence and infringe on their individual rights," Jon Garon, dean of NSU's Shepard Broad College of Law, said. "This is an exciting opportunity for us to serve this vastly underserved population by partnering with the Taft Foundation to provide pro bono legal services."
Civic benefits, housing, and education will be topmost priorities for advocacy, along with supportive community outreach for those individuals, their families and service providers. Along with that comes continuing public awareness work every step of the way.
The Taft Foundation was named for and established by Don Taft, who passed away in 2011. A philanthropist and dedicated South Floridian community member, he bestowed a large gift to NSU.
"This $1 million grant will enable NSU to continue reaching out to South Florida's special needs community to improve their day-to-day adult lives," NSU President Dr. George L. Hanbury said. "Serving the community is one [of] NSU's core values."
Garon noted the program will expose students to a wide range of skills, including litigation, planning and drafting, and mediation. "It's an unparalleled laboratory for them to develop their professional identities,” he said.
NSU’s main campus in Fort Lauderdale, with branches in Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach, Tampa, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.