Susana Lorenzo-Giguere, career civil servant

A career attorney with over 26 years of experience at the United States Department of Justice, Susana Lorenzo-Giguere has served 7 years in the Department’s Criminal Division and 19 years in the Department’s Civil Rights Division. She currently co-chairs of the Indian Working Group (IWG) at the Civil Rights Division whose mission is “to assist the Division in meeting its law enforcement duties and responsibilities to Indian Country and Native American people.”

In 2013 the IWG and the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission agreed to a memorandum of understanding establishing a communication process by which civil rights complaints by members of the Navajo Nation can be brought to the IWG. The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission operates as a clearinghouse to address discrimination against citizens of the Navajo Nation. The IWG works to identify civil rights issues that affect Native Americans and to refer, coordinate, support and monitor the division’s enforcement and outreach activities involving Native Americans. The MOU continues to foster communication between the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission and the IWG.

Aside from her duties under with IWG, Susana Lorenzo-Giguere handles a wide variety of matters in the Civil Rights Division’s Disability Rights Section including ensuring the accessibility of public playgrounds for children with disabilities; protecting access to healthcare for patients with HIV; and administering claims to a 16 million dollar damage award for hundreds of people who are deaf or hard of hearing and were unable to access their bank accounts because of denied relay calls. She has spoken on behalf of the Disability Rights Section about federal protections against hepatitis-based discrimination; and the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act in corrections settings.

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Recession Hits Harder for Americans with Disabilities

Despite great strides made in the wake of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the tight economy has fallen disproportionately hard on people with disabilities.
According to some estimates, people with disabilities are more than six times likely to have left the workforce as their able-bodied counterparts. As of June 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that less than one third of people with disabilities held jobs in the labor force. This means that just 4 million out of a total 15.3 million Americans with disabilities were working.
The situation has drawn the attention of a number of political leaders, including Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), who urged fellow lawmakers to recognize the impact of the recession on Americans with disabilities.
About Susana Lorenzo-Giguere: A veteran attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Susan Lorenzo- Giguere currently serves in the Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section.

 

About Susana Lorenzo-Giguere
An attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, she has participated in a number of cases regarding rights of individuals with disabilities. She holds membership in the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. She has also conducted election related work in Romania, Cote d’Ivoire, and Cambodia.