State by State ADA Highlights Compiled 2006

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1 State by State ADA Highlights Compiled 2006 Alaska A member of the AOC s professional staff is designated as the court s centralized ADA compliance officer. At each court location, a court employee has been designated as the ADA coordinator for that location. Training is very infrequent, but the ADA centralized officer will use teleconferencing or send mailings of relevant materials to the local ADA coordinators. See (State Coordinators) See (Alaska s ADA Compliance Program) This is an excellent outline to follow for definitions and responsibilities. Also see: Arizona For Arizona State Courts Building ADA Accessibility, see This web page list all of the ADA guidelines related to court accessibility, which have been met. See The Arizona Office for Americans with Disabilities, which serves as ADA Coordinator for the State of Arizona. Training is available through this state office. California California Judicial Council Subcommittee on Access for Persons with Disabilities produced this 177 page report entitled, Access to the California State Courts: A Survey of Court Users, Attorneys and Court Personnel and it is available online at: California has created a web page just for addressing issues of accessibility at the California Courts. This page houses FAQs, reports and publications, and a directory for contact information. This page can be found at: Colorado Colorado Judicial Department has produced a resource guide entitled, Access to Courts: A Resource Guide to Providing Reasonable Accommodations for People with Disabilities for Judicial Officers, Probation and Court Staff and this guide can be found at:

2 This document provides court staff with a source of information that defines when and how accommodation is to be made for people with disabilities. Connecticut From their website at: Access to the Courts and to Judicial Branch Facilities: The Connecticut Judicial Branch has a variety of equipment and services to assist individuals with disabilities in accessing its services and programs. The following equipment is available: Interpreter Services Infrared System FM Assistive Listening Kits CART Service Louder-R-Electronic Ear Pocket Talkers Braille Services Alternate Formats of Materials Reading Machines Delaware Delaware has an ADA Coordinator who is in the Executive Branch. This coordinator does provide training to court staff and the judiciary alike. District of Columbia H. Clifton Grandy, Senior Court Manager of the District of Columbia Courts serves as the Chief ADA Coordinator for the DC Courts. All the DC courthouses are in the same area in downtown DC and all of their assistive devices can be and are used where needed. ADA training for both judicial and court staff has been provided and will continue to be provided in the future. See DC Courts web page on Accessibility and Disability at: Florida A spokesperson from the Office of the State Courts Administrator stated that a public entity that employs 50 or more persons is required to designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with its ADA responsibilities (see s (a), 28 CFR Part 35). The Florida state courts have gone above and beyond this requirement. Almost immediately after passage of the Act, the Florida State Courts System established a network of local court ADA coordinators. At least one court employee in each trial and appellate court is designed to serve as the

3 ADA coordinator. There is also a team within the Office of the State Courts Administrator who has developed ADA expertise in various areas, such as employment, program accessibility and to a lesser extent facilities. The OSCA team members are available to assist the trial and appellate courts in regard to compliance with the Act. This approach has served the Florida courts well. ADA Guidelines developed by the Florida Office of the State Courts Administration are available online at: Because the purchase of assistive listening devices, TDDs and other similar equipment is a county responsibility pursuant to the Florida state constitution and Florida Statutes, the state courts have not really had the opportunity to take of advantage of such a loan program. Florida engages in extensive training. The following are examples: 2005 Court ADA Conference held in Orlando last summer. Each trial and appellate court was invited to send two staff to this two-day seminar. The chief judge of each trial court designated a team of two trainers who received faculty training during the summer of 1999 and were provided with model curricula on topics including the ADA. The trainers were requested to facilitate training sessions for court staff on fairness issues, including ADA compliance, diversity, and other disability-related matters. Florida Judiciary Education provides education programs that include disability issues, ADA compliance, and diversity for trial judges and trial court administrators. Georgia Georgia s Administrative Office of the Court has created a manual for use by state court officials entitled, A Handbook for Georgia Court Officials on Courtroom Accessibility for Individuals with Disabilities and this handbook is available online at: (Please note Part III of this manual establishes a disability/accommodation protocol.) The State of Georgia maintains an ADA Coordinator s Office. This office serves as a technical resource to state agencies for the ADA s accommodation process and as well as provides training on ADA topics for all state agencies. This office s web page is located at: Hawaii Hawaii s Judiciary ADA web page can be found at: AA5FE97E5DC59.html

4 (Hawaii allows visitors to request accommodations for specific needs through the Disability Accommodations Coordinators and the contact information for the Coordinators is listed at the following: E57FEA html Hawaii also has a Disability and Communication Access Board that serves as a public advocate of persons with disabilities by providing advice and recommendation on legislation, rules, policies, procedures and plans relating to persons with disabilities and their civil rights or service needs. The Board s web site is Louisiana Louisiana has a state ADA coordinator. The coordinator has provided the following for training purposes: Published very simple checklists for courts to test themselves for ADA compliance. These are in a comprehensive manual to assist courts with ADA compliance. Also, published numerous inexpensive ways to become ADA compliant and lists of vendors which offer assistive listening and other ADA devices. Purchased and urged the Louisiana Court Administrators to show a training film for Disability Awareness. Conduct special training sessions for ADA and Disability Awareness for courts upon request. Maine The State of Maine Judicial Branch maintains a web site with it s policy statement at: ml James T. Glessner serves as the ADA Coordinator for Maine s Judicial Branch. He deals with grievances filed by those who feel that they have not been provided with reasonable accommodations. Maine does have a system for sharing assistive listening devices for those courts that do not have them. It is handled through the Office of Electronic Recording. Maine does not have a system in place to provide for ADA training. Maryland For a current list of ADA Coordinators for the state of Maryland, see A good sample of an online request for court accommodations can be found at:

5 Michigan Michigan s SCAO model policy for requests for accommodations by persons with disabilities can be found at: Minnesota Minnesota has a state ADA coordinator in the State Court Administrator s office. ADA implementation authority is placed at the district level with the Chief Judges and Judicial District Administrators. Counties are responsible for facilities in Minnesota. The courts and/or counties have installed assisted listening devices in courtrooms throughout the state. Almost all of the courtrooms have assisted listening devices. The SCAO has provided some ADA training for court administrative staff. Missouri Each individual circuit court possesses at least one assistive listening device that the state court administrator s office purchased. For visually impaired court patrons, the central court administrator s office has a Braille printer that can be used to overnight documents to any court upon request Additional listening devices are maintained by the court administrator s office that can be sent to any court in the circuit if necessary New Hampshire The New Hampshire Governor s Commission on Disability serves as the state ADA Coordinator. The state court employs a number of listening devices, but not enough for each court so they are sent around as needed. Specially tailored ADA training programs are offered to Court Security Officers, Clerks and Registers, and new employees. New Jersey Each courthouse has a coordinator to ensure that disabled court patrons have the services they need. To find a listing of all the local ADA Coordinators as well as a description of ADA policy for the New Jersey judiciary click the following: North Dakota ND does not have an ADA statewide coordinator. ADA training is offered to the state courts through the Association of Counties. This Association does an annual survey of ADA compliance within each courthouse. The court is notified of the results. Since the

6 counties own the buildings and are responsible for them, we work with individual counties if an ADA issue is noted. Oregon Oregon has a statewide ADA Coordinator, but to more effectively serve disabled persons, each court has a local ADA Coordinator. In challenging events for a local ADA Coordinator, the statewide ADA Coordinator serves as a resource and trainer for the local coordinators. Each local court maintains an inventory of assistive listening devices as well as abilities to print documents in larger font. Additionally, all the local courts have access to a statewide database that has contact information useful when Braille, real-time captioning or other assistive services are needed. All new employees have ADA training sessions as part of orientation. Court clerks have an annual training session. Court Administrators and local ADA Coordinators are required to attend a day long training session on the ADA. The Oregon Judiciary also formed a partnership with the Northwest ADA/IT Center in order to provide workshops to courts by request. Tennessee Each court has an ADA Coordinator in place to assist persons with disabilities in accessing the judiciary. Every judicial district within the state has access to assistive listening devices; the state is also in the process of purchasing devices that could be used in conjunction with court interpreting equipment. The Administrative Office of the Courts conducts periodic ADA training for local court officials and integrates training into statewide yearly conferences. The Tennessee judiciary website has a very useful FAQ s section: Vermont The Vermont Judiciary has a statewide ADA Coordinator who serves as the Human Resources Manager. Each court facility has portable assistive listening systems. If additional systems are needed there are some maintained on reserve at the Court Administrator s Office. The State of Vermont s Aging and Disabilities Agency has other types of equipment that the courts can access whenever needed to meet user needs. All employees and contractors are required to attend a basic ADA training session.

7 West Virginia The Supreme Court of West Virginia offers a web page directed at assisting those in need of special court accommodations. The web page is located at: Wisconsin The state has two ADA Coordinators, one to take care of trial court functions and one to take care of administrative issues. In practice, most questions are referred to an attorney in court operations. There is no formalized assistive listening device library, but many of the local district court administrators informally share devices among the various courts. Training is provided to all judges and clerks of court; beginning this year, all jury bailiffs will also be briefed on the ADA. Wyoming Both the state government and the judiciary have statewide ADA Coordinators. Each court also has an ADA Coordinator as well. Assistance from the state ADA Coordinator must be requested, but a variety of assistance is available through that channel. ADA training is done annually for all judges and clerks.

8 Listserv Results From Various States Regarding ADA Accessibility Efforts The results listed here are the ones received from various states in response to a quick listserv request. This is in no way an official indication of what a state may or may not be doing to ensure court accessibility since this request was made in Alabama State Coordinator Local Coordinators Training Provided Alaska infrequent Arizona Arkansas Library of Devices California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana some Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana 1 Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York 1 ADA Ombudsman

9 North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma State Coordinator Local Coordinators Training Provided Library of Devices Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas 2 Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming 2 Position of ADA Coordinator position served by the Governor s Committee on People with Disabilities

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