Presentation on theme: "1 Court Accessibility Peter Blanck, Ph.D., J.D. William N. Myhill, M.Ed., J.D. December 5, 2007 An ILRU Webcast."— Presentation transcript:
1 Court Accessibility Peter Blanck, Ph.D., J.D. William N. Myhill, M.Ed., J.D. December 5, 2007 An ILRU Webcast
2 The Goals of Our Nation for Persons with Disabilities Equality of opportunity, Full participation, Independent living, and Economic self-sufficiency. “Fair access to the courts is a fundamental right in any system of justice.” Tennessee v. Lane (2004).
3 Historical, Legal Perspectives of Federal and State Responsibilities Early Emphasis on Physical and Facility Access Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Parking, Curb Cuts, Sidewalks, Ramps, Doorways, Witness Stands, Jury Boxes, Courtroom Benches, Lifts/Elevators, Restrooms
4 Historical, Legal Perspectives of Federal and State Responsibilities Applicable Laws, Guidelines and Standards Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) … serve as the baseline for the –ADA Standards for Accessible Design, which are used to enforce the ADA. –Apply to all State and Local Government Courts. Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) ABA Guidelines … serve as the baseline for Standards that –Apply to the design and construction of federally-funded courts, postal facilities and all other federally-funded facilities (except residential and military). Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) –Apply to the design and construction of federally-funded residential and military facilities. ADA-ABA Guidelines: Under the new guidelines, a more consistent level of access is specified under both the ADA and the ABA.
5 Historical, Legal Perspectives of Federal and State Responsibilities Historical Structure Exemptions The ADA-ABA Guidelines (ADAAG 4.1.7, F202.5) Applies to qualified historic buildings and facilities, which are those listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; or designated as historic under State or local law. If a qualified historic building or facility requires alterations to become accessible, the general rules apply … UNLESS …
6 Historical, Legal Perspectives of Federal and State Responsibilities Historical Structure Exemptions Unless compliance would “threaten or destroy” its historic significance. “Threaten or Destroy” – This determination generally requires consulting with the State Historic Preservation Officer (or Advisory Council on Historic Preservation). If it is determined the general rule alterations would “threaten or destroy” the building’s historic significance, Then accessibility alterations must comply with the alternative minimum requirements (4.1.7(3), F202.5): at least one accessible route into the building, into publicly used spaces and into one accessible toilet facility, on one level of the building, and displaying information viewable from seated level.
7 Meaningful Use and Effective Participation in Programs and Services Communication, Service, and Program Access Effective Communication and Information Emphasis on Persons with Vision, Hearing and Speech Impairments Assistive Listening Devices, Video Captioning Qualified Sign Language Interpreters, Communication Access Realtime Translation Relay Services – Telecommunications, Speech-to-Speech, and Video Voice and Hearing Carry Over Printed Materials in Alternate Formats – Audiotape, Braille, Large Print, Electronic Lighting and seating arrangements Web Site Accessibility (508, W3C)
8 Meaningful Use and Effective Participation in Programs and Services Communication, Service, and Program Access Accessible Programs and Services Emphasis on Persons with Cognitive and Mental Health Impairments –State Law determining qualifications as a juror –The use of new courtroom technologies –Reasonable modifications to procedures, programs and services
9 Current Needs and Future Trends The U.S. Access Board created the Courthouse Access Advisory Committee, which over a two year period (2004-06) evaluated the existing standards and prepared best practice recommendations via detailed guidance for achieving court facility accessibility. See: ‘Justice for All: Designing Accessible Courthouses.’ The ADA and ABA guidelines have been updated together in one rule that contains three parts: a scoping document for ADA facilities, a scoping document for ABA facilities, and a common set of technical criteria that the scoping sections will reference. See: ‘ADA and ABA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities’ The Department of Justice, accordingly, will update the ADA standards used by State and local courts and other Title II entities. The General Services Administration will update the ABA standards used by the federal courts and other federally-funded facilities (other than the Military, Postal and Residential facilities).
10 Resources & Further Reading U.S. Access Board, ADA and ABA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (Aug. 5, 2005), http://www.access- board.gov/ada%2Daba/final.htmhttp://www.access- board.gov/ada%2Daba/final.htm U.S. Access Board, Justice for All: Designing Accessible Courthouses (Nov. 15, 2006), http://www.access- board.gov/caac/report.pdfhttp://www.access- board.gov/caac/report.pdf Dave Yanchulis, Achieving Accessible Courthouses, Building Safety Journal, June 2007, http://www.mrsc.org/ArtDocMisc/Courthouses.pdf http://www.mrsc.org/ArtDocMisc/Courthouses.pdf Judicial Branch of Georgia, A Meaningful Opportunity to Participate: A Handbook for Georgia Court Officials on Courtroom Accessibility for Individuals with Disabilities (Dec. 2004), http://www.georgiacourts.org/agencies/gcafc/handbook_toc.html http://www.georgiacourts.org/agencies/gcafc/handbook_toc.html Peter Blanck, et al., Disability Civil Rights Law and Policy: Accessible Courtroom Technology, William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, 12, 825 (2004), http://bbi.syr.edu/publications/blanck_docs/2003- 2004/WM2004_BillRights_Blanck.pdf http://bbi.syr.edu/publications/blanck_docs/2003- 2004/WM2004_BillRights_Blanck.pdf