Americans With Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) identify the responsibilities of courts under Title II to provide access for citizens with disabilities to programs and services offered by public entities, including courts. Michigan courts have an obligation to take proactive steps to remove barriers to accessibility for people with disabilities. Nearly two million people in Michigan have some kind of disability.
ADA Compliance Performance Measure
What is the ADA Compliance Measure?
The current ADA compliance performance measure requires that: 1) each court has an SCAO-approved ADA local administrative order (LAO), 2) each court has an ADA coordinator, 3) every court location has an ADA contact, and 4) every chief judge and ADA coordinator complete ADA training. See the ADA Compliance Performance Measure Memo
Why is it Important to Measure ADA Compliance?
Improving public access to Michigan courts is a key priority of the Michigan Supreme Court. This includes ensuring that persons with disabilities have equal and full access to our court system. Measuring and reporting on public access can help courts recognize successful efforts and also identify ways to improve service to all Michigan residents.
This performance measure helps ensure that baseline requirements are more uniformly followed by assisting courts in strengthening compliance, increasing awareness of the requirements of the ADA through mandatory training, and facilitating public access to an ADA coordinator/contact for each court. By designating an individual as a coordinator, the court has one particular person who becomes familiar with the routine issues that arise and who can promote efficiency for the court and provide a clear contact for court users.
How is ADA Compliance Measured?
Compliance is measured by examining evidence that each court has entered a local administrative order, that each court has designated a trained court employee to be the court’s ADA coordinator, that each court has designated an ADA contact, and that each chief judge and ADA coordinator has completed ADA training.
Making Accommodations for the Public
The Michigan judiciary is committed to open access to judicial services. A person requiring special accommodations to appear in a Michigan court may notify the court in advance of his or her appearance so the court has the opportunity to make reasonable accommodations. See "Resources for Public Use" on the left side of this page. Requests for accommodations in the Michigan Court of Appeals should be directed to the Court's ADA Coordinator, Angela DiSessa. Requests for accommodations in the Michigan Supreme Court should be directed to the Clerk of the Supreme Court.
Required Local Administrative Order for Processing Requests for Accommodations
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines disability as a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. ADA protection extends not only to individuals who currently have a disability, but also to those with a record of a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, or who are perceived or regarded as having a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
Supreme Court Administrative Order 2015-5 was entered to enhance compliance with the ADA and the Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act, as well as other Michigan statutory authority. Each court is required to adopt and submit a local administrative order conforming to the model established by the SCAO to assure that qualified individuals with disabilities have equal and full access to the judicial system. See memo for other details. Nothing in this order shall be construed to impose limitations or to invalidate the remedies, rights, and procedures accorded to any qualified individuals with disabilities under state or federal law. Select model LAO 35. (Rev. 10/15)
Additional Court Resources
Accommodations for Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing Persons
Under the Michigan’s Interpreter Act and Rules, all sign
language interpreters who provide interpreter services in the state of Michigan
must comply with the Deaf Persons’ Interpreter Act and the Qualified
Interpreter-General Rules. To be considered a qualified ASL interpreter
in the state of Michigan, an individual must meet the requirements set forth in
the Policies and Procedures Guide for Michigan-Certified
published by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MCDR),
Division on Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing. Effective
July 7, 2016, qualified interpreters who work in legal setting must have two endorsements from the Division on Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of
Hearing. For details, see SCAO
memo dated March 3, 2016
Other important resources available from the MDCR include interpreter
rules, an online interpreter directory, links of interest, and information on
filing complaints against an interpreter.
See the Michigan Department of Civil Rights
web page for
Annie Urasky, Director
Division on Deaf, Deaf, Blind, and Hard of Hearing
110 W. Michigan Avenue, Suite 800
Lansing, MI 48933
Video Phone: 517-507-3797