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Friday, November 14, 2014

Ind. Courts - "Americans with Disabilities Act and the Code of Judicial Conduct"

That is the title to a new article in CourtTimes, written by Brenda Rodeheffer*. Here is a sample:

Judges should evaluate every aspect of the accommodation needs of counsel, parties, witnesses and jurors. If a juror can get into the courtroom, but cannot access the private jury restroom, an appropriate solution will have to be found. If a witness can get in the courtroom, but can’t sit in the witness seat to give testimony, accommodation must be made. A judge must educate and work with the local council or financing authority in order to accomplish the necessary changes.

There is no “grandfather” clause in the ADA, and our beautiful old courthouses were made without today’s emphasis on disability accommodations. When a courthouse is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic places, there will have to be balance between not destroying the historical significance of the property and making services equally accessible to all users. For several counties, this was not possible and courts had to move from the historical courthouse.

In addition to physical mobility, the needs of those with limited sight or hearing must be considered.

*CourtTimes generally does not provide further identification of its authors. Particularly with legal articles from whatever source, the ILB always tries to include an author's position and qualifications, for the benefit of the reader.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 14, 2014 12:51 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts