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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 (hereinafter “ADA”), no qualified individual with a disability shall be unreasonably discriminated against or excluded from participation in or benefits of the services, programs, or activities of state and local government, including the judicial branch.

Some physical barriers make it difficult for persons with a disability to participate in court services or programs. In some courthouses, witness and jury boxes may be inaccessible to wheelchairs or public information counters may be too high for some persons. In addition to architecturally renovating facilities to make them readily accessible to persons with disabilities, there are other methods of providing program access including relocating a service to enable a person with a disability to participate or seating several jurors, including a juror using a wheelchair, in front of the juror box.

The ADA requires that reasonable accommodations be provided to requesting qualified persons with disabilities in order that they might participate fully in court programs, services, activities, and benefits:

If you are a person with a disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate in this proceeding, you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. Please contact the Office of the Court Administrator, 255 N. Broadway Avenue, Bartow, Florida 33830, (863) 534-4686, at least 7 days before your scheduled court appearance, or immediately upon receiving this notification if the time before the scheduled appearance is less than 7 days; if you are hearing or voice impaired, call 711.

Any device or aid that is designed to provide effective communication and participation for individuals with disabilities is an auxiliary aid or service.

Examples of auxiliary aids or services include:

  • assistive listening devices,
  • real-time transcription services,
  • providing materials in large print, braille, diskette, or audio tapes, and reader services.
  • sign language interpreters, oral interpreters

Examples of services the State Courts System is not required to provide under the ADA include:

  • transportation to the courthouse, legal counsel or advice,
  • personal devices such as a wheelchair or hearing aid, personal services such as medical or attendant care, (However, wheelchairs are available in the Polk County Courthouse.)
  • a modification of a policy or an auxiliary aid or service that would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the program or service or would result in an undue burden.

To request a court related ADA accommodation:

Please call the Office of the Court Administrator at (863) 534-4686; or

Follow this link to submit an ADA accommodation request online:
https://www.jud10.flcourts.org/ada-accommodation-request

You can view our local governing Administrative Order Here: 1-21.5

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