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National Center for State Courts Releases New Report on Jurors with Disabilities

With support from SJI, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) released a new report titled, Jurors With Disabilities, as well as a corresponding presentation.

Both products derive from a greater need expressed by the state court community for updated, comprehensive information that addresses the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and other statutory requirements requiring accommodations.

The presentation provides an overview of ADA Title II, including exceptions, and lesser known Architectural Barriers Act, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and a nod to state statues that may require more compliance than federal laws.  It includes detailed notes for each slide to assist the reader.

The report delves much more deeply into accommodations for jurors with disabilities; what is needed and necessary; and how to conduct a “reasonableness analysis” if a court denies an accommodation.  Included in the report is extensive caselaw related to the public sector, and specifically court accommodations for jurors.  Other key elements include:

  • A timeline of courts and disabilities;
  • Assistive devices and technology to accommodate persons that are blind, Deaf-Blind, low vision, or have hearing impairments;
  • Conditions specifically excluded under ADA, and some of the more difficult determinations, such as alcoholism, illicit drug use, and persons receiving treatment for a substance-use addiction;
  • Service animals and the allowable information a court may obtain to make determinations; and,

General guidance designed to achieve a proactive program, with well-trained jury managers, that maintains compliance as its cornerstone.