Sunday, October 1, 2023

ADA Request for Accommodations

If you are an individual with a disability who needs an accommodation in order to participate in a court proceeding or other court service, program, or activity, you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. Requests for accommodations may be presented on the ADA Title II Accommodation Request Form available on this page, in another written format, or orally. Please complete this form and return it to the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court’s ADA Coordinator via e-mail by using the submit button at the bottom of the form. Alternatively, you can return the completed form via regular mail to:

Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court’s ADA Coordinator

Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center, 175 NW 1st Ave., Suite 2400, Miami, FL 33128

Voice Mail: (305) 349-7175
TDD: (305) 349-7174
Fax: (305) 349-7355
Email: ADA@jud11.flcourts.org

Please submit your request as far in advance as possible, but preferably at least seven (7) days before your scheduled court appearance or other court activity.

Upon request by a qualified individual with a disability, the ADA Title II Accommodation Request Form will be made available in an alternate format. If you need assistance in completing the form due to your disability, or to request the document in an alternate format, please contact the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court’s ADA Coordinator, Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center, 175 NW 1st Ave., Suite 2400, Miami, FL 33128, (305) 349-7175 Voice, (305) 349-7174 TDD, (305) 349-7355 Fax, E-mail: ADA@jud11.flcourts.org.

ADA Accommodations Provided by Florida Courts

Pursuant to Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act the Florida State Courts System will make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, and procedures; furnish auxiliary aids and services; and afford program accessibility through the provision of accessible facilities, the relocation of services or programs, or the provision of services at alternative sites, as appropriate and necessary.

Examples of auxiliary aids or services that the State Courts System may provide for qualified individuals with disabilities include:

  • Assistive listening devices
  • Qualified ASL or other types of interpreters for persons with hearing loss
  • Communication access real-time translation / Real-time transcription services
  • Accessible formats such as large print, Braille, electronic document, or audio tapes
  • Qualified readers

Accommodations that are granted by the state courts are made at no cost to qualified individuals with disabilities.

Aids/Services Courts Cannot Administratively Grant as ADA Accommodations

Examples of aids or services the Florida State Courts System cannot provide as an accommodation under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act include:

  • Transportation to and from the courthouse
  • Legal counsel or advice
  • An official transcript of a court proceeding
  • Personal devices such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, or prescription eyeglasses
  • Personal services such as medical or attendant care
  • Readers for personal use or study

Additionally, the courts cannot administratively grant, as an ADA accommodation, requests that impact court procedures within a specific case. Requests for an extension of time, a change of venue, or participation in court proceedings by telephone or videoconferencing must be submitted by written motion to the presiding judge as part of the case. The judge may consider an individual’s disability, along with other relevant factors, in granting or denying the motion.

Furthermore, the court cannot exceed the law in granting a request for an accommodation. For example, the court cannot extend the statute of limitations for filing an action because someone claims that he or she could not make it to the court on time due to a disability, nor can the court modify the terms of agreements among parties as an ADA accommodation.

Finally, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not require the court system to take any action that would fundamentally alter the nature of court programs, services, or activities, or that would impose an undue financial or administrative burden on the courts.

Documentation of the Need for Auxiliary Aids and Services

If an individual has a disability that is not obvious, or when it is not readily apparent how a requested accommodation relates to an individual’s impairment, it may be necessary for the court to require the individual to provide documentation from a qualified health care provider in order for the court to fully and fairly evaluate the accommodation request. These information requests will be limited to documentation that (a) establishes the existence of a disability; (b) identifies the individual’s functional limitations; and (c) describes how the requested accommodation addresses those limitations. Any cost to obtain such documentation is the obligation of the person requesting the accommodation.

The ADA Title II Accommodation Request Form was developed for use by individuals with disabilities who may require a modification in a policy, provision of an auxiliary aid or service, or assignment to an accessible location in order to participate in a court proceeding or other court service, program, or activity that is covered by Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Court employees with disabilities who need a reasonable accommodation to be able to perform the essential functions of their jobs should contact their immediate supervisor, the ADA coordinator for their court, the OSCA Office of Personnel Services, or the State Courts ADA Coordinator.
Please note that providing accommodations for some individuals with disabilities who appear in the courtroom as part of their employment duties or professional practice is a responsibility that appropriately may be shared by the individual’s employer and the courts. Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers of 15 or more employees and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires all state and local government employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities. In addition, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, covers recipients of federal funding, and requires all covered organizations to provide accommodations for their employees. These responsibilities are concomitant with the courts’ responsibility under Title II of the ADA. It is to everyone’s benefit when employers and the court system work together to ensure that reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities are provided in the most efficient and cost effective manner.
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