[Video description can be found below. If you use a screen reader and need to access the caption file transcript, go to “More…” and click on “Transcript”]

NAD Attorney Anna Bitencourt explains how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers access in the courtroom. View the entire #ADA25 series at www.nad.org/ADA25.

Video begins with an off white vintage background. Three black and white photos appear. First photo shows a group of people marching, one holds a NAD poster. Second photo shows another group of people marching, one holds a poster “We Shall Overcome.” Third photo shows President Bush signing the Americans with Disabilities Act. Text appears “ADA25 — Americans with Disabilities Act”. Video flashes to white then to Anna Bitencourt inside NAD Headquarters. On bottom left corner, “#ADA25” appears as a light watermark. On bottom right corner, the NAD logo appears, also as a light watermark.

ANNA: Access to justice is an important human right. What does justice mean for us? It means that when we go to court, we are able to communicate. ADA’s Title II applies to all courtroom proceedings in state and local courts, and in civil and criminal proceedings. Civil suits involve private disputes between persons or organizations. Criminal suits are offenses against the state. The ADA does not apply to Federal courts, but Federal Courts have separate Federal Court policy. The ADA requires courts to provide access to different types of services or equipment. For example, qualified interpreters, CART, or captioning… These services must be provided to the accused, the plaintiff, the defendant, a juror or anyone in the audience who is deaf. For many years, the NAD has fought for access to the courtrooms. For example, the NAD successfully reached a settlement with a county in Texas. The county agreed to adopt a new policy of providing equal access for all deaf and hard of hearing participants. Here is an interesting fact… do you think deaf lawyers can easily always get interpreters? Nope! The NAD successfully fought in KY for a deaf lawyer’s right to have an interpreter for her court appearances.This is how the ADA applies to courtroom access.

Video fades to a gradient background with dark blue to light blue, a grey National Association of the Deaf (NAD) logo is centered. White text below the logo appears, “A production of the National Association of the Deaf (copyright) 2015 All Rights Reserved” with four teal social media icons, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

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