Access to Washington's Courts

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that courts must  be as accessible for people with disabilities, as they are for all others who seek justice. Compliance with the ADA has lagged in the courts, despite the fact that fair and equitable administration of justice is not possible for people with disabilities if barriers are not removed.

DRW has worked though committees of the Access to Justice Board to achieve significant improvements in court access. This includes providing courts and people with disabilities with information about how to make courts more accessible, development of a new court rule to speed access, support for providing a lawyer where needed as an accommodation, and successful legislation to create a statewide ADA coordinator for the courts. 

DRW will continue to educate judges, lawyers, and others in the court system about what they can do to make courts accessible. We are also working to create better access in fair hearings. 

Summary of work: 

Milestone: 2010

The Access to Justice Board issued an Equal Access Guide for Administrative Hearings. 

Milestone: 2009

The Supreme Court issued GR33, which provides a means to obtain accommodations for disability in court.

Milestone: 2006

The Access to Justice Board issued an Equal Access Guide for Courts, and trainings were held across the state on how to accommodate people with disabilities in court.

Issues: