The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability. The ADA does not apply to the federal judiciary. However, under Judicial Conference policy, federal courts provide reasonable accommodations to persons with communications disabilities. If accommodations are necessary due to a physical disability, the court will work with the General Services Administration to provide necessary physical accommodations at courthouse facilities.
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas has designated the Chief Deputy of Operations and the Court Interpreter Coordinator as the Court’s Communication Access Coordinators, pursuant to The Guide to Judiciary Policy, vol. 5, § 255.40 (available at http://www.uscourts.gov/rules-policies/judiciary-policies/court-interpreting-guidance). The Communication Access Coordinator is responsible for coordinating sign language interpreters or other appropriate auxiliary aids and services to participants in federal court proceedings who are deaf, hearing-impaired, or have other communication disabilities. Individuals participating in federal court proceedings who require the assistance of a qualified sign language interpreter or other similar auxiliary aides and services must submit requests for services in advance of the court proceeding involved.
If a communications disability is not obvious, you may attach documentation from an appropriate health care or rehabilitation professional that is sufficient to substantiate the disability and the need for the auxiliary aids and services requested. Documentation is sufficient if it: (1) describes the nature, severity, and duration of the applicant’s communication disability, the activity or activities that the disability limits, and the extent to which the disability limits the applicant’s ability to perform the activity or activities; and (2) substantiates why the requested auxiliary aids and services are needed.
Please submit all requests for services via email.
Anyone who requires an accommodation at a courthouse location because of a physical disability should contact the Chief Deputy of Operations via email for assistance. Please provide a description of the accommodations requested and a description of the disability that necessitates the accommodations.
Matters Pending Before the Court:
In providing accommodations to a person with a disability, the Communication Access Coordinators may not engage in ex parte communication with a litigant concerning any aspect of a case. If a litigant wishes to assert that a disability has or may have an impact on the merits of a case, the litigant should communicate that information in an appropriate filing with the court.