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Disability Access
 
The North Carolina Judicial Branch is committed to ensuring that individuals with disabilities can participate fully and fairly in judicial activities, programs, and services.

Reasonable accommodation request: If you are an individual with a disability who needs a reasonable accommodation, contact the ADA Coordinator for the county where the hearing or other court activity is scheduled. If there is no designated ADA Coordinator, contact the Office of the Clerk of Superior Court in the county.

Please be prepared to provide the following essential information:
  • Name of the individual needing the assistance
  • Exact type of accommodation(s) needed
  • Case file number
  • Date and time of the trial or hearing
  • Is the individual needing assistance the plaintiff, defendant, juror, witness, or court observer?
  • If applicable, the contact information for the attorney representing the individual

Request for Reasonable Accommodation by a Member of the General Public (Protocol): Title II of the ADA requires the Judicial Branch to give qualified individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from all court services, programs, and activities. This statewide Protocol provides guidance to the public and court employees for making and responding to accommodation requests.

Compliance: A Grievance Procedure is available for complaints from the general public about compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts (NCAOC) ADA Coordinator is identified in the grievance procedure and may be contacted with questions and requests for assistance that could not be answered locally.

Deaf or hard of hearing: North Carolina law (G.S. Chapter 8B) has long required that a qualified interpreter be provided in any civil or criminal proceeding for any party or witness who is deaf or hard of hearing. Upon a finding by the court (judge, clerk, or other judicial employee) that a sign language interpreter is required, the court will make arrangements to appoint a qualified interpreter and will pay the interpreter's fees. To help judges, clerks and others, the NCAOC has prepared Guidelines for Accommodating individuals Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in the Courts.

Access to Justice: The NCAOC developed an "Access to Justice" training video for judicial staff about disabilities in general and specific accommodations that can be provided in court settings. Keep in mind that accommodations are person-specific so the examples in this video are not exhaustive.

Courthouse Facilities: Each county in North Carolina has the responsibility to provide an accessible courthouse building with needed ramps, elevators, assistive listening systems for courtrooms, proper signage, accessible restrooms and other accessible features (G.S. 7A-302). Contact the county manager with any concerns about the courthouse building itself.

 
 
 
   
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