Lawyers, litigants, witnesses, court personnel and judges will soon be able to read timely information on disabilities issues via a series of four electronic newsletters.
The State Bar of Michigan Standing Committee on Justice Initiatives and its Equal Access Initiatives team began distributing these newsletters in early November.
The first newsletter is entitled Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and focuses on those issues in the courtroom setting. It contains four sections of information, including legal requirements for access to the court system, practical problems that arise in the court setting, and suggestions for deaf or hard of hearing persons in the courtroom. A reference section with hyperlinks to other information is also included, with a direct link to SCAO Form MC 70, Request for Accommodations.
"There are 56 million people in this country with disabilities, representing all walks of life," said Charlotte Johnson, Chair of the State Bar Equal Access Initiative. "We encourage as many people as possible to read the first newsletter, sign up for the free subscription for the remaining three issues, and ask others in the profession and the public to subscribe to this service," Johnson said. She also expressed special thanks to the writers on the project. "Without Judge Teranes, David Stokes, Kathleen Harris, and Paul Ulrich, this information would not be available in this very helpful form."
The first newsletter was distributed electronically to all Michigan attorneys, members of the judiciary, and others who may have an interest in disabilities issues. Recipients may sign up to receive the other three newsletters entitled Wheelchairs in the Courtroom; Non-Lawyer Advocates for People with Cognitive Disabilities, and Low-Cost Tips to Make Courthouses User-Friendly for People with Disabilities. There is no cost for the four newsletters, which will be posted on the Bar's website at www.michbar.org/programs/equalaccess.cfm so that members of the public will have access to the information as well.
Funding for this project was provided in part by the Newman Foundation.
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