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State Bar Equal Access Initiative Offers Disability Resources


The State Bar of Michigan Equal Access Initiative has available several resources focusing on people with disabilities and the court system. The Equal Access Initiative is one of five initiatives under the Committee on Justice Initiatives, the body that oversees a broad range of legal services access activities of the State Bar.

One is a DVD titled "People with Cognitive and Psychiatric Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System." In it, six experts discuss issues relating to mentally disabled inmates, ways to effectively accommodate them while they're in prison, and alternatives to jail. Cost of the DVD is $10.

A report titled "Access to the Legal System in Michigan for Persons with Disabilities" can be found on the Equal Access Initiative website at The 45-page report details research, findings, and recommendations regarding obstacles people with disabilities face in law schools, law firms, and the courts.

Visitors to the Equal Access Initiative website can also sign up to have the Disability Project Newsletter, a free quarterly publication, delivered directly to their e-mail inbox. Previous topics include accommodations for physical disabilities, hearing impairments, and autism; advocates for persons with cognitive disabilities, low-cost ways to provide accommodations in the courthouse, and cognitive and psychiatric disabilities in the criminal justice system. Past issues are archived on the Equal Access Initiative website at the link listed above.

Finally, attorneys, their clients, or witnesses requiring special assistance due to a disability with regard to a court appearance can print or download a form entitled Request for Accommodations (State Court Administrative Office MC70) with a link on the Equal Access Initiative website to



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State Bar of Michigan
306 Townsend St
Lansing, MI 48933-2012
Phone: (517) 346-6300
Toll Free: (800) 968-1442
Fax: (517) 482-6248