For people with disabilities, meaningful access to justice is even more challenging than it is for others. Often, it depends on support and accommodation from the justice system. NCAJ identified 29 policies that every state should adopt to ensure equal access to justice for people with disabilities. We then examined the extent to which every US state actually has those policies in place. Based on those results, we assign every state a score. Performance is measured on a scale of 0 to 100. See our methodology discussion for more details on how this scoring works and on how we do the work.

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State Scores and Rankings

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Benchmarks: Weights and Trends

Number Sort descending Question Index Weight Issues Number of "Yes" States
1 Publish online a strategic action plan, updated within the past 5 years, for expanding access to justice for people with disabilities? The plan must, itself, be accessible to people with disabilities, and must contain a goal for funding of disability access services? 5 Design & Planning 4
2 Consistent with ABA recommendations, maintain an accessibility task force of community stakeholders with disabilities who have experience in serving people with disabilities? 5 Design & Planning 6
3 Provide a process to monitor and promote quality of sign language interpreters and take action where needed? 10 Design & Planning 20
4 Maintain a sign language interpreter scheduling system to optimize availability of interpreters? 5 Design & Planning 18
5 Publish annual report of court compliance and progress with disability laws? 5 Design & Planning 2
6 Has carried out periodic update, within the past five years, of the one-time self-evaluation required under the ADA? 5 Design & Planning 6
7 Has carried out self-evaluation of accessibility of physical infrastructure, including doors, signs, and bathrooms, within the past 5 years? 10 Design & Planning 5
8 Collect and publish data on the number and type of disability accommodation requests annually made, granted, and denied, and reasons for denials? 10 Design & Planning 1
9 Collect and publish data on the number, type, and resolution of disability access complaints, including Americans with Disabilities Act & Section 504 complaints? 10 Design & Planning 0
10 Funded in the last 12 months in-person or on-line training for judges on how to assist people with disabilities? 5 Training & Support 16
11 Has carried out in the last 12 months in-person or on-line training for court staff on how to assist people with disabilities? 5 Training & Support 14
12 Require judges and court staff to receive training at least once in every 3 year period on state and federal legal requirements regarding equal access to court facilities and services for people with disabilities? 5 Training & Support 5
13 Identify provision of counsel at public expense to people with disabilities, as a form of reasonable accommodation? 5 Service Delivery 1
14 Provide sign language services at no cost to the litigant, when requested by a litigant with hearing impairment or otherwise deemed necessary by the court? 10 Service Delivery 47
15 Require use by courts of interpreters who are certified, or otherwise approved, pursuant to requirements of the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf? 10 Service Delivery 38
16 Require interpreters be trained on how to interpret in a legal setting? 5 Service Delivery 22
17 For courtroom proceedings, require team-interpreting, with interpreters taking turns for proceedings over 30 minutes, per recommendation of National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators? 10 Service Delivery 6
18 Require that all court websites are accessible to people with disabilities? See, for example, ABA Resolution 116C? 10 Service Delivery 19
19 Require courts to allow service animals used by people with disabilities at all times and without any need to provide advance notice? 10 Service Delivery 39
20 Provide litigants, free of charge, auxiliary aids (including, for example, large print documents, braille printing, closed captioning on television monitors in public areas (e.g., jury rooms), qualified readers, mobility devices, personal care assistance)? 10 Service Delivery 34
21 Where courts provide childcare services, ensure that childcare staff trained in working with children with disabilities are available when needed to allow a litigant who is a parent or care-taker of such child to access court services? 5 Service Delivery 0
22 Require on all court correspondence a clear notice of the right to reasonable accommodation, and that failure to provide accommodation is discrimination? 10 Communicating Court Services 4
23 Explain on state judiciary website how to request accomodation of disability, with examples? 5 Communicating Court Services 26
24 Offer sign language interpreting as an option wherever language interpreting is offered on state judiciary website? 5 Communicating Court Services 35
25 Provide onlione option to request auxiliary aids and services, including sign language interpreter? 5 Communicating Court Services 15
26 Provide on the state judiciary website the name, phone number, address, and email address of a designated person to contact to request an accommodation? 5 Communicating Court Services 26
27 Explain on court website how to file a complaint about denial of access to court facilities or court services? 5 Communicating Court Services 34
28 Provide on the state judiciary website the name, phone number, address, and email address of a designated person to contact to file a complaint about denial of disability access? 5 Communicating Court Services 26
29 Maintain a disability access webpage that sets forth comprehensive written policy for serving people with disabilities in the court system, including all rights of people with disabilities? 5 Communicating Court Services 33

Benchmarks by State