Copyright (c) 2004 Publications Council of the College of William and Mary
William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal
DISABILITY CIVIL RIGHTS LAW AND POLICY: ACCESSIBLE COURTROOM TECHNOLOGY
12 Wm. & Mary Bill of Rts. J. 825
Peter Blanck, Ann Wilichowski & James Schmeling *
Fair access to the courts is a fundamental right in any system of justice. In the United States, this right has been established in constitutional history, reinforced by legislation, and affirmed by court decisions. Although access to the courts is a core right, both historically and today, segments of the U.S. population have struggled for meaningful participation in our legal system.
We do not recount here the individuals and groups in the United States who have been deprived of access to the courts, and their struggles to attain that right. Rather, this Article examines how one minority group in U.S. society, individuals with disabilities, is engaged in a movement for access to, and equal participation in, the legal system. Accessible courtroom technology is one cornerstone of participation in the courts for many persons with disabilities.
The quest for access to the courts by persons with disabilities has coincided with the rise of the disability civil rights movement, which was bolstered by passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. 1 It also has coincided with a wave of technological advances that have enhanced the inclusion and equal participation in society of persons with disabilities. Symbolic of the technological advances affecting persons with disabilities is the growth of the Internet. Internet access for persons with disabilities is a prominent topic in disability law and policy. 2
Since passage of the ADA, computers and assistive technologies have come to play a central ...
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