DEAF - L:  California Justice System
Key words:  Deaf Education Information, deaf related issues, deaf culture and history
 

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Date:         Wed, 17 Feb 1999 04:04:05 -0500
Reply-To: Deaf List <DEAF-L@siu.edu>
Sender: Deaf List <DEAF-L@siu.edu>
From: Richard Roehm III <deaf@ACTIVIST.COM>
Subject:      California Justice System
Comments: To: ADA-LAW@LISTSERV.NODAK.EDU, SSAWORK-L@handinet.org
To: DEAF-L@SIU.EDU
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FEBRUARY 17, 1999
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                     Contact: Richard Roehm
                                                   714-542-7142 TDD
Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center                 714-564-1670 FAX
1001 N. French Street #4                           ocdac@deafadvocacy.com
Santa Ana, California 92701-3769                   Http://www.deafadvocacy.com

(Santa Ana - California) The Judicial Council Access and Fairness Advisory
Committee has released a report on disability accessibility in California
Courts.  This completes an extensive study of the California court system
through telephone and mail surveys, qualitative interviews, and public
hearings in 1995.

Findings include :

1) Most California courts and judges are not familiar with Americans with
Disabilities Act and other disability rights laws.

2) California judges' attitudes as well as the attitudes of court staff toward
people with disabilities have been less than positive.

3) This report also showed that people with disabilities were viewed less
employable by California courts.

4) Effective communications such as interpreters have been poorly utilized
in California courts.

5) Disabled people in the jury pools were more likely to be excused from
jury duty service over people w/o disabilities.

This is an outrage that California courts have been modeled to work against
the disability community in almost every possible manner.  Last year the
American Bar Association says that only a small percentage of the cases
people with disabilities bring to court work in their favor.  It is reasonable
to say there is no justice for Californians with disabilities.  This is one
of the reasons why Californians with disabilities continue to drain public
resources than lead productive lives.  Right now, there is absolutely nothing
in the California judicial system to help safeguard our rights to lead
productive lives and be fully included in every aspects of life.

This report can be found in the world wide web at this location :
http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/reference/summarydisabilities.htm

Links to this report can be found at our website:
http://www.deafadvocacy.com/facts.htm
http://www.deafclubs.com/OCDAC/facts.htm

The Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center calls for a major overhaul of the
California judicial system.  We need to make sure the courts give people
with disabilities the same access to everyone else.  The California
courts and judges need to work on their attitudes toward people with
disabilities.  We're actually being handled like second class citizens
by a system that is supposed to protect us.  Reform is needed.
Until then, there is no justice for Californians with disabilities!

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