Extensive resources and information for law firms, lawyers, and law students on accommodating people with disabilities are now available on The Florida Bar Web site.
A project of the Member Outreach Committee, the Disability Resources page — posted within the Diversity section of Member Services — includes links to state and national sources and also includes an archive of Florida Bar Journal and News articles and the results of a 2006 survey of Florida lawyers with disabilities.
Also included is information on creating accessible electronic documents, court accessibility procedures, resources at Florida law schools, relevant legislation, and informational guides by the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center, including the ADA Collection which consists of more than 7,400 documents in its primary portal.
Member Outreach Committee member and former Equal Opportunities Law Section Chair Matt Dietz of Miami assisted Bar staff in gathering relevant information and setting up the page.
“There are many issues included which are informative, such as different methods in which to accommodate lawyers with disabilities, duties in providing interpreters or other methods of effective communication to persons with visual or hearing impairments, and the opportunity for law firms to benefit by earning tax credits for accommodating employees or clients,” Dietz said.
Services provided by law schools for students with disabilities and contact information were gathered by the Member Outreach Committee and will be updated annually. The report provides links to disability service Web sites at each school.
Federal regulators now are requiring that electronic information — including court filings and other electronic documents — must be created in a way that complies with federal disability law. The links in the section “Creating Electronic Documents” provide detailed information about how the legal profession can comply with this federal legal duty. Keep in mind that the federal regulations and guidelines may change over time, as does the technology involved in making electronic documents comply. As with any legal issue, attorneys may need to conduct further research to ensure compliance with the law.
“The Florida Bar has done an exemplary job in accumulating information to allow members of The Florida Bar and the public to better serve persons with disabilities, including their colleagues, employees, clients, and other participants of the justice system,” Dietz said.
Here is a list of the links available on the site:
Florida State Court Information
http://www.flcourts.org/gen_public/pubs/adamain.shtmlFlorida Office of State Court Administration ADA
ADA Coordinators by Court
ADA Procedures by Court
The U.S. Access Board
Recommended Guidelines for Courthouses with Report
Guidelines for providing accommodations for lawyers with disabilities
Reasonable Accommodations for Attorneys with disabilities
Accommodation solutions for persons with disabilities
Workplace accommodations for lawyers with disabilities
Assistance for Attorneys with deafness and hearing impairments
Communication tips handbook for employing attorneys with hearing-impairment, deafness, and blindness
American Bar Association – Legal Technology Resource Center
Tax benefits for accommodating persons with disabilities
For All Legal Professionals
Americans with Disabilities Act
The Florida Constitution, Article I, Section II
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Sections 504 and 508
Voluntary State Telecommuting Program
Disabilities Etiquette 101
Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992
Family and Medical Leave ActEntitlement
United States Department of Justice
Creating Electronic Documents
Links to federal regulations requiring accessible electronic documents
Disability Resources at Florida Law Schools
Florida Law Schools
Resources at Florida Law Schools (504 Offices & Disability Services Contacts)
Recruitment Information and Support for Law Students and Employees with Disabilities
Online Recruiting Guide
Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
Informational Guides and Mentoring Online
The ADA Collection
Florida Lawyers Assistance
United States v. Law Offices of Cohen and Jaffe
United States v. Hearn
United States v. Tirone
Articles of Interest to Persons with Disabilities in the Workplace
National Conference on the Employment of Lawyers with Disabilities
The Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law
EEOC Enforcement Guidance on ADA
Professional Licensing Issues: Title II of the ADA applied to State and Local Professional Licensing
Florida Bar Disability story archives
The Florida Bar News
The Florida Bar Journal
Disability Independence Group Report Executive Summary
Disability Independence Group Report and Recommendations