following federal and state laws directly pertain to or include by
interpretation the provision of sign language interpreter or transliterator
You may scroll down or click on the name of the law to jump directly
to that section.
With Disabilities Act
Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1975
with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
New York State Judiciary Law
Laws in each state - Courtesy NAD
With Disabilities Act (ADA)
The ADA is the civil rights guarantee for persons
with disabilities in the United States, providing protection from
discrimination for individuals on the basis of disability. The
ADA extends civil rights protection for people with disabilities to
employment in the private sector, transportation, public accommodations,
services provided by state and local government, and telecommunication
Prohibits discrimination against qualified disabled individuals in
employment and includes specific features related to reasonable accommodations,
qualification standards, and other labor management issues.
covered entity shall discriminate against a qualified individual with
a disability because of the disability of such individual in regard
to job application procedures, the hiring or discharge of employees,
employee compensation, advancement, job training, and other terms,
conditions, and privileges of employment.
Addresses services and activities of state and local governments
including actions applicable to public transportation provided by
qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability,
be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of,
or be subjected to discrimination by a department, agency, special
purpose district, or other instrumentality of a state of local government.
Addresses public accommodations, businesses, and
services operated by private entities.
individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability
in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities,
privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public
Mandates telecommunications relay services to be offered by private
companies and includes services operated by States.
ensure that interstate and intrastate telecom-munication relay services
are available... to hearing-impaired and speech-impaired individuals
in the United States."
Newly adopted ADA regulations mention the provision of qualified interpreters
and also include, with respect to service access, a definition of
qualified interpreter: an interpreter who is able to interpret effectively,
accurately and impartially both receptively and expressively, using
any necessary specialized vocabulary."
Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Section 501 requires federal government employers to practice
affirmative action in employment and precludes them from discrimination
on the basis of disability.
502 requires buildings designed,
constructed, altered or leased with Federal funds to be accessible
to disabled people.
federal contractors to practice affirmative action in hiring the disabled
and precludes them from discriminating on the basis of disability.
discrimination on the basis of physical or mental disability, requiring
recipients of federal funds to make accessible programs and employment.
(Note: Section 504 is usually sited as the basis for requiring the
provision of sign language interpreters/transliterators or oral interpreters.)
otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States...
shall, solely by reason of... handicap, be excluded from participation
in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under
any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."
act and its implementing regulations require affirmative action by
federal agencies and federal contractors on behalf of disabled employees
and job applicants, as well as reasonable accommodations (e.g. providing
interpreters) by federal agencies and recipients of federal funds.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
(formerly known as Public Law 94-142)
Re-authorized in 1997, and originally
titled The Education For All Handicapped Children
Act of 1975, this law guarantees children with disabilities
the right to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive
environment, including the provision of all necessary services. The
provision of interpreters is often necessary for the appropriate education
of Deaf and hard of hearing children.IDEA also specifically requires that evaluations of children be provided
and administered in the child's native language or other "mode
of communication". Sign language interpreters would thus be required.
Federal regulations interpreting the Act also require provision of
sign language interpreters for deaf parents in IEP meetings.The
stated purpose is "...to ensure that all children with disabilities
have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes
special education and related services designed to meet their unique
needs and prepare them for employment and independent living; to ensure
that the rights of children with disabilities and parents of such
children are protected; and to assist States, localities, educational
service agencies, and Federal agencies to provide for education of
all children with disabilities,
and to assess and ensure the
effectiveness of, efforts to educate children with disabilities."
Court Interpreters Act
United States Code Section 1827 requires federal courts to appoint and pay for interpreters for deaf
criminal defendants or deaf civil defendants if they are sued by federal
government (e.g. for back taxes). This does not cover witnesses or
other civil cases (e.g. bankruptcy). (Click
theabove link for the exact language.)
York State Judiciary Law
390 states that whenever any deaf person
is a party to a legal proceeding of any nature, the court in all instances
shall appoint a qualified interpreter who is certified by a recognized
national or New York State credentialing authority as approved by
the chief administrator of the courts. The law, augmented in 1992,
approved the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. as a recognized
authority for certified interpreters. The one exception is in situations
of unreasonable delay; the judge has the authority to temporarily
appoint a qualified interpreter until a certified interpreter is available.
(See below for the citation or click the link to go to the law.)
of interpreter for deaf person.
Whenever any deaf person is a party to a legal proceeding of any nature,
or a witness therein, the court in all instances shall appoint a qualified
interpreter who is certified by a recognized national or New York
state credentialing authority as approved by the chief administrator
of the courts to interpret the proceeding to, and the testimony
of, such deaf person; provided, however, where compliance with this
section would cause unreasonable delay in court proceedings, the court
shall be authorized to temporarily appoint an interpreter who is otherwise
qualified to interpret the proceedings to, and the testimony of, such
deaf person until a certified interpreter is available. In any criminal
action in a state-funded court, the court shall also appoint such
an interpreter to interpret the proceedings to a deaf person who is
the victim of the crime or may appoint such interpreter for the deaf
members of the immediate family (parent or spouse) of a victim of
the crime when specifically requested to do so by such victim or family
member. The fee for all such interpreting services shall be a charge
upon the state at rates of compensation established by rule of the
chief administrator; except that where such interpreting services
are rendered in a justice court, the fee therefor shall be paid as
provided by law in effect on July first, nineteen hundred ninety-one.