Supreme Court Guide Leads Courts Through Language Access Issues
The Ohio Supreme Court today announced the availability of a model language access plan. The model plan assists local courts in meeting their obligations under federal law to ensure access to justice for litigants with limited English proficiency and those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
It also encourages local courts to appoint a language access coordinator to ensure compliance with foreign language and sign language interpreter statewide rules as well as additional federal mandates including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Other elements of the plan inform courts on when to provide a court interpreter, the qualifications an interpreter must meet, the language services that must be provided outside the courtroom in ancillary matters, and the complaint process for individuals who did not receive language assistance.
The text of statewide rules, including those governing when interpreting by telephone is appropriate, are embedded in the back of the plan as well as several model forms and resources for further information.
The Supreme Court will update the plan annually.