Accessibility FAQS

Who may request an accommodation? 
Any qualified person with a disability who has business in a state court, including attorneys, litigants, defendants, witnesses, potential jurors, protective employees and public observers of court services and programs may request reasonable accommodation.

What is a disability under the ADA?
As defined by the ADA, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, learning, breathing, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, or working. The ADA covers those who have a disability; those who have a record of having a disability; and those who are regarded as having a disability, whether or not they actually have one.

When must I make a request for an accommodation? 
Reasonable notice must be given to consider an accommodation request without causing undue disruption to the court proceeding. If the request relates to a jury summons, contact the Jury Commissioner as far in advance as possible.

May spectators obtain a reasonable accommodation in the courtroom? 
Yes. The courts provide reasonable accommodations upon request to aid members of the public in participating in court processes, programs and services. 

What is reasonable accommodation?
Reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job or the work environment that will enable a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions. Reasonable accommodation also includes adjustments to assure that a qualified individual with a disability has rights and privileges in employment equal to those of employees without disabilities.

What types of accommodations may I request? 
Courts can provide a broad range of accommodations to qualified individuals, if those requests are reasonable. The court is not required to make modifications that would fundamentally alter the service or program or cause undue administrative or financial burden. The court is not required to provide devices of a purely personal nature such as wheelchairs, prescribed eyeglasses, or hearing aids. The court is also not required to provide personal services (eating, toileting, or dressing). See a non-exclusive list of the Types of Accommodations that may be needed for qualified individuals, if reasonable.

Who do I contact to discuss an ADA accommodation?
Each court has an ADA Field Coordinator designated to help facilitate disability accommodation requests. This ADA Field Coordinator will accept requests made in person, in writing ( using form CC-DC 49, or over the telephone from individuals with disabilities who request accommodation. Requests should be made well in advance (at least 30 days) of the court appearance date. Requests should be a specific as possible.

How will the accommodation request be handled? 
The ADA field Coordinator, or designee, will notify you if the court is able to provide the requested accommodation, or requires further information. The ADA Field Coordinator nay also propose an alternative form of accommodation. If the court denies the requested accommodation and an alternative cannot be mutually agreed upon, you will be provided with a written explanation of the denial.

Who pays for auxiliary aids and service?  
Auxiliary aids and services necessary for effective communication or to enable participation in services, other than devices of a personal nature, are provided at no cost to the person with the disability. The local court or the Maryland Judiciary assumes responsibility for those costs.

Can I serve as a juror? 
Potential jurors may request an accommodation so they can participate a jury pool and, if selected, serve as a juror. Maryland law addresses the rights of persons with disabilities in regard to jury service. In particular, Maryland law establishes that “A citizen may not be excluded from jury service due to color, disability, economic status, national origin, race, religion, or sex.”( MD CODE, CTS. & JUD. PROC., § 8-102(b).) While individuals with disabilities have a right to serve as a juror, state law also provides that “subject to the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, an individual is not qualified for jury service if the individual . . . has a disability that, as documented by a health care provider’s certification, prevents the individual from providing satisfactory jury service.” ( MD CODE, CTS. & JUD. PROC., § 8-103(b).)

Can I bring a service animal to court? 
Service animals are welcome in all public areas of courthouse facilities. Public users do not need to make an accommodation request to bring a service animal to a courthouse. If an animal is out-of-control and the handler is unable to control the animal, the animal and handler can be asked to leave.

What is a Service Animal? This is an animal which is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for persons with disabilities. Service animals assist people with a broad range of disabilities and may be trained to do a variety of tasks. They may assist individuals who are blind or deaf, may aid persons with mobility limitations by pulling a wheelchair, may alert and protect a person who is having a seizure, may remind an individual to take needed medications, or may calm a person having an anxiety attack, or perform other specific duties.

Service Animals v. Emotional Support Animals. Animals whose sole purpose is for comfort, emotional support or therapy do not qualify as service animals under the ADA because they have not been trained to support a specific job or task. 

Can the court physically assist the public or provide wheelchairs for individuals with disabilities? 
The Judiciary is not required to provide to individuals with disabilities personal devices, such as wheelchairs; individually prescribed devices, such as prescription eyeglasses or hearing aids; readers for personal use or study; or services of a personal nature including assistance in eating, toileting, or dressing.

Must the court consider safety factors when addressing accommodations? 
The Judiciary is not required to permit an individual to participate in or benefit from the services, programs, or activities of that public entity when that individual poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.

What impairments would generally not meet the definitions of disability?
Minor, nonchronic conditions of short duration, such as a sprain or the flu, generally would not be covered.

If my ADA request is denied, how do I file a grievance? 
A grievance procedure has been established to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The grievance form CC-DC 50 ( should be submitted as soon as possible, but no later than 120 calendar days after the alleged violation or the denial to: Director of Human Resources, 187 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401.

What is the Americans with Disabilities Act?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

Title II (Local and State Government) of the ADA provides that no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity. Public entities include any State or local government and any of its departments, agencies, or other instrumentalities.