FACT SHEET FOR PROVIDERS OF JUVENILE DETENTION
AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES
This fact sheet presents guidance for providers of juvenile detention and rehabilitative services, as they take steps to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act when ensuring effective communication with juveniles who are deaf or hard of hearing.
This information summarizes actions agreed to by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (MDJS) and Youth Services International, Inc. (YSI) in a settlement with the Department of Justice under the Americans with Disabilities Act1. These requirements apply both to facilities and programs of state or local governments (subject to title II of the ADA) as well to private entities (subject to title III of the ADA) who may operate those facilities or programs for the public entities, usually through a contract.
The purpose of the agreement and these steps is to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing juveniles in custody or referred to detention facilities are able to participate in the rehabilitative and educational programs and activities being offered on an equal basis with hearing juveniles.
Seek the earliest possible notice that a juvenile has a hearing impairment
- Include a Request for Auxiliary Aids and Services Form in all initial mailings to the parents or legal guardians of juveniles being referred for services.
- Ask that all local and state agencies referring juveniles for services include this form in their referral package of information.
Conduct assessments promptly at intake
- Within 24 hours of the juveniles admission, conduct an assessment to determine what, if any, auxiliary aids or services are necessary.
- When the provider has advance notice that a juvenile may be in need of a sign language or oral interpreter, ensure that an appropriate qualified interpreter is present for the assessment.
- If a juvenile has not requested appropriate auxiliary aids and services (such as sign language or oral interpreters, written materials, videotext displays), but the providers staff have reason to believe that the juvenile would benefit from them, inform the juvenile that these services are available, and discuss the nature of the auxiliary aids and services with the juvenile.
- Give primary consideration to the request of the juvenile in determining what aid or service is appropriate, as required by title II of the ADA.
Ensure Availability of Auxiliary Aids and Services
MDJS and YSI agree to ensure that appropriate auxiliary aids and services are made available to all juveniles receiving their services who are deaf or hard of hearing, where such aids and services are necessary to ensure effective communication with these individuals. For example, MDJS and YSI specifically agree to do the following for all juveniles who are deaf or hard of hearing:
- to ensure that appropriate auxiliary aids and services are made available in all of the programs and services being offered, such as discipline, rehabilitation, medical treatment, mental health services, education, recreation, group living, vocational training, and religion;
- to ensure that qualified sign language interpreters are provided for juveniles whose primary means of communication is sign language, and qualified oral interpreters for residents who rely primarily on lip reading;
- for the period of time that a juvenile whose primary means of communication is sign language or lip reading is receiving services, to ensure that at least one qualified sign language interpreter or one oral interpreter, whichever is appropriate, who is located within fifty (50) miles of that MDJS or YSI facility, is kept on call during those times when a qualified interpreter is not already on the premises, to be available in certain, more urgent circumstances; and
- if the juvenile will be transferred to another facility, including any other juvenile detention facility, a court facility, or medical facility for outside medical appointment, staff at the juveniles current facility shall notify the appropriate official at the subsequent location as to the residents need for appropriate auxiliary aids and services by placing a telephone call in advance to the official.
Procedure for Acquiring Interpreting Services
YSI has agreed to follow the following procedure for acquiring interpreting services:
- Each YSI facility shall create a list consisting of at least three companies offering sign language interpreting services and three companies offering oral interpreting services in the geographic area of that YSI facility;
- Every six months each YSI facility shall verify the accuracy of this list and, if necessary, update the companies included on this list; and
- As soon as YSI has notice that a resident requires sign language or oral interpreting services, YSI staff will contact the companies included on this list in an attempt to procure the necessary services.
If, after following these procedures, YSI is unable to procure a sign language or oral interpreter, YSI shall notify the referring agency and the Department of Justice as soon as possible, and, in any event, no later than 48 hours after the admission of a resident requiring those services; in the meantime, it shall use its best efforts to secure, as soon as possible, sign language or oral interpreting services, whichever is required, or a transfer of such resident to a facility that can provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services.
Although MDJS has also agreed to ensure that sign language or oral interpreting services are available when necessary, the settlement agreement with MDJS does not contain any particular procedure for procuring those services.
Provide Accessible Telephones, Visual Alarms, and Closed Captioning
MDJS and YSI agree to provide text telephones (TTYs), volume control telephones, and hearing aid compatible telephones as required by the Standards for Accessible Design. (The Standards for Accessible Design are set forth in the Department of Justice regulations related to Title III of the ADA.) In addition:
- Juveniles who are deaf or hard of hearing will be permitted access to the TTY device on the same terms as hearing juveniles are permitted access to telephones, except that, to the extent juveniles telephone calls are subject to time limitations, these limitations will be extended for those residents using a TTY device;
- If the TTY, volume control telephones, or hearing aid telephones are in a different location than the telephones generally used by hearing juveniles, juveniles using the accessible telephones will be allocated additional time to walk to and from that location; and
- MDJS and YSI shall ensure that the privacy of telephone calls by juveniles who are deaf or hard of hearing is equal to that of other juveniles telephone calls.
MDJS and YSI also agree to ensure that visual alarms complying with the Standards for Accessible Design are provided for juveniles who are deaf and hard of hearing, as well as closed captioning decoders or televisions with a built-in capacity to decode captions.
Agreement to Appoint ADA Coordinator and Conduct Training
MDJS and YSI agree to appoint an employee at each facility to serve as ADA Coordinator to deal with and address ADA questions and compliance matters. MDJS and YSI also agree to develop an ADA training curriculum that will include the following objectives:
- to inform staff of their legal obligations under the ADA to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure effective communication with residents who are deaf or hard of hearing;
- to promptly identify communication needs and preferences of juveniles who are deaf or hard of hearing;
- to secure qualified interpreter services as quickly as possible when necessary; and
- to facilitate appropriate interaction between juveniles who are deaf or hard of hearing and other juveniles, when appropriate (for example, group therapy sessions and other times when interaction with other juveniles is encouraged).
For more information about the ADA, Rehabilitation Act, and your rights and responsibilities under these statutes, call the Department of Justice's ADA Information Line, 800-514-0301 (voice), or 833-610-1264 (TDD), or visit our website, http://www.usdoj.gov . Copies of the settlement agreements may be obtained from the website.
1 For specific legal requirements, see the agreements. YSI | MDJS
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March 29, 2004