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

Conduct assessments promptly at intake

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:

Procedure for Acquiring Interpreting Services

YSI has agreed to follow the following procedure for acquiring interpreting 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:

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:

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