RESOLUTION TO ESTABLISH A FUND TO SUPPORT USE OF SIGN LANGUAGE
INTERPRETERS BY PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION MEMBERS
WHEREAS, Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act (the ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181-12183, grants people with disabilities the right to equal access to public accommodations; and
WHEREAS, the definition of public accommodations includes law offices, 42 U.S.C. § 12181; 28 C.F.R. § 36.104; and
WHEREAS, Title III of the ADA requires public accommodations to provide auxiliary aids and services to people who are deaf or hard of hearing where necessary to ensure effective communication, 28 C.F.R. § 36.303(a); and
WHEREAS, a public accommodation may not charge an individual with a disability for the cost of such an auxiliary aid or service, unless providing the auxiliary aid or service would fundamentally alter the service, 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(2)(A)(iii), 28 C.F.R. §§ 36.301, 36.303(a); and
WHEREAS, the United States Department of Justice has interpreted the foregoing provisions to require an attorney in certain situations to provide a sign language interpreter, at no additional charge, to a client who is deaf or hard of hearing, Settlement Agreement Between The United States Of America and Gregg Tirone, Esq., Department Of Justice Complaint Number 202-53-20; and
WHEREAS, the cost of providing sign language interpreters might be a financial and psychological barrier to attorneys complying with their ADA obligations; and
WHEREAS, the existence of a fund to pay such costs would encourage small firms, sole practitioners, public interest firms and pro bono volunteers to comply with their ADA obligations and would increase the access of people who are deaf or heard of hearing to legal services.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association has determined that a fund shall be established to help members of the Philadelphia Bar Association pay for qualified sign language interpreters for deaf and hard of hearing clients.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association shall create a fund to pay the costs of hiring qualified sign language interpreters in conjunction with representation by Philadelphia Bar Association members of people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Association allocate $5,000 from moneys of the Association to such fund as the Associations initial, annual contribution to the fund.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association shall review the use and efficacy of this fund and will not replenish the fund for any successive year or years except with the approval of the Board of Governors.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that such fund shall be administered in substantial accordance with the guidelines attached hereto as Exhibit A.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association authorizes the Chancellor, the other officers, or their designees, to take all necessary steps to carry out this resolution, including establishing the fund and promulgating reasonable rules and regulations for the management, dispersal and replenishment thereof.
PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: APRIL 27, 2006