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Accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.), commonly known as the ADA, is a federal civil rights statute that requires state governmental entities, such as the Office of Administrative Hearings, to accommodate the needs of qualified individuals who have an interest in our activities, programs and services. 

If you have a disability that restricts your ability to participate in a legal proceeding before OAH, you may request a reasonable and appropriate accommodation by contacting the local office assigned to your case in General Jurisdiction matters or the calendar clerk assigned to your case in Special Education disputes.   

The request should include a statement of the impairment, a description of the accommodation sought, and an explanation of why the accommodation is needed.  This request can be submitted using the Request for Accommodation by a Person with Disabilities form (DGS OAH-31), which can be found at the link: Form DGS-OAH 31.  OAH may request additional information about the qualifying impairment in order to determine the most appropriate accommodation under the circumstances.

Accessibility requests should be made as far in advance as possible in order to give OAH time to review and process your request.  OAH cannot provide legal assistance or advice.

The Office of Administrative Hearings is dedicated to ensuring that all qualified individuals with disabilities have equal access to our legal proceedings.  The questions below are designed to provide the public with information about accessibility at OAH and are not intended as legal advice. For more information about accessibility, please contact our office:

OAH ADA Coordinator
2349 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 200
Sacramento CA 95833
Telephone: (916) 263-0550
Confidential fax: (916) 263-0545 

Frequently Asked Questions

 


Q. Who is a qualified individual with a disability?
A qualified individual with a disability is a person covered by the ADA or the Unruh Civil Rights Act. A qualified individual has a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more major bodily functions or major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. Examples of major life activities are caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

Examples of disabilities include mobility or other motor impairments, psychological and mental illness, visual impairments, and deafness and hearing loss. Temporary disabilities may also qualify. 

Individuals with qualifying disabilities may receive reasonable accommodations to provide them with equal access to OAH proceedings.


Q: Which qualified individuals may request a reasonable accommodations? 
Any attorney, party, witness, or other person with an interest in attending any proceeding before OAH may make a request for accommodation. 


Q: How do I request an accommodation? 
You may request an accommodation in writing or orally. Requests should submitted to the local office assigned to your case in a General Jurisdiction matter, the calendar clerk assigned to your case in a Special Education matter

The request should include a statement of the impairment, a description of the accommodation sought, and an explanation of why the accommodation is needed. This request can be submitted using the Request for Accommodation by a Person with Disabilities form (DGS-OAH 31), which can be found at the link: Form DGS-OAH 31.  OAH may request additional information about the qualifying impairment in order to determine the most appropriate accommodation under the circumstances.


Q: How will OAH handle my request?
Your request will be handled by the OAH office handling your case or the OAH ADA coordinator. You will be notified if additional information about your impairment is needed in order to determine what type of accommodation should be provided. You will be promptly notified as to whether your request is granted or denied, or whether an alternative accommodation is being provided to you.  


Q: When do I need to make my request?
Requests regarding accessibility should be made as far in advance as possible before the date of the proceedings, so that OAH has adequate time to arrange for the accommodation. 


Q: What type of accommodation can OAH provide? 
The type of accommodation will depend on the requestor’s impairment. Accommodations may include making reasonable modifications in practices, or providing auxiliary aids and services, equipment, devices, or materials. 

OAH cannot provide an accommodation that would fundamentally alter the nature of OAH’s services, activities, or programs or cause an undue financial or administrative burden. OAH is also prohibited from exceeding the law in granting a request for an accommodation. For instance, OAH cannot extend the statute of limitations for hearing a case. OAH is restricted from providing legal counsel, personal equipment or services, and transportation as accommodations. 


Q: Can OAH offer a different accommodation from what I asked? 
Yes. OAH may offer a different, or alternative, accommodation than what was requested. OAH is required to find an accommodation that will enable full participation in the legal proceedings, which means that the accommodation provided may not be your first choice. 


Q: Can OAH deny my request? 
Yes. Requests for accommodation can be denied if: 1) the requestor has failed to meet the requirements as a qualified individual with disabilities as covered under the ADA, or 2) providing the accommodation would cause an excessive financial burden, or 3) providing the accommodation would fundamentally alter the nature of services provided being provided.











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