Effective deaf access to justice

Brent C. Elder, Michael A. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This article reports on findings from a qualitative study that explored the experiences of eight deaf participants in interacting with the justice system in Northern Ireland. The study was spurred by anecdotal evidence of challenges facing members of the Deaf community in obtaining access to solicitors. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which the United Kingdom is a State Party, requires providers of goods, facilities, and services, which include solicitors, to provide effective communication access to deaf people seeking their services on an equal basis with non-disabled people. The Disability Discrimination Act comes into play, requiring service providers like solicitors to make a "reasonable adjustment" in order to provide access to deaf clients. Eight participants provided narratives from which three thematic categories emerged: (a) Barriers to Access, (b) The Contested Meaning of "Reasonable Adjustment," and (c) Deaf Cultural Awareness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-340
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Speech and Hearing


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