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Court Service Settles Discrimination Complaint From Deaf Advisor
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 15, 2006

LONDON, ENGLAND--The United Kingdom's Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs has agreed to settle a complaint filed by a deaf legal advisor who claimed the Court Service violated his rights under the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act.

According to a press release from the disability consultancy Hands On Access Ltd., Jonathan Gibbons was set to appear in a professional capacity in Peterborough County Court in June 2004. But when he called the court through a telephone/text relay service to request a British Sign Language Interpreter, the court's staff member refused the request and abruptly ended the call.

Gibbons also claimed that his request for a note-taker was denied. He said he needed the note-taker because he could not take notes and use sign language at the same time.

"I strongly believe that if I were not deaf I would not have been treated this way and endured injury to my feelings as a result," said Gibbons. "This case raises important issues regarding consideration by public servants when dealing with deaf people."

"I hope that by being successful in my claim I have been able to prevent others being treated in the same way as I was by the Court Service."

While the press statement said that the act of discrimination proved costly to the court, it did not disclose the amount of the settlement.

Related:
Hands On Access

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