Court Service Settles Discrimination Complaint From Deaf
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.
Hands On Access