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Not everyone in Wisconsin who faces a criminal charge can walk in and out of a courtroom under their own power. There are many people in the Badger State who suffer from some sort of disability, and some of these individuals may have to face a court date. However, a disability should not impede you from accessing a courtroom and fighting criminal charges. This is why Wisconsin courts provide some accommodations for the disabled.

According to the Wisconsin Courts website, there are many disabilities that can be accommodated by the court. While the site does not provide an exhaustive list of conditions a court will accommodate, it does generally mention the kinds of challenges disabled people face. These include problems handling physical tasks, caring for one’s self, and issues with seeing, talking, being able to hear, or walking. Mental disabilities, such as an impaired ability to learn, are also included.

Some people may be concerned that only permanent disabilities are accounted for. Not everyone suffers from lifelong disabilities. Some people are working on recovery and may be able to restore lost body function. It is important to know that the court will accommodate persons who have a temporary disability, not just a disability that will last for the rest of a person’s life.

There are many kinds of accommodations that can be made. Courts may provide aids like listening devices or captioning for the hard of hearing, Braille for the blind, or large print for people with limited sight. A facility may also be modified for a wheelchair to access. However, in some cases, a legal proceeding may need to be moved to a different location to offer appropriate accommodation. Telephone conferences are another option.

There are some accommodations that Wisconsin courts do not provide. A disabled person may not be offered personal services or equipment like a hearing aid. A Wisconsin court will also not offer legal research, transportation, or a place to lodge. Also, you should request accommodation in advance of a court date. A court may not be equipped to accommodate you if you simply show up without prior notification of your disability.

This article is written to provide general information on criminal defense and is not to be interpreted as legal advice.