Headlines: May 7th, 1999

The stress of attending court as a witness or defendant can be increased for people with disabilities. They need to know about arrangements for giving them access to the proceedings and to buildings. People with hearing difficulties need to know if there is a loop systems. Wheelchair users need to know details of ramps and lift access.

The Court service has responded to this need with a freephone helpline 0800 3583506. Specially trained staff now provide a range of information on such topics as court information in large print or braille, or where to obtain general information about the Court Service on audio cassette. The helpline was set up as part of the Court Service’s response to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, which requires public bodies to make their services more accessible.