Texas Disability Law - Accommodations for Jurors, Witnesses and Offenders

Texas Law

  • Provides for a plan for meeting the treatment, rehabilitative, and educational needs of offenders with medical or mental impairments including development of community-based alternatives to incarceration.
  • Defines a process for determining criminal competency and how to apply it consistently across the state.
  • Provides that a party or witness who is deaf or hard of hearing is entitled to a qualified court-appointed sign language interpreter in civil and criminal cases.
  • Requires the Department of Assistive and Rehabilative Services, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services to maintain a list of sign language interpreters and specialists in communication access time captioning (CART) who are qualified to provide services in courtroom settings.
  • Provides that persons who are blind or who are deaf or hard of hearing are not disqualified from jury service because of disability. A court may choose to disqualify a person with a visual or hearing impairment from jury service if the judge finds that the individual's disability makes him or her unqualified to serve as a juror in a particular case.
  • Provides that courts are responsible for providing qualified sign language interpreters for jurors who are deaf.
  • Provides that courts are responsible for providing a communication access real time captioning (CART) specialist if requested by a party or a witness in a civil or criminal court proceeding. DARS is required to provide the list of certified CART specialists to a person or court on request.

Texas Statutes


Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments
(512) 406-5406

Relevant Federal Laws

Americans with Disabilities Act: U.S. Department of Justice
(800) 514-0301; (800) 514-0383 (TTY)