ADA & Court Interpreters

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities that became effective July 26, 2000. The United States Department of Justice enforces the requirements of Title II addressing programs, services and activities of state and local government. Missouri’s courts strive to make the courts' programs and services accessible to all. Visit the ADA home page on the United States Department of Justice website for more information.

By statute, courts shall provide, based on expressed needs, auxiliary aids or services to interpret any proceeding for a person who is deaf or hard of hearing (Section 476.753, RSMo). This includes a person who is a party, juror, witness, spectator, or a juvenile whose parent, guardian or foster parent is deaf or hard of hearing if the juvenile is brought to any court proceeding. Qualified interpreters are only those licensed and certified in accordance with 5 CSR 100-200.170. Fees for such services are paid by the Office of State Courts Administrator (Section 476.760, RSMo). To request an accommodation for court programs, activities, or services, please contact the person indicated on the attached list: ADA Coordinators (February 2018).

For questions or assistance regarding requirements of Title II of the ADA with regard to court proceedings, please call (573) 751-4377 or send an e-mail to Access2Justice. The Access to Justice Program assists courts in providing full community access to programs in existing facilities and provides guidance in planning new construction and renovations. The program also provides guidance to the courts in providing auxiliary aids and services for persons requesting an accommodation for their disability.

In accordance with the requirements of title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), the Missouri judiciary will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its services, programs, or activities. (Notice under the Americans with Disabilities Act)

Links to other sites:

National Center for State Courts

Court Interpreter Services

Recognizing the need for assistance in the area of equal access in Missouri trial courts, the Access to Justice Program provides the following services to the courts:

Foreign Language Court Interpreters

By law, courts shall appoint a qualified foreign language interpreter in all legal proceedings in which a non-English speaking person is a party or a witness (Section 476.803.1, RSMo). Advise the court directly when services are needed so that they have adequate time to schedule qualified service providers.

To assist the courts in providing qualified interpreters, a certification program based on the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) Council of Language Access Coordinators. Courts are encouraged to use certified interpreters who are impartial and unbiased, and who will render a complete and accurate interpretation of the proceedings. The NCSC website includes important information about court interpreting and the Council.

Although certification is offered in 20 languages, only individuals in Arabic, Bosnian, Croatian, French, Serbian, Spanish and Russian have passed the test in Missouri as of June 2018. Certification List.pdf

Both sign and foreign language interpreters have a code of professional responsibility to adhere to. If you believe an interpreter is not adhering to the code or acts inappropriately, please take time to complete the form below and submit it to Access2Justice, who will investigate and take action, if necessary.

  • Interpreter Complaint Form (Word) (PDF)
The following is a bench card that provides a concise step-by-step guide for judicial officers to reference when appointing court interpreters. It provides information about evaluating the need for a court interpreter, determining if an interpreter is qualified, and who is entitled to an interpreter. In addition, the bench card provides the oath that all judicial officers much administer on the record to the interpreter.

Missouri Foreign Language Court Interpreter Program

To be added to the mailing list for notification of interpreter certification events scheduled for Missouri or ask questions, please contact: Office of State Courts Administrator, Access to Justice Program, (573) 751-4377, or e-mail your contact information with your postal mailing address to Access2Justice.

The attached documents provide candidates with important information to prepare for the certification tests.

If you desire more information about court interpreting, please e-mail Access2Justice or call (573) 751-4377.

For more information about court interpreting and this process, go to the National Center for State Courts website.

Links to Other Sites: