Communication Access Fund
How Do I Locate Qualified ASL Interpreters?
A list of sign language interpreters can be found at https://dmzweb.dars.state.tx.us/prd/bei/PublicInterpreterSearch/Search. You might also want to try entering “ASL interpreter” along with the name of your town into your search engine.
What if there are no qualified interpreters in my community?
If you are in a rural community where you cannot locate a certified interpreter, the Communication Access Fund (CAF) may be able to make video remote interpretation available to you. Contact the Legal Access Division at 512-427-1857 or Briana.Stone@texasbar.com.
What If I’m Not Sure the Communication Access Fund Will Cover the Auxiliary Aid/Service My Client Has Requested?
If you are concerned that the CAF doesn’t cover the type of auxiliary aid or service that your client has requested, contact the Legal Access Division at (512) 427-1857.
How Can I Reduce Costs for Auxiliary Aids and Services?
The Legal Access Division may offer advice to lawyers concerning how to reduce interpreter costs or seek funding from another entity or source. For example, having a client who is deaf come in for less than one hour on several occasions may be more costly than pooling tasks in a single meeting because interpreters often bill using a one or two hour minimum.
These recommendations are not binding and are not legal advice to attorneys who assist persons with disabilities. Nor should an attorney consolidate tasks or take other cost saving steps which would deny persons with disabilities effective communication or result in unequal treatment of a person with a disability.
Can a Client Get Money From the Fund?
No. The CAF is for lawyers to meet the legal needs of persons with disabilities. However, persons with disabilities may obtain fund guidelines to advise courts and lawyers of the fund’s existence.
What if the Money Runs Out?
If the CAF is about to be depleted, all lawyers who have requested reimbursement will be notified as soon as practicable that no additional funds are available. Reimbursement requests will only be approved when funds are available to cover each reimbursement request.
Can I Count On the Communication Access Fund to Make Me ADA-Compliant?
No, but funds obtained from the CAF will assist you in providing effective communication to your clients with disabilities. Neither the CAF nor the State Bar assumes/removes a lawyer’s ADAAA obligations.
Where Can I Learn More?
The U.S. Department of Justice offers excellent materials on Title III obligations under the ADAAA. See www.ada.gov