Auxiliary Aids Plan

The State Attorney’s Office  shall comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 794, as implemented by 45 C.F.R. Part 84 (hereinafter referred to as Section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. 12131, as implemented by 28 C.F.R. Part 35 (hereinafter referred to as ADA).

This plan will be disseminated to staff  and participants ( including Victim Services) who have the potential to working with people living with a disability and Limited English Proficient and posted on the website.

 

Single Point Of Contact

The Single Point of Contact,  Barbara Faulkner/Director Victim Services, will ensure effective communication with Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing Victims or Companions in accordance with Section 504 and the ADA. The Single Point of Contact shall ensure that staff (including Victim Services) are aware of the requirements, roles, responsibilities, and contact points associated with compliance with Section 504 and the ADA.

 

Provision of Auxiliary Aids and Services

The State Attorney’s Office  will at all times recognize that individuals presenting as Victims/Witnesses or Companions preference is the primary consideration in determining what auxiliary aids or services to provide. If communication through a specific auxiliary aid or service is deemed to be ineffective, staff will ask the Victims/Witnesses or Companions to determine a more effective auxiliary aid or service for communication.  Documentation shall be made in the case file regarding the attempt to improve the effectiveness of auxiliary aids and services.

If Victims/Witnesses or companion is Deaf or hard of hearing, State Attorney’s Office Victim Services staff shall obtain auxiliary aids according to the communication assessment and requested for services.  All ASL interpreters’ certifications shall be verified.

Victim Service staff that is unfamiliar with the auxiliary aid or service requested shall contact the Single Point of Contact (SPOC),  District 504/ADA Coordinator (Civil Rights Officer) or State Attorney’s Human Resource Director or their Supervisor, for assistance in locating appropriate resources to ensure effective communication with Victims or Companions.

 

Provision of Interpreters in a Timely Manner

The State Attorney’s Office staff (including Victim Services) shall provide interpreters for Victims/Witnesses or Companions who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing in a timely manner in accordance to the following standards:

a. Non-Scheduled Interpreter Requests: For any emergency situation that is not a scheduled appointment, staff shall make an intepreter available as soon as possible, but in no case later than two (2) hours from the time the Victims/Wintesses or Companions or staff requests an interpreter, whichever is earlier.  If the situation is not an emergency, staff shall offer to schedule an appointment (and provide an interpreter where necessary for effective communication) as conveninet to the Victims/Witnesses or Companions but at least by the next business day.

b. Scheduled Interpreter Requests: For scheduled events, staff shall make a qualified interpreter available at the time fo the scheduled appointment.  If an interpreter fails to appear for the scheduled appointment, staff shall take whatever additional actions are necessary to make a qualified interpreter available to the Victims/Witnesses or Companions who is dear or hard-of-hearing as soon as possible, but in no case later than two (2) hours after the scheduled appointment.

Auxiliary Aids Documentation

The State Attorney’s Office shall document the Victims/Witnesses or Companions preferred method of communication and any requested auxiliary aids and services provided in their file. Documents and forms evidencing when and how the State Attorney’s Office staff provided auxiliary aids and services to Victims/Witnesses or Companions shall be retained within the corresponding file for seven years. Forms include but are not limited:

  • Victims/Witnesses or Companions Assessment and Assessment and Auxiliary Aid and Service Record
  • Victims/Witnesses or Companions Request for Free Communication Assistance or Waiver
  • Victims/Witnesses or Companions Feedback form
  • Auxiliary Aid Service Record Monthly Summary Report

Originals of Victims/Witnesses or Companions Assessment and Assessment and Auxiliary Aid and Service Record and Victims/Witnesses or Companions Request for Free Communication Assistance or Waiver

will be kept in the case file.  Copies of this documentation will be kept for record keeping with the SPOC.

Denied Auxiliary Requests

Documentation, with supporting justification, must also be made if any request was not honored. The State Attorney is the only person that can deny auxiliary aid requests made by a Victims/Witnesses or Companions If a staff person is not familiar with an auxiliary aid request, please contact the SPOC for information as well as ask the Victims/Witnesses or Companions for any information that you may need to secure this aid, but reiterate that the cost of any auxiliary aid is the responsibility of the agency and not the participant.

 

Referrals

If Victims/Witnesses or Companions are referred to other agencies, the State Attorney’s Office staff will ensure that the receiving agency is notified of the Victims/Witnesses or Companions preferred method of communication and any auxiliary aid or service needs. In order to accommodate this, the State Attorney’s Office staff will ensure that the referral is desired by the Victims/Witnesses or Companions and that he or she signs a Release of Information Form.

 

Customer Feedback Form

The State Attorney’s Office Victim Services staff shall distribute Victims/Witnesses or Companions Feedback Forms to Victims/Witnesses or Companions that are Deaf or hard of hearing and provide assistance in completing the forms if requested by the Victims/Witnesses or Companions The original Victims/Witness or Companions Feedback Form shall be mailed to DCF, Office of Civil Rights, 1317 Winewood Boulevard, Building 1, Room 110, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0700 by the participant or if requested, by State Attorney’s Office. A copy of the Victims/Witness or Companions etc Feedback Form shall not be kept in the file.

 

Documentation/Record Retention

Records relating to auxiliary aids and services provided shall be retained by each State Attorney individual county office and the original document retained in the Victim/Witnesses’ file or records. All final requests for accommodations, along with relevant documentation, will be forwarded to the designated 504/ADA Coordinator.

 

Signage

The Single-Point-of-Contact will ensure that conspicuous Notices which provide information about the availability of appropriate auxiliary aids and services at no-cost to the deaf or hard-of-hearing Victims/Witnesses or Companions are posted near where people enter or are admitted within the center locations. The SPOC’s name and contact information should be on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Poster as well at the name and contact information for the District ADA 504 Coordinator.
The approved Notices can be downloaded through the Internet at: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us

 

HHS Reports

The State Attorney’s Office Victim Services shall submit HHS Reports monthly, no later than the 5th day of each month, to the FCADV Contract Manager.

 

Event Accommodations

Descriptive information on the availability of auxiliary aids and services to persons requiring assistive listening devices or aids will be included in announcements related to meetings, employment or job opportunities, seminars, workshops and conferences, as well as services offered by The State Attorney’s Office Victim Services Staff shall ensure accessibility to meetings, conferences and seminars to persons with disabilities, limited English proficiency, and Deaf or hard of hearing by placing the following statement on all event notices and advertisements prior to the event: The State Attorney will provide accommodations, including American Sign Language interpreters, assistive listening devices, alternative formats of printed materials and real-time captioning upon request for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or are living with disabilities. To ensure accommodations, please make your request within 7 days prior to the event to Barbara Faulkner at BFaulkner@SAO19.org.

The State Attorney’s job applications are processed through People’s First and a copy of the information listed on that website is attached to this document.

The State Attorney has the following information on the subpoenas: Individuals needing special accommodations to participate in this proceeding should contact the above-listed ASA no later than 7 days prior to the proceeding at 411 South 2nd Street Fort Pierce, FL, 34950 (772) 465-3000, 1-800-955-8771(TDD), or 1-800-955-8770(V) via Florida Relay Service.

 

Staff Training

The State Attorney’s Office Victim Services staff shall receive training on how to provide auxiliary aids and services for persons with disabilities and limited English proficiency (LEP) within 60 days of commencing employment. The State Attorney’s Office Victim Services AND shall receive an annual refresher training on auxiliary aids and services for persons with disabilities and limited English proficiency (LEP). The State Attorney’s Victim Services staff shall be trained to use the TTY phone and video relay call. Training documentation shall be maintained in each employee’s training file.

Auxiliary Aid Resources

Florida Video Relay – 7-1-1

Through the Florida Relay Service, people who use specialized telephone equipment can communicate with people who use standard telephone equipment. To call Florida Relay, dial 7-1-1, or use the appropriate toll free numbers below:

  • 1-800-955-8771 (TTY)

  • 1-800-955-8770 (Voice)

  • 1-877-955-8773 (Spanish)

  • 1-877-955-8707 (French Creole)

Video Remote Interpreting

Through a video remote interpreter people can use an interpreter via technology to communicate with a participant instead of an in person interpreter. This is a good resource for emergency situations with limited time to get an in person interpreter as well as if there are few local community resources for certified interpreters. Below is the phone number for the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf which will provide contact information for certified video remote interpreting.

Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf: (703) 838-0030 (Video Remote Interpreters)

CART-Captioning Real Time and Providers

Captioning (Real Time). This is the simultaneous conversion of spoken words to text, through computer-assisted transcription or court reporting, and displaying that text on a video screen. This communication service is beneficial to individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing that do not use sign language or for whom assistive listening devices and systems are ineffective.

Kaptions4U, LLC

Brandi Kent, RPR, CBC, CRR, CCP

352-516-8310

Tanya Ward English, CRR-CCP-CBC

CAPTION CREW

Florida Realtime Reporting

tanya@floridarealtime.com

954.767.6363

Marianne E. Sayers, RPR, CRR

Fort Myers Court Reporting

2231 First Street

Fort Myers, FL 33901

941-334-1411

941-334-1476 (FAX)

Florida Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf

Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf / Certified Sign Language Interpreters

 www.fridcentral.org

(703) 838-0030

For Limited English Speaking Survivors

Please use the following service: Optimal Phone Interpreters (OPI)

Before you place the call:

  • Know the language that is needed
  • Be prepared to brief the interpreter about the nature of the call before he/she speaks to your Limited English Speaker
  • If you have non English Speaker on the phone call OPI and connect a 3 way call
  • For outbound calls, provide the operator with a dial out number and she will make a 3 way conference call

How to make a call to OPI:

  1. Dialing (1-877-344-9674)
  • You will be asked:
    • What language do you need?
    • Where are you calling from?
      • Respond to this question with “I am calling from the State Attorney’s Office, 19th Judicial Circuit”.
    • What is your first and last name?
    • What is the code number for your agency?

2. During the Call

  • Speak in short phrases or sentences
  • Avoid slang, jargon, and technical terms
  • Check for understanding from you Limited English Speaker throughout the call. If needed, rephrase the questions or statements until understood
  • When speaking to the interpreter, do not give and/or ask too much information at one time.
  • Ask questions in the first person

3. Ending the Call

  • Be sure the Limited English Speaker and Optimal Interpreter know that the call is ending.

Customer Complaints

If you believe you were wrongfully denied access to services or discriminated against:

  1. Inform the person who denied access to services that you believe they wrongfully denied you services and why you believe that is the case.
  2. Ask to speak to a Supervisor, immediately.
  3. You may submit your complaint/grievance in writing or verbally.  Direct your concern to the Director of Victims Services.  Include the following information:
    1. What service were you denied?
    2. What were you told was the reason you were denied service?
    3. What person denied you services?
    4. What was the date you were denied service?

In addition to the above actions, discrimination complaints may also be filed externally with the state and federal government.

 

Assistant Staff Director for Civil Rights

1317 Winewood Boulevard

Building 1, Room 110

Tallahassee, FL  32399-0700

850-487-1901

 

Executive Director for Florida Commission on Human Relations

2009 Apalachee Parkway, Suite 100

Tallahassee, FL  32301-4857

850-488-7082

 

US Department of Health & Human Services

Office for Civil Rights

Atlanta Federal Center, Suite 3B70

61 Forsyth Street, SW

Atlanta, GA 30303-8909

404-562-7881

 

US Department of Justice

Coordination & Review Section

Civil Rights Division

P.O. Box 66118

Washington, DC  20035-6118

202-514-0301

PEOPLE’S FIRST WEBSITE

An Equal Opportunity Employer/Program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. (TTY/TDD 1-800-955-8771 or the Florida Relay Service – 711.)

Equal Opportunity is the Law

It is against the law for this recipient of Federal financial assistance to discriminate on the following bases: against any individual in the United States, on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief; and against any beneficiary of programs financially assisted under Title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), on the bases of the beneficiary’s citizenship/status as a lawfully admitted immigrant authorized to work in the United States, or his/her participation in any WIA Title I-financially assisted program or activity.

If you think you have been subjected to unlawful discrimination under a WIA Title I-financially assisted program or activity, you may file a complaint within 180 days from the date of the alleged violation with either the recipient’s Equal Opportunity Officer, or the Director, Civil Rights Center:

  • Equal Opportunity Officer, Department of Economic Opportunity, Caldwell Building – MSC 150, 107 East Madison Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-4129; or
  • Direct, Civil Rights Center (CRC), U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Room N-4123, Washington, DC 20210

The State of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer and does not tolerate discrimination or violence in the workplace. 

 Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, must notify the agency hiring authority and/or People First Service Center (1-877-562-7287). Notification to the hiring authority must be made in advance to allow sufficient time to provide the accommodation.  

 The State of Florida supports a Drug-Free workplace. All employees are subject to reasonable suspicion drug testing in accordance with Section 112.0455, F.S., Drug-Free Workplace Act.  

 Pursuant to Chapter 295, Florida Statutes, eligible veterans and spouses of veterans will receive preference in employment and are encouraged to apply. For applicants claiming Veterans’ Preference, please attach supporting documentation that includes character of service (for example, DD form 214 Member Copy #4) when you apply for a vacancy.