Disability Access and Accommodations for Persons with Communication Disabilities

The Bankruptcy Court of the Western District of Washington is committed to a policy of equal access to court facilities and services and provides reasonable accommodations, with advanced notice, when appropriate.

Disability Access & Accommodations Coordinators

Information about disability access by location can be found under the Hearings & Locations tab above. For specific concerns not addressed on the website or in the Guidelines below, please contact one of the accommodation coordinators:

  • For litigants and witnesses in Seattle: Curtis Udy, Courtroom Services Supervisor, 206.370.5370
  • For litigants and witnesses in Tacoma: Trisha McGraw, Divisional Manager, 253.882.3900
  • For job applicants, visitors, and general accommodation questions: Human Resources Supervisor, 206.370.5213

Accommodations Guidelines for Persons with Communication Disabilities and Request Form

Review the Court's Accommodation Guidelines to determine whether accommodations for communications disabilities are available. If so, then the Application for Services to Persons with Communication Disabilities form must be filled out and submitted electronically to the Court. The form must be received at least 14 days before the date of the hearing or event for which services are requested.

Sign Language or Spoken Language Interpreters

In a bankruptcy case, the parties are responsible for providing interpreters for court proceedings as well as for communications between counsel and the parties, but the Court will provide interpreter services in the following limited instances:

1.  When a court proceeding is instituted by the United States, the Court will provide a spoken language interpreter for a party or witness who the judge determines speaks only or primarily a language other than English so as to inhibit understanding or communication in the proceedings.

2.  A  section 341 meeting of creditors is not a Court proceeding. However, the United States Trustee Program offers a Language Assistance Program, which provides telephonic interpreter services at Section 341 meetings to debtors with limited English proficiency. Debtors wishing to take advantage of this free service are encouraged to contact the trustee assigned to their case in advance of the Section 341 meeting to minimize disruption of the meeting calendar. Debtors who are in need of a sign language interpreter or an assistive listening device at their section 341 meeting should contact the Office of the U.S. Trustee at 206-553-2000 to make arrangements.

3. In any court proceeding the Court will provide a sign language interpreter or auxiliary aides and services to a participant in the proceeding who is deaf, hearing impaired, or has a communication disability that inhibits understanding or communication in the proceeding.

4. If a hearing is conducted in a virtual format, a speech to text option may be utilized to display the spoken word for hearing impaired participants.

Job Applicant Accommodations

This court provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and interviewing process, please notify Human Resources at hr_wawb@wawb.uscourts.gov. The decision on granting reasonable accommodations will be made on a case-by-case basis.