CCR Saves 15,000 Emergency Response Boxes Accessible to Deaf in Court Win


August 17, 2011, New York – The Center for Constitutional Rights, the law firm of Broach & Stulberg and the Syracuse Law School Disabilities Rights Clinic, successfully preserved a federal court injunction CCR secured in 1996 on behalf of a civil rights class led by The Civic Association of the Deaf of New York City. The ruling denied New York City's recent request to vacate the injunction and remove 15,000 emergency-help boxes that are accessible to deaf and hard of hearing people to summon emergency police and fire assistance from the street. The court ruled the City's proposed alternative to the boxes – that the Deaf use public telephones on the street in conjunction with a tapping protocol – would discriminate in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The 1996 ruling established the important principle under Title II of the ADA that, when government changes an existing public service, the changes must not discriminate against people with disabilities.

Read the decision:
Background on CCR Civic Association of the Deaf case
New York Daily News, August 16, 2011
New York Times, August 16, 2011, pg. A22
WNYC New York Public Radio News, August 16, 2011

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

Last modified 

August 17, 2011