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 works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at


Last modified 

August 17, 2011