University of Washington Tacoma

Access*: Interdisciplinary Journal of Student Research and Scholarship

Author Biography

Luke Byram a undergraduate pursuing a bachelor's degree in Law and Policy with minors in Global Engagement and Human Rights. He successfully completed the Global Honors program at UW Tacoma and is a active disability rights advocate in the Tacoma community.

Document Type

Undergraduate Research Paper


In this article, disability access is explored in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada, examining court systems and the rights of defendants in a literature review. Then, disability accessibility and diversity are explored within the Washington court system utilizing semi-structured interviews with 17 practicing Washington State attorneys from diverse backgrounds and legal experiences who primarily practice criminal law in the courts. The article describes the current state of sign language interpretation and communication barriers within the courts for those who are disabled and the current accommodation standard and various communication and physical barriers for those with disabilities in the court system in Washington. Additionally, technology access is discussed which is especially prudent for blind individuals. The need for further supports and accommodations especially for those who have mental illness or developmental disabilities is also apparent.


University of Washington Tacoma


T GH 494: Global Honors Thesis


Jeff Cohen