Tips for ADR Professionals on Increasing Access

As a dispute resolution professional offering services to the public, you can increase your ability to reach potentially underserved populations:

  • persons with disabilities;
  • low-income persons;
  • persons with limited English;

by considering some of the following practical steps.

  • Join the pro bono panel of the MD Directory of Dispute Resolution Professionals found on the Peoples Law Library website. The panel serves low income persons, particularly those who have been referred by non-profit legal services programs.
  • Volunteer with a community mediation center
  • Offer to travel to a variety of venues to conduct sessions.
  • Use (and publicize) a TTY (text telephone) device or the MD Relay Program to reach persons with disabilities.
  • Work with interpreters to increase access for persons with limited English proficiency or persons who are deaf or have speech or hearing impairments. If you are not fluent in the language of the parties, you may decide that you are not the most suitable ADR professional for a particular situation. However, there are situations in which the parties are comfortable in English but may need some additional clarification. The following are resources to consider.
    • Select a co-mediator who speaks the language. This Directory lists language competencies.
    • Contract with a trained interpreter. The Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts maintains a state list of interpreters. Contact Linda Etzold at (410) 260-1271.
  • Subscribe to a special Maryland contract for Language Line over-the-telephone interpretation services. for quick initial contacts. (It is generally too expensive for session work.)
  • Review your premises to make sure that they are accessible for persons with mobility impairments, including elders who do not use wheelchairs.
Is this legal advice?

This site offers legal information, not legal advice.  We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information and to clearly explain your options.  However we do not provide legal advice - the application of the law to your individual circumstances. For legal advice, you should consult an attorney.  The Maryland Thurgood Marshall State Law Library, a court-related agency of the Maryland Judiciary, sponsors this site.  In the absence of file-specific attribution or copyright, the Maryland Thurgood Marshall State Law Library may hold the copyright to parts of this website. You are free to copy the information for your own use or for other non-commercial purposes with the following language “Source: Maryland's People’s Law Library – © Maryland Thurgood Marshall State Law Library, 2020.”