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Activist sues over Legislature’s lack of assistance for deaf

June 10, 2019

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas activist is asking the state’s highest court to require the Legislature to provide sign-language interpreters for its sessions and better captioning for its audio and video feeds.

Chris Haulmark of Olathe filed a petition last week with the Kansas Supreme Court. He argues that state and federal law and the Kansas Constitution require accommodations for the deaf and hard of hearing.

He is asking the court to require the Legislature to provide a professional interpreting team to sign House and Senate sessions. He also wants lawmakers to be required to provide real-time captions for the video of their sessions and audio of committee meetings and to post transcripts of their meetings on the Legislature’s website.

Legislative Administrative Services Director Tom Day declined Monday to comment on the petition.

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