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J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2019 Jun 11. pii: JAAPL.003855-19. doi: 10.29158/JAAPL.003855-19. [Epub ahead of print]

Reasonable Accommodations for Meeting the Unique Needs of Defendants with Intellectual Disability.

Author information

1
Dr. Wood is Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN. Ms. Lawson is a graduate student, Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis. Dr. Anderson is Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Philosophy, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX. Drs. Kinney and Nitch are Neuropsychologist Supervisors, Department of Psychology, Patton State Hospital, San Bernardino, CA. Dr. Glassmire is Psychology Training Director, Department of Psychology, Patton State Hospital. mary.e.wood@vumc.org.
2
Dr. Wood is Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN. Ms. Lawson is a graduate student, Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis. Dr. Anderson is Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Philosophy, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX. Drs. Kinney and Nitch are Neuropsychologist Supervisors, Department of Psychology, Patton State Hospital, San Bernardino, CA. Dr. Glassmire is Psychology Training Director, Department of Psychology, Patton State Hospital.

Abstract

The Americans with Disabilities Act has allowed for greater participation of individuals with disabilities across a variety of contexts, most notably in employment settings. Individuals with intellectual disability (ID) are still precluded, however, from full participation in other contexts, and they are often relegated to the forensic arena without sufficient support, including after being adjudicated incompetent to stand trial (IST). Frequently, individuals who are adjudicated IST due to ID are committed to inpatient psychiatric hospitals that are unable to meet their unique needs. We argue that the provision requiring reasonable accommodations to secure meaningful participation in state-funded restoration efforts, explicitly covered by Title II of ADA, is both relevant and imperative for this group. Further, we argue that simple modifications to the forensic assessment process, as well as the trial itself, can provide the scaffolding to facilitate individuals' full and complete participation in the process, reducing the likelihood of an inappropriate determination as IST. In our opinion, failing to appropriately modify the forensic assessment, treatment, and trial process systematically excludes and uniquely disadvantages this population because individuals with ID are often able to meet the essential functions of participation except for interference from deficits commensurate with ID.

PMID:
31186365
DOI:
10.29158/JAAPL.003855-19

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