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Philadelphia Police Department


On December 7, 2016, the United States issued a Letter of Findings against the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) under Title II of the ADA after investigating a complaint alleging that PPD failed to provide effective communication to a deaf individual during his arrest and detainment.  The letter detailed the United States' findings that PPD discriminated against individuals with disabilities, including that PPD was failing to take appropriate steps to ensure that communication with individuals with disabilities was as effective as communication with others; failing to provide auxiliary aids and services necessary to ensure effective communication with individuals who are deaf; failing to give primary consideration to an individual’s requested auxiliary aid or service of choice and failing to provide an equally effective alternative; inappropriately relying on a crime victim to interpret for her deaf roommates; failing to sufficiently train PPD staff and officers on how to assess the need for and to secure auxiliary aids and services; and failing to notify the courts that detainees are deaf prior to video arraignments held at PPD facilities. 

On August 2, 2018, the U.S. and PPD entered into a three-year settlement agreement to resolve the U.S.'s findings.  On June 25, 2021, the U.S. and PPD extended the term of the settlement agreement by one year, until August 2, 2022.  

Case Open Date
Case Name
Philadelphia Police Department
Case Type
  • Criminal justice / law enforcement
  • Effective Communication
Updated January 15, 2024