Capitol Access BookletMissourians with disabilities, just like all Missouri citizens, are encouraged to actively participate in the legislative process. This might include visiting the capitol to present testimony at a legislative hearing, to attend a bill signing, or to talk with an elected official.
This booklet is designed to provide information about accessibility in the state capitol so that Missourians with disabilities can fully participate in state government activities. Direction is provided for requesting access accommodations, such as interpreters or electronic materials, for legislative activities, capitol tours and for rotunda activities. Locations are noted for accessible parking, entrances, restrooms and elevators to the House and Senate gallery areas.
The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Title II of the ADA covers all activities of state government, requiring state government programs, services, and activities be usable by and accessible to individuals with disabilities. The Missouri State Capitol, as part of state government, provides access through building access features and provision of auxiliary aids and services.
Requesting a Communication Accommodation | Types of Communication Access | Assistive Listening Devices | Electronic Materials | Braille | Captioning Real Time | Sign Language Interpretation | Large Print | How to request a Communication Accommodation for Activities at the State Capitol
It is the responsibility of the consumer to request, with reasonable lead time, a specific accommodation based on the needs of the situation. It is the responsibility of the provider to either deliver the accommodation as requested or work with the consumer to identify a mutually satisfactory alternative that will provide effective access for the given situation.
You should be specific in your request for an accommodation. Do not request an "assistive listening system" and assume it will have a neck loop that is compatible with your hearing aid, or request "large print" materials and assume they will be in 24 point rather than the typical 18 point font. Be specific enough in your request to assure that the provider will deliver the right accommodation. Follow-up with the provider if you have any question about whether or not the alternative you requested will be delivered.
The legal requirement for state government is to provide effective communication access. They are required to consider consumer preferences but may offer other alternatives that provide effective communication. If the alternative they offer will not provide effective communication for you, be prepared to explain the difference between their offer and the accommodation you requested and why their option will not provide effective communication for you in this situation.
Communication access includes converting print materials to alternative formats such as braille, large print, and electronic format, as well as providing alternative access to auditory information through assistive listening devices, sign language interpreting and real-time captioning. Alternative communication provides user friendly access to information and increases the ease in which that information can be used. The following is a brief description of each type of communication access:
Assistive Listening Devices (commonly referred to as ALD's) are mostly used by hard of hearing individuals with mild to severe hearing losses. The main function of an assistive listening device is to increase the loudness of specific sounds (in most cases the speaker) and reduce background noise, thus allowing the person with a hearing loss to better understand and hear speech. Assistive listening devices can be used with or without hearing aids.
Electronic recordings may be used as an alternative communication for individuals who are blind or have some degree of vision loss, individuals with dyslexia or learning disabilities in the area of reading decoding or comprehension, and/or other individuals with disabilities whose reading skills preclude efficient access to traditional print information.
Braille is a system of touch reading/writing (used by people who are blind), which utilizes raised dots to represent letters of the print alphabet. The braille system also includes symbols to represent punctuation, mathematical and scientific characters, music, computer notation, and foreign languages- Braille Revival League. There are two grades of braille. Grade one is a literal translation of every letter into a braille cell. Grade two is a "shorthand" conversation of braille with contractions and other compression techniques used to make reading braille more efficient. In general, materials should be produced in grade two braille unless otherwise specified.
Real Time captioning (often referred to as CART or Computer Aided Real Time) is a verbatim text of what is being said displayed on a computer screen, TV monitor or large screen. Real time captioning enables communication access for individuals with hearing loss who are fluent in written English. Individuals utilizing real time captioning may not be fluent in sign language or may not choose to use sign language for communication access in a particular situation. In general, real time captioning is used by individuals who are late-deafened, oral deaf or hard of hearing.
Sign language interpretation includes two-way communication between spoken English and 1) Another language, such as American Sign Language; 2) an English-based sign system, such as Pidgin Signed English, Signed English, and tactile sign; or 3) A visual representation of speech, such as oral interpreting and Cued Speech. All interpreters must be certified by the Missouri Board for Certification of Interpreters.
Large print is print produced in 18 point or larger and is most frequently used by people with vision loss. It also increases reading comfort levels for many other people. While 18 point is considered to be large print, some individuals may need a larger point size for effective access. It is helpful to work with users to clearly define what font size will provide effective access. If the volume of material is large, a combination of large print and other format, such as electronic, might be more convenient for the consumer.
To request alternative format in large print, braille or electronic format of the Capitol Access Guide, contact Missouri Assistive Technology at 1-800-647-8557 (voice) or 1-800-647-8558 (TTY).
Listed below are the contact persons and procedures that should be followed when requesting an accommodation for activities within the state capitol.
- The House of Representatives
Brad Werner, Room 307B
Interpreters/Real Time Captioners
To request an accommodation for communication access for committee hearings, you need to contact the committee chair secretary. The committee chair then contacts the ADA Coordinator to arrange for the accommodation. You must allow at least a 48 hour notice for an interpreter or real time captioner. Real time captioners are primarily located in Kansas City and St. Louis and are subject to availability. All attempts will be made to secure an accommodation for last minute committee meeting changes dependent on the availability of an interpreter or real time captioner.
Assistive Listening Devices
For individuals needing an assistive listening device, you can go directly to the House Post Office, located in the basement by the cafeteria.
Braille/Large Print Materials
Contact Brad Werner for information about brailled materials or other alternative formats. You may also call the Wolfner Library at (800) 392-2614 (voice) or (800) 347-1379 (TTY) to obtain copies of bills and updated bill information. Bills will be provided on request only. Bill information can also be obtained through the internet at http://www.house.mo.gov/
Internet Access to House Hearings
The House of Representatives broadcasts all sessions live on the internet. At this time, the broadcasts are not being captioned for individuals with hearing loss.
Access to Mezzanine Level
If a person cannot physically access an inaccessible office located on the Mezzanine level in the House of Representatives, it is recommended that you call ahead of time to make arrangements to visit your representative. If you are at the capitol building and have not made prior arrangements, you can have someone go to the representative's office and have the representative meet you.
- The Senate
John Burton, Director of Operations for the Senate, Room B42
Contact: Sherry Koetting
Interpreters/Real Time Captioners
To request an accommodation for communication access for committee hearings or Senate chambers, contact Jim Howerton's office. A 48 hour notice is needed to request an interpreter or a real time captioner. Every attempt will be made to secure an interpreter or a real time captioner if last minute changes are made with senate committee hearings, dependent upon availability of interpreters or real time captioners.
Assistive Listening Devices
An assistive listening device is available in Senate Office Administration office. Their phone number is (573) 751-4663.
Braille/Large Print Materials
Contact John Burton's office for information about brailled materials or other alternative formats. You may also call the Wolfner Library at (800) 392-2614 (voice) or (800) 347-1379 (TTY) to obtain copies of bills and updated bill information. Bills will be provided on request only. Bill information can also be obtained through the internet at http://www.senate.mo.gov/
Internet Access to Senate Hearings
The Senate broadcasts all sessions live on the internet. At this time, the broadcasts are not being captioned for individuals with hearing loss.
- Governor's Office
Aaron Hart, Room 560 in the Truman Building
An interpreter is provided for all open house activities. For bill signing contact the Governor's office with at least a 48 hour notice to request an interpreter, real time captioner or an assistive listening device.
- Tour Information
Contact: Jocelyn Korsch
First floor Museum, Department of Natural Resources
Groups and individuals requesting communication access for a tour of the capitol need to contact the museum 2 weeks before their visit. Notice is needed for requests for an interpreter or assistive listening device.
- Rotunda Events
Mandy Roberson, Facilities Management Design & Construction
The Division of Facilities Management is responsible for setting up physical access and audio-visual equipment for the Rotunda activities. Assistive listening devices are available. Other communication accommodations should be requested through the agency or organization sponsoring the rotunda event.
- Building Access
Accessible parking is available on the Southeast side and on the Northeast side of the capitol building. Shuttle service is available at no charge. The location is Industrial Drive. Shuttles run every 15 minutes from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each business day.Accessible Entrances
Accessible entrances are located at the main entrance of the capitol building on the South/High Street side and through the capitol garage on the basement level (East side).Elevators
All elevators are accessible. On the fourth floor, there are lifts by the gallery of the House and Senate. During sessions, the door keepers have keys to the gallery. If you are unable to get into the gallery, go to the ADA coordinators (room 324 for the Senate and room 317E for the House) to get access to the gallery.
Accessible restrooms are located in the basement near the garage entrance and across from Hearing Room 1 and the Post Office. On the first floor, men's restrooms are located across from rooms 100, 117, and 129 (by elevators). Women's are located across from rooms 104, 120, and 135. On the second floor, men's restrooms are located across from rooms 215 and 230. Women's are located across from rooms 203 and 219. On the third floor, men's restroom is located across from room 323 and women's restrooms are located next to room 300 and across from room 332. On the fourth floor, men's restrooms are located next to room 400 and across from room 421. Women's are located across from rooms 408 and 429.
The State Capitol and the Missouri State Museum are open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. daily. No tours on New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Tours are free of charge and are available from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. every hour weekdays; and Saturdays at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m.; and 3:00 p.m. Sundays, and some holidays. Reservations for group tours may be made on the hour by calling (573) 751-2854. Guided tours last 30 minutes.