Photo showing the William R. Eleazer Courtroom marking key, improved features

The William R. Eleazer Courtroom:

Access and Justice for All

About the Eleazer Courtroom

The Eleazer Courtroom is the first courtroom in the nation designed specifically with the needs of elderly people in mind, and it serves as a national model for improving courtroom access.

The courtroom is designed to provide access to people who are elderly or who have disabilities. The elder-friendly facility offers the latest in technology, including electronic evidence displays, cameras, microphones and speakers for observing court participants and jury deliberations.

The courtroom was dedicated in honor of Professor William R. Eleazer on Sept. 16, 2005. For 20 years, William R. Eleazer inspired and led a generation of trial lawyers and through his tireless efforts made Stetson the powerhouse in law school advocacy education that it is today.

Features Include:

  • Carpeting designed to give visual clues for those with visual impairments–a border along the edge in a color different from the carpet, with diamond insets marking each row to give a visual clue regarding seats.
  • Rounded corners on all tables and desks.
  • Sturdy chairs with locking wheels and firm arms.
  • Easily accessible witness box at floor level with no steps.
  • Sturdy chairs with locking wheels and firm arms.
  • Ramp to judge’s bench inside judge’s chambers, so judge in wheelchair can ascend bench without being observed.
  • Podium that is electronically height-adjustable, with electronic side shelves or wings for those in a wheelchair and with limited upper body mobility.
  • Use of technology to enhance accessibility of participants–including flat panels in gallery and hearing amplification devices.
  • Non-glare, non-buzz lighting.
  • Color picked to enhance vision of elders.
  • Courtroom participants are able to move about the courtroom without highlighting physical limitations.
  • Electronic “fly open” gates that open horizontally into pocket doors. By having the gates retract into pocket doors, the gates do not become obstacles for wheelchair or walker users.
  • Extended jury box permits larger turning radius. No elevated second row. Chairs can be removed to accommodate all physical impairments.
  • Judge’s chambers: Ramp inside chambers. Automatic door opener in 3 locations. Handrails on both sides, for extra assistance and stability.
  • Probate Hearing Room: Sectional table–reconfiguration to accommodate family dynamics. Same lighting and colors found in the Courtroom.

Problems and Solutions

Photo showing solutions to physcial accessiblity problems in the courtroom

Citizens requiring physcial access to all areas of the courtroom.


  1. Technology to enhance seeing and hearing proceedings
  2. Electronic gates automatically open, horizontally
  3. Carpet borders and diamonds provide visual cues for moving about gallery
  4. Rounded corners to prevent injury to elders

Photo showing wheelchair accessible podium with shelves and monitor

Advocates with disabilities with limited mobility unable to fully participate.


  • A podium which features adjustable height
  • A podium which allows wheelchair access
  • A podium which features extending shelves
  • Technology that can be positioned close to the advocate
Photo showing wheelchair accessible witness box and monitor

Witness testifying without highlighting their physical limitations


  • A witness box with no step and space for wheelchair or scooter access
  • Technology that allows use of exhibits without leaving the box
Photo showing ramp from judge's chambers and handrails

Judges with disabilities accessing the bench wirth equal respect


  • Wheelchair ramp in the judicial chamber allows judges with limited mobility to access the bench
Photo showing interactive touchscreen showing and explaining the location and role of the participants

All Participants understanding the roles of the court


  • Interactive touchscreen outside courtrrom explains the location and roles of the participants. The same floor plan is available at the counsel table to re-orient the party if they become confused.
Eleazer Courtroom: Access and Justice for All, Stetson U Coll. L,

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