Have you experienced discrimination in a place of business due to your hearing impairment? It is important to understand that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you are entitled to accommodations to assist you in communication. This law applies to all state and local government entities, as well as to businesses and nonprofit organizations that serve the public.
Do not allow businesses or government agencies to deny you the accommodations you need in order to communicate effectively. If you have been the victim of discrimination due to your disability, arrange now for a free consultation with a compassionate and knowledgeable attorney from the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline.
To What Kind of Accommodations am I Entitled?
The Department of Justice estimates that nearly 18 percent of customers in America have some type of disability. Because this encompasses over 50 million people, the ADA has provided explicit guidance on the range of accommodations that might be delivered. The type of service or accommodation to expect depends upon the nature and complexity of the communication involved. Government agencies are required to provide the type of assistance requested by the individual with the disability, whereas business and non-profit entities are encouraged to consider the desired accommodation. In either case, the end goal is effective communication, and both entities must demonstrate willingness to adapt to the person’s method of communication. Accommodations could include any combination of services, including, but not limited to:
- A note-taker;
- A sign-language interpreter;
- An oral interpreter;
- A printed script of a stock speech;
- Expressively using necessary specialized vocabulary.
Beyond these types of services, specialized technology may also be necessary for effective communication. Just a few of these might include:
- Assisted listening devices;
- Open captioning, closed captioning, and real-time captioning;
- Telephone handset amplifiers;
- Videotext displays;
- Screen reader software;
- Electronic documents.
Can My Child Act as an Interpreter?
Unfortunately, children often are incapable of remaining impartial in the role of interpreter. Additionally, they may lack the specialized vocabulary necessary to communicate effectively. For these reasons, children are not to be expected to interpret for a hearing impaired adult.
Could an Entity Expect Me to Bring a Friend or Other Adult to Interpret?
Every aforementioned entity is required to provide communication accommodations by law. Your companion may be relied upon to interpret for you only if you and that person so desire.
I’ve Communicated My Communication Needs, But Get No Response
The ADA requires compliance, and entitles individuals to file complaints with eight different agencies within the Department of Justice and/or the Department of Transportation. Ultimately, citizens are eligible to bring lawsuits against offending agencies in order to secure their rights. The experienced Civil Rights attorneys in the Chicago Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline are here to help if you believe that your rights have been violated.