04 Jun Deafness and ADA Compliance — What to Expect?
Did you know that roughly 1 million Americans over the age of five are legally deaf? Additionally, roughly 8 million Americans are hard of hearing. As with any disability, there are accommodations that businesses have to abide by in the same sense that a business with stairs would also need a ramp. Let’s take a look at what the American Disability Association says about the accommodations you’re entitled to.
There are certain places where you can expect to be accommodated, these include government buildings and businesses or nonprofits that serve the public. According to the ADA, those who are deaf, have hearing loss or are both deaf and blind are entitled to a variety of different accommodations. These include the businesses providing one or more of the following:
- A notetaker
- A qualified American Sign Language speaker
- An oral, tactile, or cued-speech interpreter
- Real-time captioning
- Written materials, such as a printed script of a stock speech
Now you may be wondering how you find these accommodations, unfortunately there probably will not be a booth in the store labeled “ADA Compliance” giving away free advice. Your best bet is to get into contact with a manager before hand to inform of your situation and for any necessary arrangements to be made before your arrival, as explained by the Deaf rights lawyer Andrew Rozynski to Huffington Post. He also adds that you should make your request in clear writing and give the business ample time to prepare for you if it’s a scheduled meeting and any necessary accommodations.
Luckily, awareness of the need for more American Sign Language speakers is on the rise. More and more universities are adding Sign Language to their foreign language studies. According to John Elliot at the University of Connecticut, there’s a high demand for medical professionals who know sign language and that’s not limited to heat surgeons. There’s a growing demand for bilingual speech language pathologists, audiologists, occupational therapists and more.
You too can boost your resume with an American Sign Language online course available on Cudoo.com!
Do you know ASL? How did you learn? Let us know in the comments below.