Americans With Disabilities Act

Written by Linda Alexander
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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a law that makes it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities, including deaf and hard of hearing people. The law covers employment, government, public accommodations, and telecommunications. Each section of the ADA explains what services must be provided for the disabled, including the deaf.

Basically, the Americans with Disabilities Act says that businesses, agencies, service providers, and employers must remove barriers that would prevent deaf people from participating. Of course, the government has allowed time for changes to take effect, so rules have been added gradually.

There are some exceptions under the law, specifically "undue hardship," where it would be too costly or difficult to make changes that accommodate disabled individuals. However, the ADA says that businesses must still do as much as possible to provide access for disabled individuals.

Your Role in Complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act says that you need to let businesses/agencies know what you need in order to communicate. There are many ways deaf people communicate, such as through interpreters, by written notes, or through TDDs. Since people communicate differently, you need to be specific with what you are comfortable using, so the business can provide the right accommodations for you.

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