Deaf Services

Written by Linda Alexander
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There are many deaf services available in local communities. Social groups, for example, connect the deaf culture with other members who share common interests. Technology services are also a significant part of the deaf community, enabling them to communicate with the hearing world effectively.

Sometimes deaf services involve the use of interpreters. These are people who translate the various sign languages into spoken language (in our case, American Sign Language into English), enabling hearing people to better communicate with the deaf. Like foreign language translators, their job is to translate the message clearly and objectively, without changing the information or interjecting their own interpretations or opinions.

Deaf Services Under the ADA

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need any deaf services at public events, such as an interpreter, or captioning, you have a right to it. Just notify the organization ahead of time that you will need special equipment. Or, let them know you need somebody to sign what is being spoken so you can understand it.

With employment, the deaf also have a right to certain services. Under the ADA, this is called "reasonable accommodations" for your job, and this may include TTYs, visual alarms, and interpreter services. Certain job duties may be reassigned as well. For example, if a deaf person's job requires little telephone contact, either a TTY may be provided or those job duties can be assigned to someone else.

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