Ask Howard Anything / April 2018

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Who should provide interpreters? #AskHoward

VIDEO DESC & TRANSCRIPT: Howard A. Rosenblum is sitting at his desk. The NAD logo appears on bottom right corner as a watermark.

HOWARD: Who should provide interpreters? We get asked this question often. When deaf and hard of hearing people go to law firms, hospitals, doctor’s offices, convention centers, or any other place, they often are denied interpreters or other access. The law already requires that these places must provide access. There are a few exceptions to that law, but we still strongly encourage them to consider providing access. One of those exceptions is any religious event. Whether you go to pray, attend a religious funeral service, or a wedding event, the religious entity is not required to provide access. Another exception is for private members-only clubs. Besides these two examples, everyone else must provide access. It does not matter if the business or organization is for-profit or non-profit, access must be provided. What should you do when you are not given access? The NAD has a list of different advocacy letters that can be useful in various situations — such as letters specifically for the doctor’s office, hospital, law firm, court room, conferences, and other situations. Sometimes we will face a situation where a denial of access happens because they believe another business is responsible to provide access. An example would be a conference that is held at a hotel. Is the hotel required to provide access? Or is the conference required to provide that access? The law says both are required to provide access, not one or the other. Both can be sued for failure to provide access. Both businesses must work together to figure out how to provide access to you. Again, you can use the advocacy letter about this specific situation from our website. After you provide the advocacy letter, businesses should revise how they provide access. Let us know your success stories! If businesses continue to deny access, let us know too! Thank you.

Video fades to a soft white background with several different font types showing “NAD” very quickly. Copyright video ends with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) logo centered. Blue text below the logo appears, “The National Association of the Deaf / (copyright) 2018 All Rights Reserved /”; a yellow highlight of the URL appears at the end.

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