Reducing discrimination in society is an ongoing process. Workplace equality for fair wages has been a battle for years. Legislation has been enacted to create fair and equitable work environments for men and women. The Americans with Disabilities Act has gone a long way to fight discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. The ADA also establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services. But how does that translate into providing services to Americans with Disabilities.
Special building codes have been established. Ramps, wide doorways, sufficient and necessary access to buildings for wheelchairs has become commonplace. Buildings now are fitted for wheelchair mobility and every public building has a specially labeled bathroom with special accommodations.
Special accommodations for hard of hearing individuals is made in movie theaters, concert halls, and auditoriums. Many have special amplification systems, that use special headsets to enable hard of hearing individuals to enjoy the same show or event being performed as everyone else.
Sign language interpreters need to be provided to give access to those who use sign language as a method of communication. These people may have hearing loss that surpasses just being hard of hearing and where an amplification device will not provide the necessary ability to hear and understand what is going on around them. Deaf and hard of hearing individuals know exactly what they are entitled to, and can request that they be provided with the necessary tools for communication.
Whether it is a doctors office or college classroom or home owners association meeting, equal access to information and the ability to communicate by the deaf individual must be provided. If not there could be a violation of the ADA.
If a disabled individual believes that their special needs and/or their civil rights are not being met they can report the offending company or institution to department within their state government that handles, disability complaints. When a company is found to be in non-compliance with the American with Disabilities Act, it could result in a lawsuit and fine. Avoiding the law suit and fine could be done by providing a sign language interpreter for the deaf persons use.