June 4, 2010, Newsletter Issue #56: Deaf Living: Employment

Tip of the Week


Title 1 of the Americans with Disabilities Act states that employers must provide reasonable modifications to the workplace and workplace equipment to accommodate people with disabilities. It specifically outlines that employers must provide TTY devices, visual warning alarms (smoke alarms and other alarms) and CCTV, among other things to help a deaf or hearing impaired person do his or her job.

Also, for federal employees, Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 791 requires the federal government to “practice affirmative action to hire and to promote disabled workers.” This includes providing equal access to training and promotion opportunities.

The laws do not cover only someone who has already been in the work environment. An employer must also accommodate a deaf or hearing impaired person during an interview. The federal government must also provide interpreters for federal employees, if an interpreter is requested.

Private employers may deduct the cost of any accommodations made for the deaf or hearing impaired. They may also be eligible for special tax credits. If an employers is found to be noncompliant with regulations regarding hiring people with disabilities, it may be subject to liability.

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