There have been numerous, ongoing inquiries to CCDHH Outreach personnel regarding medical service providers, e.g., doctors, dentists, clinics, hospitals, who refuse to provide interpreter services. Deaf individuals who are self-advocating for the provision of interpreter services from a medical service provider may consider using the letter below to educate the doctor about the need to provide access to effective communication:
I have requested a sign language interpreter for our appointment. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title III prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the activities of public accommodations (businesses that are open to the public, such as doctors’ offices) and requires compliance with ADA standards for accessibility.
Communication with patients who are deaf needs to be effective. If the visit’s purpose is of a serious nature, lengthy or complicated and the deaf patient has requested an interpreter, an interpreter should be provided. Providing an interpreter ensures that both the doctor and the patient will be able to communicate fluently and effectively, which may help to avoid costly litigation.
It is the medical provider’s responsibility to provide and pay for a sign language interpreter, unless doing so would result in an undue burden, which means significant difficulty or expense. However, a business’s overall resource (not a comparison of the fee paid by the customer verses the expense of hiring the interpreter) is used to determine what would constitute an undue burden.
In addition, the State of Colorado Title VI Consumer Protection Law requires interpreters to be certified by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. I prefer interpreters from _________, telephone number _______, because their interpreters are in compliance with State law and are highly professional.
As part of the business agreement with an interpreter or service provider, you will need to provide the following information:
1) Service requestor’s name, telephone number, email address and the agency/organization requesting services.
2) Date, time and duration of the appointment.
3) Location of assignment (address, directions, floor, building #, etc.).
4) Nature and format of the meeting (i.e. medical appointment).
5) Name of deaf patient.
6) Name of onsite contact person (doctor).
7) Materials pertaining to a given assignment as needed (written information).
Also, to assist small businesses in complying with the ADA, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Code includes a Disabled Access Credit (Section 44) for businesses with 30 or fewer full-time employees or with total revenues of $1 million or less in the previous tax year. Eligible expenses include providing sign language interpreters. Use IRS Tax Form 8826 for this deduction.
If you have questions regarding this obligation, please contact CCDHH Outreach Services at 720-457-3679. Outreach and Consultative Services can answer any questions related to ADA obligations or working with an interpreter.
The Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH) is recruiting new members to serve on its Commission. The Commission advises on policies that direct the State of Colorado to take a course of action to meet the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) functions, mission and vision. The Commission promotes the interests of the deaf, hard-of-hearing, and deafblind constituents and ensures access to both communication and environment.
The Commission Nominations Committee is seeking at least three (3) independent, enthusiastic and committed candidates for the following Governor appointed positions:
It is anticipated that Commissioner Marquardt may apply for a second term. You are welcome to apply for any positions, but be advised that re-appointments are common. Board duties include, but are not limited to:
Commissioners receive no paid compensation for their service on the Commission, but travel expenses are reimbursed in accordance with state travel regulations.
Submit your application for the Commissioner position online at https://www.tfaforms.com/290254.
The application deadline is 4 p.m. on Friday, March 16, 2018.
The Colorado Department of Human Services submitted CCDHH’s annual report to the Governor and General Assembly on January 22, 2018. The report includes community projects and issues as well as legislative recommendations for the General Assembly to consider. Below is the link to CCDHH’s annual report.
The next quarterly Commission meeting and community forum will be held on Thursday, March 1, 2018 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the International Hearing Dog, Inc., 5901 E. 89th Ave., Henderson, CO 80640.
Our meeting agenda is forthcoming.
The CCDHH meetings and forums are always open to the public. You are more than welcome to come and be part of the informative and interactive sessions.