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If your company is a hotel, theater, restaurant, hospital, doctor's office, dentist's office, or any other place open to the public, it is considered a place of "public accommodation." As such, it is required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to be accessible to people with disabilities. How reasonable "accommodations" are depends on the cost of the accommodation and whether the cost would result in undue hardship to your company considering the cost of accommodation compared to the resources and size of your company. "Undue hardship" is usually decided on a case-by-case basis, and companies are expected and encouraged to make every effort to identify options to provide accommodations. In general, most accommodations are not expensive and are easily achievable. Feel free to visit the U.S. Department of Justice's ADA web page at

If your company has fifteen (15) or more employees, then your company is required to provide reasonable accommodations to Deaf and hard of hearing employees, customers, patients, or consumers. Any service provided by your company needs to be accessible. Depending on services provided, this could mean TTYs, visual fire alarms, qualified* sign language interpreters, or other types of accommodations. The ADA also applies to all areas of employment, including job interviews.

Note that the ADA specifically says "qualified" interpreters. Thus, a person who happens to know a few signs or even one who signs fluently but has no training or experience as an interpreter, is not considered a qualified interpreter. At WIN, we want to ensure that the accommodations you provide help you meet your legal obligations. This is one reason why all WIN's sign language interpreters are nationally certified. WIN interpreters are experienced professionals who have been vetted by their peers and then undergone WIN's own screening process.

If you have any doubts about whether you need to use an interpreter in your situation, please feel free to contact us.

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