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Subject: ASL Interpreter for board meeting
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Author Messages
ScottR10
(Virginia)

Posts:1


08/28/2017 11:48 AM  
I am a deaf lot owner and if the board calls me into a hearing on a violation, do I have same rights under ADA requesting an ASL interpreter at their expense?
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


08/28/2017 11:52 AM  
If a personal hearing against yourself and you are called into by the Board I would contend YES. If you are attending open HOA meetings, then that is potentially your responsibility to provide. Keep in mind we are not attorneys and this is just our personal opinions.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14861


08/28/2017 1:10 PM  
The ADA is applies to public buildings.
The HOA is a private company.

I would think you would have to pay for any interpreter.


Now you have two different opinions.

Suggest you contact the ADA and ask them.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


08/28/2017 2:23 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 08/28/2017 1:10 PM
The ADA is applies to public buildings.
The HOA is a private company.

I would think you would have to pay for any interpreter.


Now you have two different opinions.

Suggest you contact the ADA and ask them.


So ... Are you stating if my "private company" wanted to build a club house it would not need to be ADA compliant? If I was the the HOA I would consider the fact that items from a hearing could have the potential in future to escalate to a Court case. Therefore, the HOA potentially should take care now to prevent anyone with a legal disability from not fully understanding the initial discussion.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14861


08/28/2017 2:50 PM  
Posted By JanetB2 on 08/28/2017 2:23 PM


So ... Are you stating if my "private company" wanted to build a club house it would not need to be ADA compliant?




Correct.

However, if they rent the club house to the public, then yes.


Take a look at the actual act:


https://www.ada.gov/2010_regs.htm


from a department of justice letter: https://www.ada.gov/adaanprm.pdf

The ADA broadly protects the rights
of individuals with disabilities in
employment, access to State and local
government services, places of public
accommodation, transportation, and
other important areas of American life

and, in addition, requires that newly
designed and constructed or altered
public accommodations and commercial
facilities
be readily accessible to and
usable by individuals with disabilities.
AugustinD


Posts:603


08/28/2017 3:29 PM  
The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by homeowners' and condo associations. This site says that the HOA must provide a sign language interpreter for HOA meetings: https://www.nad.org/resources/civil-rights-laws/fair-housing-act/housing-discrimination/ . Because of this, I think it is more likely than not that the HOA must provide the sign language interpreter, at the HOA's expense, to ScottR10.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14861


08/28/2017 3:42 PM  
Augustin,

Now we have the applicable law.



AugustinD


Posts:603


08/28/2017 3:58 PM  
ScottR10, I am seeing only one caveat on the point. If the HOA has a small budget and providing an ASL interpreter would be an "undue financial burden" to the HOA, then the HOA might not be obliged to provide an ASL interpreter. See http://www.condolawgroup.com/2010/10/11/reasonable-accommodation-interpreters/ and other sites. If you want, it might be helpful to post the number of members in your HOA; what its annual revenue is; and how much an ASL interpreter would cost for say one hour.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


08/28/2017 4:35 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 08/28/2017 2:50 PM
Posted By JanetB2 on 08/28/2017 2:23 PM


So ... Are you stating if my "private company" wanted to build a club house it would not need to be ADA compliant?




Correct.

However, if they rent the club house to the public, then yes.


Take a look at the actual act:


https://www.ada.gov/2010_regs.htm


from a department of justice letter: https://www.ada.gov/adaanprm.pdf

The ADA broadly protects the rights
of individuals with disabilities in
employment, access to State and local
government services, places of public
accommodation, transportation, and
other important areas of American life

and, in addition, requires that newly
designed and constructed or altered
public accommodations and commercial
facilities
be readily accessible to and
usable by individuals with disabilities.


It is the potential "important areas of American Life" that could bite the HOA on this one issue. Plus looking at fair housing. Only because it is not a general meeting open to all members where can choose whether or not to attend. It is a "demand" letter to essentially appear or else face more consequences ... potentially when you demand with consequences, I would contend it is better to CYA.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1633


08/28/2017 4:59 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 08/28/2017 3:29 PM
The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by homeowners' and condo associations. This site says that the HOA must provide a sign language interpreter for HOA meetings: https://www.nad.org/resources/civil-rights-laws/fair-housing-act/housing-discrimination/ . Because of this, I think it is more likely than not that the HOA must provide the sign language interpreter, at the HOA's expense, to ScottR10.

My reading and interpretation of this is is different.

42 USC § 3604(f) talks about, "... "reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford such person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling..."

"a dwelling"

"...modifications may be necessary to afford the handicapped person full enjoyment of the premises of a dwelling..."

Again, "a dwelling".

Most of it is concerned with the sale and rental of housing units, including landlords who must allow for certain accomodations. It is meant to prohibit housing discrimination.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


08/28/2017 5:10 PM  
Posted By GenoS on 08/28/2017 4:59 PM
Posted By AugustinD on 08/28/2017 3:29 PM
The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by homeowners' and condo associations. This site says that the HOA must provide a sign language interpreter for HOA meetings: https://www.nad.org/resources/civil-rights-laws/fair-housing-act/housing-discrimination/ . Because of this, I think it is more likely than not that the HOA must provide the sign language interpreter, at the HOA's expense, to ScottR10.

My reading and interpretation of this is is different.

42 USC § 3604(f) talks about, "... "reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford such person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling..."

"a dwelling"

"...modifications may be necessary to afford the handicapped person full enjoyment of the premises of a dwelling..."

Again, "a dwelling".

Most of it is concerned with the sale and rental of housing units, including landlords who must allow for certain accomodations. It is meant to prohibit housing discrimination.


Geno ... I think you hit the nail 😀. The meeting OP is referencing is most likely in regards to rules and policy if BOD called the meeting.
AugustinD


Posts:603


08/28/2017 5:58 PM  
Hi Geno, if a disabled person cannot pursue her or his right of appeal of a rules violation (because of disability), then she or he does not have equal opportunity to use and enjoy her or his dwelling. For more discussion, see the links I posted.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1633


08/28/2017 9:35 PM  
Maybe the request to provide a sign language interpreter would be reasonable for the annual meeting. What about all the other meetings and functions open to the homeowners? What about social events? We easily have a combined 25 hours of board and committee meetings almost every month and another 10 hours worth of social events. Is $20,000 a year in the budget for interpreters "reasonable" when we barely have enough every year for necessary maintenance projects? Is forcing us to raise assessments 6% to provide these services reasonable?

Back to the question of providing an interpreter for a violation hearing... I guess I can buy that as long as the added costs don't cause an undue hardship.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:1986


08/31/2017 8:09 AM  
This website had a similar conversation in 2012 (see http://www.hoatalk.com/Forum/tabid/55/forumid/1/postid/134207/view/topic/Default.aspx) and the consensus at that time was that the deaf resident would have to provide an interpreter at his/her expense.

I'm inclined to agree with Geno that this can get very expensive if the HOA has to do this for everything this homeowner attends. The post above contained a suggestion that the owner split the cost with the HOA – would you be willing to do that?

Do you have an interpreter who already helps you with day to day activities? If so, could he or she accompany you to the meeting? What about a relative or family friend who knows sign language and could do this for you?
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