CCSA Answers: Providing Accommodations for a Parent with a Hearing Impairment

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November 9, 2012

Question: We have a parent, who is hard of hearing, attending an upcoming evening tour of our charter school. She is requesting that we provide her with a sign language interpreter. Is this something we are required to do?

Answer: If the tour is a school-wide event and the parent needs the interpretation to access the event in the same way as parents without a hearing impairment, your charter school needs to provide an interpreter under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Section 504, 29 U.S.C. 794, requires programs which receive federal financial assistance to provide interpreters or other auxiliary aids to handicapped people when necessary to give them equal access to the program. Public schools, including most charter schools, receive substantial federal financial assistance, and as a result comply with Section 504 and its implementing regulations. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101-12213, requires comparable access by all state and local government programs, regardless of whether or not the programs receive federal assistance.

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