What is Effective Communication?
|A park ranger using sign langauge in front of the White House.|
Effective communication requires a public accommodation to ensure equal access to programs by including various types of auxiliary aids and services. Equal access for participants with visual, hearing or cognitive disabilities is often achieved by offering the same information in various formats in order for everyone to have similar understanding of programs, services or activities. A public accommodation can utilize a variety of auxiliary aids and services such as the provision of a sign language interpreter for a person who is deaf during a museum tour or a large-print park map for a visitor who is visually impaired.
Under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (28 C.F.R. & sect; 36.303), "public accommodations shall take those steps that may be necessary to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated or otherwise treated differently than other individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services, unless the public accommodation can demonstrate that taking those steps would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations being offered or would result in an undue burden, i.e., significant difficulty or expense." In addition, the ADA requires that "a public accommodation shall furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure effective communication with individuals with disabilities."