DEAF-L: Self Advocacy

Key Words: Deaf Education Information, Deafness related issues, Legal Issues

Subj: Re: Capital 'D'
Date: 97-05-16 12:29:22 EDT
From: golfsc@JUNO.COM (George A. Adams III)
Sender: DEAF-L@SIU.EDU (Deaf List)
Reply-to: DEAF-L@SIU.EDU (Deaf List)

I went to the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind (SCSDB) to get business cards, I think this is a vital tool to show to police or anyone who tries to communicate to you. I asked the SCSDB to have the business card laminated, so it will last long and to be sure to carry it in a billfold or pocket book at all times in case an interpreter is needed. We have the Dept. of Outreach Services for the Deaf and Blind, an umbrella of SCSDB, who has a 800 beeper 24 hrs./ 7 days a week for emergency calls.

The business card stated:

I use American Sign Language to communicate. I need an interpreter to discuss business with you. Please call the number listed below to arrange for an interpreter.



Have many of them printed and passed out to your deaf/HH so they can have this vital tool to show to anyone, who needs an interpreter.

If you have a hard time getting an interpreter to Doctor's office or any agencies:

This sample letter will have a powerful impact on the agency in requesting a qualified interpreter. I got all my three doctors to hire qualified interpreter with this sample letter. I passed this letter out to my deaf community. Deaf or HH need to help each others, not criticizing, we don't have time for that. We need to help each other and learn to stick together ALL DISABILITY GROUPS.


Your Name:
Your Address:

Dear Doctor/Lawyer/Employer/Business (Whoever you are writing to):

As a deaf person, I am a person with a disability within the definition of the Americans Disabilities Act (ADA), and I write to ask that your office provide me with a sign language interpreter as an appropriate auxiliary aid during our appointment on (date)___________.

The ADA requires your office, as a public accommodation, provide me with an appropriate auxiliary aid for effective communication. An Interpreter is an auxiliary aid under the law, and while a public accommodation cannot impose a surcharge for providing an interpreter, the Internal Revenue Services provides tax relief for those kinds of expenses incurred under the ADA.

I communicate by signing, and need an interpreter to communicate with non-signers. Since we need to discuss_________________(whatever it is you need to discuss), an interpreter would be effective in helping us communicate naturally and easily. Thus, I would appreciate your office making arrangements for a qualified or certified sign language interpreter.

You can contact the Dept of Outreach Services (DOS or other agency you have in your state that provide qualified interpreter) at (name of address)____________________. This Center is a satellite program of the SC School for the Deaf & Blind. _________________(name of the director or DOS or other agency) is the Center Director and the telephone number is________________or toll free at 1-800-000-0000. The office is open from 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday. After hours and weekends you can call pager for service 1-800-000-0000. The DOS serves 24 hours/day, everyday of the year and provides interpreter that are both certified and qualified.

Thank you,
(Your Name)

End of the sample letter, I quoted most of this data from Michael Schwartz, who writes articles in the Silent News. I think it is a very strong letter that will convince any agency to hire a qualified interpreter.

1. Make an appointment with a doctor or any agency, then hand them the agency's business card that hires qualified interpreters to the nurse or the doctor, it would be better to give it to the nurse before you make an appt. with the doctor.

2. Write this sample letter to the doctor away ahead in advance.

3. Wait till about a week, then call the doctor's office and make sure they are going to hire a qualified interpreter and pay for their fee. If they refuse to hire one, then cancel the appointment. I had told them I will file a complaint to the Dept. of Justice (DOJ).

4. I warn you, PLEASE KEEP EVERY RECORD OF TIME AND DATE THAT YOU CALL OR WROTE TO ANY AGENCY. Why? DOJ is interested in time, date and results. It is very important to write these information on a piece of paper and keep a record to help you remember what is going on when you file a complaint to the DOJ.

5. This letter already did the job before I ever reported to DOJ. They know they must provide a qualified interpreter anywhere. It is law. I know it is a lot of hassling, but it can be succeeded this way.

I hope you will pass this sample letter and you copy it and make sure which agency they can contact to hire a qualified interpreters. Please make many copies as you can to give to your deaf/HH and explain to the deaf community how to do it.

This letter is doing your a service. You can do a service to your deaf/HH community. There is a lot of help needed to be done. IT IS YOUR JOB TO HELP THEM!!!

George A. Adams III

Uploaded by: B.J. Lawrence /Kent State University/ Deafed Major