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Title II Technical Assistance Manual - 1994 Supplement

II-7.1000 Equally effective communication.

A. [Insert the following text after ILLUSTRATION 2, p. 38.]

ILLUSTRATION: S, who is blind, wants to use the laundry facilities in his State university dormitory. Displayed on the laundry machine controls are written instructions for operating the machines. The university could make the machines accessible to S by Brailling the instructions onto adhesive labels and placing the labels (or a Brailled template) on the machines. An alternative method of ensuring effective communication with S would be to arrange for a laundry room attendant to read the instructions printed on the machines to S. Any one particular method is not required, so long as effective communication is provided.

B. [Insert the following text after ILLUSTRATION 2, p. 39.]

ILLUSTRATION 3: A municipal police department encounters many situations where effective communication with members of the public who are deaf or hard of hearing is critical. Such situations include interviewing suspects prior to arrest (when an officer is attempting to establish probable cause); interrogating arrestees; and interviewing victims or critical witnesses. In these situations, appropriate qualified interpreters must be provided when necessary to ensure effective communication.

The obligation of public entities to provide necessary auxiliary aids and services is not limited to individuals with a direct interest in the proceedings or outcome. Courtroom spectators with disabilities are also participants in the court program and are entitled to such aids or services as will afford them an equal opportunity to follow the court proceedings.

ILLUSTRATION: B, an individual who is hard of hearing, wishes to observe proceedings in the county courthouse. Even though the county believes that B has no personal or direct involvement in the courtroom proceedings at issue, the county must provide effective communication, which in this case may involve the provision of an assistive listening device, unless it can demonstrate that undue financial and administrative burdens would result.

C. [Insert the following text at the end of the question, "Must tax bills . . . ?" p. 39.]

Brailled documents are not required if effective communication is provided by other means.

II-7.1100 Primary consideration.

[Insert the following text after the first paragraph of this section, p. 39.]

ILLUSTRATION: A county's Supervisor of Elections provides magnifying lenses and readers for individuals with vision impairments seeking to vote. The election procedures specify that an individual who requests assistance will be aided by two poll workers, or by one person selected by the voter. C, a voter who is blind, protests that this method does not allow a blind voter to cast a secret ballot, and requests that the County provide him with a Brailled ballot. A Brailled ballot, however, would have to be counted separately and would be readily identifiable, and thus would not resolve the problem of ballot secrecy. Because County X can demonstrate that its current system of providing assistance is an effective means of affording an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to vote, the County need not provide ballots in Braille.


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