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State and Local Government: Accommodations

The county health office has walk-in services. They want to ensure that they are providing effective communication for the public. How can ITY be a solution?

There are citizens of the public who may be deaf, have a speech disability, are elderly and hard-of-hearing or speak Spanish that may find the ITY helpful. There is even a Braille add-on for someone who is blind and deaf. With all the possibilities of customers coming in the door, the ITY can be the total solution to your effective communication plan and your overall customer service.

The Board of Elections is getting ready for an upcoming election. They have had no requests in their county for any auxiliary aids, but want to make sure that any one in the community who comes through their doors, even if they have made no communication request, will have access to the voting process if they have multiple questions.

Most voters know that if they don't have equal access to the voting process, then their civil rights have been violated. Because voters are better informed, public entities have to pay particular attention to all aspects of the voting process. ITY can be part of the communication plan at a voting site. In many instances, this avoids the need for an interpreter because the communications are usually brief. It's more dignified than using a pen and paper but not as costly as an interpreter. The ITY can be a great medium when the other types of auxiliary aids are not required or requested.

An individual with a speech disability has requested an accommodation related to effective communication. It is for an open public meeting and he wants to be able to ask questions or make comments while attending. He says that pen and paper takes too long and asks if there is a computer device available. How should he public entity respond?

There is reference in ADA that states that a person should have primary consideration when requesting an accommodation. Coupled with the fact that the county has several open meetings throughout the year, they found that the cost of Interpretype is negligible compared the cost of a person with a disability being excluded and possibly seeking legal actions.

There was a recent merger between the local Department of Labor office and the One-Stop. When looking at their overall plan to provide access to their services, they needed a solution that would not only communicate with job seekers, but help register them into their system. How could ITY assist in both of these needs?

The One-Stops have obligations to provide effective communication to job seekers with disabilities. They have several employees on site to be able to provide information on demand for customers. The ITY, being a portable solution, can be used during initial communication, then be moved to the registration area and finally be utilized by the job counselors at their desks. If the person has a question for a particular employee, the ITY can be easily moved to accommodate.

The town clerk's office has instituted a policy that will require every transaction be documented. If a person who is deaf or hard of hearing needs to access their services and the communications aren't lengthy, what could be an option?

The ITY has capacity to print any conversation. The printout also includes a feature that provides signature lines at the bottom to allow the document to become a binding instrument and can be notarized if desired. The clerk's office decided that this device was not only helpful to the public as a disability accommodation, but for anyone who wanted to create a binding document.

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