In the private sector, employee rights are covered under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which mandates that employers and other covered entities make reasonable accommodations for Deaf and hard of hearing employees. For Deaf employees who rely on sign language, reasonable accommodations include the provision of qualified sign language interpreter services.

The ADA requires employers make sure that Deaf employees or job applicants may communicate effectively when necessary. This includes training or workshops, special occasions, meetings, job evaluations, disciplinary meetings or discussions about benefits.

Providing qualified sign language interpreter services can help employers access the full potential, energy, creativity, and dedication of a Deaf or hard of hearing employee. For some individuals and for some jobs, it may be necessary to have interpreter services available on a regular basis. For other employees or for job applicants, occasional interpreting on an as-needed basis may be sufficient.

Although an interpreter’s fluency and experience are extremely important, interpreters working in employment related settings should also possess fundamental experience and familiarity with the targeted profession and subject matter.

Eaton is committed to working with employees and employers in assigning an interpreter that is the best match in terms of technical expertise, attitude and subject matter. All assigned interpreters must adhere to the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct.

What does the law say about accommodations?

View ADA Info