“The ADA and Interpreters” workshop review

On April 2, SCRID sponsored a workshop entitled “The ADA and Interpreters” on the Palomar College campus in San Marcos. The four-hour workshop, presented by Darlene West, gave participants an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act as it is written, interpreted and enforced. Darlene’s bold and animated style brought to life the five titles of the ADA covering employment, state and local government, public accommodations, telecommunications, and miscellaneous provisions. She peppered her lecture with vivid anecdotes, lifting the text of the ADA off the page and into the realm of everyday life.

Darlene discussed how to successfully navigate some of the loopholes of the ADA, such as “reasonable accommodation” and “readily achievable” versus “undue hardship” and “direct threat,” “program accessibility” versus “site accessibility,” and “fundamental alterations.”

She referred to section 35.104 to define the term “qualified interpreter” as required under section 35.160 (“Auxiliary Aids and Services.”) According to ADA section 35.104, a qualified interpreter is, “one who is able to interpret effectively, accurately, and impartially both receptively and expressively, using any necessary specialized vocabulary.”

The workshop itself was made accessible to the deaf via both ASL interpreting and real-time captioning, the latter provided by the firm Words Apart, using Rapidtext Infosign.

Darlene handed out plenty of supplemental literature and supplied the following toll-free phone numbers for those who wish to pursue more detailed information: 1-800-USA-ABLE, 1-800-USA-EEOC, and for TTY, 1-800-800-3302.

Darlene West is the co-owner of Accommodating Ideas, Inc., an enterprise based in North Hollywood established to consult with businesses to provide training in how to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Her firm also handles the provision of interpreting services and the rental and sale of auxiliary aids. Ms. West holds a CAD level V “Master” Certificate of Competence, and is a veteran ASL interpreter.

This review originally appeared in the SCRID newsletter in June 1994. Darlene West’s name has since changed to Darlene Geyer. Hyperlinks were added in 2012 for publication on danielgreene.com.

Author: Daniel Greene

I facilitate communication between Deaf and hearing people, and I teach people American Sign Language (ASL) and interpreting. Apart from doing the work I love, my greatest joys are family & friends, entertainment, food, photography, and travel.