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Right in the heart of Frederick, Maryland and Washington, DC, we have two of the largest Deaf communities in the world. Frederick is home to Maryland School for the Deaf, a school that teaches over 500+ Deaf students whose primary language is American Sign Language and the only university in the world that is catered to Deaf students, Gallaudet University, is nested in Washington, DC. On average, 2,500 Deaf students proudly call Gallaudet University their college each year with a relatively large community of 4,500+ Deaf people that work at the school and/or reside nearby. The population within is also extremely diverse with a long list of other minority communities that do not use spoken English as their primary language.
This is alarming due to the fact that as a Deaf person who is profoundly deaf and uses American Sign Language as my primary language, it is typical for me to struggle with receiving full access to communication at a place of public accommodation, such as a doctors office. If I am experiencing this, it is safe to assume that other Deaf or Hard of Hearing individuals are too. Not many medical offices are willing to provide an interpreter to ensure that their Deaf or Hard of Hearing patient receives full access to communication and important information regarding health. Some offices view it as a burden than a responsibility as a healthcare provider and practitioner. Then, there are offices that do not even know how to find an interpreter.
Not only that many organizations do not realize how unconditionally vital it is for each Deaf or Hard of Hearing person to receive full access to communication through the usage of an interpreter, it appears that some organizations also do not realize that it is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) law to provide interpreting services for their Deaf patients. More information regarding the ADA laws can be found at https://www.frederickinterpreting.com/adafaq. It is, in fact, a law for public organizations to provide an interpreter for their Deaf or Hard of Hearing patient(s). However, it shouldn’t be viewed as a burden since it comes with benefits.
The ADA FAQ also states that it is possible to claim a tax credit for the expenses incurred on interpreting services. Examples of eligible access expenditures include the necessary and reasonable costs of providing interpreters, and other auxiliary aids; and acquiring or modifying equipment or devices. As amended in 1990, the Internal Revenue Code allows a deduction of up to $15,000 per year for expenses associated with providing interpreting services.
Should your organization cater a Deaf or Hard of Hearing patient in the future, FIA Interpreting has made it very simple to provide interpreting services for Deaf patients. All you need to do is to go to our website and click Request Services at https://www.frederickinterpreting.com/requestservices and one of us will be in touch with you promptly to arrange interpreting services and to answer any questions you may have. The primary mission of FIA Interpreting is to provide full access to communication to both parties in a way that is as simple and affordable as possible. We only provide interpreters who are nationally certified or have passed our rigorous screening to ensure the services of the highest standards and professionalism with guaranteed best rates.