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#239303 - 08/31/04 09:53 PM ADA - Deaf Customer
straw Offline
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straw
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 9,121
I have a deaf customer saying that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, I must provide a signer to communicate with him.

The act states accomodations must be made unless the accomodation causes undue burder.

Does the act apply in this instance? Would this be an undue burder?
Has anyone handled deaf customers post ADA?

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General Discussion
#239304 - 08/31/04 11:16 PM Re: ADA - Deaf Customer
Anonymous
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What is wrong with communicating via paper & pen? That is what we did with a deaf customer at our institution?

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#239305 - 08/31/04 11:32 PM Re: ADA - Deaf Customer
straw Offline
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straw
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this is what I am asking

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#239306 - 09/01/04 12:08 AM Re: ADA - Deaf Customer
HRH Dawnie Offline
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HRH Dawnie
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Anchorage Alaska
I'm curious how he told you this problem? In writing?

I have banked a few deaf clients. They communicated via sign if we had someone to do so, or in writing. The act does not require that we train everyone who might come in contact with someone who is deaf on sign language.

Now on the other side...I learned so I could deal with this client in a more effective manner (they were a regular with enough needs that this was valuable). I wouldn't have done it because they required me to do so, I did it because I liked this client a lot and wanted to be more helpful than I could be in writing back and forth.

You could ask this client if they read lips and then speak to your staff about talking with the deaf. Many people don't think and talk without looking at who they're talking to. Perhaps they turn around and grab some change while continuing talking. This would make it impossible for someone who was deaf to understand what was being said. Some sensativity training would go miles if this is the case. Our client noticed it, yours might as well, but no need to institute training tomorrow
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#239307 - 09/01/04 12:15 AM Re: ADA - Deaf Customer
Andy_Z Offline
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While the ADA requires barrier free access, it doesn't, to my knowledge require anything such as this. There are alternatives which will allow you to communicate, as has been noted.
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#239308 - 09/01/04 02:12 AM Re: ADA - Deaf Customer
straw Offline
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straw
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Posts: 9,121
Some more info; he provided branch manager with card regarding signers to arrange appointment; manager called and was told hourly fee applied.

That's how I got involved; manager asked if we must do this. I am thinking we will respectfully advise customer we do not need to sign, but if he wishes to bring the interpreter in, he can do at his expense. The expense is an undue burden not required by the Act, as other methods of communication exist.

Thoughts?

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#239309 - 09/01/04 01:04 PM Re: ADA - Deaf Customer
Sinatra Fan Offline
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New Jersey
We have a mortgagor who is deaf. When he comes in to speak with me, we communicate via written notes back and forth. Sometimes, he brings an interpreter with him, and we communicate that way. I always handle his inquiries, so that he will be in a private office and so that he has a comfort level with one person.

He did once provide me with information from the National Association of the Deaf Law Center, which indicates that we must provide "auxiliary aids" to deaf customers under the ADA. However, this information is coming from an advocacy group, not a regulatory body. Also, at the end of the information, they state "This material . . . is intended solely as informal guidance. This material is not legal advice." The customer has never pressed us to provide an interpreter.
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#239310 - 09/01/04 02:21 PM Re: ADA - Deaf Customer
Andy_Z Offline
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In some respects this is not unlike the SCRA. Are you a good corporate citizen or a greedy banker who doesn't want to help customers in need? That would be the question some seem to ask. Thankfully there is more than one way to accomplish what should be done and you do not have to be a bad guy.
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AndyZ CRCM
My opinions are not necessarily my employers.
R+R-R=R+R
Rules and Regs minus Relationships equals Resentment and Rebellion. John Maxwell

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#239311 - 09/01/04 02:49 PM Re: ADA - Deaf Customer
renniks Offline
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renniks
Joined: Sep 2003
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New England
We have many mortgage customers in the deaf community. One of our originators (hearing) does most of these loans. We do hire someone to interpret (sign language)at the loan closing (at our expense) and list it on the HUD as part of lender paid closing costs.

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#239312 - 09/02/04 04:40 AM Re: ADA - Deaf Customer
Princess Romeo Offline

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Where the heart is
My sister is deaf, and she does not require the bank to provide her with a sign language interpreter.

Now, when she got called up for Jury Duty, that was another story! The court had to provide an interpreter because there is no other way for her to receive the live testimony.
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