DJ xx III - 1.


SEP 10 1993

XX XX Las Cruces, New Mexico XX Dear XX : This is in response to your correspondence requesting information about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We apologize for the delay in responding. The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities having rights or obligations under the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the requirements of the ADA. However, it does not constitute a formal legal interpretation or opinion and it is not binding on the Department. Your inquire about the ADA obligations imposed on manufacturers to respond to consumer complaints from individuals with hearing impairments. The ADA lists twelve categories of entities as places of public accommodations. Manufacturing activities do not fall within these categories. However, it is our view that an extensive customer services operation of a large manufacturer is separately covered as a public accommodation if it is providing a service in connection with the retail sales of its products. Accordingly, such a customer service office is required to ensure effective communication with its customers having disabilities by providing auxiliary aids and services unless providing them would constitute an undue administrative or financial burden. There are a variety of aids and services that can be provided to ensure effective communication with persons having hearing or speech impairments. For telephone communications, the ADA has required the establishment of telecommunications relay services which are now available on phone systems throughout the country. The relay system allows persons with hearing impairments to use TDDs to contact specially trained operators cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Magagna, MAF udd\Magagna, pl.74

01-02589 -2who then relay the calls by voice to the parties to whom the TDD users wish to speak. Your local phone company should be able to provide you with more information about its relay system. We hope this information is useful to you in evaluating your rights under the ADA. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief Public Access Section


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XX Las Cruces, New Mexico XX XX January 27, 1992

Ass't. Attorney General for Civil Rights Department of Justice Washington, D.C. 20530 Re: Americans with Disabilities Act Hello: I suffer from severe hearing impairment and must rely on lip reading to carry on a conversation. With an amplified telephone, I can "make out" some of what a person is saying but I have no confidence whatsoever that I am hearing correctly on the telephone. Consequently, I have a policy of not doing business over the phone. I am presently involved in a dispute with the Chrysler Corporation regarding a Plymouth mini-van that experienced total

crankshaft failure at 14,000 miles. Twice, Chrysler corporation representatives have called me on the phone to discuss the matter. In both instances, I asked the caller to send me a letter. To date, I have heard from neither of them. Does the Act require businesses firms to recognize hearing impairment and use written correspondence instead of the telephone? I understand that the Corporation has a computer answering system(blah, blah, blah, push 1; blah, blah, blah, blah, push 2; etc.) but there is no way in the world that I can get through such a system. I hope you can help me, or, at least, tell me how I should proceed. Any help you can offer will be greatly appreciated. Yours very truly, XX C: K.K. Jones Owner Relations Coordinator Chrysler Corporation 26001 Lawrence Ave. Center Line, MI 48015-1231 01-02591