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OCT 6 1994

The Honorable John R. Kasich


Member, U.S. House of Representatives
200 North High Street
Suite 400
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Dear Congressman Kasich:

This is in response to your inquiry on behalf of your


constituent, XX , regarding her complaint that
the Uniglobe travel agency in Columbus, Ohio, refuses to provide
sign language interpreters for its customers' office visits.

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)


requires public accommodations, including service establishments
such as travel agencies, to furnish appropriate auxiliary aids
and services, including sign language interpreters, where
necessary to ensure effective communication with individuals with
disabilities.

Covered entities should consult with their customers to


determine what type of auxiliary aid or service is appropriate
for particular circumstances. However, covered entities are not
required to provide sign language interpreters for deaf customers
upon demand. Title III of the ADA does not require a covered
entity to accede to a customer's specific choice of auxiliary aid
or service as long as the entity satisfies its obligation to
ensure effective communication. Often, exchanging notes or
providing written materials may suffice. In determining what
constitutes an effective auxiliary aid or service, covered
entities must consider, among other things, the length and
complexity of the communication involved.

A covered entity may not impose a surcharge on any


particular individual with a disability to cover the costs of
providing auxiliary aids and services. Instead, the costs should
be treated like other overhead expenses that are passed on to all
customers. Nor may a covered entity use a customer's request for
an auxiliary aid or service as the basis for refusing to serve
that individual.
cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Hill, McDowney, FOIA, Friedlander
:\udd\hille\policylt\kasich.ltr

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However, the obligation to provide auxiliary aids and


services is not unlimited and a covered entity is not required to
provide auxiliary aids and services if doing so would result in
an undue burden, that is, a significant difficulty or expense.
The factors to be considered in determining whether there is an
undue burden include the nature and cost of the action, the type
of entity involved, and the overall financial resources of the
entity. The requirements for provision of auxiliary aids and
services are discussed further in the enclosed regulation
implementing title III of the ADA.

If Ms. Thompson wishes to have further information about the


requirements of the ADA, she may contact our ADA information line
at (800) 514-0301 (voice) or (800) 514-0383 (TDD).

I hope this information will be useful to you in responding


to your constituent.

Sincerely,

Deval L. Patrick
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

Enclosure

01-03462
28 July 94
XX
XX
Gahanna, Ohio XX
XX
XX

Honorable John R. Kasich


Federal Bld. - Room 500
200 North High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Dear Congressman Kasich:

Enclosed please find a copy of a letter which was sent to the


Uniglobe District Office in regard to a complaint on behalf of people
with disabilities. The information copy is provided to you, along
with several other agencies, as you have demonstrated support for
people with disabilities in the past.
Any input you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your
attention to this important matter, and for support of people with
disabilities in general.

Sincerely,

XX

01-03463