A Colorado mother and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition have filed a lawsuit against Arapahoe County over what they claim is a lack of sign language interpreters.
Teresa Fekany is deaf and uses American Sign Language to communicate.
Fekany said in a news release that Arapahoe County Department of Social Services did not provide an interpreter to help her fill out her paperwork to get benefits. Instead she was asked to communicate using handwritten notes.
Fekany said she requested a sign language interpreter. However, when she returned to ACDHS on Nov. 4, 2011, Fekany said the interpreter she was offered was not certified and was clearly not proficient in ASL.
The lawsuit asks for damages, attorneys' fees and costs, and additional relief.
While Arapahoe County officials said they cannot comment on pending litigation, they issued a statement that said:
Arapahoe County takes matters of accessibility to its facilities, programs and services by disabled individuals very seriously. Arapahoe County supports the objectives of the American with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The County is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to ensure equitable access to and participation in our facilities, programs and services for all citizens. Individuals who require special accommodations to access County facilities, programs or services may make their needs known with adequate notice to our ADA Coordinator.
Read the lawsuit
The Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition has filed similar actions regarding interpreters in Jefferson, Adams, Pueblo and Mineral counties.
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