discrimination - Archive

1 in 4 deaf people have quit their job due to discrimination

August 25, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Employment

 

 

ONREC – The Online Recruitment Resource
25 Aug 2016

The survey, created by totaljobs in partnership with five deaf charities, reveals that the majority (56%) of deaf or hard of hearing employees have experienced discrimination during their career. This has led to one in four (25%) deaf people leaving a job because of a difficult environment.

  • 72% of deaf people have received no support because of being deaf in finding a job
  • 65% believe developments in technology have made it easier to be deaf in the workplace
  • 56% have experienced discrimination in the workplace due to being deaf or hard of hearing
    • 62% from colleagues
    • 53% from management
    • 37% during a job interview
  • 25% have left a job due to discrimination
  • 19% have not told their employer they are deaf or have experienced hearing loss

Discrimination plays a large part in the working lives of deaf people and many are forced to quit their jobs because of it, according to a new survey.

Read more  . . . discrimination

Link to Survey Results – Deaf jobseeker and employee experiences survey report 2016

Local hospitals accused of discrimination, making patients feel ‘completely powerless’

February 10, 2015 in Community News, Disability Law

 

 

 

Justice Department Reaches Agreement with Baltimore to Prevent Disability Discrimination

August 28, 2014 in Disability Law

 

Justice News, Department of Justice
Article Source

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                   Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Justice Department Reaches Agreement with the City of Baltimore
to Prevent Disability Discrimination

City of Baltimore to Pay $65,000 in Damages and Adopt New Policies and Procedures

The Justice Department today announced that it has reached an agreement with the city of Baltimore, Maryland, to end hiring practices that discriminate against people with disabilities.  The agreement, filed as a consent decree along with a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, resolves allegations by the department that the city engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Title I of the ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals on the basis of disability in various aspects of employment, including hiring.

Read more . . . →

US-DOJ Settles Lawsuit Alleging Disability Discrimination over Inaccessible Housing Complexes

February 27, 2014 in Community News

Disability.gov updatesJustice Department Settles Lawsuit Alleging Disability Discrimination over Inaccessible Housing ComplexesThe U.S. Department of Justice has announced that a federal district court judge in Jackson, MS, has approved a settlement with the owners and developers of nine multifamily housing complexes in Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee. The Justice Department’s lawsuit alleged that the housing complexes did not have accessible features for people with disabilities. The Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act require these types of housing complexes to have accessible features. These include hardware that makes it possible to open doors and making sure that there are enough accessible parking spaces. Last year the departments of Justice and Housing & Urban Development issued guidance on the design and construction requirements under the Fair Housing Act. 

Read this recent guest blog post on Disability.Blog, Accessible Housing for Everyone.


This email was sent to cheppner@nvrc.org using GovDelivery, on behalf of: Disability.gov · 200 Constitution Avenue, NW · Washington, DC 20210 Powered by GovDelivery

Maryland Law Firm Settles Deaf Access Complaint

February 13, 2013 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Disability Law

From The Disability Law & Policy e-Newsletter 2/7/2013

http://disability.law.uiowa.edu/ and http://bbi.syr.edu

On January 3, 2013, the Department of Justice’s Office of Civil Rights announced a settlement with a Maryland-based debt collection law firm over allegations that the firm had discriminated against individuals who are deaf. Multiple complainants claimed that the firm refused to accept phone calls through video relay services, a type of technology that allows a person who is deaf to communicate with another party through the use of a video sign language interpreter. The complaint further alleges that firm employees hung up on one complainant and informed another that she had to call back at a specific time when a manager was present.

The settlement requires the firm to pay $30,000 to the complainants, to revise its policies and procedures to ensure that the office accepts video relay service calls and treats people with disabilities equally, and to train its employees on ADA obligations. In regard to the settlement, Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez stated that people with disabilities cannot be denied services simply because they use alternative ways to communicate and that the Justice Department will not tolerate this type of discrimination.

Full Story:
Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs, Justice Department Reaches Settlement with Law Firm Over Discrimination Against Deaf Individuals, U.S. Department of Justice Press Release, Jan. 3, 2013, available at:
http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2013/January/13-crt-005.html


Distributed 2013 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030; www.nvrc.org; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. Items in this newsletter are provided for information purposes only; NVRC does not endorse products or services. This news service is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.

Netflix Charged With Discriminating Against the Deaf

October 17, 2011 in Technology

NVRC Note: This lawsuit is discussed at http://www.hackingnetflix.com/2011/10/netflix-other-companies-face-yet-another-lawsuit-over-captions.html

Some of the comments are very harsh.PRLog (Press Release) – Oct 4, 2011 – Netflix and four other high tech corporations have been charged with violating human rights in a formal legal complaint which alleges that willfully refusing to provide closed captioning on most of the programs it transmits over the Internet constitutes illegal discrimination against the handicapped by denying the deaf “full and equal enjoyment” of its goods and/or services in violation of the D.C. Human Rights Act, the toughest anti-discrimination law in the U.S.

If convicted, Netflix would have to add closed captioning to virtually all of the movies, TV shows, and the other programming it provides over the Internet to customers; a tremendous benefit not only to the deaf, but also to the much larger number of customers who are older or otherwise simply hard of hearing, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who has filed more than 100 successful complaints against discrimination based upon race, sex, country of origin, and disability.

Netflix — and Apple, Panasonic, Tivo, and Toshiba, which have been charged with “aiding and abetting” for providing and modifying their devices to facilitate Netflix’s Internet transmissions — could also face penalties for every day and to every person who has been subjected to this discrimination, as well being forced to pay attorney fees.

The complaint recites that Netflix has assured deaf organizations, as well as deaf individuals who have complained about the discrimination, that there is no technical reason why the closed captioning information — which is allegedly already available in most of the source material Netflix uses to transmit the programming, including even in the DVDs which it provides to customers — cannot be transmitted over the Internet, and Netflix has repeatedly promised to do so.

Netflix’s “willfully, maliciously, and unfairly refusing to provide closed captioning services for the programming it transmits to customers through the Internet,” and its continued refusal to meet the legitimate needs of their deaf, hearing impaired, and hard of hearing customers, is the basis of this legal action, says Banzhaf, who helped establish the National Center for Law and the Deaf, require the open captioning of information in emergency messages broadcast by TV stations, get deaf students admitted to law schools, and caused Congress to invite the first deaf person to testify on deaf-related issues before a congressional committee.

Many courts have held that even providing the same services to everyone may nevertheless illegally discriminate against one group as compared with another if that service has the effect or consequence of adversely affecting one group. For example, a university which provides uniforms and equipment to its university athletes, but doesn’t provide protective cups and/or jock straps, obviously has the effect or consequence of discriminating against the male athletes, even though the female athletes are likewise denied these same items.

Two U.S. Court of Appeals decisions make this point very clearly. In the first, the Sixth Circuit court held that even providing identical restroom facilities to males and females may constitute illegal sex discrimination against women because their needs are very different. In that case the facilities were filthy, which presented a far more serious health problem to women since men don’t have to sit to urinate. The court held “anatomical differences between men and women are ‘immutable characteristics,’ just as race, color and national origin are” – and, of course, as deafness is.

Similarly, in another case, where both male and female workers were equally required to urinate outdoors in the open, the court held that the requirement constituted “sexual harassment” of female employees because the same act of urination was both more difficult and more embarrassing for women than for men

This legal proceeding against Netflix is also similar to two other discrimination complaints brought against eHarmony, a match-making Internet website.  Both charged that although the company provided the same service to everyone — help in finding a person of the opposite sex who might be compatible — it nevertheless discriminated on the basis of the prohibited basis of sexual orientation since the service was virtually useless to homosexuals — just as a movie-via-Internet service without captions is virtually useless to the deaf.

eHarmony was ordered to pay $55,000 in one case, and to settle for $2 million in the other.

Ironically, deaf people may sign up to receive DVDs in the mail from Netflix containing many of the same programs they can also receive over the Internet, and which have closed captions which they can turn on so that they can understand and fully enjoy the programming.  However, they cannot get this same closed captioning if they obtain their programming from Netflix over the Internet.

As a result, the deaf are denied the full and equal enjoyment of the Netflix Internet service since, with the DVD delivery-by-mail service:
■ they have to order the programming days in advance and cannot be spontaneous, entertain visitors with different tastes who suddenly drop in, etc.;
■  they must wait several days before they can watch the programming they desire;
■  they are limited — by the number of DVDs they can have out at any one time — in terms of how many programs they can watch in a given time span;
■  they must put up with the inconvenience of opening and repacking the mailing envelopes, finding and then putting them back into a mailbox, etc.

Banzhaf, who has been a leader in using legal action as a weapon against the problems of the deaf, just as he has also done with the problems of smoking, obesity, and sex discrimination, says that finally the silent minority may be heard, and be able to enjoy — even if they cannot hear — the movies and TV programs everyone else takes for granted.

JOHN F. BANZHAF III, B.S.E.E., J.D., Sc.D.
Professor of Public Interest Law
George Washington University Law School,
FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor,
Fellow, World Technology Network,
Founder, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
Creator, Banzhaf Index of Voting Power
2000 H Street, NW, Suite S402
Washington, DC 20052, USA
(202) 994-7229 // (703) 527-8418
http://banzhaf.net/

 

Hearing Loss Association America Response to NYC Police Department Ban on Hearing Aids

July 7, 2011 in Advocacy & Access

1.        NY City Forces Retirement of Police Officers Wearing Hearing Aids
From the blog of Lise Hamlin, Director of Public Policy at Hearing Loss Association of America
 

In an article published June 19, 2011, (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/20/nyregion/ny-enforces-ban-on-police-officers-using-hearing-aids.html) the New York Times reported the New York City police department has banned the use of hearing aids on the job. Two officers who were forced to retire because they did wear hearing aids on the job have filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), saying that the policy is discriminatory toward people with hearing loss.

It appears that the NYC police department has a kind of “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy toward hearing aid wearers. According to the New York Times, Paul J. Browne, the department’s chief spokesman, said it was “not actively looking to see if people have hearing aids.” He does admit that the department has told officers to stop wearing the hearing aids once found. According to Dan Carione, one of the two officers who were forced to retire, the department is sending a message that if you step forward and make your use of hearing aids known, “it will end your career.”

Mr. Carione and his attorneys contacted HLAA soon after he learned the department’s policy last fall. HLAA has offered continuing support and information about hearing loss and employment issues as he works toward reinstatement.

 

2.       Response to the NY Times article by HLAA Executive Director Brenda Battat , published June 28, 2011

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/28/opinion/l28hearing.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

 

To the Editor:

Re “Ban on Hearing Aids is Forcing Out Veteran New York City Police Officers” (news article, June 19):

Hearing Loss is a health issue that has long been misunderstood and stigmatized in our society. Banning the use of hearing aids that help police officers to function at their best is inconceivable and perpetuates the myths and stereotypes that are still prevalent about hearing loss today.

More important, it puts both the police officer and the public at risk when those who have admitted their hearing loss, sought treatment for it, and can function well with a hearing aid are forced to hide their hearing loss for fear of losing their jobs.

For more than twenty years the Americans with Disabilities Act has provided equal opportunity in the workplace. Banning young police officers from using the excellent hearing aids available today and forcing older police officers with hearing aids to retire is discriminating. As long as they can pass the hearing test with their hearing aids in they should be allowed to use them on the job.

Brenda Battat,

Bethesda, MD, June 21, 2011

The writer is the executive director of Hearing Loss Association of America, a national membership organization of and for people with hearing loss.