let's read the americans with disabilities act. seriously. let's read it.

Workshop/Course Description: 

You've heard about the ADA. You've talked about the ADA. You’ve invoked the ADA.  But have you ever read the ADA?  It is written in English.  Sort of.  In this workshop, we will read through the portions of the ADA that are relevant to our work as sign language interpreters for deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers.  We will learn how the law was enacted, what it actually says, how it is enforced, and how is had been interpreted by the courts. 

Educational Objectives


  • Examine the five titles of the ADA
  • Understand Congress' nine "findings" that lead to the ADA legislation
  • Identify all regulations concerning sign language interpreters and deaf individuals
  • Define "disability" and "discrimination" as understood by the ADA
  • List "reasonable" accommodations, and understand what is "unreasonable"
  • Differentiate between what business are and are not required to do under the ADA
  • Name and understand two court decisions that have affected ADA enforcement
  • Apply an understanding of the ADA to daily interpreting practices


To be provided by host:

  • Digital projector (compatible with an Apple laptop) and projection screen
  • White board, markers, and eraser
  • Stool (preferred)

To be provided by presenter:

  • Apple laptop and remote
  • Digital handout (to be emailed to participants after the workshop)

Evaluation & Assessment


The effectiveness of the presentation will be evaluated by the presenter’s ability to:

  • Read excerpts of the legislation, clarifying challenging language and responding to questions
  • Challenge interpreters' preconceived notions of the ADA
  • Relate the ADA to interpreters' daily practices
  • Give interpreters the resources to use and build on the workshop’s lessons
  • Guide discussion, create a comfortable and open environment, understand and appreciate interpreter’s concerns, and tailor the instruction to the specific needs of each group of attendees