If a client informs you that he or she has a communication-related impairment or if the client’s impairment is obvious, ask the client if he or she has a particular auxiliary aid that he or she prefers. If that aid is available, use it. If that aid is not available, find another one that meets the client’s needs.
You must make every effort to use the auxiliary aids that clients request and not simply the ones that are easiest for you to use. Working out the best auxiliary aid for a client should be an interactive process that assesses the client’s needs and preferences. You should consult with a supervisor or manager to develop the most workable solution if their preferred auxiliary aid is not available.
Based on the type of impairment, it is also important for you to:
be aware of how you are communicating with clients
look directly at a person who uses lip reading
be aware of environmental factors, such as ensuring sufficient lighting for a client with a vision impairment; and
provide a quiet and private space to interview a client to help with persons who are hearing impaired or persons who are easily distracted.
The Disability Resource Guide has sections covering effective communication tips for persons with hearing, vision and mental impairments. The Department’s Disability Resource Guide found at: The Disability Resource Guide.
ADA Policy and Procedures