Pictogram courtesy of DOJ.

Pictogram courtesy of DOJ.

The Arapahoe (Colo.) County Sheriff's Office and Englewood Police Department agreed to better accommodate deaf subjects to settle legal action brought by the Department of Justice.

The DOJ had been investigating the agencies for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide qualified sign language interpreters and other auxiliary aids and services. The Colorado Association of the Deaf and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition had submitted complaints.

Under terms of the settlement, the agencies agreed to use a pictogram to ask whether a deaf or hard of hearing person requests a sign language interpreter. If the person expresses a need for an interpreter, the agencies will provide one with an hour of the request.

Each agency will also pay $35,000 to private plaintiffs, train staff on the ADA, appoint ADA coordinators, post signs, provide text and volume-control telephones, modify handcuffing policies for people who use sign language, and provide hearing aid and cochlear implant processor batteries in the detention facility.

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