How the ADA Affects Deaf and
Hard-of-Hearing Individuals
Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act Added Section 225 to the Federal Communications Act.

Section 225 provides that deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals are entitled to telecommunications services that are “functionally equivalent” to those available to hearing individuals, and establishes a fund to compensate providers of “telecommunications relay services” (or “TRS”). The most popular form of TRS is “video relay service” (or “VRS”), which permits American Sign Language (“ASL”) users to communicate with hearing individuals; the ASL user communicates with an interpreter using ASL, and the interpreter speaks to the hearing individual who is a party to the call.

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is charged with issuing regulations ensuring that functionally equivalent TRS is available to deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.

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