DeafHear Regional News

Regional News

Wheelchair body pays €10,000 for discrimination Equality TribunalOn January 22nd last the Irish Independent reported on a decision of the Equality Tribunal in relation to a case where a Deaf man was not provided with a ‘reasonable accommodation’ for a job interview as provided for under the Employment Equality Act.

The case was taken by Kevin Stanley, a Deaf man, who is an assistant project researcher for the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. He claimed that that he was discriminated against by the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) in failing to allow him sufficient time to book an Irish Sign Language (ISL) interpreter to attend a job interview with him. The tribunal upheld Mr. Stanley’s case and the IWA were ordered to pay Mr. Stanley €10,000 in compensation.

Mr. Stanley said that he “was disappointed and hurt by the refusal of the IWA to reasonably accommodate a difficulty that is no fault of mine.” He added that he felt not only personally vindicated by the decision, but believed it was an important decision for the whole Deaf Community.

DeafHear also believes that this decision is a timely reminder of the rights of Deaf people to access publicly funded services, which is enshrined in law. The new National Disability Strategy Implementation Plan is due to be published soon and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to explore ways to recognise ISL. DeafHear, in partnership with the Irish Deaf Society and the Sign Language Interpreting Service have been working hard to improve access to services for Deaf people through face–to–face interpreting and remote video interpreting. The decision of the Equality Tribunal in this case sends out a strong message to publicly funded service providers, and may go some way to improving access to ISL interpretation for Deaf people when they are trying to avail of services such as health, housing, welfare and other publicly funded services.

DeafHear Jan 2013.

Source of original story: Irish Indenpendent Tuesday January 22nd 2013




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