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Accommodations and Job Training

Q: I am a vocational counselor. I referred a customer for training and then was informed by the training provider that they were not going to accept the customer for training because he is dyslexic, and they did not have the dedicated staff available to assist him with all the reading material necessary to successfully complete the training and exam. Have they violated the ADA?

A: That is a difficult call. The training agency is responsible for providing effective communication and auxiliary aids and services to facilitate that communication. Certainly, one solution would have been to have a qualified reader for any materials that were expected to be read during the training and exam.

However, alternative options should have been considered. For example, the training organization could have provided pre-recorded materials as an alternative to an in-person qualified reader. Or if the reading and exam was in an electronic format, they could have offered the materials in an accessible electronic format combined with the use of a computer with built-in assistive technology like Narrator screen reader on Window PCs or a free downloadable product like NVDA (nonvisual desktop access).

Even though the training organization said that they could not provide a qualified reader for all the course time, they are still responsible for investigating other solutions. They still have an obligation to find an effective communication alternative as long as it would not cause an undue burden.


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