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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 111489
Experience:  Experienced in Trust and Succession Law, including Louisiana Laws
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Is there a Federal Law requiring one additional hearing impaired

Customer Question

Is there a Federal Law requiring one additional hearing impaired TDD/TTY capability used inconjuction with the Federal Relay System for Federal Employees.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Can you please clarify what you are asking about? Are you asking whether or not the federal employee who is hearing impaired has to be provided with a TDD/TTY in performance of their job as an accommodation?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Federal law does mandate that Federal employees who are hearing impaired must be provided FRS-Federal Relay System access and associated pheripherals/accomodations to perform their job. My specific question is are Federal agencies also required by law to provide an additional TDD accomodation that works inconjunction with the FRS. The additional TDD would provide more specific access tailored locally to assist in job performance. (Exx: The indiv is required to access an Application to do their job. If they are unable to access the App and need assistance, to communicate like anyone else, they would call the FRS. The FRS can not fix the actual problem. In turn, may communicate to the indiv to contact their local IT. that does fix the problem. Makes sense that locally there would be some form of communication available for that indiv to work with IT to resolve the issue. I believe it is suggested and recommended by Federal law but is it mandated/law to provide additional TDD capability (outside of the FRS). Thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Additionally...
Alot of Agencies do have local TDD in place and advertise such and also provides the FRS with thier local TDD phone number. In turn, the employee calls the FRS and the FRS provides or transfers to the local TDD number or the indiv can call direct using existing FRS TDD hardware/sofware that already has been provided. Also the local TDD number can be advertized and the indiv can contact them directly without going thru the FRS using their existing equipment. Again makes sense to have a local TDD capability to be able to communicate and resolve specific issue/question. But is an additional TDD capability mandatory or one that can work inconjunction with the FRS mandatory. I believe years ago there was a 1980's ruling that required one additional TDD other than the FRS. Since then we now have technology, that hearing impaired can actually resolve issues via email and even through online self-help that will generate tickets directly to the office responsible in providing an answer or resolve the problem. Hope this helps.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
A review of the FCC regulations and 47 C.F.R. § 64.601 - § 64.613, the regulation of the Telecommunication Relay Service and requirements, just requires that the TDD/TTY have access to the TRS, but I still do not understand what you are specifically asking about, since the TDD/TTY provided now have to have TRS access.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have found a couple of past federal laws regarding Federal Employee TDD requirements and will send for your review within 24 hrs. thanks
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply, I did not find what you are asking in the statute above, so I will await hearing from you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was trying to send the actual TitleIV ruling but was unable to do so from my work to home due to server security. Here is the contents of TitleIV of the ADA and the TAE Act of 1988. I am questioning if this portion of the law is still a requirement or if there has been any new ruling since 1988: ("Federal employees require the employment of at least one additional operator in connection with the existing Federal Relay System (FRS) for users of Telecommunications Devices.")To meet DOD requirements outlined in Title IV of the Americans with the Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Telecommunications Accessibility Enhancement Act of 1988 - Directs the Administrator of General Services to issue regulations, subject to congressional oversight, to assure access to Federal departments and agencies for hearing-impaired and speech-impaired individuals, including Federal employees requires the employment of at least one additional operator in connection with the existing Federal Relay System (FRS) for users of Telecommunications Devices.(TDDs).
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
This provision is not in any of the documentation that I saw from 2008 and 2013 and it appears with proliferation of computer technology that they have started to try to rely more and more on that technology and I do not see the requirement that they have to have an additional operator for the FRS.

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