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What are the ADA compliance requirements for a small non-profit?


We recently hosted a conference where for our (very) small non-profit organization. Two deaf conference attendees requested ASL interpreters. We had not budgeted for ASL interpretation and were really set back by the nearly $2000 it cost to hire interpreters. What is our legal obligation to provide ADA accommodations? We certainly wish to be inclusive and supportive of all attendees. How can we better plan for the staggering cost of providing teams of interpreters for multi-session, multi-day events?

 ADA is primarily applied to employment, public accomodations, telecommunications and government. For your small nonprofit, the employment and public accommodations regulations could apply in certain situations depending on the number of employees you have (if more than 15) and whether or not you operate one or more locations that could be considered public accommodations (providing lodging, food, etc). See the source link below for a good summary of ADA requirements.

 Regarding the specific scenario of providing interpreter services at your conference. Your conference may not be subject to sign language interpreting requirements under ADA since there may be many other reasonable alternatives for the hearing impaired to take advantage of what the conference offers (such as written materials provided or displayed) and, more importantly, the conference itself may not be subject to ADA regulations at all since it may not meet the definition of a public accommodation and the regulations may place an undue burden on your organization.