The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law prohibiting discrimination against persons with disabilities in all public facilities, places of employment and commercial facilities. The Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (FHAA) prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in housing transactions, including the provision of services in connection with the housing. Therefore, assisted living residents, employees and visitors with disabilities are covered under the provisions of the ADA and FHAA.
In order to ensure persons with disabilities are not discriminated against, assisted living centers must make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities to assist them to participate and enjoy the same benefits of assisted living that non-disabled individuals enjoy.
According to the ADA, reasonable accommodation means any modification or adjustment to the environment which will assure individuals with disabilities the same rights, privileges and access equal to those individuals without disabilities. Reasonable accommodations include the use of auxiliary aids, services or devices. An example of accommodations may include offering a lecture or book club as an activity. Picture of a man and his grandson.
If a resident has a hearing impairment, the center should make a reasonable accommodation to facilitate the resident’s participation. By obtaining a microphone, moving the activity to a room where the acoustics are better, or providing other audio enhancers would be appropriate accommodations for the activity. For residents with vision impairments, large print books, newspapers and magazines on tape can be made available. These items can be located at the local library. Auxiliary aids, such as hearing aides, are not required to be provided by the assisted living center.