Who is responsible for the cost of an interpreter and/or auxiliary aids and services?

Businesses, agencies and other public facilities are required to provide accessibility for specified disabilities and for Deaf clients. This means they are being provided access to communication. Thus, the cost falls upon those who are providing the accommodations. The use of qualified sign language interpreters is a convenient, cost-effective way to provide such access.

A surcharge cannot legally be imposed on an individual with a disability directly or indirectly to offset the cost of the interpreter. The cost of the interpreter should be treated as part of overhead expenses for accounting and tax purposes.

The doctor may not charge the patient for the cost of interpreter service, either directly or by billing the patient’s insurance carrier: A public accommodation may not impose a surcharge on a particular individual with a disability or any group of individuals with disabilities to cover the costs of measures, such as the provision of auxiliary aids, barrier removal…and reasonable modifications… that are required to provide that individual or group with the nondiscriminatory treatment required by the Act or this part.