WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced Feb. 20 that Atlantis Events Inc. (Atlantis), a cruise and resort vacation company, will pay $10,000 in civil penalties and $9,000 in damages to the complainants after settling allegations the company failed to provide individuals who are deaf with effective communication on a cruise.
“The ADA guarantees people with disabilities equal access to public accommodations, including communications access,” John Gore, acting assistant attorney general of the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement. “People with disabilities who are deaf or hard of hearing must be given the opportunity to fully participate on cruises and at resorts, and enjoy the services and activities a vacation company offers.”
In addition to the monetary penalty, Atlantis agreed to ensure it provides proper communication to all individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. This includes interpreters, transcription services, written exchanges, listening devices, captioning or other auxiliary aids and services.
“Individuals with disabilities, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing, have a right under federal law to the equal enjoyment of the services that travel companies provide to the public,” Nicola T. Hanna, U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, said in a statement. “Atlantis is to be complimented for acknowledging its obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and agreeing to implement policies and practices to ensure equal access and effective communication.”