Compliance Question of the Week

We have a member who is both hearing and sight impaired. They are telling us that under the ADA laws, financial institutions are required to have TTY lines. Is this correct?

Yes and no.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements for auxiliary aids and services require credit unions as a public accommodation to take necessary steps to ensure that no member with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated or otherwise treated differently than other individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids.

A text telephone (TTY), also known as a telecommunication device for the deaf (TDD), is an example of an auxiliary aid.

The regulations further state that when a public accommodation uses an automated-attendant system, including, but not limited to, voicemail and messaging, or an interactive voice response system, for receiving and directing incoming telephone calls, that system must provide effective real-time communication with individuals using auxiliary aids and services, including TTYs and all forms of FCC-approved telecommunications relay systems, including internet-based relay systems.

This is the yes.

As for the no:

(5) This part does not require a public accommodation to use a TTY for receiving or making telephone calls incident to its operations.

You are, however, required to treat a relay service call as if it came directly from the member.

Related Links
28 CFR 36.303


Questions? Contact the Compliance Hotline: 1.800.546.4465,

Posted in Compliance News.