Girl who dances in a cage (cagekitten) wrote,
Girl who dances in a cage

Is my business violating the Americans With Disabilities Act?

Is anyone out there familiar with the American with Disabilities Act? I have a potential deaf student telling me that because I am a business I must comply with the American with Disabilities Act and provide her with a sign language interpreter. She offered to give me a list of female interpreters to call to find one.

I explained to her that my website clearly promises the women that take this class that no one will be observing them and everyone in the class room must participate. This is because we are exploring techniques to wake up women's sensuality including sensual movement and learning to touch their own bodies without judgment. You simply can't go through this process with any level of safety or comfort when a total stranger is standing there watching you. So I told the deaf girl she would have to reserve private lessons for herself and her friends (she has a small group) if she would like an interpreter present.

The girl responded that as a business, I must comply with the American with Disabilities Act. I told her that the ADA website says their policies apply to "Places of public accommodation include a wide range of entities, such as restaurants, hotels, theaters, doctors' offices, pharmacies, retail stores, museums, libraries, parks, private schools, and day care centers." Our business is not open to the public, if it were, men would come in and watch every class. Our services are limited to a specific group based on gender and age (we don't allow anyone under 18) and physical ability (for safety reason we cannot allow anyone to take classes that has recent injuries, recent surgery or anything limiting a full range of motion in their body such as fused vertebra or arthritis). So we definitely are not a place of public accommodation.

I told her we would be happy to have an interpreter present if she would like to book private lessons for herself and her friends and that we would provide those private lessons at a cost comparable to our group classes. Does this still put me in violation of the ADA?

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