Southeast resident Jackie Young, who communicates primarily through American Sign Language, came to Legal Aid for help persuading the D.C. Housing Authority (DCHA) to modify her housing voucher so it would cover an apartment large enough for her three children to live with her. We learned that DCHA was ill-equipped to communicate effectively with and serve her or other clients who are deaf or hard of hearing. Working with Relman, Dane & Colfax, we represented Ms. Young and another client, along with Deaf REACH, a D.C.-based non-profit serving deaf and hard of hearing individuals, in a lawsuit against DCHA. After almost two years of litigation, DCHA agreed not only to a significant monetary settlement, but also to institute new policies to ensure equal access to housing programs for all individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
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