LOS ANGELES – The Justice Department today reached a settlement with Atlantis Events, Inc., a cruise and resort vacation company with offices in West Hollywood, to ensure that individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing are provided effective communication when travelling with the company.
The settlement agreement resolves complaints under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in which individuals who are deaf alleged that Atlantis failed to provide them with effective communication on a cruise. Atlantis – which buys and resells cabins on cruise ships and rooms at resorts – cooperated with the Justice Department throughout the investigation.
Under the agreement, Atlantis will ensure that interpreters, transcription services, written exchanges, assistive listening devices, captioning, or other auxiliary aids and services are provided to individuals with hearing disabilities free of charge when necessary for effective communication. The company also agreed to designate an ADA liaison on every cruise to respond to disability-related requests from passengers.
In addition, Atlantis will pay a civil penalty of $10,000 to the United States and $9,000 in damages to the complainants.
“The ADA guarantees people with disabilities equal access to public accommodations, including communications access,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division. “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.”
“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,” said United States Attorney Nicola T. Hanna. “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.”