The ADA & Tax Credits for Acoustical Accessibility Accommodations
- The ADA states that “communications with people with disabilities shall be as effective as with others”.
(ADA Public Law 101-336, Title III, Section 36.303 Auxiliary Aids and Services)
- The ADA also prohibits architectural barriers in new and altered construction
(ADA Public Law 101-336, Title III, 36.304, Removal of Barriers)
- A highly reverberated and noisy environment is just as much of an architectural barrier to someone with a hearing impairment, just as much as a set of steps can be an architectural barrier to a person in a wheelchair.
(Coalition for Classroom Acoustics)
- Hard of Hearing persons are especially victimized by poor acoustical and noisy environments.
- In such environments speech intelligibility is greatly diminished.
- Excessive noise and reverberation can reduce worker safety, productivity and communications.
The attached information published by the Justice Department indicates that Tax Credits are available for expenses related to the removal of architectural barriers for persons with disabilities. (Sections 44 & 190 of the IRS Code) Since hearing impairments are widespread involving over 10% of the population, it is very likely that there are employees who can benefit from acoustical treatment to reduce excessive noise and reverberation, thereby improving communications accessibility for them. We suggest that any clients who wish to avail themselves of these tax credits should consult with their tax accountants. ASI will be pleased to provide technical data with respect to the degree that acoustical treatment can improve communications accessibility in the workplace.
IRS Tax Credits and Deductions: http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/taxcred.htm