Accessing services for New Yorkers of different abilities can be a challenge. When visiting a doctor, lawyer, or government agency, Deaf individuals are often met with communication barriers impacting the essential services and information they receive. Many Deaf individuals don’t know how to assert their rights and service providers don’t know what kind of accommodations they have to provide. For example, Deaf individuals have the right to an interpreter but it is often denied to them. This can lead to inappropriate medical care, harmful interactions with the police, and loss of important financial benefits.
CUP teamed up with New York Lawyers for Public Interest (NYLPI) and designer Grace Robinson-Leo to create Sign Up!, a pocket-size foldout. The colorful guide helps Deaf New Yorkers let others know that they are Deaf and what their communication rights are. The guide contrasts illegal and appropriate practices used by service providers when providing an interpreter and what to do in case of discrimination. Using simple illustrations and high contrast colors, the guide is accessible to Deaf individuals with low vision.
Sign Up! launched in November 2016 at a community event, for the Deaf community and allies, organized in partnership with NYLPI and interpreting company All Hands In Motion. NYLPI plans to distribute the foldout at their regular Know Your Rights trainings and through their network of community partners.