When Carla Hugger, who has been deaf since birth, called NOLA Apartments in May 2013, an agent answered the phone, but when told it was a "deaf assisted call," the agent said that she "didn't have time" and hung up.
Hugger was using an Internet Protocol Relay system, which helps deaf people to make phone calls by allowing them to text what they want to say to a communications specialist, who then relays the message to the person on the other end of the phone call.
She called a second time, NOLA.com reports, and again the agent hung up on her. When she called a third time, the agent told her there were no units available and hung up again.
Half an hour later, a second person with no hearing issues called and the same agent described available units and discussed possible move-in dates.
Now the company's owner has agreed to pay $75,000 in damages and undergo fair housing training.
And in Chicago, the disability advocacy group Access Living is suing five housing providers for allegedly violating of the federal Fair Housing Act by discriminating against people who are deaf, Progress Illinois reports.
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