Becky Kendall is outraged over the results of an undercover investigation conducted by the National Fair Housing Alliance that found apartment complexes around the country and in Atlanta routinely discriminate against the deaf and hearing impaired.
"I don't think that was fair at all," said Kendall.
As the leader of the NW Metro Atlanta Chapter of the Hearing loss Association of America, Kendall is an advocate for the hearing impaired and is well aware about the problems the hearing impaired face on a daily basis.
"My cochlear was never fully developed," said Kendall.
She depends on two hearing aids to communicate with people who she said are too often mean or cruel.
"A lot of times they think she's not with it, or they think you are spacey or you are stupid," said Kendall.
According to the NFHA, employees at the Berkshires at Lenox and 935M did their best to discourage deaf or hearing impaired customers from renting apartments, repeatedly hanging up on deaf callers and refusing to answer when they called back. The report says at 935M employees withheld information from hearing impaired callers and quoted them higher prices than those given to non-hearing impaired callers.
"They need to change their policy definitely," said Kendall.
The NFHA has turned its findings over to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Kendall said if the feds find that the results are accurate, the guilty parties should be hit where it hurts.
"I think sometimes money is the only way to get people to realize and wake up. Some fine or something like that would probably be a good way to wake them up and make them more sensitive to the hearing impaired," said Kendall.
Representatives with 935M said they are looking into the accusations. The Berkshires at Lenox have not responded to repeated calls seeking comment.
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