Tom Willard, 53, of Rochester filed a complaint with the US Justice Department saying Empire Haven Nudist Park violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by refusing his requests to provide an interpreter.
“I am fed up with being turned away every time I try to do something, by idiots who somehow feel the ADA does not apply to them,” Willard stated in the complaint.
The ADA law requires that businesses and nonprofit groups provide auxiliary aids and services, including interpreters, at no additional cost to users. First time violators can be fined up to $55,000.
Willard told Reuters that in 2009 he approached a board member of the Naturist Society, the organizers of the festival, who denied his request for a free interpreter and told him he could hire his own.
Willard said that he also plans on filing a complaint against a local comedy club that also refused to provide an interpreter. He said that, really, all he wants to do is raise awareness.
“I hate that I have to go through these experiences and subject myself to ridicule and derision, but the alternative is to stay home and never try to do anything in the world,” Willard said.