[nabs-l] Accessibility of apartment documents

Carly Mihalakis carlymih at comcast.net
Tue Aug 30 12:15:47 UTC 2016

Good morning,

As far as I'm concerned, there is no reason why apartment personele 
couldn't just go over the bullet points of the lease. At 11:33 AM 
4/24/2016, Anna via nabs-l wrote:
>I think Elizabeth's suggestion of having the lease sent to you by 
>email or something prior to signing it could be a good idea 
>too.  They must have it in electronic format somewhere, or else 
>where do they print it from, right?
>I have rented at least six different apartments on my own in my life 
>so far, and every time it has been the same process so I assume it 
>will be the same with yours.  Here's what happens:  once your 
>application is approved, a time is set up with the landlord or 
>building manager, depending on the situation, to get together with 
>them, they go over the lease with you at that time and you sign it 
>there and they hand you your keys.  The lease is 3-5 pages I would 
>say.  If you are BUYING an apartment, like a condo, then yes it 
>would be a lot longer and different.  But just for a lease, it is 
>not that long that I've ever seen.  (You could always ask them how 
>many pages it is).  Although I think having them send it to you via 
>email or something prior to this meeting is a good option, I 
>personally would still want to have a person I know and trust to 
>come with me to the lease signing.  Chances are, the landlord or 
>manager is not going to skip things, and will follow your 
>instructions, and will be very honest, but you have no way of 
>knowing that.  A lease is a legal document concerning your 
>residence.  That is not a document I want to risk anything 
>with.  There are plenty of documents I have people help me fill out 
>or read to me even if I don't know them, but a lease for my place of 
>living is not something I would choose to take chances with.  That's 
>just my opinion.  Also if you do bring someone with you, you could 
>bring someone who has rented before as well, that way they may think 
>of questions to ask at that meeting that you may not think of, since 
>it's all new to you.  Just an idea.  All you have to do with a lease 
>is read it, sign it and maybe initial by a couple things.
>It sounds like you're doing really well preparing for this.  And it 
>sounds like you are working well with them and they are working well 
>with you.
>Good luck!
>Anna E Givens
> > On Apr 24, 2016, at 11:50 AM, Elizabeth Mohnke via nabs-l 
> <nabs-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> >
> > Hello Kaiti,
> >
> > I encounter paper forms on a fairly regular basis, and I believe it is
> > important for a blind person to find a way to deal with print 
> forms in a way
> > that works best for them. I agree with you that sighted people are often
> > just as concerned about how information is formatted as much as the
> > information itself. Since I do not have the luxury of being able to bring a
> > sighted person with me every time I need to fill out a printed form, I
> > usually ask the person giving me the print form if they can help me fill it
> > out. Alternatively, you could pick the print form up ahead of time, or have
> > someone mail the print form to you, and you can then ask a reader to help
> > you fill it out. Or you could scan it without keeping the format of the
> > print form, and simply print it out for them. Despite all the 
> technology out
> > there today, print forms still appear to be rather common to me.
> >
> > As for the information on the lease, you can simply ask the landlord to go
> > over it with you. When I signed the first lease to my current apartment, I
> > asked my landlord to go over the information in the lease with me before I
> > signed it. Although she did not read it word for word, she was 
> willing to go
> > over the important parts of the lease with me and explain them in 
> a way that
> > made sense to me. I felt as though I received enough information from the
> > landlord to feel comfortable enough to sign the lease.
> >
> > However, I understand some people may feel more comfortable reading it word
> > for word before signing it. In this case, you could ask the landlord to
> > email a copy of it to you so you can read it on whatever technology you
> > choose to use. Additionally, you could simply ask to receive a 
> print copy of
> > the lease, and then sign it after you have the chance to read it either by
> > scanning the lease or asking someone to read it to you.
> >
> > However, I feel like if I cannot trust someone to fill out a print form
> > accurately, or provide an honest summery or reading of a print document,
> > then perhaps it simply is not best for me to be doing business with this
> > person in the first place. If the form asks for personal information I do
> > not feel comfortable sharing in front of other people, I simply make sure
> > the form is being filled out in a private room. When I am asked to give
> > someone my address, I will simply give them a copy of my state
> > identification card, and ask them to copy it from there without reading it
> > aloud.
> >
> > I think it is good to ask for reasonable accommodations whenever 
> you feel as
> > though you need them. However, it seems to me that simply because there are
> > rules and laws stating we should receive reasonable accommodations, this
> > does not necessarily mean that people will actually follow these rules and
> > laws. I understand it is not fair to be discriminated against because of
> > blindness, but based on my experience, this is simply a part of life.
> >
> > A couple of months ago, people suggested that I attend an NFB training
> > center as a means for trying to deal with a particular situation 
> in my life.
> > Although I understand an NFB training center is not for everyone, I am
> > curious if you have ever thought of attending an NFB training center. I
> > often receive the impression from the messages you post to the email list
> > that perhaps you may not necessarily be so sure of yourself as a person. I
> > also get the sense that you may have a rigid sense of how 
> something needs to
> > be in order for it to be deemed acceptable. I am not sure if these are
> > accurate descriptions of you, or if I simply see these things in 
> you because
> > I see these things in myself in my own life. However, I think it is
> > important for everyone to learn how to be okay with who they are as a
> > person, and understand that simply because they choose to do something
> > differently, it does not automatically make them wrong. I wish this was
> > something I could have learned earlier in life, so I simply wish to pass
> > this important lesson on to others.
> >
> > I hope what I say in this message helps you, or at the very least, helps
> > someone else on the email list.
> >
> > Warm regards,
> > Elizabeth
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: nabs-l [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Kaiti Shelton
> > via nabs-l
> > Sent: Friday, April 22, 2016 11:13 PM
> > To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
> > Cc: Kaiti Shelton <crazy4clarinet104 at gmail.com>
> > Subject: [nabs-l] Accessibility of apartment documents
> >
> > Hi all,
> >
> > I'll be moving into my first big kid apartment (on my own with no
> > roommates) this August.  I met with one of the realty agents that works for
> > the apartment company today and really like what I saw in the viewing.  It
> > looks like it will be a pretty good living situation, and although I've
> > enjoyed having roommates I'm looking forward to having a little 
> more control
> > over my space (No more randomly moving things in the fridge, unexpected
> > changes in the thermostat, etc).
> >
> > I'm a little concerned about finding out what my accessibility-related
> > rights are.  This is new for me and I am doing research on my own, but I
> > thought turning here would also be useful.  I was a little 
> disheartened when
> > I found the company didn't have an electronic way for me to complete the
> > apartment application.  The agent was nice enough to fill out most of it
> > with me and was amenable to having my parents scan the completed copy as a
> > PDF and email in their co-signer portion since they're in a different city,
> > but as far as me filling it out in an accessible format she didn't seem to
> > know of a way to make it work without messing up the formatting of the
> > application form.
> > I'm kind of feeling "whatever" about it at this point because the form was
> > pretty short and painless/not necessarily worth a huge fuss over
> > accessibility, but I am more concerned with making sure I get an accessible
> > copy of the contract/lease so I can reference it if necessary while I am in
> > the property.  I understand that having independent access to this kind of
> > documentation is very important, and want to make sure I start working with
> > the company in advance if necessary.
> >
> > My questions are: If the company doesn't already have an electronic copy of
> > the lease how, exactly, would they be required to share it with me in a
> > format I can use?  What would be acceptable options to tell them if they
> > have no clue?  If they decide to send it somewhere else to be 
> brailled would
> > that come out of their pocket or my own?
> >
> > Of course, I recognize that they could/should have a scanner somewhere in
> > their offices, and therefore scanning the lease and making an accessible
> > copy wouldn't be too terribly hard.  However, I'm not sure who's
> > responsibility it would be and am a little skeptical of that working out if
> > they were unable to make the application available to me in a format I can
> > use.  I really don't mind the application, but I honestly don't want to sit
> > down with a reader and go through a 60-plus page document if I can help it.
> > 2 pages are one thing, ut from what I understand leases are much longer.
> >
> > Any tips or bits of knowledge anyone could pass on would be appreciated.
> >
> > --
> > Kaiti Shelton
> > University of Dayton-Music Therapy
> > "You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back!"
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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