Raleigh Housing Options

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Clients

Hi! My name is Karen Barbour. I am a signing Realtor who actively works with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community in the Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Chapel Hill, RTP areas of North Carolina. I grew up with a sister who was born deaf. After graduating from college I worked in the Boston Deaf Community for many years. I am fluent in ASL.

Realtors have an obligation to communicate effectively with their Deaf or Hard of Hearing clients. When a realtor cannot communicate effectively and accurately with a Deaf or Hard of Hearing client, there is a grave risk of misunderstanding between the client and the other parties, and the risk of a client entering an agreement or contract which he or she does not understand. These misunderstandings are not a result of the Deaf or Hard of Hearing client’s education or sophistication, but rather a result of ineffective communication. It is important to know the law and understand Americans with Disabilities Act. Please visit www.ada.gov to learn more. It is the responsibility of the Realtor to solve the communication gap with the Deaf or Hard of Hearing client. ASL interpreters may be needed to provide effective communication and full service to Deaf real estate buyers and sellers. A Realtor such as myself who is fluent in ASL and can work directly with Deaf and Hard of Hearing clients in the Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Chapel Hill, RTP areas of North Carolina can really make a difference in achieving a successful real estate transaction.

Realtors may not include the cost of interpreter services in the client’s bill, in the form of attorney’s fees, closing costs, commissions, or any other such fee. The cost of providing ASL interpreters for Deaf and Hard of Hearing clients is part of the cost of the realtor doing business, and may not be passed onto the Deaf and Hard of Hearing client. Even though I am fluent in ASL, I make sure an interpreter is hired for the closing and home inspection because I do no feel comfortable being in the two roles as the realtor and being the interpreter at the same time. I also have never been trained as an interpreter. This is my professional standard. I hope to be a resource for the Deaf and Hard of hearing community of Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham and the RTP areas of North Carolina.


If you do not live in the Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill area, I can still help you by finding you a good Realtor in your area and making sure that even if they do not sign that they hire an interpreter for you. My first priority will be to find a signing realtor like myself but that might be impossible is some circumstances. One of my professional goals is to buld a network of other signing realtors across the country.

Thank you for choosing my website as your online Realtor resource for finding real estate in the Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, RTP areas of North Carolina!

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