:: washingtonpost.com | Deal Reached in Hearing-Impaired Case ::

Deal Reached in Hearing-Impaired Case


— Jerry Markon
Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Justice Department yesterday announced a settlement agreement with Inova Fairfax Hospital to resolve allegations that the hospital failed to quickly provide a sign-language interpreter for the deaf mother of a pregnant patient.

The deal, reached under the Americans With Disabilities Act, requires the hospital to assess the communication needs of patients and family members with speech or hearing impairments upon their arrival and provide qualified interpreters as soon as possible. The pregnant patient, who had been in a car accident, requested an interpreter for her mother 30 minutes after arrival, but the hospital did not call for one for more than five hours, Justice Department officials said.

Chuck Rosenberg, the U.S. attorney in Alexandria, said prosecutors are “committed to ensuring that individuals with disabilities and their families are not subjected to unequal treatment because of poor communication.”

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