Consent Decree in Communication Case Against Laurel Regional Hospital
Laurel Regional Hospital has signed a federal consent decree guaranteeing that hearing-impaired patients receive the aids and services necessary to communicate adequately with doctors and nurses.
The decree resolves a complaint filed in January by seven deaf men and women who alleged that their repeated requests for sign language interpreters were denied in violation of the American With Disabilities Act. They said they had to interact with staff members in sometimes critical medical situations by writing notes or trying to read lips.
The hospital agreed to change its facilities, equipment and policies, including adding video interpreting services and better educating staff. A spokeswoman said yesterday that "there's going to be accessibility 24/7."
Thanks to Wash. U. student Benjamin Norris for the tip.