Hartford Hospital reaches deal for not offering interpreter for deaf affected person

HARTFORD – Hartford Hospital reached a settlement with the state after accused of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide a qualified interpreter to a deaf patient.

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that public accommodation, which includes hospital facilities, must take steps to ensure that people with disabilities are not excluded or otherwise treated due to the lack of assistants and services such as qualified interpreters for the deaf or hard of hearing of hearing people. According to ADA, the aids and services must be made available to the person free of charge.

“This case demonstrates the bureau’s commitment to protecting the rights of the deaf or hard of hearing and ensuring that these individuals can communicate effectively with health professionals,” Acting US Attorney Leonard C. Boyle said in a statement.

In a press release, the Boyle office said the settlement agreement requires the Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital to provide appropriate tools and services free of charge in all of its patient facilities. The institute is also obliged to offer ADA training to all employees. The facility also agreed to indemnify the complainant $ 10,000.

The settlement came down to a complaint filed with Boyle’s office. The complaint alleged that a deaf person went to the emergency room at Hartford Hospital and was later taken to and treated by medical staff at the Institute of Living, a psychiatric center at the hospital.

The person requested a sign language interpreter several times during their multi-day stay at the facility to understand their treatment options, attend a group therapy session, and understand and sign documents related to their stay, the press release said. However, the woman was not provided with a qualified interpreter and she was unable to attend group therapy, according to a press release from Boyle. She was also unable to communicate with her psychiatrist and did not fully understand why she was admitted, the statement said.

For more information about the ADA, visit www.ada.gov or call the Department of Justice’s toll-free information number at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 for TTY. Anyone wishing to file a complaint about inaccessibility for people with disabilities in Connecticut can contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 203-821-3700.

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