WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced a comprehensive settlement agreement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Brookline, Mass., to ensure access to medical facilities and services for individuals with disabilities. BIDMC, a teaching hospital affiliated with Harvard University, encompasses more than 30 buildings and three community health clinics, and operates as a quaternary acute care facility and level one trauma center providing sub-specialty services. The agreement requires, among other things, that BIDMC ensure that accessible patient rooms and accessible medical equipment – such as examination tables – are available for each of its clinical services.
"This agreement with a major teaching hospital that serves a diverse metropolitan community is a major step toward access to equal medical treatment for individuals with disabilities," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "It is a top priority of the Civil Rights Division to enforce laws that guarantee that persons with disabilities have equal access to medical care and critical services. We applaud the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for working closely and cooperatively with us to reach a resolution."
The Agreement with BIDMC, which is the result of a compliance review conducted by the Department, requires BIDMC to:
The ADA prohibits discrimination by public accommodations on the basis of disability, including the denial by medical facilities of equal medical services to individuals with disabilities. Those interested in finding out more about these agreements or seeking information about and how to comply with the ADA can call the Justice Department's toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TDD), or access its ADA Web site at http://www.ada.gov.