Settlement Agreement Between The United States Of America And West Michigan E.n.t. And Hearing Center Under The Americans With Disabilities Act In Department Of Justice

COMPLAINT # 202-38-18

BACKGROUND

  1. This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ァァ 12181-12189, with the United States Department of Justice (Department) against the West Michigan E.N.T. and Hearing Center (Center). The complaint alleged that the Center failed to provide effective communication for a patient who is deaf.
  2. The Center is a professional office of a health care provider in Muskegon, Michigan. It is a public accommodation covered by title III of the ADA. 42 U.S.C. ァ 12181(7)(f).
  3. The Department of Justice is authorized to investigate complaints under title III of the ADA and to bring suit in particular cases. 42 U.S.C. ァ 12188(b)(1)(B).
  4. The parties have agreed to resolve this matter as set forth below, without adjudication of any factual and legal disputes.

AGREEMENT

  1. The Center agrees to provide to patients appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, upon reasonable notice and when necessary to ensure effective communication with deaf and hard of hearing individuals. The Center will provide appropriate auxiliary aids or services at its own expense, unless to do so would constitute a fundamental alteration of its services or result in an undue financial or administrative burden.
  2. The Center will develop a written policy and set of procedures implementing カ5 within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement. The document will be integrated into any existing written policies and procedures and copies will be distributed to all staff and provided to members of the public upon request. A copy of the policy and procedures will be submitted to the Department of Justice within 60 days of the effective date of this Agreement.
  3. The Center agrees to refrain from any action that has the purpose or foreseeable effect of intimidating a patient who may file a complaint of disability-based discrimination against the Center in the future. The Center agrees to refrain from any action that has the purpose or foreseeable effect of intimidating a patient who disputes the efficacy of the Center's provision of auxiliary aids and services designed to discharge its obligation to provide effective communication under title III of the ADA.
  4. Within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Center will prominently post the attached "Notice" at all reception desks. Copies of the Notice will also be made available to any individual upon request.
  5. At yearly anniversaries of the effective date of this Agreement, the Center will submit to the Department a report indicating the a) the name and address of any patient requesting an auxiliary aid or service to facilitate effective communication; b) the type of aid/service requested; c) the type of aid/service provided; d) if different, or none provided, a justification for that action.
  6. Within 60 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Center will provide to all employees a training session concerning the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and their obligations to ensure that communications with individuals with disabilities are as effective as communications with others. The Center will submit a report within 30 days of the conclusion of the training that lists the names of employees who were trained and includes a set of the training materials.
  7. In consideration of the promises made in カカ 5 through 10, the Department agrees to close the investigation of complaint DJ# 202-38-18 and to refrain from bringing a civil action against the Center.

ENFORCEMENT

  1. The Department of Justice may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department determines that this Agreement or any of its requirements has been violated, it may institute a civil action in federal district court to enforce this Agreement or the requirements of title III, following written notice to the Center of the possible violation and a period of 10 days in which the Center has the opportunity to cure the alleged violation.
  2. Failure by the Department of Justice to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with respect to any deadline or any other provision herein will not be construed as a waiver of the Department's right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.

IMPLEMENTATION

  1. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it may be made available to any person upon request.
  2. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
  3. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written agreement, will be enforceable.
  4. This Agreement is limited to the facts set forth above and does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other federal law. This Agreement does not affect the Center's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of title III of the ADA.
  5. The person signing this document for the Center represents that he is authorized to bind the Center to this Agreement.
  6. This Agreement will remain in effect for two years from its effective date.

FOR THE WEST MICHIGAN
E. N. T. AND HEARING CENTER:

_______________________________      Date:___________
Raymond R. Komray, M.D.
1365 Mercy Drive
Muskegon, Michigan 49444

FOR THE UNITED STATES:

BILL LANN LEE
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

By:_______________________________      Date:___________
   JOHN L. WODATCH, CHIEF
   Allison Nichol, Deputy Chief
   Susan B. Reilly, Supervisory Attorney
   Carolyn Russell, Investigator
   Disability Rights Section
   U.S. Department of Justice
   P.O. Box 66738
   Washington, D.C. 20035
   (202) 307-0633

Attachment U. S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION DISABILITY RIGHTS SECTION

NOTICE

This notice is posted pursuant to an agreement between the U. S. Department of Justice and the West Michigan E.N.T. and Hearing Center.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a Federal civil rights law. It gives Federal civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the bases of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities to participate in State and local government services, enjoy places of public accommodation, to gain and advance in employment, and have access to transportation and telecommunications.

The ADA identifies and prohibits actions that discriminate against people with disabilities. These include actions that exclude people or treat them unequally or separately from persons without disabilities. The law also requires public entities to make reasonable modifications to their policies, practices, and procedures in order to make their programs, services, and activities available to people with disabilities. Further information about the Americans with Disabilities Act can be obtained by calling the Department of Justice's toll-free ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 (voice), 1-800-514-0383(TDD).

This Center reaffirms its commitment to comply with the ADA. The Center will not discriminate against any individual on the basis of hearing impairment or any other disability in the full and equal enjoyment of its services and products. Any individual with a disability who requires assistance in accessing the services of the Center should contact . Assistance includes qualified interpreters or other effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments, without cost to the patient.

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Updated August 6, 2015

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