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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 28, 2020

Justice Department Settles with Tufts Medical Center to Better Ensure Equal Access for Individuals with Disabilities

Today, the Justice Department and Tufts Medical Center entered into a settlement agreement to ensure equal access for individuals with disabilities at Tufts’ facilities in Boston, Massachusetts.  The agreement resolves a compliance review under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Under the agreement, Tufts will:

  • improve the hospital’s policies, practices, and procedures for ensuring effective communication with patients and companions who are deaf or hard of hearing;
  • improve physical access to its facilities by removing barriers at public and common use areas;
  • provide one or more accessible patient rooms for each medical service; and
  • provide sufficient accessible medical equipment to enable individuals with disabilities to have equal access to medical services.

“No one with a disability should face unlawful barriers to accessing health care facilities or receiving medical treatment,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division.  “This agreement reflects the Department’s continued commitment to enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure equal access for individuals with disabilities to medical care, and we appreciate Tufts’ full cooperation with the Department throughout the investigation.”

“This case is a reminder that we still need the basic protections provided by the ADA,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling.  “This is especially true for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, who often receive too little support when trying to navigate the healthcare system.  I commend Tufts for working with us to improve services for patients with disabilities, and we hope this agreement encourages other healthcare providers to review their ADA compliance.”

2020 marks the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The Justice Department plays a central role in advancing the nation’s goal of equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities.  The Justice Department will continue to use its enforcement and technical assistance tools to eliminate unlawful discrimination against individuals with disabilities. 

People interested in finding out more about the ADA or this settlement agreement can call the toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD), or access the ADA website at http://www.ada.gov.

NOTE: The settlement agreement can be found here

Topic(s): 
Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 
20-248
Updated February 28, 2020