U.S. Reaches Agreement With Healthcare Provider On Communication With Deaf Individuals
United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen today announced that the Government has reached a settlement with Allergy & Asthma Specialists, P.C. (“A&A”) to resolve alleged violations of title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) for failure to provide a deaf patient with effective communication.
Under title III of the ADA, no person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation may discriminate against an individual on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation. Discrimination includes failing to take such steps as necessary to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated, or otherwise treated differently than any other individual because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services.
According to the United States= allegations, in 2017, a deaf patient had difficulty effectively communicating with A&A staff during a visit to an A&A facility in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Although A&A provided an interpreter who could speak some sign language, the interpreter was not a certified sign language interpreter, and the patient had difficulty understanding the interpreter.
As a result of the United States’ investigation and the full cooperation of A&A, A&A has agreed to implement an effective communication policy and to annually train its staff regarding that policy.
This case was investigated by Assistant United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero.