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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Monday, March 26, 2018

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.

Civil Rights
Updated March 26, 2018