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Press Release

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

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – The U.S. Attorney’s Office has entered into a settlement agreement with Tufts Medical Center to ensure equal access for individuals with disabilities at its facilities in Boston.

The agreement resolves a compliance review under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the three-year 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 (including an assessment to determine appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services, and providing qualified interpreters in a timely way);
  • improve physical access to its facilities by removing barriers at public and common use areas;
  • provide one or more accessible patient rooms on every medical department;
  • provide sufficient accessible medical equipment to ensure individuals with disabilities  have equal access to medical services (at least one of each type per clinical service); and
  • Designate an ADA Compliance Officer and an Effective Communication Coordinator.

“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.”

“No one with a disability should face unlawful barriers to accessing health care facilities or receiving medical treatment,” said the head of the Civil Rights Division, Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband. “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.”

The settlement agreement is posted here:

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Dorchak of Lelling’s Civil Rights Unit handled the matter with Senior Trial Attorney Alyse Bass of the Justice Department’s Disability Rights Section.

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

Updated February 28, 2020

Civil Rights