ALEXANDRIA, VA – Fairfax Nursing Center (FNC) has agreed to pay $97,500 to resolve allegations that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide effective communication services to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing in the provision of medical services.
The investigation began with a complaint from the public alleging that FNC violated the ADA by failing to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including sign language interpreter services, to two individuals who are deaf (two family members of a patient) during critical interactions relating to the patient’s medical care. The complainants alleged that because of FNC’s failure to provide sign language interpreter services, these individuals were denied the benefit of effective communication with the skilled nursing facility’s clinical staff and the opportunity to effectively participate in treatment decisions.
The Department of Justice has a number of publications available to assist entities in complying with the ADA, including a Business Brief on Communicating with People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in Hospital Settings. This publication covers accommodation for people with hearing beyond just sign language. For more information on the ADA and to access these publications, visit ADA.gov or call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800.514.0301 or 800.514.0383 (TDD). ADA complaints may be filed by email to email@example.com.
A copy of this press release can be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. The settlement document for this case and others, under the Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative, may be found on ADA.gov.