LOS ANGELES – Riverside Medical Clinic, a company that operates seven medical offices in Riverside County, has agreed to resolve allegations that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide effective communication to deaf and hard-of-hearing patients.
The settlement resolves allegations that Riverside Medical Clinic failed to provide a qualified sign language interpreter or other appropriate form of auxiliary aid or service to a patient who is deaf and her family, instead relying on a video remote interpretation system that often failed to work.
The ADA requires medical providers to ensure effective communication for patients who are deaf or hard of hearing. The settlement requires the company to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services free of charge so that people who are deaf or hard of hearing have full and equal access to treatment at its offices.
Under the settlement agreement, Riverside Medical Clinic must:
- provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services necessary for effective communication to patients and their companions who are deaf or hard of hearing;
- advertise the availability of auxiliary aids and services;
- conduct individualized assessments for patients who are deaf or hard of hearing to determine what auxiliary aids and services are best suited for their needs; and
- pay $5,000 in compensation to the complainant and a $1,000 civil penalty to the United States.
Riverside Medical Clinic fully cooperated with the government’s investigation.
Assistant United States Attorney Matthew E. Nickell of the Civil Division’s Civil Rights Section handled this matter.
This year marks the ADA’s 30th Anniversary. The Department of Justice 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.
For more information on the ADA or this settlement agreement, please 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.