Petition Closed
Petitioning Bethesda Hospital East

Apologize to Margaret Weiss and Respect Deaf Patients' Needs!

#DeafChoice

Imagine this: You are pregnant. You know what it is like to give birth. You are deaf. You ask hospital in advance for a live on site interpreter for the birth because VRI had repeatedly failed in the past. Hospital says no. You sue. You lose because hospital convinces a magistrate that video remote interpreting (VRI) is good enough.

Despite reports in news that they will give you a live interpreter when the birth happens you are forced to have VRI. AND the VRI fails as you are giving birth!

Unfortunately, the ADA allows hospitals to choose VRI as long as VRI is effective communication. The problem is the federal government (Dept of Justice) has not clearly defined what is "effective."

http://www.ada.gov/effective-comm.htm

UNACCEPTABLE!

According to the National Association of the Deaf position statement on VRI, "If a deaf person uses sign language, hospitals should provide a qualified sign language interpreter..."

By signing this petition you are telling Bethesda Hospital and, by association, all hospitals, that this blatant disregard for deaf patients will not be tolerated!

Update 7/24/2015: Use this hashtag in social media and Twitter!  #DeafChoice

Links:

Deaf woman gives birth without interpreter, claims video system awful (Palm Beach Post, subscription needed to view full story)

Same article as above - free but without comments

Deaf woman may not get live interpreter during childbirth (Palm Beach Post, subscription)

Why a deaf woman is suing the hospital where she plans to give birth (Yahoo Parenting)

Facebook group Deaf Against Ineffective Accommodations by the Hospitals

ADA25: #10 of 25 -- Hospital: VRI (NAD vlog / video)

This is a NATIONAL problem. Below are news articles about other cases that have happened in recent years.

2/5/2015 (Washington, DC) - Local hospitals accused of discrimination, making patients feel 'completely powerless'

11/27/2014 (Cookeville, Tennessee) - Deaf say hospital failed to provide interpreters

10/24/2014 (Denver, Colorado) - Colorado Deaf Patient Denied Interpreter at Rose ER

8/29/2014 (Miami, Florida) - Deaf Miami Mom to be Sues to Have Sign Language in Delivery Room

6/4/2014 (Orlando, Florida) - Deaf patient claims discrimination

5/16/2012 (Peoria, Illinois) - Deaf patients unhappy with OSF St. Francis' video interpreters (follow-up article 12/9/2013)

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