Once again, a public establishment refused to provide an interpreter for a deaf individual. This time it is a Florida hospital. In response, this deaf patient filed a complaint against this hospital. Now they are trying to see if this hospital meets the "legal definition of a public establishment."
How is a hospital not a public establishment?
According to the Florida Civil Rights, discrimination is prohibited in "places determined to be public accommodations." Unfortunately, hospitals do not count as public accommodations under this civil rights act.
How about focusing on the rights of a human being? No one is talking about the fact that a human being was denied a right to communicate in his or her natural language.
I wonder of this hospital, in the past, denied Spanish translators to patients who speak primarily Spanish? If not, why would they deny a sign language interpreter for a deaf patient? Are they really that expensive and an inconvenience to society?
I can't imagine going to a hospital for some medical need and not fully understanding what everyone is saying and what is happening. Written communication isn't going to help the patient to be able to communicate effectively, in my opinion. At least through a sign language interpreter, you would get the information instantly and with ease.
I am confused about why there always seems to be a dilemma in hiring and using sign language interpreters in public establishments. I can understand why a private practice struggling to make money would deny interpreting services, but a hospital?
As always, there are stupid and mean comments left in response to this article. Ugh, some people just don't understand.
Link to article: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/12/29/1991985/deaf-patient-files-complaint.html