Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services, et al. v. Northwest Hospital & Medical Center et al.
On July 21, 2016, DRA and co-counsel Moloy Good of the Good Law Clinic filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services (ADWAS) and three individuals alleging that Northwest Hospital, owned and operated by the University of Washington School of Medicine discriminates against Deaf and hard of hearing people in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Washington Law Against Discrimination.
The named plaintiffs are ADWAS, which provides services to the Deaf community, and three Deaf and hard of hearing individuals who were denied access to healthcare at Northwest Hospital due to the lack of effective communication accommodations. The plaintiffs allege various failures on the part of Northwest Hospital, including failure to provide sign language interpreters, refusal to accommodate simple requests such as responding to bedside pages in person rather than using the intercom, and even outright denial of services. One plaintiff requested an interpreter when she scheduled an appointment at Northwest Hospital’s Meridian Women’s Health clinic, only to be told when she arrived at her appointment that no interpreter had been booked and the doctor would not see her as a result.
The lawsuit seeks a court order directing Northwest Hospital to develop and implement policies ensuring that qualified sign language interpreters and other necessary accommodations are provided throughout the broad range of medical services offered at this medical facility.