Kaiser Permanente Structured NegotiationsDRA and Kaiser Reach Settlement Following Structured Negotiations
In 2012, DRA, the California Council of the Blind (CCB), Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho (GBDH), and three Kaiser patients with vision disabilities entered structured negotiations with Kaiser Permanente to address health care access barriers. These barriers to services, programs, and facilities compromise the health care of people who are blind or low vision.
Kaiser patients who are blind or low vision have reported the following problems:
- A lack of medical tests, prescription drugs, and other health care materials in alternative formats, such as Braille, Large Print, Audio, or electronic formats
- Kaiser’s Pharmacies lack communications systems that can be used by patients with vision impairments
- Architectural barriers at its facilities
- A lack of training of medical staff in assisting patients with vision impairments
The parties reached a momentous settlement in 2015, setting in motion changes to health care services that will increase accessibility for Kaiser patients who are blind or low vision. Kaiser will adopt new policies and practices regarding the provision of information in alternative formats such as braille, audio, large print, and talking prescription labels. Kaiser will implement ongoing training of new and existing Kaiser personnel on best practices for interacting with people who are blind or low vision. Kaiser has committed to evaluate the accessibility of all touch-screen kiosks for individuals who are blind or low vision and prioritize making these kiosks accessible. Providing individuals who are blind or low vision with equivalent information and privacy in pharmacies and laboratories, and the removal of architectural barriers affecting persons with disabilities are also included in the agreement.