- Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
- Area(s) of Law: Disability Law
- Date Filed: 10-18-2022
- Case #: 21-16532
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Thomas, C.J.; Bea, C.J.; and Thomas, C.J.
- Full Text Opinion
Plaintiffs are deaf. Defendant is a hospital which provided American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation through a third-party service over the internet. Plaintiffs requested an in-person interpreter on several days which was not always provided. The alternative resulted in internet connectivity issues on the days where an in-person interpreter was not provided. On these occasions, hospital staff communicated through handwritten notes with Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs appealed a district court judgment ruling Defendant met their obligations under antidiscrimination law. To avoid discriminating against persons with disabilities, covered entities must ensure meaningful access to their services. The touchstone of the accessibility analysis is whether the entity provided auxiliary aids sufficient to ensure “effective communication” with deaf patients. Plaintiffs were not deprived of effective communication. Under the circumstances, handwritten notes were sufficient communication. Based on evidence in the district court, Plaintiffs communicated in extensive detail with hospital staff and confirmed their understanding. AFFIRMED.