Deaf News: American Deaf woman sues to get sign language interpreter for baby’s birth

Posted on September 1, 2014



Earlier this year, a British Deaf couple made headlines when they complained about the lack of an interpreter during their baby’s birth. Things aren’t any better across the Atlantic, as this story from America shows.

Extract from the Miami Herald:

Sometime this month or next, Cheylla Silva will be admitted to Baptist Hospital to give birth to her second child. The delivery will be high-risk: Silva suffers from high blood pressure and other complications.

Silva is hoping the delivery goes smoothly because if there are serious problems, she might be at a loss to communicate with her doctors and nurses. Silva is profoundly deaf, and, for months, Baptist administrators have refused to provide her with an American sign language interpreter, she says.

On Friday morning, Silva filed an emergency motion in federal court, asking U.S. District Judge Kathleen M. Williams to order Baptist to provide the interpreter, arguing the hospital’s refusal to do so violates the federal Americans With Disabilities Act, a landmark civil rights law signed by then-President George Bush in 1990.

Baptist’s obligation, the suit says, “is to ensure that deaf patients be provided an equal opportunity to participate in their care and treatment.”

 

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Posted in: deaf news