Deaf Expectant Mother Needs Sign Language Interpreter for Labor

Deaf Expectant Mother Needs Sign Language Interpreter for Labor

Hospital reverses its original decision.

When Cindy Templeton asked for an interpreter in the room while she’s in labor, she says Houston Healthcare didn’t give her the answer she wanted, 13WMAZ TV reports.

Cindy describes herself as  “fully 100% deaf.” She’s also about to give birth.

She says hospital staff told her she’d have to pay for a physical interpreter out-of-pocket.

Instead, Cindy says the hospital offered a digital alternative at no cost, in which an interpreter would be linked in via video conference — an idea that made her uneasy. What if an emergency arose?

But when 13WMAZ asked the hospital system for comment, the hospital changed its tune, agreeing to provide in-person interpreter service at no additional cost.

The TV station also spoke with two attorneys, and both said the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires medical providers to provide “effective communication” with patients.

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