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What does the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mean for VRI usage in hospitals? Find out as NAD intern Brian Lucas explains. View the entire #ADA25 series at www.nad.org/ADA25.

Video begins with an off white vintage background. Three black and white photos appear. First photo shows a group of people marching, one holds a NAD poster. Second photo shows another group of people marching, one holds a poster “We Shall Overcome.” Third photo shows President Bush signing the Americans with Disabilities Act. Text appears “ADA25 — Americans with Disabilities Act”. Video flashes to white then to Brian Lucas inside NAD Headquarters. On bottom left corner, “#ADA25” appears as a light watermark. On bottom right corner, the NAD logo appears, also as a light watermark.

BRIAN: The NAD has noticed that many deaf and hard of hearing people have been complaining that hospitals force them to use VRI. This is not acceptable. We have noticed that VRI is particularly incompatible for certain groups of deaf and hard of hearing people, including: deaf-blind, deaf people with intellectual disabilities, and any deaf or hard of hearing person who has trouble seeing or moving.
We recently filed a lawsuit against George Washington University Hospital because they forced VRI on deaf and hard of hearing patients. We had three plaintiffs in the case. The first went to the hospital for surgery on her neck. She told the hospital that she couldn’t use VRI and needed an interpreter on site. The hospital refused. After her surgery, she woke up flat on her back. She couldn’t move anything but her eyes. The hospital personnel still wheeled up the VRI machine and tried to make her use it, even though she couldn’t even see it! The second plaintiff went to GW Hospital to give birth. She had a high-risk pregnancy and went into labor 10 weeks early. Although her whole deaf family was there to support her in delivery, the hospital forced her to use VRI. It was blurry, it disconnected, and worse yet, the VRI machine itself automatically went black every few minutes. Worse still, she often couldn’t even look at the screen because of how she needed to move her body to give birth. The third plaintiff went to GW Hospital with very bad stomach problems. She hadn’t been able to eat or drink of three days and was dizzy. The hospital still made her use VRI. They couldn’t set it up and the screen was too blurry for her to see.
If you go to the hospital and they force you to use VRI, you should tell us at the NAD! We hope that the result of these lawsuits will teach other hospitals a lesson so they don’t force deaf patients to use VRI!

Video fades to a gradient background with dark blue to light blue, a grey National Association of the Deaf (NAD) logo is centered. White text below the logo appears, “A production of the National Association of the Deaf (copyright) 2015 All Rights Reserved” with four teal social media icons, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

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