Deaf Association Sues RI Hospitals Over Lack of Interpreters

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The Rhode Island Association of the Deaf is suing a hospital company, alleging that a lack of sign language interpreters limited the ability of doctors and nurses to communicate with deaf patients and families. 

The Providence Journal reports the lawsuit was filed in federal court last week on behalf of Kathryn Arcana and Peggy Merhi against Providence-based Lifespan Corp. 

Arcana says an interpreter was only occasionally provided at Hasbro Children's Hospital during her son's treatment there. Both plaintiffs say the company's hospitals sometimes used remote interpreters via video, but they found the system unreliable. 

A Lifespan spokesman says the company is committed to providing care for all patients but declined to comment on the lawsuit. 

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