Deaf Rights

Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing have historically been subject to total exclusion from the mainstream of society due to communication barriers. Current federal law places a high burden on most public and private entities to provide auxiliary aides and services, including sign language interpreters, to those who need them. Disability Independence Group has represented individuals who are hearing impaired against police departments, educational institutions, hotels, doctors and hospitals.

Groundbreaking Cases

Liese v. Indian River Medical Center – Case permitting damages for violation of the rights of a deaf couple in a hospital when the hospital intentionally refuses effective communication through a sign language interpreter.

McCullum v. Orlando Regional Healthcare Sys. – Case finding that a deaf patient must ask for an accommodation for liability or for damages under the ADA or Rehabilitation Act.

Nash v. Medina – Doctors have an obligation to treat deaf clients under the Rehabilitation Act

Blog Items

Fair Housing Videos in American Sign Language –   DIG worked with the National Fair Housing Alliance on a joint project, funded by HUD, to create videos in America Sign Language (ASL).  We developed, wrote, filmed, and produced twelve videos on various fair housing and fair lending topics.  The videos are in ASL and have captioning.  Each video starts with a small vignette that sets up a fair housing/fair lending scenario and then explains the ramifications of the Fair Housing Act and other national laws that protect persons with disabilities. We created a website to host the videos and to be a resource center.

byron and cheylla

Deaf Mom-to-be gives Birth in the Wrong Hospital? – Cheylla Silva’s attempts to obtain interpreters for the birth of her daughter Zoey.

Domestic Violence and the Deaf – When you combine both reality of living in the Deaf community and the isolation as a result of being a victim of domestic violence, it is easy to understand why a Deaf victim of domestic violence takes up to seven times longer to leave his or her abuser than it would for a hearing victim.

Maura Mena and her Baby

Are Deaf Women Entitled to Reproductive Choice? – Maura Mena was victimized by her failure to get an interpreter for any services provided by Planned Parenthood. Mena, like most Deaf women, are ignored in their attempts to obtain reproductive education and services.



Disclaimer: The facts and circumstances of your case or potential case may differ from the facts and circumstances of the cases appearing on this page.  Each case is different and must be evaluated and handled on its own merit.   The results provided in the cases above and are not necessarily representative of the results obtained in all cases.