At least 14 operators of assisted-living and nursing facilities in Arizona unlawfully discriminate against prospective residents who are deaf, according to a federal lawsuit filed by the Southwest Fair Housing Council and reported by azcentral.com.
The suit follows nearly two years of undercover inquiries. Testers enlisted by the non-profit contacted large-scale facilities in the Phoenix and Tucson areas requesting accommodations for a fictional deaf grandfather.
They asked about the availability of qualified American Sign Language interpreters and other aids that would allow the grandparent to communicate effectively, particularly in sensitive situations involving complex paperwork or medical needs.
They recorded the interactions, contacting facilities multiple times over several months in order to ensure their responses were representative of their policies.
Employees at the facilities almost always told testers they could not or would not offer interpreters, the lawsuit says. They said deaf residents could either provide their own interpreters or communicate with staff through writing and lip-reading.
Read the full story at azcentral.com.