Care center agrees to offer sign language, as needed

Posted: February 12, 2014

MEDFORD A Burlington County nursing facility says it will offer a certified sign-language interpreter to deaf patients after a complaint alleging that one of its patients was often denied that resource.

The decision is part of a settlement announced Monday involving the Medford Care Center.

In 2012, the family of Mary Jane Barton, a former patient who is deaf, alleged that the facility offered a sign-language interpreter only twice and based other conversations on lip reading and handwritten notes.

Barton's family made the allegations in a complaint to the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. The complaint also said that Barton, who stayed at the facility for six months, did not know of some procedures that had been planned for her because of miscommunication.

"Patients who are deaf or hard of hearing must be able to comfortably and effectively communicate with their care givers," acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said in a statement. "Let this case serve as a reminder to other health-care facilities that they have the same duty to provide effective communication under the law."


mboren@phillynews.com

856-779-3829 @borenmc

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