OPA: Welcome to the OPA Deaf Advocacy Advisory Board


To the OPA Deaf Advocacy Advisory Group

June, 2013 -The Department of Justice has reached a settlement agreement with the City of New Haven under which the City agrees to implement training and ensure its policies comply with the effective communication requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The City of New Haven voluntarily agreed to enter into the settlement agreement during the Justice Departmentís investigation into allegations that the Cityís Livable City Initiative failed to effectively communicate with persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. Full Press Release
January, 2011:  Justice Department Reaches Americans with Disabilities Act Settlement with H&R Block: Press release regarding a comprehensive settlement agreement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with HRB Tax Group Inc., H&R Block Tax Services LLC and HRB Advance LLC (H&R Block) to ensure effective communication with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing in the provision of income tax preparation services and courses at more than 11,000 owned and franchised offices nationwide.  Press Release

May 5, 2010:  This information is about the Arizona movie theater case which may have a favorable impact on increasing the showings of closed-captioned movies in Connecticut and across the country because it sets a precedent for other states to follow.  Hearing Loss www.hearinglosslaw.com

Questions & Answers Webpage

RE:  CAD v. Middlesex Memorial Hospital et al. Consent Decree 

Is it true that the Consent Decree has ended?

Yes, the term of the Consent Decree was established for 5 years. This period lasted from June of 1998 until August of 2003. During that time, the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut had the jurisdiction for enforcing all of the provisions of the Consent Decree (including sign language interpreters and other services).


Now that the Consent Decree has ended, what are the Hospitalsí obligations to those who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing?

The Hospitals in Connecticut must continue to provide "effective Communication" for people who are deaf or hard of hearing as required by state and federal law.


What can I do if a Hospital refuses to provide or gives me reasons why they cannot provide me with communication access services (including interpreting) covered by the Consent Decree?

All Hospitals have a complaint procedure for patients and/or companions who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. This should be used when you have problems accessing services necessary for achieving effective communication. It is important that you use this procedure as soon as you become aware of the problem and as the first step in your effort to correct the problem. All of the Hospitals are required to maintain records of the complaints they receive and the actions taken to resolve these complaints. Ask the Hospital to provide you with a written response to the complaint you have filed. This will help should you need to take further action. You can contact our office (P&A) for advice and possible assistance if the Hospital does not provide a resolution or if you believe that the resolution is unsatisfactory. 


If you have any questions, or for assistance please contact: 

Elanah Sherman, Human Service Advocate


Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities

860-297-4300 (V & TTY)

860-297-4380 (TTY) or 1-800-842-7303 (V & TTY)


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission created a webpage dedicated to:

Questions and Answers about Deafness & Hearing Impairments in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Content Last Modified on 12/10/2013 2:46:43 PM