Advocates Hold Sit-in At Doctor's Office Over Sign Language
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 22, 2006
WESTLAKE, OHIO--A group of more than two dozen advocates from the Deaf and Deaf-Blind Committee on Human Rights staged a three-hour protest last Thursday in a medical office building to make the point that interpreters are vital to the health and well being of people with these disabilities.
The protesters marched, sat, and chanted in the waiting room outside the office of Dr. Kornelia Solymos, which she leases from St. John West Shore Hospital.
Heather West, the committee's executive director, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the group had selected more than 100 area doctors at random and asked them to sign agreements saying they would provide interpreters for deaf patients, but that only eight responded.
They chose to demonstrate at Dr. Solymos' office, West said, because she does not provide sign language interpreters, did not respond to their request to sign an agreement, and ignored four attempts by the group to communicate with her.
"Deaf and deaf-blind people are human just like everybody else and we deserve rights to healthcare and rights to communication and she can't even respect us enough to come out here and talk with us," West said.
Solymos refused to talk to the group during the demonstration, and denied interview requests.
The group said they would be back in two weeks.
"Protesters: Deaf need interpreters with doctor" (Cleveland Plain Dealer)