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OCR Releases Guidance Ensuring Equal Access to Care for Persons with Disabilities

April 6, 2020

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released a Bulletin: Civil Rights, HIPAA, and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) [PDF] to ensure that entities covered by civil rights authorities remember their obligations under federal civil rights laws to help ensure all people have equal access to care. Included in the bulletin is a reminder that health care entities must continue “[p]roviding effective communication with individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, have low vision, or have speech disabilities through the use of qualified interpreters, picture boards, and other means…”

In releasing the Bulletin, Roger Severino, OCR Director, stated: “HHS is committed to leaving no one behind during an emergency, and this guidance is designed to help health care providers meet that goal.”

Questions?

Visit ASHA’s Coronavirus/COVID-19 Updates webpage to find the latest information from ASHA.  


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