I've been a patient of Summit Rehabilitation before and like supporting local business so I chose to come back again. I made two appointments and requested for an ASL interpreter in advance. First receptionist or staff said my insurance might be able to provide an interpreter. I explained to her about how businesses are responsible for providing one, not the insurance company. She told me that she would check and get back with me soon. I didn't hear back so I stopped by again in person to get an update. Spoke with two different ladies this time. They said that a tablet was sent and that I would have a VRI.
I spent a long time trying to share my concerns about how this isn't the most effective method of communication, especially with this being for physical therapy (I need to be able to move around in different positions) and them having enough time to arrange an interpreter for me. They refused to get an interpreter for me and said that it was their partner PRNPT (Physical Rehabilitation Network PT)'s policy to only provide VRI. They also refused to give me PRNPT's contact information so I could talk directly with them to find out more about this policy. One of the receptionists rudely questioned me of why I wanted the partner name and contact information; asked if I was going to complain to them despite me already explaining several times of why I needed to ask PRNPT about this policy regarding accommodations. One of the receptionists finally told the other one that this company's contact information was public information. She got permission and gave me the website information for me to contact PRNPT but no direct contact information (ex. email). This entire conversation took me about 45 minutes or so of multiple requests of providing interpreters and getting some kind of contact information.
I even shared with them that I had been a patient of theirs a few years earlier and received interpreters with no problem. This didn't seem to matter, even if this was within the window of when they were partners with PRNPT. They didn't appear to believe me so I had to ask a PT who was nearby if this former PT of mine used to work for them and he confirmed this. So it was disappointing of how it looked like they didn't believe me that I was a patient once and did have interpreters...
My first appointment was very uncomfortable because I was forced to remain in my chair for the entire appointment to be able to see the interpreter on the little tablet screen. Fortunately, my therapist immediately realized that this was not going to work and advocated for me to get an interpreter for my future appointments. It went SO much better for my next few appointments once I had an interpreter there with me. What a huge difference! I was so happy to finally be able to communicate and move easily.
It took me a while but I finally spoke with someone from PRNPT about my situation and to ask about their policy regarding ADA and interpreters. I discovered that this is not their policy to only provide VRI. They have this in place IF patients want to be able to go in right away and can't wait for an interpreter to be found. Summit Rehabilitation was mistaken with what information they told me about the policy. I had the right as a Deaf person to receive an interpreter and I made appointments at least 1-2 weeks in advance, so this wasn't a last minute request. I asked PRNPT to be in contact with Summit Rehabilitation to educate their staff about this policy and that Deaf & Hard of Hearing patients can ask for interpreters. I sincerely hope that my conversations with PRNPT will prevent this from happening again at Summit Rehabilitation and other locations.
The reason why I'm giving this 2 stars instead of 1 is because PT Travis Beniak was wonderful and helpful. He gets 5 stars from me.