Missouri association of the deaf win suit against state

May 11, 2012

A federal judge has approved settlement of a lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 1,000 deaf Missourians over mental health services for the deaf.

U.S. District Judge Matt Whitworth approved the settlement Thursday in Jefferson City in a suit filed by the Missouri Association of the Deaf and 13 named plaintiffs. Attorneys for the plaintiffs say about 20 percent of deaf persons in need of mental health services are children.

The suit accused the state of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide adequate mental health care for the deaf. Among many provisions, the settlement requires greater availability of sign language interpreters and development of outpatient and inpatient centers staffed with clinicians and case managers trained in aiding the deaf.