The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan has reached a settlement with an ophthalmology practice regarding an allegation that a service animal was not permitted to accompany a patient beyond the waiting area.
The firm, Vitreoretinal Specialists, PLC – also known as Retina Associates of Michigan – has offices in Clarkston, Grand Blanc and Port Huron.
Under the settlement agreement, Vitreoretinal Specialists, PLC will pay damages to the affected patient and adopt a non-discrimination policy allowing service animals to accompany people with disabilities in treatment and examination rooms. . Additionally, employees will be trained on the American with Disabilities Act and will post the policy at its facilities and on its website.
The amount of damages to be paid was not immediately available.
“Service animals are an essential support for many people with disabilities. People who depend on service animals to help them deserve the same access to our community as people who don’t, and this is especially true for access to health services,” said Dawn Ison, attorney. of the Eastern District of Michigan, in a press release.
The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by public accommodations. This requires, in part, that public accommodations make reasonable modifications to policies and practices to allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities. Civil Rights Hotline at 313-226-9151.