Is a hospital required to provide an interpreter for someone who is not the patient?

The requirement to provide effective communication includes the obligation to provide effective communication to companions who are Deaf. So the hospital is required to find a way to communicate with someone who has a communication disability “as effectively” as they would communicate with that person if he/she did not have the disability. Most hospitals (and other service providers) think their only responsibility is to ensure communication to their specific patient.  They don’t realize that, depending on the nature of what is being communicated, they have an obligation to communicate effectively with the patient’s family members. If they generally communicate with family members without disabilities, they have to communicate with the family members who are Deaf.