Hinkle v. Kent

Coalition of blind advocates file a class action lawsuit over government failure to provide Medi-Cal notices in accessible formats, such as Braille.

Hinkle v. Kent

On October 22, 2018, DRC and co-counsel Disability Rights Advocates and Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund filed a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of the California Council of the Blind and three blind individuals, claiming that blind individuals do not receive accessible notices in violation of federal and state disability rights laws. The lawsuit alleges that when blind individuals request accessible versions of Medi-Cal notices, the state Department of Health Care Services and California counties either fail to provide accessible versions or fail to do so in a timely manner. These delays may cause blind Medi-Cal consumers to lose their benefits.

Providing information to blind individuals in alternative formats such as Braille or large print is required by federal and California anti-discrimination laws. To solve the problem, DHCS, counties, and Medi-Cal health plans need to (1) identify people who need communication in Braille or other accessible formats, and (2) respond appropriately to requests for accessible formats.

Case Name: Wylene Lena Hinkle et al. v. Jennifer Kent, in her capacity as Director of California Department of Health Care Services, et al.

Co-Counsel: Disability Rights Advocates; Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund

Significant Court Documents