People with Mobility Disabilities Granted Greater Access to Care

The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the HHS Office for Civil Rights issued new technical assistance guidance for medical providers which will help people with mobility disabilities obtain accessible medical care.

Access to Medical Care for Persons with Mobility Disabilities will assist medical care providers in understanding how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 apply to them. This 19-page document includes an overview of general ADA requirements, commonly asked questions, and illustrated examples of accessible facilities, examination rooms, and medical equipment, according to a press release.

“It is critical that all individuals, including those with disabilities, have access to health care,” assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division Thomas E. Perez, stated in the release. “But far too often, barriers prevent people with disabilities from visiting a doctor’s office or a clinic.”

Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by private hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics and other health care providers. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended prohibits disability based discrimination by all health care providers that receive federal financial assistance.

“Due to barriers, people with disabilities are less likely to receive even basic medical treatment that will prevent routine small problems from turning into major and possibly life threatening ones,” Georgina C. Verdugo, director of HHS’ Office for Civil Rights, stated. “This guidance promotes the core values of the health care reform legislation championed by this administration.”

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