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Serving Region 9 - Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada & the Pacific Basin

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Healthcare and the ADA

The ADA requires delivery of services in a way that ensures that all people have an equal opportunity to achieve the full benefit of a program or service (Title II or III).  For healthcare providers, this means equitable access to care and services to people with disabilities must be provided.  This applies to modification in policies, practices, and procedures, effective communication,  and the physical accessibility of buildings, facilities and accessible medical equipment.

Below are resources in those main areas of accessibility, as well as resources for employment, legal cases in this area, addiction and substance abuse, and other supplemental resources.


  • Accessible Facilities

    Health care entities must ensure that their facilities are accessible to people with disabilities. Health care providers must have an accessible facility that is compliant with ADA Standards and have available accessible exam/ treatment/ procedure rooms.


    Access to Medical Care for Individuals With Mobility Disabilities 2010 - U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)   Accessibility of doctors' offices, clinics, and other health care facilities is not only legally required, it is important medically so that minor problems can be detected and treated before turning into major and possibly life-threatening problems. This question and answer document addresses these issues.

    Accessible Medical Examination Tables and Chairs - ADA National Network  This publication is intended for health care professionals, hospital/clinic staff who are responsible for selecting or purchasing diagnostic medical equipment, medical equipment specialists, and all those who require knowledge of the technical specifications for accessible examination tables and chairs.

    Accessible Medical Diagnostic Equipment - ADA National Network   This factsheet aims to inform health care providers about the laws and technical criteria that apply to accessible medical diagnostic equipment (MDE), in order to improve accessibility of MDE.

    Accessible Parking - ADA National Network  State and local government agencies that offer programs, services, or activities need to make sure that people with disabilities can gain access and participate in these activities. Designating accessible parking is considered a top priority because it enables many people with disabilities to “get in the door.”  See the "Medical Facilities" section of this document for additional accessible parking requirements.

    ADA Checklist For Existing Facilities - New England ADA Center   Because the ADA is a civil rights law and not a building code, older facilities are not "grandfathered"  and are often required to be accessible to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate. This document outlines accessibility requirements for existing facilities. Please note: Some states have additional  requirements to assure even greater accessibility. Check with the local building department for guidance.

    ADA Standards for Accessible Design - U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)   The 2010 Standards set minimum requirements – both scoping and technical – for newly designed and constructed or altered State and local government facilities, public accommodations, and commercial facilities to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

    Increasing the Physical Accessibility of Health Care Facilities -  Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS)  This document includes suggestions on how to improve the physical access of healthcare facilities. It includes sections on the importance of understanding the needs of individuals with disabilities and incorporating those needs into design, monitoring and evaluation of the facilities.

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  • Employment and Documentation of Disabilities

    Employees often seek medical assistance from their healthcare provider when they have concerns that arise in or from the work environment. Employees may have a need for medical documentation when requesting a reasonable accommodation from their employer. They may need medical advise regarding the need to take a leave from work, or advise on how a medical diagnosis might affect their ability to work. The following documents may assist medical professionals in their work with individuals with disabilities and employment.


    Cancer in the Workplace - U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)   This question-and-answer document addresses how the ADA applies to job applicants and employees who have or have had cancer.

    Depression, PTSD, and other Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace: Your Legal Rights - U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)   If an employee has depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or another mental health condition, they are protected against discrimination and harassment at work because of their condition. The employee may also have additional rights under other laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and various medical insurance laws. The following questions and answers briefly explain these rights.

    Reasonable Accommodation and Requests for Medical Information (D) - U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)  The  EEOC is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to its employees and applicants for employment to ensure that individuals with disabilities enjoy equal access to all employment opportunities. Medical documentation is often required during the request process. Section D explains that process and the medical professional's role.

    Work-Leave, the ADA, and the FMLA - ADA National Network  An employer may (but does not have to) require the worker to certify the need for work-leave from a medical professional. Employers cannot require a worker to be completely healed before returning to work. Such policies have been found to violate the ADA because they do not allow workers to use their right to an accommodation. This document considers how effective work-leave policies are a key part of legal compliance as well as a benefit to the business.

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