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Healthcare rights of people with disabilities

If you are a person with a disability, you have rights when you receive health services and treatment.

Types of medical providers covered

  • Hospitals
  • Doctor’s office
  • Nursing Home
  • Dentist
  • Chiropractor
  • Psychologist/Psychiatrist
  • Counselor/Therapist
  • Therapy clinics
  • Pharmacy
  • Insurance companies

Your rights

You have the right to visit your medical provider in an accessible facility.

Examples:

  • Doors wide enough for your wheelchair
  • Accessible parking spaces
  • A route without stairs
  • Hallways without chairs, plants or other obstacles that make navigation difficult

You have the right to receive services that are appropriate for you.

Examples:

  • Have your nurse or doctor wear a mask to protect you if you are more likely to get sick or have a weakened immune system
  • Get a full and complete health care exam and be treated in or our of your wheelchair
  • Have a telehealth visit if you are unable to drive due to your disability, when seeing your doctor in person isn’t necessary
  • Get assistance with tranferring to exam or surgery tables, dental chairs, and testing equipment like x-ray or CT machines.

You have the right to have information shared with you in a way that you can understand.

Examples:

  • Have forms read to you if you have a vision or learning disability
  • Have medical information explained to you in more detail if you have trouble understanding. This can include being shown pictures or videos that help explain. 
  • Have a qualified ASL interpreter to communicate with your doctor
  • Have instructions provided in large print, electronic format, or in Braille

Read our position statement on healthcare accommodations

Exceptions

Yes, a medical provider can refuse to make changes for you if it is an “undue burden.” 

A change would be an undue burden if it is very difficult or expensive to do. It also depends on the size and budget of the provider.

Helpful resources

Ask us

If you have questions about your healthcare rights under the ADA, we can help.

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