Employers, looking for a roadmap to make your workplace is accessible to all?

Source: Accessible Technology Action Steps: A Guide for Employers

Looking for a roadmap to ensure that the technology in your workplace is accessible to all employees and job applicants? Visit: Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT)

Whether you’re just getting started on accessible technology or looking for more advanced guidance, PEAT offers resources that can help. Simply check out the Action Steps below, in any order.

Doctors With Disabilities: Why They’re Important – The New York Times

There’s good reason to believe a more diverse work force — one that includes doctors with disabilities — would be good for patients and doctors. Patients of various backgrounds tend to feel more comfortable with physicians like them, and that’s true for people with disabilities as well.

Source: Doctors With Disabilities: Why They’re Important – The New York Times

More than 20 percent of Americans — nearly 57 million people — live with a disability, including 8 percent of children and 10 percent of nonelderly adults. And while the medical profession is devoted to caring for the ill, often it doesn’t do enough to meet the needs of the disabled.

Read entire article… Doctors With Disabilities- Why They’re Important – NYTimes

 

Dr. Gregory Snyder, a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, has paralysis in his legs after a spinal cord injury during medical school. He uses a wheelchair and says that he’s sometimes mistaken for a patient while working. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“It reminds us that at some point we’ll all be patients,” he said. “And perhaps, when we least expect it.”

Over the course of our lives, most of us will acquire a disability: More than two thirds of Americans over the age of 80 have a motor, sensory or cognitive impairment.

Dr. Snyder remembers the difficulty of adjusting to life as a patient after his accident, and the long road to recovery. But he says his disability and rehabilitation have fundamentally changed the way he cares for patients — for the better.

“I would have been this six-foot-tall, blond-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian doctor standing at the foot of the bed in a white coat,” he said. “Now I’m a guy in a wheelchair sitting right next to my patients. They know I’ve been in that bed just like they have. And I think that means something.”

There’s good reason to believe a more diverse work force — one that includes doctors with disabilities — would be good for patients and doctors. Patients of various backgrounds tend to feel more comfortable with physicians like them, and that’s true for people with disabilities as well.

Increasing the number of doctors with disabilities would improve health care.

Increasing the number of doctors with disabilities would improve medical care, not weaken it

Source: Increasing the number of doctors with disabilities would improve health care.

We Need More Doctors With Disabilities

One-fifth of all Americans have a disability, but less than 1 percent of doctors do. That’s slowly starting to change—to the benefit of medicine and patients.

When Dr. Bliss Temple was in training, she remembers being in an elevator wearing her white coat and her stethoscope when a patient who was using a wheelchair got in. Temple is paraplegic; she also uses a wheelchair.

“We checked out each other’s chairs, and then he looked at me and said, ‘Oh! You’ve joined the enemy.’ ”

More than 56 million Americans have a disability of some kind—nearly a fifth of the country. Yet a vanishingly small percentage of doctors have a disability of any kind—estimates vary and data is scant, but the consensus suggests that the number is somewhere around 1 percent. The problem starts at the tip of the pipeline: People with disabilities make up somewhere between 0.3 and 2.7 percent of medical school classes—estimates vary, but even at the high end, this makes them one of the most underrepresented groups in American higher education.

The divide is stark, and the consequences can be severe. Americans with disabilities are more likely to be sick but less likely to get adequate health care. This is partially because having a disability increases the likelihood of being poor or being unable to access care. But it has also created a system in which vulnerable patients feel their doctors misunderstand their bodies and their lives.

Colleagues sometimes tell Temple that they don’t think of her as a person with a disability, even though she’s spent her career at San Francisco General Hospital working on health care access and social justice for people with disabilities, including stints at the World Health Organization and consulting for the Department of Health and Human Services. She’s no stranger to the stereotype that doctors don’t have disabilities. Doctors take care of us in our most critical moments, when their ability to do their jobs can make a mortal difference. We want doctors who look like they can rush us to the intensive care unit like it’s 45 minutes through an episode of a medical drama.

But in recent years, disability activists and policy experts have argued—persuasively, according to many court cases—that disability does not prevent medical students from learning how to provide excellent medical care, particularly when they can receive assistance from increasingly adept technical tools. Not only is denying their right to train as doctors illegal; it inadvertently denies the many Americans with disabilities the benefit of having more medical professionals who understand them.

Additional Resources for Technical Standards and Accommodations

The struggle for representation in medicine starts with who gets to go to medical school in the first place. For most aspiring doctors, medical school admission is merely a matter of excelling at coursework, research, volunteering, the Medical College Admission Test, personal essays, and interviews. Even then it’s tough going—most medical schools have admission rates in the low single digits. But students with disabilities have an additional obstacle after they’ve been admitted: They must prove to the school’s administrators that they can meet the physical requirements of medical education. These expectations, codified into “technical standards,” are often broken down into five essential functions: observation, communication, motor function, conceptual and quantitative analysis, and social skills. The exact standards vary by school and curriculum. For example, MD candidates at one school may have to personally deliver 10 babies to pass an obstetrics rotation while candidates at another only have to assist. This idiosyncrasy wouldn’t matter to most applicants, but it can disqualify someone with limited arm mobility, no matter how dazzling their application. After getting in on the strength of their grades, scores, and essays, students can find themselves caught between forfeiting their admission and signing a document pledging they can perform medical procedures with accommodations that they don’t know for sure that they’ll receive.

For years, medical schools have defended their technical standards by arguing that they protect patient safety and ensure academic consistency. Reformers argue that these policies violate federal law and promote a culture of prejudice. In 1973, the Rehabilitation Act prohibited universities, and other institutions receiving federal funding, from discriminating against applicants with disabilities who were “otherwise qualified.” But the law’s vague language left it open to evasion. In 1990, the Americans With Disabilities Act, or ADA, reinforced and expanded the scope of the Rehabilitation Act, affirming that in higher education and employment, people with disabilities could not be “excluded, denied services, segregated or otherwise treated differently than other individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services,” unless the university can show that accommodations would “fundamentally alter” the education they offer or result in “an undue burden.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this federal law compelled only a modest increase in the number of students with disabilities graduating from medical school. In 1979, six years after the Rehabilitation Act’s passage, the Association of American Medical Colleges, or AAMC, published a technical standards template to guide medical schools as they began to read applications they could have quickly rejected a few years earlier. After the ADA was passed, many medical schools complied with the law by simply copying the AAMC’s 1979 guide near-verbatim and haven’t changed them much since. At the time, the AAMC seemed more concerned about preventing lawsuits than inclusion. “In the admissions process, the burden of proof is on the applicant to demonstrate that he/she can meet the essential 5 functions of the program,” an AAMC memo from 1993 read. “How much accommodation may be too much is a matter which will be tested in the courts. The safety of patients involved in student education is of paramount importance.” To this day, many schools leave the burden on aspiring physicians with disabilities.

The Neglected Demographic: Faculty Members With Disabilities

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

JUNE 27, 2017

More than 25 years after the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act, the situation for students with disabilities has vastly improved. Most colleges now have offices for disability-related accommodations, and students are using these services in exponential numbers: At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where I teach, the cumulative demand for services offered by the Disability and Learning Resource Center grew over 800 percent between 2002 and 2015. Data gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics show that about 11 percent of the undergraduates in postsecondary education in the United States have a disability. Faculty members are now required to include in their syllabuses statements about disability-related accommodations, and many colleges’ websites advertise their services for disabled students.

Continue Reading

Promoting Worksite Health | The Community Guide

Worksite policies and programs may help employees reduce health risks and improve their quality of life.

Source: Promoting Worksite Health | The Community Guide

Worksite interventions can be delivered: At the worksite (e.g., signs to encourage stair use, health education classes) At other locations (e.g., gym membership discounts, weight management counseling) Through the employee health benefits plan (e.g., flu shots, cancer screenings)

Great Big Story : How a Doctor Without Legs Treats Patients in Her Mountain Village

Since she was a young girl, Li Juhong dreamed of becoming a doctor. Then, at 4 years old, she lost her legs in a tragic and painful accident. But that experience didn’t weaken Juhong’s resolve; rather, it drove her to help others in pain. Now, the 38-year-old is one of two doctors responsible for around 2,000 people in the mountainous Chinese village of Wadian. Armed with her medical training and a determination that often sees her work well into the night, Juhong says she feels “happy and lucky” to have helped so many people in her village.

Source: Great Big Story : How a Doctor Without Legs Treats Patients in Her Mountain Village

Nontraditional Careers in Nursing: Options for Nurses

History of Nontraditional Careers

Source: Nontraditional Careers in Nursing: Options for Nurses

Susan E. Lowey, PhD, RN, CHPN

|March 15, 2017

The Nursing Workforce and Changing Demographics

While a majority of nurses currently work in the hospital setting, the nontraditional (nonhospital) nursing sector is growing.[1]

There are currently over 2.7 million registered nurses in the United States.[1] This figure is expected to increase 16% by the year 2024, with nursing employment surpassing the growth of most other health-related occupations.[2] The upcoming expected growth of the aging population, particularly the baby-boomer generation, will require a larger nursing workforce to provide and coordinate care. The increased prevalence of chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, will also precipitate the need for a larger nursing workforce.[3]

Patients are living longer but often with multiple chronic conditions and functional impairments. While there will always be a need to have a robust nursing workforce within the inpatient hospital setting, future projections show an increased growth of nursing jobs in nonhospital community-based healthcare settings.[4] More patients will require comprehensive outpatient nursing care to manage both acute and chronic conditions.

The function of nurses is to promote wellness through prevention, to restore health and functioning to those affected by illness or injury, and to advocate for the care of individuals, families, and communities.[5] The changing dynamic of the nursing workforce will extend these activities to a wide variety of nonhospital settings.

Continue Reading

Faculty Training Modules: Working with students with disabilities

UCSF Medical Student Disability Services (MSDS) and UCSF Student Disability Services (SDS) in partnership with colleagues from around the country (Case Western Reserve University, Duke University, Northwestern University, Rush University College of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, The University of Washington, and Weill Cornell Medicine and Samuel Merritt University), developed The UCSF Faculty Training Series, an eight part online, video training series to guide faculty who work with students with disabilities. New modules will be posted each month.

The new modules include:
Keeping it Confidential: Guidance for working with students with disabilities
 
                                                           and


Accessible Admissions Practices: Making sure students with disabilities are addressed

Four additional modules are planned for this series including: 
  1. Microaggressions: What they are and how they impact students with disabilities
  2. ADA 101: The basic laws that govern disability services
  3. Accommodations in the Clinical Setting
  4. Full Circle in the Diversity initiative: Inviting Disability to the table

 

Just and Realistic Expectations for Persons with Disabilities Practicing Nursing, Oct 16 – AMA Journal of Ethics

The nursing profession can become more inclusive by fostering a supportive culture, resilience, and realistic expectations for people with disabilities. AMA Journal of Ethics is a monthly bioethics journal published by the American Medical Association.

Source: Just and Realistic Expectations for Persons with Disabilities Practicing Nursing, Oct 16 – AMA Journal of Ethics

Patricia M. Davidson, PhD, RN, Cynda Hylton Rushton, PhD, RN, Jennifer Dotzenrod, MPP, Christina A. Godack, MA, Deborah Baker, DNP, CRNP, and Marie N. Nolan, PhD, RN

Abstract

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and requires schools to provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities. The profession of nursing is striving for diversity and inclusion, but barriers still exist to realizing accommodations for people with disabilities. Promoting disclosure, a supportive and enabling environment, resilience, and realistic expectations are important considerations if we are to include among our ranks health professionals who can understand, based on similar life experiences of disability, a fuller range of perspectives of the patients we care for.

Continue Reading

Technical Standards and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Medical School Applicants and Students: Interrogating Sensory Capacity and Practice Capacity, Oct 16 – AMA Journal of Ethics

Medical school technical standards should be revised to be more inclusive of applicants with disabilities to diversify the physician workforce. AMA Journal of Ethics is a monthly bioethics journal published by the American Medical Association.

Source: Technical Standards and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Medical School Applicants and Students: Interrogating Sensory Capacity and Practice Capacity, Oct 16 – AMA Journal of Ethics

Michael Argenyi, MD

Abstract

Applicants to medical schools who are deaf and hard of hearing (DHoH) or who have other disabilities face significant barriers to medical school admission. One commonly cited barrier to admission is medical schools’ technical standards (TS) for admission, advancement, and graduation. Ethical values of diversity and equity support altering the technical standards to be more inclusive of people with disabilities. Incorporating these values into admissions, advancement, and graduation considerations for DHoH and other students with disabilities can contribute to the physician workforce being more representative of the diverse patients it serves and better able to care for them.

Continue Reading
1 2 3 10