Healthcare access is important for all individuals, especially for people with disabilities. However, people with disabilities don’t always receive the healthcare they need. Several barriers can make it harder for them to access critical healthcare services or build optimal working relationships with their providers. Fortunately, by being aware of these barriers, we can overcome them with changes in design, training, and policy.
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.
In NH, women with disabilities are significantly less likely than the general population to comply with breast and cervical cancer screening recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Preventive screenings are especially challenging for women with disabilities due to barriers, such as:
- Lack of accessible health care facilities and medical equipment; and
Health care providers who lack cultural competence with disability and awareness of needed accommodation.
Download Disability & Women’s Health
The CMS Office of Minority Health Issue Briefs offer insight and examination into a variety of health and health disparity topics. The briefs are a concise summary of a particular issue and examine policies that impact the quality of and access to health care for minority and disadvantaged populations. Issue Briefs evaluate CMS programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, to include recommendations and suggestions relating to the issue at hand.
Adults with disabilities are almost twice as likely as other adults to report unmet health care needs due to problems with the accessibility of a doctor’s office or clinic.9 Structural, financial, and cultural barriers persist for people with disabilities when trying to access care.10 Many individuals with mobility disabilities face difficulties locating or otherwise traveling a burdensome distance to physically accessible services.11 Providing equal access to health care for people with physical disabilities involves many factors including, but not limited to:
- Facility access. This includes accessible routes from parking or bus stops into the building, accessible parking, accessible entry doors with the required clearance width, clear floor space, and maneuvering clearance, accessible restrooms, and accessible signage for people who are blind or have low vision.12
- Health care services access. This includes accessible scales and exam tables to facilitate a medical exam, accessible treatment and diagnostic equipment (including infusion chairs, mammography machines, and radiology equipment), appropriate resources for individuals with visual and auditory disabilities, and staff trained to assess patient needs and safely help patients move in between and transfer on and off medical equipment.