New ADA Rules Aim to Improve Medical Equipment Accessibility

Disability Scoop

A proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Justice under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) aims to establish technical standards for accessible medical equipment in hospitals and clinics operated by state and local governments. Lack of accessible equipment like examination tables, weight scales, and diagnostic equipment has led to numerous complaints from patients with disabilities, ranging from denial of services to improper or partial treatment.

The new rule would adopt accessibility standards for a wide variety of diagnostic equipment, including a requirement for any new equipment to be accessible until the facility meets a threshold of overall accessibility. The provisions of the rule also include barring facilities from denying patient access based on disability or lack of accessible equipment, and prohibited such government-run facilities from requiring that patients with disabilities bring someone to assist with treatment.

The proposal, which has garnered support from the disability and advocacy community, stands to drastically improved equitable access to healthcare and continue to remove barriers for people with disabilities.

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