Resources For Healthcare Practitioners

  • Access to Medical Care for Individuals with Disabilities (2010)
    US Department of Justice, Washington, DC
    This technical assistance publication provides guidance for medical care providers on the requirements of the ADA in medical settings with respect topeople with mobility disabilities, which include, for example, those who usewheelchairs, scooters, walkers, or crutches.
  • Reproductive Health Care for Women with Disabilities (2009)
    American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Washington, DC
    An Internet-based recorded slide program that assists women’s health care clinicians develop office skills to care for women with physical, developmental or sensory disabilities and includes specific information for reproductive health care.
  • Importance of Accessible Examination Tables, Chairs and Weight Scales
    Issue Brief, June Isaacson Kailes, MSW, Center on Disability and Health Policy, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California
    A discussion with illustratons of the reasons why accessible examination and diagnostic equipment are necessary in order for healthcare practitioners to provide appropriate and effective care for people with a wide variety of mobility disabilities.
  • Tips and Strategies to Promote Accessible Communication
    The North Carolina Office on Disability and Health
    An easy-to-read, quick reference guide that addresses disability awareness, communication aids and alternative formats. It is intended to present the basics involved in communicating effectively with people with disabilities.
  • Adults with Physical Disabilities and Access to Medical Care
    World Institute on Disability (WID), Berkeley, California
    Twenty-two to 25 minute videos and training programs that assist physicians, dentists, nurses, and other medical staff learn about key issues that influence the quality of care people with disabilities receive in outpatient clinical settings.
  • Women with Disabilities Education Program
    Lisa Iezzoni, MD, Medical Director, Harvard Medical School, Carol J. Gill, PhD., Associate Professor, Department of Disability & Human Development, University of Illinois, Chicago, and Jennifer E. Potter, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    A website that offers in-depth educational materials and information for healthcare practitioners on caring for women with disabilities.
  • Tips for Mammography Staff: How to Serve Woman with Disabilities More Effectively
    American Association on Health and Disabilities, Rockville, MD
    A three page guide for mammography staff that suggests methods for working with women with disabilities to determine how best to prepare for and conduct a mammography examination based on individual accommodation needs and capabilities. Includes recommendations for ongoing staff training and provides links to additional resources.
  • Preservice Health Training Modules
    Human Development Institute, University of Kenucky
    The web-based modules are designed to improve students’ and practicing clinicians’ knowledge and comfort level related to working with patients who have developmental disabilities. The modules were produced in response to the continuing disparity in access to quality healthcare experienced by this group.

Healthcare Facility Survey Tools

  • Outpatient Health Care Usability Profile (2009)
    Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, RRTD: Health and Wellness, Portland, Oregon
    A thorough, 158-question checklist developed to measure accessibility of outpatient health care providers in the Portland, Oregon area.
  • ADA Seniors and Persons with Disabilities (SPD) Facility Site Review Assessment Tool—(2011)
    Developed initially in 2006 by the Harris Family Center on Disability and Health Policy (CDHP), Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California and revised in 2011 for the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) by CDHP and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), Berkeley, California. This survey tool can be used to evaluate physical accessibility and availability of accessible weight scales and exam tables for primary care providers.

Federal Agency Research


  • Health Care System Accessibility: Experiences and Perceptions of Deaf People
    Annie G Steinberg, MD, Steven Barnett, MD, Helen E Meador, PhD, Erin A Wiggins, MBA, MS, and Philip Zazove, MD, MM
    Through focus groups with people who are deaf, this study collected information about health care communication and perceptions of clinicians’ attitudes. The authors elicited stories of both positive and negative encounters, as well as recommendations for improving health care.
  • Communicating about Health Care: Observations from Persons Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
    Lisa I. Iezzoni, MD, MSc; Bonnie L. O’Day, PhD; Mary Killeen, MA; and Heather Harker, MPA, 2004, American College of Physicians
    A study of the healthcare experiences of people who are deaf revealed conflicting views between physicians and patients about being deaf or hard of hearing; different perceptions about what constitutes effective communication (such as lip reading, writing notes, and sign language interpreter); medication safety and other risks posed by inadequate communication; communication problems during physical examinations and procedures; difficulties interacting with office staff, including in waiting rooms; and problems with telephone communication, such as lengthy message menus.
  • Improving Health Care Experiences of Persons Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision: Suggestions From Focus Groups
    Bonnie L. O’Day, Mary Killeen and Lisa I. Iezzoni, American Journal of Medical Quality, 2004

    People who are blind or have low vision face challenges in obtaining care that is safe, effective, timely, and patient centered. The authors explored perceptions of care and recommendations for improvements by conducting eight interviews with experts and two focus groups with 19 individuals, all of whom are blind or have vision impairments.
  • Cross-Disability Experiences of Barriers to Health-Care Access
    Mari-Lynn Drainoni, Elizabeth Lee-Hood, Carol Tobias, Sara S. Bachman, Jennifer Andrew, and Lisa Maisels
    In this article, authors present the results of a series of focus groups with people with disabilities, in which they took a cross-disability, lifespan perspective of disability. Participants were asked about a broad set of barriers, such as problems with communication, transportation, and insurance, as well as about barriers related to physical accessibility.
  • Health and Health Care Disparities Among People with Disabilities
    Silvia Yee, Senior Attorney, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), 2011
    This paper explores the double burden that affects racial/ethnic minorities with disabilities as a result of disparities in health, prejudice, discrimination, economic barriers, and difficulties accessing care.