The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice has issued a 22 page booklet providing guidance for access to medical care for persons with mobility disabilities. The booklet provides answers to commonly asked questions such as: “Is it OK to examine a person in a wheelchair, because the patient cannot get onto the exam table independently?” The answer is “Generally no, that examining a patient in a wheelchair is generally less thorough than on the exam table and does not provide the patient with equal medical services.” The answer goes on to provide examples of alternative ways to examine a patient who uses a wheelchair, such as having an exam table that adjusts down to the level of the wheelchair. The booklet provides answers to other commonly asked questions.
The booklet also provides details and illustrations regarding structural accessibility requirements for medical offices and provides excellent examples of accessible medical equipment. This booklet is a very useful tool for assisting persons with disabilities in gaining equal access to medical care and assisting medical providers in providing that access.