Medical diagnostic equipment is instrumental to the accurate and timely diagnosis of a patient’s health conditions, but people with disabilities are often met with challenges when accessing and using diagnostic equipment. This can lead to omitted examinations or inaccurate results, thus causing greater health disparities among people with disabilities.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design have made a significant impact on how architects and designers consider accessibility in healthcare settings.
Under Title III of the ADA regulations 28 CFR Part 36, hospitals are required to provide full and equal access to healthcare services and reasonable modifications of policies, practices, and procedures, as well as auxiliary aids and services. As part of this requirement, hospitals must provide accessible medical diagnostic equipment.
However, the 2010 ADA Standards do not provide technical guidance on what types of medical diagnostic equipment and how many of each type must be accessible to patients with disabilities. Because of this, the determination is often left up to the terms of settlement agreements.
How can designers and healthcare providers proactively ensure that medical diagnostic equipment is accessible to patients with disabilities? Keep reading for our recommendations. (more…)