Sunday, March 27, 2016

U.S. Medical Schools' Compliance With the Americans with Disabilities Act: Findings From a National Study

Earlier this year, researchers published:

U.S. Medical Schools' Compliance With the Americans with Disabilities Act: Findings From a National Study.

Purpose: Physician diversity improves care for underserved populations, yet there are few physicians with disabilities. The authors examined the availability of technical standards (TSs) from U.S. medical schools (MD- and DO-granting) and evaluated these relative to intent to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Method: Document analysis was conducted (2012-2014) on U.S. medical schools' TSs for hearing, visual, and mobility disabilities. Primary outcome measures were ease of obtaining TSs, willingness to provide reasonable accommodations, responsibility for accommodations, and acceptability of intermediaries or auxiliary aids.

Results: TSs were available for 161/173 (93%) schools. While 146 (84%) posted these on their Web sites, 100 (58%) were located easily. Few schools, 53 (33%), had TSs specifically supporting accommodating disabilities; 79 (49%) did not clearly state policies, 6 (4%) were unsupportive, and 23 (14%) provided no information. Most schools, 98 (61%), lacked information on responsibility for providing accommodations, 33 (27%) provided accommodations, and 10 (6%) had students assume some responsibility. Approximately 40% allowed auxiliary aids (e.g., motorized scooter), but < 10% allowed intermediaries (e.g., sign language interpreter). Supportive schools were more likely to allow accommodations (P < .001), assume responsibility for accommodations (P < .001), and accept intermediaries (P < .002). DO-granting schools were more supportive for students with mobility disabilities.

Conclusions: Most medical school TSs do not support provision of reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities as intended by the ADA. Further study is needed to understand how schools operationalize TSs and barriers to achieving ADA standards.


Zazove P, Case B, Moreland C, Plegue MA, Hoekstra A, Ouellette A, Sen A, Fetters MD. U.S. Medical Schools' Compliance With the Americans with Disabilities Act: Findings From a National Study. Acad Med. 2016 Jan 19.

PMID: 26796093

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Invisible disability, or hidden disability

Invisible disability, or hidden disability, are defined as disabilities that are not immediately apparent. Some people with visual or auditory disabilities who do not wear glasses or hearing aids, or discreet hearing aids, may not be obviously disabled. Some people who have vision loss may wear contacts.

Invisible Disabilities are certain kinds of disabilities that are not immediately apparent to others. It is estimated that 10% of people in the U.S. have a medical condition which could be considered a type of invisible disability.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) an individual with a disability is a person who: Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment.

Invisible Disabilities: List & Information - Disabled World
www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/invisible/