Significant challenges exist for patients with disabilities when it comes to accessing both in-person and remote healthcare. In particular, barriers to communication access prevent patients with disabilities from utilizing telehealth to its fullest extent. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division recently issued Guidance on Nondiscrimination in Telehealth: Federal Protections to Ensure Accessibility to People with Disabilities and Limited English Proficient Persons.
- What are specific considerations for patients/clients with disabilities? Here is a nice graphic developed by the Northwest Regional TRC that answers this question:
Additionally, the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Center has put together this fact sheet: Telehealth & Disability: Recommendations for Providers
- What kind of auxiliary aids and services are required by the ADA to ensure effective communication with individuals with hearing or vision impairments? The ADA National Network has compiled a really nice list of appropriate auxiliary aids and services.
- iCanConnect, also known as the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP), was established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). iCanConnect provides free equipment including smartphones, tablets, computers, screen readers, braille displays, and more to people who meet federal disability and income guidelines.
- National Assistive Technology Act Technical Assistance and Training (AT3) Center is your one-stop connection to information about the Assistive Technology Act, State Assistive Technology Programs, and general assistive technology and has this Program Directory of State Assistive Technology Programs.
- Are there best practices for working with deaf or hard of hearing patients?
- The National Association of the Deaf has developed the following resources:
- Hearing Loss Association of America has developed the following resources:
- The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has created an outstanding collection of Telehealth Guidance and: Communication Access for Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind Patients and their Providers.
The ADA National Network consists of 10 regional ADA Centers and an ADA Knowledge Translation Center to provide local assistance and foster implementation of the ADA. If you need further assistance, you are encouraged to Contact your ADA Center!