Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Last Places I Expected

In this day and age, I am constantly surprised by the doctor's offices and medical facilities that are not equipped to serve people with disabilities.  My children's pediatrician's office is one example.  Although a couple of the doctors (and it is a large group of doctors) specialize in the treatment of children with disabilities, the two large, heavy doors leading into the practice do not have an auto-open feature.  It's a real struggle to get the doors open while pushing a wheelchair.  And, that same medical office keeps telling me they don't need to provide an interpreter for my son who is deaf.

Even when a medical facility is accessible from the outside (ramps, adequate handicapped parking, auto-open doors), I more often than not discover that their waiting rooms and exam rooms are not at all accessible.  From doorways that are too small to so many chairs crowded into a waiting room that it is impossible to find a place to 'park' a wheelchair to exam rooms with high stretchers that can't be lowered, getting medical care for my two children who use wheelchairs is quite challenging.

The following article appeared in the New York Times last May, and it is spot on describing the challenges.

What about you?  Have you encountered similar difficulties, and if so, have you taken any action to try to change things?  I know that in my area there are not a lot of doctors who accept Medicaid, and as a result, I am often reluctant to complain about anything.  But that's really not excuse - it's time the medical profession realized their obligations and made some changes.

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