ADA National Network Learning Session: Health Equity and Disability: Impacts of Unconscious Bias and Diagnostic Overshadowing

Health Care and the ADA  – Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities Webinar Series
Thursday, April 27, 2023
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm, Eastern time

Host: Pacific ADA Center

Register here to attend this webinar.

While everyone has unconscious biases as a result of our own experiences and histories, biases towards individuals with disabilities can result in inequitable healthcare and poorer health outcomes for these patients. Diagnostic overshadowing is rooted in unconscious bias and occurs when new symptoms are attributed to pre-existing conditions. This can cause misdiagnosis, delayed or unnecessary treatments, and/or poor health outcomes. This presentation will review a variety of case study examples of the impact of biases and diagnostic overshadowing on patients with disabilities, how patient biases may impact healthcare outcomes, and strategies to address and overcome biases in healthcare.

Learning objectives:

  • Describe the impacts of biases and diagnostic overshadowing on healthcare outcomes for patients with disabilities.
  • Understand the impacts of potential patient biases on the healthcare experience.
  • Describe strategies and steps to mitigate biases and diagnostic overshadowing in healthcare.

Holly Darnell, MS OTR/L, ADAC, is an ADA Coordinator with UCHealth in Colorado. Her role is focused on accessibility, healthcare access and equity for patients and visitors with disabilities at outpatient medical clinics.

This webinar series intends to provide information and examples of healthcare provision which includes people with disabilities by following the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

These 90-minute webinars are brought to you by the Pacific ADA Center on behalf of the ADA National Network. All sessions will be captioned, recorded and archived. This program is delivered via both webinar platform and via telephone (additional charges may apply). Real-time captioning is available via the webinar platform. Requests for sign language interpreters must be made the Monday before the webinar to For all other accessibility questions about Zoom webinar conferencing software, go to