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Justice Department Advances Proposed Rule to Improve Access to Medical Care for People with Disabilities

January 10, 2024
Source: U.S. Justice Department

The Justice Department today sent to the Federal Register for publication a notice of proposed rulemaking under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that aims to improve access to medical diagnostic equipment (MDE) for people with disabilities. MDE includes equipment like medical examination tables, weight scales, dental chairs, x-ray machines and mammography equipment. 

Accessible MDE is essential for people with disabilities to have equal access to medical care. The rule proposes to adopt technical standards that clarify how public entities that use MDE, such as hospitals and health care clinics operated by state or local governments, can meet their existing obligations under the ADA. The department has received many complaints from individuals with disabilities that health care providers have not provided them with basic, vital health care — for example, not obtaining an accurate weight when administering anesthesia before surgery — because of the lack of accessible MDE.

“Individuals with disabilities often experience great difficulty obtaining routine or preventative medical care because of inaccessible medical diagnostic equipment. From examination tables to weight scales to mammography equipment, accessible MDE is critical to ensuring equal access to medical care,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This groundbreaking rule marks a significant milestone in the Justice Department’s efforts to remove barriers that people with disabilities face when accessing medical care.”

The department is eager to hear from the public and get input from stakeholders on our proposed rule. The proposed rule will soon be available for review on the Federal Register’s website at www.federalregister.gov. A fact sheet that provides information about the proposed rule will soon be available on www.ada.gov. The department invites the public to submit their comments on the proposed rule once it is published. The comment period will be open for 30 days from the date the proposed rule is published. Public comments can be submitted on www.regulations.gov.

For more information on the Civil Rights Division, please visit the department’s website. For more information on the ADA, please call the department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (TDD 833-610-1264) or visit the ADA website

News source: justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-advances-proposed-rule-improve-access-medical-care-people-disabilities

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