Americans with disabilities encounter a lot of obstacles throughout their lives. Fortunately, the American government has implemented laws to help accommodate them. Since the ADA was passed, health care providers have had to change how they operate. As a result, healthcare has become more accessible for individuals with disabilities. Here are a few things you should know about the ADA and how it impacts hospitals.
What Is the ADA?
First, let’s clarify what the ADA is exactly. The ADA stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act. This historic piece of legislation was first passed in 1990. Since then, it’s been applied to all health care providers. If a provider doesn’t meet ADA standards, they could be shut down. It specifies how they’re able to provide care to the disabled. And, it outlines how their facilities may be built.
How Does the ADA Affect Healthcare Providers
The ADA affects three broad areas of healthcare in general. First, it defines a set of modifications that must be made to accommodate the disabled. Second, it determines how facilities must be constructed to provide easy accessibility. Finally, it also outlines how practitioners may communicate with disabled people. All hospitals must conform to every standard set forth by the legislation. Otherwise, they’ll be fined, or they could even get shut down.
Reasonable Modification of Practices and Procedures
Practices and procedures refer to how practitioners perform their services. As a result of the ADA, practitioners must accommodate disabled people. This affects a broad range of topics. For example, someone with anxiety might be able to request an early appointment. That way, they’ll deal with fewer people whenever they’re receiving treatment.
It could also impact how patients complete their intake forms. If they’re unable to complete them themselves, someone at the hospital could do it for them. You might even get to have a companion accompany you to certain procedures. Overall, the goal of this portion of the ADA is to make it easier for disabled people to receive adequate care.
Next, hospitals must be easily accessible to the disabled. Someone in a wheelchair should be able to enter the hospital just as easily as an able-bodied person. So, all hospitals must construct ramps that allow easy access. Many of them choose to use a Norton door operator, too. These let disabled people open them, remotely. That way, they’re capable of opening the door without any help. ADA laws also ensure that handicapped people have access to bathrooms. Hospitals must construct handicapped stalls as a result. Even parking spaces must be built in accordance with the legislation. So, if you’ve parked in a handicapped spot, you can thank the ADA.
Not all disabled people are able to communicate as well as able-bodied individuals. Blind people should be able to receive care just as well as them, though. So, hospitals must provide an easy way for them to communicate. Health care providers have to provide translators for people with speech disabilities, too. They’ve even got to have sign language interpreters on hand. The ADA also makes sure that digital records are available.
How Does This Impact Your Health Care Experience?
Thanks to the ADA, everyone should have easy access to health care. You won’t have to worry about entering their facilities, even if you’re in a wheelchair. People who can’t speak well can access translation services. And, people with anxiety can request reasonable accommodations.
Prior to this legislation, tons of people struggled to get the care they needed. Now, you’ll see its impact on hospitals across the country. Every handicapped parking space is an example of how this legislation has helped. Even handicapped bathroom stalls are a direct result of the ADA. Accessing healthcare is no longer dependent on a person’s ability. Instead, accommodations have been made to equalize everyone’s access to care.
Understanding the Impact of the ADA on Hospitals
Hospitals have been impacted by the passage of the ADA since 1990. Prior to that, they wouldn’t have to accommodate disabled people. Now, they’ve got to comply with all of the ADA’s laws to continue operating. Otherwise, they’ll lose their license.
Author information: Lizzie Howard is a Colorado native who after graduating from the University of Colorado spends her time as a freelance writer. When Lizzie isn’t writing, she enjoys going on hikes, baking for her friends and family, and spending time with her beloved yellow lab, Sparkie.