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The Accessible Virtual Community

Health and Medicine

Illustration represents Health & Medicine section of virtual community.

To improve access to health care and health care information for all members of the community, universal design needs to be considered in medical charting, the delivery of mental health care, and in doctor-patient communication.  Find resources here to improve the accessibility of health care delivery. To search for more related information, you can go to our Search Page.

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Accessible Hospitals

This PDF document discusses the accessibility of hospitals and tips on design and factors to consider to make a facility accessible.

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ADA Requirements: Service Animals

This website has updated ADA guidelines, regulations, and rights for people with service animals.

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ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY Measuring Accessible Medical Instrumentation  (Research based)

This website contains information about how medical equipment of all types needs to be designed for use not only by patients/consumers of medical services, but for the service provider who may have a disability as well. "The accessibility of medical instruments is a new field of concern and study. An important implication of the inability of people with disabilities to use medical devices due to inadvertent design directly contradicts the intent of the ADA. Furthermore, inaccessible design of medical equipment can be life threatening. The purpose of this annotated bibliography is to provide a historical resource about literature available in this topic to support interested parties."

R2D2 Center for AMI RERC

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Centers for Independent Living - Independent Living Research Utilization  (Research based)

This website includes discussion boards, publications and training. ILRU is a program of TIRR (The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research), a nationally recognized medical rehabilitation facility for persons with disabilities. The ILRU (Independent Living Research Utilization) program is a national center for information, training, research, and technical assistance in independent living. Its goal is to expand the body of knowledge in independent living and to improve utilization of results of research programs and demonstration projects in this field.

TIRR Memorial Hermann

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Going Beyond the Universal Patient Room

This article thoroughly describes some of the advantages and disadvantages associated with a universal patient room, which is a room designed to adapt to the patients needs. A “flexible” option for the future and ways to make the room most effective are discussed. This article focuses on the "universal" without specific mention of disability, but more with the usability, efficiency and the patient comfort and acuity factor.

Vendome Group, LLC

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Healthcare Access and The Law

This website provides information concerning the laws and regulations surrounding healthcare access. The site focuses on both physical and communication access and the areas that need to be addressed within each.

Indiana Protection & Advocacy Services

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Incorporating Noise Abatement in Universal Design to Prevent Noise Related Hearing Loss & Health Problems

The acoustical environment of most residential, commercial and industrial space is typically given little or no attention during project planning and design. Demand is growing for interior design that adopts universal design principles to living and working spaces as a preventative measure.

Acoustiblok Inc.

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Tips for Communicating with People who are Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

A tip sheet for communicating with individuals who are deaf and hard-of-hearing.

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Disability is part of the natural diversity of human life. It touches all of us, whether through our own individual experience or that of a family member, neighbor, friend or colleague. As such, we all have a role in—and benefit to gain from—advancing equality for people with disabilities in all sectors of society, including the workplace. 

Assistant Secretary Kathy Martinez, Office of Disability Employment Policy