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Some health care facilities may be violating ADA, survey says

For Wisconsin residents living with a physical or intellectual disability, it's common to feel as though society has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to understanding and accommodating people who may not move and think like the average person. Even as the Americans with Disabilities Act approaches its 23rd anniversary, disabled citizens still routinely face discrimination, along with denial of benefits to which they are legally entitled.

One might assume physicians are at the top of the list of those who fully understand the daily challenges that a disability can present. But even many health care facilities have demonstrated a lack of accessibility, according to a recent national survey.

In the survey, researchers contacted more than 250 health care practices in four large cities across the U.S. to schedule an examination for a fictitious patient with a physical disability. The callers specified that the patient used a wheelchair and would need assistance transferring from the wheelchair to an exam table. Surprisingly, in 22 percent of those calls, the caller was told that the patient couldn't be accommodated. Many of the health care practices even specified that their facilities were not handicap-accessible.

It seems hard to believe that even health care services may lack the ability to accommodate those with disabilities. Rest assured that there are professionals who do understand, and are willing to ensure that those who face physical or intellectual obstacles receive the services they deserve. In the case of those who are unable to work due to these obstacles, Social Security disability insurance can help bridge the accessibility gap.

But it can often take some extra effort. While the Social Security Administration aims to help disabled citizens live independently through financial assistance, it's not always easy to access benefits -- in part because the need is so great. An attorney who regularly handles SSDI applications may be able to help by ensuring that your application is properly and thoroughly completed, and assist with an appeal in the event that your application is denied.

Source: Disability Scoop, "Doctors Turning Away Patients With Disabilities," Michelle Diament, March 19, 2013

  • Our practice represents Wisconsin residents in need of Social Security disability benefits. To learn more about our firm, please visit our La Crosse Social Security disability page.

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