THE WASHINGTON POST: For the disabled, a doctor’s visit can be literally an obstacle course — and the laws can’t help
Even though there are laws in place to help people with disabilities, they do not often help them at the doctor's office. Laws require ramps and wider doors to be available at the offices, but many offices do not have scales to weigh wheelchair users or adjustable exam tables. This sends a bad message to some people with disabilities. New laws have promised change, but the government has not delivered. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) directed the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board to help meet the needs of people with disabilities in medical settings, but the Department of Justice chose not to support these measures. This was designed to take steps to close the gap by publishing standards for determining what medical equipment could be believed to be "accessible." But scales and exam tables are only one aspect of what needs to change. Doctors need to make patients with disabilities feel welcome in other ways, too. For now, some states and government offices are adopting the changes, but they do not apply to everyone as the ACA intended.