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Some doctors still not able to accommodate disabled patients

The Americans with Disabilities Act was a milestone piece of legislation when it was signed into law. Businesses, the government and other organizations were suddenly required to make allowances for people with disabilities to put them on a more level playing field with the general public.

However, although it has been about 20 years since the law has been on the books, not everyone is in compliance -- which can have a very real effect on people with disabilities, including those who receive Social Security disability payments.

Of all the businesses that would have trouble adapting to the ADA, it would be logical to think that medical professionals -- people who would be able to appreciate what people with disabilities must go through -- would be among the first to comply. However, despite all these many years since the legislation took effect, many doctors cannot accommodate some people with disabilities.

A study was undertaken in a handful of major markets, in which the caller requested an appointment for someone in a wheelchair who could not transfer himself or herself to an exam table. The study found that about 22 percent of all doctors said they would be unable to accommodate such a patient. In many cases it was because the doctors said they would be unable to transfer a patient to the table; several other doctors said their offices were not wheelchair-accessible. This study goes to show that people still need to be reminded of their obligations to accommodate disabled people -- even those who should know best.

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

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