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The Disability Equity Collaborative has numerous guides that offer clarity and direction to organizations as they seek to implement specific initiatives and best practices to achieve equitable healthcare for people with disabilities. They have been developed through iterative processes with a wide range of stakeholders. Each guide in the series is meant to be viewed as a “chapter” within a broader guidebook.

Documenting Disability Status in Electronic Health Records

PDF | Web version


  • Developing Accessibility Programs
  • Providing Effective Communication
  • Implementing Accommodations

OTHER Tools you can use

We have compiled a wide variety of resources that support healthcare equity initiatives, including links to training materials for staff and guides for implementing accessibility initiatives. If you have resources you’d like to share, please contact us!

Information and links on this site are not a replacement for legal advice. Please consult your local state and federal guidelines for legal requirements.

  • Communicating with People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in Hospital Settings (U.S. DOJ) Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), hospitals must provide effective means of communication for patients, family members, and hospital visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing. The method of communication and the services or aids the hospital must provide will vary depending upon the abilities of each person and on the complexity and nature of the communications that are required.
  • Patient Provider Communication Forum This forum seeks to achieve shared learning about patient-provider communication through various activities, including bi-monthly conference calls and an interactive website and social media accounts for sharing resources and tools.



  • Medical Equipment (DREDF): Detailed responses to questions posed by amended regulations issued under ADA
  • Access Board’s Standards for Accessible Medical Equipment: The Access Board issued accessibility standards for medical diagnostic equipment (MDE) that provide design criteria for examination tables and chairs, weight scales, radiological and mammography equipment, and other diagnostic equipment that are accessible to people with disabilities.
  • U.S. Department of Justice Barrier Free Health Care Initiative: Through the Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative, U.S. Attorneys’ offices across the nation and the Department’s Civil Rights Division target their enforcement efforts on individuals with disabilities to access to medical services and facilities.  This site lists the latest settlements and cases in healthcare.
  • A Roadmap for Hospitals (The Joint Commission): Guidelines for hospitals to provide care that meets each patient’s unique needs.


  • The Disparities Solutions Center: The center is dedicated to the development and implementation of strategies that advance policy and practice to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care.


Blind/Visual Impaired

Communication Disabilities

Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

  • Health Matters program at UIC: The HealthMatters™ Program engages people with IDD and their supports to have access to research, education and training, service learning, and evaluation tools to improve their health where they live, work, learn, and play.
  • Autism Friendly Initiative at BMC: The Autism Friendly Initiative (AFI) at Boston Medical Center is recognized as a national and international leader in improving the healthcare experience for patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families.

Service Animals

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