wheelchair accessibility disability independence

A local nonprofit aims to help area primary care providers take better care of patients with disabilities.

Last Friday, The Independence Center started taking nominations for providers who, if selected will, receive free, accessible medical equipment, the nonprofit said in a Monday press release.

“Far too many primary care providers in the Pikes Peak region fail to provide the equipment necessary for people with disabilities to receive the medical care they need,” the release said. “We frequently hear of people in wheelchairs who haven’t been weighed or received a proper examination for years, and in some cases, decades.”

Likewise, certain disabilities make it difficult for a doctor to discuss a patient’s medical conditions with them.

“Communication barriers can lead to misunderstandings that erode the quality of patient care,” the release said. “Hearing loop systems make it possible for individuals with hearing loss, who use a hearing aid or cochlear implant, to better hear sound being transmitted through the system.”

The nonprofit believes supplying the equipment will help increase the amount of providers for people with disabilities.

- Advertisement -

“By providing accessible exam tables, Hoyer-type lifts, and hearing loop systems to primary care providers that accept Medicaid or Medicare, we hope to expand needed medical services to people with disabilities,” the release said. “Traditional exam tables are not usable and even dangerous for many people with disabilities of all ages.”

Patients with disabilities are asked to nominate their primary care provider, who must accept Medicaid or Medicare, by July 15.

Nomination forms are available online at bit.ly/accessiblemed.

Equipment will be delivered once the selection process ends, according to the release.

The Independence Center provides “traditional and self-directed home health care, independent living and advocacy services for people with disabilities,” according to its web site. Services range from peer support, skills classes and employment assistance.

“In addition, The IC runs a Certified Nurse Aide training program to equip the area with qualified CNAs,” the release said. “The IC’s mission is to work with people with disabilities, their families, and the community to create independence so all may thrive.”