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Ask About the ADA


Effective Communication in Health Care

Infographic titled 'Effective Communication in Health Care' featuring several text boxes on a background with medical crosses.

Effective communication means that both sides comfortably and clearly understand each other. Effective communication:

Is a right under the ADA

Ensures information shared in a way the patient with a disability can understand

May mean the provider must provide an auxiliary aid or service at no cost, for examples: ASL interpreter, alternate format, assistance filling out paperwork, etc.
If you have any questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact us at 1-800-949-4232 Share on Facebook

Small Business Statistics and Accommodation #2

Infographic featuring a smiling man in a business suit in front of a blank background.

Fewer than one in three small businesses have a formal decision making process for the provision of accommodations.
Note: For the purposes of this study, we define small business as employer’s having 15- 500 employees.

“I think because we are small and we haven't had too many situations. We don't actually have a step-by-step process.... Share on Facebook

Workplace Policies

Infographic featuring two office workers working together on a laptop.

In a recent study, 36% of workers with disabilities reported workplace policies have been helpful in managing their health conditions.

If you have any questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact us at 1-800-949-4232 Share on Facebook

Effective Communication in Healthcare

Infographic titled 'Effective Communication in Healthcare'
Communication is a critical tool in healthcare. When patients and doctors don't understand each other, access to healthcare has been denied.
- Communication for patients with disabilities must be as effective as it is for all patients.
- Ask the patient what form of communication will work for them and offer appropriate accommodations.
- Accommodate patients' communication needs during in-person communication, written communication, and when providing electronic information.
If you have questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact us at 1-800-949-4232. Share on Facebook

Disability Etiquette for Healthcare Providers

Infographic titled 'Healthcare: Disability Etiquette for Providers'
Treat all patients with respect and dignity.
Always speak directly to the person with a disability.
Don't focus on the underlying disability, instead listen and acknowledge what the person says or asks.
Do not make assumptions about what the person can or cannot do.
If you have questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact us at 1-800-949-4232. Share on Facebook

Small Employer Survey Results #5

'Small Employer Survey Results #5'

Graphic shows example comic titled 'What is a Disability?' featuring two coworkers speaking and a caption: 95% of small employers in our survey found this comic format a helpful way to access information on disability.

Comic panel 1: “Small Companies and the ADA.” Coworker 2: 'I just read that the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to small companies. But no one here uses a wheelchair or is blind.' Subtitle: The employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act apply to all businesses with fifteen or more employees.

Panel 2: “Disability Under the ADA.” Coworker 1: “Actually, 20% of the American population has a disability. Many disabilities you can’t even see. Conditions like hearing impairments, depression, and cancer may be disabilities under the ADA.” Subtitle: “Under the ADA, if an employee has an ongoing or serious medical/health condition that affects how the body works or the way they do their job, they might have a disability.”

Panel 3: “Covered Employees”. Coworker 2 thinking, “Huh. Tom has a slipped disc. Silvia has low vision, and Mateo deals with anxiety. These could all be disabilities under the ADA.” Subtitle: “In order to benefit from the protections of the ADA, an employee must disclose they have a disability to their employer.”

Source: Chang, H.-Y., von Schrader, S., & Strobel Gower, W. (2019). Small organizations and Title I of the ADA: A survey study in Region 2. Ithaca, NY: Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability.

If you have questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact us at 1-800-949-4232. Share on Facebook

Blog Posts

  • Mental Health & College Students
    September 17, 2021
    Recognizing the struggle faced by college students with mental illnesses, Brittany Stone has set out to help students find accommodations and raise awareness about mental health issues among students....
  • Issues, Impacts, and Implications of an Aging Workforce
    December 20, 2016
    Differences challenge assumptions. —Anne Wilson Schaef What comes to mind when you think about getting older? Often it is assumed that aging brings a host of health problems and limitations....
  • Making Sense of the Numbers
    January 30, 2020
    Recently, the Northeast ADA Center received an email that asked for direction in understanding estimates of the numbers and percentage of people with disabilities in the United States. The emailer w...
  • Family Caregiving, Disability, and Work-Life Balance
    August 30, 2017
    LaWanda Cook, PhD is Extension Faculty and Healthy Living Initiatives Lead with the Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations &n...
  • Implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act in a Health Care Setting
    March 19, 2020
    Equal access to health care for individuals with disabilities is an ongoing challenge. The Northeast ADA will soon be offering a webinar based in part on this topic. People with disabilities lag be...


  • Accommodations for Healthcare in the Workplace
    September 26, 2018
     When people think of accommodations in a health care environment, they often think of patients and visitors. However, health care professionals also have disabilities and may require a reasonabl...
  • Effective Communication
    May 23, 2018
    When a patient is speaking with a medical care provider, a variety of challenges, barriers, and misunderstandings can get in the way. In this webinar, we discuss effective communication in the medical...
  • Overview of the Proposed Standards for Accessible Medical Diagnostic Equipment
    December 09, 2015
    This webinar will review the proposed accessibility standards developed by the U.S. Access Board for equipment used in medical settings by health care providers for diagnostic purposes, including: exa...
  • Twenty-four years of the ADA: Progress, Pitfalls and Possibilities
    July 09, 2014
     The ADA was passed 24 years ago amidst a great hope that this bold new legislation would remove barriers to equal opportunity and access for people with disabilities across several life spheres....
  • Accessible Healthcare: Legal, Human, and Practical
    April 09, 2014
     People with disabilities have the same healthcare needs as everyone else, yet access to community health resources can be challenging at best.  This can result in substandard care and lack...