During July, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) observes the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). First enacted on July 26, 1990, the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications.
In the United States, 61 million adults have some type of disability, with the most prominent disabilities being mobility (serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs), followed by cognition (serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions). The prominence of disabilities can also vary based on factors such as ethnicity with 2 in 5 Non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaska Natives having a disability. Individuals with disabilities have also been shown to have an increased likelihood of poorer overall health and less access to adequate health care.
Individuals with disabilities are among CMS OMH’s priority populations and we are focused on ensuring that people with disabilities have access to quality health care services and information. The anniversary of the ADA offers us an opportunity to reaffirm this commitment and share resources that you can use to help empower those with disabilities.
- View the We Can Do This Toolkit for People with Disabilities to help with COVID-19 vaccination.
- Share Getting the Care You Need: A Guide for People with Disabilities which includes resources and tools to help empower those with disabilities. The guide is also available in Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Braille.
- Watch our video, Navigating Health Care with a Disability: Our Stories, a Focus on People with Disabilities, to see testimonials from people with disabilities describe their experience accessing health care.
- View the Navigating Health Care with a Disability: Our Stories, a Focus on the Provider video to learn how health care organizations and providers can improve accessibility and care for people with disabilities.
- Download Improving Communication Access for Individuals who are Blind or have Low Vision and Improving Communication Access for Individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. These resources describe how to assess practices, develop communication plans, and how to be prepared to implement accessible services for individuals who are blind, have low vision, deaf, or are hard of hearing.
- View the Modernizing Health Care to Improve Physical Accessibility: Resources Inventory, providing guidance on how to increase physical accessibility of medical services, tools to assess your practice or facility’s accessibility, and tips and training materials to support efforts to reduce barriers and improve quality of care for individuals with disabilities.
- Read our Issue Brief, Data to Improve Health Care for People with Disabilities, which outlines data sources that health care organizations and researchers can use to better understand the impact that social determinants of health have on people with disabilities.
- Find resources on Medicare-Medicaid from the Resources for Integrated Care website, including two recent webinars: Promoting Disability-Competent Care during COVID-19 and Supporting the Preventive Health Care Needs of Dually Eligible Women with Disability as well as additional information on Disability-Competent Care and the Disability Competent Care model.
- Download and share Supporting the Preventive Health Care Needs of Dually Eligible Women with Disability, an RIC resource guide intended for providers, care managers, care coordinators, and other clinical staff at health plans and provider organizations who are interested in better meeting the preventive health care needs of dually eligible women with disabilities.