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7 Microaggressions Disabled Folks Face at the Doctor’s Office—and 6 Ways to Fix Them

Doctors and staff should not:

1. In general, examine a patient who uses a wheelchair in the wheelchair, even if the patient cannot get onto the exam table independently. It is less thorough and does not provide the patient equally effective medical services.

2. Deny service to a patient with a disability or chronic condition whom they would otherwise serve. Patients should be provided an accessible exam table, stretcher, gurney, or patient lift, or have trained staff assist the patient in transfer. (Though staff safety is important, a doctor’s fear of another staff member injuring themself does not justify refusing to provide equal medical care. This is where proper training and equipment come into play.)

3. Tell a patient with a disability or chronic condition to bring someone else along. If the patient chooses to bring someone, that’s their decision. A patient has a right to come alone.

4. Refuse to treat a patient who has a disability or chronic condition because the exam might take more time.

5. Avoid seeing a patient or making a patient wait longer than others to be seen.

6. Tell the patient “I know what you’re going through.” Even if the provider has the same condition or disability, no two people experience it the same way.

7. Make any comments about the patient’s appearance, efficacy, or experience that they wouldn’t say to any of their other patients.

Instead, doctors and staff should:

1. Ask their patients if assistance is needed, what works best for them, and what the best way to help is.

2. Address the patient directly, not the patient’s companion. Even if a patient has a disability or chronic condition, it does not necessarily mean they cannot speak for themselves or understand exam results.

3. Check in with the patient about their concerns and reasons for coming in, and make sure to address those by the end of the visit.

4. Respect the fact that patients know their bodies and sensations better than anyone else.

5. Instead of focusing on the condition or disability (unless medically relevant), offer well-rounded care like they would to any other patient.

6. Proactively seek continued education and training through local or national disability organizations on how to operate equipment, how to assist transfers, and how to position people with disabilities so that patients are comfortable.  


All news:

Women with disability
PA training
PA training and December 3rd
December 3rd in Sabac
2018 International Day of Persons with Disabilities – IDPD
Training for persons with disability
International Belgrade Book Fair
Regional Conference "Participation of Persons with Disabilities in Politics and Elections",
Project promotion in Sabac
Training for PA in Belgrade
Partnership - aims and challenges
Strategic planning
Annual Assembly
PA Training
ReLOaD Programmee
IL DAY 2018
What is good personal assistance made of?
PA service in Cacak
BIDF meeting
PA Training
Violence against women
Risk of Poverty and Social Exclusion higher twice than EU average!
New CIL local branch
PA Service in Irig
Citizen participation and inclusive decision-making
PA training
Seventh Assembly of CIL Serbia
Training for PAs in 2016
Signed LDAP
About discrimination
International Day of Persons with Disability
PA Service in Belgrade
Study visit to UK Parliament
American Ambassador visited CIL Serbia
Support to civil society organizations in drafting Local Action Plans in area of disability
Terms to Avoid When Writing About Disability
Employment of Persons with Disabilities
Parliamentary Working Group on Disability established

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