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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

ADA / Civil Rights Subcommittee Seeks Input from NCIL Members This Week!

Mark DerryBy Mark Derry, Chair, NCIL ADA / Civil Rights Subcommittee

We could sure use more input from NCIL Members on this one!

NCIL participates in various committees that work on federal rulemaking on newly proposed guidelines. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act tasked the U.S. Access Board to develop standards for medical diagnostic equipment accessibility in order to improve healthcare for people with disabilities who have in many instances gone without proper exams and preventative treatment simply because of inaccessible equipment such as fixed-height exam tables and mammography machines that cannot be accessed by women who use wheelchairs.

The Medical Diagnostic Equipment Accessibility Standards Advisory Committee (MDE Committee) was established to advise the Access Board and to make recommendations on matters addressed in (and the public comments received on) the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which was published in the Federal Register in February 2012.

The NCIL membership is represented on the MDE Committee, along with several other advocacy organizations and DME manufacturers and their associations. The Committee has been working since September of last year to develop recommendations, which will be provided to the Access Board in Washington this July. We have reached group consensus on almost every issue and Subcommittees have established recommendations regarding Imaging Equipment with Transfer Surfaces, Stretchers, Mammography Equipment, Weight Scales, and Exam Tables and Chairs. The one issue we have not been able to reach agreement on is the lowest accessible height for a transfer to the devices, including Exam Tables and Chairs. Only two small studies of mobility device heights were available to the group, and those studies each had issues that limited their use as data on which to base a recommendation.

The heights we have seen for accessible seats in previous rulemaking have generally had a range of 17-19 inches, but that has been a “fixed” height, like with toilet seats. An early win for advocates on the MDE Committee was having clear understanding that the height for the equipment would be adjustable to address various heights of transfers from mobility devices and by people of many sizes and shapes. The manufacturers shared that the low height would be difficult to reach without major redesign and cost, and insist the low end of the adjustable height be 19 inches above the floor, while the advocates made the case that equipment is accessible to the greatest number of people when the height from the floor is 17 inches.

The Committee remains evenly split between advocates and manufacturers over this issue, which brings us to the big question: what do our members say?

What height is your mobility device above the floor (measured to the top of the seat cushion)? Would you like to see 17 inches be the lowest height for transfer to an exam table – or will 19 inches work for you? We want to hear from you! It’s quick and easy – just shoot a quick email to Mark Derry, Chair of the NCIL ADA / Civil Rights Subcommittee at adamarkd@aol.com that says “19 works for me” or “I need it to be 17”. But we need to hear from you by close of business this Friday, June 14th to include your numbers next week. This is your opportunity to give your input to the rulemaking process – nothing about us without us! Send that email today!

Comments

  1. Glen Meiselman says:

    Dear Sirs,
    My name is Glen Meiselman and I am disabled with a severe tramatic brain injury.
    I was hired personally by the clerk of court
    I worked there @ 4 yrs and was fired when I had a seizsure.
    I can not get an impartial jury to hear my case only the court protecting itself.
    This is brief but I would like to have some help going against the court in the court.
    This needs to be decided by an IMPARTIAL jury
    This case is of great importance to 52 million disabled
    Thank You,
    Glen Meiselman

    No attorney will go against the court itself

    • Had a seizsure and fired because of my STBI.
      Employer was the clerk of court. The courts and judges wouldn’t let me have an impartial jury.

      Important for 54 million disable Americans
      If rights aren’t used by the courts
      then there are NO laws.

      Glen Meiselman
      8067 Mizner Lane
      Boca Raton, Fl 33433

      (561)789-3364

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