(MENAFN- EIN Presswire)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights Takes Step in the Right Direction With Revisions to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 To provide proper care for people with IDD, we need to train clinicians and supporters to identify their unique health issues better.”
- Dr. Craig Escudé, President of IntellectAbilityCLEARWATER, FLORIDA, USA, February 13, 2024 /EINPresswire / -- A new rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) will prohibit discrimination based on disability. While the implications of this rule should ensure better outcomes for Americans with disabilities, discrimination and inherent bias in healthcare continue to lead to significant health disparities for people with disabilities.
On September 14, 2023, OCR submitted a proposed rule to revise Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This new rule will clarify obligations for web, mobile, and kiosk accessibility. Additionally, it will establish enforceable standards for accessible medical equipment. (1)
Beyond enhancing medical and technological accessibility, OCR's proposed rule goes further to prohibit the use of value assessment methods to place a lower value on life extension for individuals with disabilities. It also ensures that medical treatment decisions are not based on biases or stereotypes about individuals with disabilities, judgments that an individual will be a burden on others or beliefs that the life of an individual with a disability has less value than the life of a person without a disability. (2)
“The newly proposed rules are a significant move in the right direction. But as physicians see more patients than ever with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), the training to meet the unique healthcare needs of these individuals has been slow to catch up with the times,” says Dr. Craig Escudé, President of IntellectAbility.“People with IDD continue to suffer significantly higher mortality rates linked to preventable health issues like aspiration, constipation, bowel obstruction, seizures, dehydration, and sepsis.”
Physicians receive little to no training in how to provide proper care for patients with IDD, even though over 42 million Americans are living with disabilities nationwide. (3) This lack of training can lead to biases in healthcare, causing physicians to incorrectly assume that people with IDD have a lower quality of life and, therefore, don't deserve the same level of preventative care. As a result, standard prostate, breast cancer, oral health, cholesterol, and colon screenings are performed at much lower rates.
Misdiagnoses can also result in inaccurate treatments, causing more harm than good. Diagnostic overshadowing, or the attribution of symptoms to an existing diagnosis rather than a potential comorbid condition, has led to increased health risks for people with IDD.(4)
IntellectAbility provides tools and training to agencies, governmental entities, and supporters of people with IDD to foster early recognition and mitigation of health destabilization, including the top conditions linked to preventable deaths. IntellectAbility has also developed the Health Risk Screening Tool to assist in recognizing the early warning signs of health destabilization for people with IDD.
“To provide proper care for people with IDD, we need to train clinicians and supporters to identify their unique health issues better,” says Escudé.“By understanding the presentation of common medical conditions and the different ways that people with IDD communicate signs and symptoms, healthcare workers can make more accurate clinical diagnoses and provide better follow-up treatment and care recommendations. Improving healthcare training is a vital step to improving health outcomes for people with IDD.”
IntellectAbility provides tools and training to agencies, governmental entities, and supporters of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to foster early recognition and mitigation of health risks, thereby improving health and wellness. One such tool is the Health Risk Screening Tool (HRST), of which they are the sole developer, producer, and distributor. The web-based HRST is the most widely used and validated health risk screening instrument for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. IntellectAbility also provides numerous health-related and person-centered service training for supporters of people with IDD. With an unrelenting focus, IntellectAbility works to fulfill its mission of improving health and quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and other at-risk populations. For more information, visit
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