For Immediate Release:
Ashley White, Equal Rights Center, 202.370.3204
EQUAL RIGHTS CENTER TO SERVE ON ACCESS BOARD’S ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR ACCESSIBLE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT
WASHINGTON, DC, July 10, 2012 —On July 5th, the United States Access Board named the Equal Rights Center (the ERC) to the Medical Diagnostic Equipment Accessibility Advisory Committee. The Access Board, an independent federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities, established the Committee to advise the Board on how to improve its proposed Standards for Medical Diagnostic Equipment. These Standards supply medical service providers and advocates with essential guidance to ensure the accessibility health care services.
“I am very pleased to serve on this advisory board,” said Disability Rights Program Manager, Kat Taylor. “It is vital that the experiences and opinions of the disability community be heard throughout the advisory process. Representatives and advocates from the disability community provide an essential perspective necessary to ensure the standards meet the accessibility needs of the community.”
The Access Board established the Committee to represent the variety of interests affected by promulgation of the proposed standards, and draws on the expertise of business leaders, architects, and advocates promoting accessibility.
Through education, outreach, and an individual complaint process, the ERC works with a cross section of the disability community and is uniquely positioned to provide expertise on the development of accessible medical equipment. The ERC has worked with health care providers for more than ten years to address issues of accessibility and has reached agreements with Howard University Hospital, Washington Hospital Center, and Eye Care Centers of America to remove barriers to accessibility and ensure accessible medical equipment. Most recently, the ERC conducted a testing investigation and released a 2011 report documenting that less than 25 percent of medical service providers were compliant with accessibility standards required under federal law. The ERC also consults with businesses on accessibility, and is attuned to the practical challenges of making modifications to improve access.
Throughout the entire advisory process, the ERC will maintain an open dialogue with its members and the disability rights community at-large regarding accessibility needs in medical diagnostic equipment. Anyone interested in providing input should contact Kat Taylor at 202-370-3224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earlier this year, the ERC submitted testimony to the Access Board on practical ways to improve the Standards to promote greater accessibility and clarity. The ERC’s testimony before the Access Board’s website is available at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=ATBCB-2012-0003.
Other organizations serving on the Committee include, Duke University and Medical Center, Harris Family Center for Disability and Health Policy at Western University of Health Sciences, National Council on Independent Living, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc., and United Spinal Association. For a complete list of Committee members, you can visit the Access Board’s website at: http://www.access-board.gov/mde/committee-notice-final.htm
About the Equal Rights Center (www.equalrightscenter.org)
Originally formed in 1983, the Equal Rights Center (ERC) is a national non-profit civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C. With members located in every state and the District of Columbia, the ERC works nationally to promote equal opportunity in housing, employment, disability rights, immigrant rights, and access to public accommodations and government services for all protected classes under federal, state, and local laws