Disability Rights and Accommodations: Setting A Standard of Care

APHA 2014 Poster Presentation

Tanya Friese, DNP(c), RN, CNL, Department of Community, Systems, and Mental Health Nursing, Rush University College of Nursing, Chicago, IL
Shelia Dugan, MD , Department of Neurosurgery and the Department of Preventive Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
Sarah Ailey, PhD, RN, CDDN, APHN-BC , College of Nursing, Community, Systems and Mental Health Nursing, Rush University, Chicago, IL
Paula Brown, MBA , Office for Equal Opportunity, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL

Background: 
In 1991, Rush University Medical Center (RUMC) chartered the ADA Task Force with a charge to implement policies for individuals with disabilities, champion inclusion, and educate people on how working with and hiring persons with disabilities enriches our global village.
Methods: 
The Task Force meets monthly with members including administrators, staff, faculty, and inter professional students.  Purposefully the task force includes decision makers in human resources, patient services, transportation, building and maintenance, and curriculum, among others, in order to facilitate implementation of solutions to issues with access, discrimination, and accommodation.
Results: 
The Rush ADA Task Force has generated a list of accomplishments including:  24 programs for improved access and services, with two components that have 19 improvements between them, as well as 35 disability training, outreach, and education programs.   Our new hospital tower has over 45 instances of accommodations and accessibility.  Our patients and their significant others experience an inclusive culture supported by proactive hospital policies.  Currently the Task Force is identifying and training veterans, increasing employment for people with disabilities, acting on requested student and staff accommodations, and using online training for nurses who care for our adult patients with intellectual/development disabilities.  We have annually celebrated people with disabilities. We have won national awards for disability advocacy.
Conclusions: 
RUMC signature programs have included training for those inside and outside of our institution, in areas that cross all of our fourteen protected classes. The ADA Task force is successful due to its empowered membership and policy adaptations.

Programs Related to Disability Rights and Accommodations at Rush

For more information email Tanya Friese and Paula Brown.


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