Virginia Health Promotion for People with Disabilities at the Partnership for People with Disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University

Promoting healthy lifestyles for people with disabilities

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Accessibility

wheelchair accessible ramp

Accessibility means that health services and sites can be reached and used by everyone. Planning for all aspects of community and healthcare accessibility involves addressing a range of areas including physical access, communication, customer service, and adaptive equipment and technology. Attention to accessibility issues helps ensure that people with disabilities are able to achieve personal wellness and live in healthy communities. Achieving full accessibility for community, healthcare, recreation and active leisure pursuits is vital for rehabilitation from illness or injury, prevention of disease, longevity and improved quality of life.

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against anyone with a disability and sets forth minimum requirements for accessibility of facilities, public accommodations, employment, transportation services and telecommunication.

reading braille

Universal Design principles address enhancing quality of life by making products, communications, and the physical environment accessible, functional and safe for everyone. Universal Design has been used to ensure accessibility for homes, employment offices, schools, health care settings, retail stores, and fitness and health care facilities. Accessibility features can include ramps, easy-to-use door handles, and wide doors; public transportation accommodations for wheelchair users; clear routes to emergency exits and emergency escape plans for those needing assistance; low counters, exam tables and service windows; visual and auditory alarm systems; sign language interpreters, closed captioning, and written handouts for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing; and streets with sound signals, large print font on brochures and Braille on signs and elevators for individuals who are blind and vision impaired.

More information can be found on the Disability Publications and Links pages.