Skip to main content

Office-based Physical Accessibility

According to a 2008 study, physical accessibility of healthcare facilities, clinics, and hospitals is one of the largest barriers facing rural residents with disabilities. Many clinics in rural communities have not been updated to the same standards that are found in urban locations. In order to make a medical office accessible to people with disabilities, clinics should look at features both outside and inside the clinic.

Exterior Accessibility:

Interior Accessibility:

  • Level interior door handles for easy reach
  • Clear floors for safety
  • Adequate space to maneuver through halls and doorways
  • Wheelchair height accessible check-in desks and counters
  • Restrooms with appropriately sized toilet stalls, grab bars, and sinks at wheelchair height
  • TTY telephone/hearing aid compatible phones
  • Wheelchair accessible scales
  • Exam tables and chairs that are adjustable and allow for independent transfer
  • Accessible diagnostic equipment

Program Clearinghouse Examples

Resources to Learn More

2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design
Document
This document details the regulations for new construction as well as alterations for current buildings to make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.
Organization(s): U.S. Department of Justice
Date: 2010

Access to Medical Care for Individuals with Mobility Disabilities
Document
Overview of clinic accessibility according to the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines. Provides specific details for those with mobility disabilities and how they can use healthcare.
Organization(s): U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Date: 7/2010

CDC Accessibility Guide
Website
A brief description of access barriers and tools that can be used to mitigate them.
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Harris Family Center for Disability and Health Policy Resources
Website
This webpage contains a number of resources that can be used to assist communities and programs interested in reducing physical access barriers to healthcare services. Resources range from communication, medical equipment, and physical structures to policies and insurance coverage.
Organization(s): Harris Family Center for Disability and Health Policy

Inclusive Healthcare Facilities: Access and Accommodations Resource Toolkit
Document
A comprehensive list of resources to improve access to healthcare services for people with disabilities including webinars, national standards and guidelines.
Organization(s): Montana Disability and Health Program
Date: 2014

Readily Achievable Barrier Removal: Checklist for Existing Facilities
Document
A checklist for buildings to identify barriers as well as possible solutions that can be used to remove the barriers.
Organization(s): Institute for Human-Centered Design, ADA National Network
Date: 2010

VA Barrier Free Design Standard: A Supplement to the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards
Document
This document describes the requirements to meet barrier free guidelines that are determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Organization(s): U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Date: 12/2011