This Blueprint for Improving Access to Primary Care for Adults with Physical Disabilities was created with support from the New York State Health Foundation. Although decades have passed since the adoption of federal, state and local anti-discrimination laws aimed at removing barriers to health care for adults with physical disabilities, dramatic disparities in care persist. When policymakers and health care activists talk about health disparities experienced by vulnerable populations, people with physical disabilities and mobility impairments have simply not been on their radar.
The ICS Health Access Program has been the testing ground for the guidance presented in the Blueprint. A step-by-step guide for primary care providers to expanding access to care for adults with disabilities, the Blueprint arose from our productive collaboration with a group of devoted physicians, policymakers, administrators, activists, and consumers with disabilities. Like many activities at ICS, the Women’s Health Program developed from the personal experiences of some of our key staff and our members.
We have created this Blueprint in the spirit of capturing what we have learned and making that knowledge widely available. While there are many lessons here, the most important is this: increasing access to care for adults with physical disabilities can be done one step at a time, over time. With this approach, every step along the way spells improvement in individual patients’ lives, in provider satisfaction, and in the health care system itself. We hope you will join us in taking these urgently needed steps. Read or download the Blueprint here.