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AROUND TOWN: Patients nominate medical practices for Independence Center disability equipment donations

Gazette - 8/4/2019

Aug. 4--For The Independence Center, July 26 is a day of celebration. That was when President George H.W. Bush signed into law the American with Disabilities Act in 1990.

Welcoming 350 people to an anniversary luncheon at Hotel Eleganté, the nonprofit's staff and board focused on their work zeroing in on disability-friendly health care awareness and access.

"Heath care wasn't designed for people with disabilities," said board member Drew Wills, who has run into his own self-sufficiency barriers because he uses a wheelchair. IC, he said, is working toward "removal of physical and social obstacles."

Working to make some of those changes, Independence Center requested nominations from patients for medical practices that should receive accessible medical equipment; these went to nine offices in the area and as far away as Cheyenne Wells. Three received hearing loop systems allowing audio to go directly into hearing aids.

Equipment has included high-low adjustable exam tables with built-in scales for those transferred from wheelchairs for exams.

Next up, patients are invited to nominate dental practices for specialized equipment grants. Many avoid dental care, said speakers, because personal devices such wheelchairs and oxygen can't fit into rooms. To nominate: theindependencecenter.org.

CEO Patricia Yeager called for Medicaid to make available an online list of locations and providers for medical services for those with disabilities.

Yeager singled out the city, thanking Mayor John Suthers, for its citywide accessibility action such as new curb ramps and a transition plan that will include city departments evaluating all city properties for any ADA work that should be done.

Photo gallery: gazette.com/life/around-town


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