Identifying Disability Accommodation Needs

This activity is designed to identify patient accommodation needs:

  • Patient accommodations are based on the patient’s disabilities and accessibility requirements.
  • Meeting these needs ensures a higher quality of care and patient safety.
  • A thorough assessment includes screening for disabilities and access or accommodation needs.
  • When a disability need is identified, staff should initiate an interactive dialogue with the patient (or their designated representative) about needed accommodations.
  • Any accommodations provided should be documented in the patient’s electronic health record.

Target Audience

This course is designed for nurse practitioners, nurses, and other health care professionals who seek improved quality of care for the patients.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Identify accommodation needs and how these should be documented in the electronic health record (EHR).
  • Perform a thorough patient assessment that screens for disability access or accommodation needs.
  • Demonstrate how to initiate an "interactive dialogue" with the patient or their designated representative about any needed accommodations.
  • Articulate that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), specifically Title III, says that all staff are responsible for determining what preparation and accommodations are needed for patients during hospital stays, emergency room visits, or clinic appointments, or any healthcare encounter.
  • Recommend an assessment for disability-related accommodations in each patient admission.
  • Recommend during a transfer or any staff handoff, staff should ask the patient at their earliest encounter if they have any disability related needs or necessary accommodations and document them in the EHR.
  • Employ the principles of the Assessment Checklist for patients with a disability, as adapted from adapted from the “Assessment of the Patient with a Disability Checklist”
  • Determine the common accommodations for each disability type listed and be able to identify how to obtain them.
  • Identify and utilize appropriate ADA accessible rooms and their importance.
  • Articulate what an invisible disability is, and why one should not make assumptions about presence or absence of disability and why all patients should be screened for disability accommodations.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 0.75 ANCC
    UPMC Provider Unit is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation
  • 0.75 Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Planning Committee:
Ashli Molinero, DSc - Director, UPMC Disabilities Resource Center at UPMC

Course Directors:
Kaitlin A Kerr, RN, MSN - Clinical Educator for Disability Awareness - Disabilities Resources Center at UPMC

Conflict of Interest Disclosure:
No planners, members of the planning committee, speakers, presenters, authors, content reviewers and/or anyone else in a position to control the content of this education activity have relevant financial relationships to disclose.

In support of improving patient care, the University of Pittsburgh is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Nursing (CNE)
The maximum number of hours awarded for this Continuing Nursing Education activity is 0.75 contact hours.

Other health care professionals will receive a certificate of attendance confirming the number of contact hours commensurate with the extent of participation in this activity.

Available Credit

  • 0.75 ANCC
    UPMC Provider Unit is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation
  • 0.75 Attendance
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