Once on the exam table, some patients may need a staff person to stay with them to help maintain balance and positioning.The provider should ask the patient if he or she needs any assistance and, if so, what is the best way to help.Additional copies may be obtained by calling the ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (voice), 800-514-0383 (TTY).
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities on the basis of their disability in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance, including health programs and services.
(See Part 4 of this publication for a more in-depth discussion of accessible exam tables.) What is important is that a person with a disability receives equal medical services to those received by a person without a disability.
If the examination does not require that a person lie down (for example, an examination of the face), then the exam table is not important to the medical care and the patient may remain seated. You cannot deny service to a patient whom you would otherwise serve because she has a disability.
Before beginning your examination or discussion, you should ask the patient if he or she wishes the companion to remain in the room.
No, you cannot refuse to treat a patient who has a disability just because the exam might take more of your or your staff's time.