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IDEA : Personal and professional approaches to address accessibility in equity, diversity, and inclusion to center people with disabilities

Friday, May 24 | 11:20am - 12:20pm

Presented by Dr. Lisa Freeman

In this session Dr. Freeman will inspire you towards IDEA, explicitly addressing accessibility in discussions of diversity, equity, and inclusion to create a truly welcoming world for all and improve patient outcomes for those with disabilities.


While we talk more and more about equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI or DEI) we often fail to center or embrace people with disabilities. Our focus, especially in medicine and health care, has often been on themes of gender and race, and we may neglect aspects of accessibility, inadvertently excluding those with disabilities. 


How often do we question whether all patients can easily get onto our exam tables, and ensure an adjustable one is available in our practice? When we send a patient for imaging, do we ensure they’ll be able to safely attend with dignity? What do we do if we speak using English in clinic but a patient speaks using ASL?


These questions – and more! - will be answered as Dr. Freeman reviews concepts of accessibility and disability with a focus on medicine and our healthcare systems.

With myriad professional and personal lived experiences with chronic illness, disability, medicine, and research Dr. Freeman will inspire you to move beyond basic EDI to IDEA. She will show you how to explicitly include accessibility in equity, diversity, and inclusion conversations and initiatives, centering people with disabilities, and improving the health and well-being of patients with disabilities in your practice. You’ll come away with a foundation to understand terms and research around disability, ableism, and disability justice and be able to confidently improve the accessibility of your practice. You’ll be inspired to enhance accessibility and advocate for equitable inclusion of people with disabilities in your workplace and community.


Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Integrate simple strategies to improve the accessibility of your practice, enhancing your care of patients with disabilities

  • Distinguish the ways ableism is both personal and structural in medicine and society, improving attitudes and environments toward universal accessibility and inclusion 

  • Explain theoretical approaches to disability, ableism, accessibility, and disability justice to better understand and address inequities facing patients with disabilities

  • Advocate effectively for people with disabilities in a respectful and efficient manner to facilitate their empowerment and equitable inclusion in healthcare systems and society

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