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United Spinal Appointed to U.S. Access Board: Developing Accessible Standards for Medical Diagnostic Equipment

NEW YORK, Aug. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Spinal Association's senior vice president of Accessibility Services, Kleo King, was recently appointed to the U.S. Access Board Advisory Committee on Standards for Medical Diagnostic Equipment to ensure equipment critical to proper health evaluations is accessible to people living with disabilities.


As part of the Advisory Committee, King and United Spinal will provide recommendations on proposed standards for medical diagnostic equipment that were released for public comment earlier this year; developed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

"Access to medical diagnostic tools such as examination tables and chairs, weight scales, mammography equipment, and other equipment is an essential component to receiving quality health care," said King.

"Unfortunately, a majority of this equipment is not designed to be accessible to wheelchair users and other individuals living with disabilities. United Spinal is looking forward to working with the Access Board Committee to change that," she added.

According to the Access Board, the proposed standards provide design criteria that will allow independent access to diagnostic equipment, including types that require transfer from wheelchairs and other mobility aids.

Provisions address transfer surfaces, support rails, armrests, compatibility with lift devices, and other features to facilitate transfer. Equipment that does not require transfer from wheelchairs or that is used in a standing position is also addressed.

The Access Board is developing these standards in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration , the Department of Justice, and other federal agencies. Although health care providers are not required to comply with the standards, federal agencies may adopt the standards as requirements for health care providers under the Americans with Disabilities Act or other laws. Any such action will occur separately from the Board's rulemaking.

About United Spinal Association
United Spinal is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization formed in 1946 by paralyzed veterans and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Americans with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, ALS and post-polio. It played a significant role in writing the Americans with Disabilities Act, and made important contributions to the Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. Membership is free and is open to all individuals with SCI/D. United Spinal was instrumental in getting New York City to create sidewalk curb ramps and accessible public transportation that has been used as a model for many United States cities.

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Kleo J. King

SOURCE United Spinal Association
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