In the latest round of videos in its ongoing “Healthcare Stories” series, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund released three new short videos February 5, focused on various barriers faced by people with disabilities in doctors’ offices and hospital settings.
Part One features the stories of multiple patients, describing some of their many encounters at clinics and hospitals which lack adjustable tables, scanners and scales. As a result, many of these patients did not receive treatments in a timely fashion, exacerbating their injuries.
Part Two highlighted misconceptions and stereotypes that many doctors and medical staff have when treating people with disabilities.
For Elizabeth Grigsby, this lack of communication had very real consequences.
“(The Doctors) came in just pulled back the covers and started lifting,” said Grigsby, describing an attempt by hospital staff to remove her from her wheelchair. “They were like ‘we do this every day we know what we’re doing.’ ‘Oh just relax let us do our job,’ and when they went up to lift me you heard this loud pop in my knee it’s like my knee went one way and the rest of my body spread over onto the gurney.
“I was in such excruciating pain that, again, I’m not a cryer usually, but all I could do was cry. I felt so like I was being treated less than a human being.”
Part Three focuses on potential solutions to these barriers. For most of the advocates in the video, the problem starts with the lack of education and training most medical staff receive in how to accommodate the unique needs of people with disabilities.
The videos, titled Tables and Scales, Attitudes, and Solutions can be seen here.