Eric Nadel, MD, director of the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency, was honored with the 2019 MGH Disability Champion Award.
The MGH offers several disability resources to assist patients, staff and visitors navigate the hospital, including wheelchair lifts, video phones and sign language interpreters for deaf patients, screen reader software for visually impaired patients, accessible shuttles, patient escorts and information desks staffed by volunteers.
In recognition of October as national Disabilities Awareness Month, the Maxwell & Eleanor Blum Patient and Family Learning Center and the MGH Council on Disabilities Awareness hosted an Oct. 10 Physical Accessibility Panel, featuring representatives from the MGH Disability Program, Volunteer Services and Partners HealthCare Transportation Services.
“Everyone from these departments has gone through trainings to work with patients with disabilities,” said Zary Amirhosseini, Disability Program manager in the Office of Patient Advocacy. “We want to make sure all of our staff is sensitive to the needs of our patients.”
The MGH Council on Disabilities Awareness aims to create a safe, welcoming, comfortable and inclusive environment for all members of the MGH community. The group works closely with Amirhosseini and other departments to continue to identify and address areas of improvement.
“Sometimes things come up as the result of a patient experience that we may not have known about before,” said Amirhosseini. “Our job is to advocate on behalf of our patients to make services available to more easily accommodate their visits.”
The council also hosted a Disability Awareness Month table Oct. 15 in the White corridor, with information and resources about accessibility, service animals and details about the Blum Center’s Assistive Technology Center.
“I would like to emphasize that if you have a disability, call MGH Registration and Referral Services and self-identify as having a disability,” said Amirhosseini. “This allows us to be more proactive in advance of your visit and gives us the opportunity to make sure accommodations are ready for your visit. Know that you can ask for reasonable accommodation for yourself when needed.”Visit www.massgeneral.org/visit/accessibility/ for more information. Staff also can visit Apollo, the MGH intranet, at apollo.massgeneral.org/accessibility/ for a complete list of resources and equipment.