Part Two included a discussion of the barriers that students still face despite the ADA. They did not seek supportive accommodations because of stigma or fear. Dr. Rizzo wanted to draw attention to definitions of disability. He also emphasized that people with disabilities can help with accessibility and for coming up with empathetic dialogue that is critical in moving forward as a medical community. These agendas must be pushed here at NYU to ensure that we are doing enough to increase disability inclusion and also to ensure that patients are receiving the preventive medicine that they actually need. Dr. Wu indicated that in his research conducted 30 years ago, deans not only were asked how many medical school students have disabilities, but also “how did they do?” Did you do the right thing for society by producing good physicians at the end or did you pass along somebody who shouldn’t be there? The result was those students did as well and better than their able-bodied counterparts.
Part One of this grand round presentation delves into the struggle faced by individuals with disabilities and future directions to take to include them in the rehabilitation field. Both Drs. Rizzo and Wu have important stories to tell about living with a disability. An aim in this session is to understand the epidemiology of disability, the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), and be familiar with the barriers that individuals with disabilities face. According to new CDC data, the prevalence of disability in the non-institutionalized portion of the U.S. population is 26%. The data may understate the true prevalence. Data also were provided on the prevalence of disability among medical students, residents, and practicing physicians. These numbers also may under represent the true extent of disability among members of the medical community. A definition of disability in the American with Disabilities Act Amendments and its implications were discussed.