Disability & Health Resources for Facilitating Inclusion and Overcoming Barriers

The following resources may assist in creating and using inclusion strategies to improve the health, well-being, and participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of life.

Buildings and Facilities

Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG)
This document contains technical and legal requirements for accessibility to buildings and facilities by individuals with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

U.S. Access Board
The Access Board is an independent federal agency devoted to improving accessibility for people with disabilities. The Board develops and maintains design criteria for the built environment, transit vehicles, telecommunications equipment, medical diagnostic equipment and electronic and information technology. It also provides technical assistance and training on these requirements and on accessible design, and continues to enforce accessibility standards that cover public accommodations and federally funded facilities.

Healthcare Facilities

U.S. Access Board: Health Care
The U.S Access Board is developing accessibility standards for medical diagnostic equipment under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Board is also developing guidance on accessible prescription drug container labels.

ADA Guidance on Access to Medical Care for Individuals with Mobility Disabilities
The guidance provided in the document Access to Medical Care for Individuals with Mobility Disabilities provides technical assistance in understanding how the ADA and other regulations are useful for doctors and other medical care providers.

Recreation and Fitness

Increasing Physical Activity among Adults with Disabilities: Resources for Doctors and Health Professionals

The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD): AIMFREE Manuals
NCHPAD’s AIMFREE (Accessibility Instruments Measuring Fitness and Recreation Environments) Manuals can be used to assess the accessibility of recreation and fitness facilities, including fitness centers and swimming pools.

Removing Barriers to Health Clubs and Fitness Facilities: A Guide for Accommodating All Members, Including People with Disabilities and Older Adults [2.92 MB, 58 pages]
This guide provides ways you can make a health club’s facility and services more accessible to all people, including people with disabilities and older adults. Illustrations demonstrate how barriers in the physical environment can be removed and how exercise equipment and programs can be designed to create a welcoming facility. This document is from the North Carolina Office on Disability and Health and the Center for Universal Design.

Accessibility Guidelines for Recreation Facilities
These guidelines from the U.S. Access Board describe standards for new construction and alterations of recreation facilities covered by the ADA.

Accessibility Guidelines for Play Areas
These guidelines from the U.S. Access Board describe standards for newly constructed and altered play areas covered by the ADA.

Livable Communities

Recommendations for Making Livable Communities Reality
This report developed by the National Council on Disability identifies barriers to developing livable communities and sheds light on potential methods for overcoming these barriers.

Building Inclusive and Sustainable Communities Free from Discrimination
This U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Web page provides information on a strategic plan and goals for creating strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality, affordable homes for all.

Meetings and Conferences

Accessible Information Exchange: Meeting on a Level Playing Field [3.81MB, 18 pages]
This document from the ADA provides guidelines and strategies to help organizations make their meetings accessible and welcoming to people with disabilities.

Hotels and Motels

Checklist for Hotels and Motels
This checklist from the American Foundation for the Blind provides practical, cost-effective solutions concerning access to hotel services and facilities by guests who are blind, deaf-blind, or visually impaired, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


A Parent’s Guide to Section 504 Public School
In order to help a child fully participate in school, plans can be developed around the child’s specific learning needs. These plans, known as 504 plans, are used by general education students not eligible for special education services. By law, children may be eligible to have a 504 plan, which lists accommodations related to a child’s disability. The 504 plan accommodations may be needed to give the child an opportunity to perform at the same level as their peers. For example, a 504 plan may include a child’s assistive technology needs, such as a tape recorder or keyboard for taking notes and a wheelchair accessible environment.

IEP Plan: Information for Parents
In contrast to a 504 plan, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is needed for children taking special education classes. An IEP is a legal document that tells the school its duties to a child.


The Current State of Transportation for People with Disabilities
This document from the National Council on Disability provides information on access to transportation and mobility for people with disabilities, including access to traditional public transportation systems, private transportation services, alternative transportation initiatives, and places designed for walking and nonvehicle movement.

Communication Materials

ADA Requirements – Effective Communication
The ADA requires that Title II entities (state and local governments) and Title III entities (businesses and nonprofit organizations that serve the public) communicate effectively with people who have communication disabilities. The goal is to ensure that communication with people with these disabilities is equally effective as communication with people without disabilities.

This publication is designed to help Title II and Title III entities (“covered entities”) understand how the rules for effective communication, including rules that went into effect on March 15, 2011, apply to them.

Section 508 Law
Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information and communication technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals.

Web Accessibility Guidelines
These guidelines explain how to make Web content accessible to people with disabilities. The guidelines are intended for all Web content developers (page authors and site designers) and for developers of authoring tools. These guidelines are from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Pew Internet Reports
Pew produces reports exploring the impact of the Internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life, education, health care, and civic and political life. According to one of the most recent reports, U.S. adults living with diseases long-term are significantly less likely than healthy adults to have access to the Internet (62% vs. 81%). [Read report]

Accessible Digital Media Guidelines
This website describes educational needs of students with disabilities and how those needs may be met with software, digital books and other technologies. These guidelines also look at ways to achieve the goal of helping students learn while using adaptive and accessible technology.

Federal Social Media Accessibility Toolkit
This Toolkit is your guide to Improving the Accessibility of Social Media for Public Service. Created with the input of social media leaders and users across government and the private sector, this living document contains helpful tips, real-life examples and best practices to ensure that your social media content is usable and accessible to all citizens, including those with disabilities.