Physical Disabilities: The First Step Is Understanding
Physical disabilities come in a range of forms, and they stem from a variety of causes. On the Web, you will find sites that provide resources to help you understand, find ways to limit the impact of, and get support for your physical disability.
Taking time to learn about a physical disability is perhaps one of the most effective ways to ... read more »
With treatment or some type of therapy, it is possible to overcome or reduce the effects of certain disabilities. We've selected some Web sites that can help you learn about the treatment options available for physical disabilities.
- Many hospital Web sites offer a virtual tour of their facility. If this feature is not available for a hospital that interests you, see if you can tour the facility in person before you seek treatment there. Sometimes, this firsthand assessment can help alleviate fears that patients may have about seeking treatment for a disability.
- When you’re reviewing the Web site of a major health organization or association, look for a “consumers” or “public” page. There you’ll find easy-to-understand information and often find other resources that can help you.
- On some hospital Web sites, you’ll be able to make an online request for an appointment at a facility. An option such as this would likely be available in a “Patients and Public” section of the site.
For treatment centers …
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
provides a helpful worksheet with questions you should ask when choosing a hospital to treat a medical condition. This page also links to various resources, including a patient's bill of rights and a hospital quality checklist.
Shriners Hospitals for Children
explains admission and eligibility requirements for children who may be treated at a Shriners hospital at no charge. Shriners Hospitals for Children treat orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate cases. To see if your child is eligible for treatment, or for other injury prevention and safety information, see the menu at the left of the page.
For therapy options …
The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
explains how physiatrists help restore function to a person's body. See the "Conditions & Treatment" page for information about how specific physical disabilities and injuries are treated, or use the "Find a PM&R Physician" if you are searching for a physiatrist.
The American Occupational Therapy Association
explains how people use therapy to enjoy their "occupation" of living a full life. The "Consumers" page explains what occupational therapy is, offers tips for living with a variety of health conditions, and provides access to a variety of consumer help organizations and public awareness campaigns.
The American Physical Therapy Association
teaches that physical therapy can help a person heal from some health problems. Review the “Consumer” page of this site for facts about physical therapy and your body, and for information about insurance coverage and physical therapy.
The American Music Therapy Association
discusses the benefits of music therapy in coping with disabilities, pain, illness, and rehabilitation. In the "Go to" box at the left of the page, select the "Fact Sheets" option to find resources about the application of music therapy to a variety of situations.
For other health-care resources …
recognizes that health care is a primary concern for someone with a disability. This site links to government resources that address health-care and disability issues for various groups of people: children, the elderly, those with developmental disabilities, and veterans. You can also review several other laws pertaining to people with disabilities, in relation to education, housing, and employment.
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