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Medical Equipment Access Under Review

WASHINGTON (CN) - The U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) has announced January meeting dates to review transfer surfaces used on medical diagnostic equipment. "Access to such equipment has been problematic under the Americans with Disabilities Act," the board noted in its initial press release.

Responding to a provision in the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordability Act, the Access Board established an advisory committee last year to develop accessibility standards for medical diagnostic equipment, such as examination tables and chairs, mammography equipment, x-ray machines, radiological equipment and weight scales, according to the board's website.

The January meeting dates are for the advisory committee to consider presentations on transfer surfaces by medical practitioners and clinicians.

The accessibility standards "provide design criteria that will allow independent access to diagnostic equipment, including types that require transfer from wheelchairs and other mobility aids.

The provisions address transfer surfaces, support rails, armrests, compatibility with lift devices, and other features to facilitate transfer," according to the Access Board's 2012 press release. The board is working with other agencies on the development of the standards, including the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Justice. The adoption of the standards will be handled separately, the board noted.

The advisory committee will meet Jan. 22 and 23. The meeting is open to the public and comment periods are scheduled each day, according to the meeting notice.

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