rehabilitation specialists. Once guidelines are developed for professionals, the development of additional documents for people with disabilities and their family members should be considered.

Recommendation 5.2: As part of broader efforts to improve the quality of care provided to people with disabilities, health care professionals, educators, people with disabilities, and their family members should work together to

  • develop, disseminate, and apply guidelines for the prevention and management of secondary conditions and for the monitoring and care of people aging with disability;

  • design educational modules and other curriculum tools for all relevant types of health care professionals and all levels of education; and

  • develop competency standards for these educational programs.

Even with improved guidance and information, well-informed clinicians, and knowledgeable consumers, the maintenance of health and functioning can be difficult in the face of the environmental barriers that people with disabilities often encounter in daily life and in health care environments. These barriers include inaccessible transportation that can make health care appointments difficult, hazards in the home, information technologies that are unfriendly to people with sensory and other impairments, insurance plans that limit access to technologies that increase safety and functioning, and inaccessible health care equipment and facilities. The next several chapters (and Appendixes D through G) discuss aspects of these environmental barriers.

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