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Information for Students > Office for Equal Opportunity > ADA and Programs Related to Disabilities > Programs Related to Disability Rights and Accommodations
About Rush University

Rush University Medical Center has been in the forefront of institutions promoting disability rights, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In recognition of these efforts, Rush University Medical Center and Rush College of Nursing were honored with the 2004 Henry Betts, MD, Award from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, the top corporate award for disability rights and employment advocacy. Rush University Medical Center has also been cited as setting the standard of excellence in America in a major report funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on the crisis of health care for people with disabilities.

For disability-related assistance, questions or concerns, contact:

Paula J. Brown
Manager, Diversity and Inclusion
Community Employment Liaison
(312) 942-7094

or any member of the Rush ADA Task Force. To see a roster of the Rush ADA Task Force members click on the breadcrumb link above called "ADA and Programs Related to Disabilities."

Among the many Rush programs are the following:

Improved Access and Services
  • Continued implementation of accessibility audit recommendations
  • Electric doors at major entrances and other high use locations
  • More parking spaces for people with disabilities, and parking garage modifications to improve accessibility
  • Reduced rate valet parking for patients and visitors with disabilities
  • Attendants and wheelchairs in key locations for anyone who needs such assistance
  • More fully accessible restrooms
  • Modifications in elevators, which include installing mirrors to help people using wheelchairs and motorized vehicles
  • New telephone system throughout medical center with volume controls on all phones
  • Teletypewriters (TTY) in key locations throughout the Medical Center and University
  • Sign language and foreign language interpreter programs for patients and their families, coordinated through Volunteer Services
  • Sign language classes for Rush employees and students
  • Creation of Rush University Disability Assessment Team
  • Infrared amplification devices in classrooms of Armour Academic Center
  • Assistance in the cafeteria
  • Patients With Special Needs Program (to raise awareness among staff and improve care for patients with disabilities)
  • Policy on Service Animals for inpatients, outpatients, employees, students, and visitors
  • Modifications for fourth floor Atrium patient information desk to improve accommodations for persons using wheelchairs and having other special needs
  • Implementation of a content management system (CMS), making the Rush Web site more accessible to people with disabilities
  • Adjustable mammography tables, Hoyer lifts, and other special equipment to improve accessibility to health services
Outreach and Education
  • Annual Thonar Award to recognize Rush individuals whose efforts turn a disability into a possibility, 1991-present
  • Recognition of the City of Chicago for 15 years of ADA leadership
  • Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters to Marca Bristo, president of Access Living and past chair of the National Council on Disability
  • Promotion of Disability Awareness Month and Rush Rehabilitation Week
  • Nomination of qualified candidates for external awards, such as the City of Chicago's August W. Christmann Awards
  • ADA Information Line in Volunteer Services for public and institutional use
  • ADA information and services in Rush publications and on the Web site
  • Patient services representative to assist with implementation of programs
  • Consultation to Metro Chicago Health Care Services TTY Directory
  • Director for Specialized Student Services in Rush Medical College
  • Human Resources program to identify more job applicants with disabilities
  • University admissions effort to identify more student applicants with disabilities
  • New learning disabilities initiatives related to students and employees
  • College of Nursing symposium on Students With Disabilities: Nursing Education and Practices, for officials from United States nursing colleges, nursing organizations, regulatory agencies and disability rights groups
  • Partner of National Organization of Nurses With Disabilities
  • Consultant to Illinois Secretary of State's Office on brochure Parking Program for Persons With Disabilities: A Guide for Medical Professionals, on the proper issuance of disability parking placards. Report published on pre- and post-distribution results
  • Participation in City of Chicago's Annual Mentoring Day for students with disabilities
  • Update of Rush Emergency Preparedness Plan for people with disabilities
Work in Progress
  • Improved signage throughout institution
  • New employee orientation and training and development programs
  • Improved training on use of teletypewriters and Illinois Relay System
  • Listing of relevant disability resources and products on Rush intranet for quick referral
  • Further mammography improvements
Management at Rush seeks your input for continuously improving services at the Medical Center. If you have questions or concerns about accessibility at Rush or have a suggestion for improving services for people with disabilities, please contact a member of the Rush ADA Task Force.

The Rush University Disability Assessment Team, with a faculty member from each college, has been established to handle student requests for disability accommodations. For more information, visit the Students with Disabilities page now.


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