About the Accessibility Standards for Medical Diagnostic Equipment
The Access Board has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to remove the sunset provisions in the our existing accessibility standards for medical diagnostic equipment (MDE) related to the low-height specifications for transfer surfaces, and replace them with a final specification for the low-transfer-height of medical diagnostic equipment used in the supine, prone, side-lying position and the seated position. The NPRM is open for public comment on Regulations.gov until August 31, 2023. More information is available in the Federal Register notice).
The accessibility standards for MDE under the Rehabilitation Act provide design criteria for examination tables and chairs, weight scales, radiological and mammography equipment, and other diagnostic equipment that are accessible to people with disabilities. They include requirements for equipment that necessitates transfer from mobility aids and address transfer surfaces, support rails, armrests, and other features. The Board developed the standards in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration.
As issued by the Board, the standards are not mandatory on health care providers and equipment manufacturers. The Department of Justice may adopt them as mandatory requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Other federal agencies may implement them as well under the Rehabilitation Act which requires access to federally funded programs and services.
- February 9, 2012 – The Board releases proposed standards for public comment.
- July 5, 2012 – The Board issues notice of establishment of Advisory Committee to assist it in finalizing the standards.
- December 6, 2013 – The MDE Advisory Committee Report is submitted to the Board.
- January 9, 2017 – The Board issues final standards for MDE.
- February 3, 2022 – The Board issues Direct Final Rule (DFR) extending the sunset provision regarding the specification for low transfer heights for three years.
- May 23, 2023 – The Board issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) removing the sunset provision and provides specification for the low-transfer-height of medical diagnostic.
- August 1, 2023 – The Board issues extension of comment period.