Executive SummaryThe Alberta Committee of Citizens with Disabilities (ACCD) has identified the need to raise awareness about the institutional and organizational barriers that exclude Albertans with disabilities from fully participating in dental, eye care and pharmacy services in Alberta. ACCD’s research study “Accessible Dental, Eye Care, and Pharmacy Services in Alberta” explores the status of accessibility of these health services for people with disabilities in Alberta.
Over the last several years, changes have been taking place in the delivery of Alberta’s health services including, for example, the devolution of responsibilities from doctors to pharmacies as well as an increased ability for dental and eye care professionals to diagnose illness due to new and innovative technologies. To ensure equal access to health services in Alberta, it is crucial that people with disabilities are included in future strategies and implementation in order to provide accessible dental, eye care and pharmacy services.
The first goal of our project was to identify the needs of people with disabilities for equal dental, eye care and pharmacy services. In order to accomplish this goal, we engaged people with disabilities, professionals and other employees by conducting surveys to explore their experiences when receiving or providing dental, eye care and pharmacy services. We inquired extensively about ways in which the capacity to provide accessible services could be developed.
The second goal was to raise awareness about the institutional and organizational barriers that exclude Albertans with disabilities from fully participating in dental, eye care and pharmacy services in Alberta. In order to accomplish this goal, we met with decision makers, public servants, stakeholders in the disability community and professional associations. Our purpose for these meetings was to work towards having the gaps addressed through the standards of the regulatory bodies, as well as to provide strategic directions for professionals to develop the capacity to better serve people with disabilities.
There were a number of different sources of information which generated the information included in this report: literature review, an analysis of existing policy, project specific surveys, focus groups and site visits. To read the full project click here.