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New mammography resources available for women with disabilities

Online directory helps patients with disabilities find accessible mammography facilities around the state; free book illustrates what to expect during mammography appointment

The Oregon Office on Disability and Health (OODH) at Oregon Health & Science University has developed an online resource for women with disabilities to help them find accessible mammography facilities close to home. The new website, Oregon Mammography Accessibility Directory, features facilities that have voluntarily submitted to a thorough OODH accessibility evaluation.

“The directory is a great tool for women with various disabilities, seniors who use mobility devices or others who require special accommodations. It provides detailed accessibility information for each clinic based on ADA Guidelines and covers the patient’s complete path of travel, from the parking lot to the waiting room to the dressing room to mammography room,” said Carla Waring, M.R.A., an OODH research associate who oversees the project.

Today 60 of 109 mammography facilities statewide are participating in the directory. OODH hopes to increase that number to 75 by July 1.

In addition to developing the mammography directory, OODH has partnered with OHSU’s Department of Diagnostic Radiology to distribute a free book that includes step-by-step illustrations of what to expect during a mammography appointment. Offered in English and Spanish, the book is available for disability service providers around the Portland metro area.

“I was looking for a way to let women with disabilities know what to expect when they arrive for their mammogram,” said Linda Johnson, R.T., a mammography technologist in the OHSU Department of Diagnostic Radiology who first envisioned the book.

“At a conference on Breast Health Access for Women with Disabilities, I learned that a lot of women with disabilities are abused. I want all women to have a safe, pleasant experience when they receive their mammograms, and I thought this book might help alleviate some of their fears by showing them exactly what to expect before they arrive,” said Johnson.

The Oregon Mammography Directory is made possible through the Mammography Accessibility Project, a collaborative effort among the Oregon Office on Disability and Health (OODH) at OHSU and the Oregon Health Authority's Public Health Division, along with community partners including the Oregon Partnership for Cancer Controls, Breast Health Task Force and participating mammography facilities. The directory is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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