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Patient & Visitor services Disability and Accessibility Resources

This page will provide you with information about initiatives, resources, programming and processes throughout the Medical Center related to accessibility, training and accommodations for people with disabilities.

Americans With Disabilities Act Task Force
Founded in 1991, the Rush Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Task Force develops and implements policies for people with disabilities and educates the Rush community about accommodating people with disabilities as employees, students, faculty members and patients. The task force is composed of high-level administrators, faculty, and students, of whom 72 percent are women, and 17 percent have a disability.

Recognition of these efforts includes:

  • The 2011 Interagency Committee on Employees with Disabilities Award, the top award given to a corporation by the State of Illinois for furthering accessibility and disability programs.
  • The 2004 Henry Betts, MD, Award from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, the top corporate award for disability rights and employment advocacy.
  • Rush was 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.

Adult Day Rehabilitation Program
The Adult Day Rehabilitation program provides intensive therapy for patients who are functionally impaired yet are medically stable, including patients who have a brain injury, Guillain-Barre syndrome, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or stroke. For more information, please click here.

Autism Resources
The Autism Resource Center provides referrals to families that have a child with an autism spectrum disorder for appropriate services to assist them in the child’s care and development. For more information, please call (312) 563-2272.

The Autism Assessment, Research, Treatment and Services (AARTS) Program serves patients with autism spectrum disorder ranging in age from pre-school age through their 20s, providing thorough assessments of their capabilities, needs and physical and mental health, and offering a combination of advanced medical and psychological treatments. For more information about the AARTS Program, please call (312) 563-2272. For clinic appointments, please call (312) 942-5431.

Driving Rehabilitation
The Driving Rehabilitation Program assesses a person's ability to drive safely, helps the person continue driving safely and, if needed, assists the person in getting back on the road after a disabling injury or illness. For more information, please click here.

Hospital to Home Transition
Numerous resources are available for patients and their family members to assist with transitioning from the hospital back to your home.

As part of the Enhanced Discharge Planning Program, Master’s degree-prepared social workers work with patients and caregivers after they leave the hospital to recognize gaps in care and intervene to resolve identified needs.

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Rush offers customized services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including personal consultation, a buddy program, pre-admission tours of the hospital and more.

Internships for Adults With Learning Disabilities
Rush partners with National-Louis University in Chicago to provide unpaid internships to young adults with learning disabilities. Rush works with National Lewis’ Professional Assistant Center for Education (PACE), a two-year certificate program that includes instruction in academics, career preparation, life skills and socialization to prepare the students for independent living. For more information, please contact Maggie Shreve at (312) 942-2989.

Older Adult Services
Rush Health and Aging offers innovative programs and services designed to improve health and quality of life for older adults. These services include health promotion activities, social work services, hospital to home transitional care and more.

Parking for People with Disabilities
People with disabilities with proper identification receive a discounted rate for valet parking. For people needing wheelchair transport, assistance is available at the valet parking entrances at the hospital, Professional Building and the Johnston R. Bowman Center.

Designated parking for people with disabilities is available on the fourth and fifth floor levels of Section A in Rush’s parking garage. A valid disability license plate or placard must be visible.

For more information, please visit Parking at Rush.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Rush focuses on the restoration of function in people with a wide range of disabling injuries and illnesses. Rush sees the largest number of patients with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease in the Chicago area, and we are among Chicago's busiest providers of orthopedic and neurosurgical services.

Patients are evaluated for all rehabilitative needs, including medications, occupational therapy, prosthetics and orthotics. A full range of treatment options is available.

Prosthetic and Orthotic Amputee Clinic
The Prosthetic and Orthotic Amputee Clinic is composed of a comprehensive team of experts including a physiatrist, certified prosthetist and physical therapist, who offer state-of-the-art prosthetic components and mobility assessments. For more information, please call (312) 942-8905 or email

Student Disability Assessment and Accommodation
Rush University’s Student Disability Assessment Team works with students with disabilities to identify and implement appropriate accommodations. For further information or to request an accommodation, please vist the Students with Disabilities Web page.

Service Animals
Rush protects persons with disabilities from discrimination in the use of service animals and provides access to service animals whenever feasible. Read Rush’s complete service animals policy.

Interpreter Services
For patients and visitors who are hearing impaired or non-English proficient, Rush provides sign language interpreters, TTYs, and the following auxiliary aids:

  • Personal listening devices
  • Magnifying reading glasses
  • Communication boards
  • Large button telephone

Services are available free of charge to patients and families. To arrange for such assistance, please contact any Medical Center personnel or the Interpreter Services Office at (312) 563-2987.

Stroke Diagnosis, Treatment, Rehabilitation and Prevention
Rush provides comprehensive medical treatment for stroke and related conditions, from immediate treatment for people experiencing a stroke to specialized follow-up care for those coping with the aftermath of a stroke or stroke-related condition.

The Rush Stroke Program is certified by the Joint Commission as a primary stroke center. This certification recognizes hospitals that make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care. The stroke program is also awarded the Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award by the American Stroke Association.

Thonar Award
Named for an internationally known Rush emeritus professor of biochemistry and orthopedic surgery, the Eugene J-M.A. Thonar, PhD, Award is given annually to a Rush employee, faculty member, student or volunteer whose efforts promote Rush’s commitment to accessibility and to providing professional and educational opportunities to people with disabilities.

Wheelchair Clinic
The Wheelchair Clinic is composed of a multidisciplinary team of specialists including a wheelchair seating expert, physical therapist and physiatrist. Patients are evaluated for motorized wheelchairs, standard light-weight wheelchairs and motorized scooters. Patients also are assessed for appropriate wheelchair cushions to prevent skin breakdown or sacral ulcers.

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