Disability in Focus: December 2020

Adults with Disabilities Need Accessible and Responsive Telehealth Care



 Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, 4 out of 5 adults with and without disabilities in New England got more telehealthcare in the last 6 months from their primary care provider.



Adults with disabilities are more likely than adults without disabilities to use telehealth.  Despite this, adults with disabilities are less satisfied overall with the remote care they get.

Compared to adults without disabilities, adults with disabilities more likely reported that at their most recent telehealth visit, primary care providers:


Did not show respect for what they had to say


 Did not listen carefully to them


Did not spend enough time together in the visit


Did not explain things in a way they could understand

Many sources discuss technology barriers to telehealth for people with disabilities.  While these are important, providers also have a role in making telehealth more accessible.

Strategies to Improve Telehealth Care for Adults with Disabilities:

  • Use active listening as much as possible during telehealth visits;
    Globe with Mask
  • Encourage each person to participate in their own care;
  • Provide flexible appointment times and agree upon how the time will be spent;

We want to hear from you! As always, we will use your comments to improve our work.

Data source: StatsRRTC 2020 Telehealth and Access to Wellness survey. StatsRRTC is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research grant #90RTGE0001.

​This content is solely the responsibility of the NH Disability & Public Health Project and does not necessarily represent the views of the CDC or US DHHS.