Improving the Mammography Experience for Women with Disabilities: Mammography Technologists Participate in Training

Women with disabilities lead panel at trainingOn July 20, the Ohio Disability and Health Program (ODHP) and the Ohio Affiliates of Susan G. Komen hosted a training seminar for Ohio mammography technologists. TheWomen with Disabilities Seminar for Mammography Technologists provided an opportunity to learn how to best serve women with various disabilities during a mammogram. Guest presenter, Edna Marr, R.T. (RM) provided information on positioning strategies. Panelists shared their personal experiences as well as tips for the audience. Technologists networked to share best practices when working with women with disabilities.

Amy Reed (University Hospitals Geneva Medical Center), Cyndi Merriman (Miami Valley South Breast Center), and Brooke Renfro and Lorrie Durrant (both of Promedica Bay Park Hospital) served as experienced technologists who have worked with a diverse population of women with disabilities. Women with disabilities also shared their perspectives. Donna Kidner, Karen Kostelac, and Vicky Prahin provided insight on how to appropriately interact with women who have specific disabilities. Technologists received information regarding service dogs, how to provide additional assistance, and how to properly communicating with their patients.

Mammography technologists from the Greater Cincinnati, Northwest, Northeast, and Columbus areas attended this free training and received six CEU credits. Many of the technologists found the training seminar empowering and informative. One attendee shared, “I wish all of our mammography techs at our facility could have been here.”

Approximately 22.7% of all women in Ohio have some type of disability and the percentage of women with disabilities increases with age. In Ohio, 67.3% of women with disabilities age 40 and over have received a mammogram compared to 76.0% of women without disabilities. In another effort to make the mammography experience better for women with disabilities, ODHP is also offering free accessibility assessments to mammography facilities. Mammography facilities in Ohio will soon receive letters from the Ohio Department of Health. These letters will provide more information on these assessments with contact information for those who are interested in learning how their facility can be more accessible to women with disabilities.

Attendees listen to speaker, Edna Marr.
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