They are patients using healthcare in the United States. They are people with disabilities. They have real names, but it’s quite possible that their healthcare professionals don’t know them all that well. And, it’s quite possible that, in spite of good intentions, they face disparities in accessing, receiving, and benefiting from healthcare.
They are people with disabilities.
Researchers have already carefully shown that being poor, being a person of color, or living in certain areas of the country create disparities in a person’s ability to access, receive, and benefit from healthcare. In a unique three-year research project funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the University of Pennsylvania Perleman School of Medicine is teaming up with Virtual Ability, Inc. to explore healthcare disparities impacting people with disabilities across the US.
One exciting component of this large research project is the inclusion of people with disabilities as experts. They contribute their expertise gained through participation in healthcare systems. Moreover, with the help of Virtual Ability, Inc., the “Mrs A and Mr B” project utilizes the unique capacities of virtual worlds like Second Life® to gather people with disabilities, people without disabilities, and clinicians into groups for discussions that explore healthcare disparities, document them, and reveal systemic trends and patterns.
You can keep tabs on this exciting and innovative research by visiting http://www.HealthcareEquitability.org. In fact, you can PARTICIPATE in the research by visiting the forum at that site and adding YOUR personal story to the project.
Virtual Ability, Inc. is a non-profit corporation based in Colorado, USA. Our mission is to enable people with a wide range of disabilities by providing a supporting environment for them to enter and thrive in online virtual worlds like Second Life®. Visitwww.virtualability.org
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