Jessica Podesva

  • Hosted by Greater Boston Legal Services
  • Sponsored by Biogen, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
  • Service location Boston, Massachusetts
  • Law school New England Law | Boston
  • Issue area Health Care
  • Fellowship class year 2017
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Jessica provided advocacy and representation to ensure that people with disabilities had access to integrated and respectful health care in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Despite both federal and state laws mandating equal access to health care, people with disabilities (PWD) frequently face significant barriers to receiving adequate medical care. Some barriers are physical barriers, including a lack of adaptive medical equipment, such as examination tables and chairs, weight scales, radiological equipment, and mammography equipment. Other equally significant barriers include attitudes of healthcare workers who possess negative stereotypes about disability or simply have not received training to ensure that PWD have access to appropriate and culturally competent care. These barriers often result in drastically inferior medical care for PWD.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two year, Jessica has:

  • Represented 10 PWD and provided advice, counsel, and referrals to an additional 30 PWD to ensure access to medical care
  • Gathered over 100 stories of PWD and affidavits as part of a system effort to improve MassHealth’s non-emergency medical transportation system
  • Participated in 3 impact litigation cases to ensure that PWD have access to appropriate medical care, accessible medical equipment, and non-emergency medical transportation
  • Presented 15 workshops at the Boston Center for Independent Living

What’s Next

Now that her Fellowship is complete, Jessica plans to continue working on this vital project at Boston Center for Independent Living.

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