Rehabilitation Outcome Review-CARF strengthens definition of diversity

The board of CARF…The Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission of Tucson, AZ, has revised its definition of diversity, indicating the organization's interest in emphasizing its importance.

The revised definition is that diversity is "differences due to cognitive or physical ability, culture, ethnicity, religion, economic status, gender, age, or sexual orientation."

This new language is published in the new glossaries of CARF's standards manuals and will be applied to on-site surveys after July 1, 2000.

"The CARF trustees strongly believe that a diverse environment and nondiscrimination practices are essential to quality programs," says Donald E. Galvin, PhD, president and chief executive officer of CARF.

"Prejudice has no place in employment or service delivery," he adds.

CARF's accrediting divisions currently apply standards relating to diversity and nondiscrimination at each site survey. The organization encourages rehab facilities to be sensitive to patients' different racial, ethnic, and cultural beliefs.


The 1999 Behavioral Health Standards Manual requires organizations to demonstrate they do not discriminate in employment, compensation, place of work, or promotion.

Also, health care facilities must provide each patient served some information about the organization's nondiscrimination practices. The information should be communicated in a manner that is easy for the patients to understand.

The manual also advises organizational leadership to advocate for the removal of architectural, attitudinal, communication, employment, and other barriers to a nondiscriminatory policy. Each year, the organization must identify and address those barriers by implementing a written plan for accessibility improvement.

For more information about this policy or other accreditation issues, contact CARF at 4891 E. Grant Road, Tucson, AZ 85712; call (520) 325-1044, ext. 107; or visit the CARF Web site at