Northeastern Law – On the front lines: Paul Farber


Class Actions
PROFILE Paul Farber ’98
Scaling Up

When it comes to awareness and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), “the doctor’s exam room is the last frontier,” says Paul Farber, an ADA attorney and consultant. While medical facilities very likely have accessible entrances, hallways and bathrooms, “most can’t weigh a person who is mobility impaired or give them a full-body exam. It’s like it was 40 years ago.”

Enter Medical Accessibility, a company Farber and his wife formed with another couple, and their product, the UpScale: an affordable all-in-one weight scale and adjustable-height exam table, which they began selling in summer 2016. Manufactured in Indiana, the UpScale retails at approximately $5,000, priced well below any comparable product. “With tax incentives and credits, it can be as low as $1,500,” Farber explains.

“The UpScale allows for better preventative and diagnostic care of all patients,” he continues. “And it’s not just good medicine, it’s also smart risk management.” According to the US Census Bureau, 35 million Americans — 12 percent of the total population — have a severe disability. Right now, a staggering 92 percent of health care facilities lack accessible exam tables and weight scales, making them ADA non-compliant. “Many people with disabilities don’t even know they are entitled to accessibility in this way,” he notes, although this is quickly changing. In 2016, there were 6,601 federal lawsuits filed under the ADA’s Title III, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in public accommodations and commercial facil- ities. That was a 37 percent increase over 2015.

“Our hope is that the UpScale will lead to acces- sible exam rooms becoming as commonplace as accessible parking spaces,” he concludes. Find out more at

— Maura King Scully