239682 Re-framing disability: Ethical underpinnings of community-centered practice

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 1:30 PM

Anjali Truitt, MPH , Institute for Public Health Genetics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Megan Morris, PhD, MPH, CCC-SLP , Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
In public health curriculums, disability prevention is often highlighted as a hallmark of the field. The underlying assumption is that whenever possible, disability should be prevented. Consequently, health education and promotion efforts often overlook the importance of preventative care for people with disabilities or societal consequences of having a disability. With advances in medical technologies, morbidity is of growing public health significance. Disability Studies scholars challenge the focus on impairment and suggest that discrimination on the basis of impairment also should be mitigated. This project aims to provide a conceptual framework that unifies dominant public health and disability rights perspectives. By applying a public health framework to Disability Studies concepts, this project explores potential areas of shared interest between health professionals and people with disabilities. Specifically, we assess the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) model, models of disability, and quality of life. Through an iterative process that looked at both critiques and strengths of these concepts, the project identified three possible areas of congruency: disability as a social determinant of health, the experience of health inequities for people with disabilities, and a participatory approach to quality of life assessments. While these concepts reflect public health ideologies, they are inconsistent with the dominant public health model of disability prevention. In order to address expressed concerns of people with disabilities and provide a mechanism to include this often underrepresented and vulnerable community, schools of public health must re-frame the dominant understanding about disability prevention.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Ethics, professional and legal requirements

Learning Objectives:
To assess the implications of the dominant public health model of disability prevention To describe how power relationships in health practice can marginalize people with disabilities To discuss 3 areas of shared interest between public health professionals and the disability rights community

Keywords: Disability Studies, Ethics

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have overseen public health programs related to disability prevention, conducted research with people with disabilities, and am a current PhD student focusing in ethics and health policy
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.