239689 Healthy communities begin with inclusion

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Anjali Truitt, MPH , Institute for Public Health Genetics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Megan Morris, MSCCC , Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Health communities represent the health needs of all community groups. Disability has been ever-present in our communities and is becoming more evident, as veterans return from war, Baby Boomers age, and autism prevalence rises. Given these changing demographics, the purpose of this project is to describe practices that public health students and professionals can utilize to foster inclusion of people with disabilities in community health planning and policies. This project uses the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Healthy People 2020 Disability and Health objectives as guidelines for promoting the health and access to quality healthcare services of people with disabilities. These texts express the interests of people with disabilities and health professionals committed to improving health outcomes. By analyzing these, the project assessed areas of commonality between this law and the current public health agenda. The project identifies opportunities for public health professionals to address the needs of this underserved and marginalized group. The project's findings suggest several key areas for community-centered health planning and policy: 1) recognizing the diversity among those whom identify as people with disabilities and their health needs; 2) creating health information in multiple, alternative formats that goes beyond language translation; 3) advocating for physical and programmatic access to and participation in healthcare and community activities. These findings can be used as a toolkit for public health students and professionals to promote healthy minds and bodies, in a manner that better represents the needs and interests of people with disabilities.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
To describe practices that public health students and professionals can utilize to foster inclusion of people with disabilities in community planning and policy To identify at least 3 specific health needs of people with disabilities To discuss the concept of “universal design” within a public health framework

Keywords: Disability Policy, Community Health

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, conducted research with people with disabilities, and am a PhD student focusing on ethics and 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.