241837 Instituting Public Health Policy and Practice that Reflects Contemporary Models of Disability

Monday, October 31, 2011: 9:24 AM

Dennis Heaphy, MEd, MPH , Disability Policy Consortium, Boston, MA
Monika Mitra, PhD , Center for Health Policy and Research, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Shrewsbury, MA
Much progress has been made in framing discussion of disability, moving away from outmoded models of disability as inherent within the person to current conceptualizations of disability as a dynamic process involving personal factors and physical and social environment. Greater awareness by policymakers has led to key statements and policy decisions to decrease health disparities impacting persons with disabilities. These include the Surgeon General's "Call to Action," inclusion of persons with disabilities as a demographic in Healthy People 2010, and statutes within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In addition, strides have been made in disability surveillance. Despite advances, public health practice has been slow to respond. As noted in the 2007 Institute of Medicine Report, little advancement has been made in adopting key public health policy recommendations set out by the IOM. This presentation will provide an objective analysis of current public health practice relating to persons with disabilities as a demographic. Advances, obstacles and opportunities will be cited and specific suggestions for advancing public health practice given. Emphasis will be on health indicators within HP 2010 and HP 2020 looking at lessons learned from HP 2010 with a view towards maximizing opportunities to advance goals of HP 2020. Specific recommendations will be made for improving indicators of health. Practices to reduce health disparities impacting persons with disabilities in Massachusetts through collaboration between disability advocates, research institutions and Department of Public Health will be provided as models for shaping public health practice around contemporary understandings of disability.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Analyze current public health practices relating to persons with disabilities. Discuss lessons learned from Healthy People 2010 and the implications for advancing the goals of Healthy People 2020. Describe specific practices being undertaken in Massachusetts to advance policies and practices reflective of contemporary understandings of disability.

Keywords: Disability Policy, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: A healthcare analyst with the Disability Policy Consortium, a Massachusetts-based disabilities rights organization, my primary responsibilities include research, writing and advocacy on issues of equity in health access and health outcomes for persons with disabilities. Prior to working with DPC, I served as Americans with Disabilities Act Project Coordinator for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and consultant to the North Carolina and Massachusetts Departments of Public Health writing training materials on provision of health services to persons with disabilities across the lifespan. I have extensive experience in development of educational curricula for adult learners. I have been a previous presenter APHA and have been a primary or secondary author of several articles and two book chapters on topics related to health and disability.
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.