242681 Elevating Disability in the Nation's Health Disparity Agenda: An Analysis of Gaps and Opportunities in Federal Policy and Research Initiatives

Monday, October 31, 2011: 8:30 AM

Margaret L. Campbell, PhD , National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC
Numerous studies have documented significant disparities in health services and outcomes for individuals with disabilities. But, up until recently disability status was not included in national health disparity initiatives on a par with other sociodemographic groups. As part of a proposed panel on the nation's health disparity agenda, this presentation describes the gaps in major U.S. public health initiatives that have contributed to this lack of parity and new opportunities available for closing this gap.

Content analyses were conducted of six major federal public health policy and research initiatives, launched between 2000 and 2010, to examine how disability status is treated relative to other sociodemographic groups, and to document the availability of disability data and research funding and intervention programs.

Results indicate major gaps in the inclusiveness of recent initiatives, like The Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000, the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research, and Communities Putting Practice to Work, and in the available of disability data. The net result is lack of public awareness and lack of evidenced-based intervention programs adapted for individuals with disabilities.

Disability status has not had parity with other sociodemographic groups in the nation's health disparity agenda due, in part, to lack of an inclusive public health policy and a targeted research-funding stream. The picture is changing, however, with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which identifies disability status as one of the designated disparity groups requiring systematic inclusion in national health disparity data and programmatic initiatives.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
At session’s end, participants will be able to: 1. Describe the major U.S. health disparity policy and research initiatives of the past ten years. 2. Explain the factors that contribute to the “disability gap” in the nation’s major health disparity initiatives. 3. Identify opportunities to close the disability gap in health disparities research through provision of recent policy initiatives, such as the Affordable Care Act.

Keywords: Health Disparities, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee programs related to disability research and policy in the area of health disparities.
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.