A National Assessment of the Knowledge, Awareness, and Inclusion of People with Disabilities in Local Health Departments' Public Health Practices
objective: The National Association of County and City Health Officials conducted an assessment to assess local health departments (LHDs) knowledge/awareness about people with disabilities in their jurisdictions and to identify programs/services offered by health departments that purposefully include people with disabilities.
methods: Stratified random sampling was used to select a nationwide sample of LHDs to complete a brief online 9-item survey about people with disabilities in their jurisdictions. Data was analyzed using STATA 12.0 and descriptive statistics were calculated.
results: The response rate was 29% (159/550). Only 11% percent of the sample considered people with disabilities as a health inequity population, 47.8% were “aware/very aware” of the number of people with disabilities in their jurisdictions, and 53.5% were “aware/very aware” of the secondary conditions experienced by people with disabilities. Seventy percent of the sample reported including people with disabilities in emergency preparedness planning efforts, while inclusion in other programmatic areas (e.g., vaccine surveillance, tobacco/obesity prevention) ranged from 16%-52%.
conclusion: People with disabilities can greatly benefit from being included in health department programs/services; however, the findings from this assessment indicate that people with disabilities are not being fully included in local public health practice. Health department staff need to receive trainings and need to become better aware of the number of people with disabilities living in their jurisdictions.
Learning Areas:Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Administration, management, leadership
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Explain the role local health departments play in promoting the health of people with disabilities. Demonstrate a better understanding of why inclusion is important to help reduce inequities in health experienced by the population of people with disabilities. Demonstrate an understanding of the current levels of knowledge/awareness and inclusion of people with disabilities in local health department jurisdictions. List actions steps that local health departments can take to become more inclusive of people with disabilities in their public health practice.
Keyword(s): Disabilities, Community Health Programs
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Director of Environmental Health and Health and Disability at the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). I oversaw the assessment report project that NACCHO conducted to gain a better understanding of health departmentsâ knowledge, awareness and inclusion of people with disabilities in their jurisdictions.
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.