CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — APHA 2023 Annual Meeting and Expo


Meeting theme: "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Overcoming Social and Ethical Challenges"

Submission Deadline: Monday, April 3, 2023

APHA’s Disability section invites abstract submissions for socio-behavioral including health education and program intervention research, epidemiological, health systems, health law and policy, and social justice research related to disability and public health that represent people with all types of disabilities (e.g., cognitive, physical, mental, and sensory) across the lifespan. The section encourages abstracts that feature domestic and international perspectives. Case studies and demonstration projects that represent best practices and have been evaluated are also highly encouraged.

Abstracts dedicated to any and all aspects of disability and public health will be considered. When submitting an abstract, please identify it as falling into one of the following categories:

  • Approaching Public Health through a Disability Justice Lens
    This session will explore public health through a disability justice lens. The topics in this section should focus on the experiences of people who live at the intersection of disability and other marginalized identities (e.g., race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity, and sexual orientation).
  • Emerging Public Health Issues Affecting People with Disabilities
    The topics covered in this session will explore emerging public health issues and their impact on people with disabilities. This includes COVID-19-related topics (e.g., changes in support, emergency preparedness, long-term complications, and quality of care).
  • Healthcare Provider Education
    This session will survey disability knowledge, confidence in care, addressing medical bias, and education efforts for professionals in public health, medicine, and health professions.
  • Healthcare for People with Disabilities across the Lifespan
    This session will cover issues for people with disabilities across the lifespan from childhood to older adulthood. This includes medical conditions, caregiver involvement, programs and interventions, healthcare transitions, and long-term considerations.
  • Promoting Health Programs That Are Inclusive of People with Disabilities
    The topics covered in this session will focus on equitable opportunities for people with disabilities to engage in inclusive health promotion activities, including programs promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors such as physical activity, nutrition, chronic condition management, mental health, etc. This includes inclusive program aspects involving program development, evaluation, and outcomes. This session will also explore research, demonstration, and practice of policy, systems, and environmental strategies used to change organizations and communities to become more inclusive of people with disabilities.
  • Sexual Health and Reproductive Justice for People with Disabilities
    This session will explore issues related to people with disabilities and sexual health or reproductive justice. This includes topics concerning the right of disabled people to have children, not to have children, and to parent children safely and with dignity. This session will also explore sexuality and sexual health for disabled people, including access to quality sexual healthcare, information and education, relationships, sexual identity, etc.
  • Surveillance and Data
    This session will describe and explore current datasets and surveys inclusive of and about people with disabilities in research and data. This includes equity in data and evaluation as well as monitoring disparities in social, economic, employment/occupation, and health among people with disabilities.

Preference will be given to abstracts that feature originality. The selection process will also consider the use of innovative approaches, the potential impact on the field, clarity of presentation, reliance on high-quality scientific data, policy and practice implications, and program evaluation.

Abstracts are limited to 250 words. Abstracts are reviewed anonymously and rated based on the following criteria:

  1. importance of the issue or problem addressed;
  2. clarity of content;
  3. the soundness of the methodology and conceptual framework used;
  4. substantive findings or recommendations; and
  5. relevance to a broad audience.

Abstracts accepted for presentation will be for either a 15 to 20-minute oral presentation or a 60-minute poster session. Abstracts accepted for APHA’s Annual Meeting may not be presented at any other meeting or published in any journal before November 2023. Research in the pilot or development stages, small-scale studies, and project descriptions without a significant evidence base is best suited to poster presentations. Student submissions are encouraged, and students should indicate their status when submitting their abstracts.

Abstract submissions open in April 2023 for those interested in submitting an abstract for the film festival.

Attention students: Students who submit abstracts as first authors may be eligible to apply for the Disability Section Early Career Scholarship Program ($1,000). More information here:

Presentation requirements: While it is not necessary to be a member of APHA to submit an abstract, all presenters must be members of APHA and must register for the annual meeting. Presentations must be accessible and adhere to Disability Section guidelines for accessibility.


Program Planner Contact Information:

Robyn Powell, JD, PhD


Lindsey Mullis, M.S.