NACCHO Releases National Assessment on Disability Awareness in Local Health Departments

“National Assessment of the Knowledge, Awareness, and Inclusion of People with Disabilities in Local Health Departments’ Public Health Practices,” a new NACCHO research brief, analyzes a survey of local health departments conducted to explore and better understand the ways they include people with disabilities in their programs, products, and services. Approximately 56 million people in the United States live with a disability, and they are often excluded from public health programming and activities.

A total of 159 LHDs nationwide completed the nine-item survey. Notable findings reveal that:

  • Local health departments do not intentionally exclude people with disabilities from their activities;
  • Local health departments tend to be unaware of the prevalence rates of people with disabilities in their communities;
  • Local health departments report a general lack of knowledge about the health disparities people with disabilities experience; and
  • Local health departments are more likely to include people with disabilities in their emergency preparedness activities than in any other type of program or activity.

NACCHO will use the survey data to develop a general framework for education, training, and outreach materials to raise local health department awareness of the health inequities experienced by people with disabilities.

NACCHO has additional resources available to help local health departments ensure they are including people with disabilities in all their planning through its Health and Disability project. A Sept. 9 featured blog post expands on the numerous resources available.

About Katie Regan

Katie Regan serves as the Communications Specialist for Environmental Health, Pandemic Preparedness, and Catastrophic Response at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices through NACCHO's various storytelling and communications channels. Twitter: @katiejregan

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