Compared to people without disabilities, people with disabilities are at a higher risk for poor health outcomes such as hypertension, obesity, falls-related injuries, and depression.1 Knowledge about the health status and public health needs of people with disabilities is essential for addressing these and other health disparities. However, most public health training programs do not include curricula on people with disabilities and methods for including them in core public health efforts. There is a clear need for public health efforts to reduce health disparities among people with disabilities. This may be achieved by building a stronger public health workforce skilled in ways to include people with disabilities in all public health efforts.
Including People with Disabilities: Public Health Workforce Competencies outlines recent advances in knowledge and practice skills that public health professionals need to include people with disabilities in the core public health functions – Assessment, Policy Development and Assurance. This resource provides strategies to meet the competencies and real examples of how people with disabilities can be successfully included in public health activities. These competencies align with existing broad public health competencies, and compliment them. These existing competencies include those developed by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, Masters in Public Health Core Competencies; Public Health Accreditation Board; Public Health Foundation Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals, Council on Linkages Between Public Health and Academia, and the 10 Essential Public Health Services. In addition, they foster workforce capacity-building priorities, such as the Healthy People 2020, Disability and Health Objective DH-3.
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