2.2 Recognize that disability can be used as a demographic variable.

Recognizing disability as a demographic variable can help public health professionals to specifically target this population for health interventions with the goal of helping people with disabilities achieve health equity.19 For example, many health reports that capture information on health disparities typically do not include disability status as a demographic indicator.  For example, of the 42 topic areas in Healthy People 2020, only 10 included objectives for disability,7 however, a standardized definition or indicator of disability would demonstrate need for tailored public health programs and policy development.20

Example: In 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) was charged with implementing Data Collection Standards, through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The standards for collection and reporting of data on race, ethnicity, sex, primary language and disability status in population health surveys are intended to help federal agencies refine their population health surveys in ways that will help researchers better understand health disparities and identify effective strategies for eliminating them.

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