Over 56.7 million Americans have a disability, making up about 19% of the American population.4 This means that people with disabilities are a large part of the communities that public health professionals serve. People with disabilities experience barriers to access health services. People with disabilities experience more chronic health problems than the general population. People with disabilities have the right to be able to access and interact with their environment without barriers, and receive health interventions and services just like the general population.7
This competency is important because it will help provide awareness for public health professionals that disability is a part of the human experience and a focus of public health should be the promotion of health to people with disabilities, and the identification and reduction of health disparities of people with disabilities.11 Public health organizations and professionals should always include people with disabilities in health promotion and planning efforts to help reduce health disparities and improve the health outcomes of people with disabilities.
3.1 Recognize health issues of people with disabilities and health promotion strategies that can be used to address them.
3.2 Use laws as a tool to support people with disabilities.
3.3 Recognize accessibility standards, universal design, and principles of built environment that affect the health and quality of life for people with disabilities.
3.4 Explain how public health services, governmental programs, and non-governmental/ community-based organizations interact with disability.
3.5 Describe how communities (places where people live, work, and recreate) can adapt to be fully inclusive of disability populations.