|Emerging Issues in Disability and Health
There are three critical emerging issues in disability and health:
The first is the need for better disability health data to inform policy and program development regarding critical issues of health disparities and health equity. A solution is to ensure that standard disability items are included in all public health surveillance instruments and that data is analyzed for individuals with disabilities where disability is in the data source.
The second is the need to increase the implementation of evidence-based health and wellness programs that have been demonstrated to be effective among people with disabilities in community settings, including adequate strategies for preparedness and response for individuals with disabilities. Related to this is the need to translate existing evidence-based interventions demonstrated to be effective in clinical settings for people with disabilities to community programs. A solution is to add people living with disabilities to community-based health promotion efforts where possible.
The third is the need to improve environmental designs and public infrastructure. Solutions include:
· Ensuring the accessibility of technology, health information technology tools and systems, broadly defined, for people with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities. This includes electronic health records and personal health records as well as wearable technologies and home monitoring systems.
· Designing homes and community spaces that are fully accessible to individuals with disabilities.
· Ensuring that professional degree programs offer coursework in disability and health.