Accessibility Options

Contact Information

Center for Disabilities Studies
University of Delaware
461 Wyoming Road
Newark DE 19716
Phone: 302-831-6974
TDD: 302-831-4689

Models of disability integration to consider for Delaware


New York Dept. of Health integrates disability targets into state grants and contracts

In 2009 the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Center for Community Health implemented an Inclusion Policy, which requires all Center for Community Health programs to ensure accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities throughout all funding opportunities. All programs must discuss the importance of people with disabilities in the project and all applicants for grant funding must describe how they will include people with disabilities in their programs. New York is the first state to take on such a policy of deliberate inclusion and targeting of people with disabilities similar to other minority groups in health promotion and chronic disease management and prevention efforts. The proposed activities to implement inclusive local and statewide public health programs must also include an evaluation of the effect and reach of the policy. Copies of the New York policy are available from HDWD staff.


Rhode Island Oral Health Surveillance Program

Public health surveillance is the ongoing systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of health data for purposes of improving health.  An essential component of this is the use and dissemination of this data to improve health.  The Rhode Island Oral Health Program within the Division of Community Health and Equity, RI Department of Health, developed the RI Oral Health Surveillance System plan.  Although this plan was developed for oral health, it can provide guidance for us to develop a population health surveillance program in which the health status and health disparities of Delawareans with disabilities will be tracked.  More specifically, the plan provides us with information on what components to be taken into account in developing the surveillance system including health indicators, data sources, national surveillance standards, data collection protocol, data confidentiality, storage and release policies, etc.  A full report is accessible by clicking on the following link:


Montana using disability as a demographic variable in online Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Montana has added disability as a component of the demographic profile used in reporting data from the BRFSS. Visitors to the website can select any variable captured in the survey and compare responses by demographic variables – age, race, gender, and disability status.


Public Health Partnerships Can Increase State Disability Capacity for Healthcare and Health Promotion

December 6, 2013

At the November 2013 National Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD) meeting, the focus was to present and discuss ways in which University Centers of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) can use low – or no-cost solutions for health activities for their constituents. The UCEDD at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) has the luxury of working within the same Institute as state-level disability programs, including the Oregon Office on Disability and Health (OODH), which is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The programs work together, and leverage resources and funds to extend to overall public health partnerships and programs on behalf of Oregonians with Disabilities and their families. Below are some examples from Oregon that may translate to Delaware:

Example 1- increasing access to breast cancer screening for women with disabilities
The CDC developed an educational campaign aimed at improving mammography screening for women with disabilities. Several state-level programs, including OODH, were funded to disseminate the materials and also to increase accessibility (e.g. by educating mammography technicians), as well as to assess and improve the accessibility of facilities themselves. In Oregon, on-site ADA assessments of 75 of our 105 state facilities resulted in a directory of regions and facilities with a standardized guide for women (see our Oregon Mammography Directory at

Example 2- Improving access to smoking cessation
Helping smokers quit is an important goal nationwide, and states participate at some level with services such as Quit Lines. In Oregon as with the nation, public health statistics show that 23% of adults with disabilities smoke compared to 17% of other adults. We plan to increase access and use of our state’s Tobacco Quit Line by disseminating educational materials targeted at people with disabilities via our community partners. In order to track our progress, we were encouraged to add one disability screening question to the Quit Line intake form, which will enable us to track if the numbers of people with disabilities increase over time. Our Quit Line partners can also track referrals to the program from our disability partners so we can assess how community partners may be integrating tobacco cessation into their client contacts.


National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disabiltiy launches “#doctalk”

The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) has a launched a campaign called “#doctalk” which asks physicians to take a pledge to talk about physical activity with their patients.  By going to the following link, physicians can sign up to take the pledge on-line:  Through this process, they pledge to:

– Talk about physical activity to their patients, especially those with disabilities.

– Prescribe physical activity.

– Use NCHPAD’s Physician’s Toolkit to connect my patients with resources and opportunities to be physically active.

The toolkit includes the following information:

Included is a video series in which physicians talk about taking the pledge and encourage other physicians to “prescribe exercise as medicine”.


CDC Vital Signs: Physical Activity for Adults with Disabilities

More than 21 million US adults 18–64 years of age have a disability. Physical activity benefits all adults, whether or not they have a disability, by reducing their risk of serious chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers. Only 44% of adults with disabilities who visited a doctor in the past year were told by a doctor to get physical activity. Yet adults with disabilities were 82% more likely to be physically active if their doctor recommended it.

Working age adults with disabilities who get no aerobic physical activity are 50 percent more likely to have a chronic disease such as cancer, diabetes, stroke, or heart disease than their active peers, according to a Vital Signs report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most adults with disabilities are able to participate in physical activity, yet nearly half (47 percent) of them get no aerobic physical activity. An additional 22 percent aren’t active enough.

The key findings of the report include:

  • Working age adults with disabilities are three times more likely to have heart disease, stroke, diabetes or cancer than adults without disabilities.
  • Nearly half of adults with disabilities get no aerobic physical activity, an important protective health behavior to help avoid these chronic diseases.
  • Inactive adults with disabilities were 50 percent more likely to report at least one chronic disease than were active adults with disabilities.
  • Adults with disabilities were 82 percent more likely to be physically active if their doctor recommended it.

Aerobic physical activity can help all adults, including those with disabilities, avoid chronic disease.   Physical activity is for everybody – and everybody can help.

  • Adults with disabilities can talk to their doctor about how much and what kind of physical activity is right for them.
  • Doctors and other health professionals can recommend aerobic physical activity options that match each person’s specific abilities and connect him or her to resources that can help each person be physically active.
  • States and communities can bring together adults with disabilities, health professionals, and community leaders to address resource needs to increase physical activity.


CDC has set up a dedicated resource page for doctors and other health professionals with information to help them recommend aerobic physical activity to their adult patients with disabilities.

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Health Care for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

One of the critical areas of need identified by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), families, and disability organizations is the provision of appropriate and quality health care to individuals with IDD including youth who are transitioning from pediatric to adult health care. The linkeed symposium will focus on a number of distinct efforts underway to develop materials and practices that will ultimately lead to greater capacity and improved health care services for individuals with IDD. Three of the projects are supported by the Special Hope Foundation through a competitive grant program and the fourth is an effort supported in part by the Arc of the US through the HealthMeet project funded by the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.



The New Jersey and Arizona Experience in Providing a Primary Care Health Home Model for Adults with Disabilities
Presented at the 2012 Association of University Centers on Disability Annual Conference by: Deborah Spitalnik, PhD, Executive Director, The Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, and Tamsen Bassford, MD, Tucson, AZ, Sonoran UCEDD;

Arizona and New Jersey have utilized Family Medicine Residency training programs to address the primary health care needs of adults with developmental disabilities through a health home model. In the linked slide presentation the education of resident physicians is discussed, as well as the potential of Family Medicine, as a life span discipline, in addressing the transition to adult health care.


National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health Equity

Although this national strategy focuses on disparities in racial and ethnic minorities, the approach and breadth of goals offer a model that may be useful for Delaware. See the summary table at the end of the Executive Summary for a quick overview.