Accessible Health Care
Access to the full range of available medical services and programs contributes to positive health outcomes. Accessible medical equipment, such as scales and exam tables, and communication materials in alternate formats help people with disabilities receive the same level of care as their counterparts without disabilities.
Inclusive Health Promotion
Physical activity, nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are essential elements of maintaining good health. Accessible fitness and sports equipment, as well as parks and playgrounds that are free of barriers, all promote physical activity and wellness for people of all abilities.
People with disabilities may experience additional challenges during an emergency or disaster. Developing a personal emergency plan is vital for their safety and well-being. Emergency professionals and volunteers who provide assistance during an emergency may need additional training on how to best assist individuals with functional and access needs.
Communication is an important part of any relationship but it is especially important between physician and patient. Effective communication is essential to a proper diagnosis, appropriate medication dosing and ensuring patient compliance with a treatment regimen.
Integration of Oral Health into Primary Care
The message of the Surgeon General’s National Call to Action to Promote Oral Health was that oral health is essential to general health and well-being and good oral health can be achieved. However, a number of barriers hinder the ability of some Americans from obtaining optimal oral health. The Surgeon General’s Report concluded with a framework for action, calling for a national oral health plan to improve quality of life and eliminate oral health disparities.
Citation: Office of the Surgeon General (US). National Call To Action To Promote Oral Health. Rockville (MD): National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (US); 2003. Introduction. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK47470/
Integration of Mental Health into Primary Care
According to the CDC, in the health care and public health arena, more emphasis and resources have been devoted to screening, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness than mental health. Little has been done to protect the mental health of those free of mental illness. The former surgeon general notes that there are social determinants of mental health in the same way that there are social determinants of general health. These include adequate housing, safe neighborhoods, equitable jobs and wages, quality education, and equity in access to quality health care.
CDC Link: http://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/basics.htm
Disability cultural competency means having an understanding of the nature and needs of people with disabilities and having a sensitivity to the cultural aspects of disability. This includes an understanding of how to be welcoming, accessible, and accommodating when working with people with disabilities.
System Change & Inclusive Policy
System‐level change is created through active participation on state‐wide councils, committees, and workgroups that address health and disability issues. The implementation of the goals and objectives of the Plan to Achieve Health Equity for Delawareans with Disabilities contributes to system-level change. Read the plan online or contact HDWD for a copy of the plan.
Being part of community life is important for social well-being and mental health. Participating in civic, religious and social activities prevents isolation and fosters meaningful relationships.