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Framework to End Health Disparities of People with Disabilities

Thursday, May 4, 2023
Framework cover with NCD seal and photo of black man entering a building in an electric wheelchair.
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COVER LETTER: ([PDF](/assets/uploads/docs/cover-letter-to-health-equity-framework.pdf))

FRAMEWORK PRESS RELEASE

PROGRESS UPDATE, YEAR ONE: [(PDF)](/assets/uploads/docs/ncd-health-equity-framework-progress-report.pdf)

SCOPE AND PURPOSE: NCD’s Framework to End Health Disparities of People with Disabilities is the outgrowth of an acknowledgment of decades of health disparities experienced by people with disabilities, and of physical and systemic barriers to access to healthcare for people with disabilities; and the desire to address these inequalities and achieve health equity for all persons with disabilities. It is the product of a year’s worth of strategic outreach; consultation with a “dream team” of 14 academics, medical professionals, and others who have dedicated their lives to addressing the health disparities of people with disabilities; and literature review.

NCD’s framework begins with five core areas that NCD views as foundational for achieving health equity for people with disabilities. It is followed by numerous additional components that were identified by disability community leaders as being of critical importance.

These foundational planks, which lay the structural framework for a comprehensive guide to policymakers to improving health equity for people with disabilities, are as follows:

  1. Designating people with disabilities as a Special Medically Underserved Population (SMUP) under the Public Health Services Act;
  2. Designating people with disabilities as a Health Disparity Population under the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act;
  3. Requiring comprehensive disability clinical-care curricula in all US medical, nursing and other healthcare professional schools and requiring disability competency education and training of medical, nursing and other healthcare professionals;
  4. Requiring the use of accessible medical and diagnostic equipment; and
  5.  Improving data collection concerning healthcare for people with disabilities across the lifespan.

RELATED:

NCD.gov

An official website of the National Council on Disability