Exceptional Health for All: Promoting Health Equity for Individuals With Disabilities

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Purpose: Healthy People 2020 recommends that the health of individuals with disability be improved by improving life conditions and addressing the lack of resources for individuals with disabilities. HP 2020 further recommends the use of community-based interventions to improve quality of life of those living with a disability. Effective community partnerships offer the potential for such interventions to move beyond data driven initiatives to ignite a greater commitment to a community's quality of life. Community partnerships also increase the likelihood public health programming will be community-based, instead of 'placed.' The purpose of this presentation will highlight a partnership forged between Georgia Southern University (GSU) and a rural community in Southeast Georgia to address health equity of individuals with disabilities.

Methods and Results: In spring of 2012, key stakeholders in the community-the local school district and a non-profit organization that serves individuals with disabilities and their families met with faculty at GSU. Community stakeholders indicated that young people with disabilities and their families needed increased physical activity and education on how to access community-based services. A needs assessment was conducted to examine the health-related quality of life, health status, and access to health services of individuals with disabilities and their families. Based on the results from data analysis, the development of interventions to address areas of need have begun.

Conclusion: The results provide public health professionals with strategies and suggestions for developing evidence based practices to improve quality of life among individuals with disabilities and lessons learned when forging campus-community partnerships.


American Public Health Association Annual Meeting (APHA)


Boston, MA