dhds-graphicDisability and Health  Resources

ODHP has compiled a list of resources related to disability and health in Ohio. Click on the headings below to find resources relating to Health Promotion, Access to Care, Emergency Preparedness, and Health Policy, as well as other disability related resources.  Please use and share the resources listed on this page. Contact Samantha Shetterly if you know of a valuable and relevant resource that should be listed on our site.

The Disability and Health Data System (DHDS) is an interactive state-level disability data tool designed to assist partners, state health departments, national disability and health organizations, policymakers, researchers, educators, and others in the assessment of the health and wellness of people with disabilities. Guidance on navigating the DHDS system can be found at Disability and Health Data System (DHDS) Materials.

We also have compiled a list of disability and health resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which can be found here.

Disease Prevention, Management and Education

  • Ohio Department of Aging Healthy U OhioODA offers statewide evidence-based Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs (CDSMPs) which are proven, community based initiatives that provide health benefits and promote disease prevention. This website provides more information about Ohio’s CDSMPs, including the Healthy U and Healthy U Diabetes workshops. For more information about CDSMPs, visit Self Management Source’s CDSMP page.
  • Public Health is for Everyone is an online toolkit which serves as a one-stop resource to increase the capacity of public health professionals to create programs that benefit entire communities, including people who have disabilities. The PHEtoolkit provides public health professionals with resources to enhance their planning efforts in key issue areas.
  • The State Health Assessment is available as an online interactive tool that paints a comprehensive picture of Ohioans’ health. You can search state or county data for demographic trends, public health and prevention, healthcare spending, and much more.


  • The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) in American Sign Language
    The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) is a six-week workshop offered in community settings for people with chronic conditions to learn how to manage their diseases. CDSMP is an evidence-based program that is effective in managing chronic conditions and improving health outcomes in a variety of populations;however, the workshop may not effectively reach the deaf or hearing impaired community.  An estimated 4.8 million Americans cannot hear well enough to understand speech and American Sign Language (ASL) is the third most commonly used language in the United States.  People who are hard of hearing or deaf have poor health outcomes and low health literacy.As far as we know, CDSMP has never been offered in ASL.  In March-April 2016, the Ohio Disability and Health Program (ODHP) worked with the Deaf community and the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging’s CDSMP coordinator to coordinate a pilot of the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program developed by Stanford University in American Sign Language (ASL).Please see the link available below, which describes the evaluation of this pilot and provides recommendations for offering the program to members in the Deaf community.

    Chronic Disease Self-Management Program in American Sign Language: Evaluation Summary and Recommendations
  • Florida Center for Inclusive Communities’ Health Program Resources
    This series of factsheets were designed for people with mild intellectual disability. They can be used to help raise awareness about serious health conditions that become more common with increasing age. Usual treatments and prevention tips are also highlighted.

Tobacco Cessation Resources for People with Disabilities

Visit the ODHP Tobacco Cessation webpage for accessible online resources appropriate for adults/teens with disabilities, caregivers of people with disabilities, and health educators interested in learning more about the Living Independent From Tobacco cessation course.

The Ohio Department of Health’s Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Program
Did you know that the rate of cigarette smoking is significantly higher among adults with a disability compared to adults without a disability? The Ohio Department of Health offers cessation resources, free webinars, and a link the Ohio Tobacco Quite Line.

The Ohio Department of Health’s Tobacco Program has created smoking cessation materials that target PWD, including 2 Posters promoting the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line and 1 Brochure that includes information about the benefits of quitting smoking for PWD and tips to help caregivers, physicians, healthcare staff and other direct service providers encourage smoking cessation among the PWD they serve. These materials are appropriate for distribution or display at any facility or organization that serves PWD in Ohio. All materials are provided free of charge. Please consider ordering materials for your organization. To order, please fill out the Fillable Order Form below and e-mail directly to the Ohio Department of Health at: tobaccoprevention@odh.ohio.gov

View website information, materials, and download PDFs here:

“Adults with Disabilities” – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“Substance abuse-related information”

“Break Free from Tobacco” – Trifold Informational Brochure for People with Disabilities and Caregivers

“Cancer Doesn’t Discriminate” – 8×11 Ohio Tobacco Quit Line Poster (Wheelchair Hallway)

“Break Free from Tobacco” – 8×11 Ohio Tobacco Quit Line Poster (Grafitti Wall)

Fillable Order Form

Healthy Weight and Nutrition Education

  • B-HIP: Be Healthy Information Program
    The B-HIP Program is composed of a series of brochures designed to stimulate thought, encourage discussion, and provide essential information to help children and adults with disabilities live safe and healthy lives within the community.
  • Healthy Weight Issue Briefs from CDC’s Division of Human Development and Disability
    The issue briefs listed here describe considerations that people and organizations can do to help combat obesity among people with disabilities and assist them in achieving healthy weight and an improved quality of life. There are five briefs for audiences including: communities, health departments, employers, schools and healthcare professionals.
  • MyPlate – Tips for a Healthy Plate (PDF)
    Tips for a Healthy Plate is a tri-fold brochure developed by the University of Cincinnati UCEDD that provides a more graphical representation of long-term and “big-picture” healthy eating habits. Also available in Spanish.
  • Tips for Eating on the Go (PDF)
    Tips for Eating on the Go is a tri-fold brochure developed by the UC UCEDD that illustrates the most common choices people face at fast-food establishments when traveling. It offers options rather than eliminate choices to make the quickest and best possible healthy-alternative to an otherwise poor diet. Also available in Spanish.

Inclusion Support for Community Health Programming

Adaptive/Inclusive Sports and Fitness

  • Adaptive Sports Program of Ohio (ASPO)
    ASPO was established to promote the health and wellness of individuals with physical disabilities by providing competitive and recreational adaptive sport opportunities throughout the State of Ohio.
  • The Adaptive Adventure Sports Coalition (TAASC)TAASC offers programs to enhance everyday life, challenge participants, and build self-confidence through sports and recreational activities such as kayaking, alpine skiing, water skiing, ice-skating, sailing, and cycling.
  • Cincinnati Recreation Commission’s Therapeutic Recreation
    The Cincinnati Recreation Commission’s Division of Therapeutic Recreation offers leisure services for individuals with disabilities. The services promote healthy lifestyles and provide opportunities to participate in high-quality recreational and cultural experiences in the community.
  • The Shane Center for Therapeutic Horsemanship
    The Shane Center for Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities through innovative equestrian activities.
  • Special Olympics Ohio
    Special Olympics Ohio provides year-round sports training and competition opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities.

Sex Education

Women’s Health

  • Women with Disabilities and Breast Cancer Screenings – and information to help you Fight Breast Cancer from the CDC
    Women with disabilities need regular screening for breast cancer, too – but they are less likely to receive them. These CDC websites provide information about women with disabilities and breast cancer screenings, as well as tips on getting screened and basic information about the types of screenings that are available.

Educational Resources for Healthcare Providers

  • Core Competencies on Disability for Health Care Education
    The Alliance for Disability in Health Care Education (the Alliance) and the Ohio Disability and Health Program have partnered to improve the disability training that health care students receive. The purpose of this project is to develop a consensus on the disability competencies required for health care providers to provide quality care to patients with disabilities and to have them integrated into health education curricula. Visit the Core Competencies webpage for more information.
  • First Responders
    ODHP has produced a one hour training for first responders on working with people with disabilities approved for continuing education credit (CEU and CPT) for EMS, fire, law enforcement, and nursing personnel. Visit the ODHP Disability Training for First Responders webpage to access this training and additional resources that provide information related to serving people with disabilities.
  • Section 508 – The Basics
    In this archived webinar from the U.S. Access Board, an overview of 508 requirements is presented along with information on why accessible technology is important.
  • Table Manners and Beyond: The Gynecological Exam for Women with Developmental Disabilities and Other Functional Limitations
    This resource can help healthcare providers and other staff to understand the needs of women with developmental disabilities in the clinical setting. Download PDF

Visit the ODHP Trainings page for more information about continuing education opportunities on providing quality health care to people with disabilities. 


Educational Resources for Consumers, Navigators, and Enrollment Specialists

  • Medicaid Expansion
  • Medicare Changes
  • Health Insurance Exchanges
  • Integrated Care Delivery System (ICDS) for Dual Eligibles
  • ABD (for the aging population, those with visual impairments, and people with disabilities) Kids for those served by the Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps (BCMH)
  • Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”)
  • DeafDoc
    DeafDoc provides clear and concise health education in American Sign Language to promote the overall wellness of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing community.
  • Federal Disability Resources
    This website is the national clearinghouse for disability-related information and resources. They offer multiple resources relating access to healthcare for people with disabilities, including resources on disabilities and health conditions, home health care, Medicaid, and mental health, as well as resources for healthcare providers.
  • National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative
    The National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative (NDNRC) is an excellent resource that provides cross-disability information and support for Navigators and other enrollment specialists. The NDNRC has produced a wealth of information to help ensure that Navigators are well-informed of specific disability concerns relating to the ACA and insurance coverage. To date, among other resources, they have produced 16 factsheets on specific issues, as well as a Disability Guide that allows Navigators to work through practice scenarios.

Healthcare Advocacy Resources

  • Patient Rights
    Project MED (Medical EDucation for Consumers) was created in 1998 with funding from the U.S. Administration on Developmental Disabilities. Project MED educational booklets provide basic information about patients’ rights and medications in easily understood words.

  • Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF) – Healthcare Stories
    Healthcare Stories is a new video advocacy tool in DREDF’s ongoing campaign for healthcare justice for people with disabilities. They began collecting videos in 2011 and have added new ones recently. These short video stories feature people with developmental disabilities and their families, and an intrepid primary healthcare provider who has defined the field of developmental medicine.
  • Disability Rights Ohio (DRO)
    Disability Rights Ohio is a non-profit corporation with a mission to advocate for the human, civil, and legal rights of people with disabilities in Ohio. If you think that your legal rights have been violated because of a disability, DRO may be able to help.  If you think you have been abused or neglected, discriminated against, denied services or been unable to access public facilities, you can contact their intake department for assistance.

Additional Consumer Resources

  • Ohio Association of Community Health Centers (OACHC)
    OACHC is a non-profit professional trade association representing Ohio’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs, or community health centers) with a mission to ensure access to high-quality affordable health care for all Ohioans through the growth and development of Ohio’s Community Health Centers.
  • Ohio Association of Free Clinics (OAFC)
    A non-profit organization that supports free clinic services in Ohio, which vary by site but may include primary care, prescription assistance, dental, vision, behavioral health and other specialties.

Resources for People with Disabilities


Resources for People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Mobility Impairments

Transportation and Evacuation

  • ODPS EMS: State Board of Emergency Medical, First and Transportation Services
    Ambulettes are specially modified vehicles that can transport people who use wheelchairs.  Information and rules regarding wheelchair accessible ambulettes can be found on the ODPS EMS website. Do a web search to find ambulette providers in your area, or check with the Better Businesses Bureau.
  • Orientation Manual for First Responders on the Evacuation of People with Disabilities (PDF)
    FEMA produced this orientation manual to ensure that first responders to learn how best to perform a rescue using equipment and procedures that facilitate safe evacuation for any person with a disability. The manual provides an overview of disability types, tips, and possible accommodations that may be needed. Carry techniques and evacuation devices that are appropriate for use with people who have physical disabilities or use wheel chairs are also provided.
  • Rob’s Rescue
    The mission of Rob’s Rescue is: to enhance the effectiveness, safety, and sensitivity of the emergency response process for people with special emergency needs and individuals who are morbidly obese through specialized training, patient information, and equipment.  Rob’s Rescue staff is available for technical assistance and also offer presentations that can count for CEU credit.
  • Wheel Chair Accessible Taxi Cabs from Yellow Cab of Columbus
    Yellow Cab is currently the only taxi service in Columbus that offers wheelchair accessible cabs.  Check on-line to find accessible cab services in other parts of Ohio.  Phone number: 614-444-4444

Resources for Emergency Planners

  • Effective Communications for People with Disabilities: Before, During, and After Emergencies
    This 2014 report from the National Council on Disability identifies barriers, facilitators, and successful practices to providing effective emergency-related communications. The report examines the current state of affairs concerning the accessibility of emergency-related communications; reviews the enforcement of disability laws and regulations as they pertain to effective communications before, during, and after emergencies. Information on the experiences and perceptions of people with disabilities as they relate to emergency-related communications is also provided. Based on the findings of the report, NCD has put forth a series of recommendations for policy makers, federal partners, and emergency managers.
  • National Organization on Disability’s (NOD) Emergency Preparedness Resources
    NOD offers resources to help ensure that the needs of people with disabilities are adequately addressed prior to an emergency and that people with disabilities are included in the planning process. They offer resources for emergency planners, managers, and responders including a “Partners in Preparedness” downloadable brochure, and guides to help planners make the best use of community resources and included people with disabilities in the planning process. They also offer disaster readiness tips for people with disabilities.
  • Durable Medical Equipment in Disasters. Emergencies that come with power outages can create life-threatening emergencies for people who depend on durable medical equipment (DME). Here’s what DME is and how emergency services can prepare to help this population in a disaster situation.
  • Nobody Left Behind: Disaster Preparedness for Persons with Mobility Impairments
    This website provides resources to help personnel in the health, emergency management, response, disaster relief or disabilities fields learn more about preparing for disasters and assistance for people with disabilities.
  • Report on Exemplary and Best Practices in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response For People with Disabilities
    The Nobody Left Behind (NLB): Disaster Preparedness for Persons with Mobility Impairments research study determined the readiness of emergency management sites across the United States to assist persons with mobility impairments during disasters. One component of the NLB project was to identify exemplary polices, practices, and programs in emergency management designed to assist persons with mobility limitations. The identified exemplary situations are the basis of this white paper

State of Ohio Resources for Inclusive Planning

  • ODHP Resource for Creating Connections in the Disability Community
    State and Local Disability Organizations (PDF)
    This is a list of state and local disability organizations compiled by ODHP that local Emergency Management Agencies can contact to seek guidance on creating an inclusive emergency plan. Use this list as a starting point and branch out to contact any other local disability organizations in your area.
  • National Organization on Disability/The University of Findlay
    Proceedings of the Conference on Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities. Webcast archives are included.
  • Ohio Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Ohio
    This Tab of Ohio’s state EOP provides planning guidance for meeting federal regulations that impact access and functional needs in general population shelters throughout Ohio.
  • Transportation Evacuation Planning Toolkit (PDF)
    Evacuation transportation Planning Tips for People with Access and Functional Needs from the California Emergency Management Agency’s Evacuation/Transportation of People with Access and Functional Needs Planning Project.

Addressing Communication Barriers

  • Communication Tools for Use in Shelters
    • Communication Passport Accident and Emergency (PDF)
      Individuals with communication barriers and special healthcare or functional needs or their caregivers can fill out their personal information on the Passport in advance to help them prepare for emergencies. The Passport can then be reviewed by shelter and healthcare workers and serves as an excellent method for communicating emergency health information.
    • “I Speak”
      “I Speak” is a tool for law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies to identify the language of individuals they encounter who do not speak English.  “I Speak” is provided as a partnership effort between the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services.
    • “Show Me”: A Communication Tool for Emergency Shelters (PDF)
      This Communication Tool is designed to assist shelter workers to communicate with people who have various types of communication barriers. It provides images that will help shelter workers determine the specific needs, medical concerns, allergies, and other important information, of individuals with whom they cannot communicate orally.

Interpretation Services Resources

  • Sign Language interpretation services are generally provided for a fee by private agencies or individuals, and can also be accessed via video phone.  You may request a list of accredited interpretation agencies in your area from the Better Business Bureauor contact one of the agencies listed below.
  • Deaf Services Center
    Deaf Services Center is the largest provider of community-based services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing in the state of Ohio. Interpreters are available 24/7.
  • Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID)
    RID is a national membership organization for sign language interpreters. You can search their online member directory for local interpreters or e-mail info@rid.org for more information on locating a certified interpreter.
  • Portable or telephone interpreter services are also available. Some resources providing interpreter services include Trusted Interpretersand LanguageLine Solutions
  • The Ohio Relay Service
    The Ohio Relay Service is a free public service for communication between standard (voice) users and persons who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, and speech-disabled using text telephones (TTYs) or PCs via the Internet.


Training for Shelter Workers

Animal Sheltering

Continuing Education for Emergency Personnel

  • The Midwest Regional Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Model System Center created continuing education videos for emergency personnel. TBI survivors explain how their condition impacts their behavior, behavior that could otherwise come across as drunken or aggressive. Watch them here.
  • Tips for First Responders: This manual provides tips to first responders to be understanding of–and work effectively with–people with disabilities during an emergency situation. Tips are provided for various disability types, including mobility impairments, autism spectrum disorder, mental illness, intellectual disability, brain injury, and more.

Assistive Technology Needs

Resources for Employers

The Arc
The mission of The Arc is to promote and protect the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively support their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes. The Arc’s national office policy staff has prepared this issue of National Policy Matters on The Affordable Care Act and the elements of the law that impact people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Visit The Arc online Action Center to contribute to ongoing advocacy efforts.

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
AUCD is a membership organization that supports and promotes a national network of university-based interdisciplinary programs. AUCD’s mission is to advance policies and practices that improve the health, education, social, and economic well-being of all people with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and their communities by supporting our members in research, education, health, and service activities that achieve the vision of full inclusion for people with disabilities.
Visit the AUCD Public Policy website to learn more about policies that affect people with disabilities and to contribute to ongoing advocacy efforts.

Anti-Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Resources from SaferSchools Ohio
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) offers a variety of bullying prevention resources for families, schools and communities. These resources include a model anti-bullying policy and related presentation materials, a webinar series and links to helpful websites. Districts can take advantage of these tools for help in meeting their legal requirement to establish a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation and bullying.

Onlineschools.org has created a resrouce called A Guide to Bullying and Cyber Bullying which provides additional information on bullying in schools and communities.

Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) Disability and Health Briefs
HPIO has released a two-brief series examining disability and health in Ohio. The first brief is titled “Health and disabilities basics: Overview of health coverage, programs and services” (pdf, 12 pages). This brief provides an excellent overview of health coverage, programs, and services for people with disabilities, and also contains information on disability demographics, scope issues, and eligibility. The second brief, “Health and disabilities basics part II: The health challenges facing Ohioans with disabilities” (pdf, 12 pages), looks at the challenges for people with disabilities in achieving optimal health, examines current policies designed to mitigate these challenges, and also makes recommendations for future policies to better address these barriers.

Visit the HPIO website for up to date policy news in Ohio: https://www.healthpolicyohio.org/

Ohio Medicaid Expansion Study Brief
This 2013 brief from the Ohio Medicaid Expansion Study, a partnership between the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, the Ohio State University, Regional Economic Models, Inc., and the Urban Institute, describes the potential impact of expanding eligibility for Medicaid in Ohio.
A two-page executive summary is available here.

The Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD) provides policy updates, free resources, and opportunities for participation in advocacy activities. Please visit the AUCD Public Policy webpage to view updated information.

Disability Rights Ohio (DRO)
Disability Rights Ohio is a non-profit corporation with a mission to advocate for the human, civil, and legal rights of people with disabilities in Ohio. If you think that your legal rights have been violated because of a disability, DRO may be able to help.  If you think you have been abused or neglected, discriminated against, denied services or been unable to access public facilities, you can contact their intake department for assistance.

Disability Rights Resources in American Sign Language

Disability Rights Ohio (DRO) and Deaf Services Center (DSC) have created 18 videos interpreting many of DRO’s most requested resources into American Sign Language (ASL). The two organizations worked together on the project, thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Ohio State Bar Foundation.

The videos address a wide variety of important topics, from requesting accommodations at work to negotiating with your child’s IEP team for special education services. The collection offers more than 3.5 hours of information, which was interpreted into ASL and signed on camera by Molly Estes, who is Deaf and who has a background in assessing and teaching ASL.

“When preparing for this project, it was important for us to work closely with John Moore and Molly Estes at DSC to select the resources that would be most useful to the Deaf community in Ohio,” says DRO Executive Director Michael Kirkman. “We hope that the approximately 100,000 Ohioans who rely predominantly on ASL to communicate will be able to use this information to advocate for themselves and their families. We also encourage them to contact us if they need further assistance with any disability-related issue.”

“DSC is proud to be a partner with DRO in tearing down communication access barriers with the development of the ASL videos,” explains DSC CEO and Executive Director John Moore. “This will enable members of the Deaf and hard of hearing community who are linguistic users of ASL to know their rights in the language they are most comfortable with.”

Disability Language Style Guide

This resource is developed by the National Center on Disability and Journalism at Arizona State University. Describes appropriate terminology for people with disabilities and considerations when writing about disability issues in communications.
Disability Language Style Guide

Accessibility Assessment for your Healthcare Facility

Nearly 20% of the population in the United States reports having a disability.  Over 97% of persons with disabilities (PWD) live among the general population and seek healthcare from the same providers as people without disabilities.  PWD face significant disparities in health status and access to healthcare. In an effort to improve healthcare access to Ohioans with disabilities, the Ohio Disability and Health Program (ODHP) created an Assessment Improvement Checklist that can be used by Primary Care Facilities to increase the accessibility of clinical spaces for people with disabilities.

Why do an Assessment?

  • Identify access strengths & areas for improvement
  • Strengthen compliance  with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Improve the experience and care for patients with disabilities including the elderly
  • Help to maintain the mission of providing quality health care to vulnerable populations
  • Assessment reports can establish the justification for capital improvement grant applications to support improving the accessibility of your facility

Are Potential Changes Feasible?

  • Some changes can be inexpensive and very manageable
  • E.g., Adjust position of handrails, adjust pressure/speed of automatic door closers, correctly positioning access signs
  • Some changes may be more difficult or resource-intensive
  • Capital-improvement funding opportunities will be shared

Guide to Accessibility for People with Disabilities in Healthcare Facilities (2012)

Background and Need

Disability affects nearly one in five people today, and this number is growing. Alarming health disparities exist for people with disabilities (PWD), and these are exacerbated by their continued lack of access to care despite the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) over two decades ago.1,2 Moreover, there is deeply concerning evidence that patients with disabilities are significantly less likely to receive preventive care, at times as a result of the physician focusing too much on the patient’s disability.3,4

In addition to physical access barriers, some obstacles that PWD face when seeking quality healthcare can be attributed to the lack of significant disability-related training offered to healthcare providers. Recently, the U.S. Surgeon General addressed the lack of trained primary and specialty healthcare professionals capable of working with individuals with developmental and other disabilities.5 Among nonelderly PWD, 25% reported that they had difficulty finding a healthcare professional who understood their disability.6 Drainoni et al. elaborated on this finding by identifying cultural and personal barriers that contribute to the difficulty many PWD have in accessing quality healthcare.7 These include misconceptions about PWD, insensitivity and lack of respect, failure to take patients and caregivers seriously, and reluctance or unwillingness to care for PWD.

We agree with Shakespeare, Iezzoni, and Groce, who said:
Doctors and other health professionals who encounter people with disabilities in their professional practice should be aware not only of the causes, consequences, and treatment of disabling conditions, but also of the incorrect assumptions about disability that are common within society.8

Unfortunately, unless taught otherwise, physicians are likely to assume that disability is incompatible with quality of life and with health and that PWD are a burden to their families and to society. In fact, negative attitudes and assumptions about PWD directly compromise the quality of care provided to patients with disabilities. Negative, limiting attitudes toward disability are a major determinant of the significant disparities in health and healthcare documented in this population.

The University of Cincinnati’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UC UCEDD), one of the partners in the Ohio Disability and Health Program, has developed trainings for medical residents using modules from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. This Autism Case Training (ACT) for Residency Training is designed for training residents in screening, diagnosing, and treating autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities.

Resources for Physical Accessibility

Please find documents pertaining to physical accessibility below.
These guidelines from Department of Justice and U.S. Access Board refer often to the ADA and can help you to become part of the solution to the health inequities that exist for PWD today.

Access to Medical Care for Individuals with Mobility Disabilities
[PDF; Source: U.S. Department of Justice]

ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG): Excerpt Specific to Medical Care Facilities
[Word Document; Source: U.S. Access Board]

ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments (Appendices 1 and 2): ADA Accessibility Survey Forms and Instructions
[Link; Source; Department of Justice]

Proposed Accessibility Standards for Medical Diagnostic Equipment
[PDF; Source: U.S. Access Board]

Example Applications of the Proposed Medical Diagnostic Equipment Accessibility Standards
[PDF; Source: U.S. Access Board]

Cited References

  • Long-Bellil LM, O’Connor DM, Robey KL, et al. Commentary: Defining disability in health care education. Academic Medicine. 2011;86(9):1066–1068.
  • Yee S, Breslin ML. Achieving accessible health care for people with disabilities: Why the ADA is only part of the solution. Disability and Health Journal. 2010;3(4):253–261.
  • Iezzoni LI, McCarthy E, Davis R, Siebens H. Mobility impairments and use of screening and preventive services. American Journal of Public Health. 2000;90(6):955–961.
  • Reichard A, Stolzle H, Fox MH. Health disparities among adults with physical disabilities or cognitive limitations compared to individuals with no disabilities in the United States. Disability and Health Journal. 2011;4(2):59–67.
  • S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s call to action to improve the health and wellness of persons with disabilities. Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Washington, DC: 2005.
  • Hanson KW, Neuman P, Dutwin D, Kasper JD. Uncovering the health challenges facing people with disabilities: The role of health insurance. Health Aff. 2003. Available at: http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/early/2003/11/19/hlthaff.w3.552. Accessed November 20, 2012.
  • Drainoni M-L, Lee-Hood E, Tobias C, et al. Cross-disability experiences of barriers to health-care access: Consumer perspectives. Journal of Disability Policy Studies. 2006;17:101–115.
  • Shakespeare T, Iezzoni LI, Groce NE. The Art of Medicine: Disability and the training of health professionals. The Lancet. 2009;374(9704):1815–1816.
  • Symons A, McGuigan D, Akl E. A curriculum to teach medical students to care for people with disabilities: Development and initial implementation. BMC Medical Education. 2009;9(78):1–7.
  • Tracy J, Iacono T. People with developmental disabilities teaching medical students – Does it make a difference? J Intellect Dev Dis. 2008;33(4):345–348.
  • Woodard LJ, Havercamp SM, Zwygart KK, Perkins EA. An innovative clerkship module focused on patients with disabilities. Disabilities Education. 2012;87(4):1–6.

Local Addiction Treatment for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

The All Addiction Centers Near You technology uses your location to generate a listing of all the hearing impaired addiction treatment centers in and around your community.

Alltreatment.com is a community-based public-benefit website connecting people to the addiction resources they need. The resource is free to the public.

Here is the link to the hearing impaired addiction treatment center locator: https://www.alltreatment.com/addiction-treatment-for-the-deaf-and-hard-of-hearing/  

Transitioning to Higher Education: A College Guide for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

The link below serves as an expansive resource for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and wish to enter higher education. Topics cover accomadations, assistive technology, reputable programs, potential scholarships/funding opportunities, and so in– it is a tell-all for aspiring college students who happen to also be deaf or hard of hearing.

A College Guide for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Ohio Disability and Health Products


Disability and Health among Ohio Youth – 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey Factsheets

In 2013, disability identifiers were added to the Ohio Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), a statewide survey evaluating the health risk behaviors of Ohio high school students in grades 9 through 12. The Ohio Disability and Health Program analyzed the 2013 YRBS data and found that youth with disabilities face disparities in areas including rates of bullying, substance use, self-harm, and other health indicators. Two factsheets and one brochure were created to share these findings with policy makers, educators, healthcare providers, public health professionals, and the public. PDFs of each material can be downloaded below.

For more information about the YRBS, please visit the Ohio Department of Health’s “Ohio Youth Risk Behavior Survey” webpage.

Smoking Among Ohioans with Disabilities (PDF)

The Ohio Disability and Health Program has released a factsheet on smoking among people with disabilities in Ohio. Did you know that in Ohio, 36.3% of people with disabilities (PWD) smoke versus 17.9% of people without disabilities? This is an over 18 percentage point difference, and it is one the highest smoking rate disparities among PWD compared to people without disabilities in the United States. Smoking accounts for half a million deaths yearly and is of particular concern among PWD because they are at a high risk for smoking and smoking-related illnesses. This factsheet discusses the barriers that limit the participation of PWD in smoking cessation programs, smoking’s impact on health, the health benefits of quitting smoking, and what ODHP is doing to combat smoking disparities among PWD in Ohio.

Live Smoke Free Tobacco Cessation Factsheet 

This ODHP product provides practical information about the benefits of quitting smoking for people with disabilities. The fact sheet uses principles of Universal Design and incorporates feedback from disability self-advocates, tobacco control stakeholders, and public health researchers and professionals.

ODHP Disability Infographic (PDF)

This infographic, produced by the Ohio Disability and Health Program (ODHP), is a handy tool that gives a quick overview of the health related challenges and disparities faced by people with disabilities (PWD) in our state.  It also includes information about disability prevalence across the state and how the ODHP is working to improve health promotion, access to care, and emergency preparedness for PWD in Ohio.


Policy Briefs

The Double Burden: Health Disparities among People of Color Living with Disabilities (PDF)

Public health and health policy experts agree on the need to assess health disparities and healthcare inequities experienced by people of color and other historically disadvantaged groups.  However, these assessments often fail to include disability identifiers so that the health of members of historically disadvantaged groups who also have a disability can be understood. The Ohio Disability and Health Program (ODHP) has released an evidence-based policy brief, The Double Burden: Health Disparities among People of Color Living with Disabilities, which explores the health disparity-amplifying phenomenon experienced by racial and ethnic minorities who have disabilities and discusses the need to collect disability data and/or identifiers, together with racial and ethnic data, to improve the health of all people.

The Affordable Care Act: Impact on People with Disabilities (PDF)

On March 23, 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law. This new law contains several provisions that will benefit people with disabilities (PWD) by expanding access to insurance coverage, improving long term supports and services for PWD, enhancing protections for PWD, and improving accessibility and quality of health care for PWD.  Many of the provisions have been in effect since 2010, while others will come in 2014.  This brief from ODHP goes over the ways in which the ACA will impact people with disabilities.

The Importance of Defining Habilitation (PDF)

This document, created by the Ohio Disability and Health Program for your reference, explains the issue of defining habilitation in further detail.

Chronic Disease Self-Management Charts for Deaf Participants

Includes topics such as self-management tasks, self-management tool boxes covering physical activity, medical self-care, and nutrition. Also, this document includes steps to creating an action plan, how to best navigate problem solving in this context, and specific examples of ways to improve physical activity, ensure safety, and improve diet and overall nutrition.

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program: Charts Modified for Deaf Participants

Resources to Improve Website Access For People with Disabilities

To better reach accessibility needs among people with disabilities, ODHP has constructed a brief report that details how the Bureau of Environmental Health and Radiation can both check to see if their online documents are accessible and, if not, fix such documents so that they are accessible to all individuals and are in compliance with Section 508 Rehabilitation Act. More specifically, the report details guidelines for creating accessible files, webpages, and presentations.

Ohio Department of Health Accessibility Guide: Resources to Improve Website Access For People with Disabilities (PDF)


Public Health Needs Assessment

To inform and guide program activities, ODHP conducted a public health needs assessment of children and adults with disabilities living in Ohio. Data from this assessment is presented in two reports, the Disability and Health in Ohio Public Health Needs Assessment and the 2013 Ohio Disability Data Report. The findings from this public health needs assessment will be used to inform and guide ODHP’s strategic plan. The data gathered will help ODHP to identify better strategies while bolstering various activities underway. Some of the results will also serve as a baseline for ODHP to measure the progress and impact of the program. Beyond ODHP, it is encouraged that other partners, organizations, programs, and individuals review and utilize these reports to move forward on the mission of improving the health outcomes and lives of people with disabilities in Ohio.

Disability and Health in Ohio: Public Health Needs Assessment (PDF)

This report provides information on disability prevalence for the Ohio populace as well as access to health care, health promotion, and emergency preparedness for people with and without disabilities. It incorporates data from multiple population surveys to provide a snapshot of disability in Ohio. Additionally, qualitative data and quotes obtained from statewide open forums and results from an online survey are presented throughout this report. A separate document, the 2013 Ohio Disability Data Report, summarizes just the quantitative findings from the population surveys (see below).

2013 Ohio Disabilty Data Report (PDF)

This report provides information on disability prevalence for the population of Ohio as well as measures of access to health care, and health behaviors for people with and without disabilities. It incorporates data from multiple population surveys to provide a snapshot of disability in Ohio. A separate document, the Disability and Health in Ohio Public Health Needs Assessment, includes these quantitative findings and also reports on qualitative data from statewide open forums and an online survey (see above).


Web Resources

Medical Facility Accessibility Guide from the Ohio Disability and Health Program (ODHP)

On this page, ODHP outlines the need for training for healthcare providers on working with people with developmental and other disabilities. Training resources for healthcare providers are listed as well as resources for assessing and improving the physical accessibility of healthcare facilities.

ODHP Tobacco Cessation Webpage

The Ohio Disability and Health Program and the Ohio Department of Health Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Program have teamed up to create informational materials about the benefits of quitting smoking for PWD and tips to help caregivers, physicians, healthcare staff and other direct service providers support smoking cessation. These materials are appropriate for distribution or display at any facility or organization.