AUCD Network and Concept Maps

Adriane K. Griffen, DrPH, MPH, MCHES

December 21, 2016

As many of you know, I recently completed a Doctorate of Public Health with a concentration in leadership at the University of Illinois at Chicago. This training experience has forever changed how I think about issues and challenges.  I think in concept maps now-believe it or not! One of the most recent concept maps that I've created is around the mission of AUCD. This comes up every time I do outreach to a new partner or give a presentation. I just don't feel like words on a page do our work justice.  Here's how I explain the AUCD network-concept map style.

Health is central. One needs to be healthy to be well enough to get a good education, to live well in the community, and to maintain gainful employment. Total health for people with disabilities is at the core of what the AUCD network does. Total health means a way of thinking about health that is inclusive of physical, mental, and the social well-being of an individual. Education, community, and employment are all part of what makes up a person's way of life and all of these areas work together to affect total health. Our policies, practices, and research provide the legal regulations and rights to help a person with a disability get an education, become employed, and live in the community. As the AUCD network, we think about all of these factors that impact a person and how we can work to positively improve them, and in turn the total health of a person with a disability.  It's all connected! AUCD's public health team works to create health promotion and public health efforts that include people who have disabilities. We focus on areas of greatest health disparity. We aim to build capacity of our network in public health and encourage public health partners to include people who have disabilities.

What about your thinking on this? How do you work to include people with disabilities in your health promotion and public health efforts?  Feel free to email me or join our Including People with Disabilities group . We look forward to hearing from you!