Inclusive Public Health Quarterly - December 2020

December 18, 2020

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Winter 2020


Holiday Greetings

Happy holidays with snow falling

This is such an important time to be a public health practitioner! Thank you for everything you do every day to serve people who have a disability.

We know that the volume of overwhelming information shared on a daily basis can be difficult to manage. We have also been engaging our Emergency Preparedness Special Interest Group (SIG) and the Health and Disability SIG by sharing key resources that we review and curate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Federal Emegency Management Agency (FEMA) and other partners in the disability community. We have been steadily adding to the COVID-19 and emergency preparedness resources in our Public Health is for Everyone online toolkit, while launching Act Early COVID-19 Teams built upon our national network of Act Early Ambassadors. We were able to shift gears to support a Children's Mental Health Champions pilot program at a time when this support is desperately needed. Our National Center on Disability Inclusion in Emergency Preparedness will be sharing online trainings in the new year and AUCD Trainees may opt to complete a practicum capstone "Prepared4ALL" experience. Through new partnerships with blood disorders partners, AUCD has been able to support the development of COVID-19 messages and surveillance efforts.

Your voice matters! As cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, please remind your communities that the safest way to celebrate the holidays is at home with the people you live with - and it's not too late to get a flu shot. For more information and health education messaging, please visit CDC's Winter Holidays page. The Office of Minority Health (OMH) has also just launched a toolkit, #HolidayAskWearAMask Partner Toolkit, which includes social media messaging.


Happy Holidays! Thank you for all that you do. Please stay safe at home.


adriane griffen signiture

Adriane K. Griffen


COVID-19 Emergency Response Information


Stay Safer at Home. Stay Healthy.
COVID-19 Emergency Response Information at
AUCD's National Center on Disability in Public Health


Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines

Text that reads cases rising, ACT NOW!, with a person wearing a mask, people standing 6ft apart, a person avoiding large crowds

COVID-19 cases and deaths are rising across the United States. We all must remain vigilant. The changes we have had to make to routines and daily life are extremely hard, but these changes are even more important now and in the future. We must stop the spread of this new and dangerous virus. The more steps you and your family can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the safer you will be. There are three important ways to slow the spread: Wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from others who don't live with you, and avoid crowds, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Now that there is an authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, accurate vaccine information is critical. Continue reading facts from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention about COVID-19 Vaccines.


COVID-19 Resources for People with Thalassemia

CAF logoThe Cooley's Anemia Foundation (CAF) is dedicated to serving people afflicted with various forms of thalassemia, most notably the major form of this genetic blood disease, Cooley's anemia/thalassemia major. The mission of the CAF is to increase life expectancy and enhance the quality of life for those impacted by thalassemia, a class of genetic blood disorders, most of which require regular blood transfusions and aggressive management of chronic iron overload, the predominant cause of early death. CAF funds medical research to advance treatment and curative approaches, by supporting and advising patients and their families and advocating on their behalf, and by educating medical professionals and the general public. CAF has developed a list of COVID-19 resources for people with ThalassemiaLearn more about these resources and what CAF is doing to advance research and serve people with Thalassemia.


The Cooley's Anemia Foundation COVID-19 Info Bank: Be Careful with Fans During the Pandemic

Cooley's anemia foundation logo Good ventilation can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 indoors. However, many people assume this means they should turn on indoor fans. In fact, if a person infected with COVID-19 is in a room, regular home fans may help spread contaminated particles. Opening windows to help fresh outside air to come in and stale indoor air to move out is a better option. 
View this infographic for a helpful reminder about proper air ventilation during a pandemic and find more resources from the Cooley's Anemia Foundation COVID-19 Info Bank.


Archived Webinar: COVID-19 and Thalassemia

CAF logoThe Cooley's Anemia Foundation (CAF) hosted a special webinar on "COVID-19 and Thalassemia." MAny members of the U.S. thalassemia community have questions about COVID-19 itself and in what ways it might affect individuals with thalassemia. his webinar is designed to answer those questions. Presenters include, Dr. Priya Nori, Associate Professor of Medicine and Orthopedic Surgeon at the Albert Einstien College of Medicine and Dr. Sujit Sheth, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine. Watch the archived webinar today!


AUCD News & Events

AUCD 2020 Virtual Conference: Achieving Equity, Leading the Way in the Next Decade... Thank You!

three men and one in a wheel chair holding the AUCD globe, text reads #AUCD2020The theme of this year's conference was ─ "Achieving Equity: Leading the Way in the Next Decade." Model Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is one of those four priority areas and is critical to work AUCD does as a network, both now and in the decade to come. As a network and larger disability community, AUCD strives to make significant strides in efforts to advance diversity and inclusion. The disparities seen as we confront the coronavirus pandemic and what many are calling our country's "racism pandemic" draw attention to the essential and urgent nature of our collective work to address equity. This year's conference took place in a virtual setting on December 7th-9th.Thank you to everyone who participated, sponsored, exhibited, and presented at #AUCD2020! We're so glad you joined us for Leading the Way in the Next Decade to Achieve Equitty. Check out the AUCD 2020 conference page for more information and take a look at the impact of the conference at a glance!


Public Health Perspectives on Disability: Science, Social Justice, Ethics, and Beyond

blue text bookAs part of its pre-conference events, AUCD was proud to host a virtual "Meet the Authors" for the newly released Public Health Perspectives on Disability: Science, Social Justice, Ethics, and Beyond (2nd Ed.) Dr. Adriane Griffen, AUCD's Senior Director of Public Health and Leadership, moderated this event and is the lead author on the workforce development chapter, entitled, "Preparing a Disability-Competent Workforce."  You can take advantage of a special offer to get 20% off the printed book or eBook by using the following token on M3erfPRc3p99nyC. This discount is valid through December 31, 2020.


Dr. Adriane Griffen Elected as PHEHP Chair

Adriane Griffen smiling for photo with blue blouse on and pearl necklaceDr. Adriane Griffen, AUCD's Senior Director of Public Health and Leadership, has been elected as a Chair for the American Public Health Association (APHA), representing the Public Health Education and Health Promotion (PHEHP) section. Beginning her role this fall, Dr. Griffen will serve a one-year term with APHA. As Dr. Griffen shares, "It's an honor to serve as PHEHP Chair this year. I'm excited to bring my leadership experiences in the Disability Section to this role to encourage accessible health promotion and health education efforts." Continue reading about Dr. Adriane Griffen and her new role as PHEHP Chair.


AUCD's Flu Factsheets

aucd logoAUCD has developed A plain language guide to the flu shot and why it is important to get a flu shot for your health and the health of others.
Along with other federal, state, and local agencies and public health officials across the country, AUCD continues critical work to support and advocate for individuals with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. See frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 Vaccine and important considerations for the disability community.


Access to Healthcare

#OwnMyHealthRecord Twitter Chat Follow Up Discussion 

A twitter post about health recordsAs a follow up to AUCD's #OwnMyHealthRecord Twitter chat earlier this fall, chat discussant Sherice Donte' Smith, Disability Program Specialist, from the University of Arkansas Partners for Inclusive Communities joined Adriane Griffen, Senior Director of Public Health and Leadership, to review the key themes from the Twitter chat. The discussion recording, ASL interpretation, and a transcript are available.
If you are interested in continuing the discussion please consider joining our healthcare transition, national learning group. This group includes interested UCEDDs, LENDs, and IDDRCs, as well as key partners, and meets on a quarterly basis throughout the year. If you are interested in joining, please email Jordan Kerr, Public Health Program Specialist, at [email protected] with the subject line, "Healthcare Transition National Learning Group."


The 2020 New Hampshire Disability & Public Health Infographic Report

An infographic with statistics about health equityThe New Hampshire Disability & Public Health project's 2020 infographic report shows that adults with disabilities need better access to health care. "Our infographic reports this year shows that people with disabilities have a harder time accessing health care than people without disabilities, and people with multiple disabilities are most likely to face barriers to care" said Evan England, program coordinator and co-author of the report. "Health care practices can help by keeping these barriers in mind and creating inclusive policies to help people who have difficulties with transportation or cost." View this infographic and learn more about factors related to health equity for people with disabilities and strategies to improve health care access for all people.


Adults with Disabilities Needs Accessible and Responsive Telehealth Care

infographic with man on computer with a globe, headset, hour glass, and person around itIn New England, adults with disabilities are more likely than adults without disabilities to use telehealth for remote healthcare visits. Despite this, adults with disabilities are less satisfied overall with the remote care they get. Explore the data and learn some of the strategies' healthcare providers can use to make telehealth more accessible.


Sankofa National Provider Directory (Providers Needed!)

pink logo with text that reads The Sankofa Parent Support Group, formerly known as the African American Developmental Disabilities Parent Alliance, at UC Davis is a social network for parents and caregivers of Black children with disabilities. Founded in 2015, their goal is to empower parents to become strong advocates for the needs of their child.
The word Sankofa comes from an African language which means "go back and fetch it" which corresponds with the mission and purpose of the group which is to take information and resources they learn back to people in the community. Sankofa is putting together a national Black provider directory for families raising children with Developmental Disabilities. If you are a Black provider or a non-Black provider that has extensive training in supporting Black families of children with disabilities, please fill out this form to enter your information into the directory.


Disability Inclusion Tools: Accessible Data Presentations

data to action fact sheet When you make your data accessible, you make it easy for people to understand! Use AUCD's Accessible Data Presentation Fact sheet to make your data presentations more accessible, specific for different audiences, and effectively presented. This factsheet was created with contributions by the Disability Data to Action Community of Practice organized by AUCD. This project was funded by a cooperative agreement with the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), Disability and Health Promotion Branch; and the Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Supports (CSTLTS). View the factsheet and find resources for accessible data presentations.


Disability Inclusion Tools: Seeing People with Disabilities

a factsheet about seeing patients with disabilitiesThis reflection sheet may be used to support conversations on healthcare transition for youth with disabilities, dedicating time to review and update health records or "Own My Health Record," use of telehealth, and access to timely health services like the seasonal flu shot. Special thanks to AUCD's Access to Healthcare and the Healthcare Transition National Learning Groups for their contributions. If you are interested in continuing the discussion, please consider joining our Healthcare Transition National Learning Group. This group includes interested UCEDDs, LENDs, and IDDRCs, as well as key partners, and meets on a quarterly basis throughout the year. If you are interested in joining, please email Jordan Kerr, Public Health Program Specialist, at [email protected] with the subject line, "Healthcare Transition National Learning Group."


Baylor College of Medicine Offers the First-Ever Adult Developmental Medicine Fellowship

Applications are accepted between July 1 and October 31

man in a wheel chair high fiving a female doctor Baylor College of Medicine Section for Transition Medicine offers a one-year Developmental Medicine Fellowship starting July 1, 2021. The fellowship aims to train med-peds, family, or internal medicine physicians as leaders in the care of individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Just as pediatricians have trained in developmental-behavioral pediatrics and neurodevelopmental disabilities, the fellows will become experts on the healthcare needs of adults with these conditions. 

This fellowship is directed by Drs. Cynthia Peacock and Jordan Kemere. Applications are accepted between July 1 and Oct. 31 with interviews being scheduled after submission. If you have questions or are interested in applying, please email [email protected].


Developmental Monitoring

AUCD's Public Health Team Develops Playbook of Practical Steps to Support Parenting, Behavioral Concerns & Strategy Implementation 

AUCD logoAUCD's Playbook of Practical Steps to Support Parenting, Behavioral Concerns & Strategy Implementation is a summary of strategic advice from a 12-month national Community of Practice (CoP) facilitated by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from November 2019-November 2020. This CoP, composed of three state-level CoPs in Alaska, Connecticut, and Kentucky, focused on integrating best practices for utilizing evidence-based positive parenting and child development resources. These "plays" are based on lessons learned from collaborative efforts of the AUCD Network and partners to implement efforts to support parenting and behavioral concerns within systems that serve young children and their families. Learn more about this "Playbook" of practical steps and strategies to support your programmatic efforts.


Emergency Preparedness

AUCD's Prepared4ALL Affiliate Townhall Meeting #1 for Wearing Masks

disability in public health globe with multiple colorsRegister for the first Prepread4ALL town hall meeting on January 27th, 2021 from 1-2 pm ET. This informal virtual meeting will give interested disability organizations an opportunity to meet the team and learn about the toolkit created to assist with local emergency preparedness outreach efforts. This will become an optional monthly meeting with which organizations can choose to join in order to receive support from AUCD's Technical Assistance and Training Center, learn about new resources, and collaboratively problem-solve with others when making inroads with local emergency preparedness efforts. The team is here to provide support along the journey in becoming Prepared4ALL! Register here and join in on January 27th to learn more!


AUCD's Prepared4ALL Town Hall: AUCD Training Directors and Trainees

3 people and one in a wheel chair at a table with a speech bubble that reads Calling all AUCD Training Directors and Trainees! Are you interested in learning about disability inclusion in local emergency and pandemic planning? Register for a Prepared4ALL town hall meeting on January 29th, 2021 from 3-4 pm ET. You'll learn more about Prepared4ALL, an innovative approach to coalition-building among local disability organizations, and emergency planning agencies. You'll have the chance to ask questions about the approach of AUCD's Technical Assistance and Training Center and learn about resources they're developing including FREE online training and a detailed action toolkit. For trainees who are interested, they also offer internship and capstone project support. The team is here to provide support along the journey in becoming Prepared4ALL!

Register here and join in on January 29th to learn more!



Nutrition and Healthy Weight

Nutrition Initiatives During COVID-19: Findings from State Aging and Disability Agencies

National resource center on nutrition and agingDuring the COVID-19 pandemic, health risks and financial burdens for certain at-risk populations can make access to food challenging. This issue brief explores the adjustments that states have made to nutrition programs. The brief highlights examples of opportunities available and changes that states have made to ensure older adults and persons with disabilities have access to food during the pandemic. Data and findings are drawn from the Advancing States 2020 COVID-19 Membership Survey.


Tip Sheet for Disability Inclusion during COVID-19 Nutrition

save the children logo with red stick figureThis Tip Sheet, created by Save the Children Disability Inclusion Technical Working Group, provides practical recommendations to ensure Save the Children and our partners deliver NUTRITION programs during COVID-19 that are inclusive of children and families with disabilities. These recommendations and their adaptability may vary between contexts and locations and teams may need to adapt or prioritize what is possible in their respective programs. Check out this tip sheet to learn more about disability inclusion and nutrition.


Sexual and Reproductive Health

Archived Webinar: Sexuality in Education Settings for Students with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

AUCD webinar logoPeople with disabilities want friendships and relationships as much as anyone else. Unfortunately, there is a lack of appropriate education out there to support safe and healthy relationships. The rate of sexual assault is 7 times higher for individuals with intellectual disabilities than for those without. AUCD's Sexual Health special interest group (SIG) hosted Katie Thune from Mad Hatter Wellness and the author of Sexuality for All Abilities to talk about how we can work together to lower that statistic by supporting the sexual health of this population through conversations, education, and awareness. Watch the archived webinar now!


Ignorance May be Bliss, but Knowledge is Power

Elevatus training logo"I was in the mainstream health class in high school learning about health with students without disabilities. When the sexuality unit started, they removed me from class." ~Anonymous Self Advocate
Many professionals who work with people with developmental disabilities often wonder whether they really need to talk about sexuality. They may not think a person with developmental disabilities is a sexual person because of their disability, or they may feel afraid that talking about the topic will spark the person's interest in sex and cause them to start having sex. Elevatus Training offers evidence and trauma-informed curriculum, online training, in-services, and workshops to help professionals, educators, self-advocates and parents skillfully and confidently navigate the topic of sexuality. Continue reading this article written by Katherine McLaughlin, M.Ed., CSE, and founder of Elevatus Training.


Register Today! Sex Talk for Self-Advocates Webinar #8: Parenting 

Tuesday, January 26th 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. ET

AUCD webinar logoJoin the for AUCD's Sexual Health Special Interest Group for Sex Talk for Self-Advocates Webinar #8: Parenting on January 26, 2021, from 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET. Our expert hosts of sexuality educators and self-advocates have invited a panel to discuss questions and topics related to having children and parenting for individuals witth intellectual and developmental disabilities. This webinar is part of an on-going series that addresses self-advocate questions about relationships and sexuality. This series is a great learning opportunity for self-advocates, professionals, and paraprofessionals working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to understand sexual health needs better. Register today!


Wellness and Mental Health

Share your thoughts! SAMHSA's National Training and Technical Assistance Center for Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health want your input!

NTTAC logoSAMHSA's National Training and Technical Assistance Center for Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health (NTTAC) requests input from the field on priority needs and interests for training and technical assistance (TTA). All stakeholders in the children's, youth, and family mental health field are warmly invited to respond to NTTAC's Needs Assessment Survey, whether clinicians, service providers, administrators, educators, advocates, peers, or in another role. NTTAC will use this input to design responsive, practical services, and resources. Take the survey now! (this survey should take approximately 5-15 minutes, and most questions are multiple-choice)


The Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) Equity Chats 

screenshot of the vide of the IECMHC sessionThe Center of Excellence, in partnership with the Children's Equity Project, launched its first Equity Chat last month entitled "The Revised IECMHC Competencies: Examining the Role of the Consultant in Advancing Equity in IECMHC". 
The Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) Equity Chats are designed to provide a forum to dialogue on specific equity topics in order to support more equitable systems and strengthen culturally responsive IECMHC practices to reduce disparities and improve child outcomes. Learn more about Equity Chat and watch the recording!


The Choose and Use Interactive Search Engine 

interactive chart on a chalk boardAs states, tribes, and communities continue to build the evidence base for the effectiveness of the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) in early care and education settings, a common question is: which tools should we be using to measure impact?

The Choose and Use interactive search engine are designed to help you plan for capturing data on outcomes of IECMHC. There are summarized key information about measures that have been used previously in two or more IECMHC program evaluations to assess child, teacher, teacher-child relationship, and classroom/program level impacts. Learn more about how you can search for information about tools that meet your specific needs.


The Mental Health of People with Disabilities 

head with brain with text that reads December 3rd was International Day of Persons with Disabilities. In the United States, 1 in 4 adults-61 million-have a disability. Many people will experience a disability at some point during their lives. Disabilities limit how a child or adult functions. These limitations may include difficulty walking or climbing stairs; hearing; seeing; or concentrating, remembering, or making decisions.

Although "people with disabilities" sometimes refers to a single population, this is a diverse group of people with a wide range of needs. Two people with the same type of disability can be affected in very different ways. Some disabilities may be hidden or not easy to see. Adults with disabilities report experiencing frequent mental distress almost 5 times as often as adults without disabilities.Call your doctor if your stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row. Continue reading to learn more about the mental health of people with disabilities


Self-Reflective Learning: Map Your Learning Pathway

a man and 2 women working on computersThe Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) has created the Consultant Assessment. This is an online tool that can be used individually or as part of a group to: identify your strengths and learning needs, match your learning needs to appropriate pieces of training, and receive resource suggestions based on your learning needs.

Perhaps you are new to consultation or maybe you have been doing it for a while. The Consultant Assessment was created to help you figure out where to focus your learning journey. By using this assessment to gauge your knowledge of and skills in the IECMH Consultant Competencies, you will be able to better develop a training plan that fits your needs. Continue Reading about this opportunity for improving your learning!


Other Resources

Blood Transfusions: What You Need to Know and Do

Blood transfusions: what to do videoA learning series developed in collaboration with the Georgia Health Policy Center and the Sickle Cell Community Consortium to educate individuals about the importance of blood transfusion for people living with sickle cell disease, how to avoid blood transfusion complications, and the critical need for increasing minority blood donations. The sessions are designed with a basic understanding of sickle cell disease. Watch the videos now and learn more about safe blood transfusions.


How to Measure How Well You Communicate with Your Patients 

cdc logoWhile health literacy depends, in part, on individuals' skills, it also depends on the complexity of health information and how we communicate it. Different surveys measure people's literacy, numeracy, and health literacy skills, but the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Questionnaire assesses providers' communication skills.

These skills are particularly important while COVID-19 circulates and more patients and providers engage in telehealth visits. Visit CDC's Health Literacy page to find more information about the CAHPS questionnaire and how to use it on our website.


Healthy People 2020: An End of Decade Snapshot Story!

2020 with images of people in the numbers The Healthy People initiative develops science-based objectives with 10-year targets intended to improve health for all Americans. Healthy People provides data, information, and tools to drive action and help all Americans live long and healthy lives. This report provides a snapshot of the progress the initiative has achieved across the decade. Of the 42 Healthy People 2020 topic areas, 25 topics had 50% or more of their trackable objectives improved upon met or exceeded. Closer examination of the Leading Health Indicators (LHIs), a subset of the objectives representing high-priority health issues, shows that 54% of LHIs improved upon, met, or exceeded their target. Read the full report for a quantitative end-of-decade assessment of progress in achieving the Healthy People 2020 objectives and goals.


Submit Newsletter Content!

Would you like to share important updates or innovative practices from your program to be included in the next newsletter edition?

AUCD invites you to submit notable information from your project including information about your staff, upcoming or archived events, new programs, and resources. Submissions will be screened to determine fit for inclusion. Articles can be submitted using the online form or emailed to Jordan Kerr.


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In This Issue

Holiday Greetings

COVID-19 Emergency Response Information

AUCD News & Events

Access to Healthcare

Developmental Monitoring

Emergency Preparedness

Nutrition and Healthy Weight

Sexual and Reproductive Health

Wellness and Mental Health

Other Resources

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