Inclusive Public health Quarterly - Winter Edition 2021

December 16, 2021


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Winter 2021


COVID-19 Emergency Response Information

Stay Healthy. Get Vaccinated.

Text your zipcode to 438829 (GETVAX) or 822862 (VACUNA)
Visit or Call 1-800-232-0233
For help getting vaccinated, contact Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL): [email protected] or 888-677-1199
Learn how you can use Prepared4ALL at
AUCD's National Center on Disability in Public Health

Safer Ways to Celebrate the Holidays

CDC logoHoliday traditions are important for families and children. There are several ways to enjoy holiday traditions and protect your health. Because many generations tend to gather to celebrate holidays, the best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and keep your family and friends safer is to get vaccinated if you’re eligible. Learn more about important ways to slow the spread of COVID-19 and check out this factsheet for tips on how to stay safe during the holidays.


Public Health is for Everyone Toolkit Updates: COVID-19 Resources!

PHEtoolkit logo with image of 1 red and 3 orange stick figures to show 1 in 4 American adults in your community have a disability The Public Health is for Everyone Toolkit is a one-stop collection of resources on health and disability. The online toolkit serves to increase the capacity of public health professionals to create programs that benefit entire communities, including people who have disabilities. The Public Health is for Everyone Toolkit provides resources to enhance planning efforts in key issue areas such as emergency preparedness, nutrition, obesity, health care access, accessibility, and more.

Visit the COVID-19 issue area of the to see all the newly added resources for current information and strategies for support and coping with social distancing! You can also submit resources to be included in the toolkit here!


AUCD News & Events

AUCD's Children's Mental Health Champions Project Extended for the 2021-2022 Year

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The Children's Mental Health Champions project has been extended another year accepting two new champions representing Montana and New Hampshire. A total of 12 champions representing American Samoa, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and South Dakota will serve in 2021-2022. This effort is made possible by AUCD’s National Center on Disability in Public Health through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The 2020-2021 Champions completed their respective projects and many will continue their work during the second year.

Learn more about 2021-2022 Champions.


AUCD’s National Center on Disability in Public Health Funds Pilot Studies using Administrative Data to Evaluate “Child Find” Early Identification Systems in Indiana and Minnesota

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The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) has expanded its National Center on Disability in Public Health efforts with the funding of two, one-year pilot studies using administrative data to evaluate “child find” early identification systems in Indiana and Minnesota, made possible by a cooperative agreement with the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Continue Reading to learn more about the Child find project and the early identification efforts that will be conducted by the Indiana and Minnesota team.


AUCD Welcomes Cindy Smith as Director of Public Policy

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Cindy Smith will serve as the Director of Public Policy for AUCD, working to formulate and implement AUCD's legislative and advocacy priorities and strategies. Cindy began her career as a Research Study Coordinator and Database Manager at the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) in Boston. For the last 11 years, Cindy has worked in public policy and advocacy for the DD Act partners at the state or national levels. Most recently, she served as Deputy Director for Policy and Public Affairs at the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities. In this role, Cindy was an advisor to Executive Director, staff, and Governor-appointed Councilmembers on policy priorities and led the Council's advocacy with the California State Legislature. Learn more about Cindy Smith and her role as AUCD’s Director of Public Policy.

AUCD is excited to resume the Disability Policy News under the leadership of Cindy Smith. The Policy team would like to be sure this revamped newsletter is meeting everyone's needs and interests. Please complete this brief survey to share what you like about disability policy news and how it can improve.


Access to Healthcare

Roundtable Series: Improving Outcomes of People with Disabilities

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For the past year, a group of stakeholders including the Ohio Association of Health Plans (OAHP), OCALI, the Ohio State University Nisonger Center, and the University of Cincinnati UCCEDD has been developing a series of online “roundtables” for health care providers. After considering state and national level data regarding disparities in costs and outcomes for people with disabilities, the group worked to launch professional development that would raise awareness and promote access. The series will begin in February 2022 and run through November – offering one roundtable per month with a “Core Competencies on Disability for Health Care Education” as a foundation for each session. Presenters include people with disabilities, advocates, and health care providers.

Learn more about the Ohio State University Nisonger Center and stay tuned for the registration for the upcoming webinar series, continuing education units will be offered.


Removing Barriers to Healthcare: A New Era for House Calls?


"The COVID-19 pandemic has led to big innovations in healthcare, and telehealth has been especially beneficial during this time. Telehealth provides remote medical care over the internet. It is a great way to maintain access to preventive and urgent care while limiting the spread of COVID-19 that comes with traveling to doctors’ offices. The convenience of not having to travel to doctors’ offices is especially important to people with disabilities, given that many of us don’t drive and have transit barriers. And while telehealth is great for things like going over blood test results, in-home medical care is another great way to provide healthcare. House call visits for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities could help meet our unique needs and provide the care that we need."

Continue Reading the full article by Nicole LeBlanc and learn about opportunities for house calls for individuals with disabilities. 


Developmental Monitoring

Family Friendly Developmental Referral Guides

Women with long black hair holding baby at doctors office

New! The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers a free fillable Family Friendly Referral Guide focused on supporting families and caregivers whose child has a developmental concern. Pediatric practices can customize this guide with information about local referral resources, and then use the guide to support families/caregivers in understanding what to do if a developmental concern has been identified. The guide also illustrates the importance of following through with developmental referrals. Learn more about this referral guide and find other resources for developmental monitoring.


Clinician Strengths and Risks Resource Guide

American Academy of Pediatrics logoThe American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) AAP offers a FREE resource guide for clinicians that highlights the developmental surveillance component of identifying strengths, risks, and protective factors. In 2016 the National Survey of Children’s Health, only 30% of families/caregivers with children under 5 years report being asked by a health care provider if they had any concerns about their child’s learning, development, or behavior. This additional resource will help clinicians recognize the value of established patient relationships before, during, and after the development process. View the full resource and now and learn more about conducting developmental surveillance.


Act Early District of Columbia Launches Website!

screen shot of Act Early DC website

The DC Act Early/COVID-19 Response Team has launched! The website was designed to support families in watching their child’s amazing progress, tracking development, sharing their child’s progress with their providers, and acting early if they have a concern. The website is available in English and Spanish.

Act Early DC is the District of Columbia’s local campaign of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” campaign to educate families and professionals about developmental milestones and the importance of developmental screening and acting when there is a concern with a baby, toddler or child’s development.

Learn more about the Learn the Signs. Act Early. Ambassador Program.

Emergency Preparedness


New Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) Emergency Preparedness and Disability Resources

As part of a CDC-funded project, ASTHO provided full-time disability and preparedness specialists to 20 jurisdictions to better plan for and respond to the needs of people with disabilities during emergencies. Learn more about the specialists, their work, and important considerations for inclusion of people living with disabilities in emergency preparedness through the following resources:

On January 18 from 3-4:30 pm ET, ASTHO will host a webinar where you will hear directly from specialists on lessons learned over the past year of their placement in health agencies. Register for the webinar here. To learn more or connect with the specialists, email [email protected].


New Video Resources for Vaccine Hesitancy in People Living with Disabilities and Caregivers

ASTHO logoASTHO is pleased to share the “Why I Got the Shot” COVID-19 Vaccine PSA video series. These videos share why people living with disabilities and their caregivers decided to get the COVID-19 vaccine. These videos are a resource to help address vaccine hesitancy in the disability community. ASTHO encourages health agencies and disability organizations to share them widely using the suggested messages listed on the PSA series landing page. You can also find individual links to the videos on ASTHO’s YouTube channel. For questions about how to share these videos, email [email protected].


New Disability and Preparedness Data Project

ASTHO logoThe COVID-19 pandemic and ASTHO’s current disability work have shed light on the lack of disability data during public health emergencies. Through a cooperative agreement with CDC’s National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), ASTHO will work to develop, test, and disseminate a syndromic surveillance definition that can be used to identify people with disabilities during emergencies. ASTHO will host key informant interviews and a scientific panel to develop the definition, coordinate pilot testing the definition at the state and federal level, and summarize the project by authoring a definition description, user guide, and manuscript. For more information on the project, please contact Cassandra Thompson at [email protected].


Nutrition and Healthy Weight

Nutrition and Brain Health for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

healthmatters logo in green and purpleThe HealthMatters™ Program has shared a Nutrition and Brain Health for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities webinar to discuss resources for supporting wellness and nutrition among people with IDD. This program is an evidence-based health promotion program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their supports in health-friendly communities. The HealthMatters™ Program engages people with IDD and their supports to have access to research, education and training, service-learning, and evaluation tools to improve their health where they live work, learn and play. The 2021 Healthy Brain Webinar Series for People with IDD features a number of subject matter experts discussing important tips and resources for supporting health and wellness for people with IDD.

View the full webinar series today!


Sexual and Reproductive Health

Is Equality Enough?

elevatus logo"Have you ever thought about the difference between the words equality and equity? At first look equality, and equity may seem like they mean the same thing - until you dig a bit deeper. And, when you dig deeper an important distinction is revealed that’s relevant to our work around providing sexuality education that is inclusive and cognitively accessible for people with I/DD." Read the full article and learn more about sexuality training for people with I/DD and the importance of equity verse equality.

green background with people riding bikes, showing the difference between equity and equality


Wellness and Mental Health

U.S. Department of Education Releases New Resource on Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health during COVID-19 Era

department of education logoThe U.S. Department of Education released a new resource: Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health to provide information and resources to enhance the promotion of mental health and the social and emotional well-being among children and students. This resource highlights seven key challenges to providing school- or program-based mental health support across early childhood, K–12 schools, and higher education settings, and presents seven corresponding recommendations. This resource includes many real-world examples of how the recommendations are being put into action by schools, communities, and states across the country. View the full resource today!


Other Resources

#ICYMI: Watch the Recording of the Advancing Behavioral Health Equity: National CLAS Standards in Action Webinar

A group of people smiling for a picture and under says On Tuesday, November 16, the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) hosted the Advancing Behavioral Health Equity: National CLAS Standards in Action webinar. In case you missed it, a recording of the webinar is now available on OMH's YouTube channel.

This webinar highlighted real-world examples of behavioral health service providers using the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS), and the Behavioral Health Implementation Guide.

Watch the recording today!


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

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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