CT UCEDD, AUCD, and National Partners Bring Disability Awareness and Inclusion Plenary Session to SOPHE 2022 National Meeting

July 20, 2022

The UConn UCEDD’s training director and coordinator of the Certificate of Interdisciplinary Disability Studies in Public Health, Dr. Tara Lutz, was asked to moderate Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) 2022 first ever plenary on disability and public health. Over 140 participants attended the March 25 virtual event. Speakers included Sara Lyons from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), D’Arcee Neal from the Ohio State University, and Dr. Adriane Griffen from the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (The Academy) and formerly AUCD’s Senior Director of Public Health and Leadership.

Lutz highlighted AUCD as a key resource. She showed participants how to navigate the UCEDD and LEND directories to connect with local resources. Lyons emphasized disability data collection and engaging community partners. She shared two resources: Community-based organization directory and “Health and Disability 101: Training for Health Department Employees”. Neal, a PhD candidate in English and Disability Studies, discussed reframing the experience of black disability and the need be intentional and inclusive of the experiences of people from multiple and intersectional backgrounds. His talk on Afrofuturism included multimedia, gifs, and a video. Griffen emphasized “Same Time Access to Everyone” (STATE), introduced Prepared4ALL as a key resource, spoke to mental health as part of wellness and belonging, and how to be an ALLY.

Lutz and Griffen held an interactive session on integrating disability content into public health education with colleagues across the AUCD network (Mitchell Levitz & Dr. Jana Peterson-Besse). SOPHE Board of Trustees approved a 2021 resolution to integrate disability and address ableism and health equity in health education and health promotion practice. SOPHE is a nonprofit, independent professional association for health education professionals and students.

Alt text for photo: Screenshot of SOPHE Plenary 6: Disability Awareness and Inclusion in Public Health. Includes the title, date and time of the session. Under the title are 3 photos of the 3 speakers. The photo on the left is Dr. Adriane Griffen. She is a white woman with short brown hear wearing a blue jacket, light blue collared shirt and a pearl necklace. The middle photo is Sara Lyons. She is a white woman with long blond hair wearing a black top. The photo on the right is D’Arcee Neal. He is a black man with a beard. He is wearing black glasses. His hair is pulled back.