Florida Office on Disability and Health

University of Florida

January 30, 2009

Project Objectives

The mission of the Florida Office on Disability and Health (FODH) is to maximize the health, well-being, and quality of life, throughout the lifespan, of all Floridians and their families living with disability.

The project has been categorized into three purpose-level objectives:
1. Reduce the incidence and severity of secondary conditions among people with disabilities;
2. Improve access to public health programs for people with disabilities; and
3. Implement effective health promotion and wellness programs for people with disabilities.

Module B: The Right to Know Campaign
The goal of the Right to Know Campaign in Florida is to use these materials to help raise awareness about the importance of breast cancer screening, and encourage recommended screening among women who are forty years and older and living with a physical disability.

Module E: Towards Healthcare Parity for Floridians with Disabilities: Teaching Core Competencies in Disability to Healthcare Providers
The goal of this project is to increase the capacity of health care providers in Florida to provide quality healthcare to persons with disabilities. Towards this goal, we will establish and evaluate a core competence in disability by providing disability training to medical students and continuing education training to medical and allied health professionals across the state.

Module F: Supplemental Surveillance
The goal of the supplemental surveillance module is to increase the quantity and quality of disability and health-related data in Florida and to provide the epidemiologic capacity to analyze these data.

Project Synopsis
FODH will work with Partner agencies and members to create a strategic plan for disability and health in Florida. This plan will draw on existing state plans and programs and will guide the activities of FODH for the duration of the funding period.

FODH seeks to be a resource for disability and health statistics in the state. FODH will analyze past and future years of Florida Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data and make the results available to the public in the form of charts, tables, and issue briefs. FODH's analyses will focus on topics identified by the Advisory Board as important to the state. These issues may include health care access, quality of life, preventive health service use, transportation, and hurricane preparedness.

FODH plans to address policies at the state and local level that impact health and disability in Florida and to work with community members, legislators, Partner agencies, and other stakeholders to affect policy change whenever possible. FODH will work closely with the Governor's Commission on Disability to align priorities for policy change.

FODH will work with the Florida Centers for Independent Living, Florida Area Health Education Centers, and other Partners to implement "The Right to Know" Campaign, a breast cancer screening awareness program designed for women with physical disability. Beginning in North Central Florida, this program will include distribution of educational materials and posters, advertising on buses, and a number of community events. For more information on the related study on breast health and women living with physical disabilities, visit this website.

FODH will support the evaluation of a disability module used in the third year of the medical school curriculum at the University of South Florida. Following piloting and evaluation, FODH will work with Partners to promote inclusion of this module in other medical schools in the state.

Key Partners

  • Florida Department of Health: Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion, Brain & Spinal Cord Injury Program, Office of Emergency Preparedness
  • University of South Florida: Florida Center for Inclusive Communities, UCEDD; Florida Mental Health Institute / DARES; Center for Urban Transportation Research
  • Florida Developmental Disabilities Council
  • Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities
  • Florida Department of Elder Affairs
  • Florida Centers for Independent Living
  • Florida Children's Medical Services
  • Florida Area Health Education Centers (AHEC)
  • Jacksonville Health and Transition Services
  • Florida Governor's Commission on Disabilities
  • Florida Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Florida Department of Veteran's Affairs
  • Other University of Florida Colleges/Centers: Design, Construction & Planning; Nursing; Medicine; Transition Center; Dentistry

Selected Presentations and Publications

  • Florida Chartbook on Disability and Health
  • Adult Disability Prevalence: Florida 2007 BRFSS
  • Disability and Physical Activity in Florida (oral presentation), American Public Health Association Annual Meeting 2008.
  • Assessing Caregiver Health (poster), 2008 Southwest Conference on Disability.
  • Caregiver Choice and Stress (poster), Society for Epidemiologic Research 2008 Annual Meeting.
  • Injury among Informal Caregivers (poster), Society for Epidemiologic Research 2008 Annual Meeting.
  • Natural Disaster and Disability: Case Study of the Florida 2004 Hurricane Season Based
    on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) (poster), 13th Annual Epidemiology Statewide Seminar, Florida 2008.