Oregon Office on Disability and Health

Oregon Health & Science University

Project Objectives

CORE activities of the Oregon Office on Disability and Health grant include:

  • Maintenance of an Advisory Council to help inform statewide health promotion efforts and influence state policy;
  • Establish and build upon key collaborations with community, state and federal partners;
  • Analysis of Oregon data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS); and
  • Development of OODH's State Strategic Plan that addresses the health and wellness needs of Oregonians with disabilities.

While core activities revolve around infrastructure-building, additional modular activities are geared towards program implementation and capacity building within the state. Efforts are concentrated on expanding the scope of the disability and health program within the state and to increase the reach of state health programs.

Module A: Implementing Evidence-based Interventions
Health Promotion Intervention Project Goal: Oregonians with disabilities will experience increased health behaviors and improved health because of their participation in OODH's Healthy Lifestyles workshops.

Module B: Wellness through improving access, health promotion, and health marketing/communication
Oregon Right to Know Campaign Project Goal: Oregon women with physical disabilities between the ages of 40-69 will increase their awareness of the importance of breast cancer screening and receiving a mammogram, every 1 to 2 years.

Module C: Emergency Preparedness
Emergency Preparedness Goal: People with disabilities and First Responders in Oregon will have the knowledge, understanding and tools regarding the needs and requirements of people with disabilities, when preparing for, and experiencing, an emergency and/or disaster.

Module D: Livable Communities/Universal Design 
Community Engagement Initiative Project Goal: Improve access to health care for people with disabilities in the state of Oregon by working with community members with disabilities, city and county representatives and other community infrastructure partners to identify and eliminate accessibility barriers.

Module E: Training Professionals and Paraprofessionals
Training Project Goal: To ensure health professionals are knowledgeable about the health care and health promotion needs of people with disabilities.

Module F: Supplemental Surveillance
Supplemental Surveillance Goal: Using 2008 Oregon Health Teen Data increase the number of Public Health Activities that address the health risks among youth with disabilities; Using BRFSS data, increase the number of Public Health Activities to address environmental barriers and health risks among adults with particular types of functional disabilities.

Project Synopsis

The mission of OODH is to promote the health and wellness of Oregonians with disabilities, through surveillance activities, health promotion, training, education, community engagement activities, policy development, and dissemination of materials and information. All of OODH's activities are planned, executed, and accomplished in collaboration with key community and state partners and collaborators (see list below).

Module A: Since 2000, more than 600 Oregonians with a variety of disabilities have participated in OODH's Healthy Lifestyles program. In partnership with the Centers for Independent Living in Oregon and other disability agencies, it is estimated that by March 31, 2012, an additional 250 Oregonians with disabilities will benefit from the program and improve their quality of life.

Annually, OODH will conduct 4 Healthy Lifestyles workshops throughout the state of Oregon: two in the Portland metro area; one in a rural community; and one in a dominantly Spanish speaking community for the Latino community. Healthy Lifestyles workshops are part of OODH's ongoing efforts to provide people with disabilities, the skills and resources they need to live a healthy life.

Module B: Women with physical disabilities 40 years and older will experience increased awareness around the importance of receiving breast cancer screening or mammograms. OODH will strategically implement the "Right to Know Campaign", a health marketing and communication campaign, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to improve breast cancer screening among women with physical disabilities for the next five years.

Module C: OODH will work with key community and state partners to ensure that emergency preparedness planning and training efforts include topics relevant to the health and safety of people with disabilities in Oregon. OODH will participate in state emergency preparedness efforts and provide: 1) training and education to first responders on the needs of people with disabilities in emergency situations; and 2) training and resources to Oregonians with disabilities on personal safety and planning during an emergency situation.

Module D: OODH will work with key community partners to conduct Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) activities to improve the physical and social accessibility of health care facilities and environments, in two communities per year, for the duration of the grant. The CEI activities include conducting accessibility measurements of the community's primary health care facilities, and conducting two meetings in partnership with CEI's Community Based Partner. The first meeting is the "Town Hall" meeting and attendees include community members with disabilities, family members and service providers. During the meeting the attendees share their experiences with accessing health care in their community. A week or two later, is the second meeting called the Infrastructure Meeting. Attendees at this meeting include several people from the Town Hall meeting, as well as the Mayor, transportation, health care facility and other state and county organizations' representatives. At this meeting attendees form "workgroups" to work on several of the access barriers that were identified by the attendees of the first meeting. For the nine months following the Infrastructure meeting, OODH works with the CEI's Community Based Partner and provides follow-up and TA for the workgroups as they work on resolving the identified barriers.

Module E: Professionals and para-professionals will be trained on the care and health promotion of people with disabilities. OODH staff will offer a graduate level course on "Disability and Public Health" for the Oregon Masters of Public Health Program, as well as offer a new graduate course on "Disability and Epidemiology." OODH staff will also provide lectures in an interdisciplinary teaching forum at OHSU.

Module F: Although the core grant requires OODH to analyze state BRFSS data, this modular grant allows for more in-depth analysis of the BRFSS data to help inform Public Health activities in Oregon to address environmental barriers and health risks among adults with particular types of functional disabilities. In addition, OODH will also analyze data on Oregon teens with disabilities to help inform the development of sound Public Health activities related to their health and well-being.

Key Partners


  • Albertina Kerr
  • Independent Living Resources (ILR)
  • Portland Habilitation Center
  • Incight
  • Good Shepherd
  • Easter Seals


  • Adventures Without Limits
  • Oregon Commission for the Blind
  • Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS)-Public Health Division (PHD)
  • Oregon State Independent Living Council
  • Special Olympics-Oregon
  • Oregon Disability Sports
  • Portland Parks and Recreation - Adaptive Rec.
  • State Independent Living Centers
  • Oregon's Komen Foundation
  • Oregon Public Health Association


  • American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)
  • American Public Health Association (APHA)
  • Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
  • The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD)