Kansas Disability and Health Program

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Project Synopsis

Module A: Implementing Evidence-based Interventions
Kansas has received funding to implement the evidence-based program Living Well with a Disability. Living Well with a Disability helps participants with disabilities and chronic conditions establish meaningful goals for their lives and emphasizes their attainment of good health as a means of helping to carry out those goals.

Module C: Emergency Preparedness
Kansas has received funding to develop a strategic plan to extend training and education on emergency management for persons with disabilities at the county level. Another goal is to extend known best practices in areas of disability and disaster management to all counties in Kansas using the most appropriate means of dissemination. Attached is the resource listing for personnel in health, emergency management, response, disaster relief, or other disabilities fields. This list is a draft and not the final version.

Module F: Expanding State Disability Surveillance Capacity in Kansas
The mission of this project is to better utilize disability data surveillance in Kansas by enhancing existing secondary disability data and expanding the use of Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to understand and meet the needs of persons with disabilities statewide. This group will expand existing surveillance on disability information using the BRFSS and create and maintain a data inventory for state disability agencies such as Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services, Kansas Health Policy Authority, Kansas Vocational Rehabilitation, Kansas State Department of Education, Kansas Department of Labor, Kansas Department of Revenue, Kansas Department of Commerce and Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The Kansas Disability and Health Program also maintains and refines existing public health surveillance related to disability and the prevention of secondary conditions and tracks and evaluates the impact of program activities through use of the BRFSS.

Key Partners

  • Kansas utilized the expertise of Iowa in March of 2008. Iowa has had many years of experience with Living Well with a Disability and has been generous with sharing their resources for making Living Well with a Disability more successful. They have been a go-to for all kinds of questions on how to make a stronger Disability and Health Core program.
  • Inclusion of people with disabilities is a new priority within the Action Steps of the Diabetes State Plan. Under the Goal of Increase Kansas' health care workforce competencies in diabetes standards of care, under Strategy 1: Assure that physicians, physician assistants, advanced registered nurse practitioners and nurses achieve competency in diabetes care, the Action Step is, "Ensure the curriculum for medical, nursing and physician assistant students is current and includes information on working with people with disabilities." Under Strategy 2 of the same goal, the Action Step is, "Identify and utilize existing diabetes quality of care trainings that include culturally appropriate content and information on how to work with people with disabilities."
  • Inclusion of people with disabilities with the Physical Activity and Nutrition Program is underway. So far an initiative to make Topeka, KS a healthier place has included an accessibility assessment with the State ADA coordinator so that people with mobility disabilities can use the walking/rolling paths with ease. This initiative is called the Capitol City Wellness Initiative.
  • The Tobacco program is interested in collaborating to ensure that their Quitline not only is accessible for people with disabilities, but is marketed to people with disabilities. One activity is to send information about tobacco and the Kansas Quitline to all Centers for Independent Living in Kansas. Another idea is to provide this information along with all Living Well with a Disability workbooks.
  • The Hypertension Quality of Care Project of Kansas Heart Disease and Stoke Program (KHDSP) is interested in including people with disabilities into their program. The Disability Program Coordinator serves as a committee member of their Community Interventions Workgroup.
  • The Arthritis program has included a new position for a health educator whose job will be outreach to disparate populations. The Disability Program Coordinator will work with this person on inclusion of people with disabilities into the Arthritis program activities. Currently, the Disability Program Coordinator is a member of the Arthritis Community Taskforce.
  • The Fire/Burn program and the Disability and Health Program partner to include people with disabilities into program activities and education. They created a press release in February after a man who uses a wheelchair was rescued by a man passing the house in a Lawrence, KS home. Recommendations and considerations were included in the press release for people with disabilities to ensure safety for such an event.
  • The Worksite Wellness program and Disability and Health program are partnering to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities into worksite wellness programs in Kansas. Examples could include making sure that all physical activity initiatives are accessible for people with disabilities.
  • The Preparedness Program and the Disability and Health program works to ensure that people with disabilities are included into the Kansas emergency preparedness planning.
  • Kansas Disabilities and Health Program is in the process of creating a website. The site will include what we are doing in the state and resource links to more information on issues such as best practices for emergency preparedness for people with disabilities.
  • A partnership between the Kansas Disability and Health Program and Kansas State University has been developing regarding the potential collaborative project of creating a caregiver's comprehensive on-line manual. This project would link people in Kansas to resources related to being a new caregiver.
  • The Kansas Health Policy Authority is interested in collaborating with the Kansas Disability and Health Program. One idea is to increase awareness of how people with disabilities who are in the Working Healthy Program can lead healthy lives through their list-serve.
  • Each year the Kansas Disability and Health Program will collaborate with the Kansas Association for Centers for Independent Living and the Statewide Independent Living Centers of Kansas to provide policy and program guidance in the State.
  • The Kansas Disability and Health Program will collaborate with disability organizations, Social and Rehabilitative Services, Kansas Public Health Association, Department of Aging, and Kansas Council Against Sexual and Domestic Violence to increase access to health care for people with disabilities, increase physical activity for people with disabilities, and to decrease domestic violence and sexual assault for people with disabilities.

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • A Suicide Prevention for older adults pamphlet has been created
  • The Disability Program Coordinator has given several presentations that cover cultural competency for people with disabilities. Included in these presentations is the "Your Words, Our Image" that the University of Kansas Research and Training Center on Independent Living created. This presentation has been given to four undergraduate classes at the University of Kansas. In the future, the Coordinator will give these presentations to grantees of programs within the Bureau of Health Promotion.
  • The Epidemiologist of the Office of Injury Prevention presented disability-related surveillance at the "Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologist" 2008 Annual Conference, Denver Colorado conference June 11, 2008. He also discussed the history and Independent Living movement.