Injury and Violence Prevention
People with disabilities often have more health care problems or issues than people without disabilities. These disparities have many causes; they may occur because health care is not accessible (physical barriers, financial barriers, lack of information, etc.) or because basic health needs may be overlooked when a person has a disability.
Disability Health Project
Minnesota has many strong agencies and organizations working to enhance the lives of people with disabilities, but few have been able to focus on public health issues relating to disabilities. Through this project, organizations helped identify the health needs of the people they serve. Working together, the groups aimed to promote health and prevent secondary conditions. A secondary condition can be any medical, social, emotional, family, or community problem that a person with a primary disabling condition likely experiences.
The Disability Health Project was coordinated by the MDH Injury and Violence Prevention Section and funded by a planning grant through the CDC Division on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Minnesota was one of 16 state grantees, and CDC also funded related research projects and national disability organizations.
- Develop a plan to promote the health of Minnesotans with disabilities and to prevent secondary conditions.
- Study disability-related data sources in Minnesota, to determine what data are being collected and, if feasible, to improve quality and consistency.
- Study the prevalence in Minnesota of traumatic brain and spinal cord injury (TBI and SCI) and the co-occurrence of violence with these disabilities. Future efforts may expand to other disabilities.
The Disability Health Project Advisory Work Group included agencies and organizations that work with people with disabilities. Members include persons with disabilities and parents of children and adults with disabilities.
Advisory work group member organizations:
- Arc Minnesota: Serving people of all ages with many kinds of developmental disabilities including, but not limited to, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, autism and epilepsy.
- Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance: Providing help, hope and a voice for the 94,000 Minnesotans who live with a disability as a result of brain injury.
- Courage Center: Empowering people with physical disabilities to reach for their full potential in every aspect of life.
- Disability Services Division, Minnesota Department of Human Services: Managing publicly funded programs that support people with a variety of disabilities, including developmental disabilities, chronic medical conditions, acquired or traumatic brain injuries and physical disabilities.
- Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota: Improving the services and social supports available to individuals with disabilities and their families.
- Lifetrack Resources: Building better lives by working together to develop people's strengths.
- Minnesota Children With Special Health Needs, Minnesota Department of Health: Providing leadership through partnerships with families and other key stakeholders to improve the access and quality of all systems impacting children and youth with special health care needs and their families.
- Minnesota Disability Law Center: Addressing the unique legal needs of persons with disabilities.
- Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities: Helping to increase independence, productivity, self-determination, integration and inclusion for people with developmental disabilities and their families.
- Minnesota Office of the Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities: Promoting the highest attainable standards of treatment, competence, efficiency and justice for persons receiving services for mental health, developmental disabilities, chemical dependency and emotional disturbance.
- Minnesota State Council on Disability: Advising and providing technical assistance, collaborating and advocating to expand opportunities, improving the quality of life and empowering all persons with disabilities.
- National Alliance for the Mentally Ill: Striving to eliminate the pervasive stigma of mental illness.
- Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights: Expanding opportunities and enhancing the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and their families, based on the concept of parents helping parents.
- Vocational Rehabilitation Program, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development: Assisting persons with significant disabilities to seek, gain, and retain employment.