Office on Disability
National Leadership Summit on Eliminating and Ethnic Disparities in Health: Pre-Conference Addressing the Healthcare and Wellness Needs of Women of Color with Disabilities, January 2006
Conference Presentation: Minding the Gap: Access, Availability, and Services
by Gerlene Ross, Ph.D.
Minding the Gap: Access, Availability, and Services
Dr. M. Gerlene Ross
- Disability Research
- Access Challenges
- Disparity Issues
- Cultural Sensitivity
- Cultural Competency
- Shift in ethnic, racial and cultural composition of the U.S.
- Must be a shift in vocational rehabilitation and other service delivery programs
- Service delivery contrast between White Americans vs. Non-White
Minority Disability Rate
Barriers Impacting Racial/Ethnic Women with Disabilities
- Services Provided
- Resources Employed
- Fifty-three million Americans have either a severe or a non severe disability
- Disparities in rates of disability are pronounced for diverse groups
- African Americans 20.0% second only to Hispanics
- African Americans have the highest rate of severe disability of all racial groups
- Rates of disability are disproportionate in terms of gender
- Women represent more than half of persons with disabilities
- African American women (21.7) are second to Hispanic women (21.8) in disability rate.
- African American women have more multiple disabling conditions
Disparity Issues Cont
- Persons with disabilities are less likely to be meaningfully employed
- Severity of Disability impacts employment status as well as quality of employment
- Women are least likely to have employment regardless of disability
- Women with disabilities are at higher risk for unemployment
- Reasonable Accommodations
- Persons with disabilities are people-treat them with respect
- Having a disability is only one aspect of a person's life
- Be careful with the language that you use
- Talk directly to the person
- When in doubt ask
Reasonable Accommodations Mobility Disability
- True accessibility
- True accessible parking
- Access Ramps
Reasonable Accommodations Hearing Disabilities
- Utilizing TDD- Telecommunication Device for the Deaf
- Be familiar with telecommunication abbreviations
- Utilizing an interpreter
Reasonable Accommodations Visual Disabilities
- Offer materials in Braille
- Use screen readers, speech synthesizers, scanner systems, TeleBraille, and large format displays.
- Ask if they want assistance
- Do not pet or talk to service animals without permission
Reasonable Accommodations Communication Disabilities
- Take time to listen to the person
- Solicit and provide feedback
- Reduce or eliminate background noise
- Individual-The ability to communicate effectively with individuals representing diverse racial and ethnic heritages
- Organization-The ability to be responsive to diverse cultural, ethnic, or linguistic clientele.
- Research- notes changing demographics, consumer-centered services, and validation as key for increasing cultural competence
- Cultural Competence
- Community Participation
Recommendations & Research Questions-Cultural Competence
- Most frequently cited
- Need for Cultural Competence training
- Cultural Competence in service delivery
- Cultural Competence professional prep
- Examine the awareness of cultural factors
- Examine pertinent correlations
- Apply information to racial identity development
Recommendations & Research Questions-Employment
- Survey employer awareness of ADA
- Survey attitudes towards PWD's in underserved comm.
- Expand employers for PWD's from underserved comm.
- Enhance employment opportunities in underserved comm.
- Identify strategies that promote and sustain employment
Recommendations & Research Questions-Community Participation
- Evaluate accessibility in private and public sector
- Educational services for youth with disabilities in the juvenile justice system.
- Effects of lack of education on service provision.
- Research the impact collaboration on community participation.
Recommendations & Research Questions-Resources
- Research the effectiveness of skills development models of research and PAR
- Examine how community-based research methods provide insight
- Identify partnership models that can be developed to facilitate knowledge transfer