Delaware Health and Social Services has received year-one funding from the CDC to implementHealthy Delawareans With Disabilities: 2010. The Division of Developmental Disabilities Services, in formal collaboration with the Division of Public Health (DPH) and in partnership with several of its other sister agencies in Delaware Health and Social Services, will collaborate with the Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council, the Delaware ARC, the State Council for Individuals With Disabilities, and the Centers for Disabilities Studies at the University of Delaware on this project. The program partners will continue to build on this foundation of collaboration and, through continued outreach, aim to increase the number of participating governmental and community-based disability-related organizations.
The purpose of this CDC cooperative agreement is to help states address the “Healthy People 2010” focus area of Disability and Secondary Conditions (Chapter 6). In developing this state infrastructure project, Delaware, which has not yet integrated Chapter 6 into its overall Healthy People 2010 programs, will be able to:
- Assess the primary indicators and secondary conditions that have the largest health and life satisfaction impact for persons with disabilities.
- Coordinate and develop a broad-based, consumer-oriented Advisory Panel that includes both people with disabilities and the organizations that work most closely with this population.
- Begin producing targeted health promotion materials for dissemination within an integrated public health and disability-sensitive infrastructure that is both welcoming and attuned to working with people with disabilities.
Through the consideration of the already present Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) dataset that has been generated by DPH and the Center for Applied Demography and Survey Research, this project will conduct BRFSS survey research for specifically targeted populations of adults with disabilities. Using these surveys, the project will identify which medical, social, emotional, family, or community secondary conditions are most critical to the overall health and life satisfaction of people with disabilities.
While this survey research focuses on adults with disabilities, we also plan to coordinate our efforts with state programs that focus on the health and development of children with disabilities: the interagency Child Development Watch Program, the State Council for Children with Special Needs, the Parent Information Center of Delaware, the Delaware Autism Society, and the Department of Education.
The overarching goal of this two-year program is to develop a statewide program capacity for disability-related public health surveillance and to begin developing research-based health promotion programs for people with disabilities. These programs will reflect a life-stages paradigm and their purpose will be to improve the life satisfaction of people with disabilities and their families and caregivers. Ultimately, the program hopes to establish a state infrastructure program that is worthy of CDC (RFA 05007) Level II consideration: State Implementation Projects that prevent secondary conditions and reduce health disparities for people with disabilities.