Webinar Recap: Disability Health & Intersectionality

On January 24th, the Disability Community Engagement Partner Project (DCEPP) at AAHD held our second conversation in the 2023-2024 Disability and Health Webinar series with “Disability Health, Intersectionality + All of Us.” Moderated by Theo Braddy, this conversation brought together a panel of disability community members and advocates to discuss the health needs of diverse communities. Many thanks to our distinguished panelists who made this conversation possible. Learn more about Kiana Jackson, Dr. Kara Ayers, Shane Lamba, and Keith Jones in the section below, along with additional resources shared during the panel.

Learn more about the All of Us Research Program and how inclusive research might support better health for all: https://bit.ly/DisabilityHealth-Webinar-Jan24


About our Panel

Headshot of Kara Ayers.Dr. Kara Ayers is an Associate Professor and the Associate Director of the University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She is trained as a psychologist and leads the National Center for Disability, Equity, and Intersectionality. Dr. Ayers’ research interests include health equity, disability in media, disability ethics, and parenting with a disability. Dr. Ayers experiences as a proud disabled woman and parent to children with and without disabilities also informs her work.


Headshot of Theo Braddy.Theo W. Braddy is a distinguished advocate and leader in the field of disability rights. He holds a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from Temple University, earned in 1988, and a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from Edinboro University. His journey in advocacy and leadership began at a remarkably early age when, at 15, he acquired a disability due to a high school football accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Over the course of four decades, Mr. Braddy has consistently championed the rights and well-being of individuals with disabilities. In 2022, President Biden appointed Mr. Braddy to the National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency responsible for advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies on policies, programs, practices, and procedures affecting people with disabilities. In February 2023, Mr. Braddy was appointed as the Executive Director of the National Council for Independent Living (NCIL). NCIL, founded in 1982, is the longest-running national cross-disability grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. It represents thousands of organizations and individuals advocating for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States.

Headshot of Kiana Jackson.Kiana Jackson is a dedicated advocate and seasoned professional, currently holding the position of Director of Data & Research at New Disabled South. With a strong commitment to uplifting underserved communities, Kiana has dedicated her career to enhancing grassroots organizations’ capacity and empowering communities, especially those in rural and minority areas. Her efforts are driven by a wealth of lived experiences and a genuine passion for fostering positive change. With over five years of extensive experience in community organizing, Kiana has honed invaluable skills in data analytics and research, leveraging them to advance her advocacy efforts. Throughout her journey in community advocacy, she has made numerous contributions as a Data Consultant and Data Strategist for local political campaigns and nonprofit organizations in South Georgia. This role has allowed her to apply her expertise in data analytics to effect meaningful change within the community. Kiana’s perspective is informed by her unique lived experience as a disabled black woman residing in rural Georgia. This firsthand understanding of the challenges and opportunities within these communities has fueled her dedication to breaking down barriers and promoting inclusivity. She draws from her background, holding a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Albany State University and a Masters of Science in Data Analytics and Policy from Johns Hopkins University, to drive her mission of creating a more equitable and just society for all.

Headshot of Keith Jones.Keith Jones is the President and CEO of SoulTouchin’ Experiences. As an African American community activist and entrepreneur with cerebral palsy, he is a strong advocate for independent quality living in the community. Mr. Jones has participated actively in various issues that face people with disabilities, including housing, education, and voting access. Mr. Jones is also extremely active in multi-cultural, cross-disability education and outreach efforts and has performed trainings with the purpose of strengthening outreach efforts to provide services and information to people with disabilities. He works to not only educate the disability community about enhanced community living, but also the community at large. Mr. Jones holds a strong desire to get the disability community more involved in the issues that concern their own lives. Mr. Jones has been recognized for his emerging leadership by the state of Massachusetts and President’s Commission for Employment for People with Disabilities. Also, Mr. Jones is the Disability Law Center’s 2011 Individual Leadership Award.

Headshot of Shane LambaShane Lamba (he/him) is a Research Assistant with Stanford University’s The Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality (PRIDE) Study, where he serves as a co-investigator for his research project entitled, “Understanding Disability and Health among LGBTQ+ People”. His project aims to understand several health factors such as access to healthcare services, mental health symptoms, and physical functioning for the LGBTQ+ disability communities. Most notably, he has published The PRIDE Study data in the American Journal of Public Health, which examined barriers to healthcare services for the LGBTQ+ disability community. Previously, he was a researcher at the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, Spinal Cord Injuries/Disorders (SCI/D) Center where he worked on several projects evaluating quality of life and access to healthcare services for veterans with SCI/D. Now, he works at the Veterans Health Administration, Office of Health Equity as a Health System Specialist, tackling several data, research and evaluation projects centered on LGBTQ+ health equity, social determinants of health, and patient-centered care. He has a background in public health, specifically community health promotion and education is interested in bridging the gaps between patient-provider education to advance culturally competent care.