AAHD ISSUE BRIEFS
The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) calls on Women with Disabilities to Schedule their Clinical Breast Exams and Mammograms during Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Rockville, MD October 27, 2022– The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) is urging women with disabilities to ask themselves when is the last time they were screened for breast cancer. Breast cancer is a major public health concern for all women, and women with disabilities often face accessibility challenges related to physical, cultural and attitudinal barriers when seeking breast health care.
During October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, AAHD is urging women with disabilities to ask themselves ONE question: When did I have my last clinical breast exam and mammogram performed by a healthcare provider? Roberta Carlin, AAHD Executive Director states, “If the answer is ‘I do not remember,’ it was probably too long ago and you are likely overdue for screening. There is no sure way to prevent breast cancer, so it is important for women with disabilities to be their own advocate and be an active participant in their healthcare and get regular screenings.”
According to the CDC, over 32% of U.S. adults have delayed routine care appointments throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. People with disabilities are among those who are more likely to have delayed care, including clinical breast exams and mammograms. Early detection saves lives and will work towards reducing health disparities between women with disabilities and the general population when it comes to breast cancer.
In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, AAHD is highlighting two issue briefs focusing on women’s health, including “Mammogram Recommendations for Older Women” and “Inconsistencies in Mammogram Recommendations by Health Organizations.”
The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) is a national 501(c)3 located in Rockville, MD. AAHD is dedicated to ensuring health equity, inclusion and accessibility for persons with disabilities through policy, research, education and dissemination. To learn more about AAHD, please visit www.aahd.us
AAHD Communications Manager
 “Reduced Access to Care,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/covid19/pulse/reduced-access-to-care.htm
Susan G. Komen Foundation Partnership
The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) has had a longstanding partnership with the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The collaboration began in 2007 when AAHD was a recipient of a grant entitled, “Increasing Breast Cancer Screening for Women with Disabilities in Montgomery County, MD by Improving Access, Education and Training at Mammography Sites”.
Expanding breast cancer outreach
Since 2007, AAHD has received five additional grants to continue education and outreach for women with disabilities about their breast health.
The purpose of the 2007 grant was to survey women with disabilities in Montgomery County, MD about getting mammograms and promote the ability of women with disabilities to have routine mammograms. It also served to increase breast cancer screening among women with disabilities through distribution of surveys that addressed barriers in mammography facilities.
In 2009 and 2010, AAHD expanded their breast cancer outreach to reach women with disabilities in additional MD and VA communities. In 2011 and 2012, AAHD launched “Bridging the Gap: No Women Left Behind” in Washington DC Wards 2,5,7,& 8, Prince George’s County, MD, Arlington County, VA and Prince William County VA.
AAHD and Susan G. Komen expanded AAHD’s local community work to a national scope in 2012 and launched “Project Accessibility USA; Removing Barriers for Women with Disabilities”. This two year project worked towards reducing breast cancer health disparities in women with disabilities by increasing awareness about challenges and barriers women with disabilities face when seeking breast health services. As part of this project, AAHD developed a web-based Resource Learning Center and on-line educational training modules on disability culture and sensitivity for healthcare professionals to be used throughout the Susan G. Komen networks.
2016-2018 brought AAHD work back to Washington DC, Wards 2, 5, 7 & 8 where :”Breast Cancer Awareness for Women With Disabilities: Lightning Can Strike Twice” was launched. This project involved mammography facility assessments, participating in community events and facilitating Educational Workshops for women with disabilities. During this period, a podcast was also initiated entitled, “Empowerment Exchange”. The goal of this podcast was to provide helpful information on breast health that is easily accessible for people with disabilities. Listen to this conversation…
Currently, AAHD is continuing the work of “Breast Cancer Awareness for Women with Disabilities: Lightening Can Strike Twice” and has added a coaching component to the Educational Workshops. This project is primarily focused on Wards 2,5, 7, & 8.
We encourage the use of the materials and resources that have been developed to educate healthcare providers about the barriers and challenges women with disabilities face when seeking breast health services, as well as the materials and resources that have been developed to empower women with disabilities to better understand the importance of screening, risk factors, and the continuum of care.
Breast Health Resources
- Women with Disabilities and Risk Factors for Breast Cancer
- Women with Disabilities and Breast Cancer Diagnosis
- Women with Disabilities and the Importance of Breast Cancer Screening
- Women with Disabilities, Mammography, and Mammography Access
- Women with Disabilities, Mammography, and Mammography Access (Spanish)
- Women with Disabilities and Expanding Access to Preventive Services: Insurance Coverage for Mammography
- Women with Disabilities and Breast Cancer Treatments
- Women with Disabilities and Taking Care During Breast Cancer Treatment
- Women with Disabilities and Continuing Care for Breast Cancer
- Breast Cancer Awareness for Women with Disabilities: Quick Guide to Interacting with People with Disabilities
- FDA Approved Mammography Facilities
Breast Health Toolkit
Project Accessibility USA
- Project Accessibility USA
- Disability and Cultural Awareness Compendium for Mammography Facilities
- Removing Barriers for Women with Disabilities: Improving Accessibility And Breast Health For Women With DisabilitiesProject Accessibility USA: Mammography Facility Assessment
Breast Health Conversations
- “Empowerment Exchange”
To download MP3 file, click here.