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Health Equity Framework

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Health Equity Framework cover page



SCOPE AND PURPOSE: NCD’s Health Equity Framework is the outgrowth of an acknowledgment of decades of health disparities experienced by people with disabilities, and of physical and systemic barriers to access to healthcare for people with disabilities; and the desire to address these inequalities and achieve health equity for all persons with disabilities. It is the product of a year’s worth of strategic outreach; consultation with a "dream team" of 14 academics, medical professionals, and others who have dedicated their lives to addressing the health disparities of people with disabilities; and literature review.

NCD’s framework begins with five core areas that NCD views as foundational for achieving health equity for people with disabilities. It is followed by numerous additional components that were identified by disability community leaders as being of critical importance.

These foundational planks, which lay the structural framework for a comprehensive guide to policymakers to improving health equity for people with disabilities, are as follows:

  1. Designating people with disabilities as a Special Medically Underserved Population (SMUP) under the Public Health Services Act;
  2. Designating people with disabilities as a Health Disparity Population under the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act;
  3. Requiring comprehensive disability clinical-care curricula in all US medical, nursing and other healthcare professional schools and requiring disability competency education and training of medical, nursing and other healthcare professionals;
  4. Requiring the use of accessible medical and diagnostic equipment; and
  5.  Improving data collection concerning healthcare for people with disabilities across the lifespan.

NCD Chairman Gallegos introduces Health Equity Framework VIDEO: VIDEO: National Stakeholder Call on the Framework - February 23, 2022