Take Another Look at Disability

DPH provides training and support to public health programs to ensure their efforts reach and include people with intellectual disabilities and mobility limitations. Our approach, Take Another LooK at Disability (TALK: Disability) encourages public health administrators and staff to "take another look" at their programs, considering how to make them more inclusive and accessible. TALK: Disability is tailored to meet programs where they are at with their goals and objectives, and consists of three primary components:

 

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Connect

A planning meeting is scheduled to exchange program information and discuss opportunities to collaborate.

 

Assess

An informal review considers aspects of the program’s general curriculum, recruitment strategies, meeting environments, printed materials, websites, and marketing outputs.

 

Assist

Based on the assessment, DPH offers technical assistance to programs to adapt, adjust, or supplement activities and materials as needed.

 

TALK: Disability’s logic model provides a graphic depiction of the program’s activities, outputs, and intended outcomes.

For more information about TALK: Disability, contact Sara Rainer at dph.iod@unh.edu.

 

Success Story: Raising Awareness of Oral Health Needs of Youth with Disabilities

DPH staff were approached by Mary Davis, a school-based dental hygienist with the NH Oral Health Program, for assistance developing a presentation about providing oral health care to youth with disabilities and special health care needs. With over 30 years’ experience working with children with and without disabilities in schools, Mary has a plethora of experience to share and was looking for data and research to round out her presentation.


DPH's assistance provided the platform for me to lead an effective presentation. . . We want [youth with disabilities] to have the same opportunities as any child. . . The Oral Health Program has a history, passion, and means for providing care to these children who otherwise wouldn’t have access to dental care. There’s always a way we can be adaptive and flexible.

Mary Davis, Oral Health Program


For many participants, Mary’s presentation was the first time they had discussed how to work with youth with disabilities. When these school-based hygienists go into schools, paraprofessionals and teachers often say things like, ‘this child will be too difficult to work with.’ Mary explains that her presentation sparked the possibility that [dental hygienists] could be more inclusive – that they could reach children with disabilities.

One attendee from a New Hampshire Community Health Center that offers dental services contacted Mary after her presentation, saying:

I would be remiss if I did not take a minute to tell you how powerful I felt your presentation was last Friday at the Calibration Clinic. More than the fact that you work well with the special needs population was the message that was resonating…I can do this.