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Disability-Related Documents

The Future of Disability in America

On April 24, 2007, the CDC welcomed a report issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM): The Future of Disability in America. The new report builds on the 1991 IOM report Disability in America: Toward a National Agenda for Prevention and the 1996 report Enabling America.

In the report, the IOM committee identified continuing gaps in disability science and proposed steps to strengthen the evidence base for public and private actions to reduce the impact of disability and related conditions on individuals and society in the United States.

Topics included:
  • Methodological and policy issues related to the definition, measurement, and monitoring (surveillance) of disability and health over time;
  • Trends in the amount, types, and causes of disability;
  • Aging with disability and secondary health conditions;
  • Transitions from child/adolescent to adult services and community participation;
  • Role of assistive technologies and physical environments in increasing participation in society (e.g., through employment, community-based living) of people with disabilities;
  • Selected questions related to the financing of health care services, including payment for assistive technologies and risk adjustment of managed care and provider payments; and
  • Directions for research.

Learn more about this report issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM): The Future of Disability in America.

Cover of Surgeon General's Call to ActionSurgeon General’s Call to Action

U.S. Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Improve the Health and Wellness of Persons with Disabilities highlights disability as a major public health issue. The Call to Action appeals to all Americans to help increase the quality of life for people with disabilities through better health care and understanding.

In addition to the release of the Call to Action report, the Surgeon General published a companion "People's Piece" specifically written for the American people: The 2005 Surgeon General's Call to Action - To Improve the Health and Wellness of Persons with Disabilities (People's Piece)

Disability and Health State Chart bookDisability and Health State Chart book

The Disability and Health State Chart book, 2006, profiles the health of adults with disabilities. The Chart book presents information about the health of people with disabilities by state and territory. It has three purposes: 1) to show that a large percentage of adults have a disability, 2) to show that the health of people with disabilities is not as good as that of the people without disabilities, and 3) to highlight areas in which public health systems can include more people with disabilities in their programs.

Healthy People

Healthy People is the United States’ national plan for health promotion and disease prevention. The plan contains various national health objectives designed to identify the most significant preventable threats to health and goals to reduce these threats. Objectives for people with disabilities are included in the last two versions of Healthy People, Healthy People 2010 Disability and Secondary Conditions and Healthy People 2020 Disability and Health to promote the health of people with disabilities, prevent secondary conditions, and eliminate disparities between people with and without disabilities among the U.S. population. Objectives and data for people with disabilities can be found throughout both versions at DATA2010 and DATA2020.

Surveillance of Health of People with Intellectual Disabilities

The United States Surveillance of Health of People with Intellectual Disabilities: An Issues Paper includes questions for pursuing an action plan for addressing the surveillance of the health status of adults with intellectual disabilities that arose out of a meeting convened by the CDC and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD).

To identify approaches to implementing this action plan, a follow-up meeting of representatives from government and research and advocacy communities, each involved in ID issues, was held in February 2010. Meeting Summary: Health Surveillance of People With Intellectual Disabilities - Results of a Working Meeting April 2010.