Inclusive Innovation in Parks and Recreation – News & Media | Health.gov

Inclusive Innovation in Parks and Recreation

Source: Inclusive Innovation in Parks and Recreation – News & Media | Health.gov

By Allison Tubbs, Project Coordinator, National Center on Health, Physical Activity and DisabilityExternal Link: You are leaving health.gov and Maureen Acquino, Program Specialist, National Recreation and Park AssociationExternal Link: You are leaving health.gov

Park and recreation agencies are leading the way to inclusive communities across the country. Since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) began in 1990, park and recreation agencies across the United States have made their facilities accessible and inclusive to those with disabilities. Although parks and public spaces are mandated to meet ADA requirements, there is much more that can be done to foster inclusion in all park and recreation programing, initiatives, and health and wellness efforts. To address this issue, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) joined forces with the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability and Lakeshore Foundation to launch Parks for InclusionExternal Link: You are leaving health.gov. Parks for Inclusion is NRPA’s formal pledge to the Commit to Inclusion’s Partnership for Inclusive HealthExternal Link: You are leaving health.gov. The pledge ensures that all people have equal access to the benefits of local parks and recreation. Parks for Inclusion supports built environment enhancements, model policy development, and best practices for program implementation to increase access to health opportunities for the following populations:

  • Those with physical and cognitive disabilities
  • The LGBTQ community
  • Racial and ethnic minorities and new Americans

“NRPA defines inclusion as removing barriers, both physical and theoretical, so that all people have an equal opportunity to enjoy the benefits of parks and recreation.”

Inclusion Report

To provide greater insight into how park and recreation agencies ensure that all members of their communities can enjoy parks and recreation, NRPA developed a needs assessment survey and Inclusion Report. Of the key findings, it was noted that two in five park and recreation agencies have a formal policy that ensures they are inclusive. The report identified some of the greatest challenges agencies face in being more inclusive – funding, staffing, facility space, and staff training. Follow this link to read the full reportExternal Link: You are leaving health.gov and view more findings at the infographic below.

Making an Impact

To kickstart opportunities, a microgrant programExternal Link: You are leaving health.gov was designed to award four local park and recreation agencies with small-seed funds to implement innovative programs and enhancements so individuals with a disability could participate in healthy living opportunities. In Minneapolis, the project “Sense TentsExternal Link: You are leaving health.gov” was implemented at local community event. This project provided a space with sensory friendly objects and activities for event participants with autism or other sensory disorders. Moving forward, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board will have these tents available at various outdoor events and provide information on how each sensory item is meant to be used and its benefits. Other projects included a Learn to Ride Adaptive Bike program at the McBeth Recreation Center in Austin, Texas, an intergenerational community garden project at Shirley M. Shark Historic Park in Prichard, Alabama, and an inclusive Grow Up Green Club for preschool-age children to explore nature in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Take Action towards Inclusion

Use the Parks for Inclusion resourcesExternal Link: You are leaving health.gov to take action towards inclusion.

 

Spread the Word! Share this post with your network using one of these sample tweets:

  • @NRPA and @NCHPAD discuss inclusive innovation in parks and recreation through #ParksforInclusion. Read more on the BAYW blog http://bit.ly/2IpvbQXExternal Link: You are leaving health.gov.
  • Spread the message that parks are for everyone! Get ideas, resources and success stories on the BAYW blog http://bit.ly/2IpvbQXExternal Link: You are leaving health.gov. #ParksforInclusion

 

Disclaimer: The opinions, findings and conclusions expressed by authors of this blog post are strictly their own and do not necessarily represent the opinion, views or policies of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

New Hampshire Adults with Disabilities Are Motivated to Quit Smoking

The New Hampshire (NH) Disability & Public Health Project created a new data brief entitled, “New Hampshire Adults with Disabilities Are Motivated to Quit Smoking”.   To better understand smoking trends and attempts to quit among people with disabilities in NH, the NH Disability and Public Health Project (DPH) worked with the NH Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program to add new questions to the QuitNow-NH intake survey.

Download PDF

Mayo Clinic Alumni Association | ‘It can be done:’ Mayo Clinic School of Medicine evolves, accommodating a student’s disabilities

When Leah Grengs Thompson, M.D. (MED ’17), was 6 years old, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law. The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life including jobs, schools, transportation.

leah grengs thompson

Leah, age 11

When Dr. Thompson was 11, she had a hemorrhagic stroke due to a benign brain tumor. Despite surgery, rehabilitation and years of therapy, she has permanent deficits including left-sided leg and arm weakness and significant vision loss.

Thanks to the ADA, she was accommodated through the years of her education but accepted that she was unable to do some things — play sports and drive, for example. She says she found her niche while volunteering at a Twin Cities hospital, near where she grew up.

“I hadn’t felt like I could do anything particularly well,” she says. “That changed when I started at the hospital. I loved working with patients and their families.

“I always assumed I wasn’t smart enough to be a doctor. My parents hadn’t gone to college, and I didn’t personally know anyone in medicine. When I started college and studied biology, I realized I was smart enough and became determined to go to medical school.”

A thriving undergrad

Dr. Thompson thrived at the University of Minnesota — inside and outside of the classroom —and earned bachelor’s degrees in neuroscience and anthropology and graduated summa cum laude. She received numerous scholarships:

  • Pediatric Brain Tumor Scholarship
  • Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota Volunteer Services Scholarship
  • College of Biological Sciences Volunteer Award
  • University of Minnesota Access Abroad Scholarship
  • University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center Scholarship
  • University of Minnesota Women’s Club Stephanie R. Boddy Scholarship
  • University of Minnesota Women’s Club Doris Doeden Scholarship
  • J.A. Wedum Foundation Scholarship
  • University of Minnesota President’s Student Leadership and Service Award

She traveled to Bolivia to assist in establishing clinics in impoverished rural communities and tutored at a homeless shelter in Minneapolis.

Dr. Thompson took the MCAT three times. “In college, I’d always sought accommodations and gotten extra time for exams due to my vision problems,” she says. “I was stubborn and didn’t ask for accommodations in taking the MCAT. I studied hard yet did poorly. I had trouble reading the passages. After I applied for accommodations, I did very well.”

Despite her successes, Dr. Thompson says she was so worried she wouldn’t get accepted to medical school due to her disabilities that she applied to 40 schools, using up all of her savings.

“I read the technical standards of the schools I applied to. They were difficult to interpret and understand,” she says. “I let all of the schools I interviewed at know about my physical limitations in advance. At a few schools, including Mayo, I met with a specialist to discuss my situation. This told me they took it seriously and would likely work to accommodate me.

“Mayo was where I really wanted to go. I jumped up and down when I was accepted.”

A self-accepting med school student

mayo clinic school of medicine

Leah Grengs Thompson, M.D., on Match Day

Dr. Thompson says she was shy at first with her medical school classmates. “I didn’t want to appear to need extra help or extra time for exams,” she says. “At Mayo Clinic, I learned to be more open and accepting of myself. Sometimes I can’t believe how lucky I am to have been able to go to medical school and do exactly what I want to do.”

To be able to do exactly what she wanted, though, is part of the spirit of the ADA.

A place of public accommodation

mayo clinic school of medicine

Robin Molella, M.D.

“Education is a place of public accommodation because we believe everyone has a right to be educated,” says Robin Molella, M.D. (MED ’90, I ’97, PREV ’99), director of Health, Disability & Accommodations for Mayo Clinic School of Medicine and a consultant in the Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. “The ADA started learning institutions down this path almost 30 years ago.”

Dr. Molella says Mayo Clinic School of Medicine has a history of accommodating individuals and, compared to other medical training institutions, “We’re quite far in this journey,” she says. “However, it’s not far enough. There’s pervasive ableism in medicine. And there’s a new desire to think about whether or not we’re doing everything we can to make our physician workforce as diverse as possible. Are we opening the doors of medical schools to more and more highly competent people who would be fabulous physicians?”

According to a recent New York Times story, more than 20 percent of the American population has a disability but as few as 2 percent of practicing physicians do. Most of those physicians acquired their disabilities after completing their medical training. Additionally, few people with disabilities are admitted to medical school, and those who are have higher attrition rates than nondisabled students. Why? Because they don’t always receive the support they need despite the ADA. Further, only one-third of medical schools explicitly state their support of accommodations for disabilities on their websites.

Every medical school determines its own technical standards, the cognitive and physical abilities required for admission. Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science has a robust Accommodation for Disabilities policy, which states that it will make reasonable effort to accommodate students, residents, fellows and postgraduates with disabilities as defined in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Any student with a physical, psychiatric, sensory or learning disability may request reasonable accommodations after providing adequate documentation from appropriate licensed professionals to the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.

“What do providers really need to be able to do?” asks Dr. Molella. “We must continuously ask what learners need to accomplish in medical school to define them as a physician. Not every physician needs the dexterity of a surgeon. If you plan to become an adult neurologist, must you catch babies in OB rotation? Are you disqualified if you can’t hold retractors for hours in surgery? How much of the shared training legacy in medical education is really necessary? We need to challenge our assumptions and better accommodate completely competent individuals with technology, for example, to ensure a diverse workforce.”

Working step by step, technical standard by technical standard to accommodate

Dr. Molella says Mayo Clinic School of Medicine was fully aware of Dr. Thompson’s limitations when she was admitted. “But we weren’t sure how we’d make it work,” she admits.

mayo clinic school of medicine

Alexandra Wolanskyj-Spinner, M.D.

Alexandra Wolanskyj-Spinner, M.D., (I ’95, HEMO ’98), senior associate dean for student affairs for Mayo Clinic School of Medicine since 2013 and a consultant in the Division of Hematology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, had not yet encountered a student with physical challenges quite like Dr. Thompson’s when she entered the medical school.

“I saw this extremely bright, talented person pursuing medicine for the right reasons,” says Dr. Wolanskyj-Spinner. “How could we best help her to succeed?”

Dr. Wolanskyj-Spinner arranged for Dr. Thompson to meet with two Mayo physicians who have physical challenges to discuss how they have succeeded. She also arranged for the new medical student to meet with the student health and disabilities accommodations officer, Dr. Molella.

“Step by step, technical standard by technical standard, they came up with creative ways to help Leah succeed,” says Dr. Wolanskyj-Spinner, a consultant in the Division of Hematology.

She says, increasingly, students with disabilities will be applying for medical school. “They’ve been accommodated through higher education because of the ADA, and they want the same opportunities as anyone else. They’ll be our colleagues. This presents an opportunity for greater understanding and a shift in our education and culture. Mayo Clinic always spearheads the noblest of intentions.”

An evolving medical school

leah grengs thompson

Leah Grengs Thompson, M.D., at graduation with Fredric Meyer, M.D., executive dean for education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science

Dr. Thompson’s medical school journey wasn’t without bumps. A resident judged her harshly as a result of her physical limitation in an evaluation, using language that Dr. Wolanskyj-Spinner describes as judgmental and insensitive. “I asked the clerkship director to look at the evaluation and determine if it had unfairly affected Leah’s grade. He agreed it was inappropriate and changed the grade to reflect her overall performance. Situations like that provide us with opportunities to learn and better educate all of our learners and faculty members. Leah helped us look at ourselves and our practices, and we evolved and became more open minded. She took us to a place of greater possibilities and acceptance. We developed and standardized new processes and can better serve our diverse students in this regard, which is a priority for our school.”

According to Dr. Wolanskyj-Spinner, Dr. Thompson’s effect on how the school approaches disabilities is only a small part of her legacy. “Leah was integral to many initiatives to improve the quality of life for our students. She played important leadership and advocacy roles including serving on the Student Life and Wellness Committee and the Student Support Advisory Board, and spearheading our student lounge remodeling and My Story program. She enriched our school, her peers and my life. She’s an incredibly compassionate, empathetic person, which is extremely important in medicine, and I am proud to call her my colleague.

“I’m excited to watch Leah as she continues to knock down barriers and break glass ceilings. She will be a leader in her field. She left a permanent legacy at our school.”

A future without heroic effort

Dr. Molella points out that the medical school will have succeeded when students such as Dr. Thompson don’t have to be more courageous or heroic than any other medical student to succeed in medical education.

“Leah overcame incredible adversity to accomplish what she did. It really shouldn’t take that,” says Dr. Molella. “We have to make it easier to achieve this success without double or triple the effort anyone else has to put forth. That will happen when we continuously value diversity and make accommodations. What we gain in the end is so precious and valuable. Not a single person in Leah’s class will look at a person with a disability the way they would have without her in their class. Many vulnerable patient populations will be grateful to have physicians who better understand them and the challenges they face.

“Leah’s story is a success because of her. She had the stamina, willingness and desire to make it work despite the hurdles. Her success shows us it can be done.”

Dr. Thompson’s new chapter

mayo clinic school of medicine

Leah Grengs Thompson, M.D., with her husband, Daniel, at her graduation from Mayo Clinic School of Medicine

Today Leah (Grengs) Thompson, M.D., is a resident in psychiatry at the University of North Dakota in Fargo. She’s also recently married and gotten a rescue dog, Murphy.

A highlight of her medical school experience was serving on the Student Wellness Committee.

“I considered myself a mentor to students in the classes below me,” she says. “I tried to help those who asked for help. I learned so much from my classmates and physicians I worked with.”

mayo clinic school of medicine

Leah Grengs Thompson, M.D., on her wedding day

Dr. Thompson helped to start the monthly My Story program in which students and staff members share struggles they’ve faced — losing a loved one at a critical time, struggling with addiction or suicidal thoughts, having a physical disability, failing an exam. According to Amit Sood, M.D. (ADGM 05, CLRSH ’06), chair of the Mayo Mind Body Initiative and a consultant in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, My Story highlights stories in which people have found a resilient pathway through life’s narrow lanes.

“Students love the My Story program,” says Dr. Sood. “Leah took on this project, which we’re expanding to all three Mayo campuses for all 4,000 learners.”

Dr. Thompson says she was surprised to learn that physicians who seemed to “have it all together” have gone through challenges similar to everyone else’s. “I had no idea of the things others had been through. Just because you’re a department head or well published doesn’t mean you’re immune to feeling completely alone. It helps to know others have had similar obstacles.

“I loved being a student at Mayo and gave everything I could to help others.”

After helping fellow students, Dr. Thompson found herself in need of help at the end of 2016. A brain scan showed some abnormal growth in the area of her childhood tumor. She had gamma knife surgery in January during the time she was interviewing for residency. She says Dr. Wolanskyj-Spinner acted as a surrogate parent to her during that time, helping her figure out her treatment options and how to navigate her residency interviews.

“After helping so many other students, it was crazy that I ended up needing help myself,” she says. “In the past, I’d have been shy about opening up. But I’d learned how to do that and called Dr. Wolanskyj-Spinner right away and asked for her help. She was wonderful.”

A recent scan showed the tumor is stable although lifelong monitoring is required.

Loneliness in people with intellectual and developmental disorders across the lifespan: A systematic review of prevalence and interventions – Alexandra – 2018 – JARID

The aim of the study was to conduct the first systematic review investigating the prevalence of loneliness in people with intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD) and the interventions targeting loneliness.

Source: Loneliness in people with intellectual and developmental disorders across the lifespan: A systematic review of prevalence and interventions – Alexandra – 2018 – Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities – Wiley Online Library

Abstract

Background

The aim of the study was to conduct the first systematic review investigating the prevalence of loneliness in people with intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD) and the interventions targeting loneliness.

Method

A search across five databases was conducted (May 2016–June 2016). One reviewer (A. P.) selected the articles for inclusion and assessed their risk of bias using a standardized tool. The second reviewer (A. H.) examined the list of included/excluded articles and the ratings of the studies.

Results

Five prevalence studies met the inclusion criteria and provided an average loneliness prevalence of 44.74%. Only one intervention study was included, and it demonstrated that there was not any significant group difference for loneliness outcomes (= .21). The majority of the studies had a weak quality rating.

Conclusion

The systematic review evidenced that loneliness is a common experience in people with IDD and there is a need to extend current research.

 

Embedding routine health checks for adults with intellectual disabilities in primary care: practice nurse perceptions – Macdonald – 2018 – JIDR

Qualitative study in General Practices located in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Scotland, UK.MethodEleven practice nurses from 11 intervention practices participated in a semi-structured interview. Analysis was guided by a framework approach.

Source: Embedding routine health checks for adults with intellectual disabilities in primary care: practice nurse perceptions – Macdonald – 2018 – Journal of Intellectual Disability Research – Wiley Online Library

Abstract

Background

Adults with intellectual disabilities (IDs) have consistently poorer health outcomes than the general population. There is evidence that routine health checks in primary care may improve outcomes. We conducted a randomised controlled trial of practice nurse led health checks. Here, we report findings from the nested qualitative study.

Aim

To explore practice nurse perceptions and experience of delivering an anticipatory health check for adults with IDs.

Design and Setting

Qualitative study in General Practices located in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Scotland, UK.

Method

Eleven practice nurses from 11 intervention practices participated in a semi-structured interview. Analysis was guided by a framework approach.

Results

Practice nurses reported initially feeling ‘swamped’ and ‘baffled’ by the prospect of the intervention, but early misgivings were not realised. Health checks were incorporated into daily routines with relative ease, but this was largely contingent on existing patient engagement. The intervention was thought most successful with patients already well known to the practice. Chronic disease management models are commonly used by practice nurses and participants tailored health checks to existing practice. It emerged that few of the nurses utilised the breadth of the check instead modifying the check to respond to individual patients’ needs. As such, already recognised ‘problems’ or issues dominated the health check process. Engaging with the health checks in this way appeared to increase the acceptability and feasibility of the check for nurses. There was universal support for the health check ethos, although some questioned whether all adults with IDs would access the health checks, and as a consequence, the long-term benefits of checks.

Conclusion

While the trial found the intervention to be dominant over standard health care, the adjustments nurses made may not have maximised potential benefits to patients. Increasing training could further improve the benefits that health checks provide for people with IDs.

2016 Disability Status Report

Disability Statistics
2016 Disability Status Report
http://bit.ly/2GfvPhN
This annual report from Cornell University provides a summary of the most recent demographic and economic statistics on the non-institutionalized population with disabilities. The report includes information about the population size and disability prevalence for various demographic subpopulations. Statistics related to employment, earnings, household income, veterans’ service-connected disability and health insurance are also included.

Download 2016-Disability_Status_Report_US

PCPID Releases Report on Direct Support Workforce | Administration for Community Living

February 14, 2018 The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) has released its 2017 report, America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis: Effects on People with Intellectual Disabilities, Families, Communities and the U.S. Economy.

Source: PCPID Releases Report on Direct Support Workforce | ACL Administration for Community Living

Direct support professionals (DSPs) provide services and supports that empower people with intellectual disabilities to live in the community.

In the report, PCPID notes that DSPs promote participation in the U.S. economy “by helping people with an (intellectual disability) get jobs and by enabling family members to work.”  The report describes the current state of the DSP workforce as a “crisis,” noting that the average DSP wage is $10.72, most work two or three jobs, and the average annual DSP turnover rate is 45%.

The report also explores:

  • How these issues affect individuals, families, and human services systems.
  • The factors that contribute to these issues
  • Promising practices to strengthen the direct support workforce

PCPID serves in an advisory capacity to the President of the United States and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) promoting policies and initiatives that support independence and lifelong inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in their respective communities. The committee includes representatives from several federal agencies and 13 citizen members.

Read the full report (PDF) or a plain-language version (PDF).

Healthy Relationships and Healthy Sexuality for People with Developmental Disability

RRTCDD 2016/17 Fall/Winter Health and Wellness Series

Presenter: Susan Kahan, MA, LCPC (skahan@uic.edu)

Play recording (1 hr 4 min)

Download Sexuality and Healthy Relationships PowerPoint Presentation 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

3:00pm | Eastern Daylight Time

Presenter Biosketch:

Susan is the clinical staff at the University of Illinois at Chicago Developmental Disability Family Clinics, Susan, provides individual and group therapy for clients with a broad range of mental health and behavioral concerns, with a special focus on trauma and sexual abuse of individuals with disabilities. Susan’s clients include children, adolescents and adults. As a member of the Coalition Against Sexual Abuse of Children with Disabilities, she provides consultation and training on trauma-focused intervention for children with disabilities to both trauma and disability agencies, and has spoken at national and international conferences on sexual abuse prevention and intervention for people with IDD. She also provides consultation on working with children with disabilities for law enforcement and child protection agencies. In addition, Susan conducts trainings on healthy sexuality and sexual abuse prevention for provider agencies, schools and parent groups.

Abstract

Everyone desires to love and be loved. The myths and misconceptions about people with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) often lead to rules and restrictions that make healthy relationships difficult to obtain. This webinar will explore the facts and myths around relationships and sexuality for people with IDD. We will discuss the importance of laying the foundation for healthy relations early on through social skills and sexuality education. Resources and strategies for teaching healthy sexuality will be presented. In addition, we will discuss the role of healthy sexuality education as a primary prevention tool for sexual abuse and other strategies to promote sexual abuse prevention.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the myths and misperceptions about individuals with IDD and their impact access to education on healthy relationships and sexuality.
  2. Identify tools and strategies for teaching individuals with IDD about healthy relationships and sexuality.
  3. Understand the role of healthy relationship and sexuality education as a primary sexual abuse prevention strategy.

Smoking Among Ohioans with Disabilities

The Ohio Disability and Health Program has developed a fact sheet to raise awareness regarding smoking disparities faced by Ohioans with disabilities.

http://go.osu.edu/ODHPsmokingfacts2018 or download ODHP_Smoking-Factsheet-2018.

For further information, please contact Ann Robinson, Program Coordinator, Ohio Disability and Health Program.

Overview Smoking accounts for half a million deaths every year and is of particular concern among people with disabilities (PWD). PWD have unmet healthcare needs and disparities in overall health, chronic health conditions, and health risk behaviors. People with disabilities are especially at risk for smoking and smoking-related illness. According to 2014 data, approximately 662,107 people with disabilities in the United States were current smokers, half of whom reported trying to quit within the past year. Ohio has one of the highest smoking rate disparities (18.5%) in the United States for people with disabilities compared to people without disabilities. These findings suggest a need for effective and targeted smoking cessation programs that are accessible and culturally appropriate for people with disabilities.

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