Section Newsletter
Winter 2011

Greetings from the Chair

Greetings from the Chair-Stephen Gilson, PhD


In this newsletter I write about an issue that we face as a Disability Section; our role in promoting full participation for the full range of potential and current members of APHA. Because this is a complex issue, I have been struggling with many aspects of it and hope to provoke dialog and action as we move through 2011.

The first slice of the access problem is defining access itself. How broadly or narrowly is it conceptualized? For me, the ADA standards do not go far enough, but for now are a good start in guiding APHA in their immediate efforts to improve basic access to their resources for all members.


The second slice involves the role and function of the Disability Section in addressing accessibility.  We could speak to one another and present scholarship and papers in Disability Section sponsored sessions, or we could reach our role more broadly. But why, how and to what extent should we do so? Restricting such a role to the Disability Section does not encourage the espousal of this ethical/moral mandate for all APHA members, and for APHA in general. Exclusion and disparities have been a major agenda of the APHA and should be a pubic health concern organization-wide. 

Third, today I noticed that both the Disability Section website as well as the call for papers from the Disability Section do not pass basic Web accessibility standards. So how do we tackle our own access issues and then what is our role in promoting web access for all APHA web-sites?

Finally, what is the ethical responsibility of our section, knowing that without change, many of the people who are members and who we seek to recruit in the future may not have access to full membership benefits, such as the keynote speech on YouTube from Cornell West and the Film Festival that does not have a policy for captioning? Should we or others have raised these issue to APHA and identified options that would be more productive?

I look to the Disability Section to take on this issue, to address the quandaries that I have outlined as well as those that I have not broached as of yet. I do not think that meeting with the leadership of APHA is sufficient by itself as an action to promote full access and participation in APHA for current and future members.  We must look within and plan. What is the scope of our role, what is our obligation and what actions do we take within our own house as well as within APHA? I would urge an immediate discussion on how to proceed.



Section Council Updates

Awards Committee-Jennifer Rowland, PhD, PT, MPH



Do you know someone who has made a significant contribution through  scholarship, teaching, practice and/or advocacy to advance the health and quality of life of people with disabilities?  If you do, now  may be the time to nominate him or her for one of the 2011 Disability Section Awards. Join us in honoring those who have made significant contributions to the field of disability within the context of public health. The Disability Section offers the following awards: 1) Lifetime Achievement, 2) Allan Meyers, 3) New Investigator, 4) Student Member, and 5) Advocacy .

1.  Lifetime Achievement Award:  This award is presented to a person who, over the course of his or her career, has made a major contribution to the improvement of health and quality of life for people with disabilities through research, teaching, or advocacy. Past award winners have been nationally and/or internationally recognized as major contributors to the disability and public health fields.

Eligibility Criteria:

·         Nominees should include senior scholars who have dedicated their careers to making major contributions to the improvement of health and quality of life for people with disabilities through research, teaching, or advocacy and who have been nationally and/or internationally recognized for their work.

·         Nominees are not required to be members of the Disability Section of APHA.

2. Allan Meyers Award: This award is named in memory of a prominent scholar in disability and public health and is presented to a person who has combined excellence across the areas of research, teaching and advocacy to improve the health and quality of life for people with disabilities.

Eligibility Criteria:

·         Anyone in the field of disability and public health may be nominated.

·         Evidence documenting a nominee’s significant contribution across all three areas of research, teaching and advocacy to improve the health and quality of life for people with disabilities must be provided in the nomination statement.

·         The nominee must be a member of the Disability Section of APHA.


3. Disability Section Student Member Award: This award is presented to a student who has been engaged in work leading to a career in disability and public health. In that work, the student has demonstrated excellence in scholarship and leadership in independent projects that have advanced the health and quality of life for people with disabilities. A one-year Disability Section membership is included as part of the award.

Eligibility Criteria:

·         Nominees can be students who have demonstrated excellence in scholarship and leadership and have been engaged in work leading to a career in disability and public health.

·         Nominees are not required to be members of the Disability Section of APHA, but must be a student at the time they are nominated. For example, graduating students are eligible as long as they are students at the time of the nomination (April 8, 2011).

4.  New Investigator Award: This award recognizes a new investigator who demonstrates evidence of a promising career in public health research in the area of health and wellness for people with disabilities.

Eligibility Criteria: 

·         The nominee must have been awarded his or her degree within eight calendar years of the nomination.

·         Evidence documenting a nominee’s successful development as a new investigator must be provided. This evidence must include a minimum of one peer-reviewed publication for which the nominee has taken a substantial role.

·         The nominee must be a member of the Disability Section of APHA.


5.  Advocacy Award:  This award is presented to a person who has demonstrated excellence in the area of advocacy to improve the health and quality of life for people with disabilities.


Eligibility Criteria:

·         Anyone who has taken action to improve the health and quality of life of people with disabilities may be nominated.

·         Evidence of a nominee’s significant contribution in the area of advocacy to improve the health and quality of life of people with disabilities must be provided in the nomination statement.

·         The nominee does not have to be a member of the Disability Section of APHA at the time of nomination.


Nomination Instructions:

In addition to a completed award nomination form, please provide a one-page description of your nominee’s contributions as well as the nominee’s curriculum vita or resume. Within your one-page description, you may address the importance of the contributions, the quality of the work, and the originality of the contribution as an exemplar. Nominators do not need to be members of the Disability Section. See eligibility criteria for each award listed to determine the nominee’s membership requirements associated with each particular award.


For further information and to obtain a nomination form, please contact APHA Disability Section Awards Committee Chair Jennifer Rowland, , by e-mail at jenrow@uic.edu with the words “Awards Nomination Form Request” in the e-mail subject line. The deadline for nominations is 5:00 p.m. central standard time on Friday, April 8, 2011. The winners will be presented with their awards at the 2011 APHA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., during the Disability Section Business and Awards Meeting.




Communications Chair Update-Roberta Carlin, MS, JD

Please note the new format for the Disability Section newsletter.  We have attempted to incorporate more updates from Section members. Please watch your e-mails in early April for information on posting updates for the Spring Newsletter, which will be published between May 9 and June 3.  In the interim, you can send your updates to be posted on the APHA Disability Section Listserv to Roberta Carlin at rcarlin@aahd.us

A new section has been added to the APHA Disability Section website at www.apha.org which highlights Disability Section members and their reasons for being a part of the Disability Section.  Thanks to Membership Chair Dr. Dot Nary for taking the time to interview our members and to those members that volunteered to work with Dr. Nary on this new and exciting project. 






Section Member News

Update from APHA Disability Section Member Roberta Carlin, MS,JD

American Association on Health and Disability


The Disability and Health Journal Accepted by Medicus/Medline and Thomson Reuters for Indexing


The Disability and Health Journal, or DHJO, has recently been accepted in Medicus/Medline and Thomson Reuters for indexing.  The DHJO is now in two of the most prestigious indexing services.  A 2010 Impact Factor will be announced in mid-2011.  Much appreciation goes to APHA Disability Section members Dr. Suzanne McDermott and Dr. Margaret Turk, editors of the DHJO, for their outstanding dedication and commitment to ensuring the success of the journal.  Much appreciation to members of the APHA Disability Section, some of whom serve as members of the DHJO Editorial Board. The APHA Disability Section and SPIG were champions in their efforts to support the creation of the Disability and Health Journal.  For information about submissions visit www.healthandisability.com  For information about receiving the Disability and Health Journal at a discounted price, please visit www.aahd.us/membership.  APHA Disability Members receive the DHJO at a discounted rate of $100, and student members receive the Disability and Health Journal for $75.



Update from the University of New Hampshire:


Dr. Charles Drum to Lead UNH Institute on Disability


Durham, N.H. - Charles E. Drum, a leader in the fields of public health and disability, will be director of the Institute on Disability, or IOD, at the University of New Hampshire effective Jan. 18, 2011, reported Barbara Arrington, dean of the UNH College of Health and Human Services.  Dr. Drum left Oregon Health & Science University's Child Development and Rehabilitation Center in November, where he was the assistant director for public health, community outreach, and policy and the founding director of the Center on Community Accessibility.


"Dr. Drum is a natural fit for the IOD, having extensive familiarity with and involvement within university and community settings," says Arrington. "Along with his demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and to act as a visionary and a leader, he is well connected and respected nationally in the disability arena. We look forward to the impact he will have not only on the IOD but on the individuals both the institute and college serves."


Drum is widely published, authoring more than 65 articles, reports, and monographs on disability issues; seven training curricula; and the first textbook on disability and public health. His expertise linking the areas of disability and public health align with the IOD's mission and goals.


In addition to directing the IOD, Drum will have an appointment as professor of health management and policy at UNH. Dr. Drum received a PhD from Brandeis University and a JD and MPA from the University of Oregon.



Updates from News from The University of Texas at Austin
AUSTIN, Texas — Dr. Alexa Stuifbergen, professor of nursing at The University of Texas at Austin and an internationally recognized researcher in the areas of multiple sclerosis, post-polio syndrome and fibromyalgia, has been appointed dean of the School of Nursing.  She replaces Dr. Dolores Sands who retired in 2009. Stuifbergen’s appointment was effective Dec. 15.


"Dr. Stuifbergen is a highly recognized researcher and the recipient of numerous research awards over the course of her academic career," said Provost Steven W. Leslie in announcing the appointment. "Furthermore, as interim dean, she has proven to be a skilled and effective administrator. We are fortunate that Alexa has agreed to be the next dean of our School of Nursing."

Stuifbergen is the third dean in the school's history. Although it had its beginnings at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, the School of Nursing was officially established in Austin in 1969. Billye Brown was the first dean of the school.

Before her appointment as dean, Stuifbergen was interim dean (2009-2010) and associate dean for research. She also is former director of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research in Underserved Populations and the school's Cain Center for Nursing Research.

Stuifbergen has received more than $9.6 million from the National Institutes of Health for her studies in health promotion in adults with chronic disabling conditions.

"The faculty, staff and students of the School of Nursing share a common vision of excellence in educating leaders for nursing and continuing our vital research to improve the health and well-being of those in Texas and throughout the country," said Stuifbergen, who will continue to hold the Laura Lee Blanton Chair and the James R. Dougherty Jr. Centennial Professorship. "Our foundation has been built on the shoulders of strong leaders, and I am privileged to have the opportunity to partner with faculty, staff, students and alumni as together we write the next chapter for our nursing school."

Stuifbergen is the 2009 recipient of the "Nursing Research Award" presented by the International Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses. In 2007 she was inducted into the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Health Care Provider Hall of Fame. Her numerous awards also include the 2003 Distinguished Alumna Award and the Faculty Research Award (2004 and 2006) presented by the School of Nursing. She is a member of the American Academy of Nursing.

Stuifbergen will lead a nursing school that offers undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees, including a doctoral program that prepares students to become nursing faculty and researchers.



Update from APHA Disability Section Member Jake Pauls

International Conference on Stairway Usability and Safety

June 9-10, 2011

Sheraton Centre Hotel, Toronto, Canada

Information: www.ficcdat.ca


Chaired by Jake Pauls, CPE, and Wen-Ruey Chang

Conference is organized by FICCDAT


This conference will bring together experts and other interested persons from around the world to accomplish two objectives:


  1. Identify what is currently known about stairway usability and safety that can be incorporated with confidence now in guidance materials (for professionals as well as consumers) and building codes plus widely used standards addressed in 12 expert panels and open discussion among all attendees on Day 1, June 9.

  2. Identify what remains to be learned about stairway usability plus safety and how can we accomplish this, the focus of a few panels, a few oral presentations and open discussion among all attendees on Day 2, June 10.

Most program participants are invited for the special knowledge, for example in ergonomics (human factors), they will bring to particular panels.  Several program participants are presenting posters (for which the abstract submission process is now closed).  Selected posters will also be featured in one session of oral presentations.  Generally, the conference will bring together the largest group of authorities on stairway usability and safety assembled since the first international meeting in 1985.


Day 1 panels (to establish the state of the art in key topics in usability and safety):


a.  Injury epidemiology

b.  Economics, including injury cost

c.   Misstep and fall mechanisms

d.  Perception and cognition

e.  Nominal step geometry      

f.    Consistency of dimensions

g.  Slip resistance

h.  Handrails and guards

i.    Persons with disabilities and older users (including where not to have stairs)

j.    Crowd use of stairs, plus transportation and occupational settings

k.   Codes and standards

l.    Law (especially litigation), insurance and advocacy


Early registration by April 1, 2011: CA$225; after this registration is CA$300, however conference registrations might be limited to facilitate participation by all present.  (Note, as of January 2011, the CA$ was at, or near, parity with the US$.)


Complete information is available at www.ficcdat.ca.  (Held every four years, FICCDAT is a set of several, simultaneously held, international conferences — including one on Universal Design, June 5-8, 2011, which precedes the International Conference on Stairway Usability and Safety).



 Update from APHA Disability Section Member: Lisa Hamburg

2011 National ADA Symposium

May 8-11, 2011

Paris Hotel

Las Vegas

www.adasymposium.org  Online Registration is now Open.

Questions:  (573) 882-3600



Student Section Corner

Student Section Corner – Vivay Vasudevan, MPH


The main role of the student section is that the student representatives are a liaison for students in the Disability Section. If students have any thoughts or concerns, they can contact any of the student representatives, and we can convey their concerns to the Disability Section Executive Committee. We offer opportunities for students to network with other students and faculty at the APHA Annual Meeting. This year we are offering an orientation session for students who have never been to the Annual Meeting. We are again conducting a mentoring session, where students can talk with faculty members of the disability section. Last year the topics ranged from publishing and grants to general life/career paths. 


The student section is also assisting the Disability Section in many other ways. For example, this year we are planning on being involved in the strategic planning and policy activities for the section.   Please contact Vivay Vasudevan at vvasud2@uic.edu  for more information.


Members of the student section receive a special discount rate to the peer reviewed Disability and Health Journal.  Please visit www.aahd.us/membership to fill out the form and receive the Disability and Health Journal via mail and have access to all current and archived issues at www.disabilityandhealthjnl.com


Job Postings

Please submit job postings to Roberta Carlin at rcarlin@aahd.us for the next newsletter by April  22, 2011.

APHA Announcements

TWENTY-FIRST Annual APHA Public Health Materials Contest


The APHA Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section is soliciting your best health education, promotion and communication materials for the 21st annual competition. The contest provides a forum to showcase public health materials during the APHA Annual Meeting and recognizes professionals for their hard work.


All winners will be selected by panels of expert judges prior to the 139th APHA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.  A session will be held at the Annual Meeting to recognize winners, during which one representative from the top materials selected in each category will give a presentation about their material.


Entries will be accepted in three categories; printed materials, electronic materials, and other materials. Entries for the contest are due by March 25, 2011.  Please contact Stephanie Parsons at sparsons@jhsph.edu for additional contest entry information.