March 2011 Minutes

American Public Health Association

Disability Section Minutes

Monthly Meeting

Conference Call


March 3, 2011



Council members present: Stephen French Gilson (Chair), Willi Horner-Johnson (Treasurer), H. Stephen Kaye (Chair Elect), Barbara Kornblau, Suzanne McDermott (Governing Council Representative), Dot Nary (Membership Chair), Jennifer Rowland (Awards Chair), Meg Ann Traci (Secretary), Vijay Vasudevan (Student Liaison), and Kiyoshi Yamaki (Program Chair).

Council members not present: Vince Campbell (Policy Chair), Anthony Cahill (Accessibility Co-Chair), Roberta S. Carlin (Communications Chair), Catherine Leigh Graham (Accessibility Co-Chair), Gloria Krahn (Governing Council Representative), Jana Peterson (Student Liaison Faculty Supervisor), and James H. Rimmer (Past Chair/Elections Chair).


Opening:  Stephen Gilson opened the conference call meeting at 12:02 p.m. (EST) prompting roll call.


Minutes: Review of the minutes was postponed to the next meeting.


Policy, Vince Campbell and Barbara Kornblau

Barbara provided background on and distinctions of several sign-on letters being circulated nationally in response to the National Advisory Council on Healthcare Research and Quality Subcommittee’s published notice requesting comment on a "Core Set of Health Quality Measures for Medicaid Eligible Adults”. The letter before the Council today (see addendum) was developed by Mary Lou Breslin, Senior Policy Advisor at Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) with input from Barbara Kornblau and others. Barbara thought the letter was very good and recommended that the Disability Section sign-on if the Section has established practice for doing so. Barbara recommended endorsing this letter over others that also suggest important specifications on quality measures related to self-empowerment yet lack recommendations for quality measures related to health care access for persons with disabilities. And while the data may not be available for such measures (e.g., how many people with intellectual disability have their blood pressure taken; how many people in wheelchairs get mammograms), Barbara suggested that the opportunity exists to push for these data with changes to the quality measures, as recommended in the DREDF letter.

Suzanne asked whether signing onto such letters was within our purview as the Disability Section. For example, what do other Sections get involved in public health policy development work in this way? Steve Kaye recalled that the Executive Council had decided at the Annual Executive Council meeting to work on public health policy issues at the national level, necessitating a policy co-chair whose professional status would allow such work (i.e., Barbara can do this more easily than Vince who is a CDC employee). Meg asked for a review of prior practice citing Suzanne’s work as former Policy Chair on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Health Care Reform, and H.R. 3101, the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009. A review could identify and clarify situations and processes for:


1)     When the Disability Section takes a singular action based on

a.      Policy Co-Chair decisions;

b.      Executive Council decisions;

                                                              i.      Made during regular In-Person or Action-realated Meetings and via  email

                                                             ii.      Based on what proportion of the Council

c.      Members Input.

2)     When the Disability Section advances a national issue through the APHA Advocacy Leadership to . 

a.      Integrate it in the APHA Advocacy Leadership agenda

b.      Educate APHA Leadership in ways that lead to APHA action on it (e.g., endorsing or writing a letter).


Several councilors noted that overall, our decisions need to represent and not alienate the Section membership. Steve and Barbara suggested there are national issues that clearly are ones the Section membership would support and that Executive Council action related to these issues would not result in negative consequences. Suzanne suggested that in those instances we report on those actions in the Disability Section newsletter so members are aware and can provide input to the Executive Council and/or can act as an individual or as a part of other organizations. Stephen thought that was a good suggestion. He echoed Steve’s summary of the path we laid at the annual meetings.  Dot suggested that this course may require rapid communications in some situations. Barbara identified the additional responsibility of the policy chair to outline any challenges or tensions for the Executive Council to consider when making such decisions.


Steve motioned that we sign the DREDF letter. Meg seconded the motion. Stephen prompted discussion. Willi expressed agreement with what had been said—i.e., action by the Executive Council on noncontroversial issues was important. Stephen called for a vote. The motion was passed unanimously. Suzanne recommended that the Section sign on as opposed to the Executive Council. Councilors agreed. Barbara will respond for the Section and will create a report to include in the newsletter.


Meg reviewed action steps identified during the 2/3/2011 Executive Council meeting related to possibility of the Disability Section joining CCD. Stephen will call Fran Atkinson to clarify whether this is allowable. If it is, Willi will clarify whether we have the budgetary resources and authority to fund membership and related travel expenses.


Because Vince was not present to facilitate discussion on the APHA policy development work internal to the organization, Barbara presented three policies that she and Vince had identified as being most germane to the work of the Disability Section.



A5: Musculoskeletal disorders as a public health concern: APHA response and action steps.

C1: Prioritizing non communicable disease prevention and treatment in global health

C2: VISION 2020: Global Campaign to Eliminate Avoidable Blindness

Barbara made a motion that the Section co-sponsor these three APHA policy proposals. Suzanne amended the motion to allow councilors time to email Vince suggestions for improving these policies that he can compile and submit to the primary sponsoring group with our offer to co-sponsor to policy proposers. Steve seconded the amended motion, which passed unanimously. Councilors should review and email suggestions for improving policies to Vince by March 10th. Vince will provide our input on these policy proposals by the March 15th deadline.


Program Chair, Kiyoshi Yamaki

Kiyoshi is coordinating the reviews of the 123 submitted abstracts. The deadline for review is 3/13/2011. Kiyoshi has emailed reviewers a reminder of the deadline. Abstract assigned to a colleague so not blind. Councilors might need to conduct an additional review. Three groups submitted for ‘invited sessions’, for Kiyoshi needs reviewers. He is considering asking Disability Section Executive Councilors to review these additional abstracts. APHA is asking program chairs to limit the number of presenters to four per session, which fits the Disability Section’s usual program. Kiyoshi is working on room assignment for the Sunday morning (9:30 to 1:00) and Sunday poster session (4:30), and the Monday Business Meeting. Willi volunteered to coordinate Disability Section catering orders again for the annual meetings. Steve recommended that when Kiyoshi is making the room requests to request a room for orientation after the chair’s forum 6:30-8:00. Vijay said the Student Committee plans to combine the Disability Section Student Orientation and Mentoring Sessions at the 2011 Annual APHA Meetings. 


Elections, Jim Rimmer

Our Action Board representative’s term expires this year. Please submit names of possible Disability Section members by March 15th to Jim.


Student Liaison, Vijay Vasudevan

Students received information inviting them to participate in the Disability Section Executive Council’s subcommittees (see addendum for related notes).


Awards, Jennifer Rowland

Jennifer has be distributing the call for 2011 Disability Section Award nominations. Please share with your contacts and listservs. Jennifer reported that the Awards subcommittee has received a couple of nominations and a couple of information requests from Disability Section members. The deadline for nominations is April 8, 2011.  

Kiyoshi said that the abstract submission form allowed contributors to indicate whether authors might be considered for a Disability Section award. Kiyoshi said after the reviews, he will extract this from the system information for Jennifer, who can follow up with individuals who may have indicated that they want to be considered for an award.


Accessibility, Tony Cahill and Catherine Graham

Stephen Gilson reported on accessibility. The meeting with APHA leadership including Georges Benjamin on accessibility issues and the role of the Disability Section will be held in Washington, D.C. on the 5/10/2011. Stephen noted that his section in the recent Disability Section newsletter outlined some of the Disability Section’s stronger concerns (e.g., captioning for the Cornell West’s video; 508 accessibility guidelines for APHA’s abstract submission and registration websites). Barbara added that educating APHA leadership about requirements for outside vendors also can improve those vendors’ actions with other organizations in terms of inclusion and accessibility for persons with disabilities.  She also mentioned our commitment to focusing on public health scholarship and that providing this technical assistance and education to APHA can distract us from this focus. Dot added that a desired outcome is that APHA start integrating more of required and recommended accessibility practices into APHA policy.  Dot asked whether we are the only Section that is concerned about the accessibility of APHA. Steve mentioned that the Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section also was very concerned with APHA’s accessibility. Kiyoshi recalled that Section program chairs were very concerned with these issues as well. There was a letter circulated to APHA staff advocating for improvements to the APHA website (e.g., make 508 compliant).


Treasurer, Willi Horner-Johnson

Willi is finalizing our continuation proposal which is due to APHA on March 18, 2011, e.g., outlining costs of travel costs, student scholarships, DHJO subscriptions, brochures (Willi has a big box of the student brochures).


By the end of May, we need to define spending plans for year end funds. Dot said that we can order 5,000 brochures for $2,500. Dot will do an inventory to see what is needed in terms of promotional materials. Willi asked councilors to contact her about anything else that should be considered in this budgeting process. APHA is paying for folks travel to Washington, D.C. for the 5/10/2011 meeting.



Stephen closed the meeting at 11:02 p.m. (EST). The next Disability Section Council meeting will be April 7, 2011 at 12:00 P.M. to 1:00 P.M. EST.

Minutes submitted by Secretary Meg Traci.





Student Committee Notes on Student Involvement in

Disability Section Executive Council Subcommittees

[Submitted via email, 3/7/2011 as an addendum by Vijay Vasudevan]

Student Committee Notes Involvement in Disability Section Executive Council Subcommittees


Strategic Planning

1.      Stephen Firsing (University of Alabama, Birmingham)

a.      Ph.D. in Health Education and Health Promotion, M.A. in Health Studies at UAB, & M.P.A. – Master of Public Administration at UNC Wilmington


c.      Also volunteered to be our representative on APHA student assembly calls

2.      Eliza Fernie (Boston University)

a.      MPH Candidate


Annual Meeting – Mentorship and Orientation session

1.      Alicia Dixon (Oregon State University)

a.      PhD in Nutrition Exercise Science focusing on Movement Studies in Disability. She is jointly working on her MPH in Epidemiology at Oregon State University


2.      Kerri Vanderbom (Oregon State University)

a.      Doctoral student in the Movement Studies in Disability Program



1.      Policy

a.      Scott Robertson (Penn State University)

                                                  i.      Ph.D. Candidate in information sciences. MS in human-computer interaction from Carnegie Mellon


b.      Kayla Watkins (University of Maryland-College Park)

                                                  i.      Super senior in Community Health, works in disability policy



2.      Communications

a.      Priya Chandan (University of Alabama, Birmingham)

                                                  i.      MD/MPH student with interest in health and developmental disabilities


b.      Frankie Flores (Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania)

                                                  i.      MS student in Adaptive PA


Disability Section Council Representative

1.      Vijay Vasudevan (University of Illinois at Chicago)

a.      PhD student in Disability Studies, MPH from University of Florida