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June 2010 Minutes

American Public Health Association
Disability Section Minutes
Monthly Meeting
Conference Call

June 3, 2010

Council members present: Anthony Cahill (Accessibility Co-Chair), Vince Campbell (Policy Chair), Charles Drum (Governing Council Representative), Willi Horner-Johnson (Treasurer), Gloria Krahn (Governing Council Representative), George Jesien (Membership Chair), Stephen French Gilson (Chair), Catherine Leigh Graham (Accessibility Co-Chair), H. Stephen Kaye (Program Chair), Jana Petersen (Student Liaison Faculty Supervisor), James H. Rimmer (Past Chair/Elections Chair), Jennifer Rowland (Awards Chair), Meg Ann Traci (Secretary) and Kiyoshi Yamaki (Program Chair-Elect).
Council members not present: Roberta S. Carlin (Communications Chair); and Anjali Truitt (Student Liaison). *******************************************************************
Opening: Chair Stephen Gilson opened the conference call meeting at 12:04 p.m. (EST) prompting roll call.

Minutes: Executive Council reviewed and approved the May meeting minutes with corrections. (Mover: Catherine Graham; Seconder: Vince Campbell.)

Chair’s Forum, Stephen Gilson
Stephen reported that there had been no submissions to the Chair’s Forum’s Call for Abstracts. The submission deadline is August 7th.

Program, Steve Kaye
Steve reported that review notifications were emailed to abstract authors on June 1, 2010. Also, the Disability Section Program is complete with the exception of one invited presentation for the joint session being planned with the Gerontological Health (GH) Section.  Steve is discussing this opening with the GH Program Chair.

Treasurer, Willi-Horner-Johnson
Willi reported that she was managing year end fiscal duties for the Disability Section’s CDC fund and its operating account. She reported that invoices for award plaques, a camera for the Awards Committee, and similar purchases were paid and that the invoice from NACCHO was in process. APHA is helping the Disability Section use year end funds from its operating account to purchase more flexible Frisbees as promotional materials; AUCD is contributing the additional funds needed to purchase the minimum number of Frisbees.

Awards, Jennifer Rowland
Jennifer reported that the Awards Committee was evaluating and scoring nominations and will finalize selections in time for publication in the APHA Program (deadline, mid June). After reviews are complete, the Awards Committee will address the need to develop a process for making external awards and to explore the possibility of an advocacy and/or midcareer award.

Elections, Jim Rimmer
Jim summarized his observations from the APHA intersectional call:
  1. APHA membership has dropped to under 25,000 members for the first time in many years;
  2. Strategic planning is focused on increasing membership (membership fees contribute one-third of APHA’s budget), and on securing grants from CDC and other sources.
The election for the Disability Section Councilors will be open soon.

Student Liaison, Anjali Truitt/Jana Peterson
Jennifer mentioned that student members and Awards Committee members have been outlining tasks such as greeting and program distribution as student roles at the 2010 Disability Section Awards Banquet Jana invited Councilors to think about similar tasks and opportunities to actively involve student members in other activities at the APHA Annual Meetings in Denver (e.g.,Stephen suggested student member involvement in the review of Chair’s Forum papers).
Jim suggested extending Awards Banquet invitations to students, who are not formally members of the Disability Section but will be presenting on disability-related topics at the APHA Annual meetings in Denver.  Stephen volunteered to ask Steve Kaye how to identify these students, and Jim mentioned there are Disability Section invitation cards that could be used.

[Reported via Anjali’s email, sent 6/2/2010 @ 5:54PM:]
This year’s student survey has been distributed to student members of the Disability Section via the internet.  For this year’s survey, about two-thirds of survey recipients are new student members, and there are more recipients who are transitional members (recent graduates) as compared to last year. Results, which may be available as early as next month, will include student mentorship topics for the APHA Annual Meetings in Denver. Anjali reminded Disability Section Councilors to reserve Tuesday night during the Annual Meetings to participate in the mentorship session. 

Membership, George Jesien
George reported that the number of Disability Section primary members has grown slightly from last month (252 compared to 247 members).

Accessibility, Catherine Graham/Tony Cahill
Stephen and Catherine had a call with Dr. Benjamin and Fran Atkinson. APHA will reduce the height of booths in the APHA Section Pavilion at the Annual Meetings in Denver from 40” to 36” (maximum standard in ADAAG), although the Disability Section was endorsing a more usable height of 30”.

Catherine relayed that Glen White had emailed a complaint to Anna. Dr. White reported that APHA members who had requested accessible rooms were alerted to book rooms in the conference hotel only one hour prior to the mass email inviting all housing reservations. Catherine also reported an error in the reservation system to Anna. This error resulted in false messages stating that accessible rooms were unavailable in the host hotel (i.e., that all were booked already).

To address an accessibility issue brought forth during his term as chair, Jim reported that he will work with Steve Barnett to educate APHA about making accommodations for Deaf and hard of hearing conference participants. 

Charles suggested reviewing APHA Policy #20025 (see addendum) as a potential tool to engage the Governing Council on accessibility improvements to APHA meetings, programs and resources. Tony underscored the importance of engaging Governing Council representatives as  part of the APHA leadership. Meg suggested measuring progress on implementation of the policy (e.g., site visits as suggested by Charles; self-evaluations by Governing Council representatives, Chairs and Program Chairs) and providing results to the Governing Council. These data would expand the descriptions provided by complaints and the annual accessibility survey results.

Jim suggested that provisions in CDC funding to APHA might be another tool to move APHA forward on conference accessibility. Vince will learn what types of funding APHA has from CDC and if possible, what accessibility requirements may be included in those funding mechanism. Gloria mentioned this review was in line with Vince’s new role at CDC to integrate disability issues across CDC policy and programs. Stephen will invite APHA leadership to the Chair’s Forum as another education strategy. Catherine and Gloria summarized the importance of considering a variety of new approaches, beyond technical assistance, to move APHA forward in regards to accessibility improvements.
On behalf of the Disability Section Executive Council, Meg submitted a nomination of Justin Dart for the APHA Sedgwick Memorial Medal.

Stephen Gilson closed the meeting at 12:55 p.m. (EST). The next Disability Section Council meeting will be held July 1stat 12:00 p.m. (EST). Minutes submitted by Secretary Meg Traci.

Addendum to Minutes:

Eliminating Access Barriers in Public Health Meetings

Policy Date: 1/1/2000
Policy Number: 200025

Noting that Congress, in enacting the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has recognized that persons with mental or physical disabilities have been “subjected to a history of purposeful unequal treatment and relegated to a position of political powerlessness”1 which “continue(s) to be a serious and pervasive social problem”2 in many realms including “health services,”3 and that barriers to participation in such critical areas as education, employment, housing, public accommodations, access to public services,4 etc., have contributed to the fact that “people with disabilities, as a group, occupy an inferior status in our society, and are severely disadvantaged socially, vocationally, economically, and educationally”;5 and
Recognizing that some discrimination against persons with disabilities occurs through intentional exclusion whether because they are undervalued as members of society or because of overprotective rules and policies, and that other discrimination occurs through unintentional discriminatory effects of architectural, transportation, and communication barriers;6 and
Recognizing that persons with disabilities constitute approximately 20.6% of the total population;7 and
Recognizing that the “new paradigm” in disability policy focuses on the interaction of an individual’s characteristics and the environment as determinants of outcomes;8-10 and
Recognizing that the health, productivity, and social integration of our society depends on addressing the health care needs of the total population in an efficient and effective way,11 and creating equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities;12-14 and
Recognizing that inclusion of persons with disabilities is an important public health objective which must be promoted by universal design backed up by provision of reasonable accommodations to create more competent healthy communities;15,16 and
Believing that disability, like gender and race, is a natural and normal part of human experience that in no way diminishes a person’s right to fully participate in an organization’s activities;17 and
Recognizing that removing the barriers to participation and creating a more accessible society will be greatly enhanced by the involvement of persons with disabilities in the formation and implementation of public policy18-20 through public health organizations; therefore, urges public health organizations to begin discussions of ways to initiate the following or to have policies and implementation mechanisms in place to promptly and effectively:

1. Select accessible sites21 in accessible communities to hold public health meetings; whereby accessible facilities22 include meeting spaces, exhibit booths, public use areas, sleeping areas, restaurants, and social events, etc.;

2. Ensure physical accessibility by using rooms set up to accommodate wheelchair users in the audience as well as at a speaker’s table, and to provide amplification equipment if needed such as table or lapel microphones that permit persons with disabilities to speak without having to hold the microphone;

3. Provide accessible and timely transportation including accessible buses and vans as well as accessible parking;

4. Promote accessible communication23 in the form of conference materials in accessible formats, qualified sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices such as induction/hearing hoops, decoders, and real-time captioning; and provide guidelines to speakers for accessible methods of presentation such as providing handouts in alternative formats (e.g., large print, Braille, or audio cassette), providing an oral description if visual materials are included, and presenting material in easily understandable language and at a pace that is suitable to professionals with cognitive differences as well as to most meeting participants;

5. Provide personal assistance for meeting site orientation and other assistance when requested and feasible in the form of a note taker, reader, etc., enabling persons with disabilities to participate in all scheduled conference activities;

6. Utilizing planning process to promote cost-effective accessibility by:
  • Identifying access needs of persons with disabilities through pre-registration and membership procedures;
  • Ensuring that all contracts are sensitive to needs of persons with disabilities and comply with ADA standards, including those for conference arrangements, transportation, audio visual and computer equipment, exhibit booths, hotels meals, receptions, etc.;
  • Conducting site visits with the assistance of accessibility specialist consultants such as individuals from Independent Living Centers in the local community prior to the meetings to ensure compliance with nondiscrimination standards, provide disability sensitivity training to public health organization staff to increase their awareness of architectural, communication, and attitudinal barriers, and designate knowledgeable person(s) in the organization as an “access troubleshooter” to correct problems as they arise;
  • Evaluating effectiveness of accessibility through targeted surveys, focus groups, advisory committees, etc., of persons with disabilities who are members or participants in the public health organization activities; and
  • Using public health organizations’ communication channels including newsletters, publications, web site, etc., to inform membership about an organization’s commitment to accessible meetings and organizational procedures.
7. Ensure that persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in all governance functions and decision-making by the organization.

1. ADA Finding 7, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Public Law 101-336.
2. ADA Finding 2, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Public Law 101-336.
3. ADA Finding 3, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Public Law 101-336.
4. ADA Finding 4, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Public Law 101-336.
5. ADA Finding 6, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Public Law 101-336.
6. ADA Finding 5, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Public Law 101-336.
7. McNeil JM. Current Population Reports, Americans With Disabilities: 1994-1995, Washington, DC: Census Bureau, US Department of Commerce.
8. World Health Organization. International classification of impairments, activities, and participation (ICIDH-2). A manual of dimensions of disablement and functioning. Beta-1 draft for field trials. Geneva: World Health Organization, 1997.
9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office on Disability and Health 1996/97 Strategic Plan, Atlanta, GA.
10. National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) Long Range Plan: Fed Regist. December 7, 1999; 64, (234): 68575- 68614.
11. Healthy People 2010: National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, 2000.
12. Pope AM and Tarlov AR (eds.). Disability in America: Toward a National Agenda for Prevention, Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1991.
13. Brandt EN and Pope AM (eds.). Enabling America: Assessing the Role of Rehabilitation Science and Engineering. Washington, D.: National Academy Press, 1997.
14. United Nations Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 48/46, December 20, 1993.
15. Healthy People 2010: National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, 2000.
16. Zola I. Toward the necessary niversalizing of a disability policy. The Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly, 1989; 67 (supplement 2, part 2): 401-428.
17. Silverstein Robert. Federal disability policy framework reflecting the nation’s goals relating to people with disabilities as articulated in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Iowa Law Review, 2000; 85(5) Section 2(a)(3) of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 701(a)(3)); Section 601©(1) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 ©(1)); Section 101(a)(2) of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (42 U.S.C.6000(a)(2)).
18. Hahn H. Towards a politics of disability: definitions, disciplines, and policies. Social Science Journal, 1985; 22(4):87-106; consider also cites to Paul Longmore, Richard Scotch, etc.
19. National Council on Disability, Towards Independence, Washington, DC., 1986.
20. DeJong G. Independent living: from social movement to analytic paradigm, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, October 1979;60:435-446.
21. Kailes JI, Jones D. A Guide to Planning Accessible Meetings, Houston, TX: ILRU Research & Training Center on Independent Living, The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR), 1993.
22. ADA Accessibility Guidelines. 28 C.F.R. Part 36, January 1992.
23. Stoddard S., Kasnitz D,. and Wahl L. Making conferences accessible: Experiences from 1995 SDS. Disability Studies Quarterly, 1998; 18(1).