What exactly are disabilities?
Disabilities are limitations in usual, daily activities due to chronic conditions and include physical and mental limitations arising from a variety of health conditions.
Why are disabilities an issue for women?
About 27 million in the U.S. have disabilities and the number is growing. More than 50% of women older
than 65 are living with a disability. The most common cause of disability for women is arthritis or
Women with disabilities may need specialty care to address their individual needs. In addition, they need
the same general health care as a women without disabilities, and they may also need additional care to
address their specific needs. However, research has shown that many women with disabilities may not
rece ive regular health screenings within recommended guidelines.2
What is the OWH doing about women with disabilities?
To address the specific conditions of women with disabilities, the OWH provided representation on the Disability Health & Wellness Advisory Board through the Department of Human Services, Division of Disability Services. The Advisory Board is a consumer-driven, cross-disability group with members from across New Jersey. The Board is charged with promoting healthy living and prevention of secondary conditions. The Advisory Board's aim is to:
- Provide guidance to project staff and collaborators
- Help plan specific activities for the NJ Strategic Plan
- Educate the public health and human service communities
The OWH also participated in the Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women with Disabilities. The group is developing informational materials about this issue to address accessibility, as well as other factors that impact women with disabilities who are at risk or in need of services.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) statewide grantmaking program, New Jersey Initiatives, awarded a three-year grant to Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Disability Services (DDS) to develop materials through a training project called "The Unheard Voice: Addressing Violence Against Women with Disabilities."
A number of resources and informational materials are now available on the DDS website to assist women and providers.
Source: 1, 2 http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/women.html#ref