Plenary 6: Disability Awareness and Inclusion in Public Health

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1.0 Advanced

Disability and chronic disease are not synonymous conditions but exist independently from one another. Disabilities are not unfortunate, negative, or synonymous with ill health, incapacity, or dependence, and a person with a disability is neither inferior, undesirable, less capable, nor less worthy than an able-bodied person. Disability humility refers to learning about experiences, cultures, histories, and politics of disability, recognizing that one's knowledge and understanding of disability will always be partial, and acting and judging considering that fact. In addition, the pervasiveness and systemic nature of ableism causes harm, and those who are able-bodied often enjoy unrecognized privilege.

This plenary supports the SOPHE 2021 resolution that calls for integrating the role of disability and ableism in health education and health promotion practice. The presentation will encourage educators, faculty, students, and practitioners to question their own preconceived notions and implicit biases, explore disability-related biases and microaggressions, challenge the dominant narrative on disability, and promote models and tools to increase access and equity and ultimately reframe concepts of differences.

Learning objective(s):

•Incorporate appropriate needs assessment, planning and implementation guidelines for health education programs designed for persons with disabilities.
•Identify advocacy and other efforts to overcome at least two barriers to health equity for individuals with disabilities that result from discrimination and implicit biases.

Moderator: Tara Lutz, PhD, MPH, MCHES®
Featured speakers:
Adriane K. Griffen, DrPH, MPH, MCHES; American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists  
Sara Lyons, MPH; The National Association of County and City Health Officials
D’Arcee Neal, MA; The Ohio State University

FAHE Awards
Donna Videto, PhD, MCHES®

Closing Conference Remarks
Amy Thompson, PhD, CHES®; 2022-23 SOPHE President; University of Toledo

Tara Lutz, PhD, MPH, MCHES® (Moderator)

Asst. Professor

University of Connecticut

Tara Lutz is the training director at the Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (CT UCEDD) and an assistant professor of public health sciences at the University of Connecticut (UConn) School of Medicine. She coordinates the graduate Certificate of Interdisciplinary Disability Studies in Public Health and co-directs the clinical doctoring course for second year medical students. She is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES ®).
Her areas of interest include disability and public health, health education and health promotion, addressing issues of health equity across different communities, and integrating disability education and competency into public health and health care training programs. She is skilled in curriculum development for public health and medical students in public health, disability, and racism and bias that incorporates a health equity framework to describe and address systems-level issues including access, accessibility, and inclusivity.

At SOPHE, Tara is the national delegate for Connecticut (CT) SOPHE, and the speaker of the House of Delegates for 2022. She is dedicated to public health education students, professionals, and those we serve. She strives for equitable access to services, education, and communication through ways in which are consumable to our many audiences. She values collaboration, partnerships, teamwork, and accountability. To borrow from the newly-revised 10 Essential Public Health Services, I see one my contributions to the field is to develop our workforce to “enable equitable access” and “build a diverse and skilled workforce”.

Adriane K. Griffen, DrPH, MPH, MCHES

Association of University Centers on Disabilities

Dr. Adriane K. Griffen serves as the Senior Director of Public Health and Leadership at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) where applies over 20 years of experience in developing programs in collaboration with partners, facilitating communities of practice, social marketing, health promotion, and health education. Her current activities focus on capacity building, systems change to include people with disabilities, and health promotion for people with disabilities across the age span. She is a Doctor of Public Health with a focus in Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a Certified Nonprofit Executive Director (CNED) and a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES).

Sara Lyons, MPH


Sara Lyons has led the Health and Disability Program at NACCHO since October 2016. Sara oversees all Health and Disability program activities, including a COVID-19 awardee project, an annual fellowship program, a technical assistance program, and communication activities to promote disability inclusion among local health departments. Prior to NACCHO, Sara worked at the Albany County Department of Health in New York focusing on public health education, chronic disease prevention, and emergency preparedness. Sara obtained her Masters in Public Health from University at Albany School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Science from University at Buffalo.

D'Arcee Neal

Ohio State University

D'Arcee Charington Neal (he/they) is a professional storyteller, and 3rd year doctoral candidate at The Ohio State University in English and Disability Studies, focusing on the intersections of black digital media and disabled erasure within Afrofuturism. With a double Masters in Creative Writing and Rhetorical Composition, through the lens of audionarratology, he works to tell stories of the Afrophantasmic, or black disabled people who exist as phantoms within the community as both a power and a problem; critically analyzing digital blackface and ableism across popular culture. However when not theorizing about black techno-agency, he believes that the future can and should be both, accessible, and in Wakanda, forever.

Donna M. Videto, PhD, MCHES®

Vice President


Donna Videto, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor and Professor of Health, has worked in school health education and pedagogy for over 40 years. An AAHE Fellow and a CDC HECAT trainer, she is currently employed by SUNY College at Cortland where Donna teaches graduate and undergraduate students in health education. Donna has a number of national publications including Birch & Videto’s 2015 Promoting Health and Academic Success: The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Approach. With over 150 national, regional and state level presentations at conferences and committee work for SOPHE, AAHE, and ASHA. Currently Donna serves as the Vice President of FAHE.

Amy Thompson, PhD, CHES®

Vice Provost

University of Toledo

Dr. Amy Thompson is a Professor & Co-Director at the Center for Health & Successful Living for the University of Toledo. Her research areas are on advocacy, gun violence prevention, breast cancer prevention, and nutritional issues. She has also served as the Trustee for Advocacy & Resolutions for SOPHE from 2015-2017; 2017-2019.


Plenary 6: Disability Awareness and Inclusion in Public Health
03/25/2022 at 12:15 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 03/28/2022
03/25/2022 at 12:15 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 03/28/2022
22 Questions
1.00 Advanced CECH credit  |  No certificate available
1.00 Advanced CECH credit  |  No certificate available