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Kansas Disability and Health Program News

Fall 2020

In this Issue:

  • Greetings from the Director
  • Kansas DHP to Implement Workout on Wheels, internet intervention (WoWii)
  • Consumer Advisory Board Profile: Elizabeth "EB" Boresow
  • Kansas DHP Continues Support of Diabetes PSA
  • Nary Moderates Disability Studies Reading Group
  • Kansas DHP Staff Assist with Development of Lawrence Loop
  • COVID-19 Resources for People with Disabilities
  • Kansas DHP Celebrates 30th Anniversary of the ADA
  • Coming Soon: Feeling Good About Your Smile-Virtual
  • Stoplight Healthy Living News
  • Koon Facilitates "Mighty Study"
  • Presentations
  • Publications

Greetings from the Director

Jean Hall, Director of the Kansas Disability & Health ProgramHello from the Kansas DHP!

This year has occasioned much reflection on our mission and our principles, as we both deal with a global pandemic disproportionately affecting people with disabilities and observe the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which has dramatically improved the lives of people with disabilities. In celebration of the ADA’s anniversary, we hope that you will join the University of Kansas ADA Resource Center for Equity and Accessibility in welcoming disability rights activist Judy Heumann (Accessible KU) to campus in October or join me and colleagues for Look Back, Look Forward (Zoom), a retrospective of the 30 year life of the ADA.

In response to the pandemic, we continue to update our COVID-19 resource page, and we encourage you to “like” our Facebook page for information about staying healthy in these unusual times. In the meantime, please enjoy this newsletter, where you will find updates on our ongoing and developing projects.

Yours in good health,

Jean P. Hall, Director
Kansas Disability and Health Program

Kansas DHP to Implement Workout on Wheels, internet intervention (WOWii)

In October, Kansas DHP will begin implementing the Workout on Wheels internet intervention (WOWii) with a group of ten participants. WOWii promotes increased physical activity for people with mobility disabilities through 16 virtual weekly meetings with peer support. Participants are provided with exercise equipment and compensated for their time. Kansas DHP is implementing the program in partnership with Baylor Scott and White Research Institute. For more information, contact Lyndsie Koon at lyndsiek@ku.edu.

Consumer Advisory Board Profile: Elizabeth “EB” Boresow

eb boresow does her standup comedy. she's wearing a red hat and t shirtThis issue’s Community Advisory Board (CAB) Profile features music therapist, advocate, and comedian Elizabeth “EB” Boresow.

EB grew up in the Kansas City area. The oldest of four children and one of many in her extended family—her father has thirteen siblings and her mother has four—she feels “fortunate to have parents that celebrated [her] gifts and worked on things that were hard.” Her parents gave her much support in pursuing the activities she enjoyed, such as reading, basketball, mathematics, and band. Communication and social interaction were harder for her, and her parents pursued methods, like speech-language therapy, to help her become more successful in those areas. In addition to her parents, she credits supportive peers and teachers and her own active involvement in her IEP team with preparing her for college and life beyond school.

Today, EB works as a music therapist in the Kansas City area, using music to “facilitate experiences that support progress toward broader goals,” such as crossing the street safely, using communication devices, grabbing and lifting objects, discovering passions, and participating in the community. Her work requires her to sing and play piano and guitar, but she also plays trombone, trumpet, and ukulele. She performs at weddings, funerals, church services, and fundraisers for Camp Encourage, an overnight camp for youth with autism.

EB enjoys her work with the CAB and sees it as an opportunity to influence the materials Kansas DHP uses in the community and to share what she sees as the community’s strengths and needs—from the perspective of a self-advocate and a provider for other people with disabilities. She recalls adding information about unflavored toothpaste, an important consideration for many people she serves, to an program document about oral hygiene and people with disabilities.

Outside of work and the CAB, EB likes to play basketball and board games and read her favorite books, the late-‘90s series Animorphs. She also serves with the United Methodist Early Response Team for disaster relief, and she has recently begun to dabble in standup comedy (YouTube), an experience that she describes as “terrifying at the beginning” but “became a lot of fun.”

Kansas DHP Continues Support of Diabetes PSA

man in a blue plaid shirt. ask your doctor, your friends, or family members for helpKansas DHP will continue distributing the “DHP Public Service Announcement (PSA) for Managing Diabetes for People with IDD” into 2021. The PSA is part of a national social media campaign of spreading information about diabetes management and care for people with intellectual disabilities. The videos were created by the South Carolina Disability and Health Project with funding from the CDC and the assistance of Kansas DHP and disability and health programs in eight other states, which hosted listening sessions with adults with IDD and type 2 diabetes. To see the videos, “like” Kansas DHP’s Facebook page or follow #DisabilityandDiabetes.

Nary Moderates Disability Studies Reading Group

Being Heumann: An unrepentant memoir of a disability rights activist. Judith Heumann with Kristen Jones. The "author" seated with her fist under her chinDot Nary of the Kansas DHP will moderate a discussion of Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist for the Hall Center for the Humanities’ Disability Studies Seminar. This autobiography of Judy Heumann provides insight into the life of this disability rights leader and relates her role in coordinating the longest sit-in in a federal building in U.S. history to pass regulations for key disability legislation, the Rehabilitation Act. Disability Study Seminars provide a forum for scholars, who tend to recognize disability in terms of social construction and minority culture, to explore and share research topics relevant to disability within and across the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

The discussion is free and CART live-captioned. For more information, contact Ray Mizumra-Pence at rpence@ku.edu or Sherrie Tucker at sjtucker@ku.edu.

Kansas DHP Staff Assist with Development of Lawrence Loop

people participating in outdoor recreation: walking or using wheelchairs on paved pathways through midwestern verdureThe Lawrence Loop is a project that, when completed, will provide a continuous 22-mile trail around the city limits of Lawrence, KS. The trail is wide and paved, making it welcoming to people with mobility disabilities to use for recreation and active transportation, which means any self-propelled, human-powered mode of transportation such as walking, wheeling, bicycling, or hand-cycling. The city of Lawrence is in the process of acquiring equipment that will facilitate measuring the slope and cross-slope of the trail. This information will be used to create a map of the most accessible segments that includes the location of amenities such as parking, restrooms, etc. The equipment can be used later to assess other trails, paths, and sidewalks in the city for accessibility. The Kansas Disability and Health Program staff have been involved in the development of this effort to increase accessible recreation options in Lawrence. Stay tuned for more information about this exciting project. See information about the Lawrence Loop.

COVID-19 Resources for People with Disabilities

People with disabilities are disproportionately affected by public health crises such as the coronavirus pandemic. The Institute for Health and Disability Policy Studies continues to compile resources on its COVID-19 Resource Page to help people with disabilities maintain good health. If you have a resource to add, please contact Seth Coulter at sethcoul@ku.edu.

Kansas DHP Celebrates 30th Anniversary of the ADA

judith heumann speaking into a microphone. Oct 28-29. the university of kansasThe Kansas DHP celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with participation in two online events. Jean Hall, Director of the Kansas DHP, will join colleagues from across the nation to present “Look Back, Look Forward: The ADA at 30,” an online discussion of the ADA’s impact, at 3 p.m. on October 14. Attendance is free, and advance registration for this Zoom Presentation is required.  

The Kansas DHP will also join the University of Kansas community in welcoming Judy Heumann to present on October 28 and 29. Heumann is a disability rights leader and the author of Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist. More details about her visit to KU are available at Accessible KU

Coming Soon: Feeling Good About Your Smile-Virtual

one cartoon tooth brushes another with a pink toothbrush“Feeling Good About Your Smile” is an oral health learning session for people with intellectual disabilities. The intervention was developed in partnership with Kathy Hunt, a registered dental hygienist at Oral Health Kansas (OHK), and teaches daily oral hygiene, healthy food choices, and eating habits that promote good oral health. Drawing upon published research into teaching good oral health practices, the learning session uses skill development and visual learning cues. Due to the pandemic, Feeling Good About Your Smile-Virtual is being developed so it can be delivered through Zoom to organizations or individuals interested in learning how to practice good daily oral hygiene.

Stoplight Healthy Living News

go slow woah a traffic lightThe big news from Stoplight Healthy Living is “we are going virtual!” As with many programs during the pandemic, Stoplight Healthy Living has had to adapt. Kim Bruns, Dot Nary, and Jay Schulz have developed an online version of the program to allow us to continue delivering it during social distancing.  Using the Zoom platform and Facebook Live, Special Olympics Kansas will be the first group to try out this format beginning on October 5th. The overall goal of Stoplight Healthy Living is to help participants understand the impact of nutrition and exercise on their lives. Even small changes to their daily routines and diets will help them improve their health.

This research-based healthy living program is easy to follow. Foods are divided into three groups to facilitate healthy food choices:

  • GREEN foods (“anytime choices” and GO foods, such as apples)
  • YELLOW foods (“sometime choices” and SLOW foods, such as potatoes)
  • RED foods (“rarely choices” and WHOA foods, such as candy)

Stoplight Healthy Living is delivered in partnership with organizations across the state that serve adults with IDD. Staff from partnering organizations can receive training on facilitating the virtual sessions that are approximately 30 minutes long. In the virtual format, including 4-6 participants works well to keep everyone engaged. The Kansas Disability and Health Program provides the curriculum, staff training, and all materials at no cost. Want to learn more? Contact Kim Bruns at kbruns@ku.edu

Koon Facilitates “Mighty Study”

Lyndsie Koon, a researcher at Kansas DHP, and colleagues at the University of Kansas Medical Center will offer the Mighty Study research weight management program to people with physical and mobility-related disabilities. Participants will learn behavioral strategies from a trained educator and receive compensation for their participation. No travel is required for this online study, but participants must live within a 50-mile radius of Kansas City or Lawrence, Kansas. For more information, contact mighty@ku.edu.


Kim Bruns and Dot Nary of Kansas DHP were joined by Colin Olenick of the Kansas DHP Consumer Advisory Board to present “Self-Care: Advocacy in Health Care" on Zoom.  The webinar was presented as part of the Special Olympics Kansas Fitness Opportunities.

Jean Hall and Dot Nary presented “Practical Tips for Providing Equitable Health Care to People with Disabilities” as part of the KU Medical Center Area Health Education Center’s (AHEC) Brown Bag Webinar Series.

Jay Schulz, Graduate Research Assistant, presented the poster (PDF available upon request) “Assessing the Usability of Local Health Departments: Results of the Community Health Environment Checklist” at the 2020 360 Conference of the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

Jean Hall and Dot Nary presented keynote addresses, “Health Disparities among People with Disabilities: Looking Beneath the Surface,” and “Addressing Health Disparities among People with Disabilities: Resources for Clinicians” at the University of Kansas Medical Center’s 4th Annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Symposium.

Jay Schulz presented the guest lecture “Disability and Health” to master of public health students in the Community Health Assessment and Advocacy course at University of Missouri, Kansas City.

Jean Hall and Noelle Kurth presented the ILRU Webinar "The National Survey on Health and Disability (NSHD): A Robust Dataset You Can Use" for Independent Living Research Utilization.


Smith S, Hall JP, Kurth NK. (in press) “Perspectives on health policy from people with disabilities.” Journal of Disability Policy Studies. 

Ipsen C, Kurth NK, Hall JP. (in press) “Evaluating MTurk as a recruitment tool for rural people with disabilities.” Disability and Health Journal. 

Solenberg Jr. AK, Hall JP, and Brooks JV. “Barriers to Colorectal Cancer screening for people with spinal cord injuries and/or disorders: A qualitative study” (PDF available upon request). Disability and Health Journal

Hall JP, Ipsen C, Kurth NK, McCormick S, and Chambless C. “How family crises may limit engagement of youth with disabilities in services to support successful transitions to postsecondary education and employment.” Children and Youth Services Review

Like Us on Facebook

Facebook ThumbJoin us in conversation on the Kansas DHP Facebook page. Just look for the Kansas Disability & Health Program. We share tips related to a healthy lifestyle, focusing on physical activity, oral health and nutrition.

For More Information

Kim Bruns, DHP Program Coordinator
The University of Kansas
Institute for Health and Disability Policy Studies
1000 Sunnyside Ave.
Lawrence, KS 66045

This newsletter was supported by Grant/Cooperative Agreement Number DD000006 from CDC National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Disability and Health Branch. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC, NCBDDD, Disability and Health Branch.