Individuals with Disabilities Invited to Participate in National Survey beginning Oct. 2

People with disabilities are invited to participate in a national study based at the University of Kansas that aims to document their experiences with a variety of issues, including access to health care, housing, long COVID, transportation, employment, and connection to their community. 

The National Survey on Health and Disability (NSHD) has gathered detailed, nationwide information on U.S. adults with disabilities and their experiences with health insurance and healthcare services since 2018. It is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research and directed by Jean Hall, who leads the KU Institute for Health and Disability Policy Studies (IHDPS) at the KU Life Span Institute. Access the survey here.

IHDPS researchers publish study showing national surveys undercount people with disabilities

October 4, 2022

IHDPS Director and co-authors publish study on disability measurement in October special issue of Health Affairs. Local news outlets cover the story.

IHDPS Begins Study of Pandemic Effects

November 10, 2021

The Institute for Health and Disability Policy Studies (IHDPS) has begun the study “Using the National Survey on Health and Disability (NSHD) Panel to Document the COVID-19 Pandemic Experiences of Working-Age Americans with Disabilities.” Read the news story at the Life Span Institute

NSHD Featured in NIDILRR Webinar Series

September 9, 2021

The National Survey on Health and Disability was featured in the presentation "Using the National Survey on Health and Disability (NSHD) to Explore the Experience of Social Isolation and Loneliness among Rural and Urban People with Disabilities" (YouTube). Catherine Ispen, PhD, and Gilbert Gimm, PhD, made the presentation as part of the Webinar Series of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). 

Kurth, Hall, and Goddard to Present at Kansas Public Health Association (KPHA) Conference

September 3, 2021

Noelle Kurth, IHDPS Research Associate, will present "Social Isolation and Loneliness Among People with Disabilities: Findings from the National Survey on Health and Disability" at the KPHA Conference on "Strengthening Social Connectedness." Jean Hall, University of Kansas Research Professor, and Kelsey Goddard, Research Associate at the Research and Training Center on Independent Living, co-authored the presentation, which is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. CDT on Tuesday, September 21. Registration for this online event is required. 

Hall and Kurth Present for NARRTC Webinar Series

May 20, 2021 

Jean Hall, Director, and Noelle Kurth, Research Associate at the Institute for Health and Disability Policy Studies, presented "Telling Stories to Inform Disability Policy Study" for the NARRTC Webinar Series. 

Redmond Selected for LEND Program

April 8, 2021 

Ellie Redmond, former student assistant with RTC/IL, was selected for the Leadership Education and Related Disabilities Program at the University of Kansas Medical Center. The LEND program will supplement her graduate studies in Occupational Therapy. 

Hall and Nary Author Book Chapters

March 23, 2021

Jean Hall and Dot Nary have each authored a chapter for the new book, Public Health Perspectives on Disability: Science, Social Justice, Ethics and Beyond (2nd edition). In “The Interrelationship of Health Insurance and Employment for People with Disabilities,” Hall evaluates how access to adequate health insurance affects the health and employment of people with disabilities or chronic illnesses. Nary and Lindsey Mullis of the University of Kentucky wrote the chapter “Disability and Health Programs: Emerging Partners,” which describes the development of state disability and health programs and the continuing challenges to meeting the health needs of individuals with disabilities.   


A quarter of the adult population of the United States has a disability, making people with disabilities the largest minority group in the country. Research confirms that people with disabilities experience significant health disparities. Too often, research and policy on disability focus on medical determinants of health. Public Health Perspectives on Disability considers the field of public health to be the practice of social justice using science-based strategies that improve population health, which requires a strong focus on social determinants of health such as housing, geographical location, education, and employment.

Koon Receives KU Research Grant

March 23, 2021

Dr. Lyndsie Koon was awarded a two-year, $20,000 grant from the New Faculty General Research Fund of the University of Kansas Office of Research. Her proposal "Self-determination through technology: Understanding physical activity engagement for manual wheelchair users" is aimed at discovering the ways activity technology, such as Fit Bits, can motivate manual wheelchair users to increase their physical activity.

Jean Hall Elected to the National Academy of Social Insurance

January 21, 2021

Jean Hall, IHDPS Director, joined the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) as one of 56 distinguished experts. NASI educates the public on the connections between social insurance--such as Workers Compensation, Unemployment Insurance, and Medicare--and economic security. "It is essential to include various types of expertise and disciplines when it comes to the challenges we face - from the impacts of COVID-19 to systemic racism in our society and economy," William Arnone, the Academy's CEO, said of the recent elections. NASI Press Release: DHP Director Elected to Academy of Social Insurance (NASI)

Nary and Coulter Present to Medical Student Group

Dot Nary, IHDPS researcher, and Seth Coulter, IHDPS communication specialist, presented "Writing and Speaking about People with Disabilities - With Dignity" to the KUMC student chapter of the American Association of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry. The group learned about several topics presented in the newly released 9th edition of the Research and Training Center on Independent Living's Guidelines: How to Write about People with Disabilities, such as the Independent Living movement, person-first and identity language, and recommended terminology for discussions of disability. Ten students attended the online presentation. 

Hall and Kurth to Present "The National Survey on Health and Disability (NSHD): A Robust Dataset You Can Use" 

Monday, September 21, 2020

Jean P. Hall, Director of IHDPS, and Noelle Kurth will present an overview of the 2021 National Survey on Health and Disability (NSHD) instrument, methodologies, and selected findings in a Zoom webinar on Monday, September 28 at 3:00 Eastern Time. Learn more about this nationally representative sample of over 3,000 adults who completed the online survey with items covering access to health insurance and health care services; use of and access to paid and unpaid personal assistance services; employment, SSI and SSDI status; community participation; insurance coverage (including uninsured); unmet health care needs; health status; items related to social determinants of health; and demographics - including multiple measures of disability. Watch the webinar at ILRU's website.

Hall, Kurth, and Others Publish in Children and Youth Services Review

Tuesday, August 15, 2020

Jean P. Hall, Director of IHDPS, and Noelle Kurth recently published "How family crises may limit engagement of youth with disabilities in services to support successful transitions to postsecondary education and employment" in Children and Youth Services Review. 

Olenick, Bruns, and Nary Lead Webinar on Self Care 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

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

Nary and Hall Present to Health Professionals 

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Jean Hall and Dot Nary of the Kansas Disability and Health Program presented "Practical Tips for Providing Equitable Health Care to Pepole with Disabilities" as part of the KU Medical Center Area Health Education Center's (AHEC) Brown Bag Webinar Series. The session presented the difference between equal and equitable care by proiding examples relating to care for people with disabilities. The presentation drew on data from research literature regarding unequitable care, such as patients with disabilities not being counseled about tobacco use or physical activity; and members of this population receiving inappropriate cancer screenings, or no screenings at all. Hall and Nary provided resources for equitable patient care and practical tips for ensuring that patients with disabilities receive the full spectrum of care. Kansas DHP will make an announcement when the webinar is available on AHEC's Virtual Classroom

New Publication Forthcoming in Disability and Health Journal 

Monday, July 13, 2020

IHDPS Director, Jean Hall, with colleagues Allen K Solenberg Jr. and Joanna V. Brooks, have an article in press with the Disability and Health Journal, "Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening for people with spinal cord injuries and/or disorders: A qualitative study." Read the article (PDF available upon request). 

Kansas Disability and Health Program Assesses Usability of Local Health Departments

Monday, July 13, 2020

A poster submitted to the 2020 NACCHO (National Association of County and City Health Officials) 360 annual conference described how five Kansas health departments were assessed for usability for people with disabilities. Jay Schulz, a KU graduate research assistant with the Kansas Disability and Health Program, is primary author on the poster which features data from assessments using the Community Health Environment Checklist (CHEC) by trained assessors at Barber, Lawrence-Douglas County, Harvey, Osage, and Reno county facilities. Staff from local Centers for Independent Living used their expertise in accessibility to assist with the assessments.

The CHEC is a standardized tool used to measure the usability of sites for people with disabilities so that barriers can be addressed. A CHEC assessment rates a facility on its usability, rather than simply its compliance with ADA, on a scale of 0 to 100. The CHEC is designed to assess most features of a facility, from parking and entrances to interior elements. The CHEC can be used to assess usability for people with mobility limitations, hearing limitations, and low vision. There is also a specific version of the CHEC to assess the usability of a medical office.

After CHEC data from the health departments were analyzed, summary reports were created that included scores reflecting the level of usability, barriers to usability, and recommendations and resources for addressing these barriers. Common barriers found in the facilities included inaccessible  restroom features, parking that did not meet requirements, and a lack of height-adjustable exam tables. Schulz commented on the importance of these assessments in creating more accessible health care settings, “The CHEC provides an opportunity to talk with local health department staff about health and disability and the importance of including people with disabilities in their health equity work.”

Redmond Awarded Self Fellowship 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Ellie Redmond, a student assistant in IHDPS and the RTC, has earned a Madison and Lila Self Memorial Fellowship to pursue her doctorate in occupational therapy. The fellowship includes $10,000 for tuition and fees, leadership and career development training, and membership in an interdisciplinary cohort of graduate students. Learn more at the Self Graduate Fellowship Website

Hall and Kurth Present Health Disparity Data in Webinar

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Jean Hall and Noelle Kurth presented a webinar to the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) entitled "Health Disparities Experienced by People with ID and those with other Disabilities." The presentation drew upon recent, national data and anecdotes shared by people with ID and ASD in national interviews and the National Survey on Health and Disability (NSHD). The webinar was hosted by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). 

Hall and Kurth Co-Author Article on Health Disparities among Sexual and Gender Minorities 

Friday, February 14, 2020

IHDPS Staff, Jean Hall and Noelle Kurth, with colleagues from the KU Lifespan Institute; KU Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and Boston Medical Center, recently co-authored the article "Health Disparities Among Sexual and Gender Minorities with Autism Spectrum Disorder" in the Journal of Autism and Development Disabilities (JADD).  Read at RTCU

Hall and Kurth to Present Health Disparity Data in Webinar 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Jean Hall and Noelle Kurth will present a webinar entitled "Health Disparities Experienced by People with ID and those with other Disabilities" on February 27 from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. CST. .The presentation will draw upon recent, national data and anecdotes shared by people with ID and ASD in national interviews and surveys. The webinar is hosted by the Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD). 

Hall and Kurth Present at APHA Annual Meeting 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Jean Hall and Noelle Kurth led a roundtable discussion entitled "Intersectionality of Disability and LGBTQ: Historical Context and Current Health Disparities" at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association. The discussion sought to understand and quantify health disparities for working-age Americans with disabilities who are LGBTQ. For more information, contact Noelle Kurth at pixie@ku.edu. To read the roundtable abstract, visit the APHA website

Hall and Kurth also co-authored an examination of insurance provider networks, employment, and unmet healthcare needs for people with disabilities. Visit the APHA website to watch the authors present their work at the APHA annual meeting

Both presentations drew upon findings from the 2021 National Survey on Health and Disability (NSHD)

Training in Disability Awareness for Health Care Providers 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

In January, Kansas Disability and Health Program staff were joined by two Consumer Advisory Board members, Brad Linnenkamp and Lou Anne Kibbee, in presenting a series of four training webinars for health care providers across the state. The webinars were created in collaboration with the KU Medical Center Area Health Education Center, the primary educational outreach effort of KU Medical Center. The webinars are now available as independent study materials that can be accessed on an ongoing basis for a $15 fee. 

Kansas DHP Staff Lead Inclusion Special Issue 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Several staff members of the kansas Disability and Health Program contributed to a special issue of the the journal Inclusion. It focuses on health, health promotion, and health care for people with intellectual disability. For more information about the special issue, visit the Inclusion website or contact Seth Coulter, sethcoul@ku.edu

New Publication on Oral Health of Medicaid Enrollees with Psychiatric Disabilities 

Tuesday August 21, 2018

IDHPS researchers have an in press article in the Jounral of Preventive Medicine documenting findings from a study on the oral health experiences and needs of people with psychiatric disabilities who are enrolled in Kansas Medicaid Managed Care (KanCare). To read the in press article, visit the American Journal of Preventive Medicine