Disability Health

People with disabilities (PWDs) are the state’s largest minority group, with about one-quarter (25.5%) of Michigan adults having a disability of some kind. And, people with disabilities (defined as being limited in any way because of physical, mental or emotional problems OR having any health condition that necessitates the use of special equipment, such as a cane or special telephone) are significantly more likely to have other chronic conditions – including arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, and cancer.

People with disabilities often face barriers to healthcare access, such as limited physical access to facilities or equipment, or lack of auxiliary aids for people who are hard of hearing. And, it’s not just physical or practical limitations that can affect quality of care. A patient’s disability is often the primary focus of medical encounters, overshadowing basic primary care services such as preventive tests and screenings, guidance on diet and exercise, and tobacco cessation counseling.

The Health Promotion for People with Disabilities program at MDHHS can help your practice break down barriers to quality care for PWDs, and provide tools to help them effectively manage and improve their health. Check out the resources below:

  • This one hour, online course (CEUs available) for health care providers and care coordinators presents the basics of creating an accessible healthcare experience for people with a variety of disabling conditions.

  • This 10 minute webinar demonstrates what physicians can do to address barriers to healthcare for people with disabilities.

  • This publication on Medical Practice Accessibility outlines accessibility requirements mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure access to care for people with mobility limitations.

  • Find programs proven to help patients, with and without disabilities, better manage their health.  

For more information, contact Alice Hoffman – MDHHS Health Promotion for People with Disabilities, at 517-373-7769.