Health Information in the Digital Age: Online Federal Resources for Secondary Health Conditions Common in Adults with Developmental Disabilities
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Series/Report no.:2014 Richard J. and Martha D. Denman Undergraduate Research Forum. 19th
According to the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Improve the Health and Wellness of Persons with Disabilities (2007), there is a public health crisis occurring among Americans who identify as disabled. In particular, the intellectually and developmentally disabled population (I/DD)—which currently accounts for nearly 4 million Americans—has both a significantly increased risk of secondary health conditions such as heart disease, oral health issues and obesity, and decreased access to health promotion and education programs. Currently, there are many resources available online for preventable health conditions, often produced and distributed by national non-profit networks. The accessibility of these resources for individuals with I/DD is not well studied, and therefore these organizations may be entirely missing a huge population in need of their support. In short, this study reviewed the current literature in order to identify the top five preventable conditions occurring in adults with I/DD, and then chose a popular resource readily available online providing information or programming regarding each condition. These resources were systematically analyzed using a means-tested accessibility survey to rate reading level, ease of site navigation, and several other characteristics. Finally, the sites were qualitatively analyzed for inclusivity—namely, investigating the occurrence of photos of individuals with disabilities, the use of inclusive language, and specific mention of disability. Were these resources to increase in accessibility, they may be utilized more readily by individuals with disabilities, thus potentially limiting many of the secondary conditions that shorten lifespan and decrease quality of life for these individuals.
Social and Behavioral Sciences: 2nd Place (The Ohio State University Denman Undergraduate Research Forum)
Academic Major: Personalized Study Program
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