KDHE, KUMC Partner to Offer New Graduate

Level Course - "Caring for People with



Disability and Health Program

Background:  Research has documented quality of care disparities between people with disabilities and those without a disability.  There is an absence of appropriate disability training within health care provider textbooks and curricula.  Nurses can play a key role in reducing these disparities because each nursing professional will work with patients who have a disability; nurses require relevant, adequate training to acquire the knowledge necessary to do so.  To begin to address the lack of disability training in nursing schools, the Kansas Disability and Health Program staff collaborated with the Kansas Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs staff, Kansas University Medical Center faculty, several national disability and health experts, and Kansans with disabilities to build a disability-focused nursing course at the Kansas University Medical Center School of Nursing.

Course Description:
This course will provide an opportunity for students to learn how to effectively care for a person with a disability in a health care or public health setting. This will include learning to effectively communicate and partner with people with disabilities. This course will: address disability civil rights; provide a basic understanding of a variety of disability conditions; and provide options/resources available for independent living. Through effective partnerships, providers and health professionals can support people with disabilities to achieve independent, healthy lives.

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify current disability movements and the critical moments in the development of disability civil rights.
  2. Understand the social model of disability that posits disability as an interaction between the person and the environment, rather than a deficit within the person.
  3. Describe the physical, communication and attitudinal barriers in the care for people with disabilities.
  4. Recognize strategies for developing effective communication that would support/strengthen partnerships between the person with a disability, the family and the health care provider.
  5. Recognize resources needed by people with disabilities in all aspects of life, including health, education, employment, independent living, and life-course transitions.

Brief Course Outline

  1. Class Orientation
  2. Introduction to Disability Civil Rights and Awareness
  3. Social Determinants of Health
  4. Community Participation
    1. Advocacy & Independent Living
    2. Medical Home & Family/Professional Partnerships
    3. Education & Employment
  5. Health Promotion, Prevention and Wellness
    1. Oral Health
    2. Physical Activity & Nutrition
    3. Tobacco Cessation / Alcohol and Substance Abuse
    4. Intersection between chronic disease and disability
    5. Sexuality / Sexual Abuse
  6. Life Course Transition and Special Age Populations (CYSHCN & Geriatrics)
  7. Disability Populations
    1. Developmental Disabilities
    2. Physical / Sensory Disabilities
    3. Learning Disabilities
    4. Mental Health
  8. Standardized Patient Encounters

Faculty:  Moya Peterson, PhD, ARNP,CFNP
               Family Nurse Practitioner
               Assistant Professor, SOM & SON
               Office: 3055 SON   Phone: 8-1644, 8-1915
               Email:  mpeterso@kumc.edu
               Pager: 917-4078

               Heather Smith, MPH
               Project Coordinator, Systems in Sync
               Health Planning Consultant
               Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs, KDHE
               Office: 785-296-4747
               Email: hsmith@kdheks.gov
               Jamie Simpson, MSE
               Disability Program Coordinator
               Bureau of Health Promotion, KDHE
               Office: 785-296-7990
               Email: jsimpson@kdheks.gov