The Disability and Rehabilitation Research Coalition (DRRC), which Powers Law created and represents, celebrated a major victory this week. The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) announced that people with disabilities are now a distinct “health disparities population.” This means that the NIMHD recognizes that this group has a higher incidence and/or prevalence of earlier onset of disease and risk factors.
This decision follows years of advocacy led by the DRRC to achieve this designation and was a stunning reversal of the expected approach by NIMHD. This designation will dramatically expand access to funding and resources for studying and helping disabled populations. Powers Managing Partner and co-coordinator of the DRRC Peter W. Thomas was quoted in a Washington Post article on September 26 titled “Disability groups win fight to be included in health equity research” after the NIH announced the designation.
Peter spoke on behalf of the DRRC on the significance of the decision:
“This is a big deal. This is going to focus more attention on getting people with disabilities the care they need and hopefully result in better outcomes for people with disabilities across the board.”
Read the full article on the Washington Post’s website.
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