Wednesday, March 23, 2011

DREDF to produce short videos on health care experiences of people with disabilities


The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) has received a grant to produce 10 to 12 short (maximum 5 min.) videos on the health care experiences of people with disabilities. Our concept for this project is to use video storytelling as an advocacy tool by presenting unvarnished stories that illuminate the problems people with disabilities frequently experience when they seek health care.

We hope to illustrate the impact on health care outcomes when people with disabilities encounter barriers and problems including but not limited to difficulty communicating with health care professionals because Sign Language interpreters are not available; lack of accessible equipment such as height adjustable examination tables, wheelchair accessible weight scales, and mammography equipment; inadequate time for office visits; or that result from incorrect assumptions or negative attitudes of some treating professionals about people with disabilities.

The videos will be captioned and accompanied by a narrative explanation of accommodations that should have been provided in each case, and that also may have been required by law, or an explanation of the impact on health outcomes when providers lack disability awareness. A resource guide will also be developed as part of the project. We plan to disseminate the final videos and related materials widely, at no charge, on the Internet and through various disability and public health networks.

Teachers and instructors can use the videos individually or as a group for classes in public health, law, cultural awareness, and medical and other professional health care and continuing education. Disability advocates can use the videos in awareness campaigns and as an adjunct to public policy and legislative campaigns. They can also be presented at conferences, meetings, and workshops on a wide variety of healthcare topics that include discussions of diversity, quality of care, wellness and prevention, and care coordination.

Please help us identify people who might be interested in participating in our project by telling their stories. We hope to identify a diverse group of people of various ages, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and who are from both rural and urban areas who are willing to share their experiences with us.

While it will not be necessary for people who participate to identify the name of their health care provider, clinic, or hospital, we ask that participants identify themselves, their disability, and their place of residence. Our grant provides funding for a film crew to travel to a few locations throughout the country, so we have the capacity to meet with some individuals either in their homes or offices in order to make this process as efficient and easy as possible.

If you know of people who have stories they would be willing to share, please either ask them to contact me or, with their permission, provide their contact information to me.

We are very excited about this project and think the final product will help support advocacy for improved health care for people with disabilities. If you have any questions please contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks.
Best regards,
Mary Lou Breslin
Senior Policy Advisor
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
3075 Adeline Street, Suite 210
Berkeley, CA 94703
510-843-4062 (message)