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Disability in America: Toward a National Agenda for Prevention
a broad array of scientists and informed leaders from both the private and public sectors. The purpose of the forum would be to improve policymaking through a continuing dialogue among individuals and groups that play a significant role in shaping policy and public opinion. Areas for consideration might include access to assistive technology and personal assistance services, gaps in health insurance coverage, family leave policies, and implementation issues related to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
As stated throughout the full report, disability is a public health and social issue. Thus a national disability prevention program will be centrally dependent on public attitudes toward people with disabilities and on the way community activities are organized, which includes access to housing, public transportation, and the workplace. Equally important is the reduction of prejudice and discrimination toward people with disabilities. An agenda for disability prevention will require cooperation among all levels of government; the health, social services, and research professions; business; educational institutions; churches; and citizens' organizations throughout the country.
RECOMMENDATION 3: Establish a national advisory committee
An advisory committee for the NDPP should be established to help ensure that its efforts are broadly representative of the diverse interests in the field. The advisory group should include persons with disabilities and their advocates; public health, medical, social service, and research professionals; and representatives of business, insurance, educational, and philanthropic organizations, including churches. The role of the advisory committee would be to advise CDC on priorities in disability prevention research and the nationwide implementation of prevention strategies, as well as to assess progress toward the goal of the national agenda for the prevention of disability. The advisory committee should be appointed by the Department of Health and Human Services and meet at least three times a year. In keeping with its role in regard to disability policy, the National Council on Disability should be a permanent member of this committee.
Interagency Coordination and Periodic Review
The fragmentation of disability-related activities and the lack of continuity of care are highly disruptive to preventive efforts. Part of the problem derives from the fact that essential services are funded and provided by various agencies and by different levels of government without a clear focus of authority and responsibility, leading to gaps in services. The lack of