Poor health literacy has many negative consequences for achieving the quadruple aim of better care, improving the health of the community and the population, providing affordable care, and improving the work life of health care providers, and those consequences disproportionately affect those individuals with disabilities and those who experience health disparities. To better understand how health literacy, health equity, and health disparities intersect for individuals living with disabilities, the Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Roundtable on Health Literacy jointly sponsored a workshop that was held on June 14, 2016, in Washington, DC.
The statement of task for this workshop was as follows:
The Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities in collaboration with the Roundtable on Heath Literacy will form an ad hoc committee to plan, organize, and implement a 1-day public workshop that will include invited speakers and discussions. The committee will define the specific topics to be addressed, develop the agenda, select speakers, and moderate discussion. This workshop will explore issues at the intersections of health equity, health disparities, health literacy, and people living with disabilities. A summary of the presenta-
1 The planning committee’s role was limited to planning the workshop, and the Proceedings of a Workshop was prepared by the workshop rapporteur as a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop. Statements, recommendations, and opinions expressed are those of individual presenters and participants, and are not necessarily endorsed or verified by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and they should not be construed as reflecting any group consensus.
tions and discussions at the workshop will be prepared by a designated rapporteur in accordance with institutional guidelines.
The workshop (see Appendix A for the agenda) was organized by an independent planning committee in accordance with the procedures of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. This Proceedings of a Workshop summarizes the workshop’s presentations and discussions, and it highlights potential barriers to progress, examples of successful programs and best practices, and the needs and potential opportunities for applying the principles of health literacy to addressing the health disparities that individuals with disabilities face on a day-to-day basis.
Chapter 2 provides an overview of health disparities and equity as they relate to disabilities and the role that health literacy plays in healthy living. Chapter 3 tells personal stories of how those with disabilities and their caregivers cope with the challenges they face when dealing with the health care system. Chapter 4 discusses some of the provider and system barriers that negatively affect how those with disabilities receive care, and Chapter 5 illustrates successful approaches for using the principles of health literacy to reduce or eliminate those barriers and improve the care experience for those with disabilities and their caregivers. Chapter 6 recounts the workshop’s final discussion period during which members of the two roundtables and the workshop participants provided their reflections on the day’s presentations and deliberations.
In accordance with the policies of the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the workshop did not attempt to establish any conclusions or recommendations about needs and future directions, focusing instead on issues identified by the speakers and workshop participants. In addition, the committee’s role was limited to planning the workshop.