The North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities at Minot State University hopes to help health care and emergency service providers offer better care to people with disabilities.
Emily Rodacker, NDCPD outreach coordinator, said the Disability Health II program received a $300,000 grant each year for the next three years from the U.S. Center for Disease Control to offer free, customizable training to work places that serve the disabled.
For instance, Rodacker said personnel could assist people with disabilities to be prepared if they have to leave their homes in an emergency like the flood of 2011. It can help them assemble emergency kits or have a plan in place addressing where to go or whom they can contact for help. NDCPD personnel could help the people who set up emergency shelters to ensure that they have shelters that are accessible for people with disabilities.
Health care providers may not always provide easy access to people with disabilities either. It can be harder for a person with a disability to get a mammogram or to get a flu shot, said Rodacker. She said organizations can make simple changes that might make those screenings accessible for people with disabilities.
Other facilities may offer informational pamphlets, but it would take little to ensure that those pamphlets are in large print so they can be read by someone with a sight impairment or in simple language so they can be read by someone with a developmental disability.
Rodacker said different groups and organizations will have different goals, so NDCPD staff will tailor the training to their needs. The free training will be one to two hours long. Staff from NDCPD will go anywhere in the state to offer the free training.
Training can also be offered online or through other long-distance technology. Each session will include a presentation, discussion and implementation strategies.
To request training or ask questions, contact Rodacker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 858-3546.