Lightning Talk

Integrating Disability-related Content into the Interprofessional Education Curriculum: Opportunities and Lessons Learned

Wednesday, September 14, 2022, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CDT

Healthy People 2020 recommended the expansion of disability training opportunities for health practitioners to increase awareness of the social determinants of health and improve health equity for people with disabilities. Yet, many professional degree programs face significant challenges integrating this content within their already overextended curriculums (Smith et al., 2020). Interprofessional education provides a unique opportunity to support workforce development in this priority area, allowing students to learn together to improve care (Moran et al., 2020; Weber et al., 2020).

A case study activity utilized during large-scale interprofessional education events involving students from nursing, pharmacy, public health, and social work (AY19-20, N&#3f240; AY20-21, N&#3f237; AY21-22, N&#3f221) will be described. Interprofessional teams received a hypothetical case involving an individual who was experiencing a physical disability, a sensory impairment, and Social Anxiety Disorder. Drawing upon the social model of disability (Oliver, 2013), teams identified features of the environment that posed barriers to access for the individual. Drawing upon the principles of disability justice (Berne et al., 2018), teams brainstormed strategies they would use to create an equitable environment for the individual.
Students correctly identify barriers within the social environment 70.5% of the time, although a notable number of teams seemingly ascribing to a medical model that situated the disability in the person rather than the environment. Teams did, however, identify some innovative ideas for creating an inclusive experience for the individual, including utilizing technology to remove barriers.

Attendees of this Lightning Talk will gain insight about the learning activities and evaluation strategies utilized, including opportunities for integrating disability-related content into their own interprofessional curriculum. Lessons learned will also be shared, including how to provide scaffolding for learning activities that encourages students from diverse disciplines to consider social models and disability justice frameworks in their future practice.