ACL Awards New Grant to Strengthen Healthcare Workforce and Address Health Disparities among People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

September 24, 2020

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) has awarded a $1.75 million cooperative agreement to Rush University that will fill the gaps in health professions training programs by embedding disability-related content on the health care of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) into interprofessional health education curriculum.

Many health professions schools and licensing exams do not include disability-related content about the health care needs of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) into their curriculum. The proposed project will be introducing an interprofessional health education curriculum for pre- and post-licensure health care students.

This September, Rush University, College of Nursing (PI Sarah Ailey, PhD, RN, PHNA-BC, CNE, CDDN) and its core partner institutions will start this important work through the Partnering to Transform Health Outcomes with Persons with Intellectual Disabilities and Developmental Disabilities (PATH-PWIDD) program: The core partners are:

The PATH-PWIDD program will work with a National Cross-Sector Consortium, their networks, and committees to address the lack of content about individuals with ID/DD in current interprofessional health education curriculum. Through their work, Rush aims to increase the following:

  1. the number of health professional students trained in ID/DD;
  2. student knowledge of the health care needs of individuals with ID/DD;
  3. the number of health professionals feeling prepared to provide health care to individuals with ID/DD; and,
  4. the capacity of health professions faculty to train their students about the health care needs of individuals with ID/DD.

The PATH-PWIDD program will examine what trainings and curriculum currently exist within interprofessional health education and identify gaps. Rush intends to impact more than 30 institutions and to train 15,000 students during the five-year project. PATH-PWIDD program includes active roles for advocates with ID/DD and their families during the entire project period.

The PATH-PWIDD program adds to ACL’s ongoing work to improve healthcare equity. It will complement the Center for Human Dignity funded last September. Both grants aim to increase the life expectancy of people with disabilities and are funded under Projects of National Significance. This award is from September 1, 2020, to August 31, 2025.

Projects of National Significance focus on the most pressing issues affecting people with developmental disabilities and their families. Through the projects, ACL supports the development of national and state policy and awards grants and contracts that enhance the independence, productivity, inclusion, and integration of people with developmental disabilities.


Last modified on 12/11/2020


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