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Conference Screen ShotsOn August 6, 2021, UNC’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Greensboro AHEC hosted the Psychosocial and Cultural Aspects of Disability: A Training Workshop for Health Professionals.

This year’s virtual workshop highlighted ways healthcare professionals can improve clinical and life outcomes for persons with disabilities by incorporating unique psychosocial and cultural factors into their assessment and treatment process. Traditionally, medical, mental health, and related healthcare professionals with knowledge, understanding, and expertise in working with people with disabilities and their caregivers and families can be difficult to find. This workshop provided healthcare professionals with knowledge they can use to give more informed and effective person-centered care for persons with disabilities.

Dr. Blaise Morrison, Rehabilitation Counselor and Psychologist with UNC Allied Health Sciences, had these comments to share after the conference, “We are extremely proud of the success of the workshop and view it as an initial step towards increasing social and health equity for the disabled community. Disability is another form of diversity, just like gender, race, sexuality, or age. Disability does not need to be ‘fixed,’ it should be celebrated. We hope that this training provided health professionals with the foundational knowledge and skills to provide more person-centered, disability-affirmative treatment in their respective practices.”

Conference topics included:

Dr. Linda Mona, PhD, LP (Opening Keynote): “Disability Diversity: The Missing Discourse in Healthcare Assessment and Treatment”

Dr. Elizabeth Barton, MD & Dr. Peter Duquette, PhD, ABPP-CN: “Medical Overview of Common Developmental Disabilities”

Dr. Kaila Yeste, DO: “Medical Overview of Common Disabilities Acquired During Adulthood”

Dr. Karla Thompson, PhD, LP: “Psychological Aspects of Living with Disability”

Dr. Blaise Morrison, PhD, LP, CRC, LPC & Mr. Lee James, MS, LPC:
“Community Engagement & Psychosocial Aspects of Living with Disability” and
“Person-Centered, Disability Affirmative Treatment Strategies and Assessment Practices”

Dr. Amy Houtrow, MD, PhD, MPH (Closing Keynote): “Advancing Health Equity for Children with Disabilities”

The workshop was a great success with over 60 attendees in the healthcare field. Several presenters spoke from their own personal experience of being disabled. The conference closed with a focused on the importance of health equity and its impact on individuals and the community.