OODH: Health Care Access


Community Engagement is the process of working with groups of people by location, interest or similar issues that affect their wellbeing as defined by Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Research has shown that Community Engagement activities have, however, largely ignored the needs of persons with disabilities. The Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) project goal is to increase access to healthcare for people with disabilities through community participation.

The Community Engagement Initiative uses collaboration among local disability groups, local government, community organizations and the medical community to reduce barriers to participation for people with disabilities. CEI process will focus on three areas of health access: transportation, accessibility of health care settings and provider's knowledge, attitudes and communication


  1. People with disabilities who participate in the process will indicate improved receptivity within local healthcare environments following intervention.
  2. Healthcare infrastructure representatives who participate in the process will show an increase in positive attitudes toward disability rights following intervention.
  3. Communities that participate in the process will demonstrate measurable improvements in access to healthcare for people with disabilities between baseline and post-intervention assessments.


CEI methodology is based on the recognition that the environment is an important component of the disabling process.The purpose of the Community Engagement Initiative is to increase community participation among people with disabilities.

The primary components of the CEI methodology are:

1.Town Hall Meeting

2.Infrastructure Meeting

3.Community Mobilization

Through facilitated town hall meetings, community members identify participation barriers and resources that exist within their community.Through meetings with a community's infrastructure (e.g. elected officials, business leaders, agency representatives, planners, as well as representatives from the town hall meetings), community members validate participation barriers and identify resources that can improve community access.During the community mobilization technical assistance and support is provided to develop real-world solutions to identified barriers and foster action in removing or changing barriers.

Resources for Improving Healthcare Access:

The OHCUP: A Tool to Improve Outpatient Access - The CEI research team developed the Outpatient Health Care Usability Profile (OHCUP) to help clinics improve their accessibility.

This easy-to-use checklist is less complex than ADA guidelines and measures how usable clinics are for people with specific disabilities: physical, vision or hearing, and learning.
  • Oregon¬†Guidelines¬† OHCUP
  • Federal Guidleines OHCUP

Individuals with disabilities can give the OHCUP to their health providers to encourage them to improve accessibility in their offices. Oftentimes, the fix is easy but the problem hasn't been recognized


Community Action Guide 2.0