OODH: Right to Know Campaign


The Right to Know Campaign is a health communication campaign developed by the Centers for Disease Control to promote breast cancer mammography screening for women with physical disabilities 40 and older in Oregon. The Right to Know Campaign is evidence-based and developed with the help of women with disabilities. Learn more about the Right to Know Campaign by visiting the Centers for Disease Control where you can download breast cancer tip sheets, hear (or read) the stories of breast cancer survivors, and learn more about disability and health.


Oregon has the second highest incidence rate of breast cancer in the nation, and breast cancer is second only to lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in Oregon. According to 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data, more than one quarter of Oregon women age 18 and older live with a disability. Additionally, a study of Oregon Medicaid recipients found that women with disabilities are more likely to have cancer diagnosed at a later, less treatable stage than women without disabilities. Research has explained this disparity by showing that women with disabilities often face physical and attitudinal barriers to accessing health care, including inadequate transportation, inaccessibility of offices and medical equipment, lack of provider knowledge, and provider and staff insensitivity to needs.

It is crucial that women with disabilities have positive experiences with their health care providers so they continue to seek and maintain appropriate and needed health care. Mammography facility staff represent a key point of contact in the breast health care continuum. A client who has one negative experience receiving a mammogram may be deterred from returning for subsequent mammograms for years to come. On the other hand, a positive mammography experience where the facility is accessible and the staff is competent in communicating with and serving women with disabilities is likely to encourage a client to seek routine preventative mammograms. Educating mammography technologists is, therefore, fundamental to any effort to increase screening rates for women with disabilities.

OODH helps to increase the competency of mammography technologists by hosting a Mammography Technologist Training called Training Mammography Technologist on the Needs of Their Patients with Disabilities. To date, four trainings have been offered in Eugene, Portland, Bend, and Hood River. Each training has been highly successful, with 97%-100% rating the training as excellent/good, and reporting increased understanding of positioning techniques and accommodation needs of women with disabilities.


In order to promote breast health for women with disabilities in Oregon, we are conducting the Mammogram Accessibility Project. The purpose of the project is to provide a mammography accessibility directory to better inform Oregon women with disabilities of the accessibility/usability features of their area's mammography facilities.

See our resources page for more information about women with disabilities and breast cancer screening.


Would you like to partner with us to promote breast health awareness events in your community?  to discuss how we can help.