How to Include People with Disability in Nutrition Services and Programming


Are your nutrition services inclusive of people with disability? One in four adults in the US live with a disability (e.g., sensory, mobility, intellectual). Disability crosses all races, ethnicities and socioeconomic levels and is especially common in adults 65 years and older, women, and people of color. Individuals with disabilities are two to three times more likely to have preventable diseases (e.g., obesity, diabetes, heart disease). Furthermore, people with disability are at higher risk for food insecurity. Nutrition professionals need to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all people, including those with disabilities, to address nutrition-related conditions effectively and confidently. Two speakers from the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability will explain the “Guidelines, Recommendations, Adaptations, Including Disability” adaptation framework. They will introduce barriers to inclusion for people with disabilities, summarize effective communication and inclusive teaching strategies, identify accessible clinic spaces, examine adapted cooking and gardening utensils and tools, describe kitchen accessibility, and detail rights to nutrition services and programming. An RDN with a disability who is also a high-performance athlete will provide practical applications.

This session is approved by CDR for ethics credit.

Learning Objectives

Differentiate language and teaching strategies to create a welcoming and professional nutrition interaction that is inclusive of people with disabilities

Contrast five domains of the “Guidelines, Recommendations, Adaptations, Including Disability” adaptation framework and apply each as they relate to nutrition programming, community, or clinical settings

Devise at least 3 strategies to address barriers to inclusion for people with disabilities within the RD workspace and solutions for each

Performance Indicators

1.1 Demonstrates and maintains competence in practice

3.3 Advocates for nutrition and dietetics services and resources for clients and populations

9.4 Provides nutrition and dietetic education to a variety of individuals, groups and populations


Rebecca Cline

Senior Inclusion Specialist

Lakeshore Foundation/NCHPAD

Liz Dunn

Research Associate

University of Pittsburgh


Lacey Gammon

Nutrition Coordinator

Lakeshore Foundation

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