356. Individuals with Disabilities: Essential Members of the Healthcare Team

Tuesday, October 29
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Location: 204-ABC
CE: 1.5
Level 2 – Intermediate
Activity Code: 149650

Studies demonstrate that doctors with disabilities relate better to patients. Growing the number of health professionals with disabilities can improve patient care, impact research agendas, dispel negative workplace attitudes toward disability, reduce health care barriers, and curb discrimination toward people with disabilities. Many major healthcare organizations, including the Academy, consider people with disabilities critical to their missions and visions, as well as their philosophies on diversity. Furthermore, almost all federal contractors (such as hospitals) must employ a workforce of which at least 7% is comprised of workers with disabilities. Yet still, people with disabilities experience vast under representation within the healthcare profession, despite comprising around 20% of the United States population. Inspired in part by the 2018 FNCE® Opening Session keynote speaker, Paralympic speaker Bonnie St. John, this session will review disability rights laws, legal disability definitions, universities’ legal obligations to students with disabilities, disability accommodations for classrooms and worksites, and myths about people with disabilities. Academy members with disabilities will share challenges and successes via video.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Describe why increasing access to the profession of nutrition and dietetics for individuals with disabilities is critical to the Academy’s strategic plan.
  • Apply accommodations for the classroom or worksite that could be used for nutrition and dietetic students or professionals with disabilities to increase access to the profession.

Learning Need Codes:

  • 7110 Legal issues, malpractice
  • 1040 Cultural sensitivity
  • 1050 Ethics

Performance Indicator:

  • 1.3.6 Develops and implements culturally appropriate strategies when delivering service.
  • 1.5.4 Models a professional image as defined within organization policy and code of ethics.
  • 2.2.2 Considers and respects the opinions, creativity, values, beliefs and perspectives of others.


  • Neva Cochran, MS, RDN, LD, FAND

    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

    Nutrition Communications Consultant

  • Speaker(s)

  • Suzanne Baxter, PhD, RD, LD, FADA, FAND

    Affiliate Research Professor

    University of South Carolina, College of Social Work

  • Zoe Brown-Weissman, EdM, MS

    Former Director of Student Academic Support Services & Director for Medical Student Accessibility (Retired)

    University of Central Florida, College of Medicine