GT IndependenceResources and ToolsResourcesDisability Garrison – Episode 11: Health Equity and Disparity with Andy Imparato

Disability Garrison – Episode 11: Health Equity and Disparity with Andy Imparato

April 26, 2022

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The Problem

Health equity is when everyone can achieve their full health potential. And there are no barriers for them to do so. But we have not achieved health equity. Communities of color, people with disabilities, individuals who identify as LGBTQ+, and others are exposed more often to environments that negatively affect their health outcomes. This is known as health disparity.

Ventilators and ICU beds were rationed during the COVID-19 pandemic. This put people with disabilities, and the elderly, at the back of the line for critical care. But this is only one of many examples of health disparity. This problem is everywhere. And many times, it isn’t happening on purpose. It is just built into our society. We need to work together toward a world with health equity.

Join Michael and Holly as they talk with Andy Imparato, Executive Director of Disability Rights California. Andy discusses pandemic-era healthcare resource rationing. They also go over ideas on how to address disparities in their communities.

What We Can Do About It

It’s easy to get paralyzed by the feeling that we can’t make a difference. But helping out can be a lot simpler than we think.

Step 1: Become Informed About Health Disparity

Learning about health equity means looking disparity straight in the face. How do disparities show up in your area? Does your hospital have an ethics committee with community representation? Is your church accessible to people with disabilities? There are many ways we can make a difference locally.

Step 2: Keep An Eye On Legislation

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. It is expected that the Biden administration will look to strengthen these provisions. Their updates would advance equity even further. We don’t know for sure if this will happen and what it may look like. But, the federal government focusing on health equity is a positive sign.

Step 3: Support Disability Rights California

Disability Rights California was founded in 1978. DRC defends, advances, and strengthens the rights of people with disabilities. They work for a world where all disabled people have power in their own lives. And, they are treated with dignity and respect. They strive to create an inclusive culture for all people.

Boom. You’ve made a difference.

Andy’s Story

Andy Imparato is the Executive Director of Disability Rights California. As a disability rights lawyer, Andy worked to advance disability policy. He has testified nine times before Committees of the US Senate and House of Representatives. He also played a role in creating and passing the ADA Amendments Act in 2008. But, he is best known for his mentorship of emerging leaders with disabilities. Andy self-identifies as a person with a disability. He uses his lived experience with bipolar disorder to inform his work.

Get More Information on Health Equity

What are Health Equity and Health Disparity?

Health Disparity During COVID-19

Identifying and Eliminating Health Disparity

Learn More About Disability Garrison Podcast