The public health community has traditionally paid little attention to the health needs of people with disabilities. Recent activities, however, on the part of federal and international organizations mark a shift toward engaging the health concerns of this large and growing population. First, the World Health Organization published the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF), a companion to the International Classification of Diseases. The ICF describes both a conceptual framework and a classification system, providing the foundation for public health science and policy. Second, a vision for the future of public health and disability is outlined in Healthy People 2010 that, for the first time, includes people with disabilities as a targeted population. The article briefly describes activities and emerging opportunities for a public health focus on people with disabilities with the ICF as a foundation and Healthy People 2010 as a vision. Public health has traditionally responded to emerging needs; people with disabilities are a group whose health needs should be targeted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health