Disability, Diversity, and Intersectionality in CILs

Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) conducted the ACL-funded Disability, Diversity, and Intersectionality project from FY 2017 to FY 2019 to support centers for independent living in designing, implementing, and evaluating culturally and linguistically competent policies and practices. The goal was to improve services, programs, and outreach for racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse groups. Although the project has conclued, ILRU continues its commitment to this work through training and technical assistance efforts of the IL-NET National T&TA Center.

Why This is Important

The HHS Advisory Committee on Minority Health has described living as a member of a racial or ethnic minority group with a disability as a “double burden” due to the added sociopolitical challenges encountered (HHS, as cited in Blick, Franklin, Ellsworth, Havercamp & Kornblau, 2015).

Data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) show that people with both mobility limitations and minority status experienced greater health disparities than adults with minority status or mobility limitations alone. These individuals with both mobility limitations and minority status experienced worsening health, more difficulty with activities of daily living, depressive symptoms, diabetes, stroke, visual impairment, obesity, low participation in physical activity, and low workforce participation (Altman & Bernstein, 2008, as cited in Blick, Franklin, Ellsworth, Havercamp & Kornblau, 2015).

Recent efforts, including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, have driven the availability of data on diverse social factors in health and health outcomes for people with disabilities. As this data unfolds, it reveals startling information showing that members of racial and ethnic minority groups who have a disability face greater health disparities and inequalities than do their peers without a disability (Blick, et al., 2015).

Project Partners

  • Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU)
  • Public Research and Evaluation Services (PRES)
  • Utah State University
  • Stanley Holbrook

Phases of the Disability, Diversity, and Intersectionality Project

  • Research to identify exemplary values, policies, principles, and practices in outreach, services, programs, staff recruiting, and training that support diversity and intersectionality in centers for independent living.
  • Dissemination of information about research findings to centers for independent living, statewide independent living councils, and other stakeholders.
  • Collaborative work with exemplary programs to foster wider adoption of diversity initiatives among CILs.

Defining Diversity, Intersectionality, and Cultural Competence

On-demand Training