Disability, Diversity, and Intersectionality in CILs

Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) conducts the Disability, Diversity, and Intersectionality project to support centers for independent living in designing, implementing, and evaluating culturally and linguistically competent policies and practices. The goal is to improve services, programs, and outreach for racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse groups.

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

CIL Case Studies

CIL Diversity Staff

Support for this project is provided by grant numbers 90ILTA0001 and 90ISTA0001 from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy. 

Permission is granted for duplication of any portion of this information, providing that the following credit is given to the project: Developed as part of the IL-NET, an ILRU/NCIL/APRIL/USU-CPD National Training and Technical Assistance Program.