On Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell highlighted the importance of addressing racial and ethnic health disparities on the HHS blog. In Minority Health Month: Making Progress on Health Disparities, Secretary Burwell began by noting that April is National Minority Health Month and stating:
“Today, African-Americans have the highest mortality rate of any racial and ethnic group for cancer generally and for most major cancers individually. Latino communities also suffer from disproportionate rates of illness, like cervical cancer. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are more likely to have hepatitis B than non-Hispanic whites, and African-Americans, Latinos, and American Indians are all more likely to have diabetes.”
Secretary Burwell’s words are particularly significant for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Research indicates that people with disabilities in communities of color face greater unmet heath needs than non-Hispanic whites. In addition, children with special health care needs from diverse communities are more likely to experience gaps in insurance coverage, loss of care, or have to delay or forego essential medical care for some reason.
The Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is committed to addressing these gaps and carrying out the promise of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 by providing culturally competent services and supports for all people with I/DD.