Health Justice is Disability Justice: Disabled Perspectives in Public Health Research, Policy, & Advocacy

Originally aired on: April 28, 2021
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In April 2021, AWN hosted a discussion with Nassira D. Nicola and Emily M. Lund on disability justice and public health, addressing disabled perspectives in public health research, policy, and advocacy.

The COVID-19 pandemic helps reveal ableism in our laws, policies, and practices through health care rationing proposals, disastrous vaccine rollouts, and relief measures that have failed to assist disabled people impacted by loss of personal attendant care, forced to work in high-risk jobs, and disproportionately more likely to experience homelessness, domestic violence, and food insecurity. What do disabled advocates, scholars, and policy experts have to offer public health research, policy, and advocacy? How can disabled people’s knowledge, wisdom, and offerings disrupt and end unjust and inequitable pandemic policies and practices?

Corrected transcript coming soon.


Nassira D. Nicola

Nassira D. Nicola is the lead Health and Disability Program Coordinator in the Office of Health Equity at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. She has advised numerous programs within DPH, and across the country, on ways to learn from and include disabled people as both members of the public and colleagues. When not working (or when in long meetings), she can be found knitting piles of lace shawls and blankets for other people’s babies.

Emily M. Lund

Emily M. Lund, PhD, CRC, is an Assistant Professor of Counselor Education in the department of Educational Studies in Psychology, Research Methodology, and Counseling at the University of Alabama. Their primary research interests include interpersonal violence and trauma in people with disabilities; suicide and non-suicidal self-injury in people with disabilities; the experiences of graduate students with disabilities; and LGBTQ+ issues, particularly as they intersect with disability. Dr. Lund has published over 90 peer-reviewed articles and edited two books on these and similar topics. Their work emphasizes positive disability identity development, marginalization, intersectionality, and disability cultural competence.

Communication Access Team