Case Studies

Physiatrists: Advocates for Inclusive Health

What is Inclusive Health?

The intentional inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities (ID) in mainstream health policies and laws, programming, research, and training programs.


  • People with ID are at increased risk for poor health outcomes and health disparities. The lack of health care provider-training on disabilitypatient populations has been highlighted as a key determinant.
  • People with ID experience a wide variety of health disparities, as a result of exclusion from mainstream health care systems.

How can PM&R Program Directors and Chaits Advocate for Inclusive Health?

Provide residents with exposure to patients with ID. The Special Olympics’ MedFest program is one way for resident programs to gain experience in the area of inclusive health.

"Through inclusive health education, we can improve physicians’ exposure to patients with intellectual disability during medical training, an essential step toward providing quality care for people with ID. ” —Darryl L. Kaelin, MD, Professor and Division Chief, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Louisville

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