Dr. Khalilah Johnson came on Leading with Health to share her insights on access for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. You can find her on Twitter at @OccScienceBae, Instagram at @TheAcademicDiva, as well as LinkedIn.

Dr. Johnson is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Her research in intellectual and developmental disabilities is informed by 14 years of clinical experience spanning Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Highlights include:

8:40 – KJ: “So making visible the policies or the discourses … in terms of how we think about disability, how we conceptualize disability, what it is people can and can’t do. And like, who’s really controlling that right now is what’s driving the research. Like actually having people with intellectual and developmental disabilities not just as participants in research, we’re partners in research – you know, that they are identifying the issues that are important to them. And that the research revolves around that.”

9:50 – KJ : “Changing the narrative. Like, what does it mean to have a disability? And that the focus not be on someone’s limitations.”

17:15 – KJ: “I think in occupational therapy, we are often focused on accessibility in terms of our built environment. But our virtual environment, as COVID has shown us, is equally important.”

18:06 – KJ: “Where is it that people with intellectual and developmental disability (live)? I’ll just say that where they live, or other people with disabilities, where they live, are they in communities that have appropriate broadband? Do they have access to the actual equipment that they need to participate in tele-rehabilitation and telemedicine? Are the other programs suited to be user-friendly? There’s just so many things that I think are components to providing quality care that need more investigation.”

22:00 – KJ: “So science communication is of the utmost importance right now, for sure. And writing it in a way that’s digestible. Like, people don’t want to hear jargon. They don’t want to hear all the flowery, big words and stuff. They want to know, like, what does this mean for my actual life? Or like, what does this mean for my child with autism? Like, what does this mean for me as an adult with ID who would like to get a job?”

Leading with Health is hosted by Jennifer Michelle. Jennifer has a Master’s in Public Health and Epidemiology and is a certified EMT. As President of Michelle Marketing Strategies, Jennifer specializes in healthcare marketing. She is on a mission to create a healthcare system that actually cares about the patients and the providers.