The focus of this notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) is to emphasize research at the intersection of disabilities, race and ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (SES) in persons with developmental and physical disabilities. Among racial and ethnic minority groups, the prevalence of living with at least one disability is markedly greater in American Indian and Alaska Native (30%) and Black or African American (25%) populations compared to 20% of White persons. Irrespective of racial and ethnic group, economically disadvantaged persons with disabilities are more likely to experience diminished opportunities for effective independent living driven by factors such as unemployment, adverse living conditions, housing instability, food insecurity, transportation limitations, social isolation, disaster unpreparedness, and low quality of healthcare. Additionally, residents of underserved rural communities are 9% more likely to have any disability and 24% more likely to report having three or more disabilities compared with adults in urban areas. Individuals living with disabilities, who reside in rural areas may also face barriers to healthcare access, accessible transportation, and high-quality education, and vocational or rehabilitation services. Research among sexual and gender minority persons with disabilities is scarce, although it is likely that commonly experienced barriers to accessing culturally competent physical, psychiatric, and specialty healthcare are intensified.
Furthermore, adverse social determinants of health (SDOH) amplify the challenges of health and health-related quality of life (QoL) among youth and adults living with disabilities. Examples include lack of accessible transportation or building entry/navigation, discrimination related to ableism, and clinical misperceptions within healthcare systems that may greatly complicate healthcare access and quality. Moreover, inaccessible and/or non-adaptive clinical facilities, equipment, and communication mechanisms, as well as non-inclusive clinical care guidelines and procedures impede equitable access to appropriate healthcare or lead to erroneous attribution of symptoms related to the primary disability rather than a new or co-occurring diagnosis or health crisis. Greater study is needed to inform appropriate or adaptable clinical practice guidelines for persons living with disabilities with an intersectional lens, as well as to enhance the understanding of the health and health risk behaviors (e.g., alcohol and substance use, prescription misuse, self-injurious behaviors, and interpersonal violence) over the life course. Overall, more expansive research is needed to elucidate the discrete differences, areas of overlap, relationships among factors across the lifespan, and severity of health outcomes across and within populations with health disparities. Therefore, this funding opportunity strongly encourages collaborative, mechanistic, clinical, or interventional research, implementation or translational science, and/or the use of data science research approaches in intersectional areas of study.
Applications are due February 5, 2024.