Although 8.6% of the US population have ambulatory, hearing or vision disabilities (2020 Annual Disability Statistics Supplement), only 2% of employed nutrition practitioners have these disabilities (2021 Compensation & Benefits Survey of the Dietetics Profession). Individuals with disabilities procure and prepare food and need nutrition counseling; however, there are unique challenges in providing nutrition counseling to individuals with disabilities. This panel discussion features three RD/RDNs—one in a manual wheelchair due to a spinal cord injury, one with a hearing disability, one legally blind. Each will briefly describe accommodations for their education, internship and jobs, followed by in depth discussion with examples of useful strategies, practical approaches and effective tactics to provide MNT and nutrition counseling to individuals with ambulatory, hearing or vision disabilities to decrease risk of nutrition-related chronic diseases. This panel session enables practitioners without disabilities to establish better rapport with and achieve more successful nutrition and health outcomes for individuals with disabilities.
CPE Level: Level 3 (advanced knowledge/expertise)
- 2.1.1 Assesses the communication needs of individuals, groups and populations to provide effective communication.
- 9.2.1 Evaluates learning needs of individuals and target groups.
- 9.4.1 Takes into consideration special needs and disabilities and provides accommodations.
- Describe three useful nutrition counseling strategies to promote positive behavior changes when working with individuals with mobility, hearing, or vision disabilities.
- Discuss three practical approaches for providing appropriate medical nutrition therapy to help treat and manage diseases or conditions for individuals with mobility, hearing, or vision disabilities.
- Identify three effective nutrition counseling tactics to help decrease risk of nutrition-related chronic diseases for individuals with mobility, hearing, or vision disabilities.
- Neva Cochran, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
- Jacqueline V. Bastiaans, RD, LD
- Alicia Connor, MA, RDN, Chef
- Wendy Wittenbrook, MA, RD, CSP, LD, FAND