On June 1-3, 2015, faculty and staff of the UIC Department of Disability and Human Development presented their research at the 2015 American Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Conference in Louisville, KY.

Katie Arnold of the Sibling Leadership Network (SLN) and Meghan Burke of U of I Champaign-Urbana presented a workshop “Siblings of People with IDD: Research, Practice and Policy.” They gave an overview of challenges, gaps and future directions in sibling research, and overview of the history of the sibling movement and its relationship to the broader disability rights movement in the United States.

Sandra Magaña presented on her study, “Trends in Racial Disparities in Quality of Care for Children with Developmental Disabilities,” by Sandra Magaña, Susan Parish, Esther Son and Leah Igdalsky. The research question related to whether racial and ethnic disparities in quality of provider relationships among children with autism and other developmental disabilities declined over time. It was found that disparities in healthcare quality between Blacks and Whites and between Latinos and Whites persisted between 2005 through 2010. The quality outcomes were “provider listened carefully to parent,” “provider helped parents feel like a partner,” and “provider spent enough time with child and provider was sensitive to family’s values and customs.”

Miguel Morales presented on the study “Racial and Ethnic Disparities among People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities” (IDD) by Sandra Magaña, Miguel A. Morales, Susan Parish and Henan Li. The research questions were the following: are there racial and ethnic disparities in health status among adults with IDD and are there differences in health status among Latinos and Blacks with IDD compared to Latinos and Blacks without IDD? The study investigators found that Blacks and Latinos were more likely to be in fair or poor health and fair or poor mental health than Whites. Latino adults with IDD were more likely to be obese and have diabetes than White adults with IDD. Also, among both Black and Latino adults, those with IDD were more likely to report fair or poor health and fair and poor mental health than those without IDD. Among Latino adults, those with IDD were more likely to be obese and have diabetes.

Glenn Fujiura presented his findings from the study, “Health care costs for Americans with IDD: A national analysis of Access and Spending 2002-2011,” by Glenn T. Fujiura, Henan Li, Sandra Magaña and Susan Parish. The presentation focused on two questions: who is paying for health care costs among people with IDD and what is driving these costs? Glenn reported that among adults with IDD, Medicaid accounts with nearly half of all costs, the largest driver of which is medications. Chronic conditions are a primary driver of medical interventions, both hospitalizations and medications.