Physiatry Forward: Disability Integration Toolkit
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Call for Collaborators to Develop the Disability Integration Toolkit

Authors: By: Nethra Ankam, MD, Leslie Rydberg, MD, and the members of the Disability Integration Toolkit Subcommittee

The AAP is partnering with the Disability & Health Research Team at SUNY Upstate Medical University to facilitate the expansion of the Disability Integration Toolkit (DIT) (

Medical students should be prepared to effectively care for people with disabilities. The DIT addresses this need and assists educators by providing a collection of educational activities and resources designed to fit with broader medical education objectives.

An introduction to the DIT and overview of the materials can be found at


The DIT focuses on meeting two core learning objectives:

  1. Learners will take functional limitations into consideration for all of their patients.
  2. Learners will recognize that disability-specific knowledge exists that can enhance their ability to care for patients with disability.


A subcommittee of the AAP’s Education Committee has been formed with members of the Medical Student Educators Council under the joint leadership of Nethra Ankam, MD and Leslie Rydberg, MD to facilitate and support this effort, and we need member involvement to make the DIT grow. We would like to create a repository of peer-reviewed and road-tested disability informed, competency based educational tools that can be used on core clerkships and required courses to teach key content such that disability concepts are not an afterthought in medical education.

There are several ways for AAP members to contribute to the DIT:

Contributor - Design tools independently to submit for review and incorporation into the DIT. We encourage educators to partner with colleagues in other specialties to create new tools or adapt educational materials they are already using in their home institutions. We will offer consultations with you and your collaborators to help integrate disability content into modules designed to provide rotation and class specific content. Participation has the potential for author listing on your CV for multi-media, peer-reviewed scholarly activity.

Reviewer - Serve as a reviewer for tools created for the DIT. We need a diverse group of experts to provide constructive feedback, verify the accuracy of the content, and consider educational value before they are published to the DIT. This role can be noted on your CV in the same way as a manuscript reviewer.

Evaluation Coordinator - Facilitate the evaluation of DIT curriculum pieces with students at your institution. Evaluation is crucial for understanding the effectiveness of the DIT and disseminating these tools through MedEdPortal (a peer-reviewed, open-access publication of the Association of American Medical Colleges). Evaluators could have the opportunity for authorship of MedEdPortal submissions, along with Contributors, depending on the level of participation.

Please volunteer today at!