The American Association of Health Disability


People with developmental disabilities require constant and timely medical, emotional, and psychological support to achieve their full potential. The affected individuals face numerous challenges that can make it impossible to lead high-quality lives. Those taking care of them will also have to sacrifice their time and resources. Fortunately, several agencies in the United States provide health-care related services to such people and their respective families. Such organizations conduct assessments of capacity and need to record positive results. This discussion uses the case of the American Association of Health Disability (AAHD) to understand how such agencies can empower many people from diverse backgrounds.

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Assessment of Need

Agency Background

The selected agency liaises and cooperates with other health organizations in the United States to promote and support the health statuses of children and adults with different forms of learning and developmental disabilities. It undertakes numerous research studies and promotes programs that can reduce the existing health disparities between the targeted beneficiaries and the general population (“About AAHD,” n.d.). It is currently the only agency that integrates developmental disability into the United State’s overall health agenda. Different professionals, departments, researchers, and institutions, are involved to achieve the targeted goals.

Population Served: Demographics

The targeted population includes children and adults affected by different types of developmental disabilities. Currently, the country has around 7 million citizens who have developmental disabilities (McNeil et al., 2018). Those who benefit from the services of the AAHD are African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Caucasian races. The targeted condition affects both men and women. The beneficiaries lack adequate financial support, income, or occupation. They also find it hard to acquire high-quality medical services.

Healthcare-Related Services

The selected agency identifies and implements adequate policies and programs that have the potential to advance the wellness and health of American adults and children with different forms of disability. It liaises with technical institutions and health facilities to provide evidence-based care and support to the targeted beneficiaries at the national, community, and state levels (“About AAHD,” n.d.).

Private organizations and federal agencies also partner with AAHD to maximize the quality and nature of medical services available to the targeted individuals. The agency’s decision to engage in policymaking processes is a powerful initiative that ensures that more beneficiaries have access to a wide range of drugs and support systems. Local agencies and institutions receive adequate support from AAHD to offer proper needs assessment and capacity assessment before providing personalized health services.

Health Promotion Programs

AAHD is currently supporting several programs aimed at providing evidence-based and personalized care to individuals with developmental disabilities in different parts of the country. A good example is the one aimed at ensuring that all hospitals and facilities have departments that focus on the emerging medical demands of the targeted population (“About AAHD,” n.d.). The second one is currently focusing on new policies that will ensure that all children with developmental disabilities receive proper assessment and medical services. Adequate financial support is also proposed for their carers, family members, and guardians if positive results are to be recorded.

Environmental Support

AAHD works with stakeholders, medical facilities, and other governmental agencies to ensure that adequate resources and tools are available to empower the targeted people. Institutions are encouraged or required to minimize potential environmental hazards to reduce the risks for persons with various intellectual disabilities (“About AAHD,” n.d.). This is the case since the agency proposes, supports, and implements numerous policies and standards that will empower the targeted individuals to achieve their potential.

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Assessment of Capacity

Organizational Resources

AAHD has adequate resources and mechanisms to meet the intellectual capacity of all persons with developmental disabilities. The process of assessing patients in need of specific medical services and health support is undertaken by competent professionals and psychologists. The agency has hired skilled persons who guide partners and other stakeholders to monitor people’s health obstacles (“About AAHD,” n.d.). The organization has outlined several guidelines for assessing, treating, and supporting different beneficiaries. The government and other sponsors provide adequate financial resources to achieve the targeted objectives.

Local Community Resources

The selected agency partners with local non-profit organizations and learning institutions to advocate for policies and programs that can improve the health outcomes of the targeted individuals. Local healthcare facilities and dispensaries receive adequate support for AAHD to meet the assessment of the capacity and needs of persons with learning disabilities (Williamson, Contreras, Rodriguez, Smith, & Perkins, 2017). The ultimate objective of these resources is to promote the health of the greatest number of beneficiaries.

Organizational Culture

The leaders at the AAHD promote an appropriate culture whereby all followers must work hard to deliver positive results. The agency has developed powerful vision and mission statements that guide all employees to analyze the capacity and medical needs of all the targeted individuals. The idea of commitment is taken seriously whereby all individuals focus on the best outcomes. The agency identifies and implements policies that will support the health goals of the targeted individuals. The organization adopts a horizontal managerial structure to improve efficiency and performance. This approach results in improved levels of commitment and empowerment (Williamson et al., 2017). When it comes to perceived workload, responsibilities and roles are shared among different units or departments

Employee Knowledge: Health Promotion

The selected agency ensures that its employees possess adequate knowledge to implement evidence-based health promotion strategies. They use their experiences to develop superior initiatives and procedures that can guide persons with developmental disabilities. They also assess the capacity of individuals in targeted communities and offer adequate medical support. Such professionals also engage in lifelong learning in an attempt to acquire appropriate competencies and meet the medical needs of different beneficiaries (“About AAHD,” n.d.). Their practical approaches have, therefore, empowered many citizens to improve or increase control of their health outcomes.

Employees: Skills and Attitudes

AAHD takes the issue of employee performance seriously. This means that recruited workers receive timely guidelines and ideas for assessing patients’ intellectual capacity and health needs. Conferences, seminars, and training forums are usually held frequently to ensure that all employees possess adequate competencies. Such programs are used to empower and guide individuals working for their partners.

Additionally, persons with strong academic and professional backgrounds in the fields of healthcare, medicine, psychology, and learning disability are usually hired to offer evidence-based health promotion services (Williamson et al., 2017). Communication, problem-solving, and psychological skills are also taken into consideration. The recruited workers must also be emotionally stable, sympathetic, empathic, courageous, and ethical.

Analysis of the Agency


The identified health promotion practices revolve around the empowerment and support of individuals with developmental disabilities. From the completed assessment of need and capacity, it is evident that AAHD possesses certain strengths that will continue to support its objectives. The first one is the existence of an effective organizational culture. This is what promotes performance, coordination, effectiveness, and success of the agency.

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The second strength is that it also liaises with the right professionals, institutions, and organizations in an attempt to deliver positive results. The third one is the involvement of different leaders, partners, and followers. This strategy improves the levels of performance and services delivery (“About AAHD,” n.d.). Another outstanding strength is the agency’s ability to present adequate resources, tools, training facilities, and ideas to address the medical challenges most of the targeted individuals face.

Challenges and Limitations

Several challenges that might disorient the performance of this agency have emerged from the findings of the completed assessment of the need and capacity. For instance, AAHD lacks a streamlined model for assessing individuals’ capacity and health needs. Consequently, most of the beneficiaries fail to receive evidence-based and timely support (McNeil et al., 2018). This agency stands a chance to encounter various challenges in the future.

Firstly, it lacks adequate mechanisms to meet the changing needs of the increasing number of persons with developmental disabilities. Secondly, the absence of skilled professionals to offer superior health assessments affects this organization’s effectiveness. Thirdly, the agency might continue to grapple with inadequate financial resources, thereby being unable to achieve most of its objectives.


The above discussion has revealed that AAHD focuses on a wide range of issues affecting the identified population, including economic empowerment, health, and education. With its proper strategy, mission, and vision, the agency has ensured that the main agenda of health promotion receives the required support. Consequently, members of the selected population continue to record positive health outcomes. In conclusion, the leaders at this agency should address the above limitations if desired results are to be recorded in the future.


About AAHD. (n.d.). Web.

McNeil, K., Gemmill, M., Abells, D., Sacks, S., Broda, T., Morris, C. R., Forster-Gibson, C. (2018). Circles of care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities: Communication, collaboration, and coordination. Canadian Family Physician, 64(2), S51-S56.

Williamson, H. J., Contreras, G. M., Rodriguez, E. S., Smith, J. M., & Perkins, E. A. (2017). Health care access for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities: A scoping review. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 37(4), 227-236. Web.

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