The SC Interagency Office of Disability and Health (SCIODH) works to promote the health and wellness of persons with disabilities in South Carolina through an integrated program of policy, practice and evaluation. The South Carolina Interagency Office for Disability and Health (IODH) is a strong university and state agency partnership focused on disability issues. Our collaboration has focused on building an infrastructure for disability knowledge since 1997 when we received a CDC Capacity Building project. The IODH is organized by faculty and staff from the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine (DFPM) of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine (USCSM), in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN), the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC). In addition, we have strong ties with numerous advocacy groups, individuals with disabilities, and representatives from state agencies and organizations. Many of these interests are represented on the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council, our Advisory Council.
The faculty and staff of USCSM, the lead agency for the IODH, are extensively involved in education, service, and research related to disability. DHEC coordinates the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and advocates for disability to be recognized as a health disparity group. DDSN provides direct services to individuals with disabilities and is a partner in many of our health promotion activities including “Steps to Your Health”.
We have developed education initiatives in the School of Medicine, continuing education programs with engineers, builders and city planners, surveillance activities, health services research projects, and model programs that include strong evaluation components. We have used innovative approaches that build on the evidence in the literature and applied our strategies using a public health model. The IODH model is to analyze data and develop innovations within the Medical School and then assist state service agencies in selecting and implementing those that are most promising.