As the 2017 fall semester winds down, seventeen Ball State students from the “Public Policy, Healthcare, and Disability” class in the College of Health attended a trip to Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis. Our students began the experience with a tour of the hospital provided by Eskenazi Health Foundation staff. Following the tour, the class continued with a discussion on the hospital and the joint effort of Ball State and Eskenazi Health, known as the Initiative for Empowerment and Economic Independence (IEEI).
Larry Markle, Director of Disability Services at Ball State, and Kristin Hyde of the Eskenazi Health Foundation presented the IEEI discussion for the class. With input from three previous interns, including a member of my class, Luke Labas, Larry and Kristin provided insight into what the continued partnership between Eskenazi Health and Ball State offers students with physical and sensory disabilities and how the program can provide a framework for policy change throughout the country. From this semester’s class work, it seems the students recognize the employment and healthcare-related challenges faced by people with disabilities.
As Ball State unveils its new We Fly campaign, the class continues to reach new heights during discussions on healthcare and disability. The intersectionality of these topics, from a public policy standpoint, offers the students a new perspective on how the discussion on healthcare must involve people with disabilities. By challenging their understanding of what healthcare means for all Americans, the students are learning that a holistic approach is the most successful for positive results for people with disabilities and their neighbors.
Many thanks to the hardworking teams at Eskenazi Health and Eskenazi Health Foundation, as well as the Ball State College of Health and Disability Services, for providing this learning opportunity for our students.