Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Diversity and Inclusion Statement

The Academy encourages diversity and inclusion by striving to recognize, respect and include differences in ability, age, creed, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, size, and socioeconomic characteristics in the nutrition and dietetics profession.” *
* Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Diversity Awards and Grants.  https://www.eatrightpro.org/leadership/honors-and-awards/diversity-awards-and-grants.

Diversity Session at FNCE 2019 in Philadelphia presented by a SCAND member

Title:                 Individuals with Disabilities: Essential Members of the Healthcare Team
Date:                 Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Time:                12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Moderator:      Neva Cochran, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Speaker:          Suzanne Domel Baxter, PhD, RD, LD, FADA, FAND

Description:       Studies demonstrate that doctors with disabilities relate better to patients.  Growing the number of health professionals with disabilities can improve patient care, impact research agendas, dispel negative workplace attitudes toward disability, reduce health care barriers, and curb discrimination toward people with disabilities.  Many major healthcare organizations, including the Academy, consider people with disabilities critical to their missions and visions, as well as their philosophies on diversity.  Furthermore, almost all federal contractors (such as hospitals) must employ a workforce of which at least 7% is comprised of workers with disabilities.  Yet still, people with disabilities experience vast underrepresentation within the healthcare profession, despite comprising around 20% of the United States population.  Inspired in part by the 2018 FNCE® Opening Session keynote speaker, Paralympic Bonnie St. John, this session will review disability rights laws, legal disability definition, universities’ legal obligations to students with disabilities, disability accommodations for classrooms and worksites, and myths about people with disabilities.  Academy members with disabilities will share challenges and successes via video.

Enhancing Diversity and the Role of Individuals with Disabilities in the Dietetics Profession”

This article is in press in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  The authors are Suzanne Domel Baxter, PhD, RD, LD, FADA, FAND; Barbara Gordon, MBA, RDN, LD, FAND; and Neva Cochran, MS, RDN, LD, FAND.  This article is a component of Dr. Baxter’s Capstone Project as a member of the Academy's 2017‒2019 Diversity Leaders Program.  The article includes  information on the prevalence of people with disabilities, disability rights laws, accommodation recommendations for people with disabilities, etiquette strategies for interacting with people with disabilities, and professional health science associations for people with disabilities.  Read this article for basic knowledge about how to enhance diversity in the dietetics profession via people with disabilities, and for research ideas about disabilities among dietetics students and practitioners.

Free webinars will soon be available to Academy members!

Three webinars will be available for free to Academy members on the Academy website by Spring, 2020.  The webinars are funded by an Academy Diversity Mini Grant, planned by Dr. Baxter as part of her Capstone Project as a member of the Academy's 2017‒2019 Diversity Leaders Program and as Diversity Liaison for the Research DPG.  Neva Cochran, MS, RDN, LD, FAND, will serve as Moderator for the webinars.  Webinar 1 will feature the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) to equip you to hire people with disabilities into dietetics profession.  JAN is the leading source of free, expert and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues.  Webinars 2–3 will feature Academy members with disabilities who will share their stories and answer questions.  Use these webinars as continuing education for self study, at educational sites or workplaces, or at district meetings.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

The Academy values and respects the diverse viewpoints and individual differences of all people. The Academy's mission and vision are most effectively realized through the promotion of a diverse membership that reflects cultural, ethnic, gender, racial, religious, sexual orientation, socioeconomic, geographical, political, educational, experiential and philosophical characteristics of the public it services. The Academy actively identifies and offers opportunities to individuals with varied skills, talents, abilities, ideas, disabilities, backgrounds and practice expertise. Through the Academy’s commitment to diversity, several awards and leadership opportunities are offered, http://www.eatrightPRO.org/diversity

Academy Diversity Awards

Diversity Action Award:  A $1,000 award to a dietetics educational program accredited/approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), Academy Affiliate, dietetic practice group or member interest group in recognition of past accomplishments to successfully recruit and retain diverse individuals. Available annually.

Diversity Mini-Grants:  Diversity Mini-Grants provide $100 - $1,000 grants to support outreach by Diversity Liaisons to students and professionals from underrepresented groups within the dietetics profession. Outreach could include cultural competency educational session as well as membership recruitment. Only recognized Diversity Liaisons may apply.

Diversity Promotion Grant:  The Promotion Grant provides a $10,000 grant to support minority recruitment and retention projects by dietetic education programs accredited/approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), dietetic practice groups, Academy Affiliates and member interest groups. This award is provided every other year on even years.

Academy Leadership Opportunities

Diversity Leaders Program:  The Diversity Leaders Program supports Active members from underrepresented groups within the dietetics profession. In accordance with the Academy’s strategic vision and mission, the Diversity Leaders Program is a two-year program that supports Active members from underrepresented groups within the dietetics profession as defined by the Academy. Four Leaders are selected every two years on odd years.  Goals of the Diversity Leaders Program are to:

  • Provide education, access and service opportunities to individuals from underrepresented groups in the dietetics community as defined by the Academy.
  • Encourage more diverse dietetics professionals to assume leadership roles.
  • Provide leaders with a mentor and group coaching to enhance their career development, expand their professional network and to provide support in their work and community.
  • Develop a more diverse leadership pool.
  • Contribute to programs and resources in support of the Diversity Strategic Plan during and beyond the program.

Diversity Liaison:  Diversity Liaisons serve at the grassroots level and are charged with conducting diversity outreach events. Diversity Liaisons must be current Academy members in good standing from any membership category except for Student or International Student. Diversity Liaisons can apply for mini-grants in support of their diversity outreach efforts. In addition, Diversity Liaison serve as a leadership ladder to the Diversity Leaders Program. Affiliates, dietetics practice groups (DPGs) and member interest groups (MIGs) are encouraged to select a Diversity Liaison.

eMentoring:  Those interested in serving as a mentor, or being mentored in the area of diversity, may select Diversity Initiatives or Cultural Competence as areas of interest in the Academy’s eMentoring program.  

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month!

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month planned by the US Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy which is abbreviated ODEP.  This office creates an annual theme, which for 2019 is "The Right Talent, Right Now."  The ODEP website www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/index.htm offers free resources including posters in English and Spanish, articles, a press release, and social media content.  The photo shows the 2019 poster in English.