Counting for Something: Early deaths must be better understood

Presented bySharon Brandford, 18 June 2021

What is the webinar about?

Mortality data provides a rich source of information to understand why people with intellectual disability in New Zealand die between 18 and 23 years earlier than the general population. Drawing from her scoping study “Counting for Something” Sharon will outline how deaths of people with intellectual disability are recorded, reported and investigated in New Zealand. She will highlight what measures other countries take and by comparison what little is done in New Zealand. The presentation will identify areas where research and practice might be focused to better address circumstances of premature mortality of people with intellectual disability.

Who is presenting?

Sharon Brandford is an independent consultant on disability supports. Her career was based on training as a clinical psychologist and working primarily in community service provision for people with intellectual disabilities. That work put her in roles of service evaluations and reviews, as well as clinical leadership.

Sharon has long advocated for improved access to health supports and better understanding by disability support workers of the health of those they support. Through that work, she has developed a greater understanding of the complex interplay between systems, and worked to “joining the dots” across sectors that often have worked in silos.

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