The Right to Know Campaign
Breast cancer is a major public health concern for all women, including women with disabilities. Women with disabilities are as likely as women without disabilities to have ever gotten a mammogram. However, they are significantly less likely to have been screened within the recommended guidelines. The public health community uses health communication messages and campaigns to increase breast cancer awareness and encourage women to adopt preventive practices, yet few messages target women with disabilities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a qualitative study to explore barriers to breast cancer screening for women with physical disabilities. Barriers identified included: lack of perceived susceptibility, preoccupation with other health issues, not knowing where to go for accessible screening, positioning difficulties, inaccessible facilities and equipment, and provider knowledge and attitudes. Women with disabilities also said that health promotion messages and materials did not reflect their unique needs. They asked CDC to address this problem.
In response, CDC collaborated with the American Institutes for Research® to create and test the Right to Know campaign, a collection of health promotion materials (posters, MP3 files, low-tech flyers, print advertisements, and tip sheets) designed to increase awareness of breast cancer among women with physical disabilities and encourage them to get screened. The materials feature four breast cancer survivors with physical disabilities who are recognized leaders in the national disability movement. Materials, audio-recordings and transcripts are available at: