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At Dean’s Seminar, Lakeshore Foundation’s James Rimmer advocates for inclusion in programs, interventions, and research

On Friday, Nov. 2, James Rimmer, director of the Lakeshore Foundation and the University of Alabama—Birmingham Research Collaborative, delivered the first lecture of the 2018-19 Dean’s Seminar Series with his talk, “Solving Some of Public Health’s Most Significant Crises: Disability Inclusion.”


At the University of Alabama—Birmingham, Rimmer is a professor in the School of Health Professions and the university’s first Lakeshore Foundation Endowed Chair in Health Promotion and Rehabilitation. Throughout his career, Rimmer has researched health promotion and inclusion of people with disabilities through physical activity. In 2008, he helped create the landmark Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, focusing on guidelines for people with disabilities. As director of the UAB-Lakeshore Research Collaborative, Rimmer conducts rehabilitation and sport science research to support the foundation’s advocacy of inclusive policy and physical activity programming for individuals with physical disabilities at the local, national and global level.

“For Dr. Rimmer, disability inclusion is an acute public health issue with far-reaching consequences for individuals, communities and populations.,” said Associate Dean of Research David B. Sarwer. “Dr. Rimmer’s principles of interdisciplinary collaboration and disability inclusion resonate throughout our college.”

In his talk, Rimmer discussed topics such as health disparities felt by people with disabilities, who are more likely to have heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer; tools and guidelines for assessing inclusivity and translating research findings and interventions to include people with disabilities; and the importance of including community members with disabilities from the beginning stages of a study.

“You must empower a member of the disability community to be a member of your research team—not after the fact, but before,” he said.

Formed last year in recognition of the College’s accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health, the Dean’s Seminar Series brings internationally renowned scholars and practitioners to campus for discussions on pressing issues facing an ever-expanding field of public health.

Upcoming Dean’s Seminar Series Speakers

Feb. 22, 2019 / Russell R. Pate, professor at the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health and director of the Children's Physical Activity Research Group

March 29, 2019 / Mary M. McKay, dean of the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis

— Chris Sarachilli
Video production: Andrew Thayer

Posted:  November 5, 2018