Given that the U.S. population is aging, disability estimates are expected to increase. Now is the time to take action and engage in creative partnerships with strategic partners.
Include people with disabilities in public health program planning and design.
Action Example: California’s Living Healthy with a Disability Program: Tobacco Cessation Program for People with Disabilities serves a critical role in providing needed services to people with disabilities who are not usually targeted in state health promotion efforts. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the California Smokers’ Helpline (Helpline) began a collaboration to reach more people with disabilities. Activities included training for Helpline staff on how to work with people with disabilities, revisions to Helpline materials and programmatic standards to ensure accessibility, and collaborating with disability organizations and health care insurers to disseminate Helpline information to clients with disabilities.
Use data to demonstrate the need for and impact of programs for people with disabilities.
Action Example: The Community Health Inclusion Index (CHII), is an evaluation tool for improving inclusion of people with disabilities in community health initiatives. The information collected through the CHII can be used by public health professionals and community programs to understand the needs in their communities and develop new initiatives for improving healthy, active living among people with disabilities. A recent study on the CHII was co-authored by the Institute on Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago; the University of Alabama at Birmingham/Lakeshore Foundation Research Collaborative; and the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).