Purpose of Guidelines
People with disabilities face significant barriers when attempting to access health and wellness activities. They are more likely to have more than one health practitioner and to have secondary conditions requiring some type of ongoing treatment or medication, leaving them vulnerable to a lack of coordinated or long-term care. People with disabilities are also less likely to have appropriate, affordable health care coverage. This leaves this population especially vulnerable because not only do they run the risk of not receiving preventative care, but they also can have difficulty accessing health and wellness information and services if those services are not designed to consider their disability. Additionally, people with disabilities have a higher likelihood of being obese, physically inactive and at risk for diabetes.
As part of the National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability (NCHPAD), the Center on Disability at the Public Health Institute (COD-PHI) has developed these Guidelines for Disability Inclusion in Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity Program Initiatives to assist in the updating of community health programs and policies to be inclusive of the needs of people with disabilities. The guidelines were generated based upon previously recommended guidelines and structured input and review from a panel of national experts. The flow of the development of the Guidelines can be seen in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Use of Guidelines to Disability Inclusion to Achieve Inclusive Program Initiatives and Policies