About Commit to Inclusion
The lack of participation in physical activity is a serious public health concern for all Americans, but even more so for the approximately 56 million Americans with a disability who are at a much greater risk for developing serious health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle. People with disability experience many different and complex physical, social, and attitudinal barriers that prevent their participation in work, leisure, and social activities beyond those experienced by the general population. Among barriers to participation, inactive role models, competing demands and time pressures, unsafe environments, lack of adequate facilities, insufficient funds and inadequate access to quality daily physical education seem to be more prevalent among populations with disability. Typically, children and youth with disability engage in very little school-based physical activity, less healthy after-school activity, and more sedentary recreations. The patterns of inactivity in childhood and adolescence lead to higher rates of inactivity, obesity, and other health problems in adulthood.
Physical activity can provide individuals with disability the strength and stamina required to participate in all aspects of life actively and successfully. While there will always be a need for specialized health promotion interventions targeting specific disability groups, there is a need to promote more inclusive programming across the hundreds of programs and millions of federal and private dollars being spent to address the obesity epidemic in the U. S. The success of inclusion is greatly increased when various factors such as support, staff training and positive attitudes exist. Legislation and policy is a vital tool to success, as it creates the blueprints for schools and communities to follow.
Commit to Inclusion is a campaign that supports the implementation of guidelines and programming to empower people with disability to lead healthy, active lifestyles.
Commit to Inclusion supports the implementation of the Guidelines for Disability Inclusion in Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity Programs and Policies to assist in the updating of community health program and policies to be inclusive of the needs of people with disability. The Guidelines for Disability Inclusion were developed by the Center on Disability at the Public Health Institute as part of the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability in partnership with the American Association on Health and Disability. The Guidelines for Disability Inclusion and its resources can be used by any entity including government, private, and non-profit organizations to ensure new and existing program initiatives and policies in the areas of physical activity, nutrition, and obesity are appropriate and accessible for people with disability.
In conjunction with encouraging the use of the Guidelines for Disability Inclusion, Commit to Inclusion also supports the establishment of programming like I Can Do It, You Can Do It! (ICDI) to help facilitate access and opportunities for children and adults with disabilities to be healthy and active. ICDI is an innovative mentoring initiative that creates partnerships with K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and community organizations across the nation who provide opportunities for children and adults with disabilities to be physically active and set healthy eating goals, while earning a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+).
By joining the Commit to Inclusion campaign, you are helping to build healthy, inclusive communities while engaging, educating, and empowering all Americans across the lifespan to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition.