Five years ago, NACDD received funding from the CDC Disability and Health Promotion Branch to launch a national pilot project to make healthy choices the easy choices for people in areas where they live, learn, work, play, pray, and receive care – with a principle focus on disability inclusion. Through this Reaching People with Disabilities through Healthy Communities project, NACDD funded the five state Disability and Health Programs of Iowa, Montana, New York, Ohio, and Oregon and two communities from each of those states to receive training, technical assistance, and resources to achieve new policies, systems, or environments (PSE) that increase access and opportunity for healthy living behaviors, such as healthy eating, physical activity, tobacco prevention and reduction, and general accessibility and inclusion improvements.
State and community grantees were guided through the phased Inclusive Healthy Communities Model by the NACDD Project Team to navigate the healthy community change process at the local level. Each community was paired with a State Expert Advisor, who provided state specific disability and health expertise to Community Coaches and coalitions throughout the entire project period. PSE strategies targeted the five community sectors of community-at-large (CAL), community institutions and organizations (CIO), schools, healthcare, and worksites. Today, these project participants combined to achieve a total of 524 PSE changes, reaching more than 4.5 million people, including more than 1.5 million people with disabilities.
This year, the NACDD Project Team is broadly sharing the successes and lessons learned from this project in hopes to inspire other states, communities, and national organizations to integrate a focus on inclusive healthy communities. To do this, NACDD and the project’s state and community participants are implementing a five-part webinar series to showcase the project model and successes to other states, communities, national partner organizations, and CDC groups. Please see the below details:
- May 19: Reaching People with Disabilities through Healthy Communities – A Project Overview
- May 20: Coalition/Partner Commitment and Inclusive Assessment/Training for Healthy Communities
- May 27: Prioritizing Needs, Action Planning, and Implementing Inclusive Policy, System, and Environmental Changes at the Local Level
- June 3, 1-2:45 p.m. Implementing and Evaluating Inclusive Policy, System, and Environmental Changes towards Healthy Living with A Focus on Disability Inclusion REGISTER
- June 10, 1-2:45 p.m. Using Communication Strategies and Activities for Disseminating Project Successes and Resources REGISTER
Please also check out the updated project webpages of NACDD (www.chronicdisease.org/page/disabilities) and CDC (www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/reaching-people.html), where you can access step-by-step resources for implementing Inclusive Healthy Communities in your location!
For more information on how to integrate disability inclusion into your state or community efforts, please contact NACDD’s Project Lead Karma Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org