The concept of health is the same for people with and without disabilities - achieving and maintaining an optimal level of wellness in order to lead a full life. Receiving regular preventive health care and adopting a healthy lifestyle enable people with disabilities to learn, work, and live actively in their communities.
While people with disabilities can be healthy and active, they must overcome many barriers to obtaining health care and adopting a healthy lifestyle – barriers involving attitudes, knowledge, communication, physical access, programmatic access, policy, financial, and transportation. These barriers must be addressed by policy makers, communities, health and disability service providers, caretakers, and individuals with disabilities themselves. Today, as society’s view of health and wellness for people with disabilities shifts, we have many examples of effective policy, program and practice changes that can address known barriers and improve the health and wellness of people with disabilities.
The following information, tools, and resources can help local public health agencies and other wellness groups, health care providers, disability service providers, people with disabilities and their families, advocates, and others in improving inclusion in wellness activities for those who have disabilities.