People with disabilities need regular preventive health care for the same reasons as everyone else. Preventive health care provides regular screening for cancer and other health issues, risk assessment, appropriate immunizations, and healthy lifestyle counseling. A lack of preventive health care for people with disabilities can lead to poor health status, delayed treatment of chronic illnesses, and failure to prevent secondary conditions and health problems related to a disability.
Many parties have a role to play in improving preventive health care for people with disabilities. Health care providers can make their offices more accessible, promote preventive care with their patients and assure that their patients with disabilities receive preventive care that is appropriate for their age and disability. People with disabilities, their caretakers and support people can become knowledgeable health care consumers and can assure appropriate communication with their health care providers. And community health initiatives can make sure to include their citizens with disabilities in the effort.
The following information, tools, and resources can help health care providers, disability service providers, local public health agencies and other wellness groups, people with disabilities, their caretakers, and others in improving inclusion in wellness activities for those who have disabilities.