Reaching People with Disabilities through Healthy Communities
According to the CDC, nearly one in four Americans has a disability of some sort, and people with disabilities are disproportionately affected with chronic diseases and conditions.
In partnership and with support from the CDC Disability and Health Branch of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, NACDD is proud to lead the Reaching People with Disabilities through Healthy Communities national pilot project. This initiative enables five states and 10 local communities to make inclusive healthy choices the easy choices for people in areas where they live, learn, work, play, pray, and receive care.
NACDD is helping communities navigate through the phased healthy community change process to improve access and opportunity for healthy eating, physical activity, prevention or reduction of tobacco use, and general accessibility improvements through establishing new and supporting policies, systems, and environments (PSEs), with a principal focus on disability inclusion. This process closely resembles previous healthy community projects like ACHIEVE.
Inclusive Healthy Communities Change Model
The Inclusive Healthy Communities Change Model is a phased model toward healthy community change, where NACDD led state and community groups through a phased community leadership process to instill lasting and sustainable health changes. The process focused on increasing access and opportunity for healthy eating, physical activity, general accessibility improvements, and tobacco prevention or reduction through the establishment of new PSEs.
The six distinct phases of the model include:
Phase 1 — Commitment
Phase 2 — Assessment and Training
Phase 3 — Prioritization and Planning
Phase 4 — Implementation
Phase 5 — Evaluation
Phase 6 — Communication and Dissemination.
This model embodies a facilitative community leadership perspective and serves as a mechanism for navigating community coalitions through a healthy community change process over a multi-year period. While the phases appear linear, it is important to note that some of the phased activities occur on an ongoing basis and even concurrently with other phases.
On this page, you can click the tabs above to learn about how to implement disability inclusive Healthy Communities efforts in your state or community using the phased approach to Healthy Communities change.
To learn more about this national pilot project, click on our project compilation video:
CDC State Disability and Health Programs applied for the project, identifying two local communities to participate as part of the competitive application process. The five CDC State Disability and Health Programs of Iowa, Montana, New York, Ohio, and Oregon, as well as the two local communities identified in each of their applications, were selected to receive funding and participate in the project.
Each of the five representatives from the State Disability and Health Programs served as State Expert Advisors to local communities and to NACDD throughout the entire project process, providing state-based resources, disability and health subject matter expertise, and liaison support throughout each project phase. Two local coordinators from each of the 10 communities served as Community Coaches and coordinated and led the Healthy Communities change efforts with their local coalitions and community partners.
CDC State Disability and Health Participants:
Iowa (Iowa Department of Public Health)
Montana (University of Montana)
New York (New York State Department of Health, Health Research, Inc.)
Ohio (The Ohio State University Nisonger Center)
Oregon (Oregon Health and Science University)
Local Community Participants:
Adams County, Ohio
Benton County, Oregon
Carroll County, Iowa
Cattaraugus County, New York
Marion County, Ohio
Sioux City, Iowa
Syracuse, New York
Umatilla County, Oregon
The collaboration with the following project partners makes the work of this national pilot project possible:
For more information about the DHC project or additional resources, contact:
Karma Harris, MSPH
The Commitment Phase is the first phase of the Inclusive Healthy Communities Change Model. This is where you will lay your foundation for community change. The other five phases will build upon what you do in this phase. Within this phase, you will develop (or enhance an existing) healthy communities coalition that will work towards making healthy choices the easy choices in areas where people live, learn, work, play, pray, or receive care. The main activities involved in this phase are leadership development and coalition/partner development.
To view all of the important steps of the Commitment Phase, please see our one-pager:
The Assessment and Training Phase is the second phase of the Inclusive Healthy Communities Change Model. This is where you will continue to lay your foundation for healthy community change by providing the necessary training to your coalition on project activities, including the community health assessment that you plan to use. The next four phases will build upon what you do in this phase. Within this phase, you will inform your coalition on the milestone activities of the project, communicate the project’s expectations and timelines, as well as complete an inclusive community assessment activity.
To view all the important steps of the Assessment and Training Phase, please see our one-pager:
The Prioritization and Planning Phase is the third phase of the Inclusive Healthy Communities Change Model where you will review your assessment data and develop a Community Action Plan (CAP) that includes policies, systems or environmental (PSE) changes for increasing inclusive healthy living opportunities within all sectors of your community. Within this phase, you will work with your coalition to review your assessment results, prioritize the PSE strategies you want to pursue based on the data, and develop your CAP.
To view all the important steps of the Prioritization and Planning Phase, please see our one-pager:
To learn more about PSEs, please see our PSE one-pager: Word doc | PDF
View a sample Community Action Plan template: Word doc | PDF
View a sample Sustainability Planning template: Word doc | PDF
CDC podcast on Phase 3 coming soon
The Implementation Phase is the fourth phase of the Inclusive Healthy Communities Change Model where you will implement the policy, system, or environmental (PSE) strategies identified on your Community Action Plan (CAP). PSE strategies may be small or large in scale. This phase is the “action phase,” where making inclusive Healthy Communities changes becomes a reality in the areas of your community where people live, learn, work, play, pray, or receive care.
To view all the important steps of the Implementation Phase, please see our one-pager:
The Evaluation Phase is the fifth phase of the Inclusive Healthy Communities Change Model where you will integrate activities that help you measure your project processes and outcomes. It is important that evaluation activities be discussed and prioritized from the onset of the project and planned to occur at intermittent schedules throughout the project cycle, instead of waiting until the end to start the evaluation process.
To view all the important steps of the Evaluation Phase, please see our one-pager:
For tracking your PSEs over time, check out NACDD’s PSE Tracking Chart: Word doc | PDF
CDC podcast on Phase 5 coming soon
Communication and Dissemination
The Communication and Dissemination Phase is the sixth and final phase of the Inclusive Healthy Communities Change Model where you will broadly communicate and disseminate the successes and lessons learned from your inclusive Healthy Community efforts.
These activities may range from working with traditional (print, television, and radio media; earned and paid) and non-traditional (using social marketing, social media, videography, and podcasts) methods of communication. Other acceptable communication activities include peer review journal articles, professional presentations, writing success stories, testimonials, issue briefs, or white papers, and conducting community presentations.
To view all the important steps of the Communication and Dissemination Phase, please see our one-pager: