Disability and Health Program
Chronic diseases and their risk factors, such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity, have a greater impact on persons with disabilities. Currently in Florida, 28% of adults have a disability. Among this population, 16% of persons with disabilities have diabetes; 12% have been diagnosed with heart disease; 32% of persons with disabilities are overweight or obese. In an effort to reduce these statistics and improve access to care for persons with disabilities, the Disability and Health Program (DHP) works to ensure the Department of Health’s programs and activities for health promotion, disease prevention, wellness, and disaster preparedness are including all Floridians of all ages and abilities.
Goals of the Disability and Health Program
The DHP, in partnership with the University of Florida, began implementing a more inclusive approach to its programs and services in 2018. As a result, the DHP is continuing its efforts to:
- Improve access to opportunities for adapted physical activity for students with disabilities in mainstream and exceptional student education schools
- Reduce the prevalence of diabetes among persons with disabilities through implementing an adapted Diabetes Prevention Program in pilot sites statewide
- Increase the availability, accessibility, and use of health promotion resources, tools and inclusion strategies among persons with disabilities
- Improve access to care and treatment of persons with disabilities by providing training and technical assistance in cultural competency and health equity to healthcare professionals and providers
- Encourage personal preparedness among persons with disabilities and access and functional needs
- Collaborate with partner agencies to improve access to shelters, needed services and accommodations for persons with disabilities and access and functional needs during emergency response and recovery efforts
People with disabilities need health care and health programs for the same reasons anyone else does—to stay well, active, and a part of the community. To be healthy, people with disabilities require health care that meets their needs as a whole person, not just as a person with a disability. Most people with or without disabilities can stay healthy by learning about and living healthy lifestyles. Disability and Health: A Guide for Floridians is a tool to assist persons with disabilities receiving the best health care possible. A Spanish version of the guide is also available.
- Physical Activity& Fitness: These tips provide recommendations for how much physical activity are needed by different age groups and suggestions for ways to keep fit and physically active. Links to helpful websites are included.
- Healthy Eating & Healthy Weight: These tips provide information about making healthy food choices, the different food groups, examples of healthy meal portions and easy ways to remember how to choose the right amount of food. Links to helpful websites are included.
*Note: This page contains materials in the Portable Document Format (PDF). The free Adobe Reader may be required to view these files.