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State Disability and Health Programs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) state-based disability and health programs inform policy and practice at the state level. These programs ensure that individuals with disabilities are included in ongoing state disease prevention, health promotion, and emergency response activities.

CDC supports 18 state-based programs to promote equity in health, prevent chronic disease, and increase the quality of life for people with disabilities. Each program customizes its activities to meet its state’s needs, which broadens expertise and information sharing among states.

The programs’ goals are to:

  • Enhance program infrastructure and capacity.
  • Improve state level surveillance and monitoring activities.
  • Increase awareness of health-related disability policy initiatives.
  • Increase health promotion opportunities for people with disabilities.
  • Improve access to health care services for people with disabilities.
  • Improve emergency preparedness for people with disabilities.
  • Effectively monitor and evaluate program activities.

The goals of the state disability and health programs align with those of Healthy People 2020 related to disability:

  • Removing barriers to participation in social, spiritual, recreational, community and civic activities.
  • Improving access to primary care, and health and wellness programs.
  • Identifying people with disabilities in data systems.
  • Increasing surveillance and health promotion programs.
  • Providing graduate-level courses in disability and health.

States funded by CDC for Disability and Health Programs:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina


Alabama

Program activities include:

  • Promoting inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of policy development, planning, and execution of state based public health programs.
  • Using Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers to assist with capacity assessment of ability to meet the needs of those with disabilities and determine barriers to inclusiveness.
  • Increasing health promotion opportunities for persons with disabilities through adaptation of existing public health programs, such as Scale Back Alabama, and increasing the number of children with disabilities who participate in mainstream physical education and after-school programs.

 

Alaska
Program activities include:

  • Developing accurate and timely outreach for Alaskans experiencing disability and their care providers.
  • Building the capacity of a cross-agency disability advisory council that reviews and evaluates program activities, assists with sustainability plans, and provides recommendations for policy change.
  • Providing technical assistance, training, and other support for existing community-wide initiatives designed to improve the health of Alaskans experiencing disability.

The Alaska Disability and Health Program is a collaboration between the State of Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, Section of Women’s, Children’s, and Family Health and the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education, and is housed in the Division of Public Health.

 

Arkansas
Program activities include:

  • Enhancing program infrastructure and capacity through the expansion and support of an Advisory Board and increasing the representation of individuals with disabilities on public health program committees.
  • Improving state-level surveillance and monitoring by conducting a statewide needs assessment to look at the health status and access of people with disabilities, developing documents comparing demographics and health disparities of Arkansas and the U.S.
  • Increasing awareness of health-related disability policy initiatives through Disability Policy Summits; educating and supporting advocates on proposed policy initiatives and disseminating information to policy makers.
  • Increase health promotion opportunities for people with disabilities by supporting training that maximizes the health of people with disabilities and implementing health awareness and education campaigns.
  • Improving access to health care for people with disabilities by looking at the accessibility of healthcare facilities, and educating healthcare professionals through continued education, as well as internship placement for students in 11 different health related disciplines.
  • Improving emergency preparedness among people with disabilities by reviewing state emergency plans for accessibility, involving people with disabilities in county level planning, providing training, and ensuring shelter access by identifying and surveying pre-designated shelter sites.

The Arkansas Disability and Health Program is housed in the Partners for Inclusive Communities at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

 

Delaware
Program activities include:

  • Creating systems-level change through active participation on statewide councils, committees, and workgroups that are addressing health and disability issues and implementation of goals and objectives of the Plan for Action, A Strategic Plan for Delaware to Promote Health and Prevent Secondary Health Conditions in Individuals with Disabilities.
  • Providing technical assistance for health care, fitness, and recreation providers and facilities to improve accessibility and inclusion of individuals with disabilities in health examinations, exercise programs, and recreation activities.
  • Providing education, awareness raising, and resources sharing through the program’s interactive website www.gohdwd.org and email newsletters to individuals with disabilities, family members, professionals, policymakers, and legislators.

The Delaware Disability and Health Program, Healthy Delawareans with Disabilitiesis housed in the Center for Disabilities Studies at the University of Delaware.

Florida
Program activities include:

  • Promoting breast cancer awareness and encouraging recommended screening among women 40 years of age or older who have a disability (the Right to Know Campaign) with partners such as the Florida Centers for Independent Living and the Florida Area Health Education Centers.
  • Increasing the capacity of health care providers in Florida to provide quality health care to people with disabilities by training medical students, and medical and allied health professionals.
  • Increasing the quantity and quality of disability and health-related data in Florida and providing the epidemiologic capacity to analyze these data.

The Florida Disability and Health Program is housed in the Office of Disability and Health at the University of Florida.

Illinois
Program activities include:

  • Monitoring the health status and health-related behaviors of people with disabilities, and sustaining and expanding the statewide infrastructure to prevent secondary conditions and promote the health of people with disabilities in Illinois.
  • Increasing evidence-based health promotion and prevention opportunities and resources available for people with disabilities to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce the risk of chronic disease and secondary conditions.
  • Assisting health professionals to gain the knowledge and tools necessary to work effectively with people with a disability to increase the availability and accessibility of health promotion and prevention services, interventions, and resources.

The Illinois Disability and Health Program is housed in the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Iowa
Program activities include:

  • Developing a statewide network of community providers that offer the Living Well with a Disability intervention program.
  • Identifying evidence-based strategies to increase awareness and education opportunities for health professionals.
  • Promoting accessible health care and support services to increase independence among people with disabilities.

The Iowa Disability and Health Program is housed in the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Massachusetts
Program activities include:

  • Designing and implementing training and technical assistance for health care providers and public health programs on the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure inclusion of people with disabilities in state funded programs, services, and activities.
  • Providing the knowledge base needed to design programs related to healthy aging, health and disability, and secondary health conditions.
  • Working with state agencies and community partners to identify, implement, and evaluate evidence-based health promotion programs among older adults and people with disabilities (for example, the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program).

The Massachusetts Disability and Health Program is housed in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Michigan
Program activities include:

The Michigan Health Promotion for People with Disabilities Program is housed in the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Montana
Program activities include:

  • Recruiting, training, and supporting disability advisors to participate in Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services advisory groups and integrate disability and health into public health planning and evaluation processes.
  • Recruiting, training, and supporting state disability leaders to assess and improve the accessibility of community health and fitness programs.
  • Conducting Living Well with a Disability, an eight-week peer-facilitated, health promotion workshop with Montana’s four Centers for Independent Living.

The Montana Disability and Health Program is a collaboration between the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and the University of Montana Rural Institute, a Center for Excellence in Disability Education, Research, and Service.

New Hampshire
Program activities include:

  • Training students, self-advocates, families and professionals through coursework, seminars, workshops and conferences.
  • Providing technical assistance to organizations and individuals to improve their capacity to include all citizens.
  • Serving as a resource for information to policymakers and government officials.
  • Disseminating information to families, consumers, community members and professionals via books, monographs, articles, videos, newsletters, the Internet and press coverage, including TV, radio, newspapers and consumer forums.
  • Conducting applied research to better understand and address the needs of individuals with disabilities.
  • Engaging in collaborative activities and joint projects with organizations that share common goals.

The Institute on Disability (IOD) is housed within New Hampshire’s University Center for Excellence on Disability (UCED).

New York
Program activities include:

  • Implementing the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Center for Community Health Inclusion Policy, which requires all Center for Community Health programs to ensure accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities throughout all funding opportunities. The proposed activities to implement inclusive local and statewide public health programs must also include an evaluation of the effect and reach of the policy.
  • Educating and training NYSDOH program managers, primary program implementation staff, NYSDOH contractors and partners about the health disparities experienced by people with disabilities and providing strategies, resources, and potential partners that will enable the integration of people with disabilities in their program areas.
  • Supporting an advisory body comprising individuals with disabilities, other state agencies, community-based organizations, and providers to inform program activities, as well as representing multiple external agency advisory committees to direct consideration of health care and health promotion needs of people with disabilities.

The New York Disability and Health Program is housed in the New York State Department of Health.

North Carolina
Program activities include:

  • Supporting the collection, analysis, and dissemination of data on people with an intellectual or developmental disability, or both, to better assess the health status of North Carolina adults.
  • Promoting accessible environments to support full community participation and engaging people with disabilities by developing accessibility checklists for health care practices and by providing training on adaptive and inclusive fitness and how to remove barriers to fitness facilities.
  • Increasing access to domestic violence and sexual assault services for people with disabilities with the implementation of adaptive equipment and enhanced disability awareness among domestic violence and sexual assault agencies.

The North Carolina Disability and Health Program is housed in the North Carolina Office on Disability and Health, and is a collaboration between the Division of Public Health of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

North Dakota
Program activities include:

  • Forming a consumer-driven advisory council that reviews the progress of the program activities, reviews data related to the health of people with disabilities, assists with development of a strategic plan, and provides recommendations for addressing issues related to the health and wellness of North Dakota citizens with disabilities.
  • Reducing health disparities in the areas of obesity, diabetes, and tobacco use among people with disabilities.
  • Ensuring people have accurate information on disability and health issues and promoting communication, planning, and implementation of health- and disability-related services across service systems.

The North Dakota Disability and Health Program, named the Disability Health Project, is a collaboration between the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities at Minot State University; the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota; and the North Dakota State Health Department, Division of Chronic Disease, Office for the Elimination of Health Disparities.

Ohio
Program activities include:

  • Improving state-level surveillance and monitoring activities with epidemiologic expertise from the Government Resource Center (GRC).
  • Advancing health-related disability policy initiatives in Ohio.
  • Promoting the health of people with disabilities through demonstration projects and train-the-trainer sessions.
  • Improving access to health care for people with disabilities through our partnership with the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers.
  • Revising Ohio Emergency Management Plans and committees to be inclusive of people with disabilities, increasing the number of PWD who have emergency plans, training first responders on the needs of PWD, and improving the accessibility of emergency shelters.

The Ohio Disability and Health Program is composed of the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio State University Nisonger Center, the University of Cincinnati UCEDD, and the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center (GRC).

Oregon
Program activities include:

  • Conducting Healthy Lifestyles workshops for people with disabilities (in English and Spanish) to improve quality of life in partnership with the Centers for Independent Living and other disability organizations.
  • Implementing the Right to Know campaign and breast health education events, providing mammography technologist training, and assessing Oregon’s mammography clinics to improve breast cancer awareness and screening among women with disabilities.
  • Providing individualized emergency preparedness training for Oregonians with disabilities as well as working with key community and state partners to ensure that emergency preparedness planning and training efforts include topics relevant to the health and safety of people with disabilities.

The Oregon Disability and Health Program is housed in the Oregon Office on Disability and Health at Oregon Health and Science University.

Rhode Island
Program activities include:

  • Promoting the health and wellness for people with disabilities through inclusive self-management, evidence-based programs.
  • Monitoring, supporting and implementing effective healthcare transition from pediatric to adulthood within a positive youth development framework that promotes self-determination and an activated patient model.
  • Providing professional development for practitioners working with people with disabilities, including training, targeted technical assistance, and access to assistive technology.
  • Addressing special needs of people with disabilities in health promotion programs, health strategic planning, emergency preparedness, preventative health screening programs, and healthcare facility access.
  • Increasing access to quality of health-related data of people with disabilities in Rhode Island and using epidemiology and evaluation analysis to monitor the health disparities.

The Rhode Island Disability and Health Program is housed in the Office of Special Needs of the Health Disparities and Access to Care Team at the Rhode Island Department of Health.

South Carolina
Program activities include:

  • Increasing the knowledge of professionals and paraprofessionals in South Carolina to meet the preventive, primary, and secondary health needs of people with disabilities.
  • Conducting ongoing surveillance with Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and administrative datasets as secondary sources via the South Carolina Disability Cube Project.
  • Working to achieve more livable communities for people with disabilities by facilitating access to primary care physician offices, increasing access to fitness and recreation facilities, and working with community planning agencies to improve outdoor space using principals of universal design.

The South Carolina Disability and Health Program is housed in the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

Tomorrow is the New York Wounded Vet Run

New York Wounded Vet Run

State Disability and Health Programs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) state-based disability and health programs inform policy and practice at the state level. These programs ensure that individuals with disabilities are included in ongoing state disease prevention, health promotion, and emergency response activities.

CDC supports 18 state-based programs to promote equity in health, prevent chronic disease, and increase the quality of life for people with disabilities. Each program customizes its activities to meet its state’s needs, which broadens expertise and information sharing among states.

The programs’ goals are to:

  • Enhance program infrastructure and capacity.
  • Improve state level surveillance and monitoring activities.
  • Increase awareness of health-related disability policy initiatives.
  • Increase health promotion opportunities for people with disabilities.
  • Improve access to health care services for people with disabilities.
  • Improve emergency preparedness for people with disabilities.
  • Effectively monitor and evaluate program activities.

The goals of the state disability and health programs align with those of Healthy People 2020 related to disability:

  • Removing barriers to participation in social, spiritual, recreational, community and civic activities.
  • Improving access to primary care, and health and wellness programs.
  • Identifying people with disabilities in data systems.
  • Increasing surveillance and health promotion programs.
  • Providing graduate-level courses in disability and health.

States funded by CDC for Disability and Health Programs:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina


Alabama

Program activities include:

  • Promoting inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of policy development, planning, and execution of state based public health programs.
  • Using Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers to assist with capacity assessment of ability to meet the needs of those with disabilities and determine barriers to inclusiveness.
  • Increasing health promotion opportunities for persons with disabilities through adaptation of existing public health programs, such as Scale Back Alabama, and increasing the number of children with disabilities who participate in mainstream physical education and after-school programs.

 

Alaska
Program activities include:

  • Developing accurate and timely outreach for Alaskans experiencing disability and their care providers.
  • Building the capacity of a cross-agency disability advisory council that reviews and evaluates program activities, assists with sustainability plans, and provides recommendations for policy change.
  • Providing technical assistance, training, and other support for existing community-wide initiatives designed to improve the health of Alaskans experiencing disability.

The Alaska Disability and Health Program is a collaboration between the State of Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, Section of Women’s, Children’s, and Family Health and the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education, and is housed in the Division of Public Health.

 

Arkansas
Program activities include:

  • Enhancing program infrastructure and capacity through the expansion and support of an Advisory Board and increasing the representation of individuals with disabilities on public health program committees.
  • Improving state-level surveillance and monitoring by conducting a statewide needs assessment to look at the health status and access of people with disabilities, developing documents comparing demographics and health disparities of Arkansas and the U.S.
  • Increasing awareness of health-related disability policy initiatives through Disability Policy Summits; educating and supporting advocates on proposed policy initiatives and disseminating information to policy makers.
  • Increase health promotion opportunities for people with disabilities by supporting training that maximizes the health of people with disabilities and implementing health awareness and education campaigns.
  • Improving access to health care for people with disabilities by looking at the accessibility of healthcare facilities, and educating healthcare professionals through continued education, as well as internship placement for students in 11 different health related disciplines.
  • Improving emergency preparedness among people with disabilities by reviewing state emergency plans for accessibility, involving people with disabilities in county level planning, providing training, and ensuring shelter access by identifying and surveying pre-designated shelter sites.

The Arkansas Disability and Health Program is housed in the Partners for Inclusive Communities at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

 

Delaware
Program activities include:

  • Creating systems-level change through active participation on statewide councils, committees, and workgroups that are addressing health and disability issues and implementation of goals and objectives of the Plan for Action, A Strategic Plan for Delaware to Promote Health and Prevent Secondary Health Conditions in Individuals with Disabilities.
  • Providing technical assistance for health care, fitness, and recreation providers and facilities to improve accessibility and inclusion of individuals with disabilities in health examinations, exercise programs, and recreation activities.
  • Providing education, awareness raising, and resources sharing through the program’s interactive website www.gohdwd.org and email newsletters to individuals with disabilities, family members, professionals, policymakers, and legislators.

The Delaware Disability and Health Program, Healthy Delawareans with Disabilitiesis housed in the Center for Disabilities Studies at the University of Delaware.

Florida
Program activities include:

  • Promoting breast cancer awareness and encouraging recommended screening among women 40 years of age or older who have a disability (the Right to Know Campaign) with partners such as the Florida Centers for Independent Living and the Florida Area Health Education Centers.
  • Increasing the capacity of health care providers in Florida to provide quality health care to people with disabilities by training medical students, and medical and allied health professionals.
  • Increasing the quantity and quality of disability and health-related data in Florida and providing the epidemiologic capacity to analyze these data.

The Florida Disability and Health Program is housed in the Office of Disability and Health at the University of Florida.

Illinois
Program activities include:

  • Monitoring the health status and health-related behaviors of people with disabilities, and sustaining and expanding the statewide infrastructure to prevent secondary conditions and promote the health of people with disabilities in Illinois.
  • Increasing evidence-based health promotion and prevention opportunities and resources available for people with disabilities to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce the risk of chronic disease and secondary conditions.
  • Assisting health professionals to gain the knowledge and tools necessary to work effectively with people with a disability to increase the availability and accessibility of health promotion and prevention services, interventions, and resources.

The Illinois Disability and Health Program is housed in the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Iowa
Program activities include:

  • Developing a statewide network of community providers that offer the Living Well with a Disability intervention program.
  • Identifying evidence-based strategies to increase awareness and education opportunities for health professionals.
  • Promoting accessible health care and support services to increase independence among people with disabilities.

The Iowa Disability and Health Program is housed in the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Massachusetts
Program activities include:

  • Designing and implementing training and technical assistance for health care providers and public health programs on the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure inclusion of people with disabilities in state funded programs, services, and activities.
  • Providing the knowledge base needed to design programs related to healthy aging, health and disability, and secondary health conditions.
  • Working with state agencies and community partners to identify, implement, and evaluate evidence-based health promotion programs among older adults and people with disabilities (for example, the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program).

The Massachusetts Disability and Health Program is housed in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Michigan
Program activities include:

The Michigan Health Promotion for People with Disabilities Program is housed in the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Montana
Program activities include:

  • Recruiting, training, and supporting disability advisors to participate in Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services advisory groups and integrate disability and health into public health planning and evaluation processes.
  • Recruiting, training, and supporting state disability leaders to assess and improve the accessibility of community health and fitness programs.
  • Conducting Living Well with a Disability, an eight-week peer-facilitated, health promotion workshop with Montana’s four Centers for Independent Living.

The Montana Disability and Health Program is a collaboration between the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and the University of Montana Rural Institute, a Center for Excellence in Disability Education, Research, and Service.

New Hampshire
Program activities include:

  • Training students, self-advocates, families and professionals through coursework, seminars, workshops and conferences.
  • Providing technical assistance to organizations and individuals to improve their capacity to include all citizens.
  • Serving as a resource for information to policymakers and government officials.
  • Disseminating information to families, consumers, community members and professionals via books, monographs, articles, videos, newsletters, the Internet and press coverage, including TV, radio, newspapers and consumer forums.
  • Conducting applied research to better understand and address the needs of individuals with disabilities.
  • Engaging in collaborative activities and joint projects with organizations that share common goals.

The Institute on Disability (IOD) is housed within New Hampshire’s University Center for Excellence on Disability (UCED).

New York
Program activities include:

  • Implementing the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Center for Community Health Inclusion Policy, which requires all Center for Community Health programs to ensure accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities throughout all funding opportunities. The proposed activities to implement inclusive local and statewide public health programs must also include an evaluation of the effect and reach of the policy.
  • Educating and training NYSDOH program managers, primary program implementation staff, NYSDOH contractors and partners about the health disparities experienced by people with disabilities and providing strategies, resources, and potential partners that will enable the integration of people with disabilities in their program areas.
  • Supporting an advisory body comprising individuals with disabilities, other state agencies, community-based organizations, and providers to inform program activities, as well as representing multiple external agency advisory committees to direct consideration of health care and health promotion needs of people with disabilities.

The New York Disability and Health Program is housed in the New York State Department of Health.

North Carolina
Program activities include:

  • Supporting the collection, analysis, and dissemination of data on people with an intellectual or developmental disability, or both, to better assess the health status of North Carolina adults.
  • Promoting accessible environments to support full community participation and engaging people with disabilities by developing accessibility checklists for health care practices and by providing training on adaptive and inclusive fitness and how to remove barriers to fitness facilities.
  • Increasing access to domestic violence and sexual assault services for people with disabilities with the implementation of adaptive equipment and enhanced disability awareness among domestic violence and sexual assault agencies.

The North Carolina Disability and Health Program is housed in the North Carolina Office on Disability and Health, and is a collaboration between the Division of Public Health of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

North Dakota
Program activities include:

  • Forming a consumer-driven advisory council that reviews the progress of the program activities, reviews data related to the health of people with disabilities, assists with development of a strategic plan, and provides recommendations for addressing issues related to the health and wellness of North Dakota citizens with disabilities.
  • Reducing health disparities in the areas of obesity, diabetes, and tobacco use among people with disabilities.
  • Ensuring people have accurate information on disability and health issues and promoting communication, planning, and implementation of health- and disability-related services across service systems.

The North Dakota Disability and Health Program, named the Disability Health Project, is a collaboration between the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities at Minot State University; the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota; and the North Dakota State Health Department, Division of Chronic Disease, Office for the Elimination of Health Disparities.

Ohio
Program activities include:

  • Improving state-level surveillance and monitoring activities with epidemiologic expertise from the Government Resource Center (GRC).
  • Advancing health-related disability policy initiatives in Ohio.
  • Promoting the health of people with disabilities through demonstration projects and train-the-trainer sessions.
  • Improving access to health care for people with disabilities through our partnership with the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers.
  • Revising Ohio Emergency Management Plans and committees to be inclusive of people with disabilities, increasing the number of PWD who have emergency plans, training first responders on the needs of PWD, and improving the accessibility of emergency shelters.

The Ohio Disability and Health Program is composed of the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio State University Nisonger Center, the University of Cincinnati UCEDD, and the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center (GRC).

Oregon
Program activities include:

  • Conducting Healthy Lifestyles workshops for people with disabilities (in English and Spanish) to improve quality of life in partnership with the Centers for Independent Living and other disability organizations.
  • Implementing the Right to Know campaign and breast health education events, providing mammography technologist training, and assessing Oregon’s mammography clinics to improve breast cancer awareness and screening among women with disabilities.
  • Providing individualized emergency preparedness training for Oregonians with disabilities as well as working with key community and state partners to ensure that emergency preparedness planning and training efforts include topics relevant to the health and safety of people with disabilities.

The Oregon Disability and Health Program is housed in the Oregon Office on Disability and Health at Oregon Health and Science University.

Rhode Island
Program activities include:

  • Promoting the health and wellness for people with disabilities through inclusive self-management, evidence-based programs.
  • Monitoring, supporting and implementing effective healthcare transition from pediatric to adulthood within a positive youth development framework that promotes self-determination and an activated patient model.
  • Providing professional development for practitioners working with people with disabilities, including training, targeted technical assistance, and access to assistive technology.
  • Addressing special needs of people with disabilities in health promotion programs, health strategic planning, emergency preparedness, preventative health screening programs, and healthcare facility access.
  • Increasing access to quality of health-related data of people with disabilities in Rhode Island and using epidemiology and evaluation analysis to monitor the health disparities.

The Rhode Island Disability and Health Program is housed in the Office of Special Needs of the Health Disparities and Access to Care Team at the Rhode Island Department of Health.

South Carolina
Program activities include:

  • Increasing the knowledge of professionals and paraprofessionals in South Carolina to meet the preventive, primary, and secondary health needs of people with disabilities.
  • Conducting ongoing surveillance with Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and administrative datasets as secondary sources via the South Carolina Disability Cube Project.
  • Working to achieve more livable communities for people with disabilities by facilitating access to primary care physician offices, increasing access to fitness and recreation facilities, and working with community planning agencies to improve outdoor space using principals of universal design.

The South Carolina Disability and Health Program is housed in the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

New York Updates the Handicap Symbol

You see them in parking lots, bathrooms, license plates and public transportation. It’s easily recognizable, yet most don’t think about them too much. It’s the handicap symbol, and in New York it’s getting a fresh look after 45 years.

What started as an illegal art project in Rhode Island by Sara Hendren and Brian Glenney soon transformed into a movement for change recognized by the government. Their original idea was to liven up the “stiff, robotic” look into a more active and human looking symbol. The message is to get away from presenting the look as a disAbility, and rather show that it is still a person in the chair who is still moving forward.

Inspiration for Mobility
An attempt to change the symbol in 1994 was proposed but failed. However, it did succeed as the inspiration for the new design, which was built on a grass-root platform spreading awareness through the right routes to reach real change. The biggest adopter so far is the state of New York, which signed the change into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. In addition, NFL team Jacksonville Jaguars, the Boys and Girls Club in South Boston, and the Museum of Modern Art had all also updated their handicap logos to the new look.

The language of the symbol is also making a change. Using the word accessible now rather than handicap presents a more positive light on the symbol and thought process alike. The specific look of the logo now has the person leaning forward with arms back and wheel accented to appear spinning so that the overall appearance shows motion.

Handicap Symbol Represents Movement
No movement comes without concerns however, and the main issue presented with the Accessibility Icon Project is that it resembles an athlete and doesn’t represent the disabled as a whole. Though true from this perspective, the designer Sara Hendren pushes to move the focus away from a literal interpretation to its symbolism. The movement is not solely about a new look, but brings attention for us to take action and rethink disAbility in society.

Only time will tell if the project will gain national or even worldwide change. What is known though is that it starts conversations and gives people a new way to look at those different around them.

New York City Approves 30¢ Surcharge to Pay for Accessible Taxis

On Wednesday the de Blasio administration approved a 30-cent surcharge on all yellow and street-hail livery taxi rides as part of a plan to make half of New York’s yellow cabs wheelchair accessible by 2020.

The board of the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission unanimously approved the rule change to the cheers of several wheelchair users assembled at a hearing inside the commission’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan.

The new surcharge will take effect next year, with the added revenue financing the conversion of yellow cabs to wheelchair-accessible vehicles, which are typically more expensive, beginning in 2016. A lottery system will determine which medallion holders will convert their vehicles first.

Five cents of the surcharge will be set aside to help offset additional fuel costs for drivers and to provide training on how to assist disabled passengers.

Presiding over her first meeting as taxi commissioner, Meera Joshi, whom Mayor Bill de Blasio nominated in March, said that the issue of accessibility had “paralyzed the agency for years.”

“Today, we’ve moved beyond arguing over the mechanics of how,” she said as she cast her vote, “and are taking action toward the greater goal: equalizing access for our iconic taxi system.”

The new rule was the result of a class-action lawsuit that argued that the city was violating the Americans With Disabilities Act because only about 230 of New York’s more than 13,000 yellow cabs were accessible to wheelchair users. (Another 175 wheelchair-accessible cabs have since been added.)

Late last year, the departing Bloomberg administration said it had settled the suit, agreeing to make half the fleet accessible by 2020, but it was unclear how the plan would be paid for.

In March, the de Blasio administration announced the proposed surcharge.

The plan has its critics. Bhairavi Desai, the executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, said that while the group supported the introduction of more wheelchair-accessible cabs, the surcharge amounted to “a slush fund” for fleet operators.

“The meter is sacred for taxi drivers,” Ms. Desai said. “We believe it should be preserved for driver income and not for anything else.”

Some elected officials and industry groups have suggested the changes do not go far enough, calling for a fully wheelchair-accessible fleet for yellow taxis and improvements among for-hire vehicles.

Though the surcharge will also apply to green cabs, which operate in northern Manhattan and the other boroughs, it will not be used to make more livery cabs wheelchair accessible. As part of a separate plan, 20 percent of green taxis are required to be wheelchair accessible.

For many attendees at the hearing, though, Wednesday’s vote represented a hard-won victory.

One wheelchair user, Ronnie Ellen Raymond, testified that the conversion of half the fleet — about 7,500 yellow cabs, by the time the changes are complete — would “significantly change my life.”

“I’m no longer relegated to stay home or to spend hours, literally, trying to get somewhere that takes everybody else 20 minutes — always arriving late, anxious and angry,” she said, her voice cracking. “I want to have a life that is meaningful, affordable and achievable.”

State Disability and Health Programs

State Disability and Health Programs
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) state-based disability and health programs inform policy and practice at the state level. These programs ensure that individuals with disabilities are included in ongoing state disease prevention, health promotion, and emergency response activities.

CDC supports 18 state-based programs to promote equity in health, prevent chronic disease, and increase the quality of life for people with disabilities. Each program customizes its activities to meet its state’s needs, which broadens expertise and information sharing among states.

The programs’ goals are to:

  • Enhance program infrastructure and capacity.
  • Improve state level surveillance and monitoring activities.
  • Increase awareness of health-related disability policy initiatives.
  • Increase health promotion opportunities for people with disabilities.
  • Improve access to health care services for people with disabilities.
  • Improve emergency preparedness for people with disabilities.
  • Effectively monitor and evaluate program activities.

The goals of the state disability and health programs align with those of Healthy People 2020 related to disability:

  • Removing barriers to participation in social, spiritual, recreational, community and civic activities.
  • Improving access to primary care, and health and wellness programs.
  • Identifying people with disabilities in data systems.
  • Increasing surveillance and health promotion programs.
  • Providing graduate-level courses in disability and health.

States funded by CDC for Disability and Health Programs:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina


Alabama

Program activities include:

  • Promoting inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of policy development, planning, and execution of state based public health programs.
  • Using Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers to assist with capacity assessment of ability to meet the needs of those with disabilities and determine barriers to inclusiveness.
  • Increasing health promotion opportunities for persons with disabilities through adaptation of existing public health programs, such as Scale Back Alabama, and increasing the number of children with disabilities who participate in mainstream physical education and after-school programs.

 

Alaska
Program activities include:

  • Developing accurate and timely outreach for Alaskans experiencing disability and their care providers.
  • Building the capacity of a cross-agency disability advisory council that reviews and evaluates program activities, assists with sustainability plans, and provides recommendations for policy change.
  • Providing technical assistance, training, and other support for existing community-wide initiatives designed to improve the health of Alaskans experiencing disability.

The Alaska Disability and Health Program is a collaboration between the State of Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, Section of Women’s, Children’s, and Family Health and the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education, and is housed in the Division of Public Health.

 

Arkansas
Program activities include:

  • Enhancing program infrastructure and capacity through the expansion and support of an Advisory Board and increasing the representation of individuals with disabilities on public health program committees.
  • Improving state-level surveillance and monitoring by conducting a statewide needs assessment to look at the health status and access of people with disabilities, developing documents comparing demographics and health disparities of Arkansas and the U.S.
  • Increasing awareness of health-related disability policy initiatives through Disability Policy Summits; educating and supporting advocates on proposed policy initiatives and disseminating information to policy makers.
  • Increase health promotion opportunities for people with disabilities by supporting training that maximizes the health of people with disabilities and implementing health awareness and education campaigns.
  • Improving access to health care for people with disabilities by looking at the accessibility of healthcare facilities, and educating healthcare professionals through continued education, as well as internship placement for students in 11 different health related disciplines.
  • Improving emergency preparedness among people with disabilities by reviewing state emergency plans for accessibility, involving people with disabilities in county level planning, providing training, and ensuring shelter access by identifying and surveying pre-designated shelter sites.

The Arkansas Disability and Health Program is housed in the Partners for Inclusive Communities at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

 

Delaware
Program activities include:

  • Creating systems-level change through active participation on statewide councils, committees, and workgroups that are addressing health and disability issues and implementation of goals and objectives of the Plan for Action, A Strategic Plan for Delaware to Promote Health and Prevent Secondary Health Conditions in Individuals with Disabilities.
  • Providing technical assistance for health care, fitness, and recreation providers and facilities to improve accessibility and inclusion of individuals with disabilities in health examinations, exercise programs, and recreation activities.
  • Providing education, awareness raising, and resources sharing through the program’s interactive website www.gohdwd.org and email newsletters to individuals with disabilities, family members, professionals, policymakers, and legislators.

The Delaware Disability and Health Program, Healthy Delawareans with Disabilitiesis housed in the Center for Disabilities Studies at the University of Delaware.

Florida
Program activities include:

  • Promoting breast cancer awareness and encouraging recommended screening among women 40 years of age or older who have a disability (the Right to Know Campaign) with partners such as the Florida Centers for Independent Living and the Florida Area Health Education Centers.
  • Increasing the capacity of health care providers in Florida to provide quality health care to people with disabilities by training medical students, and medical and allied health professionals.
  • Increasing the quantity and quality of disability and health-related data in Florida and providing the epidemiologic capacity to analyze these data.

The Florida Disability and Health Program is housed in the Office of Disability and Health at the University of Florida.

Illinois
Program activities include:

  • Monitoring the health status and health-related behaviors of people with disabilities, and sustaining and expanding the statewide infrastructure to prevent secondary conditions and promote the health of people with disabilities in Illinois.
  • Increasing evidence-based health promotion and prevention opportunities and resources available for people with disabilities to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce the risk of chronic disease and secondary conditions.
  • Assisting health professionals to gain the knowledge and tools necessary to work effectively with people with a disability to increase the availability and accessibility of health promotion and prevention services, interventions, and resources.

The Illinois Disability and Health Program is housed in the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Iowa
Program activities include:

  • Developing a statewide network of community providers that offer the Living Well with a Disability intervention program.
  • Identifying evidence-based strategies to increase awareness and education opportunities for health professionals.
  • Promoting accessible health care and support services to increase independence among people with disabilities.

The Iowa Disability and Health Program is housed in the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Massachusetts
Program activities include:

  • Designing and implementing training and technical assistance for health care providers and public health programs on the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure inclusion of people with disabilities in state funded programs, services, and activities.
  • Providing the knowledge base needed to design programs related to healthy aging, health and disability, and secondary health conditions.
  • Working with state agencies and community partners to identify, implement, and evaluate evidence-based health promotion programs among older adults and people with disabilities (for example, the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program).

The Massachusetts Disability and Health Program is housed in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Michigan
Program activities include:

The Michigan Health Promotion for People with Disabilities Program is housed in the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Montana
Program activities include:

  • Recruiting, training, and supporting disability advisors to participate in Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services advisory groups and integrate disability and health into public health planning and evaluation processes.
  • Recruiting, training, and supporting state disability leaders to assess and improve the accessibility of community health and fitness programs.
  • Conducting Living Well with a Disability, an eight-week peer-facilitated, health promotion workshop with Montana’s four Centers for Independent Living.

The Montana Disability and Health Program is a collaboration between the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and the University of Montana Rural Institute, a Center for Excellence in Disability Education, Research, and Service.

New Hampshire
Program activities include:

  • Training students, self-advocates, families and professionals through coursework, seminars, workshops and conferences.
  • Providing technical assistance to organizations and individuals to improve their capacity to include all citizens.
  • Serving as a resource for information to policymakers and government officials.
  • Disseminating information to families, consumers, community members and professionals via books, monographs, articles, videos, newsletters, the Internet and press coverage, including TV, radio, newspapers and consumer forums.
  • Conducting applied research to better understand and address the needs of individuals with disabilities.
  • Engaging in collaborative activities and joint projects with organizations that share common goals.

The Institute on Disability (IOD) is housed within New Hampshire’s University Center for Excellence on Disability (UCED).

New York
Program activities include:

  • Implementing the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Center for Community Health Inclusion Policy, which requires all Center for Community Health programs to ensure accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities throughout all funding opportunities. The proposed activities to implement inclusive local and statewide public health programs must also include an evaluation of the effect and reach of the policy.
  • Educating and training NYSDOH program managers, primary program implementation staff, NYSDOH contractors and partners about the health disparities experienced by people with disabilities and providing strategies, resources, and potential partners that will enable the integration of people with disabilities in their program areas.
  • Supporting an advisory body comprising individuals with disabilities, other state agencies, community-based organizations, and providers to inform program activities, as well as representing multiple external agency advisory committees to direct consideration of health care and health promotion needs of people with disabilities.

The New York Disability and Health Program is housed in the New York State Department of Health.

North Carolina
Program activities include:

  • Supporting the collection, analysis, and dissemination of data on people with an intellectual or developmental disability, or both, to better assess the health status of North Carolina adults.
  • Promoting accessible environments to support full community participation and engaging people with disabilities by developing accessibility checklists for health care practices and by providing training on adaptive and inclusive fitness and how to remove barriers to fitness facilities.
  • Increasing access to domestic violence and sexual assault services for people with disabilities with the implementation of adaptive equipment and enhanced disability awareness among domestic violence and sexual assault agencies.

The North Carolina Disability and Health Program is housed in the North Carolina Office on Disability and Health, and is a collaboration between the Division of Public Health of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

North Dakota
Program activities include:

  • Forming a consumer-driven advisory council that reviews the progress of the program activities, reviews data related to the health of people with disabilities, assists with development of a strategic plan, and provides recommendations for addressing issues related to the health and wellness of North Dakota citizens with disabilities.
  • Reducing health disparities in the areas of obesity, diabetes, and tobacco use among people with disabilities.
  • Ensuring people have accurate information on disability and health issues and promoting communication, planning, and implementation of health- and disability-related services across service systems.

The North Dakota Disability and Health Program, named the Disability Health Project, is a collaboration between the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities at Minot State University; the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota; and the North Dakota State Health Department, Division of Chronic Disease, Office for the Elimination of Health Disparities.

Ohio
Program activities include:

  • Improving state-level surveillance and monitoring activities with epidemiologic expertise from the Government Resource Center (GRC).
  • Advancing health-related disability policy initiatives in Ohio.
  • Promoting the health of people with disabilities through demonstration projects and train-the-trainer sessions.
  • Improving access to health care for people with disabilities through our partnership with the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers.
  • Revising Ohio Emergency Management Plans and committees to be inclusive of people with disabilities, increasing the number of PWD who have emergency plans, training first responders on the needs of PWD, and improving the accessibility of emergency shelters.

The Ohio Disability and Health Program is composed of the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio State University Nisonger Center, the University of Cincinnati UCEDD, and the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center (GRC).

Oregon
Program activities include:

  • Conducting Healthy Lifestyles workshops for people with disabilities (in English and Spanish) to improve quality of life in partnership with the Centers for Independent Living and other disability organizations.
  • Implementing the Right to Know campaign and breast health education events, providing mammography technologist training, and assessing Oregon’s mammography clinics to improve breast cancer awareness and screening among women with disabilities.
  • Providing individualized emergency preparedness training for Oregonians with disabilities as well as working with key community and state partners to ensure that emergency preparedness planning and training efforts include topics relevant to the health and safety of people with disabilities.

The Oregon Disability and Health Program is housed in the Oregon Office on Disability and Health at Oregon Health and Science University.

Rhode Island
Program activities include:

  • Promoting the health and wellness for people with disabilities through inclusive self-management, evidence-based programs.
  • Monitoring, supporting and implementing effective healthcare transition from pediatric to adulthood within a positive youth development framework that promotes self-determination and an activated patient model.
  • Providing professional development for practitioners working with people with disabilities, including training, targeted technical assistance, and access to assistive technology.
  • Addressing special needs of people with disabilities in health promotion programs, health strategic planning, emergency preparedness, preventative health screening programs, and healthcare facility access.
  • Increasing access to quality of health-related data of people with disabilities in Rhode Island and using epidemiology and evaluation analysis to monitor the health disparities.

The Rhode Island Disability and Health Program is housed in the Office of Special Needs of the Health Disparities and Access to Care Team at the Rhode Island Department of Health.

South Carolina
Program activities include:

  • Increasing the knowledge of professionals and paraprofessionals in South Carolina to meet the preventive, primary, and secondary health needs of people with disabilities.
  • Conducting ongoing surveillance with Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and administrative datasets as secondary sources via the South Carolina Disability Cube Project.
  • Working to achieve more livable communities for people with disabilities by facilitating access to primary care physician offices, increasing access to fitness and recreation facilities, and working with community planning agencies to improve outdoor space using principals of universal design.

The South Carolina Disability and Health Program is housed in the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

Ranking Names Best States For Disability Services

An annual ranking of states offering the best services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities reveals a familiar but evolving landscape.

The analysis of disability services in all 50 states and the District of Columbia being released Thursday by United Cerebral Palsy finds top performers spanning the map. In previous years, the best services were largely clustered in the Northeast and West.

Arizona claimed the number one slot in the ranking for the third year in a row. Also rounding out the 10 best on this year’s list are Michigan, Hawaii, Georgia, New York, South Carolina, Maine, Massachusetts, Ohio and Missouri.

The analysis factors each state’s approach to promoting independence and productivity, ensuring quality and safety, keeping families together and reaching people in need.

Nationally, almost 317,000 people remain on waiting lists for home and community-based services, according to the report, which is largely based on data from 2012, the most recent year available.

Some 38 states serve at least 80 percent of people with developmental disabilities in the community. Meanwhile, just 10 states have one-third or more of their residents with developmental disabilities working in competitive employment, the report found.

As in past years, top-tier services were found in both big and small states, those with rich and poor demographics, jurisdictions with high and low taxes as well as those with varying levels of per-person spending on disability services.

The report flags Arkansas, Illinois, Texas and Mississippi — which ranked last for the eighth year in a row — for repeatedly coming in at or near the bottom of the list.

Grants and Funds Available for People with Disabilities:
 Listed by State



Alabama

  • People with developmental disabilities and their families may apply for Short-Term Assistance & Referral Programs (STAR) to address short-term needs, maximum of $2,500 per recipient. Used for: environmental modifications, adaptive equipment; services such as behavioral training, personal care, medical appointments. It also offers an alternative loan program. Contact: Helen Baker, 334-293-7012.

Alaska

  • The state of Alaska provides Developmental Disabilities (DD) Mini-Grants, maximum of $2,500/year for beneficiaries with disabilities with funding from the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (AMHTA). Used for: unmet medical, dental, hearing, therapeutic equipment and services; home improvement needs. Contact: Amy Westfall, amyw@stonesoupgroup.org.
  • People with developmental disabilities and their families may apply for Short-Term Assistance & Referral Programs (STAR) to address short-term needs, maximum of $2,500 per recipient. Used for: environmental modifications, adaptive equipment; services such as behavioral training, personal care, medical appointments. It also offers an alternative loan program. Contact: Laurie Cooper, 907-465-3135,laurie.cooper@alaska.gov.
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society – Alaska may provide funding for those living in Alaska. Contact: 907-562-7347.
  • Paralyzed Veterans Association (PVA) provides support to paralyzed veterans. Contact: Northwest Chapter of PVA, 800-336-9782.

Arizona

  • Arizona Loan$ for Assistive Technology (AzLAT) provides two financial loan programs for those with physical disabilities, AzLAT and S.E.E.D. Loan$ to support self-employed entrepreneurs with disabilities. Loans range from $500 to $10,000 Contact: Pamela Alcala, 602-776-4670, pamela.alcala@nau.edu.
  • The Arizona Technology Access  Program (AzTAP) provides a network for people with disabilities to find adapted equipment or assistive technology (AT) in the hands of someone who can benefit it. These are listed by individuals; some items are listed as free, others do have an associated cost.

Arkansas

  • Independent Choices focuses on helping adults with physical disabilities receive direct care in the home. They may provide funding support. Contact: 800-682-0044.

California

  • Access for Athletes – Challenged Athletes Foundation offers grants for athletes with physical disabilities. Grants are awarded to purchase equipment including sports wheelchairs, handcycles, mono skis and sports prosthetics. Contact: JulieAnne White, 858-210-3506, julieanne@challengedathletes.org.

Colorado

  • University of Colorado Denver services the AT Funding $ources website, which helps those with physical disabilities in Colorado find state and county funding opportunities. Searchable by age, disability, county and area of need. Contact: 800-255-3477, at@at-partners.org.


Connecticut


Delaware

  • The Adam Taliaferro Foundation provides financial support to student-athletes who are injured in sanctioned team events. Contact: ostrumg@yahoo.com.
  • The Specialized Services Fund (SSF) from DSAAPD provides funding to help those with physical disabilities with the costs of transportation, home modification and AT devices. Maximum lifetime funds: $10,000. Contact: New Castle County, 302-453-3820; Kent & Sussex Counties, 302-424-7310.

District of Columbia

  • Assistive Technology Program offers various resources to help people with physical disabilities find technology to improve their quality of life. It includes funding opportunities as well as resources to find the right solutions. Contact: 202-547-0918.

Florida

  • The Millennium Angel Foundation provides grants to those who have a physical disability because of an accident. Contact: 800-573-8853, angelfoundation@msettlements.com.

Georgia

  • Tools for Life offers a variety of services to ensure those with physical disabilities have access to technology in their lives. Programs include demonstrations, funding opportunities, reuse program, evaluations and assessments. Contact: 404-638-0390, info@gatfl.org.

Hawaii

  • Assistive Technology Resource of Hawaii offers various resources to help people with physical disabilities find technology to improve their quality of life. It includes funding opportunities as well as resources to find the right solutions. Contact: 808-532-7110.

Idaho

  • Idaho Assistive Technology Project provides assistive technology resources for those with physical disabilities in Idaho. Resources include financing, exchange program and training. Contact: 208-885-6097,sueh@uidaho.edu.
  • The University of Idaho offers Operation Education for military veterans who have been disabled in service. It offers scholarships and funding opportunities for college. Contact: 208-885-9026,operationeducation@uidaho.edu.
  • The Arlen B. Crouch Foundation may offer funding for those with physical disabilities. Contact: 208-324-3117.


Illinois

  • The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation offers the Brighter Tomorrow Grant to provide goods/services to improve quality of life of those with disabilities. Max award of $1,000. Contact: 1-888-MSFOCUS.
  • Illinois’ Cystic Fibrosis Foundation offers a scholarship for young adults with disabilities that wish to further their education after high school. Contact: 847-328-0127, mkbcfsf@aol.com.

Indiana

  • Indiana Assistive Technology Act provides alternate funding options for assistive technology equipment and services. In addition, the office provides device training and loans. Contact: 888-466-1314.

Iowa

  • In partnership with the University of Iowa, the Iowa Program for Assistive Technology offers funding, training and other programs to help those with physical disabilities obtain assistive technology equipment and services. Contact: 319-356-4463.

Kansas

  • The Kansas Assistive Technology Cooperative (KATCO) is an organization run by consumers that coordinates and provides finances for the purchase of assistive technology services and equipment to help people with disabilities gain economic and functional independence. Contact: 866-465-2826.
  • Assistive Technology for Kansans provides financing options for assistive technology equipment. It also offers device training and “try out” programs. Contact: 800-KAN-DOIT.

Kentucky

Louisiana

  • The Louisiana Assistive Technology Network provides loans, funding opportunities, training and other programs to provide assistive technology equipment and services to those with physical disabilities. Contact: 225-925-9500.


Maine

  • Multiple Sclerosis Society – Maine Chapter provides funding for software, tools and durable medical equipment. Contact: 800-344-4867, info@msmaine.org.
  • Keep Seniors Home provides funding to help seniors with mobility issues as they age. Funding is available for home modifications and renovations. Contact: 207-645-3764.


Maryland


Massachusetts

  • Travis Roy Foundation offers individual grants to help those with spinal cord injuries. The funds can be used to upgrade and maintain equipment, including vehicles. Contact: 617-619-8257.
  • MassMatch provides funding opportunities for assistive technology. It also offers programs including device training and equipment loans. Contact: 617-204-3851.


Michigan

  • The Michigan Assistive Technology Program provides training, funding opportunities and other programs to help those with physical disabilities obtain assistive technology equipment and services. Contact: 517-333-2477.

Minnesota

  • The STAR Program offers funding resources for those with physical disabilities to obtain assistive technology equipment and services. Contact: 651-201-2640.

Mississippi

  • The Mississippi Assistive Technology Division provides training, funding opportunities and other programs to help those with physical disabilities obtain assistive technology equipment and services. Contact: 800-443-1000.

Missouri

  • Missouri Assistive Technology provides funding opportunities, device loans and training programs for those with physical disabilities. Contact: 816-655-6700, moat1501@att.net.

Montana

  • MonTech provides funding opportunities, device loans and training programs for those with physical disabilities. Contact: 406-243-5751, montech@ruralinstitute.umt.edu.

Nebraska

  • Assistive Technology Partnership provides funding opportunities, device loans and training programs for those with physical disabilities. Contact: 888-806-6287.

Nevada

  • The Assistive Technology for Independent Living provides funding and resources for assistive technology equipment and services for those with physical disabilities. The organization offers other programs, including training. Contact: Northern Nevada, 775-353-3599; Southern Nevada, 702-333-1038.

New Hampshire

  • Assistive Technology in New Hampshire offers funding opportunities for those with physical disabilities. Funding can be used for assistive technology equipment, services, etc. It also offers training and other programs. Contact: 603-862-4320.

New Jersey

  • The Adam Taliaferro Foundation provides financial support to student-athletes who are injured in sanctioned team events. Contact: ostrumg@yahoo.com.
  • The Assistive Technology Center provides funding resources for those with physical disabilities who wish to obtain assistive technology equipment or services. Contact: 888-322-1918.

New Mexico

  • New Mexico Technology Assistance Program offers loans, donation programs, training and other resources to help those with physical disabilities. The program focuses on helping those with disabilities obtain the assistive technology they need. Contact: 505-425-3690.

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

  • Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center offers resources so people with disabilities are able to obtain assistive technology. The agency offers programs including funding and training. Contact: 405-271-3625.

Oregon

  • Assistive Technology offers resources so people with disabilities are able to obtain assistive technology. The agency offers programs including funding and training. Contact: 541-440-4791.
  • Incight Education offers a scholarship for those with disabilities. The scholarship is used for those who are full-time students at a trade school, college or university. Contact: 971-244-0305.
  • The Blanche Fischer Foundation provides grants to those with physical disabilities residing in the state of Oregon. To be considered, residents must show a financial need for funding relating directly to the disability. Grants can be used to pay for disability equipment, access ramps and transportation to related conferences. Â Contact: 503-819-8205.
  • Mobility Unlimited helps those with physical disabilities obtain mobility equipment so they are able to live independently as well as maintain employment. Contact: 877-516-0605.

Pennsylvania

  • The Adam Taliaferro Foundation provides financial support to student-athletes who are injured in sanctioned team events. Contact: ostrumg@yahoo.com.
  • Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation offers resources so people with disabilities are able to obtain assistive technology. The agency offers programs including funding and training. Contact: 484-674-0506.

Rhode Island

  • Assistive Technology Access Partnership offers resources so people with disabilities are able to obtain assistive technology. The agency offers programs including funding and training. Contact:requests@ors.ri.gov.

South Carolina

South Dakota

  • DakotaLink offers resources so people with disabilities are able to obtain assistive technology. The agency offers programs including funding and training. Contact: 803-645-0673.

Tennessee

Texas

  • Texas Assistive Technology Network offers resources so people with disabilities are able to obtain assistive technology. The agency offers programs including funding and training. Contact: 713-744-6559.

Utah

  • Utah Assistive Technology Program offers resources so people with disabilities are able to obtain assistive technology. The agency offers programs including funding and training. Contact: 435-797-9032.

Vermont

Virginia

  • Virginia Assistive Technology System offers resources so people with disabilities are able to obtain assistive technology. The agency offers programs including funding and training. Contact: 804-662-9990.

Washington

West Virginia

  • West Virginia Assistive Technology System offers resources so people with disabilities are able to obtain assistive technology. The agency offers programs including funding and training. Contact: 304-293-4692.

Wisconsin

Wyoming

  • Daniel’s Fund offers scholarships to help individuals with disabilities fund college. Scholarship amounts vary. Contact: 307-673-1987.
  • WIND Assistive Technology Resources offers resources so people with disabilities are able to obtain assistive technology. The agency offers programs including funding and training. Contact: 888-989-9463.

New York Mobility Rebate Resources

New York Disability Grants and Funds for Wheelchair Vans

Financial Aid Resources for Handicap Vans for New York (NY) Residents
New York disability grants are readily available to residents from various sources. Many are applicable to buying or leasing new or used wheelchair vans, or to handicap van conversions. The latter includes lowered flooring, access ramps, different styles of wheelchair or scooter lifts, turning automotive seating systems, adaptive driving hand controls and other equipment and modifications.

If you need help affording your handicapped-friendly ride, the following New York-based groups are the place to start. Contact any and all that sound relevant to your circumstances. You’ll find that many allow you to apply for financial aid; the others are willing and able to direct you toward sources of disability grants for which you or a family member may be eligible.

Also, contact state branches of nationwide organizations and foundations devoted to your specific cause of limited mobility. These are excellent sources of funding assistance and useful information.

Sources for New York Disability Grants and Assistance

Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR)
ACCESS-VR is a primary resource for disabled New York State residents seeking or trying to hold down a job. It offers an array of services and support to help you get back to work. If this means you need a wheelchair van, a disability grant may be available to you through this agency.
One Commerce Plaza, Room 1609
Albany, New York 12234
(800) 222-5627
accesadm@mail.nysed.gov

Center for Assistive Technology (CAT)
CAT is run by the University of Buffalo’s School of Public Health and Health Professionals. It strives to educate people about assistive technologies and to increase access among those who need it. The Center does not directly provide disability grants or other funding, but its variety of services and resources make it a go-to reference for information about help affording a handicap van.
100 Sylvan Parkway, Suite 400
Amherst, NY 14228
(716) 204-8606 ext. 200

New York Aging and Disabilities Resource Centers (ARDCs)
ADRCs are some of the best sources for information and assistance available to persons with disabilities and senior citizens. Offices are all around the state, serving residents in their immediate vicinity.

New York State Association of Area Agencies on Aging (NYSAAAA)
NYSAAAA upholds the independence and dignity of New York’s elderly. It coordinates for dozens of offices all around the state. Your local branch can assist you with securing the handicapped-accessible vehicle you or an aging loved one needs.

New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC)
The New York DDPC works to further the self-determination and full participation of state residents with a developmental disability. To this end, they assist such people and their families with acquiring the information, services, technologies and other support they require. You may qualify for a disability grant from the council.
99 Washington Avenue, 12th Floor, Suite 1230
Albany, New York 12210
(518) 486-7505 or (800) 395-3372
ddpc@ddpc.ny.gov

New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs (VA)
The VA in New York is dedicated to providing prompt, comprehensive support to in-state US veterans and their families. For veterans who became disabled while on active military duty or while receiving VA services, or for those whose existing disabilities were aggravated under these circumstances, disability grants are available.
5 Empire State Plaza, 17th Floor
Albany, NY 12223-1551
(888) 838-7697
DVAInfo@veterans.ny.gov

New York State Independent Living Council (NYSILC)
NYSILC is a nonprofit, non-governmental group formed under federal mandate. The majority-disabled council is appointed by the Governor to further the cause of independent living among New York’s disabled population. The body supports statewide Independent Living Centers, and may be able to direct you toward financial aid for your mobility needs.
111 Washington Avenue, Suite 101
Albany, NY 12210
(518) 427-1060 or (877) 397-4126

 

Northeast Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center
Among the National Network of ADA Centers, the Northeast branch serves persons with disabilities residing in New York state. It is one of the single best resources for information and assistance. Get in touch to learn about many disability grants for which you may qualify that can be put toward your wheelchair van, accessibility equipment or other modifications.
Employment and Disability Institute
Cornell University
ILR School
201 Dolgen Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-6686 or (800) 949-4232
northeastada@cornell.edu

Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), New York State
The State of New York’s OTDA provides financial assistance and a variety of other services to people with disabilities. It is also a good place to check in with to find other sources of funding if you’re trying to buy or lease a wheelchair van or to have accessibility conversions installed.
40 North Pearl Street
Albany, NY 12243
(518) 473-1090
nyspio@otda.ny.gov

Rehabilitation Services

Office of Rehabilitation Services
The Office of Rehabilitation Services helps people with disabilities become employed and live independently in the community. They provide a variety of programs and services to empower individuals with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and maintain employment and economic self-sufficiency.

Vocational Rehabilitation
The focus of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program is to help people with disabilities prepare for, obtain and maintain employment. Individuals who apply for this program are interested in becoming employed. If a person receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and they are interested in working, they are assumed to be eligible for this program.

Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired
The Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired offers a variety of training and adjustment services for individuals who are blind or who have significant visual impairments. The goal is to help them become independent, active, and self-sufficient members of their community. Services are available for children and adults.

Disability Determination Services
The Disability Determination Services unit determines the eligibility for children and adults with disabilities who are applying for cash benefits from the federal Social Security Administration’s programs – Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Assistive Technology Access Partnership
The Office of Rehabilitation Services administers the Assistive Technology Access Partnership which can help individuals with disabilities get assistive technology devices and services.

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New York Disability Grants Handicap Funding NY
Funding handicap needs, like wheelchair vans for people with disabilities, is possible through grants, financing loans, and other funds. Find a handicap van for sale then browse the largest resource for New York disability grants for the disabled to help pay for new wheelchair vans or handicap accessible van conversions.

Disability Grants in New York (NY)
The handicap funding organization(s) provided may or may not allocate financing for handicap vans. Refer to your local New York grants providers and foundations for complete details.

Equipment Loan Fund for the Disabled
The New York State Office of Children and Family Services provides assistance and loans to help in the purchase of wheelchair vans.

How to Apply for New York Grants or Mobility Funding
New York residents seeking disability grants or other mobility finance assistance should contact the grant provider(s) listed above. We will work with any mobility financing services or other sources of funding to help you purchase a handicap van. Contribute to the largest list of New York mobility grant resources by telling us your favorite programs.