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National Disability Awareness Month --- October 2007

October is National Disability Awareness Month in the United States. To mark this event, CDC is highlighting activities and interventions that have improved the health of persons with disabilities and reduced health-care costs (1,2). One such intervention is health promotion, which can increase community awareness of the needs of persons with disabilities (3,4).

CDC provides funding to 16 states for health-promotion programs for persons with disabilities. These 16 states use multiple strategies, including 1) creating a state disability advisory board to assist with strategic planning, development, and implementation of policies that address barriers to accessing health-promotion programs and primary preventive-care services; 2) implementing interventions to promote healthy behaviors among persons with disabilities; and 3) partnering with community-based disability organizations (e.g., independent living centers). Additional information regarding state disability and health programs is available at


  1. Ravesloot C, Seekins T, White G. Living well with a disability health promotion intervention: improved health status for consumers and lower costs for health care policymakers. Rehabil Psychol 2005;50:239--45.
  2. Mann J, Zhou H, McDermott S, Poston MB. Healthy behavior change of adults with mental retardation: attendance in a health promotion program. Am J Ment Retard 2006;111:62--73.
  3. Rimmer JH, Braddock D. Health promotion for people with physical, cognitive and sensory disabilities: an emerging national priority. Am J Health Promot 2002;16:220--4.
  4. Lollar DJ. Public health and disability: emerging opportunities. Public Health Rep 1999;117:131--6.

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Date last reviewed: 10/3/2007


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