Improving Health of People with Disabilities

A woman with a disability working in the garden

Improving Health of People with Disabilities

CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) works to ensure that people with disabilities have the same opportunities for good health as people without disabilities.

Disabilities may include difficulty with movement, attention, social interaction, hearing, seeing, concentrating, remembering, emotions, or making decisions. Many people will experience a disability during their lifetimes but having a disability does not mean that a person is not healthy or cannot be healthy. People with disabilities need healthcare services and programs that provide information for optimal health for the same reasons everyone else does—to stay well, active, and part of their communities. CDC works to ensure that people of all abilities can live their lives to the fullest.


A young happy couple with disabilities

Looking to the Future

NCBDDD is dedicated to promoting inclusive communities, programs, and policies that provide opportunities for people with disabilities and their families to live full, healthy lives. NCBDDD plans to continue to provide guidance to stakeholders to help public health programs become fully accessible and inclusive by offering effective tools and resources to improve the accessibility of program materials focused in particular on healthy living (such as physical activity and  nutrition) and COVID-19 guidance.

By turning existing disability data and information into action, NCBDDD can help ensure that everyone has the same opportunities to participate in every aspect of life to the best of their abilities and desires. Continuing to strengthen NCBDDD’s surveillance systems will help address gaps in knowledge through each stage of life, such as the often-difficult transition of health care for adolescents with disabilities into adulthood. NCBDDD will continue to promote the healthy development and inclusion of people with disabilities across their lifespans.

Notable Scientific Publications