What Is A Healthy Community?

Mar 10, 2011
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The term Healthy Community is something that is being talked about a lot lately.  There are many initiatives among public health agencies that are working towards building healthy communities.  These initiatives focus on ways of improving physical activity and healthy eating through new programs and new infrastructure with the hopes of reducing obesity. 

It is not clear that these initiatives are addressing the needs of people with disabilities, or even asking what a healthy community means for those with disabilities.  What infrastructure is needed to support the use of fitness centers, parks, and public transit among individuals with disabilities?  To ensure the fullest inclusion of all people, in every aspect of the community, The Center on Health Promotion Research for People with Disabilities is developing a much-needed measurement tool to assess how well a community supports healthy, active living for people with disabilities.  This will not only include the physical infrastructure but the social infrastructure as well, which is so important to inclusion.  Once completed, this measurement tool will be available for public use to help community leaders and citizens determine ways to improve all aspects of their communities to make them more accessible and inclusive to residents with disabilities. Findings can be used to formalize an action plan with specific recommendations for promoting inclusion into targeted communities.

What do you think a Healthy Community is for people with disabilities?

We want to know what you think are the key elements of a healthy community that support healthy, active living for people with disabilities. Accessible Transportation? Sidewalks? Trained Fitness Professionals? Why do you think these elements are important? Do you have any success/failure stories about the elements of a healthy community that you can share? We will use these suggestions to begin our process of identifying the critical factors that are needed to create a healthy, inclusive community. It will be very helpful if you let us know some background information about yourself when you are responding – such as: name, disability if applicable, age, state, and organizational affiliation.

Feel free to send ideas to Yochai Eisenberg: yeisen2@uic.edu

Author: Yochai Eisenberg

  • habib

    Thanks for saying so, i need some time to think about this. I have just got interested in blogging and hopefully i am able to do so