Kansas Disability and Health Program

The Kansas Disability and Health Program logo shows an orange silhouette of a person with outstretched arms. Above the figure's head are three blue stars on a yellow curve. Kansans with disabilities can be healthy!

The IHDPS has been funded to help improve the health of individuals with disabilities by increasing access to programs and removing barriers to services designed to promote healthy living. (Download the program description in PDF.)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded the Kansas Disability and Health Program (DHP) for 2016-21 to improve the health and quality of life among people with mobility limitations and intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD). We will do so by adapting and implementing programs that we know are effective.

The program focuses on people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) and people with mobility limitations, but our mission is to improve the health of all Kansans with disabilities. The progam will improve consumers’ access to and knowledge about three important health areas:

  • Physical Activity
  • Oral Health
  • Nutrition

Meeting a Need

People with disabilities need public health programs and health care services for the same reasons everyone does – to be healthy, active, and part of their community. Nationally, about 20% of the population has some kind of disability, which often makes it difficult to live a healthy lifestyle.

That trend holds in Kansas. Research shows that for Kansans with disabilities:

  • More than 80% do not consume the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
  • Nearly 75% are overweight or obese.
  • They are nearly five times more likely to report having had a heart attack and three times more likely to report having diabetes compared to their non-disabled peers.
  • Only 12.8% meet physical activity guidelines.
  • Only 54.3% visited the dentist in the past year.

Given these statistics, it is very clear that Kansans with disabilities need opportunities and support to improve their health. The Kansas DHP will address two related problems:

  • Lack of inclusion and accessibility in public health programs for people with disabilities.
  • Significant health disparities (poorer health) for people with disabilities.

Working with Partners Across the State

The DHP will work with a network of partners to:

1) improve physical activity access, opportunities and supports;

2) improve knowledge of oral health and oral health system capacity; and

3) improve knowledge of and access to good nutrition.

A Consumer Advisory Board will share their ideas and help identify programs that make it easier to practice a healthy lifestyle.

The Kansas program is led by Jean Hall, PhD, director of the University of Kansas Institute for Health and Disability Policy Studies. Other KU partners represent the Research and Training Center on Independent Living and the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities. They will collaborate with other partners from community-based organizations as well as units within the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to deliver evidence-based programs.

For more information, contact:
Kim Bruns
DHP Program Coordinator
kbruns@ku.edu
785-864-0704
The University of Kansas
Institute for Health and Disability Policy Studies
1000 Sunnyside Rd.
3099 Dole Center
Lawrence, KS 66045

Web: ihdps.ku.edu/dandhkansas


This website was supported by Grant/Cooperative Agreement Number DD000006 from CDC, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Disability and Health Branch. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC, NCBDDD, Disability and Health Branch.


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