Inclusive Health Coalitions

Inclusive, sustainable planning in all manner of health policy, program, system and environment (PPSE) endeavors is necessary to meet the needs of all individuals. Often, inclusive measures are absent or lacking in this area, causing them to fail to meet the needs of people with disabilities, who represent the largest minority group in the country. That number is only continuing to grow as the population ages. This article outlines ways in which to ensure all levels of health PPSE endeavors are both inclusive and sustainable.
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NCHPAD’s initial IHC initiative was a partnership between NCHPAD, Easter Seals and the YMCA. The goal was to bring together diverse community coalitions comprised of disability, health and other organizations and sectors to create new and improve existing health opportunities and endeavors to be inclusive of all community members, especially those with disabilities. This article provides more information about the initial endeavor and the purpose and tools behind it.
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The initial IHC initiative featured 20 coalitions from 16 states led by either a local Easter Seals or YMCA partner. These leaders brought together a diverse range of partners, practitioners and community members to create new or incorporate elements of inclusion into existing health and wellness endeavors. This article contains a brief synopsis of the initial coalitions efforts.
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Essex County IHC: Led by Easter Seals New Jersey, the Essex County IHC partnered with the Township of Maplewood New Jersey to provide an inclusive exercise class for participants of all ability levels in an open community setting.

Polk County IHC: Easter Seals Iowa, leader of the Polk County IHC, partnered with the Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market to create an opportunity for people with disabilities to grow produce in their community garden and sell it from their own booth at the Market.

Polk County IHC: Polk County IHC leader Easter Seals Iowa provides job skills training to individuals with disabilities through jobs skills and inclusive gardening classes, as well as participation in its vending program and partnership with the Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market. Individuals who complete job skills training are given the opportunity to be placed as interns with Des Moines Area Community College’s Urban Campus to further develop and practice those skills in the community.