NH Disability and Health Program to partner with Granite YMCA and the Moore Center to improve accessibility and inclusion of health promotion programs in the greater Manchester area.  

Community-based health promotion opportunities are often lacking when it comes to inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities. This can result in a gap in participation in healthy activities and, in turn, worse health outcomes for people with disabilities. For instance, adults with mobility limitations are three times less likely to have exercised in the last month compared to other adults. In response to addressing these gaps, the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD)  has developed an inclusive Community Implementation Process (NiCIP) to ensure that programs and activities facilitate greater inclusion of people with disabilities.

Megan Henly, PhD, and Emilia Poehlman, MSW, of the NH Disability and Health Program (DHP) at UNH’s Institute on Disability were awarded a $166,000 grant from NCHPAD that will continue through July of 2026. Through this funding opportunity, DHP will partner with Granite YMCA  and The Moore Center to implement NCHPAD’s NiCIP. This process will guide Granite YMCA in identifying inclusion solutions that will allow for more accessible and inclusive physical activity and health promotion programs for NH adults with disabilities.

“We are very excited to partner with NH Disability and Health Program to shed light on the accessibility issues that individuals with disabilities face in their day-to-day lives,”

said Ashley E. Martin, Director of Community Based Services and Kinship Care at the Moore Center. “Dissolving barriers for individuals with disabilities will allow them to have increased community opportunities, and increased access to the community, creating opportunities for a better life for individuals across New Hampshire. Physical and sensory-based barriers often keep people with disabilities from living their healthiest lives, and this grant will help us break down those barriers, creating accessibility and strengthening our communities. I am excited about the opportunity to share with community members accessibility issues that people with disabilities face on a daily basis and find solutions to create a more equitable New Hampshire.”

This project will help empower local community partners with the resources and tools needed to deliver high-quality programs and services to promote health programming for people with disabilities. DHP’s Dr. Henly emphasizes that “[t]he Granite YMCA has demonstrated a commitment to providing programming that is accessible for everyone they serve. They are a great partner in this work and our team is eager to implement the NiCIP so that we can identify new ways of improving community access to Granite Y programs.”