About DPH

DPH builds on the national public health legacy of the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Improve the Health and Wellness of People with Disabilities.1 Among the more than 53 million adults in the United States with disabilities, chronic conditions, including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and arthritis, are disproportionately prevalent compared to the general population.2 This is true, in part, because adults with disabilities receive less support and have more difficulty accessing health promotion programs, health information, and culturally competent quality care.3 As a result, individuals with disabilities are less likely to engage in healthy behaviors, exhibiting lower rates of physical activity, less consumption of fruits and vegetables, and more use of tobacco.4,5

A primary role of DPH is to educate public health professionals, policymakers, and other stakeholders about the need to include people with intellectual disabilities and mobility limitations in evidence-based health promotion efforts. DPH makes evidence-based strategies available, provides expert training and technical assistance to implement them, and helps improve surveillance and monitoring to ensure uptake among the target populations.

DPH is one of 19 State Disability and Health Programs funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Learn more about the State Disability and Health Programs: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/programs.html.




  1. Office of the Surgeon General (US); Office on Disability (US). (2005). The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Improve the Health and Wellness of Persons with Disabilities. Rockville (MD): Office of the Surgeon General (US). Retrieved March 23, 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK44667/
  2. Havercamp, S M, Scandlin, D, & Roth, M. (2004). Health disparities among adults with developmental disabilities, adults with other disabilities, and adults not reporting disability in North Carolina. Public health reports, 119(4), 418. Retrieved March 21, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1497651/pdf/15219799.pdf
  3. Reichard, A, Stolzle, H, & Fox, M H. (2011). Health disparities among adults with physical disabilities or cognitive limitations compared to individuals with no disabilities in the United States. Disability and Health Journal, 4(2), 59-67. Retrieved March 21, 2017, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dhjo.2010.05.003
  4. Drum, C E, McClain, M R, Horner-Johnson, W, & Taitano, G. (2011). Health disparities chart book on disability and racial and ethnic status in the United States. Durham, NH: Institute on Disability, University of New Hampshire. Retrieved March 21, 2017, from http://iod.unh.edu
  5. Pharr, J R, & Bungum, T. (2012). Health disparities experienced by people with disabilities in the United States: a Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System study. Global journal of health science, 4(6), 99. Retrieved March 21, 2017, from http://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/community_health_sciences_fac_articles/82/