White House Highlights Physical Fitness for People with Disabilities

Healthy Living GoalAUCD recently attended the Summit and Research Forum on Improved Health and Fitness for Americans with Disabilities. The event was co-sponsored by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and featured two members of CDC’s Friends of NCBDDD, Jim Rimmer, PhD, principal investigator of the NIDRR-funded Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Interactive Technologies and Exercise Physiology Benefiting People with Disabilities (RecTech), and Amy Rauworth, the Director of Policy and Public Affairs at the Lakeshore Foundation and is the Associate Director of the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD). Success stories from the I Can Do It, You Can Do It! (ICDI) Program were shared, along with innovative approaches based on emerging research findings. With obesity rates being 38% higher for children with a disability, this school-based ICDI effort is critical to engage communities in inclusive physical activity. Team science, a way of learning from multiple disciplines, testing out strategies and implementing what is learned, was highlighted during the research discussion as a way to build relationships and develop methods. One of the key messages of the summit was that exercise is medicine for everyone, including people w/ a disability. To continue this discussion and increase inclusion of people with disabilities in health and fitness efforts, the Commit to Inclusion initiative was launched at the summit. To learn more, visit: committoinclusion.org.