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Disability & Health

The Illinois Disability and Health Program is a collaboration initiated jointly by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The goal of the program is to promote and maximize health, prevent chronic disease, improve emergency preparedness and increase quality of life among people with disabilities.

Funding for this program is provided through a federal grant from the Disability and Health Team, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Division of Human Development and Disability, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Persons with disability are often susceptible to additional health conditions as a result of their primary disability. For example, precursors of common chronic diseases, such as physical inactivity, obesity, hypertension, and high cholesterol, are more prevalent among persons with disability than those without. Despite these higher health risks, persons with disability are often overlooked by health promotion and disease prevention efforts.

The Illinois Disability and Health Program receives funding to conduct the following core activities:

  • Maintain and expand the Illinois Disability and Health Partnership composed of various stakeholders, such as individuals with disability, disability advocates, health service providers, state and local health agency representatives, and chronic disease-based advocacy groups.
  • Implement activities outlined in the Illinois Disability and Health Action Plan that guide future efforts of disease prevention and health promotion for citizens with disability in the state.
  • Facilitate integration of existing chronic disease and women’s health programs into statewide disability activities and assure their accessibility.
  • Raise public and professional awareness of health-related disability issues.
  • Monitor the changes in prevalence of chronic disease, secondary conditions and quality of life in persons with disabilities
  • Increase health promotion opportunities for people with disabilities to maximize health
  • Improve access to health care for people with disabilities
  • Improve emergency preparedness among people with disabilities

Please contact the Illinois Disability and Health Program for information on:

  • healthy lifestyle and emergency preparedness programs for people with disabilities
  • opportunities for health and emergency preparedness professionals to receive training about serving people with disabilities
  • data on people with disabilities in Illinois. 

For all other inquires about financial aid or direct services for people with disabilities, please contact the Department of Human Services Customer Helpline at 1-800-843-6154 (voice) or 1-800-447-6404 (TTY).