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What is the Ohio Disability and Health Program?

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The Ohio Disability and Health Program (ODHP) is a grant-funded state program with the goals to promote health, improve emergency preparedness, and increase access to care for Ohioans with disabilities. With funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ODHP will:

  • Develop and enhance program infrastructure and capacity.
  • Improve state level health surveillance and monitoring activities.
  • Increase awareness of health-related disability policy initiatives.
  • 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.
  • Effectively monitor and evaluate program activities.

ODHP serves as a resource to the state and is well positioned to provide technical assistance related to disability and health for businesses, organizations and people with disabilities in Ohio.

ODHP is a partnership amongst the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), the two Ohio UCEDDs (University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disability) at the Ohio State University Nisonger Center and the University of Cincinnati (UC UCEDD), and the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center (GRC). Another key collaborator for this program is the disability community; a Disability Community Planning Group (DCPG) has been formed to guide and assist in program activities.

Why is it important?

Disability is a natural part of life, and is much more common than most people think. In fact, it is very likely that everyone will encounter disability during his or her lifetime. Approximately one in five Ohioans report having some form of disability, representing a substantial portion of Ohio’s population. 

People with disabilities can, and do, experience good health, however, research indicates that they are much more likely to experience poor health outcomes compared to people without disabilities. People with disabilities face many challenges to obtaining quality healthcare services that meet their needs. The Ohio Disability and Health Program is structured to help eliminate these barriers – ensuring access to healthcare goods and services for all Ohioans. The Ohio Department of Health is committed to establishing health equity for people with disabilities as a department-level priority, and supports the efforts of ODHP at the state-level. 

How can I utilize the Ohio Disability and Health Program as a stakeholder, external partner, LHD, etc.?

Ohio Disability and Health Program is a resource for stakeholders, external partners, and healthcare organizations across the state. The program strives to affect change at the state and local levels. Key program activities include encouraging disability inclusion throughout the state, promoting healthy living opportunities for people with disabilities, and focusing on emergency preparedness through the education of first responders and the disability community. Although ODHP does not provide direct services to people with disabilities, it does provide opportunities for inclusive health promoting activities, such as supporting Healthy U workshops to be offered in American Sign Language by trained lay leaders. The Ohio Disability and Health Program is well connected with disability groups, organizations, and stakeholders across the state of Ohio. As such, ODHP is able to facilitate connections between local health organizations and services for people with disabilities. The ODHP staff can provide technical assistance to a wide range of partners at the state and local level to help ensure that the entire population is able to access and utilize valuable health resources.

Who do I get in contact with for more information?

Please contact David Ellsworth at the Ohio Department of Health, Office of Health Policy and Performance Improvement, at 614-644-9848 for additional information about the Ohio Disability and Health Program. 


Page Created 12/30/2015