AUCD Congratulates CDC: 'Vital Signs' Emphasizes Importance of Physical Activity for People with Disabilities

May 6, 2014

Andrew J. Imparato, JD
Executive Director

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) joins with disability and health leaders in congratulating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) on the release of the current issue of Vital Signs on the importance of physical activity for people with disabilities.

CDC Vital Signs™ – Learn about the latest public health data. Read CDC Vital Signs™…
Over 57 million Americans have a disability; including more than 21 million working age (ages 18-64) adults. Inactivity is related to chronic disease in these adults.  Working age adults with disabilities are more likely to be physically active if their doctors recommend it. With growing public health concern of disability, the impact of obesity and nutrition, good health is still a frontier for many Americans.  "Today's Vital Signs from CDC shines the light on the need to include people with disabilities in health promotion efforts like obesity prevention and physical activity," says Andrew Imparato, AUCD's Executive Director.  "AUCD members work for community inclusion in recreation and leisure experiences."

Calls to action from CDC's Vital Signs include the role health care providers play in encouraging adults with disabilities to be active and in recommending physical activities that match the individual's abilities. AUCD's national network members adapt CDC's Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans [PDF] in healthy lifestyle programming for various disabilities.  Cutting edge efforts include New York's Westchester Institute for Human Development University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) and Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) innovative app My Health, My Choice, My Responsibility, as well as the current efforts of the UCEDD at the University of California, LA, to plan a summer day camp for children with cerebral palsy.

AUCD reinforces the CDC's calls to action with six national goals in the areas of employment, community living, education, transition, healthy living and early childhood in its "Six By '15" Campaign, marking the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. AUCD's Public Health is for Everyone offers resources for professionals to create programs that benefit entire communities, including people with disabilities.

AUCD is a national, nonprofit network of university-based interdisciplinary centers in every state and territory working to advance policy and practices for people living with disabilities and their families.  Learn more about AUCD, Six By '15, and Public Health is for Everyone by visiting