Community Inclusion Index
As part of the Health Empowerment Zone Project, a new measure called the Community Inclusion Index (CII) is being developed. This tool will allow disability and health professionals to examine the inclusivity of the programs, services and community infrastructure offered to local citizens in obesity prevention. The instrument measures a community’s ability to support healthy, active living among individuals with disabilities. CII domains include the built environment (e.g., paths, sidewalks, transportation, fitness centers), social infrastructure (e.g., volunteer support), and health promotion programs/services offered in schools, workplace and the general community. Yochai Eisenberg, a project coordinator in the Center on Health Promotion for People with Disabilities at UIC, is currently developing the CII with input from experts in the disability field as well as the broader disability community.
Currently, there is no formal assessment tool for determining the level of accessibility/inclusivity of federally funded projects associated with community transformation. The CII will provide an objective measure of inclusivity at both the macro (community-based) and micro (program- based) levels of assessment. This measurement tool will be available for public use to help community leaders and citizens determine ways to improve all aspects of a healthy community to make them more accessible and inclusive to members with disabilities. Findings will be used to formalize an action plan with specific recommendations for promoting inclusion into targeted communities and the programs ‘nested’ within them.
Help us in developing this tool by providing your suggestions:
Please let us know what you think are the elements of a healthy community that support healthy active living for people with disabilities. Why do you think these elements are important? Do you have any success/failure stories about the elements of a healthy community that you can share? We will use these suggestions to begin our process of identifying the critical factors that are needed to create a healthy, inclusive community. It will be very helpful if you let us know some background information about yourself when you are responding - such as: name, disability if applicable, age, state, and organizational affiliation.
Send ideas to Yochai Eisenberg: firstname.lastname@example.org