National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD)


The American Association on Health and Disability will be collaborating with the National Center on Physical Activity, Health and Disability (NCHPADD) on a five year cooperative agreement funded by the CDC, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

Reversing the disproportionately higher rates of obesity among children and adults with disability requires a comprehensive and coordinated approach that uses policy, system and environmental change (PSE) to transform communities into inclusive health communities that support and promote healthy lifestyle choices for people with disability. NCHPAD will use a new knowledge-to-practice framework (N-KATS, NCHPAD Knowledge Adaptation, Translation and Scale up) to achieve three short-term and five intermediate outcomes.  The N-KATS framework contains four sequenced phases. Phase I involves the collection of existing evidence-based programs and models in physical activity, nutrition and obesity that are reviewed, catalogued and systematically adapted with a new tool (GRAIDs, Guidelines, Recommendations and Adaptations Including Disability) that separates the core components of a program into five recommendation and adaptation domains (built environment, equipment, services, instructional, policy). 15 GRAID accessibility criteria are used to ensure strong fidelity between and within program adaptations.  Phase II focuses on the dissemination of resources, materials, and tools to early adopters and ‘shovel-ready’ programs through national networks and partnerships. Phase III provides inclusive health promotion training to a select group of service providers with Center staff serving as facilitators. And Phase IV captures successful elements of community health inclusion (i.e., PSEs) through a comprehensive data collection system that efficiently and effectively scales ‘best practices’ to a growing number of communities nationwide. In the aggregate, these four phases are aimed at accomplishing three short-term (STO) and five intermediate (IO) outcomes: Increased availability and use of community models, tools, and resources (STO1); Increased knowledge and awareness of health risk factors in people with disability (STO2); Improved collaboration with partners (STO3); Improved evidence base for health promotion programs (IO1); Increased adoption of inclusive programmatic, policy, systems, and environmental changes (IO2); Increased participation in evidence-based and innovative health promotion programs (IO3); Improved organizational capacity to serve communities across the U.S. (IO4); and Improved data collection methods to capture successful ‘best practices’(IO5). With NCHPAD’s new knowledge-to-practice framework (N-KATS), the Center now has the capacity to build and expand upon successful, inclusive ‘best practices’ that can transform communities into places that support and promote healthy lifestyles for the more than 50 million Americans with disability.

Partner expansion and material and resource dissemination is a key component of the NCHPAD project.  AAHD will be involved in the pieces of the cooperative agreement that focus on dissemination, outreach and evaluation.  AAHD has been a formal partner with NCHPAD since 2012 and has worked with NCHPAD staff since 2002.


The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) is partnering with the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) at the University of Alabama to perform a stakeholder analysis and disseminate materials across the AAHD network specific to NCHPAD cooperative agreement (2012-2015) with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD).  AAHD was selected to work with NCHPAD due to AAHD’s excellent track record of working with disability, policy and health organizations within Washington, DC and across the nation.  AAHD will work with NCHPAD to support the translation of the project’s work at the local, state and national level.  AAHD will utilize list serves, social media strategies, newsletters, conferences and meetings and communication channels of partners to educate the public and key stakeholders.  The NCHPAD/AAHD partnership will disseminate to stakeholders information about the importance of community inclusion by reaching out to state/territorial public health departments, community partners, policy advocates, disability organizations, health organizations, federal partners, advocacy organizations and consumers. Our goal is to educate targets to ensure that state and national plans contain inclusive policy recommendations necessary to promote access to community health initiatives and programs for people with disabilities.  AAHD will be involved in educating targets about the toolkit that will be developed as part of this project, as well as project webinars and materials developed.

AAHD conducted a stakeholder analysis to determine acceptability of the new inclusive guidelines and criteria developed under this project.  AAHD worked to review the new community inclusion guidelines and criteria and then developed a survey instrument used to interview stakeholders to include CDC, NCBDDD disability and health state grantees, partners and disability/health organizations.  AAHD project staff was involved in the analysis of stakeholder responses.

Please visit the NCPAD website at to learn more about this initiative and the outstanding work that is being conducted at the University of Alabama and the Lakeshore Foundation.

Recently released Guidelines on Disability Inclusion on Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity: click here.  Also click on guidelines on the right of this page.

A study about the Community Health Inclusion Index (CHII), a new evaluation tool for improving inclusion of people with disabilities in community health initiatives, was recently published in the BMC Public Health Journal.