In 2001, the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD) created a statewide network of community-based agencies to offer the Living Well with a Disability health promotion program for Iowa adults with disabilities, particularly physical disabilities. Developed at the University of Montana, Living Well with a Disability is an eight-week, 16-hour workshop that promotes health as a means of attaining real life goals. Goals set by participants often focus on employment or improved participation in activities or events that are important in the individual’s life.
Supported through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Iowa Department of Public Health, CDD manages the program, recruiting host sites, training and certifying facilitators, and conducting program evaluation. Currently, CDD provides technical and financial support for Living Well programs located at:
- Three Rivers Center for Independent Living, Sioux City
- Central Iowa Center for Independent Living, Des Moines
- North Iowa Vocational Center, Inc., Mason City
- Northeast Iowa Center for Independent Living, Waterloo
- Scenic Valley Area Agency for Aging, Dubuque
- Access 2 Independence, Iowa City
- Peer Action Disability Support (PADS), Cedar Rapids
CDD also has developed a four-module Continuing to Live Well with a Disability workshop for those who have taken the Living Well with a Disability program, and a Staying Healthy and Living Well workshop for youth who will be transitioning into independent or semi-independent settings. Although funding is not currently available to support these workshops, the curricula are available for download at no cost at www.livingwelliowa.org.
Visit the Living Well Iowa website for more information about programs and tools to assist facilitators. For more information about the initiative and evaluation information, contact Kay DeGarmo at firstname.lastname@example.org.