Community Access Project

Making Community Health Facilities Accessible for People with Disabilities

The Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD) coordinates the Community Access Project (CAP) for Accessible Communities in partnership with the Office of Disability and Health at the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Persons with Disabilities Bureau at the Iowa Department of Human Rights. CAP addresses the identified need to make community health facilities more accessible. Health facilities include traditional health care settings, public health local subcontract sites and places designated as emergency community shelters.

woman using chair device to get out of pool

As a key component of this project, CDD is piloting a model community-based program that is training and certifying agency-based Access Specialists in Accessible Communities. Some Specialists will conduct ADA Building and Program Access surveys at community health facilities. They will use an ADA Building Access Survey developed by the Department of Human Rights and a new ADA Program Access Survey developed by CDD for testing in this project. Other Specialists will provide technical assistance to agencies that complete accessibility surveys. They will partner with state-level specialists in accessibility for people with disabilities through IDPH and the Iowa Program for Assistive Technology to identify low-cost solutions to accessibility problems. This model is currently being piloted in the following community agency sites:

  • Easter Seals Society of Iowa, Des Moines
  • North Iowa Vocational Services, Inc, Mason City

For more information about this project, contact Jane Gay at or Kay DeGarmo at